Lynbrook Sports: Top Moments of the Year

Lynbrook Sports: Top Moments of the Year

Christian Squitieri

The 2018-2019 school year was an eventful one for LHS sports. Lynbrook athletics improved across the board and had many teams and athletes reach heights previously unseen. Throughout the year, some moments truly stood out as memorable and noteworthy.

Lynbrook Soccer Dominates on Soccer Day

Soccer Day in Lynbrook is always one of the top moments of the year for the district’s soccer program. This year, that held true as the late September day was filled with excitement and strong performances from each Lynbrook team. The Owls hosted Malverne-East Rockaway, who played both the girls team and boys’ team. The most notable performances of the day came from the both varsity teams. 

The Lady Owls proved dominant, culminating a 6-1 win over the cross-town rivals. The Owls came out of the gate firing as they scored an astounding four first-half goals and had upwards of ten shots on the net during the match. Leading the offensive attack for the Owls was freshman Olivia Vuotto, who scored three goals and tallied one assist for Lynbrook. The Owls had received one goal each from sophomore Alyssa Campos, senior Jade Fixon-Owoo, and senior Kayla O’Doherty. The Owls also were locked down defensively, only allowing one goal throughout the contest. 

The boys’ varsity team faced a much closer contest, with defense reigning supreme in the tight match. The momentum teetered back and forth between Lynbrook and Malverne-East Rockaway. The Owls were able to break through with goals from junior Sam de Menezes in the first half and senior Simon Riera in the second half. Both goals were assisted by junior Alex Schachinger. The Owls strong defense kept the net clean for a majority of the game; the team only gave up one goal in the last minute of play. The game and the day were major successes for the Owls. Notwithstanding their impressive win, Schachinger was most proud of the fact that they fought for a cause: “Soccer day is always a highlight; it’s great to play for a cause with the community surrounding.” Schachinger outlined the true value of soccer day as the event helped raise money for charities such as the Fly-a-Kite Foundation and Grassroots Soccer. The day not only showed the Owls’ on field talents, but also showcased their ability to give back to the community as well.

Lynbrook Football Snatches A Playoff Upset

Lynbrook’s varsity football team’s season was marked with highs and lows. The team started off the season with two losses and fell to a record of 1-3 after a tough loss to South Side. However, the team came into the second half of the season with unmatched intensity that resulted in a remarkable second half turnaround seeing the owls go 3-1, including a number of close wins to tough opponents. Junior outside linebacker Danny Dalrymple acknowledges the turnaround: “We rebounded by having some key players get healthy, and having everyone buy into the program made it all click.” This bounce-back culminated into a playoff appearance and a date with a familiar foe in Lawrence- who had beaten the Owls by 21 in their second game of the season-in the quarterfinals. Lynbrook looked to prove it was a different team than the one Lawrence had previously encountered, and, despite playing at Lawrence’s home field, they did just that. 

Early in the contest, it was obvious that the team had a chip on its shoulder, which they showed through a tough run game and hard-hitting defense. In the opening quarter, neither team could get the ball moving particularly well. The Owls’ defense was excellent in the frame and in the half, giving up zero first-half points to the high-powered Golden Tornadoes offense. Junior Dominick Barbuto proved to be a defensive powerhouse with an outstanding 18 tackles and a sack. Junior Kyle Serro and senior Tyler Heaney both added sacks of their own, and senior Jonathan Cabral-Martin made numerous plays to limit the Lawrence passing attack. The Owls offense asserted dominance in the second quarter through the ground game. Heaney, who made plays on both sides of the ball, got the scoring started with a 12-yard run, and Cabral Martin added to the damage with two touchdown bursts of 28 and 4 yards. The Owls came out in the second half hardly satisfied with the 21-point cushion as Cabral Martin, who finished the game with 283 yards and three touchdowns, scored yet another touchdown, which, along with a successful two-point conversion run, put the score at 29-0. Lawrence dug out of the hole in the second half and managed to score 27 unanswered points and was only a two-point conversion away from tying the game; however, Cabral-Martin made sure that would not happen. Cabral-Martin made perhaps the biggest play of the season by deflecting the pass on the two-point attempt and preserving the Owls’ upset. Barbuto described the win as “the greatest feeling in the world, and it was even better because it sent us to Hofstra.” The Owls could not top Plainedge the next weekend but showed their talent and resilience throughout the entire season, especially in their win over Lawrence.

Lynbrook Basketball Advances to County Finals

This past year, Lynbrook varsity basketball had one of the most successful seasons in program history. The team was filled with experience and tons of talent. It marched through the regular season with a record of 17-2. The Owls were led by senior Rylan Blondo, who proved time and time again that he was one of the best players on Long Island. During the campaign, Blondo averaged 23.3 points per game and also showed prowess as a passer and a rebounder. The Owls, though, had many contributors. The duo of seniors John Donaldson and senior James Montgomery would have undoubtedly been top scorers on many teams that the Owls faced throughout the year. The team’s playoff run began with it playing an overmatched Mepham team at home. The Owls showed their dominance early on by jumping out to a 35-17 lead at half time. The game ended with Lynbrook winning by 23. Standouts included Blondo, with 22 points and 11 rebounds; Montgomery, with 16 points and 10 rebounds; and Donaldson, who had 16 points and added 4 steals. 

The Owls then took on Jericho at home in the next round. This game was much more of a battle for the owls who only took a 4-point lead at the close of the first half. This game saw the pure dominance of Montgomery on full display as the senior center poured in 18 points and pulled down 18 rebounds. With many other players struggling, Montgomery stepped up and helped the owls pull away with a 57-41 victory.

Then came the semifinals. The owls squared off against a strong Valley Stream South team at Farmingdale State College. The team came out hot as it dominated the first quarter with a 15-7 lead eight minutes in. Valley Stream South, though, refused to go out without a fight; South punched back in the second quarter to cut the Lynbrook lead to just one. The Falcons came out even stronger in the second half, slimming the gap between the two rivals to only seven points in the third quarter and even taking a slim lead going into the final frame. But with a county championship appearance on the line, Blondo took over in the fourth quarter. He led a 16-4 Owl run to start the fourth quarter scoring 14 of his 16 fourth-quarter points. His fourth-quarter performance led the owls to a 12-point advantage and an 11-point win. The Owls also got a strong performance out of Montgomery who had yet another double double. Unfortunately for the Owls, the team could not take down Manhasset in the championship game, but it was a historic season nonetheless.