Tag Archive | "Sean Hartnett"

Bring Kids Basic Soccer Skills

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Brook and Sean Hartnett are offering a soccer program for youth.

Brook and Sean Hartnett are offering a soccer program for youth.

By Emily J. Weitz

Growing up in Sag Harbor, soccer was a key aspect of the Hartnett brothers’ lives. Just a year apart, they played in the youth soccer programs and then as members of the Pierson High School Varsity team, and each took his turn as captain in his senior year. Now they are getting back to basics, starting a clinic for East End kids who are looking to hone their skills with college athletes.

Brook Hartnett, who graduated from Pierson in 2011, went on to play at the nationally ranked Drew University this past year. His younger brother Sean, who graduated from Pierson last week, is hoping to play at SUNY Geneseo when he matriculates this fall.

“Soccer brings great structure to a kid’s life,” says Brook. “You go to school, go to practice, come home and do your homework.”

“It also teaches organization, leadership, teamwork, and team building,” adds Sean. “In order to be successful in soccer, you need to be a team. In baseball you can hit five homeruns, in basketball you can score a lot of points. But in soccer, you need to pass. You need to get assists.”

“It’s the epitome of a team game,” says Brook.

It’s this kind of team-building that the Hartnetts believe really prepares kids for success in life. But it’s a skill they wish they had had more of growing up, even on the soccer field.

“For me,” says Sean, “growing up here I never had a base of fundamental skills I learned. I just kind of ran up the field and scored, but I never learned how to do it.”

This is what they hope to provide through the clinics. Hosted by Hampton Youth Sports, a youth sports advocacy group based in Sag Harbor, these clinics will provide kids with valuable skill-building drills that they can then apply in their scrimmages and games.

“There are plenty of clinics where kids can show up and scrimmage,” says Brook. “But for us, we are trying to develop the players’ skills and emphasize the team game.”

He also points out the importance of young kids seeing that older kids are actually doing this after high school, and that if they stick to it, they can too.

“We serve as role models,” he says, “so they see that people are doing this after high school, and that they could come out of Pierson and get on a good college team and play, like I had the privilege of doing last year.”

Having a different authority figure to look to and learn from is also valuable, says Sean. Anything to bolster what the kids are already getting through the school.

“I’ve had the same coach from 8th grade through varsity,” he says, “so having a different voice will be helpful. Our school is so small, and we have a program, but not like a big school does.”

What the Hartnett brothers really hope to provide is something that will fill in the gaps for kids in Sag Harbor. And, having gone through the programs themselves, they know what those gaps are.

“I think,” says Sean, “that foundation of fundamental skills, like how to pass, how to shoot, and how to work together as a team, is something I never had.”

“It’s back to basics,” says Brook. “Keeping your head up when you dribble, learning triangle offense. It’s a privilege to be able to come back and work with the kids here. We grew up here and never had this – someone coming back and helping us to start a foundation for younger players to build on.”

Soccer clinics will take place at Sag Harbor Elementary School on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 8:45 to 10 a.m., from July 7 to August 5. Cost is $10 per session or $100 for the ten-session series. Call 965-9073 for details.

Power in the Bullpen

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Whalers sitting in first place in League IX

By Andrew Rudansky

It seems that the rich just keep getting richer, at least when it comes to the bullpen of the Pierson varsity baseball team this year.

Already in first place of League IX, coming off a series win over Smithtown Christian, the Pierson Whalers are expecting several pitchers to return from the disabled list.

Whalers Head Coach Jonathan Tortorella said that both sophomore righty Forrest Loesch and senior lefty Brendan Hemby are ready to return to the mound this week.

“We needed some depth out of the bullpen,” said Tortorella. “We had a lot of questions, but thankfully our defense has picked it up big time.”

Most recently the team took two out of three games in a series with second- place Smithtown Christian (11-4). The teams split the first two games of the series, each winning a game by only one run.

On Friday, April 27 the Whalers won the final game of that series, again in another razor-thin 9-8 decision.

