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Massapequa captures 2013-14 Kerr Cup overall championship
   (July 29, 2014) -- If ever there was a good news/bad news story for a New York high school athletic department, it was probably the report card for Massapequa in the 2012-13 school year.

   The good news for the Chiefs was that they won Nassau County championships at seemingly every turn. The bad news, though, was that the Long Island championship games, pitting the champions of Sections 8 and 11 against each other, proved to be Massapequa's kryptonite.

   Time after time, the Chiefs lost to their Section 11 opponents for the right to play in the NYSPHSAA semifinals. Both volleyball teams, field hockey, girls soccer and basketball, baseball and boys lacrosse all went down.

   As a result, the Chiefs came away with the minimum possible points in each sport in the New York State Sportswriters Association's Kerr Cup All-Sport Championship. Massapequa ended up tied for 48th in the final standings; had any two of the county championship teams gone on to win state titles, Massapequa would have placed third.

   "That was the first time I had seen the Kerr Cup," said John Piropato, the Massapequa athletic director. "I was on the website and saw that we fell short.

   "We were in a coaches meeting, and I said, 'You guys are so close. You're right in this thing.' I didn't tell them they had to go win it."

   That, though, is what happened. Riding the strength of New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships in both Class AA soccer tournaments as well as the crown in boys Class A lacrosse, Massapequa earned the overall title in the sixth annual Kerr Cup competition in results released today.

   The Kerr Cup is named in honor Neil Kerr, the retired Post-Standard sportswriter who has been the driving force behind the NYSSWA for more than four decades. It includes all NYSPHSAA members in a competition in 28 sports.

   Massapequa scored 53.5 points to outdistance Victor (50.33), Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (46), Fairport (46) and Pittsford Sutherland (44.67). Fayetteville-Manlius (42.83), Pittsford Mendon (42.17), Haldane (41.5), Hoosic Valley (40) and Shenendehowa (38.83) rounded out the top 10.

   Aside from the three team titles, Massapequa picked up points by reaching the final four in girls volleyball and playing in the state baseball quarterfinals -- and the haul could have been ever higher. The field hockey team won sectionals but bowed out in the prequarterfinals. The football team needed just one more win to accumulate points but fell to Farmingdale 29-26 on a field goal on the last play of the game. The Chiefs also took home a state regional championship in rifle, a non-scoring event in the Kerr Cup.

   "We usually win six or seven sectional titles a year," said Piropato, in his seventh year at Massapequa after six years as the AD at Oyster Bay, "but it would always be the regionals that tripped us up. This year we got off Long Island."

   Massapequa becomes the first Long Island school to win the top honor in the Kerr Cup. Garden City's second-place showing in 2012 was the previous benchmark.

More class champions

   Massapequa was the Class AA champ in overall scoring.

NYSSWA All-Sport Championship
  MAIN  |  2014 top overall schools
  Class-by-class boys  |  Class-by-class girls
  More about NYSSWA Kerr Cup
  2013 Kerr Cup | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

The No. 1 spots in the other classes went to Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (A), Bronxville (B), Haldane (C) and Jasper-Troupsburg (D).

   It marked Bronxville's third outright class championship and fourth overall. having tied with Babylon in 2013.

   Meanwhile, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake picked up its fifth Class A title, making for an appropriate farewell for retiring Bob McGuire, who is retiring as the Spartans' athletic director. Burnt Hills also won outright or shared each of the first four Kerr Cup overall championships.

   McGuire's scorecard in 18 years in charge at Burnt Hills includes 20 state championship teams, 19 finalists and over 200 sectional championships or trips to the finals.

   "I've had many great people to work with in my career," he said via email last week.

   Fairport came away with the highest boys points total (39), edging Victor (37). Pittsford Sutherland took the girls honor by a 35.17-33 margin over Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.

Misc. Kerr Cup notes

    • Massapequa's margin over Victor for overall bragging rights was only 3.17 points, but it was still the second-largest in Kerr Cup history. Burnt Hills' 04.16-point margin in 2009 remains the record.

    • Garden City, which had placed in the top six in all five previous Kerr Cup competitions, slipped to 43rd this year with a combined 18.5 points for its boys and girls. With that, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake is the only school to have made the top 10 all six years.

    • Pittsford, whose two high schools compete separately in some sports such as soccer and basketball but as a combined entity in other such as football and ice hockey, had an impressive year. Sutherland finished fifth and Mendon seventh in overall scoring. In 2011, they placed sixth and fifth, respecively. No other district has placed two schools in the top 10.

    • With Victor at No. 2 and Fairport tied for No. 3, Section 5 placed four schools in the top 10 for combined scoring. Section 2 set the record in 2013 with five top-10 finishers.

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