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Kings Park High School

By Bill Landon

Having lost their first two games of the season, Shoreham-Wading River Wildcats looked to put a win up on the board in this early season and win they did, defeating Kings Park 14-7 in driving rain Tuesday afternoon, April 2, at Thomas Cutinella Memorial Field.

In the opening minutes of the second quarter, SWR freshman midfielder Madison Herr notched her hat trick on a penalty shot to put her team ahead 7-1. The Wildcats took the opportunity to rest some of their starters until the final buzzer sounded.

The win lifts the Wildcats to 1-2 in their division as the loss drops Kings Park to 0-3.

Both teams retake the field Friday, April 5, when Kings Park hosts Elwood-John Glenn at 5 p.m. and the Wildcats take on Westhampton in another home game at 4:45 p.m.

— Photos by Bill Landon 

Pictured with Legislator Rob Trotta (right) are Rick and Carolyn Caruso of St. James who donated many coats, hats, scarves and blankets.

For several years, Suffolk County Legislator Rob Trotta has been working with Smithtown based SMM Advertising and the Retired Senior Volunteer Programs (RSVP) to conduct a winter coat drive to benefit the residents of Suffolk County who are in need of warm winter clothing.

Sue Harrison donated numerous hand knitted hats for the winter outerwear drive.

“The response was phenomenal. We received numerous donations from so many residents, as well as the Kings Park High School, Fort Salonga Elementary School, St. Catherine’s of Siena, and the Utility Workers Union of America,” said Legislator Trotta. “A special thank you to Paul who wants to remain anonymous who gave us 25 brand new coats. In addition, for the second year in a row, Sue Harrison knitted hats for the children and adults,” added Trotta.

Maryflorence Brennan, Executive Director of RSVP said, “The Friends of the Retired and Senior Volunteer program is overwhelmed by the response of our RSVP volunteers and our community members to take this opportunity to care for our community. The number of blankets and coats that they provided was incredible and so often the donation came with a willingness to continue to help. We are grateful to be working with Legislator Trotta and SMM Advertising.”

Kings Park (3-5) squared off against host Hampton Bays (3-4) Saturday night where no decision was made after 32 minutes of play. With both teams deadlocked at 53-53 at the end of regulation, a four-minute overtime period was forced to decide the winner in the League V matchup Jan. 6.

Hampton Bays edged ahead clinging to a four-point lead with 33 seconds left in the overtime period, a lead that shrank to three with eight seconds left. Kings Park senior Thomas Matonti got the call and managed to let a 3-pointer fly that just missed its mark as the final buzzer sounded, with the Kingsmen falling to the Baymen 63-60.

It was the senior core of co-captains that topped the scoring chart for the Kingsmen with Joe Romano’s team high of 23 points, Thomas Matonti did his damage from afar with six triples and a pair of free throws for 20 points and John Flynn added 12.

Having lost to Elwood-John Glenn two days earlier, Kings Park rebounded Tuesday, defeating Islip at home 61-52. The Kingsmen will look to build on that momentum when they retake the court in another league matchup Tuesday, Jan. 16, with a road game against Harborfields. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Having lost the first three nonleague season games and a league loss two days earlier, Kings Park looked to get back to their winning ways with a road game against the Panthers of Miller Place Thursday afternoon.

Despite trailing after the first eight minutes of play, the Kingsmen sparked to life in the second quarter to take a 17-point lead into the halftime break. Thomas Matonti caught fire with his three-point shooting prowess, draining five triples in the League 5 matchup.

The Panthers struggled in the second half with Kings Park’s swarming defense and unrelenting press, falling 63-32 in the Dec. 14 contest.

The Kings Park senior co-captains peppered the scoreboard with Matonti at the top of the chart with 21 points, John Flynn banking 13 and Joe Romano netting 10.

Nick Frusco carried the flag for the Panthers with five field goals and five from the free throw line, and Matthew Cirrito notched six.

The win lifted Kings Park to 1-1 in division play as they handed the Panthers their first loss of this early season.

Both teams retook the court Tuesday night, with the Kingsmen besting Sayville 47-35. Miller Place fell again against Harborfields, losing the contest 52-49.

