Hear from Long Island student-athletes who thanked their moms with letters of gratitude for Mother's Day 2023. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost / Morgan Campbell

Each Mother’s Day, Newsday invites Long Island high school student-athletes to honor their mothers with personal letters.

The scripts vary in each case but overall, they tell the same story of love, respect and appreciation. There is an outpouring of gratitude and admiration for time spent juggling demanding work schedules, home life and dedication to a student’s daily needs.

A mom is the one who understands the things you say and do and always sees the best in you. A mom is the one who supports and nurtures unconditionally. Our student-athletes understand the greatest treasure known is the mom they call their own. — Gregg Sarra

To: Michelle Samuda

From: Kasi Samuda, Holy Trinity soccer, basketball, volleyball

Dear Mom,

Since the day I came into your life, you have made countless sacrifices for me. You always put me first and I am constantly grateful for that. The endless years of cheering me on and being my No. 1 supporter has helped me accomplish my biggest successes. Your hard work and selflessness make you the perfect role model for me to look up to. 

Throughout my life, you have taught me many lessons. From these lessons I have learned perseverance, patience, resilience and so much more. These important qualities are things that I will carry with me forever.

I know that every decision you make, you have me and Katrina’s best interest at heart. The love you have for us can’t be contained to words, but we see it through your many loving actions. You are the most reliable person in my life, and I know you will always be there for me when I need you. We are an inseparable duo. Like [Law & Order's] Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler, you are my better half.  We have a special bond, and nobody gets me quite like you do. I cherish all our memories together and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. You inspire me every day and I hope to grow up to be just like you.

I love you, Mom! Happy Mother’s Day!

To: Lisa Carcaterra

From: Paul Napolitano, Kellenberg baseball

Lisa Carcaterra, with her son Paul Napolitano, in the living room of their Rockville Centre home. Credit: Jeff Bachner

Dear Mom,

I don’t know how I could put 18 years of unconditional support into just one single letter. The countless hours you have spent taking me to practices and games over the years would be enough to drive anyone crazy. We have been all over the country to many different states for showcases, tournaments and camps and each one of them I have loved. The time spent on the road with you watching movies and eating ice cream in our hotel rooms is some of the happiest memories I will ever have.

You have been there for me when I’m playing well and playing horribly. You’ve been there through all the blood, sweat and tears and all breakdowns and triumphs. I told you and Dad that my goal was to play Division I baseball and you made that happen. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without all the hours spent in front of your computer writing emails and logging all our progress in your notebook. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you endlessly researching colleges and coaches and finding the right fit for me.

Thank you for always being there for me and supporting my dreams.

I love you.

Love, Paul

To: Judy Wilson

From: Ashley Fulton, Elmont track and field

Elmont track and field athlete Ashley Fulton and her mom,...

Elmont track and field athlete Ashley Fulton and her mom, Judy Wilson. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Dear Mom, 

I’ve been running track since I was 5 years old, and you have been there every step of the way. From 5 to now 17, you've been my biggest fan. Those times where I felt like I wasn’t good enough, you made me believe that I was. That was the extra push I always needed. I still need that push. You've been there through the times where I felt like there was nothing left for me in track and was ready to quit.

You believe in any, and every, dream and goal that I’ve had and helped me to achieve them. You push me harder than I push myself most of the time. You will go that extra mile to make sure I perform at my full potential.

When I had a track meet and one of my spikes popped, you drove all the way to Staten Island from Long Island at the last minute to bring me my other pair of spikes. Thank you. Without you, I don’t know if I would have been as successful and made it as far in life and on the track as I have. I appreciate you for all that you do, even if I don’t say it enough.

Love, Ashley

To: Evell Brown

From: Jordon Quinn, Freeport Track and Field

Jordon Quinn of Freeport poses with his mother, Evell Brown-Quinn,...

Jordon Quinn of Freeport poses with his mother, Evell Brown-Quinn, at his high school track. Credit: Dawn McCormick

Dear Mom,

Mother's Day is a special occasion to honor and appreciate the most important women in our lives: our mothers. You are not just a mother to me; you’re my role model. I am blessed to have you in my life, and I cannot thank you enough for everything you have done for me.

You have always been there for me through thick and thin. You are the one who taught me the values of honesty, integrity and hard work. Your unwavering support and unconditional love have helped me become the person I am today. You have always been my biggest cheerleader, and your constant encouragement has given me the confidence to achieve my goals on the track.

As a single mother, you worked tirelessly to provide for our family. You sacrificed your own wants to ensure that my siblings and I had everything we needed. You would wake up early every morning to prepare breakfast for us and pack our lunches, never complained about your workload, and always did everything with a smile on your face.

Your kindness, generosity and selflessness have left a lasting impression on me. You’ve taught me the importance of being empathetic toward others and giving back to the community. Your values and morals have guided me through life's challenges, and I am forever grateful for your wisdom.

On this Mother's Day, I want to express my deepest gratitude to you. Thank you for being my rock, my confidant and my inspiration. Your love has been the driving force behind my success, and I cannot imagine my life without you. I love you more than words can express, and I hope to make you proud every day of my life.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Love, Jordon

To: Mary Bosse

From: Katelyn Simpson, Baldwin girls basketball

Baldwin girls basketball player Katelyn Simpson with her mother, Mary Bosse. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Dear Mom,

As a basketball player, I owe a great deal of my success to you. With Mother’s Day approaching, I find myself reflecting on just how grateful I am for everything you’ve done for me.

