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25 Years Ago in Bonac Sports

Tue, 11/21/2023 - 18:26

For Nov. 23, 2023

November 26, 1998

Debbie Jayne’s Pierson field hockey team dearly wanted a win over Rye Neck in Sunday’s Class D state final in Syracuse. The Panthers defeated the Whalers 3-2 in overtime in a state semifinal two years ago, a game during which a seeming goal by Pierson was called back and in which an alleged helping kick onto the shooter’s stick in the circle keyed one of Rye Neck’s scores.

Cailin Brophy,  one of 10 seniors on Jayne’s team — Rye Neck had 11 — hinted at the Whalers’ confident frame of mind at Saturday’s tailgate party following the Whalers’ easy 3-0 victory over East Rochester. “Rye Neck . . . that’s the team we beat two years ago.”

She added that “you could tell East Rochester didn’t expect to win — they didn’t cry afterwards.”

Indeed, the Whalers had not won in 1996, nor, lamentably, did they at the P&C Stadium on Sunday. Again, the Panthers prevailed, and again Beth Gulotta, who had scored the winning goal two years ago, provided Rye Neck with the margin of victory on a corner-play goal with four and a half minutes left in the first half.

. . . It was the third straight year that the feisty Whalers, who have played and grown together for the past five years, had made an appearance in the state Final Four, and the second straight year they had been finalists, rarities in themselves.

A semifinalist in ‘96 and a finalist in ‘97, this was to have been the team’s year to win the championship, which would have been the first such to have been earned by a South Fork field hockey team.

Linda Shapiro, who has been planning a summer celebrity basketball game to benefit the Bridgehampton School for several months, learned this week that Spike Lee has agreed to join the committee.

Proceeds from the game are to be split between the Bridgehampton School’s scholarship fund and Bias Help, a sister organization of the Long Island Association for AIDS Care that investigates complaints of bias crimes.

Shapiro had sent Spike Lee articles about Nick Letcher, who played in 1996, 1997, and this year on state-championship Killer Bee teams, and who is now producing his own films, one of which is about the defeat of the school’s renovation-expansion proposal.

. . . Shapiro said the idea for the benefit grew out of the proposal’s recent defeats and from a Channel 9 television newscast last summer in which Bridgehampton students living along Sag Harbor Turnpike said they felt like aliens in their community, which is more widely known as the home of wealthy summer and weekend residents.

. . . When the Channel 9 news report aired, Shapiro said she was “talking back to the TV. I was saying, ‘This is their town, not the weekend people’s.’ These kids don’t even have a lunch room! I thought of what the school was going through and about Bias Help, and the idea clicked in my head. Isn’t the whole thing about bias?”

Behind a smooth wall of clear cedar siding, work on the East Hampton RECenter is continuing at a rapid pace, even as officials and supporters of the center begin one last push to close the gap between money in hand and anticipated expenses.

While most of the construction money has been raised, the $4 million project still faces a probable $500,000 shortfall. A final appeal for funds is being mailed to all East Hampton residents and taxpayers this week, said Joe O’Connell, vice president of the East Hampton Youth Alliance.

. . . About one third of the $3.5 million raised to build the RECenter to date has come from the Evan Frankel Foundation and a handful of individuals. They include Josephine Chaus, the Sabin Metals Corporation, Courtney Sale Ross, and Patti and David Silver. David Silver is president of the Youth Alliance. 

. . . Many people have bought commemorative tiles for $100 apiece, and they are still available, O’Connell said.

“The tiles would make a great Christmas present,” he said, “better than that sweater you know the recipient is never going to wear.”

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