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Port Jefferson Royals

Port Jefferson broke out early and never looked back in the Suffolk Class C/D final against Smithtown Christian on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at Centereach High School. 

The Royals, the Class C qualifier, cruised to a 60-27 victory over their Class D opponent. 

Senior Lola Idir topped the scoring chart for the Royals with 23 points. Sophomore Maitreya Driscoll-Stremich netted 13, and senior Amy Whitman banked 10.

The win lifts Port Jefferson to 17-2 on the season. The team will face Class B qualifier Center Moriches at Center Moriches High School on Saturday, Feb. 25. Gametime is at noon.

Pictured clockwise, from above: Port Jefferson sophomore Maitreya Driscoll-Stremich goes to the rim for the Royals; sophomore Siena Cipriano nails a three-pointer ; and Port Jefferson senior Lola Idir drives the lane for the Royals in the Suffolk Class C/D final against Smithtown Christian.

— Photos by Bill Landon

The Pierson Whalers seemed to have the measure of Port Jefferson in the Suffolk County Class C championship round, yet the Royals made some defensive takeaways late in the third quarter, closing the gap to just one point.

Conor Daily’s long-distance shooting kept the Royals in the game, and the junior scored a team high of 23 points, which included seven three-pointers. Teammate Luke Dickhuth drove the lane all game, battling down low for 15 points. Jack Keegan also banked 10, but Pierson was able to weather the late-game surge and hold on for the 58-52 victory at St. Joseph’s Danzi Athletic Center on Wednesday, Feb. 15.

— 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

The Div. V Port Jefferson girls basketball squad had its hands full on Tuesday, Dec. 6, in a home game against Sachem North, a competitive Div. II team. The Royals gave their visitors a run for their money, fighting until the final buzzer. 

Seeking to build upon the positive momentum generated during their non-league victory over Westhampton on Dec. 2, the Royals trailed by just two points with 11 seconds left on the clock. Port Jeff inbounded the ball with three seconds remaining but could not get a shot off, falling to the Flaming Arrows, 48-46. 

Seniors Lola Idir and Amy Whitman led the way for the Royals. Idir had nine field goals, a three-pointer and eight free throws for 29 points. Whitman banked in nine points in the game. 

The Royals travel to Half Hollow Hills West on Thursday, Dec. 8, for a 3:45 p.m. non-league game before hosting Miller Place two days later.

— Photos by Bill Landon

Above, the Port Jefferson Royals girls volleyball team. Photo courtesy PJSD

The Port Jefferson Royals girls volleyball team defeated John S. Burke Catholic 3-0 to take home the regional championship on Saturday, Nov. 12. 

The contest took place at James I. O’Neill High School in West Point, New York. The Royals now advance to the NYSPHSAA championships. 

There are four teams competing in pool play on Nov. 19, with the top two teams advancing to the championship contest on Nov. 20. Port Jefferson will compete against Galway, Lansing and Portville.

“The team plays with energy and confidence, regardless of what is happening on the court,” athletic director Adam Sherrard said. “Their strong senior leadership has helped propel the Royals to their best season in the school’s history. I am extremely proud of their success so far this season, and am looking forward to their performance in the championship tournament this weekend.”

The district congratulates team members Alexa Ayotte, Caroline Hayde, Erin Henry, Maggie Johnston, Anna Matvya, Maddy Matvya, Bianca Nakagawa, Mia O’Connell, Hannah Pflaster, McKayla Pollard, Ava Reilly, Chloe Sherman, Olivia Sherman, Lexi Verruto, Sophia Wennerod and Gretchen Zimmerman, head coach CJ Hafner and assistant coach Matt Dolan.

Looking to avenge their five-set loss to Babylon just two weeks earlier, the Lady Royals of Port Jefferson did just that in the Class C semifinals on Friday, Oct. 28.

The Royals swept the Panthers in three straight sets, 25-18, 25-15, 25-22.

The victory lifts the team’s record to 15-3 on the season. Port Jefferson, the No. 2 seed, advances to the final championship round when the team takes on the top-seeded Mattituck on Monday, Nov. 7, at Hauppauge High School.

The first service is set for 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at gofan.co/app/school/NYSPHSAAXI

Students from the Port Jefferson School District. Photo courtesy PJSD

In preparation for Port Jefferson’s Homecoming game on Saturday, Oct. 22, the varsity cheerleaders, along with coach Sharon Gatz, hosted a cheerleading clinic for students in grades 1-6.

More than 30 students attended the clinic on Thursday, Oct. 20, where they learned an exciting cheerleading routine. The cheer clinic attendees will show off their skills with a performance during halftime of this weekend’s Homecoming football game.

“The cheer clinic was a great idea of Coach Sharon,” athletic director Adam Sherrard said. “It helped promote the cheer program, fostered relationships between students of different ages in the school district and will add to the positive environment of Homecoming.”

The Tuckers of Mattituck came knocking on Port Jeff’s door Monday, Oct. 17, sitting atop the League VIII leaderboard undefeated at 12-0. 

