Tag Archives: Bayside High School Lady Commodores

Steve Piorkowski, energetic Bayside coach, dies from cancer at 54

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Steve Piorkowski's family

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.

“He would push us all to be the best we can be,” said Gayle Bernstein, a former student athlete from Bayside High School who was coached by Piorkowski. Bernstein attended the funeral that was held on Monday.

“He taught us to put our passion into something that makes us successful,” she said. “He helped shape me to be the woman I am today.”

Piorkowski was diagnosed in 2012 with an aggressive form of cancer that damaged his spine and broke his neck. From a wheelchair, the Bayside coach succeeded in fighting back the cancer and eventually regaining his ability to walk. But the cancer resurged in November 2014, and his long battle ended on Feb. 18 when he died.

With 23 years of coaching experience, Piorkowski often led the Bayside Lady Commodores to the city championship. Many of his players have gone on to win scholarships to universities across the country.

After his diagnosis, and while he continued to coach, Piorkowski was invited to Citi Field where he was honored by the Mets with their Spirit Award. He was joined by his family and more than 250 Bayside High School alumni at the event. His fight with cancer was noted by national publications like ESPN and MSG.

His doctors diagnosed him with multiple myeloma and he was given radiation treatment.

“We are sad to announce that Mr. Stephen Piorkowski, our beloved physical education teacher and coach, passed away Wednesday evening after a long bout with cancer,” Bayside High School Principal Michael Athy wrote to the school community. “Steve taught and coached at Bayside for over 20 years, turning frightened freshmen into starring seniors. He will be missed by our entire community and our thoughts are with the Piorkowski family during this sorrowful time.”


Bayside High School girls soccer team remains undefeated despite losing star player

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo Liam La Guerre

Many were worried when Bayside High School girls soccer star forward Danielle “D.J.” Glazer graduated last year.

Glazer, who finished with the most goals in the city last season, 40, and the season before, 51, led the team to win back-to-back Queen A-IV titles. She was the recipient of the PSAL’s Wingate Award in girls’ soccer, which is given to the top senior in each sport, and her presence drove the Lady Commodores to the city quarterfinals and semifinals in 2012 and 2011 respectively.

“She’s a great player,” said Bayside head coach Magdalini Kassimis. “She was our main goal scorer for the last three-and-a-half years.”

But even without Glazer, who is now playing for Marist College, the Lady Commodores are stronger than ever. Eleven games into the season the team is undefeated, 11-0-0, and far above Francis Lewis, 6-2-2, which is in second place in the redesigned Queens A-V conference.

In their most recent game on October 8 the Lady Commodores dominated Forest Hills High School, although Mother Nature wasn’t too kind. The girls played through a torrential downpour, which was part of a tornado watch, but still routed Forest Hills, 5-1.

“They played together the passed the ball open a lot and it came down to smart decisions,” Kassimis said.

Although a main player like Glazer isn’t on team, the Lady Commodores have multiple players that have stepped up, and Kassimis attributes their strength to their chemistry on the field.

Junior Alexa Trontz leads the team in goals, 15, which is good for 16th in the city and first in Queens A-V conference, and junior Kayla Triana is 14th in the city in assists, 11.

Bayside also shines on the defensive side. Senior goalkeeper Ioulia Makris has saved 81 of 85 shots-on-goal, 95.2 percent, or 4th in the city. And the team has only allowed five goals for the season.
“I knew that they had it in them, they’re very talented,” Kassimis said.

Despite having very successful recent seasons the Lady Commodores have fell short in the playoffs to teams from other boroughs. The team is looking to turn that around this year, so Kassimis is hoping to use the remaining games to get ready.

“We’ve played everybody already, but they’re still going to be competitive,” Kassimis said. “Right now we are getting into the mindset of we’ve got to finish strong and take care of business, but starting mentally and physically prepare for the playoffs.”