Paul Pereira, Mineola High School’s soccer coach, said he knew Flabio Anjo would be a tremendous asset to the team when Anjo attended soccer camp in third grade.
“He’s not exactly the biggest guy on the field, but without a doubt plays the biggest role of any player I’ve had relative to his size,” Pereira, who also serves as Mineola deputy mayor, said.
At center defense, Anjo goes against some of the largest opponents on the field, Pereira said. His “amazing vertical leap” and aggressive attitude would make him a successful player anywhere on the field, Pereira said.
Pereira recognized Anjo during a Nov. 30 Mineola Board of Education meeting, where six all-county athletes for the fall season were honored. Anjo received all-county honors and was named all-county Defensive Player of the Year.
This year Anjo, a senior who will go on to play at the collegiate level, served as the captain of the varsity team he has played on since 10th grade.
“We’re going to miss him next year but I’m glad that I got to finish my career coaching at Mineola with such an exceptional young man,” Pereira, who recently finished his 25th and final year of coaching at Mineola, said. “I know that there are going to be many great things for him in the future.”
Pereira also recognized Christian Melendez, a junior who has played on the varsity team since his freshman year, and will return to play for Mineola next year.
Tom Leninger, the cross country coach, recognized two of his runners, Gabriel Silver, a junior, and Ryan DeMagistris, a senior. Both were all-county runners this year and last, Leninger said.
DeMagistris is a detail-oriented athlete who “lives, eats and breathes long-distance running,” Leninger said. DeMagistris received all-county honors for three years, and is looking to continue competing at the collegiate level, Leninger said.
“You can’t teach passion,” Leninger said. “And that’s what Ryan has and that’s what he brings to our team every day.”
Ralph Amitrano, supervisor of health and physical education, recognized the two all-county athletes who were unable to attend the meeting: Nicole Genova for soccer and Samantha Schroeder for volleyball.
During the meeting Amitrano also gave the annual athletics and physical education report.
This season was special as the teams “christened the new field,” Amitrano said. Alumni came back just to have a chance to play on it, Amitrano said.
There are 59 sport teams in the district, and over 800 athletic events per year, according to Amitrano. There are 249 athletes in the middle school and 359 in the high school.
The district values safety in its programs, Amitrano said. The coaches are CPR and first aid certified, as well as head trauma certified. Additionally, Amitrano said the district uses five-star-rated helmets and stays up to date by ordering about a dozen new helmets each year.
In terms of physical education, Amitrano said the district has different learning objectives for each grade. For example, kindergarten and first grade focus on gross motor assessments and fifth grade focuses on muscle identification and actions. Eighth and ninth grade focus on personal fitness understanding, and the three highest grades focus on self-prescription for exercise.
In the elementary schools, for kindergarten through fourth grade, the physical education objectives also align with the ELA and Math Common Core, Amitrano said.
“Relative to what’s going on in the classroom, [students] are doing something in the gym,” Amitrano said.
During the meeting the board also returned to the discussion of a possible later start time for the high school.
Superintendent Michael Nagler said he doesn’t think it’s a likely outcome due to several issues, mainly with busing. But he said he’s more than happy for a committee to form and to look into the matter.
The board decided to survey parents to see if there is a desire to change the start time and will move forward with a committee depending on the outcome.