The Sachem Athletic Class of 2017 was inducted on October 7, 2017. More than 200 people attended the ceremony in the gymnasium lobby at Sachem High School North.
All induction capsules that were read during the event are posted below for all to enjoy and learn about this incredible group of Sachem alumni, coaches and supporters.
Joe Amplo, Class of 1995: Joe Amplo was a two-sport student-athlete at Sachem and graduated in 1995 having captained both the football and lacrosse teams. He was a driving force on our Long Island championship lacrosse team in 1995 and the football team that was a county finalist in 1994. Amplo, who played at and was an assistant at Hofstra University, is entering his sixth season as the head men’s lacrosse coach at Marquette University, where he has built the program into a Big East Conference Champion and established himself as one of the top head coaches in NCAA men’s lacrosse. Last year Amplo was named the USILA Howdy Myers Man of the Year, an honored presented annually to an outstanding coach who strong leadership principles.
Daniel Brienza, Class of 1999: Daniel Brienza was a four-year member of the varsity soccer team and graduated from Sachem in 1999. He was the captain of both of Sachem’s state championship teams in 1997 and 1998. Daniel was All-American, All-Region, All-State, and All-County and he was the first freshman letter winner and starter on the Sachem varsity soccer team since 1960. He hobbled through the last month of his senior season with a bad ankle to help win a state title while being voted state tournament MVP. Over a four-year varsity career, he recorded 65 points. At Johns Hopkins University, Daniel captained the team his senior year and was recognized with a number of honors, including first team All-Conference, twice voted to the All-Academic, All-Centennial team, second team All-Region, and All-District first team. His Hopkins team record the four years he played was 64-12 to go along with two NCAA berths. He is ranked in several categories in the Hopkins 80-year record books: ninth in consecutive games of a goal or assist and fourth in single season assists. He was also a U23 National Champion and played professionally for Sao Paolo FC and throughout Italy.
Brian Brecht, Class of 1991: Brian Brecht played four years of lacrosse at Sachem before playing collegiately at Springfield College.Over the last 20-plus years Brian has been a men’s college lacrosse coach, and is entering his 14th season as a head coach, first at Sienna College and now Rutger’s University. At Sienna, he was a three-time MAAC Coach of the Year. In 2016, Brecht led Rutgers to one of the largest turnarounds in Division I lacrosse, improving the team’s record to 11-5. For his efforts, he was named Big Ten Coach of the Year and the Scarlet Knights tied the program record for wins, defeating three ranked opponents. Last season saw Rutgers complete a 10-4 campaign, recording double-digit wins in back-to-back seasons for the first time in program history. The Scarlet Knights were nationally ranked each week of the season, and rose at one point to No. 1 in the nation in the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll. Prior to his long stops at Sienna and Rutgers as a head coach, Brecht was an assistant at Hartwick, Penn, Army, Rutgers and Loyola.
Matt Brisson, Coach: Matt Brisson was a longtime head girls’ basketball coach in Sachem, serving both Sachem North and Sachem East during his coaching tenure. An assistant for a number of years, he began as the head coach at Sachem North during the 2002-2003 season before transferring to Sachem East when the building opened in 2004. Brisson’s teams captured three Suffolk County Championships, two Long Island crowns and one state title during his run. He also coached numerous All-Long Island and All-State players and 21 of his players went on to pay at the collegiate level. He had a 32-12 postseason record and 218-48 overall coaching record at Sachem. He was a two-time Newsday Suffolk County Coach of the Year, and in 2010 he was named New York State Sportswriters Association Class AA Coach of the Year. Since his Sachem days have ended, he served briefly as the head coach at McGann-Mercy and currently is the head girls coach at Patchogue-Medford High School. Perhaps what he is most proud of is being the son of a longtime Sachem administrator who helped build our district into something special. Matt will tell you he just wanted to make the old man, Bernie Brisson, proud, but he made us all proud with his class, dignity and Sachem pride and spirit.
John Carvalheira, Class of 1993: John Carvalheira is one of the best wrestlers in Sachem history. He was a two-time Suffolk County champ and also won a state title in 1992. John was a three-time all-county wrestler. As a senior, after losing a controversial match in the New York State tournament, he put in a remarkable four-week season in getting ready for the High School Nationals. He rebounded to win the National Championship. In 1993, he was the first wrestler from Long Island to be named as a National High School Coaches Association Nation Champ. As a grappler at Rider University, John was a two-time NCAA Division I All-American and two-time East Coast Conference Champion, as well as ECC Wrestler of the Year in 1998. He was a two-time Rider Athlete of the Year as well. John and Dan Mayo, a fellow inductee in the Sachem Hall of Fame, are the only wrestlers in Sachem history to be named a Division I All-American and they both placed twice.
