Eye on the Ball: Five Islanders who followed their dreams

BOB DeSTEFANO

Watching and coaching Shelter Island youngsters for so many years and noting their passion for sports, it always astounds me how few actually pursue that direction for their livelihood.

There are a few young folks who did choose to go in that direction, however. Recently, I had the opportunity to put a few questions to five Islanders who went to our school, graduated and went into the field of sports: Jon Kilb, Steve Lenox, Brian Mundy, Theresa Power and

Scott Cahill

First up, Scott Cahill, the oldest of the group. Scott is the son of Jack and Bev Cahill and the brother of Susan. Married for 20 years to Dana, they have four children, Lillian, Sydney, Tristan and Paige. Scott played soccer, basketball and baseball before graduating from Emerson College in Boston.

Scott was motivated by “the Coach,” George Zabel, and also his memory of trying to watch the great 1968-69 basketball team. “Trying” because to watch a game, he had to look through a window on the second floor of the gym with obscure sight lines. He claims that on wintry nights, he still feels the buzz in that old building.

After college, Scott worked briefly in the hospitality industry here on the East End, but sports were a magnet for him. He moved to Bend, Oregon to work as a sports anchor and reporter before becoming a sports director, focusing on high school and college sports. He interviewed some legends, speaking with Harmon Killebrew, Wally Backman, Clint Hurdle and Arnold “the King” Palmer.
His ideal job in life, he said, would be to coach his own children and young people in any sport.

Theresa Power

The youngest in the group, Theresa is the daughter of Phil and Phyllis Power and the sister of Sharon. Like her male counterparts, Theresa attended school on the Island and graduated in 2005. In high school she was a Gold Star athlete, playing a sport in every season. She attended Coastal Carolina University.

Theresa credits her parents and grandfather, Tink Clark, for her interest and drive in sports. She feels the New York Jets shaped the beginning of her career, even though she worked in sales, she loved it and gained invaluable experience. After a couple of years, she was hired as a premium all-access manager for the Brooklyn Nets’ move to Barclay’s Center. One of her proudest moments was witnessing opening night at the arena last year. Just six months ago, she was offered an opportunity to manage the inside sales team for the New York Islanders.

Theresa is most gratified with projects she’s initiated in her work. Theresa has not only worked on opening two new arenas in New York sports, but has won numerous sales contests, traveled all over the country and rubbed elbows with many of her childhood idols.
Owning a professional sports team would be her supreme goal. Theresa would like it to be in a state-of-the-art arena with a beautiful suite for her office. Her fallback plan would be to own golf courses. Although she did not say so, I’m sure she would like a charming suite for herself on each course.

Brian Mundy

Brian, the son of Jerry and Dorothy Mundy, married Susan Harrington in 2000 and they have a seven-year-old daughter, Erin. Brian graduated from SIHS in 1990, played baseball, basketball and soccer. After graduation, he received his bachelor’s degree from SUNY Brockport.

Brian was motivated mostly by watching sports with his father. As a youth, he idolized and emulated Chris Mullin in basketball and also the hustle of Dave Winfield in baseball. He felt that his father’s coaching him in Little League had an enormous impact on his life.

After college, he was a media relations director and public address announcer for the Class AA Chicago Cubs affiliate, the Daytona Cubs of the Florida State League. He came home for his next gig as sports editor for the Reporter and assistant athletic director at Pace University. Still involved in coaching, Brian’s been with the New York City Police Department for the last 10 years. His greatest professional honor was being named Long Island Press Club Cub Reporter of the Year in 1998. Brian’s ideal job would be in coaching or broadcasting. On the Island we were lucky enough to hear him several times this summer announcing the local Bucks games, bringing his personal flair and polish to our summer league games. But his biggest thrill, by far, is coaching his daughter and watching her improve.

Steve Lenox

Steve is the son of Pat and Steve Lenox and the brother of Tammy and Shelter Island High School Hall of Famer Beth. He married Lauren Bonora in 2002 and they are the parents of two boys, Alex and Matthew James. Steve graduated from SIHS in 1992 and played soccer, basketball and baseball. In 1997 he graduated from SUNY Brockport.

Steve broadcasted all the home games for both the men’s and women’s college basketball teams on radio. After college, Steve interned for the Batavia Clippers, the Class A affiliate of the Miami Marlins in upstate New York.

Steve has broadcast over 1,000 minor league baseball games for four different organizations, working as far afield as Tokyo. He worked as an update anchor with ESPN NY 1050 AM along with XM Satellite as radio host, anchor, reporter and play-by-play announcer. He now hosts two shows with MLB.com Full Count on Yahoo Sports.

Steve’s ultimate goal is to do play-by-play for a major league baseball club. He’s ready. Can anyone help?

Jon Kilb

Jon is the son of Lew and Donna Kilb and older brother to Nick. Jon graduated from SIHS in 1991 and played baseball, basketball and golf while in school. He graduated from SUNY Fredonia in 1996.

Jon’s mother, Donna, suggested sports broadcasting to him when he was a sophomore in high school. He was also friendly with author and sports reporter, John Feinstein, and thought John’s life might be perfect for him. He gives Islander Steve Schram credit for passing his resumé to the right people in Boston, where he ended up running the Jumbotron at the Boston Garden. While in Boston, he also worked in the Red Sox ticket office. Jon moved on to Buffalo and worked as a sports photographer for the next six years and spent six more years in Florida as a sports photographer.

Among his most exciting work assignments was his trip to the Czech Republic to cover Buffalo Sabers goalie, Dominick Hasek’s, retirement announcement. His next favorite assignment was interviewing Boxing Hall of Fame trainer Angelo Dundee, who trained Muhammad Ali, among many other champions. Jon’s ideal job would be general manager of the Chicago Bears or, if he has to, he’ll settle for the Yankees.

These young people all had the guts to go after their dreams. Still Islanders at heart, and like the folks who motivated and guided them, they will do anything to help anyone who needs direction.