Long Island Sports
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The following is a list of sports, recreation and fitness information for the Long Island area.
The Long & Short of Long Island Sports
Local teams are a crowd pleaser, whether you are sitting in the bleachers at a youth league game or the stadium at Citibank Park. Long Island and sports have always gone hand in hand. Go to a local game and you will see excited coaches, parents and just plain fans. It doesn't matter if it's a Dragons linebacker making the tackle or your nephew in a Pop Warner game. We can't get enough of it. And lucky for us, there is certainly a lot to choose from.
Professional Sports on Long Island
Professionally speaking, Long Island is loaded with teams in all different sports.
Long Island Rough Riders, USL 2nd Division
The Rough Riders brought professional soccer to Long Island in 1994, offering play for men, women and juniors. In their second season, big name players such as Tony Meola, Giovanni Savarese and Jim Rooney led them to a 19-1 record and the league championship. They once again took home the trophy in 2002. The Rough Riders have recently qualified for the 2012 Open Cup.
Born in 2000, the Ducks have become the model franchise in the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. Team owners Frank Boulton and former New York Met Bud Harrelson have given the fans on Long Island a wonderful product, and they have not disappointed. The 6,000 plus seats at Citibank (formerly EAB) Park in Central Islip are rarely empty, and the family atmosphere created by the staff is second to none. The team mascot, Quackerjack, is the Ducks' most recognizable face, much to the chagrin of Harrelson and Justin Davies, the West Babylon native that has been with the team since day one. The excitement at the ballpark reached peak levels during the Ducks fifth anniversary season when they qualified for the playoffs for the first time and rode the momentum all the way to winning the league championship in 2004.
New York Dragons, Arena Football League
New York Dragons, Arena Football League- Islanders owner Charles Wang acquired the Iowa Barnstormers AFL franchise in 2001 and relocated the franchise to the Nassau Coliseum. The name was changed to the New York Dragons and indoor football fans hoped that the franchise would last longer than the two failed attempts for arena football at Madison Square Garden (the New York Knights in 1988 and the New York City Hawks in 1997-1998.) The Dragons have had success since their move east, winning three consecutive Eastern Divisions heading into the current season.
The team lost their two top quarterbacks to season ending injuries and is 6-4 to remain in playoff contention. Aaron Garcia, the most prolific AFL quarterback in the league's history, went down with a fractured tibia in a week five win at home versus the Orlando Predators. Newly acquired QB Nick Browder has given the team a spark and hopes to continue the team's playoff appearance streak.
Long Island Lizards, MLL- In 2001, the Lizards were founded as a member of Major League Lacrosse and won the league championship their first season and once again in 2003. They have finished in first place in the American Division three times. They brought the popular sport of lacrosse to the professional ranks and look to build on their success when their season starts in May. Their home field is the Mitchel Athletic Complex.
Youth and Amateur Sports on Long Island
ABA Sports (Amateur Ballplayer's Association) Network presents a series of unique sports activities including Basketball, Dodgeball, Flag Football, Kickball, Lacrosse, Softball, Stickball, Volleyball and Wiffleball for adult players. Youth programs include Baseball, Basketball, Cheerleading, Dodgeball, Flag Football, Kickball, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball and Stickball. Games and tournaments are played throughout the year. Spectators are welcomed and individual who want to participate can sign up for a team or league.
Youth sports offer an excellent outlet for young people, and Long Island is jammed packed with just such opportunities. Often youth leagues are organized by local civic groups, but also by religious groups. Nearly every town on Long Island offers a youth league, if not several. Youth sports on Long Island run the gammit, with swimming, bowling, sailing, football, hockey, soccer, motorcross, softball, volleyball, track and field, wrestling and lacrosse, just to name the most popular.