By Izhaan Ahmed
With Sewanhaka district sports returning, many New Hyde Park students are filled with anticipation to continue their riflery, swimming, gymnastics, wrestling, bowling and hockey seasons.
Six district teams started in late November and are slated to continue until February. These teams are competitive yet close-knit in nature, some with a diverse showing from all five schools in the Sewanhaka Central High School District.
The varsity riflery team demonstrated their strong potential over the first several weeks of their season. Practices are held at 3 PM in the rifle range in NHP’s basement, where the team perfects their shot with the same targets found in competitions. In riflery meets, teams shoot 20 targets in 29 minutes, and the team with the best score is declared the winner. The team is currently 3-for-3 in competitions.
Some NHP students are anxious to continue a successful varsity riflery season.
“Improvement, improvement, improvement. We can only go up with all the practice and hours we put into the sport. We look out for each other and know each other's strengths and weaknesses. It's like a small family,” senior Andrew Canese said.
Source by Alvin Paul
The varsity riflery team demonstrates their technique and concentration as they practice shooting targets.
Varsity swimming has had a similarly successful start to their season, having won their latest meet. Warmups and practice sets are conducted at Eisenhower Park, and buses take them to meets where players compete individually or as part of a relay. This winter season, the team is composed of different grade levels, with sophomores and juniors displaying potential for years to come.
“All our personalities bounce off each other, making this season much more enjoyable and making long meets bearable. I see a bright future for our team, as a lot of the juniors and sophomores have so much talent and potential, which I believe they will use to make this team even better,” senior Aman Sinha said.
Gymnastics is another sport hosted by NHP, with practices held at 4 PM in the gymnasium once other schools arrive by bus. A very cohesive, tight-knit team accounts for the team’s continued endurance, despite the sport’s physically and mentally taxing nature.
“We help each other get over mental blocks, give constructive criticism and build up each other's confidence. Through the positive and supportive environment we have created, we can reach our personal and team goals,” freshman Bellinay Inan said.
The Sewanhaka East wrestling team is composed of varsity and junior varsity wrestlers from NHP and H. Frank Carey High School. Practices take place Monday through Saturday and involve drills, situational wrestling and stretches, which require mental and physical strength.
"You work hard, you don't eat all day, wake up early in the morning and run to make weight," senior Kayden Kostakos said.
The Sewanhaka East team faces tough competition among an association of other qualified and fierce wrestling teams in Nassau County.
"We're in Conference A , which is the toughest conference in Nassau County," Coach McConnell said. "It would be difficult against our opponents with Massapequa, Uniondale...it's just a tough conference so we're going to get as much experience as we can and get the JV wrestlers and the varsity wrestlers more experienced and build on that for the next year."