Athletics, Health, and Physical Education
Mr. John Franchi
Director of Athletics, Physical Education, & Health
Bethpage High School’s Softball Team Honors Athletic Trainer Joe Killeen
Bethpage High School’s varsity softball team honored athletic trainer Joe Killeen before their game against Wantagh High School on April 13.
Bethpage’s players, coaches, district leaders and fans wore purple shirts and hoodies with the slogan, “Joe’s Fight Is Our Fight” to honor Killeen, who is currently battling pancreatic cancer. Killeen was also joined by his family as he threw out the first pitch and received a check from Memorial Sloan Kettering for $2,500.
Additional donations from Bethpage High School’s fundraiser during the game will be donated to Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Date Added: 4/15/2022
Bethpage High School Lacrosse Star Named to Newsday’s Top 100 Players
The Bethpage Union Free School District is proud to announce that Bethpage High School junior Brianna Wendling was named to Newsday’s Top 100 Long Island girls lacrosse players for 2022.
Wendling is committed to play lacrosse at Loyola University Maryland.
Bethpage High School Students Sign Letters of Intent
Sixteen Bethpage High School seniors pledged to continue their athletic pursuits in college by signing national letters of intent during the school’s Commitment Day for athletes on March 2.
Proud parents, siblings, coaches and school administrators surrounded each of these students, celebrating the athletic accomplishments that had earned them selection to college teams.
The district congratulates the following seniors:
Conor Burns – Ithaca College, baseball
Michael Corbo – Mercy College, lacrosse
James David – Adelphi University, lacrosse
Luke Galgano – University of Delaware, lacrosse
Katelyn Herbert – Eastern Connecticut State University, soccer
Macayla Hodkinson – SUNY Oneota, swim and dive
Shannon Hughes – Montclair State University, basketball
Brian Luzzi – Cornell University, lacrosse
Joe Lynn – Eckerd College, baseball
Ashlynn McGrorty – SUNY Cortland, soccer
Alyssa Perez – Fairleigh Dickinson University, lacrosse
Thomas Taaffe – Temple University, gymnastics
Joey Tesler – Arcadia University, lacrosse
Santiago Vargas – Queens College, soccer
Nick Vega – Lancaster Bible College, volleyball
Richie Verbouwens – SUNY Cortland, track and field/cross-country
Date Added: 3/7/2022
JFK Middle School Swimmer Breaks 40-year-old Record
Bethpage’s JFK Middle School seventh grader Xavier Kulak made swimming history in January when he broke the school’s record in the 50-yard breaststroke. Xavier finished the 50-yard breaststroke with a time of 35.28 during the school’s last swim meet of the season.
“I knew about JFK’s record,” Xavier said. “I was trying all season to break the record, so I was really going for it during our last meet. My teammates and I were shocked. They were all cheering for me throughout the race, and I was just speechless afterward.”
The school’s previous record of 36.90 was set by George Dikeman in December 1982. Xavier said he had only started swimming two years ago, but his love for the sport motivated him to join JFK’s swimming team. He admitted that while there was some pressure to break the record knowing that this was his last meet of the year, he was confident that his training and preparation would pay off.
“It means a lot to me to be in the record books,” Xavier said. “This really inspired me to go farther in life and break more records.”
Bethpage High School Senior Bowls a Perfect Game
Bethpage High School senior Brian Lunetto was one pin short of a perfect game during his team’s match against Massapequa High School on Jan. 6. Two weeks later, he achieved perfection as he bowled a 300 on Jan. 19.
“It was kind of bittersweet, because it was my last match and I’ve been doing this for six years,” Lunetto said. “Like any other match, I was just trying to go out there and compete, and I was really focused on helping our team win the conference.”
Lunetto said he realized how accurate his shots were during the fourth or fifth frame. Once he found a rhythm, he said he was determined to bowl a 300.
“Those first few shots just looked and felt really good, so I kept trying to repeat that,” he said. “I didn’t want to recreate another 299.”
According to bowling coach June Dvorak, Lunetto was the only player in Nassau County to notch a perfect game this season. “He’s fabulous, and he’s an incredible student as well,” Dvorak said.
Once the match was over, Lunetto said he felt relieved to cap off an amazing performance. He also said it was a special moment to receive a bowling pin from his coach, which marked his perfect game.
“I was finally able to take it all in and celebrate with my team,” Lunetto said. “It was great being able to leave a legacy behind. Winning the conference was one of my goals, so this just fulfills all of the dreams that I had coming into the season.”
