More Student and Alumni Sports News

Riverhead School District takes special pride in the performance of its
students and alumni. We have begun to receive emails from students and alumni (and/or their friends, teachers and parents) to inform us of their accomplishments in athletics and academics.

Here are some recent submissions:

2014-2015 Student Alumni News:










Julia Morrow Named to NFCA Division II National Player of the Year Top 50 Watch List

JuliaLOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Tampa’s Julia Morrow has been named to the inaugural Schutt Sports/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II National Player of the Year Top 50 Watch List announced on Monday by the association's offices in Louisville, Kentucky.

Morrow leads the Spartans into 2015 as the senior is coming off a season where she was 15-5 with an NCAA best 0.72 ERA. In 126.1 innings, the Baiting Hollow, N.Y. native had 195 strikeouts averaging 10.8 per seven innings, which was fourth best in the nation. Morrow recorded 12 complete games, along with six shutouts and three saves on the year.

The National Fastpitch Coaches Association is proud to announce that 50 student-athletes from across the country have been selected to the watch list for the inaugural Schutt Sports/NFCA Division II National Player of the Year award.

Click here for the complete release

2013-14 School Year

Julia Morrow plays for the University of Tampa Spartans. Here's a clip about what she's been doing . . .

Julia MorrowUT's Julia Morrow Named SSC Softball Pitcher of the Week
March 3, 2014
WINTER PARK, Fla. – Tampa's Julia Morrow has been selected Sunshine State Conference Softball Pitcher of the Week presented by VALIC.
     Morrow, a junior from Baiting Hollow, N.Y., recorded two wins, a save and a complete-game one-hit shutout to lead the No. 21 Spartans to a 4-1 (3-0 SSC) week. The junior pitched a complete-game one-hit shutout against Michigan-Dearborn in on 8-0 (5 inning) victory. She recorded 11 strikeouts in the 5-inning game.
     In game two against Saint Leo, Morrow pitched a complete-game two-hitter in a 2-1 victory where she recorded 11 more strikeouts. In the series finale against Saint Leo, Morrow collected her first career save pitching two innings of scoreless softball in a 2-1 win. Morrow held a 0.00 ERA, gave up just three hits, struck out 25 batters and walked just two in 14 innings of work.
     For more than half a century, VALIC has served as the leading retirement plan provider for higher education, as well as for K-12 schools and school districts, healthcare, government and other not-for-profit institutions. VALIC has more than $65 billion in total assists under management and manages plans for nearly 25,000 groups serving nearly two million plan participants. VALIC represents The Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company and its subsidiaries, VALIC Financial Advisors, Inc., and VALIC Retirement Services Company. >More and More

julia morrow

Local colleges: Naysha Trent leads Suffolk CC to Region XV semifinal win
Originally published: March 1, 2014 9:47 PM
Updated: March 1, 2014 9:50 PM

TrentRiverhead's Naysha Trent takes a steal in for two points against Whitman on Dec. 4, 2012. (Credit: George A. Faella)
Naysha Trent had 25 points and six rebounds as second-seeded Suffolk CC topped Rockland CC, 56-42, Saturday in a Region XV women's basketball tournament semifinal.
    Marta Czaplak added 10 points and eight rebounds, and Megan O'Connell chipped in 10 points for Suffolk (17-6). O'Connell and Czaplak each scored six points during the second half when Suffolk had a 25-13 edge. Suffolk hosts top-seeded and eighth-ranked Sullivan CC in a final Sunday at 1:30 p.m. >More

2011-12 School Year

Monday, May 14, 2012

 Shamel Lewis

SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY: Shamel Lewis, a former Riverhead High School
track star and alumnus, recently graduated from Syracuse University. RHS teachers Jill
Tapper and Sal Loverde traveled to Syracuse to attend his graduation ceremony to con-
gratulate him on this major accomplishment in his life. >More

See: Links to Shamel Lewis as a RHS athlete / Sports Alumni History
Also See: Syracuse University's Newspaper article on Shamel

2010-11 School Year

June 2012 -
Jackie Zilnicki named to 2012 NFCA Division III All-American Team

Tuesday, June 14, 2011
COLLEGE SOFTBALL: Zilnicki receives honors Former Riverhead High School star Jackie Zilnicki, a junior at Western Connecticut State University, was named to the Little East All-Conference second team as well as the second teams of the New England Softball Coaches Association Division III all-star team and the National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-New England team. Zilnicki finished the season with a .351 batting average, 30 runs scored, a .981 fielding percentage and went 19 for 20 in stolen bases.

Thursday, June 10, 2010
Zilnicki caps career in D-III World Series

ZilnickiIt was a memorable way to cap off his college baseball career.

John Zilnicki, a 2005 graduate of Riverhead High School, was not only the starting first baseman, he played an integral role in SUNY/Cortland's march to the finals of the NCAA Division III World Series. While Cortland fell to Illinois Wesleyan, 17-5, in the championship game on June 1 at Fox Cities Stadium in Chute, Wis., Zilnicki had a string of big hits in the Red Dragons' drive to the title game.

