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Milestones and Memories

It seems like there's a poignant memory at every turn for Mt. Sinai coach Joe Cuozzo, who is concluding his 42nd and final season of coaching with yet another playoff run. He has his Mustangs clinging to the third and final Class C playoff berth with just one week left in the regular season.

Last Thursday, Cuozzo was part of a milestone for one of his favorite ex-players -- Shoreham-Wading River coach Tom Rotanz. The Wildcats prevailed, as expected, 6-2, but this was no ordinary victory for Rotanz, who played for Cuozzo at Ward Melville.

After the game, Rotanz asked Cuozzo to pose with him and his two sons, Tim and Tom Jr., who play for SWR. Rotanz proudly called the photo "a keeper" and related this anecdote to me in an e-mail. It is worth sharing:

"Joe came to my first win at SWR back in 1995. It was [my] only win that year and happened to be the same week that Joe got his 500th," Rotanz wrote. "He sent me a card congratulating me and wishing me success in the years to come. I sent him a card back acknowledging his 500th win and at my rate of wins per year, I would get my 500th in the year 2495 (1 per year = 500 years). He got a kick out that and when we talked about it [Thursday] after the game, I told him that win was my 200th!"

That leaves Rotanz 544 wins behind his former mentor.


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