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Young Athletes Are Busy This Winter

Thu, 03/02/2023 - 10:02
Daisy Pitches and Liam Knight, two of the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter Hurricanes’ strongest swimmers, and their teammates are aiming to win again the Y state championship in Buffalo in mid-March.
Jack Graves

Kids here who swim, and who play hockey, soccer, baseball, and softball, have been active of late honing skills at the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter, the Buckskill Winter Club in East Hampton, the Sportime Arena in Amagansett, and at the Hub 44 building on the way to Springs.

Hitting, fielding, and pitching clinics for 7-through-12-year-old boys and girls have been given during the February break by Hub 44’s manager, Vinny Alversa, who is East Hampton High School’s varsity baseball coach, his assistant, Matt Zappoli, and by Shannon Anderson Field, a former East Hampton High School pitcher. Pitching, hitting, and fielding clinics continue this month. Alversa, Zappoli, and Andrew Rodriguez, East Hampton’s junior varsity coach, are to evaluate Little League players at Hub 44 on Saturday and on March 11.

Likewise, Luis Barrera and Michael Tamay have been overseeing futsal (indoor soccer) practice sessions for boys and girls at the Sportime Arena this winter, a chief goal, Tamay said the other day, being to feed into and strengthen the high school’s girls soccer program. In Long Island Futsal League play, Tamay said, the East Hampton Soccer Club’s 15-and-under, 13-U, and 8-U teams topped their divisions. The 14-U team was third, the 10-U team was fourth, and the 12-U team was fifth, he said.

Two of the Soccer Club’s players, Amy Torres, a sixth grader at the East Hampton Middle School, and Esteban Diaz, a Springs eighth grader, are playing on regional teams as well. Torres, Elle Reidlinger, and Shayla Buestan “all play with the boys 13-U team,” said Tamay, who added that “our goal is to have a high school girls team that gets to the states.” The club’s outdoor season is to begin March 13.

The Y’s youth swim team, the Hurricanes, has been active as well, preparing to defend the club’s state Y title in Buffalo in mid-March, and while the winter season is over for Peconic Hockey Association age-group teams that have been playing games at Buckskill’s outdoor rink, a number of players, Chris Minardi said in a recent email, are to continue pursuing the sport in the spring and summer.

“Sports here are going to get better and better,” Alversa said during a break in fielding and hitting clinics at Hub 44 Saturday morning.

The Peconic Hockey Association’s 10-and-under Wildcat team, coached by Jason Craig, which finished at 20-4-1, made the playoffs, but lost 7-3 to Rinx Metro in a semifinal-round playoff game contested recently in Brooklyn. “We played great,” Minardi said, “but the [Hauppauge] Rinx team had more depth — three strong lines. Hunter Harrington, Cam Minardi, and James Petrocelli scored our goals.” He added that tryouts for the U-12 team will be held on March 10, 11, and 12.

As for this season’s 12-and-under team, which finished third in a Long Island Amateur Hockey League’s Tier III division, its coach, Brendan Goldstein, said in an email, “This team kept getting better and better — every player made a lot of progress. . . . Later in the season we challenged teams, ones that have been with the Long Island Amateur Hockey League for decades, that we’d lost to earlier on.”

Max Goldstein led the 12-U Wildcats in goals and assists. Other top scorers, the elder Goldstein said, were Jacob Fritz and Christian Krikau. Enzo Magnotta, Alex Jablonski, and Paulina Wojciechowski, and the goalies, Ben Lundqvist and Ryan Rauscher, anchored the defense. Lydea Orent, Mikey Kessler, Nate Jacobsen, Sonny Perello, Lincoln Witt, Kevin Mills, Fritz Keber, Connor Krikau, and Dino Lisica rounded out the squad.

Once the association’s bubble-covered rink is built in Calverton, “our program will only get better and even more exciting for the players, their families, and fans,” said Goldstein.

The Hurricane swimmers have competed in several meets in February. State-qualifying times were swum recently, Angelika Cruz, one of Tom Cohill’s assistants, said, by Mia Milazzo, Lucy Knight, Zoey Falkenhan, Evelyn Rizzo, Sebastien Le Chartier, Allison Farez, Sierra Metz, and Watts Comly-Bolick. Among the team’s leaders are Tenzin Tamang, Liam Knight, Summer Jones, and Daisy Pitches, who swim in the 15-to-18-year-old division.

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