April 29, 2010
Owen to try out for Jets
Ex-Riverhead star receives call after NFL draft

OwenSYRACUSE UNIVERSITY Syracuse tight end Mike Owen, shown making a catch against Rutgers, was invited to a tryout by the New York Jets.

In a reference to his modest receiving statistics last season, Mike Owen took a realistic approach to his view of the National Football League draft. "I'm at the bottom of the barrel," Owen was quoted as saying by before the draft.

And yet, even though Owen wasn't drafted last week, the Syracuse University senior tight end may have felt as if he was on top of the world when he received a phone call from the New York Jets.

The Jets have invited the former Riverhead High School football star to try out for the team. Owen received the invitation about 45 minutes after the conclusion of the NFL draft on Saturday.
An undrafted free agent from Riverhead gets a shot at the NFL.

First, one of Owen's agents, Craig Redd, called to say that the Jets wanted him. Owen, who watched the televised draft along with his parents, Don and Pam, at his apartment in Syracuse, was speechless. "I couldn't even say anything," Owen said in a phone interview. "I was bouncing off the walls. I was running all over the place. I broke down in tears. It was the greatest moment in my life."

Parker Ince, class of 2006, is a competitive runner.

Parker(May 2009) At RHS Parker Ince participated in Cross Country and track. While attending SUNY-New Paltz, he was on the Cross Country team.

Recently, Parker earned a First Place in his age group in a Duathlon at Eisenhower Park. Last week he entered the Long Island Marathon, his first marathon. Parker finished 27th out of 512, with a time of 3:10:05.

Bailey Ince, RHS class of 2007 (Update 4/23/10)


Bailey Ince, RHS 2007 and a senior at
Adelphi University, in recognition of
National Student Athlete Day,
was awarded the
Presidential Award for Excellence in
Academics and Athletics,
from TD Bank and Adelphi University. 

BaileyTrackBailey Ince, RHS class of 2007, attends Adelphi University where he is a member of the Cross Country and Track teams. A middle distance runner,he runs the 4x400m relay, and qualified this year for winter track Nationals in the 800m.

In April he was honored with a National Student Athlete award.

RHS Alumni Ashley Lewis Named Performer of the Week
from University at Albany

AshleyLewisCAMBRIDGE, Mass.- In the final week of regular season competition before the America East Outdoor Track & Field Championships, University at Albany’s Joe Greene (Rochester, N.Y./Edison Tech), Laura Cummings (Bay Shore, N.Y./Bay Shore), Wilfredo de Jesus Elias (Arroyo, P.R./Natividad Rodriguez Gonzalez) and Ashley Lewis (Riverhead, N.Y./Riverhead) each qualified for post-season competition, resulting in a Great Dane-sweep of the Performer of the Week awards.

Lewis, the female Field Performer of the Week, broke a school record, recorded an ECAC qualifying mark and won two events while placing second in another at the Capital District Classic held at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The junior broke the school record and qualified for the ECAC meet in the javelin with a first-place throw of 136-feet, 6-inches. She also set a personal record by almost 18 feet to become the first Great Dane on the women’s team to ever reach the qualifying standard for the ECAC meet in the event. In addition, she placed second in the discus throw with a toss that was marked at 128-0 and won the long jump with a leap of 16-11.25.

Riverhead High School:

Lettered in track and field all four years and in tennis for three years at Riverhead High School ... Team captain for three years ... Named all-state, all-county and all-league three times ... Earned team MVP accolades twice ... Member of the National Honor Society and Foreign Language Honor Society.


Majoring in biology (pre-medicine) ... Born Dec. 28, 1987 ... Daughter of James and Mary Ann Harris

Four years later, Dougherty's approaching the finish line
Wading River runner nears end of her Villanova career

EllenDoughertyCourtesy Photo: Villanova senior Ellen Dougherty, far left, rounded a turn while running the 800 meters in the Big East Championships. She finished fifth in 2:10.14.

It wasn't long after her arrival at Villanova University four years ago when Ellen Dougherty checked out her workout schedule and was stunned to see that it called for her to run five miles a day. Five miles! "I thought this was insane," said the Wading River woman, who had never run more than 30 miles a week during her career as a standout cross-country and track and field runner for Riverhead High School. Little did she know it at the time, but 60-mile weeks were in her future.

Running cross-country, indoor track and outdoor track for an NCAA Division I team involved a lot more than Dougherty could have imagined back then, and academics were as much of a challenge as athletics.

"It wasn't an easy course load," the senior said. "Classes were hard. I definitely underestimated what it would take to balance Division I athletics and schoolwork."

With the finish line to her college career fast approaching (graduation day will be May 17), Dougherty's days of running for Villanova's track and field team aren't quite over. She will compete in the 800 meters in a regional meet at the end of the month in Greensborough, N.C., with the hope of qualifying for the NCAA Championships.

