By Mirolla Mekaiel
Last year was not only a tough year for academics but also for sports. After an overwhelming year with COVID restrictions, fall sports finally returned with a somewhat normal season. Athletes were determined to make this season a memorable one. Due to COVID, the teams were a lot smaller, making the athletes able to connect to each other even more and feel like their team was their family. With many home games and fun themes, Gladiators were ecstatic about this year’s fall season.
“My teammates became my family, and we laughed, ran and had a blast together...”
The girls varsity volleyball team bumped, set and spiked their way through the season. Their unmatched hard work and dedication earned them their title as conference champions. The ability to step into every practice and let go of all the stress that each day brought and focus on the sport that they loved was something that was valued by the girls. With a record of 13-7, the team made it to playoffs but came just a little short after their defeat against Wantagh, the No. 1 seed.
“The team was full of hardworking, determined and appreciative athletes. We understood how easy the season could be shut down for COVID reasons. So we played each day as if it was the last day,” said girls varsity volleyball coach Ms. Rizzuti.
The girls varsity soccer team also had similar success in their season. Their love for soccer and their dedication not only at practices, but at games, carried them all the way up to the second round of playoffs. After defeating North Shore, a very competitive team, the girls felt accomplished as they were able to manipulate the game the way they wanted to as a result of their hard work. Each one of those girls put in their hardest efforts to help their team get a victory. Despite the level of competition and the tough opponents they faced, they still put up a great fight and achieved a record of 4-7-1.
“Playing sports brings you so close to people and lets you make so many close friends that you can’t find anywhere else, which is something I’m grateful for,” said junior Emily Cohen.
Source by Anna Detke
Senior James Asmus sports a determined game face as he prepares for the next play.
The varsity football team made history this past season. Breaking Carey’s undefeated record of 22 years, the boys practiced day in and day out and worked to end their seemingly impossible streak. From 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. practices over the summer, hitting personal records in the weight room and Friday night team bonding events, they entered that game with only one vision ahead of them, which helped them to crush the Seahawks with a score of 21-0. The team eventually ended up as the No. 4 seed in Conference II with a record of 5-3. The football team not only made history for New Hyde Park Memorial, but their games helped to unite the students and the community.
“Football taught me how to be determined and how putting in hard work for something that you really want pays off,” said senior Steven Mirable.
The varsity cross country team had what Gladiators would describe as an extraordinary season. Although the number of athletes they had was not significant, the athletes they did have were hardworking and passionate. Running through hills, mud, rain and cold weather was not easy, but the guys and girls pushed through the pain all the way to the end of the season in November. The team was disheartened when they found out that the day of their most important race, counties, was a rainy day. However, the team took on the challenge, climbed up the muddy hills and had an amazing race as most of the team’s athletes moved forward to state qualifiers.
“I was proud of myself for all my accomplishments during the season, and I was happy to find a new hobby. My teammates became my family, and we laughed, ran and had a blast together,” said junior Kushpreet Ahuja.
Source by Anna Detke
Junior Bevin Biju Mathew goes full swing into an outside hit.
The boys varsity volleyball team also had a striking season. The team struggled to get athletes out to play for the team, but despite their low numbers, the boys were able to have an accomplished fall season. The boys had a memorable game against Sewanhaka High School, since it was a high point during their season. What made this particular game memorable for the athletes was the maintained chemistry and intensity throughout the game, making it exciting and engaging. The team triumphed out of Sewanhaka that day, carrying the pride of their victory. By the end of the season, the team was able to achieve a record of 7-8.
“My favorite part of the season was playing with my teammates. We all have a great connection with each other, and that partially stems from volleyball,” said senior Lance Ng.
The girls varsity field hockey team had diligence throughout their season. Although the team was small, the girls worked harder in order to prove that they were still in it to win it. When it came time for the team to face one of their toughest opponents, Friends Academy, the girls were not optimistic about the game. However, they crushed the team, proving that their hard work had truly paid off and that they had flourishing potential. The team ended off their season with a record of 3-9.
“My favorite part of the fall season is how close you get with your team. Since preseason starts before school does, you get to see your teammates and reconnect with them,” said junior Caley Caleca.
Source from Briana Dunn
Senior Isabel Kielbiowski goes head-to-head against her opponent.
The boys varsity soccer team worked hard this season as well. From running miles to practicing countless drills, they worked towards their set goals this season. At their first home game, the boys were feeling confident, and they were ready to face their opponents, Great Neck South. As the crowd roared, the boys made continuous goals. The boys felt surrounded with love from their community, and the school spirit was through the roof. The team ended with a 5-2 win against GNS, marking the first win of their season. Overall, the boys had a record of 2-7-4.
“My favorite part about the fall season was the overall team and school spirit, which was lacking last year due to COVID. A lot of people came out to our games, and it was an overall fun experience,” said junior Joey Hoffer.
Source by Anna Detke
Junior Shawn Carlson approaches the ball with fire in his eyes.
The girls varsity tennis team had a competitive season. The girls put in hard work into each practice. With their collaboration and great sportsmanship throughout the season, they had the opportunity to meet amazing people through their various competitions. When they went head to head with Plainedge, the girls truly showed their perseverance and drive towards their sport. Every single match, these girls seized the day, ending with a record of 2-12.
“There was so much unity in the team. After our matches, we would all relax and have fun on the bus. The teams we played were fun people who were great to play with,” said junior Ayesha Rashid.
Evidently, the fall season was filled with many accomplishments for NHP athletes. Students are now transitioning into the excitement of winter sports.