Date Added: 1/26/2022
Bethpage Students Athletes Care
Girls Varsity Soccer
The girls completed a fundraiser for pancreatic and pediatric cancer. One of their players, Ashlynn McGorty’s twin brother, Matthew McGorty, died of cancer at a young age. Additionally, Athletic Trainer Joe Killeen was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year. The entire team created five baskets to raffle off at their Sept. 30 game. The team posted flyers on social media and sold raffle tickets for the month of September. They raised a total of $2,150 and decided to donate to both pancreatic and pediatric cancer research.
The junior varsity and varsity kickline teams took part in the Making Strides Against Cancer Walk on Oct. 17. Together, the teams raised $2,245 and that day, they walked in support of Maria Nartowicz, the mother of one of their varsity team members who is currently battling cancer. The team also wore purple shirts to support Athletic Trainer Joe Killeen and raise awareness for pancreatic cancer.
The team captains approached the coaches to donate money in honor of Athletic Trainer Joe Killeen. Each cheerleader donated $20 and wore purple ribbons in their hair for pancreatic cancer. The cheerleaders collected a total of $460.
Varsity/Junior Varsity Football
This season, the entire football program (junior varsity/varsity) raised $2,600. The teams fundraised in honor of Athletic Trainer Joe Killeen. In addition to the players’ and coaches’ contributions, they held a 50/50 raffle at their final regular season home game. They also wanted to spread the word out to the community, so they created a fundraising graphic that players shared with family and friends, along with posting it to the football program’s Twitter account. They also ordered purple game socks to wear along with the custom ribbon decal made for their helmets. It was their small way of bringing awareness to pancreatic cancer along with showing their family member, Joe, that he doesn’t fight this battle alone.
Boys and Girls Volleyball
The boys’ and girls’ volleyball teams, along with the Explorations Club at Bethpage High School, teamed up to raise money for the Side Out Foundation during their annual Dig Pink games. All four teams sold pink t-shirts that read, “In This Family, No One Fights Alone”, pink wristbands and pink themed baked goods. During all four games, the gym was packed with fans wearing pink, all rallying to support breast cancer awareness. The teams are proud to announce that they will donate $2,500 to the Side Out Foundation from their Dig Pink 2021 Initiative.
In total, the teams collected more than $10,000 this fall.
Golden Eagles Win Caps Festive Homecoming
When the Golden Eagles scored a late touchdown to win the game, it was the icing on the cake for the players as well as the fans who came out for Bethpage High School's homecoming celebration on Saturday, October 2, 2021.
Homecoming began with a parade up Stewart Avenue. Beginning at the Long Island Railroad station, it was led by the Nassau County Police Department and the Bethpage Fire Department. A steady crowd lining the sidewalk in front of the high school cheered when they saw the flashing lights approaching. The parade featured the marching band, cheerleaders, kickline team, youth organizations, and movie-themed class floats.
At the high school, tables were setup where community members could purchase baked goods, popcorn, and Bethpage attire, including pink shirts for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There were also numerous raffles.
Halftime festivities featured the marching band's tribute to the Beatles, as well as performances by the cheerleaders and the Golden Girls Kickline Team. Andrew Miller and Ava Nargentino were announced as the homecoming king and queen. Two quarters of play later, the Golden Eagles had their third win of the season with a 30-27 victory over the Floral Park Knights.
2020-21 Bethpage High School Varsity Athletics Season Recap
Congratulations to all of the Bethpage High School Varsity Athletics Teams and student athletes on a great season! Please enjoy the season recap video highlighting some of the plays from throughout the season!
Bethpage High School Varsity Athletics - Season Recap Video - 2020-21
The Bethpage High School Varsity Kickline, Golden Girls, competed virtually in their final competition of the season on Saturday, May 8, 2021. The competition was held by the Dance Team Union and involved teams from across the country. The Golden Girls won ALL THREE of their dances (kick, pom, and team performance) and took home a specialty award (Be Bold Award) for their Kick Routine. The kick dance is choreographed to "Rise Up" and is a dedicated to our amazing Athletic Trainer, Joe Killeen, who is currently battling pancreatic cancer and to all of the family members and friends who fought cancer.
