(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.