On Thursday, April 10, Polish Hall in Riverhead was filled with basketball players, coaches and families at the Suffolk Boys’ Basketball Coaches Association awards dinner.
One reason the annual recognition is a special occasion is players are honored in front of the rest of the small teams. but “small small teams is a relative term; Classes A, B, C and D about half the teams in Suffolk are all included in this category.
The Shelter Island contingent was the largest ever. The entire starting five was present. The team as a whole was honored for its Class D County Championship. As Matt BeltCappellino made his way to the platform to accept the plaque for the team, the announcer asked, “What number championship is this for Shelter Island?” When Matt replied, “First ever, “ the supportive crowd stepped up their polite clapping to genuine applause.
Junior Tristan Wisseman made the trek to the podium twice. He won a coveted All Conference award in recognition of his team leading scoring and outstanding rebounding, as well as picking up an All Tournament team nod. Seniors Matt BeltCappellino and Nathan Mundy were awarded All League honors, while Matthew Dunning gained student-athlete honors with an All County All Academic award.
With Mike Mundy announcing his retirement from coaching this year, he appears to be going out at the top of his game. He was honored with Coach of the Year accolades for guiding his squad to the Class D crown.
Proud parents’ grins were nearly as wide as the boys as they obligingly lined up for a photo with their hardware to document the outstanding season.