You’ve been my biggest cheerleader since Day One. You always believed in me, encouraging me to pursue my passion for basketball even when others doubted me. Through endless hours spent driving me to games and practices, attending countless games in the stands, and always being there to offer words of wisdom and encouragement, you shaped me into the athlete that I am today.

But your influence on my life goes beyond my basketball achievements. As a mom of two, you faced countless challenges throughout my childhood. Yet you never let those challenges get in the way of providing for us, supporting us and nurturing us. You taught me the importance of hard work, dedication and perseverance, both on and off the court. Without you, I would not be the person, let alone the basketball player, that I am.

I want to express my gratitude for being there every step of the way, through the good times and the bad. Thank you for believing in me and pushing me to be my best. Most importantly, thank you for the undying love and support that has been your hallmark throughout my entire life.

Happy Mother’s Day!

To: Melissa Regis

From: Sebastian Regis, East Islip wrestling and football

Melissa Regis, left, and Sebastian Regis on Thursday, May 11, 2023.

Melissa Regis, left, and Sebastian Regis on Thursday, May 11, 2023. Credit: Morgan Campbell

Mom, words can’t describe how grateful I am for you. You made me into the person and athlete I am today. I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish anything without you. You always put me first and always give up what you’re doing to help me right away. You and Dad are the people I look up to the most in my life and you change the way I look at everything.

You taught me to not look at things like they are impossible but to find a way to overcome them with your mind and training. Most importantly, you are a great person, from the wrestling matches we have in the living room to the car rides to Target. It’s always a great time when I’m with you.

Mom, thank you again for everything I don’t know what I would do without you.

You are my hero.

I love you.

To: Jennifer Finucane

From: Lily Finucane, East Meadow softball, volleyball

Lily Finucane, right, with her mother Jennifer Finucane. 

Lily Finucane, right, with her mother Jennifer Finucane.  Credit: Daniel Goodrich

Dear Mom,

Over the course of my life, we have had so many meaningful memories. Whether it’s our shopping trips or looking at old photos, I enjoy everything we do together. As an athlete, some of our most memorable moments happened around softball. I remember you taking me to my first hitting lesson; you still had lots to do that night, but as long as I was having fun, you didn’t care. All the long weekends away supporting me and what I love to do, you always sacrificed yourself and your own needs for the people you love. I’m forever grateful for that.  

Thank you for encouraging me to be the best version of myself and believing in me in everything I do. You are my biggest fan, and I couldn’t have accomplished anything in this life without you. You are a huge role model to me, and I hope I can be half the mother and teacher that you are. You have guided me and taught me so many lessons that I take with me in my everyday life.  

Thank you for being not only my best friend, but also the best mother I could imagine. 

I love you so much,


To: Jennifer LaSpina

From: Sofia LaSpina, Bellmore-Merrick flag football

Mepham flag football player Sofia LaSpina, right, with her mother, Jennifer. Credit: Morgan Campbell

Dear Mom,

Where do I begin? Saying thank you for all your love and support throughout my 17 years just doesn't seem to be enough. You’ve always made me feel like I could do and be anything I wanted. I am so grateful, and it's one of the many reasons why I love you so much. When I came to you at the end of sixth grade and asked if I could play tackle football in middle school, you knew how much it meant for me to try. At first you were hesitant because you feared that I would get hurt playing with the boys. But you still supported my dream and believed in me. I ended up playing both years of middle school and all four years of high school.

I know it hasn't been easy being a single mom of four children with one of my brothers fighting leukemia for 4 1/2 years. And somehow, through it all, you managed to be there for all of us, every game, every event, every moment in our young lives. “YOU” were always there. Thank you being for everything, Mom. You are certainly one of a kind, and I'm filled with gratitude that you’re mine.

Happy Mother's Day.

I love you so much.

To: Adrian Gilmore

From: Kayla Gilmore, Floyd lacrosse, basketball and soccer

Floyd lacrosse player Kayla Gilmore, right, with her mother, Adrian...

Floyd lacrosse player Kayla Gilmore, right, with her mother, Adrian Gilmore. Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

Dear Mom, 

Happy Mother’s Day!! I want to let you know how appreciative I am of you, not only today, but every day. Not many people are as lucky as me to be able to call their mom not only their best friend, but their biggest role model. You inspire me every day to be the best version of myself. You constantly not only put a smile on my face, but others around you. You always put everyone before yourself and serve their needs before your own. 

From a very young age we have always shared the field together. Being on the sidelines of your coaching career, I have been able to witness all the hard work and dedication you have put in over the years. Sharing these moments on the field together has created a bond between the two of us I know will last much longer than my playing career. You have taught me the significance of big wins and how to bounce back from losses. I have not only used these lessons in my athletic career but throughout my life.

Throughout my athletic career you have made a tremendous number of sacrifices. From the early mornings to late nights, driving to tournaments, and spending all day on the field or court together, you have always pushed me and been my number one supporter. You have encouraged me to never be complacent and always reach for the unreachable. I am extremely grateful to have you in my life and I would not be the same person I am today without you.

I love you Mom,


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