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Miller Place High School

Student business Sand N’ Shade sold over $170,000 in customized sunglasses, snow goggles, watches and hats at the Long Island Regional Trade Show. Photo courtesy MPSD

Thirty-nine students in Thomas Frank’s Virtual Enterprise class at Miller Place High School excelled at the Long Island Regional Trade Show and Business Plan Competition. 

Students were tasked with either setting up a business to sell their products at a trade show or pitching a business idea to angel investors.

“Our Virtual Enterprise students did an amazing job and were part of a very successful field trip,” Superintendent of Schools Seth Lipshie said. “Everyone who participated represented Miller Place with pride and enthusiasm and exceptional skill.” 

He added, “Congratulations to all of the students who participated at the trade show for the professionalism and passion they demonstrated while promoting their ideas to investors.”

The Deja VR business, set up by student CEO Gianna Benavides, is a virtual reality company that sells headsets with a wide variety of games, sports, music, history and travel options. Gianna’s company took home the silver trophy in the website competition.  

Website creator for Deja VR, Salome Davoudiasl, commented, “the company I am a part of made it entertaining to choose an electric color palette for the website. Once the simple mechanics of our website were evaluated, it became an awesome project to work on throughout the course of the school year.”   

Deja VR, which earned $150,000 at the trade show, placed among the top 10 schools on Long Island in the competition, including 3,000 schools across Nassau, Suffolk County, and New York City.

The Sand N’ Shade business, established by student CEO Alexandra DeAmario, sells customized sunglasses, snow goggles, watches and hats. Sand N’ Shade set a school record by selling over $170,000 in merchandise at the trade show.

For more information about the Miller Place School District, please visit the district’s website at www.millerplace.k12.ny.us.

The Shoreham-Wading River girls basketball team, at 17-0, is the only team in Suffolk County that has yet to lose a game this season. 

The Wildcats visited Miller Place on Monday, Jan. 30, looking to keep their perfect record intact. And they did just that, surging ahead by 25 points in the first eight minutes of play, then closing out the game with a 65-20 victory over the Panthers.

SWR head coach Adam Lievre pulled his starters six minutes in, but the roster’s depth made itself known. The Wildcats continued piling on points as the Panthers struggled to keep pace. Lievre had to temper his non-starters — eager to score varsity points — to curb the scoring fest. 

With two games remaining in the regular season, the Wildcats have positioned themselves as the top-seeded team going into postseason play, which begins Feb. 14.

— Photos by Bill Landon

Competing on their home court, the Port Jefferson Royals struggled to gain traction against the defensive press of Miller Place during a non-league matchup Saturday, Dec. 10. 

The Panthers were up seven points going into the halftime break but stretched their lead the rest of the way to win it, 53-37. 

Joe Strickland led the way for the Panthers with 12 points, Tristan Stapleton netted 11 and Nick Fusco banked 10. Tyler Cobb topped the scoring chart for the Royals with 14 points, and teammate Luke Dickhuth dropped 11.

The win inks the Panthers’ first win this early season as the loss drops the Royals to 1-2.

— Photos by Bill Landon

Andrew Muller Primary School held a food drive in which students donated goods and supermarket gift cards. Photo courtesy MPSD

The Miller Place School District lent a helping hand ahead of this Thanksgiving by hosting a series of food drives at various schools. 

Students at Miller Place High School collected 800 canned and packaged goods through a Thanksgiving food drive hosted by the National Honor Society. Students collected canned soup, vegetables, cranberry sauce, stuffing, muffin mix, potatoes and grocery gift cards. The food was distributed to families in need throughout the community. Additional items will be donated to local food pantries.

The School Improvement Team Committee at Laddie A. Decker Sound Beach School donated Thanksgiving meals to seven families in need throughout the community. Photo courtesy MPSD

At North Country Road Middle School, the student government sponsors a yearlong food drive to stock the North Country Road Middle School food pantry. Each Thanksgiving, the donations are used to create Thanksgiving meal packages that they distribute to families throughout Miller Place and Sound Beach.

Laddie A. Decker Sound Beach School’s School Improvement Team (S.I.T.) Committee, run by assistant principal Nicole Farley and fifth grade students, “adopted” seven families in need in the Miller Place and Sound Beach communities. The students brought in items to put together a complete Thanksgiving meal for each family.

Andrew Muller Primary School held a food drive where students donated goods and supermarket gift cards and distributed them to local families in need ahead of the holiday. The school’s hallways were lined with boxes labeled accordingly for students to place their donations. In addition, a local catering business donated fresh turkey for families in need. 

For more information about the Miller Place School District, visit the website at: www.millerplace.k12.ny.us.

By Bill Landon

It was a “Battle of the Cats” on Saturday, Sept. 10, in the Division IV season opener between the Shoreham-Wading River Wildcats and the Miller Place Panthers.

On a keeper, SWR senior quarterback Dylan Zahn punched in on a short-yardage score to break the ice. With Sam Palmer’s extra point kick, the Wildcats took an early 7-0 lead with 3:16 left in the opening quarter.

Miller Place QB Michael Giugliano answered on the ensuing possession, jetting 65 yards downfield for the touchdown. Kicker Nicholas Oliva delivered the equalizer on the extra point attempt, tying the score at 7-7.

Michael Casey, the sophomore wide receiver for the Wildcats, grabbed a 21-yarder from Zahn for the score, putting the Wildcats ahead 14-7.

Miller Place’s senior in the backfield, Joell Spagnuolo, responded with a 43-yard TD run of his own. But after the missed extra point attempt, the Panthers trailed 14-13 with four minutes left in the half.

