Cougars Claim League Title, Fall In Counties
Commack’s girls and boys fencing teams took home the League I title in a season featuring new coaches, doubts and hard-fought successes.
The Lady Cougars finished undefeated in league competitions, with their only losses coming at the hands of Ward Melville, first in non-league competition, and then in the Suffolk team final.
First-time fencing coach Anthony Musto did not know any of the girls personally or how they would fare against the league competition, but said they “absolutely exceeded my expectations.”
Musto said his only job was “to condition the girls and get them as prepared as possible.” He attributed the team’s success to the Lady Cougars’ hard work and determination.
That effort not only resulted in a league title, but many smaller victories as well.
Foil Amanda Loo won two gold medals this season, and finished All-Team Long Island for women’s foil.
Stephanie Miller, a senior who competes in sabre, finished the season 31-1, leading not only the Lady Cougars in wins and record, but the entire league.
Foil Katie O’Neill finished the season with the best foil record in the league. O’Neill was also named the “Fencer’s Fencer,” an award voted on by all the fencers in the league.
Musto said, “It is the award that goes to the nicest, most caring fencer in the league.”
Just as the Lady Cougars did, the boys fencing team also fought through adversity to become league champions.
While they too fell to Ward Melville in the Suffolk final, the Cougars surprised many in their journey to reach that point.
Coach Paul Slackman said last year’s team was led by several seniors who have since left the program, and hole he was worried about replacing.
“Prior to the season, no one across Long Island thought that we had a chance to do much this season, much less win the league title,” Slackman said.
In the battle to surpass those expectations, the Cougars fought to earn every point and postseason award that came their way.
Sophomore Charleson Kim, in sabre, has been on the time since his eighth grade season, when he fought his way into the starting lineup.
Now, Kim’s won the individual county championships with a 24-5 record this season. He was also selected first team All-County and first team All-League.
The Cougars were also led by senior captain Chris Collago and junior Joon Lee, both of whom ended the season with impressive records.
Collago, in epee, ended his final season as a CHS fencer with a record of 24-6.
Lee, foil, finished his junior season with a record of 21-5.
Charlie Marquardt, a senior at Molloy College, has achieved only what a few before him have done in Molloy Basketball’s history, scoring 1,000 career points.
Charlie, besides his incredible accomplishment of scoring 1,000 points, is a decorated player in Molloy’s basketball program having also set a record for most three-pointers made (88) in a single season (15’ - 16’).
Countless hours and tons of hard work have gone into Marquardt achieving this goal, but instead of the spotlight, he is focusing on his team. “I know there are bigger things to accomplish...this year for the team because I know how hard we have been working. So, I'll be more focused on staying on track to reach the overall goal and objective which is to win a championship.”
Marquardt is grateful for all of those people who have helped him to this goal, “It's definitely a great accomplishment to reach 1000 points, especially in three years, and I would never been able to do it without my great coaches and my great teammates.”
One person who has been vital to Marquardt’s career is his father, Charlie Marquardt, who also happens to be the Men’s Basketball Team’s coach.
“It has been a blessing coaching my son. He works hard and is a very good teammate. It has been a joy to see him mature, grow and improve,” said Coach Marquardt.
As well as Marquardt coaching his son, Assistant Coach Pat Morris’s son, Jaylen Morris, also scored 1,000 points last year.
When discussing basketball, Coach Marquardt and Charlie have similar views on what the sport is truly about. “Basketball is a fast moving, action packed sport full of sacrifice and commitment in every possession,” said Coach Marquardt.
The impression Charlie Marquardt Sr. has left on his son is evident, with Charlie sharing that he believes, “Within this process of work to achieve the optimum goal, a bond grows between the coaches and teammates that is unbreakable and it creates an enjoyable, fun atmosphere that teaches teamwork and selflessness.”
Watch Charlie and his teammates play Robert Wesleyan College in the Quealy Gym on January 28th. Check out www.molloylions.com for more information on everything Molloy Athletics.
More available upon request.