Featured Story
04/19/17 2:00pm
04/19/2017 2:00 PM

Sometimes when members of the Mattituck High School girls track and field team are sweating through a tough workout, coach Chris Robinson poses a question for them: Does anyone want to do Melanie Pfennig’s workout?

“Everybody says no,” Robinson said. “So, when they think they got it tough, they watch Mel and Mel is pushing to the last limits of her body. She’s definitely an example to them and makes them work harder and achieve what they want to achieve.”

Featured Story
10/25/16 8:23pm
10/25/2016 8:23 PM

Mattituck runner Melanie Pfennig 102516

Melanie Pfennig marvels at it all. Every year the Mattituck High School girls cross-country team loses good runners to graduation and every year the Tuckers fill the missing pieces. Somehow, the Tuckers find a way to get better and better.

Now, Pfennig said, “I think this is the best Mattituck team we ever had.”

Featured Story
09/06/15 12:00pm
09/06/2015 12:00 PM

Mattituck's top runner from last year, Melanie Pfennig, returns for her junior season. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk, file)

Julie Milliman apparently isn’t one to dwell on the past, even the recent past, which has to conjure happy memories for her. Last year, her first as coach of the Mattituck High School girls cross-country team, Milliman saw her team pull off the triple crown. READ

11/13/14 6:17pm
11/13/2014 6:17 PM
Trish Brisotti signed on to accept an athletic scholarship from C.W. Post. Joining her in the signing ceremony were, from left, Mattituck athletic director Gregg Wormuth, her former coach Julie Milliman, and her parents Kerry and David. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Trish Brisotti signed on to accept an athletic scholarship from LIU Post. Joining her in the signing ceremony were, from left, Mattituck athletic director Gregg Wormuth, former Tuckers coach Julie Milliman, and Brisotti’s parents Kerry and David. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Before Trish Brisotti was even a full day old, she already owned her own lacrosse stick, a small plastic one that she still has.

“It was a tradition in my family that when you’re born, you’re presented with your first lacrosse stick,” Brisotti said. “It’s kind of weird.” (more…)

10/21/14 7:50pm
10/21/2014 7:50 PM
Mattituck sophomore Melanie Pfennig (left) and senior Kaylee Bergen were the top two runners for the Tuckers Tuesday. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Mattituck sophomore Melanie Pfennig (left) and senior Kaylee Bergen were the top two runners for the Tuckers Tuesday. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

The Mattituck girls cross country team doesn’t have the deepest roster compared to most teams competing in Tuesday’s Section XI Division Championships. Throughout the season, the Tuckers have had about 12 girls consistently at practices and competitions.

“I’d rather quality over quantity any day,” said Mattituck coach Julie Milliman.

And quality the Tuckers have.  (more…)

09/10/13 9:00pm
09/10/2013 9:00 PM
ROBERT O'ROURK FILE PHOTO | Southold junior Jon Rempe leads a deep team into the 2013 season.

ROBERT O’ROURK FILE PHOTO | Southold junior Jon Rempe leads a deep team into the 2013 season.


Cross country is a sport that incorporates a team concept along with the individual aspect. In order to emphasize the team angle, the Southold boys team has adopted a motto for this season: “We run as one.”

It’s something coach Karl Himmelmann wants his runners to keep in mind when they are training or competing in a meet.

“Running can seem like a pretty solitary, isolated sport because you’re off by yourself, but it’s a team effort,” he said. “We run as a team.”

And the First Settlers hope to win as a team this season. They certainly have the ingredients.

Southold (4-2 last season) is coming off back-to-back Suffolk County Class D championships and is seen as a contender for the League VIII title this year. Its top runner, junior Jon Rempe, returns to a deep team along with freshman Owen Klipstein, junior Chris Buono and junior Michael Cosmadelis. Rempe and Klipstein were all-league runners last year. Rempe finished ninth in the Division IV team qualifier in the Section XI division championships at Sunken Meadow State Park last year. His time on the 3.1-mile course was 18 minutes 38.10 seconds.

“Jon Rempe has consistently been my top runner, but the other boys … have also been in that top mix as well,” said Himmelmann.

