In honor of Mother's Day on Sunday, May 13, 2017, Long Island's top high school athletes penned thank-you letters to their moms.
To Mary Page
From Chris Page, Connetquot baseball
You are the greatest woman to ever walk the planet. Words cannot describe how much I appreciate everything she has done for me. Whether it be supporting me in sports, pushing me to better myself in school, or teaching me to be a better person, she has been there every step of the way. She does anything I ask of her and bends over backward to make sure I am happy. This is especially true in regards to baseball. She will buy me whatever equipment I need whenever I need it; she will drive for hours on hours to get me to any game or tournament even after a long day at work. My mom is my number one fan. She will come to every single game even if I am not playing that day, and I am more than grateful to have her in my life. I love my mother more than anything in this world and I hope that all of my work that I put in every day makes her proud of me. She has helped shape me into the person I am now and will continue to do so. I cannot thank her enough.
To Usha Rajesh
From Neel Rajesh, Syosset boys tennis
Thanks for helping me with my school work, life choices and athletic career in tennis. Thanks for motivating me everyday to do more and work harder. You are always there for me and always have my back when the times get tough. You have taught me to keep pursuing my dreams even when I've failed. You've always challenged me to do bigger things in life whether it is on the tennis court or in school. Without you I would not be where I am today. Happy Mother's Day to the best mom out there.
To Maxine Lee
From Katherine Lee, Shoreham-Wading River runner
I'm so glad I have been given the opportunity to thank you on Mother's Day for the many things that you do for me. I know that I can require a substantial amount of maintenance, but I hope that you know that I recognize and appreciate the gracious way in which you put up with me. Even when I put tinfoil in the microwave, your compassion and understanding never wavered. For almost every Saturday for the past five years, you've stood by the track rain or shine. Regardless of the outcome, you've made sure to remind me that you will always love and support me. It takes a special person to be selfless 365 days a year. Throughout my life you've acted as not only my mom but my coach and my number one fan. I want you to know that I think you are the best Mom to me, and my lower-maintenance siblings, and I love you very much. So, the next time that I almost set fire to the house, drop my brother on his head, or I'm just generally rude, please take out this article and read it.
P.S. -- Please admit I'm the favorite child
To Arlene Arrigo
From Anna Arrigo, Sachem East track
While running down the back stretch of a track not much goes through your mind other than wishing to be done and praying not to collapse onto the ground. But one voice always manages to break through my own thoughts: the sound of my mom screaming as loud as she can from the bleachers on the opposite side. She is by far the most outgoing person I have ever met and she uses this trait to support my siblings and I in the best ways she knows how; whether it be cheering us on in a race, advocating for us in the classroom, or settling any of the numerous disputes between us, she always knows and does what's best for us. I can't imagine what it would be like to have anyone else as a mother (though I'm sure it'd be much more boring!), and thankfully I don't have to. What it comes down to is that there is no one else in the world I'd rather have guide me through life and I'm incredibly grateful to have someone who is not only my mother, but my loudest cheerleader, my role model, and my best friend.
(Note: Anna's triplet siblings Shayna and John are also on Sachem East track teams)
To Asia Dooley
From Patch Dooley, Half Hollow East baseball
Happy Mother's Day! I am so thankful that you are my Mom, without you I wouldn't be the same athlete or person that I am today. You have always been there for me when I have needed you. Thank you for pushing me toward my goals, it has helped me so much and has made a huge impact in my life. It is amazing that throughout my entire baseball career that you have managed to be at all of my games even when I was only in tee ball. Not to mention that through the first 13 years of my baseball career you were my coach. You taught me the correct fundamentals of the game and also how to enjoy the game every single time I cross the white lines onto the field. I will always cherish the pictures you have taken of me playing and the pictures we have taken together on the field. I cannot wait to spend the day with you and have another wonderful day.
(Note: Patch's twin, Noah, plays lacrosse at Hills East)
To Toni-Jo Morrell
From Brian Morrell, Shoreham-Wading River baseball
I write you this letter to express my love and gratitude for all you have given me throughout my life. From the countless hours you have dedicated to me on baseball fields, to the anniversaries and birthdays you have missed for my games, thank you. You have sacrificed so much to give me the life I have and I can't thank God enough for putting you in my life. No matter where my baseball career takes me, just know that I will always be your little boy. You are my best friend, my biggest fan, my role model and most importantly, my mom. I love you Mom, I hope one day I can give you only half as much as you have given me. I will make you a proud mother one day. Happy Mother's Day!
A special letter from an athlete's mom
To all parents,
As a parent of a student-athlete it is our job to prepare our children for all the future holds. Juggling academics and athletics, late night games with homework, injuries and dealing with losses. Organization and time management is a lot as an adult let alone a growing child with hormones and peer pressure. We are their cheerleaders and support systems. We drill them on homework and push them to reach for their dreams. We love them and hold them when they are so exhausted they want to quit. We let them know that they should never stop believing that if they work hard they can accomplish anything.
To all coaches from a Mom: your job is to build young athletes and help prepare them for the games and challenges that come, not only on the field but in life. You have the power to create masterpieces. You mold and form a foundation for the future of our children that we entrust to you. Sports can enrich our children's lives, allowing them to grow and learn independence and responsibility. Not every child is the best athlete but a true coach will take that child and bring out the best he/she can be. Dedication, integrity and hard work should be acknowledged. You have the power to help our children achieve their dreams. You also have the power to take them away. We parents hand over our children to you. You have the power to build them up or break them down. Never forget that.
Mary Page, Ronkonkoma