Farmingdale is back in the game! High school winter sports teams deemed low or moderate risk by New York State were permitted to start practice amid the coronavirus pandemic. Five teams from Farmingdale High school, girls and boys track, girls and boys bowling, along with boys swimming returned, but look very different from past years due to COVID-19 protocols.
“Preparing for this season has been very different than past years, but we have an amazing group of athletes that are willing to overcome these new obstacles,” said girls varsity track head coach, Erin Garvey. “It is not our usual season, but we are fortunate to be one of the only teams allowed to do this, so we are not taking it for granted.”
Winter track members must wear masks at all times and the usual indoor meets will be held outdoors. Most winter seasons are a mix of indoor and out, so athletes have to bundle up more than usual. Coaches place a major focus on longer warmups, extra time to stretch, and active rest during practice to ensure athletes are at the top of their game. Track and swimming meets will also be competing virtually, using the honor system. Each team will stage events and report their times to a neutral party or website so times can be compared to determine the winning team. Fans of the high school teams will have the opportunity to cheer these incredible athletes on from their homes as in-person attendance is prohibited under state guidelines.
“These boys have prepared and practiced for four years for their senior season. It is a shame that their parents, who have driven them to weekend and night practices, could not be in attendance for their matches,” said boys varsity bowling coach Michael Marchitto. “This has only served to motivate them further. They are a great bunch of young men.”
The Farmingdale High School boys varsity swim team completed an undefeated dual meet season and secured the Nassau Conference III championship. This marks the program’s first undefeated season since 1990. From the outset, the coaching staff knew that there would be challenges for the team to overcome.
“We lost 12 swimmers, nearly half our roster, to graduation at the end of last season, so there were a lot of holes to fill in the lineup,” said Farmingdale Swim coach Randy Corcoran. “But we also saw that as an opportunity for a lot of our younger athletes to step into bigger roles, which many of them did.”
Still, as one of only a few teams given an opportunity to compete this winter, the team wanted to make the most of their opportunity. The highlight of the season came in a 60-40 victory over Bethpage on February 3rd that featured individual victories by Connor Maloney (100 Butterfly), Zach Carle (200 Freestyle, 100 Breaststroke), Frank DeSantis (Diving), and Aidan Horbach (500 Freestyle). Maloney also led the Dalers to wins in all three relay events.
Winter athlete and Daler alumni from 2015, Nicole Lee is also making waves. Lee is a former swim team captain, team MVP, and school record holder (still!) with the Lady Dalers. She has been named to the SUNYAC (SUNY Athletic Conference) Women's Swim All-Decade Team. Nicole broke numerous school records as a swimmer at SUNY New Paltz, and was the SUNYAC Champion in the 50 Freestyle in 2018. Over her final two seasons, she was a Top 5 finisher in the conference in the 50 Free, 100 Free, 100 Back, 200 and 400 Free Relays, and the 200 Medley Relay. Nicole graduated from New Paltz with a bachelor's degree and departmental honors in Biology in May, 2019. She currently works at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
On Friday, January 22, 2021, Governor Cuomo opened the door for high school sports classified as high risk to begin practice and play. The Nassau County Department of Health followed suit with strict guidelines for school districts to participate in a safe manner. At this time, Farmingdale will be offering V/JV Boys Basketball, V/JV Girls Basketball, V/JV Wrestling, V/JV Cheerleading, and Dalerettes. The season will run through the month of February.