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Port Jefferson Royals

By Bill Landon

It was a see-saw battle in the first two sets between cross-town rivals Mount Sinai and Port Jefferson on Tuesday, Aug. 30. 

While the Mustangs kept it close in both sets, the Royals, fueled by Erin Henry’s dominant performance from the service line, finished strong and won both. 

Mount Sinai rallied in the third set, but the Royals played mistake-free volleyball and swept the match 25-21, 25-22, 25-15 in the opening round of this non-league matchup.

Both teams begin league play Thursday, Sept. 1. Mount Sinai hosts Center Moriches at 5 p.m. and the Royals travel to Pierson/Bridgehampton with a 6:15 p.m. start time. 

— Photos by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

The Royals got rolling in the bottom of the second inning with bases loaded and no outs when Frank Andriani was hit by a pitch, forcing Nathaniel Mullen home to take a 2-0 lead in the Long Island Class C Championship against Carle Place June 3. 

The youngest roster member for the Royals let his bat do the talking in the bottom of the 3rd when Evan Raymond the 8th grader drove in two runs to put Port Jeff out front 4-0. The Frogs avoided a shutout in the top of the 4th, scoring a run but struggling against senior Luke Filippi’s heat from the mound, who notched eight strike outs in the win.

The Nassau County champs threatened in the top of the 5th, loading the bases with one out, but Filippi, no stranger to pressure, pitched his way out of a jam as Carle Place stranded three. Again, with bases loaded in the bottom of the 5th, freshman Joe Aronica ate a pitch, plating the runner on 3rd for a 5-1 lead. Mullen hit one deep to right in the bottom of the 6th, driving home Daniel Owens the junior for a 6-1 lead. With three outs of life left in the top of the 7th, Filippi fanned the Frogs in order to clinch the LIC title game. 

Photos by Bill Landon 

By Bill Landon

After trailing by two runs, the Royals of Port Jefferson rallied back to retie the game six all to start the 7th inning. Still deadlocked in the bottom of the inning, Frank Andriani sprinted home from third on a wild pitch to score the go-ahead run to win the game 7-6 against Pierson for the Suffolk County Class C Championship title at home May 27.

Port Jeff senior Luke Filippi pitched the last two innings for the win along with three hits. Teammate Ruairi Rago the sophomore had four at bats with three hits.

The win lifts the Royals to 20-3 and advanced them to the conference V championship.

Photos by Bill Landon 

Aidan Kaminska (right) played attack for the Port Jefferson Royals boys lacrosse team. Photo by Bill Landon

Aidan Kaminska, graduate of the Port Jefferson Class of 2020, died unexpectedly on Monday, May 30. 

District superintendent Jessica Schmettan discussed the impact Kaminska had on the Port Jeff community and the coming challenges the community faces in mourning this difficult loss. The following is a letter sent to parents and staff on Wednesday, June 1.

Dear Staff, Parents and Guardians:

It is with great difficulty that I share this sad news with our community.  

Earlier today, the District was informed of the sudden passing of one of our alumni from the Class of 2020, Aidan Kaminska. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with the former student’s friends, family and loved ones during this difficult time. 

In a small school, we recognize the passing of a recent alumnus can have a profound impact on our students and staff.  The District has been working today to enact our emergency crisis plan. Tomorrow, our support staff will be ready to assist anyone who may need it.

On behalf of our Royal family, I offer my deepest and most sincere condolences to the family, staff and friends who suffered this great loss earlier today. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our principals or team of guidance counselors, social workers and psychologists individually if you have specific concerns for yourself or a student. 


Jessica Schmettan


By Bill Landon

The Royals of Port Jeff looked to finish their regular season with a win, and win they did.

The Royals defeated Shelter Island with a 10-run margin of victory May 13. Royals head coach Jesse Rosen achieved a milestone this season, notching his 100th victory as his team cruised to a 16-2 record.

