Brooklyn Boro

Scholastic Roundup: Some more late bloomers

September 1, 2023 Andy Furman
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Seems Ivan Leshinsky – the late bloomer who just competed in the 74-79-year-old category in the National Senior Basketball Games – has inspired Danny Lynch, Jr.

The former St. Francis College, Brooklyn baseball coach says two of his Terrier teammates from the 1968-70 teams are also going strong.

“Eddie Savold and Tony Criscuola, both 74-years-old, at least,” said Lynch, “Are still playing.

“Eddie throws batting practice for a local high school team, and he still throws over his age,” Lynch said, “75-80 mph.”

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Savold used to throw batting practice for LSU before moving to Arkansas, Lynch said.

“Tony played in an over-40-year-old league in Virginia until he recently moved to Florida,” Lynch said. “And he just joined an over-70 league.”

As for Lynch, he’s giving baseball instruction on Staten Island. “About 20 hours-a-week,” he said. “I estimate I throw over 1,000 batting practice pitches a week – but only from 25-feet,” he laughed.

That 1968 St. Francis College baseball team was one of the best in the country. “We beat both St. John’s and Seton Hall that year, but weren’t given an NCAA bid. The committee said that our schedule was to limited. I think that we only played 20-25 games as opposed to the 50-plus schedules of St. John’s and Seton Hall.”

The Terriers only played 19 games that season – and won 14 of them.

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Brian Jensen has been hired as the West Quad Pool’s first-ever Aquatics Director, and also returns as head coach of the Brooklyn College men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs.

“As a former Bulldog swimming student-athlete and coach, Brian understands what it takes to build a championship level program at Brooklyn and in the CUNYAC,” Brooklyn’s Athletic Director Erik Smiles said in a prepared statement.

Jensen last served as the head men’s and women’s swimming and diving coach for Brooklyn during the 2021-22 season, guiding the programs back from the pandemic. In his first season at the helm of both programs during the 2019-20 campaign – after a year as an assistant coach with the Bulldogs – Jensen led the men’s squad to a second-place finish (the team’s best finish in program history) and the women took fourth place at the CUNYAC Championships.

That same season, the men’s team ended the year with an overall record of 9-1, which was also a program best. In his two seasons prior to his return, Jensen has coached a CUNYAC Rookie of the Year and a number of conference all-stars. Along with coaching at Brooklyn, Jensen served as an adjunct lecturer teaching swim classes for the Brooklyn College Department of Kinesiology.

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Jensen returns to the Bedford Avenue campus after a year as physical education teacher at New World Prep, a charter school in Staten Island. During his time at NWP, he helped create a learn-to-swim program exposing students between second and eighth grade to swimming and competitive swimming skills. He also served as co-head coach for the cross country and outdoor track programs for the NWP CYO program. In addition, he continued coaching at the collegiate level at Fashion Institute of Technology.

A member of the Brooklyn College men’s swimming and diving team from 2016-18 Jensen earned CUNYAC all-star accolades following both his junior and senior seasons. He helped his team to a third-place finish at the 2018 CUNYAC championships, and he was part of the 200-freestyle and 400-freestyle relay squads that won gold medals along with setting school records in both events. He also earned silver medals in the 200-yard medley relay and the 800-yard freestyle during that same conference championship run.

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The National Association of Basketball Coaches has assumed the rights to the Brooklyn Invitational from the Hall of Fame, and will operate the 2023 event – now rebranded as the NABC Brooklyn Showcase on December 10th at Barclays Center.

The quadruple header will feature eight Division I men’s basketball programs from across the country, representing many of the sport’s top conferences. Matchups for the NABC Brooklyn Showcase include:

Fordham vs. North Texas; Miami (Fla.) vs. Colorado; St. John’s vs. Boston College; Temple vs. UAlbany.

Tickets for the NABC Brooklyn Showcase are on sale via Ticketmaster and Barclays Center Box Office.

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LIU forward Emil Jaaskelainen is one of the premier college men’s soccer players in the country.
Top Drawer Soccer rated Jaaskelainen the No. 5 player in the country on its annual Top-100 pre-season list.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound senior forward from Bolton, England is the reigning Northeast Conference Player of the Year. He led the conference with a dozen goals in 2022.

He was recently named on the watch list for the Hermann Trophy – college soccer’s equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.

The Hermann Trophy is presented annually by the Missouri Athletic Club. The nation’s highest individual honor, the award recognizes the National Player of the Year as determined by voting of Division I coaches who are members of United Soccer Coaches.

Fifteen men’s players and 15 women’s players will become Hermann Trophy semifinalists following the completion of Division I All-America voting at the end of the fall season.

The three men’s finalists will be revealed on December 13th.

The winner will be recognized on January 5th at a ceremony at the historic Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis. The preseason watch list includes 37 Division I men’s players.

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Amable Martinez’s debut as head coach of the LIU women’s volleyball team came up narrowly short of what would have been a thrilling victory.

The Sharks fell to Lehigh last week, 23-25, 25-21, 28-26, 24-26, 16-14 in the season opener at the Temple-hosted Cherry & White Challenge.

“In our first game, we got tested. We were able to do some good things. We saw a lot of positives,” Martinez said after the match.
Rumor Rouille, playing through injury with a heavily-wrapped left leg, was a difference maker every time she was on the court. She finished with seven kills and four blocks.

When Rouille had to come out of the match, Celine Mukura was just as effective. She finished with seven kills and two blocks. Alasha Colon, in her first game as a Shark, was all over the court. She produced a team-leading 31 digs while also adding seven assists. Former NEC Rookie of the Year, Amaris Smith showed that she is only going to get better in 20233, leading the team with 16 kills.

The Sharks meet Grand Canyon, 10 pm tonight in the opening round of the Grand Canyon University Invitational with Iowa State and Arizona. LIU returns home on Tuesday, September 5th when they host Fairfield.

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The LIU spirit teams combined to capture a national championship in January. And, as they return to campus for the Fall semester, the cheerleading and dance teams and mascot Finley were greeted with rings to commemorate the achievement. The combined Sharks team won the Open Spirit Game Day division at the UCA/UDA national championships in January at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports.

LIU produced a final-round raw score of 184.1333, topping runner-up St. John’s (181.7333) and third-place South Dakota (179.5333). It marked the first time the LIU cheerleading and dance teams performed together in the competition, along with mascot Finley, as part of the new open program competition.

Andy Furman is a Fox Sports Radio national talk show host. Previously, he was a scholastic sports columnist for the Brooklyn Eagle. He may be reached at: [email protected] Twitter: @AndyFurmanFSR

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