Aaron Schiavoni was given the start for the Whalers. The sophomore managed the game through four innings, allowing 6 runs before he was replaced with Tim Markowski. Markowski was credited with the win, his first ever on the varsity stage, while reliever Jake Bennett was awarded the save.

The final game went back and forth between the two teams until a sacrifice RBI to centerfield by Pierson/Bridgehampton’s Michael Heller in the bottom of the sixth let Paul Dorego tag up and score the winning run.

Smithtown Christian had one final chance to even up the score in the top of the seventh when a deep ball sent to right field looked to be enough to send a runner home from second. Colman Vilá fielded the ball in right field and flung it towards home. Schiavoni was their at the plate to beat the runner with the tag, causing the third and final out of the game.

Schiavoni led the team at the plate going 3-4, with 2 runs, 2 RBIs and a double. Sean Hartnett went 2-2 at the plate, with 2 walks, 2 RBIs, and 2 stolen bases. Hunter Leyser went 2-4 with a stolen base and a run.

“It’s good right now to be tested by a team like Smithtown Christian,” said Tortorella, “because we cruised through some games early and we weren’t really tested.”

The Whalers started a three game series with the Greenport Porters at home on Wednesday, May 2. The Whalers took the game 9-3, improving to a record of 13-2. Junior lefty Colman Vilá was credited with the win.

The series against Greenport continues today, May 3, when the team travels to the North Fork at 4:30 p.m. Tomorrow, May 4 at 4:30 the Whalers will finish the Greenport series away.

Boys Clinch a Berth

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Pierson First Baseman Emet Evjen tags out a Smithtown Christian runner who was caught in a pickle between first and second base during the Pierson Whalers vs. the Smithtown Christian Knights baseball game at Mashashimuet Park on Tuesday, 4/24/12

Pierson First Baseman Emet Evjen tags out a Smithtown Christian runner who was caught in a pickle between first and second base during the Pierson Whalers vs. the Smithtown Christian Knights baseball game at Mashashimuet Park on Tuesday, 4/24/12

But 10 game winning streak comes to an end

By Andrew Rudansky

It’s a good news, bad news week for Pierson varsity baseball. The Whalers are the first in League IX to clinch a playoff berth, grabbing their eleventh win only one game after their 10 game winning streak came to an end.

The streak came to a halt last weekend after the Whalers split a two game series with the third place Southold Settlers (6-6).

The Whalers took the first game on Friday, April 20 after junior lefty Colman Vilá notched another shutout. Vilá pitched all seven innings of the 3-0 win, recording 14 strikeouts, no walks and only 3 hits.

The Whalers put the game away in the third inning when senior and team captain Sean Hartnett batted in sophomore Aaron Schiavoni from second on a RBI single for the third and final run.

The Whalers could not keep the momentum going and fell short, 8-4, in the second game of the series played on Saturday, April 21. The loss was the first of the season for the Whalers.

Southold jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the second inning of the game. Pierson started chipping away at this lead when relief pitcher Jake Bennett gave up a two-outs grand slam in the bottom of the sixth inning which broke the game open for the Settlers.

Hartnett led the Whalers at the plate, going 3-4 with a triple, two doubles and 3 RBIs. Schiavoni went 2-3 with a double and 3 runs scored.

“They made plays that day and we didn’t,” said Whalers’ Head Coach Jonathan Tortarella of the team’s first loss.

After splitting the series with Southold, the Whalers began a three game series with the Smithtown Christian Knights. The Whalers came out on top in the first game of the series, 6-5, on Tuesday, April 24, officially punching their ticket to the League IX playoffs.

Bennett managed the back-and-forth game from the mound, keeping the Knights at bay as the the Whalers piled on the runs.

Schiavoni went 2-2 at the plate with two RBIs, while Michael Heller went 2-3 with an RBI.

The Whalers have a comfortable two game lead in League XI play, standing head and shoulders over the rest of the league with a record of 11-1.