Looking to make it 13 in a row, the Tuckers met their match as the second-place Royals had other ideas of their own.

Port Jeff got out to a slow start, dropping the first set 25-17, but battled back in the second set to edge the Tuckers 25-22. The two juggernauts wowed the crowd, sustaining numerous extended volleys showcasing both teams’ talent. 

The Royals took the third set in convincing fashion, winning it 25-17. With their backs against the wall, Mattituck traded points with Port Jeff throughout the fourth set, then called timeout trailing 24-23. 

But the Royals closed out solidly, putting the game away 25-23 and handing Mattituck its first loss of the season with just two games remaining. 

Postseason play will begin Monday, Oct. 24.

— Photos by Bill Landon

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Jackie Brown. File photo by Bill Landon

The National Collegiate Athletic Association has narrowed down its pool of nominees for its 2022 Woman of the Year award, and recent Adelphi field hockey graduate Jackie Brown has earned her spot in the Top 30, announced Thursday afternoon.

Established in 1991, the NCAA Woman of the Year award is rooted in Title IX. It recognizes graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their NCAA eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service, and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.

Brown was a 2021 first-team National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-American, following second-team recognition in 2019. A three-time Northeast-10 All-Conference selection, Brown earned first-team honors in 2021, 2019 and 2018. She was a member of the 2021 runner-up team for the NE10 Championship, leading her team to a 2021 NCAA tournament appearance the same year.

“It is an honor to be considered for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award,” said Brown. “All of the 577 female student-athletes who were nominated have made such an impact on the world through their athletics and academic achievements and giving back to their communities.”

The Port Jefferson native received CoSIDA Academic All-American At-Large third-team honors in 2022. She was named a 2021 NFHCA Division II Scholar of Distinction, recognizing those with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.9 through the first semester of the academic year.

The two-year team captain served as president of her campus Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for two years and as co-chair of the NE10 SAAC. Through her campus SAAC, Brown coordinated a Make-A-Wish dodgeball tournament in 2022 and led a Workout for Wishes campaign in 2021, which raised over $13,500 for Make-A-Wish. She also received the Panther Leadership Award in 2020 and 2021 and was a finalist for the 2021 Adelphi President’s Student Leadership Award.

“I am extremely grateful for my family and my Adelphi family for helping shape me into the woman I am today,” she said. “All of my experiences and relationships with so many great individuals would not have been possible without their endless support and guidance throughout my journey.”

Selected from 577 school nominees — a group that was then narrowed to 156 nominees at the conference level — the Top 30 honorees include 10 from each of the three NCAA divisions. Each honoree has demonstrated excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership. The honorees represent 14 sports and include nine multisport student-athletes. They have a variety of majors, including biological and biomedical engineering, psychology, business, digital communications, education, nursing, law and policy, and robotics. The average grade point average of the top-30 group is 3.92.

“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX, we recognize the impact of women on college sports and are honored to select 30 incredible student-athletes who have played instrumental roles on their campus, in their community and on their teams,” said Renie Shields, chair of the Woman of the Year Selection Committee and senior associate athletics director/senior woman administrator at Saint Joseph’s. “This accomplished and diverse group of women represent the millions of student-athletes who have participated in the strong history of women’s sports.”

The selection committee will select three honorees from each NCAA division for nine finalists. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will choose the 2022 NCAA Woman of the Year from those finalists.

For the first time in the award’s 32-year history, the NCAA Woman of the Year will be named and the Top 30 will be celebrated at the NCAA Convention. The event will take place in January in San Antonio.

The Port Jefferson Royals looked to shake off last week’s shutout at the hands of Babylon during their home opener against Div. IV powerhouse Mount Sinai on Saturday, Sept. 17.

The Royals struck first when senior Anthony Pipia ripped a 65-yard TD run but led only 6-0 after they missed the point after attempt.

Midway through the second quarter, Mount Sinai’s senior quarterback Jaden Rotella threw over the middle to receiver Christopher Paz for the score. However, the Mustangs tried unsuccessfully to run the ball in for a two-point conversion, missing an opportunity to take the lead.

The Mustangs’ passer-receiver duo scored again early in the third quarter, with Paz catching a 10-yarder from Rotella for the score. But again, the Mustangs missed the two-point conversion, holding only a 12-6 lead.

With the clock running down in the fourth quarter, Port Jeff sophomore quarterback Ryan Filippi rolled out to hit Ciaran Laffey, who found the endzone to tie the game 12-12 with 1:10 left in regulation. The difference in the game would be the Royals’ kicker, Daniel Owens, who split the uprights on the point after kick to put the Royals ahead 13-12.

Despite not being at full strength, Mount Sinai attacked the Port Jeff secondary on the final possession. But the Royals held off this late game surge, securing the win.

Port Jefferson will be back in action Friday, Sept. 23, during a road game against another Div. IV powerhouse, Shoreham-Wading River. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m.

The Mustangs are searching for their first win of the season but will have their hands full on Saturday, Sept. 24, on the road against Kings Park. Game time is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

— Photos by Bill Landon