— Photos by Bill Landon 

Meet your new Suffolk County Class A champions. Photo by Bill Landon

Kings Park ended their regular season atop the Division III leaderboard having suffered its only league loss to Shoreham-Wading River back in September. The Lady Kingsmen looked to settle that score in the Suffolk Class A championship final with a rematch with the Wildcats at Diamond in the Pines Wednesday night Nov. 1.

After a scoreless first half, it was Shoreham-Wading River’s Grace Hillis who would write the Kings Park epitaph first with a 30-yard free kick that found its way in the upper far corner of the net. Then the senior scored the insurance goal 11 minutes later. Despite a ferocious late-game surge by the Lady Kingsmen that kept Wildcat goalie Morgan Lesiewicz busy the rest of the way, Shoreham-Wading River prevailed with a 2-0 victory.

Lesiewicz finished with seven saves in the win to punch the Wildcats ticket to the Long Island Championship round where they faced Plainedge on Saturday, Nov. 4. Yet again the Wildcats rose to the occasion with another 2-0 victory to advance to the New York State championship round in Cortland Nov. 11.

— Photos by Bill Landon

Kings Park hosted the Wildcats of Shoreham-Wading River in a girls soccer matchup Tuesday, Sept. 19, when the Lady Kingsmen struggled to find the net in this League III contest.

The Wildcats struck 14 minutes into the opening half when freshman Shealyn Varbero stretched the net to take the lead into the halftime break. The Wildcat defense was able to keep Kings Park at bay when sophomore Mia Mangano scored the insurance goal for the Wildcats with 19 minutes left in regulation to lead 2-0 for the final score.

Shoreham-Wading River goalkeeper Morgan Lesiewicz had five saves and Kings Park goalie Alex Scott stopped 14. The win lifts the Wildcats to 4-1 in the early going, and Kings Park drops to 2-1-1.

— Photos by Bill Landon

For the second straight year, Kings Park High School hosted the National Football Foundation’s Long Island Quarterback Challenge skills competition. 

The star-studded event, held Sunday, July 23, had no shortage of signal callers from the North Shore. And unlike last year when it was a boys-only event, the girls were also part of the fun.

Commack’s Jeremy Weiss, the reigning champion coming into this year’s competition, finished third this time. He was just behind Smithtown West’s Brayden Stahl, who finished in second place.

The 2023 overall winner was Mustafa Mozawalla of Syosset, who prospered in the classroom as well as the gridiron, completing each throwing drill with panache.

Players from Nassau and Suffolk, including from the Catholic leagues, were eligible to participate. Jake Fields from Smithtown East, Shane Kiernan of Miller Place and Kaeden West from Comsewogue were all part of the field of 16, who were put through their paces on the field as well as the film room.

In addition to second overall, Stahl won the award for accuracy and West had the longest throw of the day, launching a majestic rainbow that rang against the crossbar in the back of the south end zone. It measured 64 yards.

Former NFL quarterback Matt Simms judged the boys as they ran drills in anticipation, arm strength, touch, mobility and football IQ. One of the highlights of the day was when Mozawalla scrambled to his left and, while sprinting to the sideline, threw a 40-yard dart in perfect stride to his receiver who tapped his toes in the back corner of the end zone.

“That was a magnificent throw,” Simms said. “Probably one of the best in the two years since we’ve done this.”

Kiernan and Fields also looked very good in the mobility drills as well as quarterback progressions.

As the sport of flag football has exploded on Long Island, organizers smartly added a contest for the girls — seven out of the 10 contestants were from Suffolk, including Grace Gilmartin and Pixie Ryan, both from Northport, and Taylor Mileti of Hauppauge.

However, it was Jennifer Canarutto of Plainview-Old Bethpage in Nassau who took first prize. Canarutto, who led her team to an undefeated season as well as the New York State championship just two short months ago, beat Alexandra DaEira-Loccisano of Eastport-South Manor and Delaney Israel of Longwood, who finished in second and third place, respectively. 

Many familiar faces came down as receivers for the quarterbacks as Hauppauge Lady Eagles Stephanie Braun, Emma Condos, Meghan Goutink and Melissa O’Connor all caught passes for not only Mileti, but a few of the other contestants who were in need of targets.

