Steve Piorkowski, a Bayside High School softball and basketball coach known throughout the athletic league for his winning teams and his determination to fight a life-threatening disease, died at 54 after struggling with cancer for three years.
With New Year’s Eve a distant memory, it’s time for Americans to consider their Super Bowl Sunday plans. With which best friends, in what atmosphere, and with what booze and grub specials are you planning to maximize the winner-take-all extravaganza? Feb. 1 is creeping up on us all, so here are a few locales in Queens we deem nothing short of awesomely appropriate for the game.
Last March, Christ the King and Cardozo were trying to advance to the state federation championship game in Albany. The Royals wound up winning a 54-51 overtime thriller in a game that featured Rawle Alkins hitting the game-tying three-pointer in regulation and Ray Salnave scoring 20 points for Cardozo. Eventually, Christ the King won consecutive state federation titles for the first time in program history.
Miltiadis (Milton) Kaplanidis received one of the coveted spots on the 2015 U.S. Select Team that faces the International Federation of American Football World Team at AT&T Stadium on Jan. 31. He is among 57 varsity high school football players to be selected to play at the home of the Dallas Cowboys.
Jan. 4 marked the 40th anniversary of the first women’s college basketball game played at Madison Square Garden. That game was between Queens College and Immaculata College of Pennsylvania and the schools reprised their meeting.
Ron Naclerio keeps scorebooks of every game that he has ever coached, including his first win Nov. 30, 1981, a 56-40 victory over Aviation. That was his only victory in his first season coaching Cardozo as the youngest coach in the PSAL. At the time Naclerio wasn’t thinking about getting 699 more wins or looking 33 years ahead.
St. John’s has won seven in a row and heads into Big East play 11-1 for the first time since the 1985-86 season. The Red Storm kept up their winning ways with an 82-57 victory over Tulane at the Barclays Center on Dec. 28.
It’s approaching 5 p.m. on Dec. 18, and Bayside is minutes away from facing off against Cardozo. Students line up in the small entrance to the school near Corporal Kennedy Street in anticipation of a big game and upon entering the tiny gym, they’re greeted with blaring music, creating the feel of a college environment.
High School of Construction does not have the tradition that Cardozo, Campus Magnet and Bayside have accumulated over the years. The school has existed for less than a decade and is in its second season competing in Queens AA — the highest level of borough basketball.