Jeanna Composti Sondag, Class of 1999: Jeanna Composti Sondag was a cross country and track and field star at Sachem in the late 1990s. Jeanna was one of Suffolk’s top middle distance athletes in all 12 of her seasons on Sachem teams. The 1999 graduate and All-American was a national indoor mile champion, a New York State champion in the 1,500-meter, 1,000-meter and 4×800 meter events, and a member of an All-American distance medley relay. She earned county championships in all four years of high school, and set the mile record at Sachem in one of her two Golden West Invitational trips with a time of 4:51.33 in 1998. She owns Sachem indoor records in the 800, 1,500 and mile, and is also a part of five other team relay records. After her Sachem days, Composti ran at the University of Virginia and was All-ACC in the 800-meter race as a freshman. Most recently she qualified and ran in the U.S. Olympic Trials marathon and had a personal best time of 2:39:16.
Matt “Dezy” DiStefano, Class of 1996: Matt “Dezy” DiStefano is one of the best two-sport athletes in Sachem history and probably the best in the combined sports of volleyball and basketball. As a volleyball player, Dezy is the only two-time Suffolk County MVP in county history, honors he achieved in 1994 and 1995. He was also named as the Most Outstanding Senior on Long Island in ’95. As a team captain, he helped lead Sachem to two Suffolk County volleyball titles in 1994 and 1995 and a 36-0 record during his time on the varsity. During the 1996 basketball season, he was Sachem’s top defender on the only boys Suffolk County championship season in district history. He was also a two-sport athlete at Mount Saint Vincent (actually three if you count the year of soccer he played as a sophomore!). Amidst a number of accolades from his post-high school days are most notably being inducted to the NECVA Volleyball Hall of Fame and having his volleyball number retired at Mount Saint Vincent. Dezy has also been a Sachem coach for the last 17 years in various capacities for both volleyball and basketball at the varsity and junior varsity levels. He and fellow Sachem North boys volleyball coach and alum Matt Rivera reached the pinnacle, guiding the Flaming Arrows to a New York State title and No. 1 ranking in the state in 2014.
Patty Fabian Scaturro, Class of 1978: Patty Fabian Scaturro was a three-sport athlete at Sachem, starring in field hockey, basketball and volleyball from 1976 through 1978. She also spent time coaching all three sports at Sagamore for most of the 1980s. In field hockey she was all-league, all-conference and a team MVP. In basketball, she was a team co-MVP, outstanding defensive player award winner, a coach’s award winner and led the team to a league championship and county finals. In volleyball, she was all-league. During her tenure as a student-athlete all three teams competed regularly for league and division titles and she was the captain of all three varsity teams as well. Patty was also a Gold Key Winner and the top senior student-athlete at Sachem in 1978. In college, Patty was a two-sport athlete in fied hockey and basketball and earned All-Conference honors in hoops in 1979.
Mike Falcon, wrestling, Class of 1980: Mike Falcon is one of the best wrestlers in Sachem history. To this day, he is the only wrestler in Sachem history to win two New York State championships. He was also a 1980 junior Greco Roman National Champion. In 1979 Mike was a conference, county and state champion, as well as a U.S. Wrestling Federation Freestyle State Champion and Greco-Roman runner-up. He followed that up with an incredible senior year in 1980, winning again conference, county and state titles, in addition to a U.S.W.F. Eastern U.S. Championship, finishing as a runner-up at the Regional Olympic Trials, winning a U.S. Junior National Greco-Roman title, and being named as a Scholastic Wrestling News Honorable Mention All-American. He finished his Sachem wrestling career with an incredible 98-5-1 record. Mike proudly works in Sachem today on the district’s security team.
Michael Farley, Class of 1984: Michael Farley was a three-sport athlete who graduated from Sachem in 1984. Michael was a leader and outstanding lineman on Sachem’s undefeated 1983 Suffolk County champion football team and was honored with the Zellner Award as the top lineman in Suffolk County following his senior season. He was also named Team MVP that season, as well as a U.S.A. Today second team All-American, All-Tri-State, All-State, All-Long Island, All-County, All-Conference and All-League. In wrestling, he was all-league and placed third in the county as a senior. In lacrosse, he was all-county and all-league. Michael lettered in football at Cornell University and was recognized with the Paul N. Hunt Citizen Award as a senior. Legendary Sachem football coach Fred Fusaro said it best when he reminded us that Michael was the only athlete he ever coached who was accepted into every Ivy League college, calling him a “true student-athlete.” He also said he was as tough and hard-nosed as anyone.