Like all cross-country coaches, it seems, injuries are a concern for Himmelmann, who knows that an injury to a key runner can knock a team off course. That is why he encourages his athletes to train smart, and has set up a training schedule to bring them along gradually. The idea is to strengthen muscles and joints for the season in the hope that it will help avoid pulled muscles and foot injuries.

But the First Settlers have already been hit by an injury. Gus Rymer, a junior who was the second Southold runner to reach the finish line in the divisional meet in 19:47.40, will miss the start of the season with a foot injury.

In the meantime, some newcomers to the team should help absorb his absence as well as the loss to graduation of four-year runner Jon Tomici and James Shine. Two juniors, Jeremy Rempe (Jon’s twin brother) and Gregory Quist, are new additions. So are five other first-year runners: sophomore Gage Bennett, sophomore Michael Gensler, freshman Joe Saporita, freshman Joe Tsoumpelis and senior Dan Stahl.

“A lot of these boys have been running all summer long,” said Himmelmann. He added: “They are all looking very strong. They’re looking fast.”

Another positive development for the cross-country program in Southold is the addition of junior high school boys and girls teams, both coached by John Palmeri. “That’s going to definitely help our program down the road,” said Himmelmann, who hasn’t had the benefit of junior high teams to draw from during his four years as the coach of Southold’s boys and girls varsity squads.

Meanwhile, the varsity team is eyeing a possible threepeat with county championships.

“I think we have a good shot,” Himmelmann said. “I think if the boys continue to progress, I think we have a legitimate shot.”

The sight of a small army of high school runners hopping off a team bus may not exactly be common, but it might be something someone would expect to see from a big school like St. Anthony’s or Sachem East. But tiny, little Mattituck?

“Last year we got a lot of looks,” said coach Julie Milliman, whose team started last season with 46 runners and finished with 40.

This year the number has dropped a little to 30, which is still a large size for a cross-country team, no less a cross-country team from a small school.

“We have a good mix,” Milliman said. “They push each other to be competitive, and with 30 kids you’re always going to have a friend.”

Of that 30, about 26 are returning runners and 13 are seniors.

Coming off a two-win, rebuilding season, the Tuckers expect to be more competitive this year. They are counting on veteran runners like senior Adam Hicks, sophomore Jack Dufton, sophomore Eddie Dowling, freshman Matt Heffernan, senior Bobby Becker, senior Kevin Schwartz, senior Chris Mehalakes and sophomore Lucas Webb. Hicks recorded a time of 19:21.80 that brought him 19th place in the division championships at Sunken Meadow.

“I do know that if some of these kids run to their potential, we’re going to fare much better than we did last year,” said Milliman, who is in her fourth year as the team’s coach. “They just have a more focused attitude, and I think they’re hungry for the prs.”

In Milliman’s first year, Mattituck had 12 runners, and that number grew to around 20 in her second year.

“It’s taken off,” she said. “As long as they have [good] attitudes … and they’re good kids, I’ll take as many as want to come out.”

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05/10/13 7:55pm
05/10/2013 7:55 PM
DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Sydney Sanders, one of Mattituck/Greenport/Southold's two seniors, lookjing for a teammate to pass to.

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Sydney Sanders, one of Mattituck/Greenport/Southold’s two seniors, looking for a teammate to pass to during her last game for the Tuckers.


The Mattituck/Greenport/Southold girls lacrosse team had a rough assignment on Friday. The Tuckers had their hands full dealing with Sayville, possibly the strongest team they have faced all year. And yet, despite that, perhaps the toughest thing the team’s two seniors had to do was keep their composure during an emotional Senior Day ceremony following the final game of their high school careers. One of the seniors, attackman Natalie Troisi, said she told herself not to cry.

It didn’t help.

“Yes, I did cry,” she said. “I mean, it’s just so upsetting.”