Four Northport Lady Tiger pass catchers — Caitlyn Muzyka, Dana Restivo, Caitlyn Ryan and Jamie Weissman — braved the 90-degree heat to support Gilmartin and Ryan. Hauppauge’s head coach Steve Mileti watched his daughter Taylor from the press box as he served as color commentator on the live stream with Newsday’s high school sports editor, Gregg Sarra. Northport head coach Pat Campbell cheered on his sextet of athletes from the sidelines.

Muzyka was awarded “best receiver” on the girls side.

In total, eight quarterbacks and 18 receivers from TBR’s readership area competed on a long, hot, competitive and ultimately successful day.

Shoreham-Wading River midfielder Liam Gregorek gets checked. Photo by Bill Landon

Liam Kershis led the way for Shoreham Wading River in the opening round of the Suffolk County Class C playoffs as the Wildcats eliminated Kings Park.

Kings Park had struggled against the Wildcats’ defensive pressure, unable to gain traction in the 17-7 loss at Cutinella Memorial Field Thursday night, May 18.

Kershis tallied an assist with five goals for the Wildcats, while teammate Alec Gregorek netted three assists and three goals. Gregorek’s brother, Liam, notched three goals of his own and tacked on an assist in the SWR victory. Goalie Jaden Galfano had eight saves in net, and Jon Gordon stopped two.

Kings Park senior attack Thomas Hnis recorded three goals and a pair of assists for the Kingsmen. Nick Papa, John Flynn and Tommy Cassar rounded out the scoring for Kings Park.

The win propels the third-seeded Wildcats to the semifinal round of the county playoffs. The team will travel to Bayport-Blue Point — the second seed — on Tuesday, May 23. The game will start at 4 p.m.

— Photos by Bill Landon

The only undefeated team in Suffolk County at 22-0, the Wildcats found themselves trailing by two points at the halftime break. They would need Annie Sheehan’s free throw appearance to put the Wildcats back out front when the senior sank both to retake the lead 37-36 with 4:16 left in the third quarter. 

A three-pointer from GraceAnn Leonard would re-tie the game at 51-all with four minutes left in regulation. But the Wildcats’ unrelenting defense contained the Lady Kingsmens’ potent offense down the stretch. SWR closed the game for a 63-56 victory, delivering the program its first-ever Suffolk County title. 

Leonard led the Wildcats with 27 points. Sophie Costello added 16, and Sheehan banked 10.

Jaxie Cestone led Kings Park in scoring with 18 points, and Ryan Currier also netted 15.  

The win sends the 23-0 Wildcats to the Long Island Championship round on Saturday, March 11, when they face the Nassau class A title winner at Farmingdale State College. Game time is slated for 3 p.m.

— Photos by Bill Landon


Leading 27-15 after three quarters of play, the Shoreham-Wading River Wildcats looked for a win in their homecoming football game on Saturday, Oct. 15, against Kings Park, but the Kingsmen had other ideas.

Kings Park quarterback Kyles Weeks was the offensive spark in the final 12 minutes of play, orchestrating a 29-point fourth quarter explosion that rained on the Wildcats homecoming parade to win it, 44-33.

Weeks hit wide receiver Declan O’Melia on an 89-yard pass play for the score with 7:22 left in regulation. Then, Weeks, on a keeper, punched his way in for the score to retake the lead with four minutes left.

Shoreham Wading River quarterback Dylan Zahn answered with a touchdown strike to Liam Kershis. With Sam Palmer’s foot, the Wildcats retook the lead, 33-30, with two minutes left. 

From there it was all Weeks, who aired one out for a 40-yard pass completion, then found the endzone on a keeper where the Kingsmen edged ahead, 37-33. 

A Kings Park cornerback then intercepted a Wildcat pass and ran it back 56 yards for the score, and Alex Squillacioti’s successful point after attempt put the Kingsmen out front 44-33 for the final score of the game.

Zahn threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another, and sophomore cornerback Michael Casey had two interceptions for the Wildcats.

The win lifts Kings Park to 5-1 in the division, and the loss drops the Wildcats to 3-3 with one game remaining before postseason play begins.

Shoreham-Wading River retakes the field Friday, Oct. 21, in their final game of the regular season where they’ll host Mount Sinai in a must-win game. Kickoff is 6 p.m.

Kings Park will also be back in action Friday, Oct. 21, solidly positioned in the playoff picture, and will host Babylon. Game time is slated for 6:30 p.m.

— Photos by Bill Landon