Kal Lewis and Lucas Quigley-Dunning, two recent graduates of Shelter Island High School, have achieved one of the most prestigious awards the school and the community can bestow on an athlete.
Kal and Lucas will have their jerseys retired, and no athletes who follow will ever wear their numbers in their respective sports.
There are only eight other athletes who have been so honored by Shelter Island: Bobby Miller, Bobby Brown, Walter Richards, Cori Cass, Janelle Kraus, Chris Evangelista, Kelsey McGayhey and Tristan Wissemann.
Because the school is taking precautions due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, there is “no set date for the jersey retirements yet,” said Todd Gulluscio, the school’s director of athletics, physical education, health, wellness and personnel. “I’m hoping to meet with the families this week to start to plan a date that works for their schedules.”
Kal is, simply, the most decorated athlete to graduate from Shelter Island High School, Mr. Gulluscio said. In indoor and outdoor track and cross country, he shattered school records, and is the holder of five New York state championships.
Recognized as a top athlete in the region by Newsday, Kal was singled out several times by the Suffolk County Cross Country/Track Coaches Association and Section XI.
This year he won the State Championship 1,600-meter run on March 7 at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex on Staten Island with a time of 4:17.2, a new Shelter Island school indoor record. Kal was the first Shelter Islander to ever win the overall State Public High School Championship in any sport. He was the fastest miler in the state among all public schools, regardless of school size, this year.
As the legendary Island runner Cliff Clark wrote in the Reporter: “In this writer’s opinion, this win is the greatest athletic accomplishment by any Shelter Island High School athlete in any sport, ever. There is no other achievement even close, unless it would be when Lewis won his third consecutive Class D cross country championship last fall. But for a single event, a moment in time, this has never been matched at Shelter Island before.”
Mr. Gulluscio added: “He set a standard for leadership on his team with his actions and words that inspired his teammates to be their best in and out of the sport.”
A scorer, a leader and an inspiration
As one of the best basketball players to ever come out of Shelter Island, and one of its fiercest competitors, Lucas was recognized regionally by Newsday and the Suffolk County Basketball Association as an All-County player as well as being named to the All-Long Island team.
A prolific scorer in the paint or from the outside, he finished his high school career with 948 points.
Quick to seize any opportunity an opponent gave him, this past season Lucas pulled off a jaw-dropping feat, scoring 6 points in a matter of a few seconds, on three field goals against Greenport.
But scoring was just part of the contributions he made to his team.
A tenacious defender and never-say-die rebounder, Lucas was praised by Mr. Gulluscio for not just his superb performances game-in-and-game out throughout his career, but also for always setting “a great example of leadership for his team with both his actions and words and was always concerned with representing the school with pride and dignity.”
He also said about both honorees: “Not only did they separate themselves on the track and court but they also were scholar athletes, great examples of sportsmanship, wonderful leaders and inspirational teammates. I was blessed to be here to witness their growth and development throughout our athletic program and I am thrilled to be able to hold these ceremonies that will honor them.”
Congratulations, Kal and Lucas, for representing Shelter Island so admirably on and off the court and field.