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Diverse District Sports

By Briana Dunn

New Hyde Park Memorial High School’s student population has a plethora of athletic teams to experience, however, not every team is based out of NHP. Students have the ability to join the Sewanhaka District teams, four of which occur in the winter athletic season. The district teams in the winter season include gymnastics, riflery, wrestling and bowling. These teams are made up of students from all five schools unified through their variety of skills. The mix of students that want to take part in these sports always arrive at a common question: where do they practice?

New Hyde Park Memorial is lucky enough to host three out of the four district winter sports. At NHP, the riflery team’s range is in the basement of the school. With matches every Tuesday and Thursday, the team practices every Monday, Wednesday and Friday after school. Practices vary anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours depending on when or how many targets the shooters decide to shoot. Their team is also smaller than an average team, having only 14 players, six of whom attend matches. The team dynamic is also welcoming and tied together by their coach Mr. Babolcsay. Unlike other sports, the riflery team wears tight, restrictive clothing and opt for boots or flats rather than sneakers. It is also required that they stand very still, something most sports advise against.

Source by Anna Detke

Senior Eily Montenegro lines up her rifle for target practice; seniors Samantha Chang, Eily Montenegro and Daniella Canning pose in their gear in the shooting range.

“It is a good experience to see people outside of NHP that are not an opposing team. We work together as a unified team rather than separate schools which is great because we have a variety of players,” said senior Daniella Canning.

NHP is also home to the district gymnastics team. The gymnastics team practices in the back bay, better known as the small gym, where their equipment is stored in the closet. Practices during the week generally start at 4:15 p.m. and end around 5:30 p.m., while Saturday practices are longer, lasting from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. They travel together as a team to their meets, competing in a multitude of events such as the balance beam, bars and vault.

“It is different because everyone is from a different school and we get to meet and practice in ways we would not be able to do if we were not doing a district sport,” said junior Ethan Siegel.

Source by Lauren DiGregorio

Junior Dora Alfieri practices her roundoff layout step out to perfect it before a meet.

The wrestling team also practices in the basement of NHP in the wrestling room. Players who do not attend New Hyde Park Memorial must take buses after school, so their practices start around 3:30 p.m., with additional practices on Saturday mornings. Interestingly, none of the wrestling coaches teach at the school.

“My experience has been great! It is interesting to wrestle with people that I do not see in the halls,” said senior Maximillian O’Connor.

Source by Anna Detke

Senior Jake Flint performs wrestling maneuvers during practice with his partner.

O’Connor joined the team when his friend needed a partner; wrestling is a tough and disciplined sport, but this team still acts like one big family. The team is relatively large with 30 athletes, but that does not affect the tight knit bond of the team.

Not all teams are based out of one of the five schools in the district. The bowling team travels to one of two bowling alleys for their practices: Bowlero Mineola on Jericho Turnpike or AMF Garden City Lanes on Stewart Avenue. Matches are always at Bowlero Mineola, regardless of their opponent. The team does not get busing to matches or practices, so all travel is conducted by the players, whether it is through their parents, friends or by themselves. There are six bowlers per team, which is split to three per pair of lanes. Each triple faces off against a triple of the opposing team, where pins struck down are counted to determine the overall winner per game and ultimately the match. Similarly to other sports, the bowling team faces off against four other teams, playing each three times during the season. Their practices are sporadic and drills are not present as they are in a sport like basketball.

“I do enjoy the experience of district bowling as it enables me to interact with people I would not be exposed to otherwise and go to places I rarely visit. The support system provided is full of cheering each other on and up. Learning a new skill together provides a connection that is based on helping teammates by giving advice on what we have personally learned or what we have learned from other teammates, past or current,” said senior Michelle Peteroy.

...I do enjoy the experience of district bowling as it enables me to interact with people I would not be exposed to otherwise and go to places I rarely visit...

Regardless of the sport, the district teams are a great way to get involved and connect with individuals you may not have ever seen. They form close-knit communities that draw you back each year and lead to lasting friendships, much like other athletic teams at NHP. District teams are just one more option to consider when trying out for a team at New Hyde Park and definitely not something to be overlooked.

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