Girls Team Receives Recognition from Supervisor DeSena

On Wednesday, May 5, 2022, Saint Mary’s High School welcomed the Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jennifer DeSena to meet a terrific group of young ladies known as the 2022 CHSAA New York State “AA” League Girls Basketball Champions. By special invitation from Rev. Fr. Robert A. Romeo, who serves as pastor of the Church and Schools of Saint Mary, Supervisor DeSena was pleased to accept the opportunity to visit campus. No stranger to the St. Mary’s community, DeSena has called the parish her home for the past 22 years and continues to serve as a lector and leader of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul chapter sponsored by the church.

After praying together as a group, Fr. Bob praised the mighty squad of ten. He delivered his words of praise and gratitude to the team for achieving the New York State championship crown and representing the school community in such an admirable manner. “Gracious God, and heavenly Father, we thank you for the wondrous gifts and talents of our girls’ basketball team. For their ability to work together and share those skills and moments on the court where they acted with sportsmanship, those times that they held up the ideals of what it means to be a follower of you. We know that they will be blessings to the world to come.” The old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words rings true as he noted that “the photos taken during the games demonstrated the pure joy that the team and school community experienced during the playoffs. They show what you have done for our school. We’re so proud of you, and you have much to be proud of yourselves.”

High School Principal Gerard Buckley addressed the group, reminding them of the school’s small stature with the drive and ambition to play in the “AA” league among other educational institutions with a much larger student body. “When news media interviewed Head Coach Kevin White after the win, he was so proud to share that there’s no denying that we’re playing against schools in the double-A that have thousands of kids, and our school was the one that came out with the championship.” He said, “I think this speaks especially to the coaching staff, but then to the dedication of these young ladies and commitment to staying focused and following through.”

Along with coaches and administrators, the team was honored to meet the Supervisor, who extended congratulations on behalf of the entire North Hempstead Town Board to the victorious St. Mary’s Gaels and presented each player with a certificate commemorating their incredible season. “I’ve been watching your journey. I loved seeing the sign outside congratulating you; you’ve made everyone proud – your families, classmates, the parishioners, and Fr. Bob. What you’ve done for each other, and your classmates really raised them up.”

Supervisor DeSena asked the ladies, “has the shock worn off yet of being state champions?” The sudden giddy laughter was a good sign of a collaborative answer. She said, “I’m sure you’ll always remember the buzzer, the memories of cheering and celebrating. [Do] you know when you should go back to those memories? When you’re having a bad day, go back to those memories. Remember how hard it was to get this, all the hours in the gym, the hours of practice. So, when there are other times in your life when you’re in those middle hours, and you feel discouraged, just remember, you know what it’s like to get through those hours of hard work and supporting each other as a team, having the support of your coaches, got you through those hours of workouts and practice to achieve your goals. Being part of a team is a privilege. Know that you always had people helping you, and God was with you.”

Thank you, Supervisor DeSena, for your words of wisdom for today and future success. As you reminded our ladies that they are role models, you serve as a role model to them, not only as a female in a leadership role but also in your faith in God.

The team and coaches each received personalized basketballs from Fr. Bob and the administration in celebration of their victory. Athletic Director Patrick Welsh was also presented a ball for the school's hall of trophies. Each team member will sign the basketball to be placed in the storied athletic program display in Marist Hall. In return, the team presented both Fr. Bob and Supervisor DeSena with a token of their appreciation for their support - personalized team t-shirts, which we hope to spot being worn around town.

Commemorative Basketballs

Watch this video as coaches and players share their perspectives of their winning season.

For more information on the academic and athletic programs at St. Mary’s High School, please call 516-627-2711 ext 1084 or email Mrs. Norma Stafford, director of admissions, at [email protected].

Photos by Gregory Shemitz for the St. Mary’s Office of Communications. To request permission to republish images, contact Eileen Symmons, director of communications: [email protected].