The win clinches the League VIII title, securing a top seeding for the postseason, which begins May 17.

— Photos by Bill Landon

The Port Jefferson Royals, fresh off their hard-fought victory over Mattituck three days earlier, hit a roadblock in their matchup against Islip High School on April 14. 

The Buccaneers had led by seven goals at halftime. Unable to close the gap, the Royals fell 14-5. Port Jeff senior Stephen Bayer had a hat trick, leading the Royals in scoring. Seniors Kyle Scandale and Michael Scannell both scored one goal as well.

The loss drops the Royals to 4-3 in league and 6-3 overall.


Photos by Bill Landon 

The Royals of Port Jefferson stayed just ahead of the Frogs of Carle Place on March 9 in the Class C Long Island Championship game at Shoreham-Wading River High School until halfway through the 3rd quarter when the Nassau champions tied the game at 28 all. 

From there, Carle Place edged ahead with their surging defense controlling the boards and put the game away 55-44 to advance to the New York State regional finals Mar. 12. 

Lola Idir topped the scoring chart for the Royals with 3 triples, 3 field goals and a pair of free throws for 17 points. Senior forward Abigail Rolfe scored 4 from the floor and was again perfect from the charity stripe — sinking 5 for 13 points — and senior Annie Maier nailed 3 triples and a field goal for 11. The Royals conclude their 2021-22 campaign with an impressive 17-4 record.

Port Jeff junior Amy Whitman boxes out in the class C/D championship game Feb 19. Bill Landon photo

The Royals of Port Jefferson continued their winning ways with another victory in the Suffolk Class C/D Championship round of the playoffs at Newfield High School Feb. 19 where they steamrolled over Smithtown Christian 63-20.

Port Jeff senior forward Abigail Rolfe did what she’s done all season doing her damage from the paint leading her team in scoring with 25 points. Lola Idir a long-distance threat netted 20 and teammate Amy Whitman banked 5. Rounding out the game book for the Royals were junior forward Alexa Ayotte with four points and senior Camryn Spiller drained a triple, as did freshmen Anna Matvya and Maitreyea Driscoll-Stremich.

The win lifts the Royals 10-0 in league VII 16-2 overall where their only losses this season were against two top tier League I teams, Sachem North by only five points and to William Floyd by seven points. Talk about playing up!

Port Jeff continues the 2021-22 campaign with in the sub-regional final, aka the Long Island Championship round at home March 9. Game time to be determined.

All photos by Bill Landon

Port Jeff senior forward Peter Murphy looks for the rebound for the Royals in a victory over Shelter Island in a league VII home game Jan 11. Photo by Bill Landon

It was all Port Jefferson in a league VII home game against Shelter Island where the Royals made short work of the Islanders with a 71-11 victory Jan. 11. 

Senior Peter Murphy led the way for the Royals with 7 rebounds and 6 field goals for 12 points, Steven Bayer hit a triple and 4 field goals for 11 and Conor Daily banked 10. 

The win lifts the Royals to 6-2 in league 6-3 overall. Port Jeff retakes the court Jan. 13 with another home game against Greenport. Tip-off is at 6:15 p.m.

— All photos by Bill Landon

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Photo by Julianne Mosher

Royal spirit was in the air this past weekend when the 2021 homecoming festivities began.

Students, faculty, administrators, board of education members and community residents headed down to Main Street in Port Jefferson village to watch the student-run parade filled with festive floats.

Vehicles sporting floats from each grade level at Earl L. Vandermeulen High School, Port Jefferson Middle School and even one from Edna Louise Spear Elementary School made their ways down the street as bystanders cheered the Royals on. 

Kicked off with an appearance from the Port Jefferson Fire Department, Royal cheerleaders marched along and football players roared as they got ready for their big homecoming game. The fun continued at a celebration in front of the high school with a recognition ceremony of senior football payers and cheerleaders before the afternoon game against Bayport-Blue Point.

— All photos by Julianne Mosher