A special congratulations to team seniors: Arianna Belmonte (Captain), Victoria Bracken (Captain), Elyssa Finkel (Assistant Captain), Angela LaRusso (Team Officer), Irene Pfeffer (Assistant Captain), and Bianca Tierno (Team Officer). These girls have been incredible role models to the younger team members and the program has grown so much because of them. We wish them all the best in their future endeavors.
The Bethpage High School Varsity Golden Girls Kickline Team competed in their first Virtual Competition of the season and it was a clean sweep! The team did three different routines -- all of which earned FIRST PLACE -- and then the routines were ranked against all of the other performances to determine the Top Ten. Out of 49 performances, all three of the Golden Girls dances placed in the Top Ten with final placements:
POM: 1st OVERALL
The team also won the Choreography Award for their kick routine which they dedicated to the best Athletic Trainer in the business -- Mr. Joe Killeen!
Great job to all of the girls and a special congratulations to our seniors: Captain Arianna Belmonte, Captain Victoria Bracken, Assistant Captain Elyssa Finkel, Team Officer Angela LaRusso, Assistant Captain Irene Pfeffer, and Team Officer Bianca Tierno.
Livestream of Bethpage High School Fall Athletics
Bethpage Schools has partnered with Varsity Media to livestream all Bethpage High School Fall HOME athletic contests for the rest of the season.
Please click on the link below to access the livestream. Please note that livestream links are created by Varsity Media on Mondays.
Livestream of Bethpage High School Fall Home Athletic Contests
Livestream of Bethpage High School Home Varsity Winter Sports
Bethpage Schools has partnered with Varsity Media to livestream all Bethpage High School Varsity HOME games for the rest of the season. Please click on the respective link below to access the livestream. Please note that livestream links are created by Varsity Media on Mondays.
Livestream - Boys Basketball
Livestream - Girls Basketball
Livestream - Boys Wrestling
Bethpage High School Varsity Softball: Thank You, Class of 2020!
The Bethpage High School Varsity Softball Team would like to thank the school community for their unwavering support of their program throughout the year. While the team is disappointed that their season was cut short as a result of the pandemic, they would like to share a video filled with highlights and dedicate the video to the team's Class of 2020 seniors. Special thanks to Coach Tierney and Coach Inghilterra for putting this recap together.
[Video to Follow]
Varsity Kickline at Nationals Cap Memorable Season
The Golden Girls Varsity Kickline had an amazing weekend at the 2020 NDA National Competition in Orlando, Florida! The Golden Girls competed against over forty-five teams from over thirty states in the biggest Nationals Dance-Off to date! The team reached all of their goals and advanced to the finals in all four of their routines! They ranked 20th in Pom; 12th in Game Day; and 8th in Routine. The Varsity Kickline group also earned 2nd place in the Kick category with their highest score ever (93.56)! The squad was awarded for their superior sportsmanship in their Kick routine and was also recognized for their good sportsmanship throughout the weekend.
The Varsity Kickline team had an amazing time and went onto the stage to perform with their heads held high and walked off with them even higher! This group displayed so much heart and the trip capped a very memorable season!
Bethpage Schools congratulates the Golden Girls and wishes senior team members Olivia Hanley, Tara Varricchio, Emily Wilson, and Jillian Zapata best of luck in all of their future endeavors and thanks them for all of their contributions!
Nassau Scholastic Kickline Competition
On Sunday, January 5, 2020, the John F. Kennedy Middle School Kickline Team and Bethpage High School's Junior Varsity and Varsity Kickline teams participated in the Nassau Scholastic Competition. John F. Kennedy Middle School's Kickline team competed in the Kick and Pom categories and ranked 4th place in both routines. Bethpage High School's Junior Varsity placed 4th in Team Routine, 4th in Kick, and took home 1st place in the Pom division. The Varsity squad placed 4th in Team Routine, 2nd in Pom, and landed on top with 1st place in the Kick category! Overall, it was a great weekend for the Golden Girls Kickline program! All of the participants were proud of their accomplishments and are looking forward to their next competition!
Outstanding Physical Education Students
Congratulations to seniors Rahul Busri and Nicole Jenal on receiving the Nassau Zone Outstanding Physical Education Student Award. Pictured with Bethpage High School Physical Education teacher, Tom Piccirillo, the students were honored on Monday, December 9, 2019 at the Crest Hollow Country Club for their outstanding physical performance, scholastic ability, and leadership qualities. Great job, Rahul and Nicole!