The Panthers’ tight end, Logan LaMountain, put his team out ahead. He caught a ball out over the middle of the field, picked up the necessary yards after the catch, and went the distance. Oliva’s foot tacked on the extra point, sending Miller Place into the locker room with a 20-14 lead at halftime.

The second half was a different story as the defensive units for both teams began to hold their ground firmly. Sophomore running back Will Hart did find the end zone for the Wildcats. Still, the Panthers blocked the point after attempt, keeping the game tied 20-20 with 11:29 left in regulation.

This game would be decided in the final minutes of play. After an impressive defensive stand by the Panthers, Palmer’s field goal gave the Wildcats a 23-20 lead with six minutes remaining.

Miller Place threatened when they marched down the field after three consecutive first downs. But the Wildcats forced a turnover in the final possession, intercepting a pass to secure the victory.

It was a battle of the unbeaten Tuesday, April 19, when the Panthers of Miller Place, 5-0, hosted East Hampton, 9-0, in a league VI matchup.

In dominant fashion, the Miller Place pitching staff put on a shutout performance. Starting pitcher Jason Strickland had four complete innings for the win and Tyler Hodella picked up the save in a 6-0 Panther victory.

Despite their winning streak, there will be no rest for Miller Place this week as they have games scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. 

Photos by Bill Landon 

File photo by Bob Savage

After a two year hiatus brought on by COVID 19 restrictions and mandates, The Friends of St. Patrick will resume a springtime tradition by hosting the 70th annual Miller Place-Rocky Point St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday, March 13 starting at 1 p.m. sharp. This year the committee has named all former Grand Marshals to be Grand Marshals at this year’s parade. 

“North Shore residents have been cooped up and socially distanced for two long years now. It is time to break free and come out and celebrate with your community in this annual rite of spring. Pipe bands, fire trucks, dancers and marchers promise to lift all our spirits,” said a press release.

In lieu of naming a Queen and her Court, the Friends of St. Patrick have begun a scholarship fund for our local high schools. This year’s winner of a $1,000 scholarship is Alexa Zichinelli from Miller Place High School. Alexa wrote an essay on Irish history and lore inspired by her great-great Grandma, Mary Margaret McArdle from County Clare.

Alexa will be studying pre-med in college and is an active athlete, musician, tutor and volunteer. She aspires to become a surgeon and be a part of Doctor Without Borders.

For further information please visit their website at www.friendsofsaintpatrick.com or call 631-473-5100.

Port Jeff senior forward Abigail Rolfe gets mugged down low in a non-league home game against Miller Place Dec 10. Photo by Bill Landon

Port Jefferson’s girls’ basketball squad, although short on roster depth with only seven players suited, are long on talent when the Royals made short work of Miller Place in a non-league home game with a 67-34 victory Dec. 10.

Junior point guard Lola Idir led the way for the Royals seeming to score three pointers at will, nailing seven treys a field goal and three from the free throw line for a team high of 28 points. 

Senior teammates Annie Maier hit two triples and six field goals for 18 points, and Abigail Rolfe banked 9. Miller Place seniors Emma LaMountain scored 14 and Lauren Molinaro netted 13.

The win lifts the Royals to 3-1 while Miller Place searches for that elusive first win in this early season.

— All photos by Bill Landon 

Miller Place senior Emma LaMountain fights for the rebound in a non-league matchup against Rocky Point Dec 2. Bill Landon photo

The Rocky Point Eagles never trailed in their non-league road game against Miller Place Dec. 2, but the Panthers did tie the score at 27 all with 4:21 remaining in the contest. 

Some late game fouls saw the Eagles cash in at the free throw line to hold the Panthers at bay, to hang on for the 36-29 victory. 

Leading the way for the Eagles was senior forward Victoria Curreri with 15 points, McKenzie Moeller banked 8 with Sarah May and Leela Smith netted 6 apiece.

Kathryn Doherty the junior scored 9 points for the Panthers and senior Andrea Mott sank 8.

Rocky Point retakes the court on Dec. 6 against Mt. Sinai before opening their league season against Islip on the road Dec. 9. Game time is 5 p.m.

Miller Place has three more non-league matchups before league play begins Dec. 13. Tip-off is also at 5 o’clock.

— All photos by Bill Landon 

Miller Place senior running-back Jayden Jackson finds an opening in a home game against East Hampton/Pierson Oct 29. Photo by Bill Landon

It was all Miller Place Friday night in a Div IV matchup at home against East Hampton/Pierson Oct. 29 when the Panthers scored five unanswered touchdowns in the first half. 

Scotty Seymour, the junior running back, set the tone early with a 35-yard run for the opening score on the Panthers first offensive play. 

On the Bonacker’s ensuing possession, senior defensive back Jack Davis intercepted a pass and went the distance to lead by two scores a minute later and with Anthony Bartolotto’s foot lead 14-0. 

Three minutes later it was Bartolotto’s turn when he went the distance then kicked his own extra point for a three touch-down lead. 

In the final minutes of the quarter full-back Robert Cunningham punched in for the score to lead 28-0. East Hampton was unable to stem the flow, and on the Panthers next possession Seymour picked up a loose ball and punched in to put the Panthers out front 35-0 at the halftime break. 

Miller Place spelled its starters part way through the second half for which East Hampton/Pierson had no answer for your final 35-0. 

 The win lifts the Panthers to 6-2 and now waits for the post season playoff brackets to be posted to see who they’ll face in the opening round Nov. 5.

— Photos by Bill Landon