Villanova hosted the Big East Championships this past weekend for the second straight year. Although Dougherty had to watch last year's conference meet as a spectator because of a foot injury, she was an active participant this time around.

Dougherty anchored a 4x800-meter relay team that included senior Emily McMillan, sophomore Sheila Reid and junior Nicole Schappert. They finished third in 8 minutes 52.01 seconds, behind Georgetown (8:42.40) and Connecticut (8:48.93) in the pouring rain. In addition, Dougherty came in fifth in the 800 in 2:10.14. It was her best outdoor finish individually.

"This has probably been my best season at Villanova," Dougherty said. "I've been running well in both the 800 and the 1,500. The times had been dropping, and my workouts have been very good. I've been healthy and had no injuries."

Remaining injury-free, Dougherty has found, isn't something to be taken for granted. "I've been lucky," she said. "This is a Division I program, and it's very trying. A lot of kids I run against ... they are riddled with injuries."

With the exception of last spring, Dougherty has competed in all the Big East Championships for cross-country, indoor track and outdoor track over the past four years. She was on a Big East champion 4x800 indoor team in 2007 as well as a conference champion 4x800 outdoor team in 2006.

Dougherty's personal-best times are listed as 2:01.86 in the 800, 2:50.99 in the 1,000, 4:26.03 in the 1,500 and 4:51.01 in the mile.

Recalling her high school days, Dougherty had a simpler vision of the track and field world. "I thought you run fast and you go to the nationals and you get sponsored by Nike, and that's it," she said. "It's kind of a humbling experience. I come here and these people run my [high] school records multiple times in a day for a training session."

A political science major with a 3.0 average, Dougherty is still adjusting to the idea that she will soon graduate. She said she has thought about graduate school and law school, but has no definite plans for her future, aside from knowing that she will continue to be a runner.

"It still hasn't really hit me yet that it's going to be over soon," she said. "It was such an experience running for this school. It has such a rich history of athletics, and it's opened a lot of doors for me. It was so worth the ride. I enjoyed it. It's kind of sad that it is ending. That's how it is, I guess."

January 13, 2008 Email to Bill Groth

Melissa Cherniss
is currently a Rotary Exchange Student studying in France during her junior year of high school. She has been a member of the Riverhead High School Girl's Varsity Volleyball team since her Freshman year.

Melissa recently captained a four person team to victory for the championship of Lot Et Garronne UNSS volleyball team by defeating twenty other teams. Each individual on the team received a gold medal for their accomplishments and they have qualified for UNSS French Regionals. I will be sure to keep you up to date on her volleyball achievements.

On a side note, she currently practices with the boys team at the Lycée Bernard Palissy which is the local high school that she is attending in France. Coaches at her school felt that her level of play qualified for inclusion with the boys team.

Furthermore, in June of 2007, Melissa was selected to play on the second seeded team at Bentley College's Elite Women's Volleyball camp. This was an honor for a student just finishing her sophomore year of high school. She has been asked back to the camp for the Summer of 2008. It is with genuine eagerness that she is looking forward to playing her final high school season at Riverhead High School when returns from France in June of 2008.

I also noticed on the RHS website that you have sports news for RHS alumni. I would like to share some information about the achievement of one of my daughter's RHS Girl's Volleyball teammates.

Nicole Orfinatopoulos
- a 2007 Riverhead High School graduate is currently a starter on the Suffolk County Community College Ammerman Campus Women's Volleyball Team. Her team qualified for the NJCCA Division III National Championships in Minneapolis, Minnesota in November of 2007 by earning a record of 15-0 in regional play.

Furthermore, Ms. Orfanitopoulos, was selected to play on court one of the Bentley College Elite Women's Volleyball Camp in the summer of 2006, directly before her senior year at RHS. Young women from all over the country flock to Bentley to participate in this prestigious camp and her inclusion on this elite level team is no small feat.

Leena Peters-Uitto Sets School Heptathlon Record at ECACs
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Junior Leena Peters-Uitto set a school record in the heptathlon to highlight the Plattsburgh State women's track and field team results at the Eastern College Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships. The two-day event concluded late Friday on the campus of Springfield College. The Cardinals scored 11 points to finish in 29th place out of 53 scoring schools, and Moravian won the team title with 57. COMPLETE MEET RESULTS

Peters-Uitto had 3,977 points to end up fifth in the heptathlon, breaking the previous record held by Marcy Moffe who had 3,913 in 1985. That was the oldest outdoor record in Plattsburgh annals, with the 4x800 meter relay in 9 minutes and 39.88 seconds set in 1987 replacing it. Peters-Uitto's best event was the long jump, which she won with a leap of 16 feet and 31/4 inches, or 4.96 meters, to earn 548 points. She also had a third-place showing in the high jump in 4-111/2 ( 1.51m) for 632.

Related Links: Sports Schedule,Physical Education Class Offerings, NCAA Requirements, Bigger, Faster, Stronger Program