Tag Archives: Richard Parascos

Sports Star: Kristen Kangas, captain, Benjamin Cardozo HS gymnastics team


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Name: Kristen Kangas
School: Benjamin Cardozo High School
Grade: Senior
Sport: Gymnastics

Kristen Kangas is the captain of Benjamin Cardozo High School girls gymnastics team, and has led her squad to the top of the PSAL this year. Coach Richard Parascos calls her the “heart and soul” of the team, and Kangas is consistently ranked in the top 25 in the city in all four gymnastic events; balance beam, uneven parallel bars, floor exercise and vaulting. In her sophomore year she helped start the school’s cheerleading team. She has held part-time jobs in recent summers, working as an office assistant at St. John’s University and last year at Long Island Care Center nursing home. Kangas is dyslexic, but enjoys sports and helping others, so she aspires to be a physical therapist. She has applied to several SUNY schools, including Potsdam, Fredonia, Cortland and Plattsburgh.

Why do you do enjoy gymnastics and other extracurricular activities?
“Teenagers could be very dangerous without goals. When teenagers don’t do something, they get into trouble. I like being involved and I like socializing.”

How does it feel to lead younger teammates?
“I love it, because not only am I helping them, but you help yourself at the same time.”

Why do you aspire to be a physical therapist?
“I love doing sports in general and I care for people. I feel like a combination of those two is physical therapy. I feel like it’s me.”

How does being dyslexic affect you?
“A lot of kids that have it don’t know they have it and they struggle in school, but I have it and really try in school. The difference between someone who has it and doesn’t have it is that you have to really work and that’s like my whole life, I work for everything I do.”

 

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Francis Lewis can’t cramp Cardozo’s style


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Benjamin Cardozo senior Jason Elliott let out screams in pain and grabbed his leg as he wailed on the ground during the second half of boys soccer game versus Francis Lewis Patriots on September 25.

Elliott’s leg had cramped up and the pain seemed unbearable as Cardozo coach Richard Parascos ran to his side to help.

The game was halted for a few minutes and a handful of teammates picked Elliot up and took him off the field as if he were being saved from a burning building.

“I wasn’t hydrated,” he said.

Not only was he thirsty for water; Elliott was hungry for a win. After a break on the sidelines, some stretching, water and a massage, Elliott recovered and scored the golden goal, a header in the 87th minute, to give the Judges a 2-1 win over Francis Lewis in PSAL Queens Division A soccer.

“I saw it coming from far and I just try to make sure to get myself the best opportunity to score it,” Elliot said about the goal. Through the goal his cramped leg was still hurting, but Elliot said, “We’re resilient. We fight. We don’t give up.”

And that’s the way they played all game. Cardozo (4-1) was backed into a corner after allowing an early goal in the first half.

In the 26th minute Francis Lewis (3-2) took a 1-0 lead after forward Dorie James headed the ball in the goal, following a throw-in from senior Nikolas Touros.

But Cardozo wasn’t going to back down. With just seven minutes into the second half the Judges found the answer. They flooded the box on a throw-in and senior Panayiotis Koumas headed the ball in for the equalizer.

“In the first half we really didn’t step strong to the ball,” Parascos said. “That was the big difference in the game. I think we possessed the ball better in the second half.”

From then it was a back and forth of teams exchanging off target, but powerful shots and near corner kicks that were headers away from finding the back of the net. The atmosphere between these eternal Queens rivals was reminiscent of a playoff match in November, despite being just the fifth league game of the season.

And then the shenanigans ensued.

At one point Cardozo had an extra player on the field. It may have been an honest mistake, but Francis Lewis was taking a free kick and the play should have resulted in a yellow card. However, the referees blew the call and Cardozo got off lucky.

With just a few minutes left in regulation, when it was Cardozo’s turn for a free kick, Patriots coach Roger Sarmuksnis purposely told two extra players to get on the field to defend the goal, leading to a successful stop, but a yellow card charge.

“This is playoff soccer right here,” Sarmuksnis said. “I’m just laughing, because that normally happens at the end of the season.”

The game flowed into extra time until Elliott’s goal brought it to an end. With the win Cardozo now heads to top of the standings.

 

QUEENS A EAST SOCCER STANDINGS – 9(26)13

Benjamin Cardozo    4-1-0

Francis Lewis             3-2-0

Bayside                         2-1-2

Forest Hills                 2-1-2

John Bowne                1-4-0

Martin Van Buren    0-5-0

 

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