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Amityville Athletics Are on the Air

Amityville Athletics Are on the Air photo
Reporting live from Amityville Memorial High School, it’s Justin Bethea and Devontay Rickenbacker. The two students have added a new dimension to Amityville athletics by broadcasting several Warriors contests. 

Justin, a sophomore, and Devontay, a junior, called all of the home games for the boys and girls varsity basketball teams as well as select road games. They were also able to travel with the boys team throughout its playoff run that culminated in a state championship. In addition to calling the plays and providing in-game commentary, the duo conducted postgame interviews with players, coaches and administrators. 

The games were livestreamed on The Cube and filmed using Padcaster, a kit that includes an iPad, case, tripod and microphone. Justin and Devontay were supported by fellow students Brian Portillo and Sabitha Joseph, who operated the camera, and technology teacher Paul Cimmino. 

“I found something that I enjoy doing,” Justin said. “Broadcasting is what I now want to do as a career.”

Devontay, who used to make YouTube videos about the NFL and NBA when he was younger, said he has always had an interest in sports commentary and this experience opened his eyes to the preparation that professional broadcasters must undertake. He and Justin both spoke of the importance of good pronunciation and cutting down on saying words such as “like” and “umm” while on camera. Additionally, they had to learn to be unbiased by referring to the team as “Amityville” or “the Warriors” instead of “we.” 

The pair learned how to fill an entire broadcast with commentary. For each game, they had statistics at the ready for both Amityville and the away team. Because they are classmates with Warriors players, they also had several anecdotes they could tell when there were breaks in the action. 

Although they weren’t able to broadcast the state championship game in Binghamton, Justin and Devontay both were given seats on press row, in which they were able to take photos and videos and network with members of the media. Devontay said that one of the greatest moments of the season they did get to call was when senior captain Josh Serrano scored his 1,500th career point.

Evan Farkas, the director of athletics, physical education and health, said a group visited Harborfields High School last year to learn about their broadcasting program, and this year’s goal was to livestream a handful of games.

“Little did we know that Justin and Devontay would come in and take it to a whole new level,” he said. “We’ve quickly become a model school for broadcasting.”

Mr. Farkas said the goal for next year is to add even more sports to the broadcasting lineup. Additionally, they are looking to add some new equipment such as noise-canceling headphones. 

Justin said that having several hundred people tune in to the games and hear him and Devontay’s commentary was a rewarding experience. It was just as thrilling as being on the sidelines for the basketball team’s title run. 

“There was a huge learning curve,” Justin said, “but it was a great experience.”

High School Students Check Out College Choices

High School Students Check Out College Choices photo

Amityville Memorial High School students had a chance to explore their futures during the annual spring college fair on March 29. Representatives were in attendance from more than 100 colleges and universities on Long Island, in the city, upstate and throughout the Northeast. Attendees could also earn about opportunities in the military and law enforcement.

Students traveled throughout the gymnasium and were able to ask questions about academic programs, athletics and extracurricular activities, scholarship opportunities, on-campus housing and more. For underclassman, the college fair gave them a chance to understand admissions requirements, while seniors could learn about the next steps in the application process. 

High School Bridge Builders Earn Recognition

High School Bridge Builders Earn Recognition photo
Amityville Memorial High School sophomores Jared Davis and Alexa Victor were selected to receive the Students Building Bridges Award from the Jewish Community Relations Council of Long Island. 

They were nominated by social studies Chairwoman Dawn Mizrachi, their Advanced Placement world history teacher. The award recognizes students for their efforts in bridging the community, teaching tolerance and completing services that aim to advocate change and improve lives of others.

Jared and Alexa will be publicly honored at Suffolk County’s Yom Hashoah Holocaust Remembrance Day program on Thursday, May 3, at Suffolk County Community College. They will each receive a citation from an elected official and a certificate from JCRC-LI.

Language Learners Celebrate Success

Language Learners Celebrate Success photo

The National World Language Honor Society at Amityville Memorial High School welcomed 53 new members at its March 27 induction ceremony.