Bill Kropp, Class of 1977: To cut to the chase, Bill Kropp is the winningest volleyball coach in New York State history. Bill coached four sports at Sachem, including three on the varsity, which included volleyball for both boys and girls, swimming and diving and winter track. He was also a freshman cross country coach. Bill has one of the most impressive coaching resumes you’ll see in the state, so we’ll try and stick to the eye-popping numbers for this. Keep in mind he is also currently the head men’s volleyball coach at St. Joseph’s college in Patchogue where he loves to recruit Sachem student-athletes. But back to the data … Bill founded the boys’ volleyball program at Sachem in 1989 and was the head coach at Sachem High and then Sachem East for a combined 27 years. He finished with a record of 366 and 115. His teams won five Suffolk County championships, 12 division championships and six league titles. He won a Long Island title in 2013, but keep in mind the Long Island and state tournament for boys volleyball only started in 2010, so there would likely be many more titles if his teams had the opportunity. In girls’ volleyball, over 12 years he was 222 and 44, won three county championships, and appeared in 10 out of 12 possible Suffolk County final fours! That’s a combined 588 and 159 record as a varsity head coach if you’re counting.
Chris LaMorte, Class of 1992: When you talk Sachem gymnastics history, there are two names that always come up: the legendary coach Ken Freidheim, who was inducted to this Hall of Fame last year, and Chris Lamorte, who graduated from Sachem in 1992 after a four-year varsity career as arguably the greatest to ever compete on the rings in New York State. In fact, he was ranked No. 1 in the United States on the rings from 1992 through 1998. Chris was a four-time state champion at rings from 1989 through 1992. He was a high school national champion in 1992, the same year he achieved a perfect 10.0 on the rings at the Empire State Games, which was the first achievement of its kind in the state. Chris was also a two-time NCAA Division I ring champion at the University of New Mexico. Even better, he is the only person in NCAA gymnastics history to win an NCAA title as a freshman. In 1996, he was a finalist at the World Championships, the only person from the U.S. to reach that level that year, and in 1998 he was a champion at the Goodwill Games.
Steve Lorincz, Coach: Steve Lorincz was the Sachem girls varsity soccer coach from 1983 through 1996 and had a record of 202-44-2 in 14 seasons. At various times, he also coached the JV girls soccer, freshman boys soccer, and freshman and middle school softball teams. Lorincz’s teams won two New York State titles in 1987 and 1993. The ’87 squad was a perfect 25-0. They won four Long Island and Suffolk County titles in 1987, 1988, 1993 and 1995. They also won eight League 1 crowns and were ranked in the top 10 in the state 11 times, not to mention four times in the NSCAA top 20. He also coached five high school All-Americans. Personally, he won two NSCAA regional coach of the year honors, and was a three-time New York State Coach of the Year and four-time Suffolk County coach of the year. Playing for coach Lorincz meant fun, family, friendships and playing hard all the time.
Pat Metcalf, Coach: Pat Metcalf was the Sachem varsity field hockey coach from 1975 through 1990 and also coached with JV and varsity girls basketball teams. Her 1989 Sachem field hockey team was undefeated League I champions, Suffolk County and Long Island champions and New York State semi-finalists. Outside of Sachem, Patty was a Section XI field hockey official from 1991 through 2017. She was also coach of the Empire State Games field hockey scholastic division team. In 1996, coach was honored with the Roz Mularz Award from Suffolk County Coaches Association for contributing to the growth and development of Field Hockey in Suffolk County. In 2003, Patty was honored with the inaugural Marilyn Cross Golden Whistle Award from the Suffolk County Coaches Association for exemplifying love of Field Hockey; utmost integrity; and fostering firm respect while developing young athletes.”
Pete Montalbano, Coach: Peter Montalbano coached five different sports at multiple schools at Sachem from 1972 to 2010. Most notably, Peter was the Sachem boys varsity soccer assistant for 25 years, guiding one of the top programs on Long Island with fellow coach and Hall of Fame inductee, Frank Schmidt. In those 25 years, the boys soccer team won 11 league titles, five county championships, four Long Island titles, and two state titles. They were recognized with the sportsmanship award during the 1996 state championship tournament. And the team was an astounding 293-88-42 during his tenure with the varsity. In Suffolk County soccer, he is ranked number one in years of service as an assistant with those 25 seasons to his credit. Before he became a legend in Sachem, he was an All-New England selection as a soccer player at Springfield College, and he played his prep days at West Islip, who honored him with the high school’s alumni award in 1990. Frank Schmidt would be the first to tell you that Sachem soccer would not be as successful, would not have won those championships and would not have compiled such a dominant stretch during the 80s and 90s if not for Coach Montalbano.
