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Back to basics

Matt Guiliano and Brian Dorsey have plenty in common.

Both enjoyed fantastic high school baseball careers on Long Island, then

played professionally, first in the Phillies' farm system and later for the


Now they're taking another step together in baseball - heading into the

coaching ranks. Guiliano, 33, who graduated from Connetquot High School in

1990, will return to the district that recently elected him into the school

Hall of Fame and take over as coach at the Ronkonkoma Junior High.

Dorsey, 25, who graduated from Smithtown in 1998, will take the coaching

position for the junior varsity at St. Anthony's High School in South


"I want to get my feet wet and see if it's something that I want to

pursue," said Guiliano, who owns the Play Like A Pro sports academy in

Hauppauge. "I love working with young players and teaching them the

fundamentals and the right way to play the game. I know how a good coach can

influence a young person's life."

Dorsey, the general manager at Play Like A Pro, is also excited by the

opportunity to teach young players the game. The former players have a similar

philosophy and approach when it comes to coaching.

"This is a challenge," Dorsey said. "I want to prepare the players for the

varsity level. It's a chance to use the knowledge and the experiences in my

life and extend that knowledge to my players. This is different than giving

individual lessons and running camps."

Tryouts for spring sports began this week and Dorsey already got a taste of

some hectic indoor scheduling. With snow on the ground, tryouts were moved

inside, a difficult place to give the youngsters a good look.

"We're getting some things done," Dorsey said. "No one said it would be

easy. The enthusiasm is great and it's exciting."

The middle school tryouts are still three weeks away, giving Guiliano some

time to gather information from his general manager.

"I'll know some of the ins and outs before we start," laughed Guiliano.

"This is a developmental level and winning is not the concern."

Connetquot athletic director Bob DelRosso is pleased to see Guiliano back

in the district.

"We're very fortunate to have a coach at the seventh grade level that

really knows the game," he said. "Matt's an important part of the Connetquot

baseball heritage and had a very successful career. He'll teach the fundamental

skills that are so vital at the junior high level. We're very happy to have

him aboard. Our players will benefit from his vast experience."

Only the best

Some of the coaches in Long Island schools who have played professional


Coach School Level Pro organization

Ciro Ambrosio Great Neck South varsity Blue Jays

Helms Bohringer Mineola varsity Dodgers

Tom Caputo Valley Stream CentralJV Ducks

Dom Gatti North Shore varsity Rangers

Paul Gibson Center Moriches varsity Tigers

John Habyan St. John the Baptist varsity Orioles

Ted KochenmeisterDeer Park varsity Padres

Tom Migliozzi Half Hollow Hills West varsity Rangers

Ken Ward Valley Stream South varsity Montreal Expos


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