Welcome to MSGVarsity.com's Memorable Mondays, a summer-long series that looks back on the top players, games and moments from the past season and gazes ahead to 2012-13. As the summer goes on, we'll compile all the lists and post them here: www.msgvarsity.com/mondays. New lists will be posted every Monday morning.
In Week 5 of Memorable Mondays, we look at five of the top heartwarming moments across Long Island.
Winning one for Mrs. D
St. Anthony's hockey remembers its late General Manager with its first state title
On early December 20, the Long Island HS hockey world lost an important member to its community. Marie Drisco, the longtime general manager of the St. Anthony’s hockey program for over 20 years, succumbed in her long battle with breast cancer.
Drisco's death came one day prior to when the Friars were slated to travel to New Jersey and take on St. Peter's Prep at the Prudential Center. After much deliberation, St. Anthony's decided to go on with the game and play. To remember Drisco, the team came out with pink tape wrapped around various items of its equipment. The Friars came out defeated its NJ counterparts, 5-3 and dedicated the remainder of the season to its late GM.
The dedication would result in the Friars first ever state championship, culminating in a thrilling 4-3 win over St. Francis at the Nassau Coliseum.
Three months later, St. Anthony's alumni would gather at the Superior Rink in Kings Park for an alumni game, in which the rink would be dedicated in Drisco's memory.
Nick Mauriello returns to the mat
Death was knocking on Nick Mauriello's door in early 2011. The Hauppauge wrestling standout battled MRSA and Lemierre's Syndrome that nearly took his life.
Just one year later, Mauriello defied the odds and was standing on top of Suffolk County as he defeated Joey Gates to win the 132 lb. Suffolk County Championship and earning a trip to Albany for the state championship.
Mauriello grappled his way all the way to the consolation finals, only to fall to Shenendehowa's Nick Kelly, earning fourth place in Albany. Although his desired result would've probably been first place, Mauriello won a more important battle this year for his life.
Reed McLean shines on Long Island's spotlight
Harborfields' former team manager scores final point in Long Island Championship
When Harborfields won its second straight Long Island Championship on March 10, the buzz on floor wasn't about star Lucas Woodhouse, or the usual double-figure output of David Ba, John Patron or Justin Ringen.
Everyone was talking about Reed McLean. McLean was Harborfields' team manager for the past thre seasons, and as a result of his dedication and hard work coach Chris Agostino awarded Reed a uniform to be part of the team.
With the result of Harborfields Long Island Championship game against South Sid eno longer in doubt, Agostino inserted McLean into the game to give him some rare playing time. But with 13.1 seconds left, McLean was fouled and was set for two shots at the foul line with a chance to get on the scoresheet.
After missing the first of two, McLean drained the second shot sending the crowd into a frenzy.
"I've scored nine points all season, but this one counted so much because it was in the championship game," a beaming McLean said. "When I went in the game, I was nervous and excited at the same time. I was shaking on my first foul shot [an air ball]. When the last one went in, I was so happy."
LAX out Cancer raises awareness
Liam McGuire for the past two seasons has been a member of the Shoreham-Wading River boys lacrosse team. He's listed in the program as number 9 and team captain.
He's also nine years old.
Last year, McGuire was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). He's Shoreham-Wading River's biggest fans and the Wildcats treat him as one of their own.
Each year for the past four seasons, Shoreham-Wading River have organized the LAX Out Cancer event. In what is usually a non-league contest, the Wildcats wear special pink jerseys and all the money raised go to special charities to support cancer research. McGuire was honored last season during the event.
Although SWR lost the game, the Wildcats wouldn't let them deter their journey to a NYS Class C championship. Immediately following the game the team made sure to visit their captain in the hospital to share the special victory.
McGuire and Shoreham-Wading River wasn't the only lacrosse program looking to bring awareness to cancer research.
Massapequa's girls lacrosse team hosted "KieraSTRONG", a fundraiser in honor of Massapequa 7-year-old Kiera Enright. Enright was diagnosed in early March with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
The event was held on April 4th matchup between Massapequa and Port Washington, and raised closed to $4,000 towards medical expenses. Massapequa wore orange socks and ribbons for leukemia awareness.
Enright also led the Chiefs out onto the field prior to Massapequa's Nassau County final against Farmingdale to a standing ovation. And although the Chiefs fell 15-7 to Farmingdale, Massapequa's Kelsey O'Brien was okay with it knowing what they have done to support Enright.
"What happens for us on the field is nothing compared to her battle," O'Brien told Newsday's Stephen Haynes following the game. "Seeing Keira, looking lively and talking to all the girls, it's a nice way to end our season."
Join us throughout the summer as "Memorable Mondays" brings you more top 5 lists:
July 30: Top five favorite venues from 2011-12
Aug. 6: Top five coaches from 2011-12
Aug. 13: Top five most memorable games from 2011-12
Aug. 20: Top five teams from 2011-12
Aug. 27: Top five teams to watch in 2012-13
Find them all at www.msgvarsity.com/mondays.