What's in the Water When it Comes to Girls Sports?

What do you think helps put the Garden City girls sports programs at the top of the standings year after year?

Let’s begin by saying I’ve been involved in sports long before many of our Patch readers have been around – either as a participant, a coach, a board member, a writer, a photographer or just a plain old fan.

Being a die-hard Mets, Jets, Rangers and Knicks fan I’ve learned the hard way to deal with adversity. But luckily things changed when we moved into Garden City, although I still had my professional team allegiances, I began rooting for the local sports programs. What a bandwagon to jump on! From intramural sports through the high school, every program has had tremendous success.

I’ll try to focus on the things that will try to engage you in a dialogue, but more than likely offer a viewpoint that maybe only I can understand. Well, let’s give it a shot - I’ll kick this off with our high school girls programs.

Have you ever talked to anyone outside of Garden City that is interested in high school sports? Well I have and whenever the discussion goes to the girls programs it’s hard to imagine a town as talented as ours. Too bad ESPN or Sports Illustrated doesn’t hold a poll for top girls programs across all sports in America because we’d have to be near the top! 

When you think about the accomplishments of the girls in 2010 and 2011 - state championships in lacrosse, soccer and track and county champs in field hockey, swimming, basketball, golf and fencing - coupled with the number of athletes that have earned individual honors at an All-American, All-State and All-County level, you have a town that is a powerhouse for girls sports.

But it doesn’t stop with their athletics, because Garden City High School was named for a fifth time in 2010 a scholar/athlete school of distinction. Graduating seniors are regularly going on to elite universities such as Harvard, Yale, Notre Dame, Georgetown and Boston College and the list goes on to look more like a top 25 of The Best of the Best in American Universities. And I haven’t even touched upon the girls in town who elect to go to private high schools and excel at programs at Sacred Heart, Our Lady of Mercy, Kellenberg or Waldorf.

The spring season is well on its way to producing additional outstanding results – golf, track and lacrosse are all undefeated while softball and badminton are well over .500 and all are heading to conference and county championships.

So tell me, what’s in the water when it comes to girls sports? Or better yet, what’s in the programs that are offered to these kids when they are growing up?

It’s one thing to have outstanding high school coaches (which we do) that can develop athletes, but in our town it seems like the youth programs have developed at a pace far quicker than those of other towns and deliver numerous varsity-ready athletes to the high school. Travel programs such as Centennials soccer and Rams lacrosse, as well as the GCAA and CYO intramural programs in a variety of sports, have all helped to elevate the talent pool that eventually gets to the high school. Often times the Garden City teams in these various leagues are playing at the top of their age groups.

So a tip of the hat should go out to not only the high school girls and coaches but also to all of those women and men that have blown a whistle, handled a stop watch and put in an extraordinary number of hours during those developing years of our student athletes.

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Ash Marshall May 04, 2011 at 10:59 PM
Fantastic article, Ed. You always do such a great job covering and promoting the girls and their teams.
R.C. May 05, 2011 at 12:41 AM
Ed Rotondo May 05, 2011 at 02:12 AM
Thanks - I had a guy that fed me some of the info!
Don Pfail May 06, 2011 at 01:16 PM
Just look at all the great Garden City athletes that go to Chaminade, Sacred Heart, Kellenberg, etc. and tout those schools too. Its the youth sports programs that should be lauded. The Garden City Rams Lacrosse, GCAA, Garden City Basketball, Garden City Centennials Soccer are the foundations. Once they are in High School they are ready. Its the coaches, parents, and grandparents as well as the athletes themselves that should be given credit. The Garden City Recreation Department should also be praised under Kevin Ocker. Chaminade and Sacred Heart Academy with many Garden City athletes on their teams have nationally ranked lacrosse, baseball, football, soccer, and basketball programs also and often play as difficult if not more difficult schedules.
Ed Rotondo May 06, 2011 at 03:57 PM
Don - my points exactly, the high school coaches are presented with game ready players more often than not because of the advancement of our youth leagues. As I said, hats off to all those involved in our youth programs! The intent here was to focus on the girl's, but yes, Chaminade has an abundance of boys from our town helping them to become a ranked school in many sports. If you click over to the Mineola Patch you'll see the coverage for Chaminade.