Student Athletes Sign Letter of Intent
Congratulations to our ten Class of 2020 Senior Student Athletes who will continue their athletic and academic careers at the next level. The entire Bethpage Schools community is extremely proud of how they have represented the Bethpage Golden Eagles over the years.
-- Cristian Castles / Mercy / Lacrosse
-- Kyle Gabrinowitz / Mercy
-- Kevin Groom / Albany / Lacrosse
-- Bryan Hanley / Babson College / Lacrosse
-- Anna Hughes / Long Island University / Lacrosse
-- Shannon Hughes / Western Connecticut State / Lacrosse
-- Patrick Kerrigan / DeSales / Lacrosse
-- Chris McGuggart / New York Tech / Baseball
-- Kevin Mouton / Geneseo / Lacrosse
-- Brian O'Boyle / Long Island University / Baseball
Golden Eagles Earn Placement on Wall
The District and community gathered on July 21 for a ceremony to welcome the sixth group of inductees into the Bethpage Athletic Wall of Fame.
This year’s class included 1978 graduate Fran Brown along with former coaches Samuel Prioleau, Harry Settino, Jr. and Donna Weikman.
Fran Brown was a four-sport athlete and represented the Golden Eagles in field hockey, volleyball, basketball and softball. She was part of many league and divisional championships in volleyball, basketball and softball in addition to being captain and the most valuable player of the county champion field hockey team. She went on to play volleyball at Slippery Rock University.
Samuel Prioleau was a beloved teacher, mentor and coach in Bethpage for 35 years. He holds one of the highest winning percentages on Long Island as a baseball coach and led the Golden Eagles to a county championship. Under his guidance, the junior varsity football team achieved many undefeated seasons. As a mentor, he encouraged students to fight for what they believed in and made them believe they could accomplish anything.
Harry Settino, Jr., had a positive impact on many student athletes during his 23 years in Bethpage. He was a “jack of all trades” by coaching varsity football, varsity baseball, girls’ varsity track and field and boys’ varsity bowling. He also went on to officiate basketball and baseball in addition to being a Nassau County lifeguard supervisor.
Donna Weikman was a symbol of excellence for the Bethpage girls’ bowling program for 43 years with 400 compiled wins, 21 conference championships and two county championships. She began her career in Bethpage in 1969 as a physical education and health teacher in addition to her role as a coach. Donna coached the field hockey team for 17 years that included five division championships, six conference championships and three county championships. She also led the badminton team for 28 years with a total of 312 wins and 11 conference championships.
“We are very proud to welcome these four inductees into the Bethpage Athletic Wall of Fame,” said Superintendent of Schools David Schneider. “They are proud Golden Eagles.”
Bethpage Dance Team Repeat at Nationals!
The Bethpage Dance Team won its second consecutive National Championship in Orlando, Florida! The Varsity Golden Girls and Company Kickline traveled to Orlando to compete at the NDA Dance Nationals over the February Mid-Winter Recess. The team competed in four categories and made it to finals in three of the dances. The team ended the weekend:
-- 12th in SV Jazz
-- 11th in MV Team Performance
-- 2nd in SV Pom (winning the specialty award for Innovative Choreography)
-- National Champions in SV Kick (also won the specialty award for Technical Excellence)
The team was also nominated for a Sportsmanship Award by the competition staff members!
Congratulations to the Bethpage Kickline Team for their amazing and memorable season! Best wishes to team seniors: Captain Grace Carney; Captain Giavanna Novelli; and Team Officer Madeline Schmidt. The team will miss them greatly next year and wishes them well in their future endeavors!
Long Island Champions!
The Bethpage High School Varsity Kickline team completed at the Nassau Scholastic Championship on Sunday, February 3, 2019. After a long day of four performances, the team walked away ranked 4th in Jazz; 2nd in Kick; 2nd in Pom; and 2nd in Team Performance. The team was also named "Champion of Champions" in the Team Performance category. This title is given to the team that competes at all local competitions and has the highest cumulative score in that dance category (combining scores from all size divisions).
Special recognition to the Varsity Kickline team Seniors: Captain Grace Carney, Captain Giavanna Novelli; and Team Officer Madeline Schmidt. Each of these girls has made a huge impact on the team these past few years and they had beautiful performances at their final local competition!
Best wishes to the team for their upcoming trip to Orlando, Florida to attend Dance Nationals!
Regional Dance Champions!