The other senior, attackman/defenseman Sydney Sanders, could relate. “It’s heartbreaking because I’m not going to continue playing in college,” she said, “so as the time was winding down, I was like, ‘This is it.’ ”

The final result, a 16-7 score in Sayville’s favor at Cutchogue West Elementary School, wasn’t what the Tuckers had hoped for, but it was hardly surprising. Sayville (14-2, 12-2 Suffolk County Division II), which started the day in third place, closed out the regular season with its seventh straight win. County champions in 2009 and county semifinalists last year, the Golden Flashes look primed for a run at the Suffolk Class B crown. Their only two losses have been by two goals to Mount Sinai and by one goal to defending county champion Eastport/South Manor.

“Our two losses were tough, against two very tough teams, close games,” said Sayville coach Adam Sznitken.

Furthermore, the Golden Flashes have pumped in 11.8 goals per game. But what really impressed on Friday was Sayville’s defense, which allows opponents no openings, no creases, no room to shoot. All the defensemen seemed to be in the right place at the right time, leaving the Tuckers with precious few passing options.

“We work hard on being in the right spots and getting to an aggressive point,” Sznitken said. “This year the defense has been the key, knowing that from our goalie to the seven girls playing back there on defense, we’re always going to give ourselves what we feel is a good shot to win a game. Yeah, it starts on the defense.”

All things considered, Mattituck/Greenport/Southold did a good job by scoring seven goals. Sayville has a team goals-against average of 5.81.

Although Mattituck/Greenport/Southold controlled 17 of the 26 draws, Sayville won the ground-ball battle, 19-10, and outshot the Tuckers, 25-17. All three of Sayville’s goalies — Gianna Minogue, Molly Andrews and Amber Craver — were well protected. They had two saves among them.

At the other end of the field, Sayville’s offense was taking care of business. Olivia Russell, a sophomore attackman, scored three goals as Sayville shot out to a 5-1 lead in the opening 12 minutes 11 seconds. She finished with six goals. Taylor Mills, a senior attackman, supplied four goals and four assists. Caroline DeLuca (two goals, one assist) and Kaitilyn Wandelt (two goals) also scored multiple goals for the Golden Flashes. Jewels Johnston (one goal, three assists) and Mackenzie Burns (one goal, two assists) also scored. Elizabeth Koehler contributed two assists.

Sanders scored in her final game for the Tuckers, cutting Sayville’s lead to 5-3 at 15:11 of the first half. Then Sayville netted six of the next seven goals.

The Tuckers received two goals and three assists from Katie Hoeg and two goals and one assist from Tricia Brisotti. Laurel Bertolas and Audrey Hoeg also found the net.

The Tuckers (5-11, 4-10) closed out the most successful season in the team’s four-year varsity history with their fifth consecutive loss. Last year they went 1-13.

This season the Tuckers won their first two games against Riverhead and Elwood/John Glenn before later taking games from Bellport, Hampton Bays and Center Moriches.

“Coming from last year, I wasn’t sure how we were going to do, but I’m so proud of this team,” Troisi said. “We pushed past what anyone expected. No one expected us to crush Bellport, to come close to Westhampton. I mean, these are good teams and we were holding our own.”

Mattituck/Greenport/Southold coach Julie Milliman said, “This was a good season because it shows them that they’re capable of winning.” She added: “We didn’t get blown out in as many games as we have in the past. There were only a few that were completely out of our reach, and next season I think we’ll close the gap even more.”

Of course, next season they will be without Sanders and Troisi, who are both three-year varsity players. They were presented with flowers and posters that their teammates wrote messages on and signed.

Troisi, who is considering playing at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue next year, said she was determined to put everything she had into her final game for the Tuckers.

“I just felt like I had to give it my all,” she said. “This is my last hurrah, you know. I had to really push as hard as I could. I tried to get back on D as much as I could, help the midfielders out.”

Sanders said it will take time for it to sink in that she had played her last lacrosse game.

“I think it will set in Monday, not going to practice,” she said. “It will be weird going home” after school.

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DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Mattituck/Greenport/Southold's Audrey Hoeg taking a shot against Sayville goalie Molly Andrews.

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Mattituck/Greenport/Southold’s Audrey Hoeg taking a shot against Sayville goalie Molly Andrews.