New members were recognized for their achievement in learning new languages and embracing other cultures. Membership was offered to students with an average of 85 or above in Spanish or French classes. 

Each inductee received a certificate and a medal. Teachers Elisa Castro and Sandra Whitney introduced the 43 Spanish language students who were selected for membership, joining 10 students from Brooke Prestano’s French classes. 

New members of the Spanish Honor Society are Cedric Agenor, Albiery Amaya, Jasmine Ambrose, Celian Aracena, Karina Aracena, Kayla Barrett, Olivia Bennett, Makhai Barton, Daniela Campos, Bryan Canales, Nayeliz Canas, Hasson Cantarero Hernandez, Mary Dexter, Jeffrey Garcia, Ariel Graham, Natalya Grant, Andrea Grijalva, Chantel Hinds, Krystian Hobson, Aaliyah Hunt, Marco Iorio, Maksymilian Kiec, Aleyna Kokoglu, Mert Kokoglu, Nathalie Larin, Jessica Licona, Rachelle Louisjean, Jasmin Lucero, Meghan Luders, Ryan McPherson, Nidia Mendoza, Odalys Murcia, Brayan Nieto, William Orellano, Nil Patel, Ashley Pico, Chelsie Rodriguez, Stephanie Rodriguez, Gleny Inoa Rodriguez, Jazmin Ruiz, Ameila Tisk, Katirya Tyson-Cardona and Z’Dhanne Williams.

New members of the French Honor Society are Stephany Carbajal, Brianna Mazzilli, Ernesto Monzon, Amaya Pelzer-Covington, Aatyra Robinson, Ava Sutherland, Anneth Taylor, Jordan Tobin, Trinity Tobin and Alexa Victor. 

The ceremony began with the Pledge of Allegiance in English, French and Spanish. There was a merengue dance presentation, candle-lighting ceremony and recognition of senior honor society members. Congratulatory remarks came from Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mary T. Kelly, Director of ENL and World Languages Mary Stephens, and high school Principal Maria Andreotti.

“Being multilingual will prepare you to be successful in a global community,” Ms. Andreotti told the inductees. 

Amityville Celebrates Deonte Wilson Day

Amityville Celebrates Deonte Wilson Day photo
New York State wrestling champion Deonte Wilson has brought great pride to his school and community with his athletic prowess and kind heart, and he was fittingly honored during a special ceremony at Amityville Memorial High School.

The Town of Babylon declared March 29 Deonte Wilson Day and Supervisor Richard Schaffer presented him with a proclamation. Deonte was joined by his family, coaches, high school and district administrators, and board of education trustees, who all attended to personally congratulate the senior. Among the words and phrases used to describe him: “determination,” “amazing young man” and “role model.”

One of the top ranked high school wrestlers in the United States, Deonte was the state wrestling champion in the 285-pound weight class and became a three-time All-American Wrestler as he finished second in the country at the wrestling nationals on March 25. He plans to continue wrestling in college and is currently in the process of selecting a school.

“It feels pretty good when people call you one of the best in the nation,” Deonte said. “Knowing I accomplished so much, it means something to me and to the community.”

Deonte, a member of the varsity team since eighth grade, said he wouldn’t have been able to make his dream come true without the support from his coaches and family. After winning the state title, he called his mother to wish her a happy birthday before sharing his news. 

He also discussed the importance of having a strong work ethic and maintaining good grades. In addition to wrestling, he plays football in the fall and runs for the track team in the spring.

“Aside from being an outstanding athlete, he’s the kindest, most caring person you would ever want to meet,” Principal Maria Andreotti said. “Deonte represents the best of what we have to offer as a school and as a district.”

Speakers at the ceremony included Director of Athletics, Physical Education and Health Evan Farkas, head wrestling coach Greg McCoy and volunteer assistant coach Billy Maisel. 

“He’s worked extremely hard toward this goal and has put in so much work when it comes to his sport,” said coach McCoy. “He has reignited the Amityville wrestling program.”

Thursday, April 26, 2018