Tortarella said that despite clinching a playoff berth, he is pushing his team to finish the season strong.

“We are hoping for that top seed,” he said. “We know that was one of our goals at the beginning of the season. In order to achieve that goal we need to get better and better every game.”

The Whalers’ three game series with the Knights continued on Wednesday, April 25; however, the results of that game were still unknown when this paper was put to bed. The third game of that series will be played at Mashashimuet Park on Friday, April 27 at 4:30 p.m.

Winning Ways Go On

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Whalers best Royals in season’s closest game

By Andrew Rudansky

It took three pitchers, 11 innings and one well placed hit to deep center field, but the Whalers baseball team was able to stave off the Port Jefferson Royals in a three and a half hour marathon game late last week.

By the time the Pierson/Bridgehampton Whalers were traveling up to Port Jefferson on Friday April, 13, they had already handily defeated the Royals three times this year.

This fourth and final game of the series between the two teams looked to be a forgone conclusion. The Whalers had outscored the Royals 27-8 in their three previous games. The Whalers were white-hot, cruising through a still-undefeated season, their best in well over a decade, while the Royals (3-6) were still dwelling in the cellar of League IX standings.

But from the start of the game it was the Royals that looked to be the world beaters, relying on stellar pitching and consistency at the plate to outshine the visiting Whalers. To add to their woes, the Whalers were playing down three players, two of them starters.

Despite this the Whalers were able to make a late surge to scrape by with a 9-8 victory, sweeping the series.

Sophomore Aaron Schiavoni started the game on the mound for Pierson/Bridgehampton. The righty had trouble containing the Royals lineup, allowing them to jump out to an 8-6 early lead by the end of the third inning.

Junior Colman Vilá took over pitching duties for the Whalers in the bottom of the fourth inning, allowing Schiavoni to move to his natural position at catcher. After knocking around the Whalers for the first three innings, the Royals were unprepared for the star lefty, who pitched lights out for the next seven innings.

While Vilá out-pitched the Royals offense from the mound, the Whalers were still unable to make up their two run deficit as the game went into the final inning.

Staring defeat in the face in that seventh and final inning, the Whalers bats showed up right in the nick of time. With two outs, Vilá hit a double, deep into centerfield. Tim Markowski followed this by battling his way to a full count before he was walked, putting the tying run on first base.

Schiavoni, who struggled on the mound earlier in the game, came through with a monstrous 2 RBI double to deep centerfield. The ball rolling into the outfield fence before being fielded.

The Whalers bench erupted in cheers as Vilá and Markowski trotted into home plate for the tie. Out on second base Schiavoni pointed a single finger up into the sky.

The Whalers, one out away from riding home on the bus in defeat, were now tied 8-8.

The game wasn’t called until the eleventh inning when the team captain, senior Sean Hartnett, came to the plate with bases loaded and two outs.

Hartnett hit a dribbler to the second baseman and took off sprinting towards first base. The toss to first was high causing the baseman to hop into the air to make the catch. Hartnett was called safe after making contact with the base right before the baseman descended to the ground.

His RBI single sent sophomore Kyle Sturmann home, giving the Whalers just enough to close out the game with a 9-8 win.

Jake Bennett was brought in as the closer in the bottom of the eleventh, and he promptly retired three batters to end the game. Vilá was credited with the win in the game.

Prior to Friday’s game against the Royals, the Whalers had won every one of their games this season by a margin of five or greater.

This razor-thin win gives the Whalers an 8-0 record so far this season, their best start to a season in recent memory. While the results of the second half of the season remain a mystery, it wouldn’t be outlandish to start thinking about playoffs.

The Whalers also had a game against Southold at home, the start of a three game series between the two teams, yesterday, Wednesday, April 18. The results of that game were not known as of press time.

The Whalers finish their series against the Southold Settlers this coming week. They will travel to Southold on Friday, April 20 at 4:30 p.m. and then again the following day, April 21 at 1 p.m.