Mike O’Flaherty, Coach: Mike O’Flaherty coached at Sachem for 32 years. He coached teams in six different sports, including four at the varsity level. If you add it up, Mike directed teams at Sachem in both boys and girls sports for a total of 61 seasons. Coach “O” was Sachem’s varsity softball coach for six years, qualifying for the Suffolk County playoffs every year. Most notable in Coach O’Flaherty’s career was his connection and participation in Sachem’s boys soccer program. He was privileged to be on the sidelines as an assistant for Sachem’s back to back state championships in 1997 and 1998. He was the Sachem’s boys junior varsity coach from 1982-2005 with a combined record of 294 Wins, 65 Losses, 12 Ties. Coach O was voted League I “Coach of The Year” five times, and led the JV to a 56-game consecutive unbeaten streak spanning five seasons and 17 straight first place finishes. Perhaps most impressive, during his tenure, the Sachem J.V. went undefeated seven times with one of those seasons being a little “extra special” as that team was both undefeated AND UNSCORED upon. Talk about legendary.
Kathleen O’Reilly, Class of 1984: Kathleen was a three-sport athlete at Sachem and starred in soccer, basketball and softball. She was all-county in soccer and softball, but let’s get right to the heart of legendary tales with basketball where Sachem legend and Hall of Famer Risa Zander said Kathleen packed the gym every night and was nicknamed the Kamikaze Kid by the New York Daily News for her aggressive play. A co-captain, Team MVP, outstanding senior student-athlete, All-American, All-State, All-Long Island, Kathleen did it all. She led Sachem to three League championships, three Class A championships, two Long Island titles, and a New York State public school championship in the early 1980s. She led the team in scoring, assists and steals and was MVP of the New York State championships. It gets better. Playing at Seton Hall she was a four-year starter, was named to the All-Big East Rookie Team, was named All-Big East Player of the Week multiple times and scored over 1,000 career points. She also held the career assists record for 29 years, and still holds the single-season assists mark.
Linda Otten, Administrator: Linda was a gifted athlete, teacher, coach and administrator. A graduate of Hicksville High School, she also attended Troy State University. She was a physical education teacher at Sachem, Sagamore, and Samoset. Linda was the varsity coach of both softball and girls tennis. An avid golfer, she was club champion at Port Jefferson Country Club for seven consecutive years. She became the assistant director of physical education, health education, and athletics at Sachem in 1980. She served admirably in that capacity until her retirement in 1999.
Tony Petillo, Class of 1974: As a student-athlete at Sachem, Tony captained the football and lacrosse teams and was All-League in both sports. He also played football and lacrosse at Hofstra where he was an All-Metropolitan Conference selection in 1977 for lacrosse, and he played in two NCAA tournaments. Tony captained the Long Island Lacrosse Club to four national championships and four runner-up honors between 1979 and 1986. As a coach, Tony was an assistant in football and lacrosse for 35 years at Sachem. He helped guide and mold young men at all levels alongside Fred Fusaro on the gridiron and Rick Mercurio in lacrosse. He was a part of more than 500 varsity wins, a state lacrosse championship in 1993, and a Rutgers Trophy and county football championship in 1986. He has also been a lacrosse clinician and speaker throughout the country and across the world, helping recently with the Federation of International Lacrosse.
Eric Reichenbach, Class of 1988: Eric Reichenbach is one of the best baseball players to ever play at Sachem. As a junior, he was the ace on Sachem’s county championship team in 1987, throwing a herculean back-to-back days, recording two shutouts and a no-hitter against East Islip. That will likely be the greatest individual performance you will ever see from a Sachem baseball player, ever. That season Eric was runner-up for the Yastrzemski Award given to the top player in Suffolk County. He was also All-County his junior and senior seasons. In 1988, he was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the Major League Baseball Draft, but opted to attend and play at St. John’s University where he was rose to the occasion and was eventually an All-American by 1991, the same year the New York Mets selected him in that year’s amateur draft. He spent four years in the Mets organization before retiring from professional baseball and starting his career as a teacher and coach. For the last 13 years, he has been the head varsity baseball coach at Mt. Sinai High School. In 2016, he was named Suffolk County Coach of the Year.
Steve Rich, Coach: Steve Rich is the winningest and longest tenured boys varsity basketball coach in Sachem history. Coach Rich compiled a record of 257-125 in 19 seasons from 1978 through 1997. He was the head coach for Sachem boys basketball’s only Suffolk County championship win in 1995. Coach was a two-time Suffolk County Coach of the Year, and eight-time League I Coach of the Year. During the 1980-1981 season, tied its best season with 20 wins and coach was named Long Island, Suffolk County and League I Coach of the Year.