The Bethpage High School Varsity Kickline program competed at the NDA Regionals this past weekend at Walt Whitman High School. After a long day, the team finished 5th in Jazz; 2nd in Pom; 2nd in Team Performance; and Regional Champions in the Small Varsity Kick category. They also took home the Specialty Award-Technical Excellence in Kick! The team is excited about the season and cannot wait to see what the future will hold!
Award Winning Weekend for Bethpage Dance
The Bethpage Varsity Kickline, Golden Girls and Company, competed at the second Nassau Scholastic competition of the season on Sunday, January 6, 2019. The team placed in all four of their competitive dances, ending the day 3rd in the jazz category, 2nd in both pom and kick, and 1st in their team performance category! It was an exciting day and the team has so much to be proud of!
Bethpage Community ‘Sticks it to Cancer’
It was far from a normal night of hockey at the Town of Oyster Bay Ice Skating Rink in Bethpage, as four local teams came together for a “Stick it to Cancer” fundraiser to raise money for Cohen Children’s Medical Center on Dec. 19.
The first game featured Port Washington/Great Neck/Herricks vs. Farmingdale, while the nightcap included Bethpage hosting Oceanside. Hockey was surely the backstory in what was an emotional evening for those in attendance. The fundraiser touched close to home, as Bethpage High School junior and hockey player Derek Zacchino has been battling a brain tumor since being diagnosed in September. While Zacchino was hoping to be well enough to participate in the puck drop at the beginning of the game, he got better news than he could imagine, as he was cleared to play in the game the morning of Dec. 19.
“I just couldn’t believe it, and I couldn’t be happier,” Zacchino said. “I am so excited to be out there with my teammates.”
Prior to the game, guest speakers included Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino and Superintendent of Schools David Schneider. Syosset Hockey presented Zacchino with a signed jersey by former New York Islander Pat LaFontaine. Zacchino’s girlfriend and fellow Bethpage High School student Bridget Pfeifer performed the national anthem.
"Thank you to everyone who is here to support such a wonderful cause," Schneider said. "I couldn't be prouder of our staff members who planned and organized this fantastic event and our entire community who eagerly participated in order to raise money and awareness for the great work [Cohen Children's Medical Center] does for our children."
Outside the rink, volunteers sold T-shirts, sweatshirts, cupcakes and raffle tickets to collect money for the cause. All in all, the event raised more than $16,000 to be donated to Cohen Children’s Medical Center.
To cap things off, Schneider announced that the Bethpage Hockey Team won first place in the Team Up 4 Community Service Challenge for the hockey game initiative, which drew a monstrous ovation from the crowd. On the ice, Bethpage prevailed against Oceanside with a 4-3 victory.
“The highlight of the evening was watching Derek join his teammates on the ice as his last minute clearance from his doctor allowed him to play in his first game since his diagnosis and surgery,” Schneider added. “To see the joy on his face as he was introduced to the standing room only crowd was something I will always remember”
Student Athletes Make College Commitments
On Dec. 11, eight Bethpage High School seniors declared their commitments for the fall of 2019 by signing National Letter of Intent to continue athletic careers at the collegiate level.
Joined by Superintendent of School David Schneider, Director of Athletics John Franchi and Principal Nicholas Jantz as well as their coaches, parents and siblings, the seniors made their future paths in college athletics official.
The seniors signing fall NLIs were:
• Brandon Bestany – McDaniel College, men’s lacrosse
• Madison Buttice – SUNY Purchase, women’s lacrosse
• Richard Gennero – Molloy College, baseball
• Alex Keener – St. Joseph’s University, men’s lacrosse
• Kevin Leon – SUNY Geneseo, men’s lacrosse
• Nicholas Leung – SUNY Old Westbury, men’s lacrosse
• Amanda O’Neill – Long Island University, women’s lacrosse
• Peter Schimmel – St. Thomas Aquinas, baseball
“We are super proud of our student-athletes as these eight seniors sign their National Letter of Intent to continue athletic careers in college,” said Mr. Schneider.
Varsity Kickline Places First!
On Sunday, December 9, 2018, the Varsity Golden Girls and Company Kickline competed in their first local competition at Nassau Community College. The team danced in four categories (jazz, team performance, pom, and kick) and placed with each routine! The team ended the day in 3rd for jazz; 2nd for kick; and 1st for both team performance and pom!
Congratulations to the Varsity Golden Girls and Company and a special congratulations to team seniors: Gracie Carney, Giavanna Novelli, and Madeline Schmidt!