H.S. Roundup: Stella Maris Sports Comes To An End
Ever since Stella Maris High School announced they would close their doors after 66 years last October, a portion of the 250 students who had enrolled in the school decided to transfer to other institutions. Stella Maris softball coach Jim DeAngelo knew it was going to be a concern when he started spring practices for the Brooklyn-Queens CHSAA season a month ago. Due to the low number of students who would join the team prior to the start of the season, Stella Maris announced that the softball program would be shutdown.
DeAngelo, who coached the varsity softball team for 6 years and been with the program for 10 years, acknowledged the disappointment of not having one last hurrah with his team.
“It’s depressing,” DeAngelo said. “It’s not the way I wanted to go out. The girls started dropping one by one and I understand. A lot of the girls were heartbroken once the school was closed.”
As of this Saturday afternoon when the Stella Maris cheerleading/step competition team takes part in a CHSAA meet at Christ the King, sports activities will come to an end for the girls only catholic institution.
The end of the softball program started back in October when the Sisters of St. Joseph announced the school’s closing due to low enrollment. Students who did not want to wait for the school to be shutdown in June were able to transfer to nearby Christ the King, Bishop Kearney and other catholic or public schools.
After going through a rebuilding campaign in 2009, DeAngelo had decent expectations his team could rebound this season. The Brooklyn- Queens CHSAA had restructured the softball league, and created two different divisions. Stella Maris, who lost in the title game in 2006 to St. Francis Prep, was moving from the A Division to a newly created B Division along with Nazareth, Bishop Ford, St. Saviour and bishop Loughlin.
The first sign was the team lost four underclassmen that had transferred to other schools that would have filled key spots on the field. It came down to a numbers game and unfortunately for the Lady Flippers, it wasn’t in their favor.
“I had 15 girls come out to practice. But I saw it go quickly down to 10 players and you can’t have that. If someone is sick, or has to take a test, you’re going to have a problem,” DeAngelo said
. DeAngelo says he has a wonderful time coaching the girls, along with watching his daughter play on the field. One of his best moments is when an underdog Lady Flippers team upset two higher ranked opponents, Fontbonne Hall and Molloy, in the 2006 diocesan playoffs to reach the championship game And while he is looking forward to one day guiding another varsity softball team, Deangelo will retain the fond memories of Stella Maris softball for a lifetime. “I’ve had a wonderful ride. I like seeing all the girls who played for me return to watch a game or walk down the street in the neighborhood,” Deangelo said. “We had some great runs. It means a lot to me.”
A defeat can sometimes be a teaching tool for a team learning how to win in the long run. For the Beach Channel/ Channel View Lady Dolphins softball team, losing a game to Queens High School of Teaching on Monday is never an easy thing to go through.
The Lady Dolphins 9-5 defeat at home was the second defeat of the year to the reigning PSAL champions. It was a tough day for Beach Channel, who couldn’t manufacture enough runs after leading 3-0 after two innings and didn’t have an easy day playing defense on the field.
But if there were plenty of encouraging signs that coach Dominic Stanco saw from his team after the game. Players were not taking the loss lightly and he saw plenty of encouragement that they were going to work hard to correct their mistakes.
“I like that these girls have bought into the system. They don’t like to lose. We didn’t play our best game and we know that. The best thing we didn’t give up,” Stanco said about Monday’s game. “I push the girls and I let them know when they make a mistake, and they know they will get back out there and fix it.”
That was evident on a gloomy Wednesday afternoon at Beach Channel. As the rain started to fall, the Lady Dolphins pulled off a three-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning to win 7- 6 over PSAL Queens B1 Division rival Campus Magnet. Beach Channel improved to a 7-2 record and could even their regular season win total of last year with a 4 pm. home game against Springfield Gardens.
With his team improving on a daily basis on offense, pitching and defense according to Stanco, the Lady Dolphins hope to profit from their development if they can defeat QSHT on the road on April 30.
The Beach Channel boys tennis team continued their hot start with a 5-0 home win over August Martin on Monday afternoon. Sharif Ellis, Julian Morales and Dwayne Thomas each claimed singles victories. The first place Dolphins improved to 6-0 as they battle for the top spot in the PSAL Queens C1 Division at 6-1 Campus Magnet today at 4:30 p.m.