Shannon Weeks McCormack, Class of 1996: Shannon Weeks is one of the few rarified athletes in Sachem history that won a national championship while competing for the Flaming Arrows. She captured the 800-meter national title in the 1994-1995 season, and also has a number of state and county titles on her resume. Shannon, who was all-county in all 12 of her track and field and cross country seasons, was an All-American in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles. She won state titles in the 600-meter, 800-meter, 1,000-meter, and 400-meter intermediate hurdles, and was a four-time county champion in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles, as well as two-time county champion in the 600 and 800 and also won a county title in the 1000. The 1996 Salutatorian went to the University of Virginia where she ran briefly on scholarship before stopping to focus fully on academics. After receiving her B.A. in mathematics with distinction, Shannon earned a J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School and an LLM in taxation from the Georgetown Law Center. She is now a law professor, and has taught in various capacities at Harvard Law School, the University of California, and the University of Washington.
Mike Westscott, Coach: Coach Mike Westcott was the boys’ varsity swimming coach from 1972 through 1992 and the girls varsity swimming coach from 1986 through 1992. He also coached Sachem golf from 1995 to 1997, and was the badminton coach at Smithtown East from 1984 to 1991. Among countless victories and league titles, were also four county championships for the girls team and one county championship for the boys squad. The individual honors our Sachem swimmers piled up during 20 years of coaching is insurmountable. From scholarships to all-county and all-state honors, the recognitions are in the hundreds. It’s important to note that Mike had an instrumental role in building the Sachem Swim Club from 1972 through 1993. Thousands of student-athletes began their careers in that swim club prior to eventually representing Sachem on the varsity. Prior to being hired at Sachem, Mike served in the U.S. Air Force and served our country in the Vietnam War from 1965 to 1968. He attended Cortland State University and was hired as a physical education teacher at Sachem North in 1972.
Wayne Wilson, Class of 1987: Wayne Wilson was a three-sport athlete. He was a five-year varsity wrestler and was a three-year varsity player in both football and baseball. Where do we begin! We’ll save the wrestling accolades for last since they’re the most impressive, but in football he helped the team capture a county title and Rutger’s Trophy as the top school in the county in 1986. In baseball, he was a starter on the 1987 county championship team, and was all-county as a junior and senior. He also had the second highest batting average in the county as a senior. On the wrestling mat, he was a four-time league champion, two-time Suffolk County champion, a two-time New York State place winner and won a New York State crown in 1987. His high school record was an incredible 102-5. He was the most outstanding wrestling in the county in 1986 and won the prestigious Doc Fallot Award. He was a High School All-American his senior year. Wayne is one of two wrestlers in Suffolk County history to win four League I championships. At Sachem, he won the Richard Van Norr Award as the district’s top male student-athlete as a senior. Today, he proudly serves as Sachem’s Director of Security.
Alex Young, Coach: Alex Young is another one of our distinguished alumni who chose to spend his career educating, mentoring and coaching in the Sachem district, his home. He graduated in 1977 and began working here not long after, though did not start coaching until 1990. Since then, Coach Young has lead Sachem track and field and cross country teams for a combined 72 SEASONS! That’s spread across boys and girls track and field and cross country. He has dedicated the last 27 years of his life to coaching. Though he retired officially last June from teaching, he will remain involved coaching in different seasons moving forward. Alex has hands down one of the most impressive track and field resumes of any coach on Long Island: He has coached more than 150 all-county athletes, and more than 50 county champions. He has coached 14 state champions and more than 50 all-state and all-federation athletes. He coached six national champions and nine All-Americans and more than 50 team members who competed at national championship meets. His teams won a combined 20 league championships and five county championships in winter and spring track. He was a six-time county coach of the year, a 2002 Long Island Track and Field President’s Award winner. Most impressively, all 72 seasons worth of teams – literally every one – was a New York State scholar-athlete team!
Tom Zambrotta, Class of 1984: Thomas Zambrotta graduated from Sachem in 1984 as one of the district’s top all-time gymnasts. A captain of the team at Sachem, he was a scholar-athlete, and a high school All-American. Thomas was a Suffolk County gold medalist, a New York State gold medalist and also won gold at the Empire State Games and the National Boys Invitational. He took his talents to Princeton University where he was also a team captain and graduated in 1988. For the Tigers, he was an Ivy League Gold Medalist and all-around champion. Also on his resume is a North Atlantic Gymnastic League Gold Medal and All-Around championship.