By TBR Staff

The Trinity Community Arts Center in Northport Village hosted Alton and Carol Rose, Northport High School’s renowned girls lacrosse coaches, on Tuesday night. The event featured the presentation of a painting of Alton, based on a photograph taken by TBR News Media photographer Steven Zaitz.

The Roses founded the Northport lacrosse program in 1990 and have led the team to numerous county, Long Island and state championships.

Alton, known affectionately as “Man Rose,” was diagnosed with cancer last year. Despite this, he continues to coach as an assistant alongside his wife, Carol. The Northport community has rallied around the Roses during this challenging time.

Father Andrew of Trinity Episcopal Church delivered the opening benediction. Bob Hendrick, who runs the center with his wife Nancy, spoke about the inspiration he drew from the photograph and the Roses’ story.

“We are here to simply say thank you to one of our heroes. It is an honor for Nancy and me to have created this work for Coach Al Rose,” said Hendrick. “Art was our way of ‘breaking bread’ with our community and honoring our local heroes, the Roses, who are two of the kindest and most caring people we have ever met. We call it game day and thanks to Maria Monda and Steve Zaitz, this all came together as it was meant to. Nothing happens by luck.”

Monda, an artist with work currently featured at the gallery on Main Street, is also the Northport Marching Band Booster Club president. She introduced Zaitz to the Hendricks.

An emotional Carol Rose spoke of her husband’s heroism, as did the four varsity girls lacrosse team captains: Kennedy Radziul, Christina Lauro, Lauren Baudier and Julia Huxtable. They shared how much Mr. Rose means to them, how he inspires them and how he has taught them to live life to the fullest and treasure every day. The team wore red ribbons in their hair throughout the season to honor Rose.

Northport girls basketball coach Rich Castellano, the entire Northport girls lacrosse team, supportive parents and other Northport residents were in attendance, including the Roses’ sons, Cameron and Cobi.

By Steven Zaitz

With their playoff hopes hanging in the balance, Newfield Wolverine starting pitcher Matthew Hesselbirg fired a no-hitter on Friday, May 3 against Northport to keep his team alive in the postseason hunt. 

The senior righthander struck out seven Tiger batters and walked two over seven innings and despite not allowing a hit, fought through several troublesome innings when Northport put multiple men on base.

The Wolverines scored single runs in the fourth and fifth innings to secure the 2-0 win. Newfield right-fielder Brandon Seddio drew a one-out walk in the fourth and then stole second. Tiger pitchers Tyler Roethel and Vincent Staub combined to walk three batters in a row to force in Seddio and give the Wolverines a 1-0 lead. Seddio would knock in center fielder Kevin Brown in the fifth inning with a single to make it 2-0.

Meanwhile, Hesselbirg got harder to hit as the game wore on.  The Tigers had a man on second and third in the second inning but Roethel flew out to Brown to end the frame. Tiger catcher Reid Johansen reached on an error in the fourth and advanced to third on a ground out and a wild pitch. But he got no further. Hesselbirg struck out the side in order in the fifth and faced the minimum in the sixth.

He hit Tiger third-baseman Cody Hammer with one out in the seventh and allowed a walk to right-fielder Sean Buchanan to put the tying runs on base.

But Tiger pinch hitter Anthony Sylvanus hit a sharp grounder to shortstop Cayden Davis, who started a 6-4-3 double play to end the game and give Hesselbirg his no-no. 

Roethel pitched 3 2/3 innings and was charged with the run in the fourth. He struck out four. Side-armer Vincent Staub pitched the final 2 1/3 for Northport.

Newfield (7-9) needs to sweep Centereach in a three-game set this week to make the playoffs.  Centereach is the first-place team in Suffolk Conference III. Northport (10-8) has clinched a playoff spot, despite the loss, and will play Sachem East to close the season.

– Photos by Steven Zaitz