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by Matt Kupec

July 23, 2019

Last October I wrote a column thanking my Syosset High School coaches who dedicated their careers to influencing young people for life through the power of coaching.  I received considerable feedback from so many former athletes of Syosset High School who also shared a great appreciation for the efforts of the Syosset coaches.

As a follow-up, I thought we’d take a look at the impressive success of Syosset High School athletes over the years who in many instances were guided and taught by these great coaches.  We look at the success through the lens of those Syosset athletes and those who were recognized as Newsday All-Long Island athletes.  And we look at the success of Syosset athletes as compared to their peers at all Long Island high schools.

Syosset High School is ranked an impressive #11 of the 171 Nassau and Suffolk high schools that have produced All-Long Island, NY athletes.  At least that is according to a review of a Newsday database that lists all 5,907 selections to the Newsday All-Long Island teams.  Syosset has produced a total of 91 All-Long Island selections, or 1.5%, out of the overall total.

St. Anthony’s High School, based in Huntington, NY, is the overall leader in producing All-Long Island athletes with a whopping total of 260 All-Long Island selections.  Garden City is the highest ranked Nassau County public school while Ward Melville is the highest producing Suffolk County public high school.  Syosset ranks #4th among Nassau County public high schools.

Newsday began selecting a football All-Long Island team in 1962.  Boys basketball followed the next year.  Many of the boys and girls athletic teams did not begin to get recognized as Newsday All-Long Island until the past 15-20 years.  As a result, many outstanding Long Island athletes prior to these years did not have the opportunity to get named Newsday All-Long Island.

It is also worth noting that prior to 1975, Newsday only recognized 11 athletes to its All-Long Island Football team.  That number jumped to 22 selections each year beginning with 1975.

Key Findings:

  • Suffolk County public high schools have produced 47.6% of the Newsday All-Long Island athletes. Nassau’s public schools sit at 39.1% while private high schools have produced 13.3%.
  • Eleven Suffolk County public high schools rank among the top 20 high schools on Long Island in producing Newsday All-Long Island athletes. Seven Nassau public schools and three private schools make up the remaining slots.
  • Suffolk County public high schools have a significant lead in producing Newsday All-Long Island athletes.

Here is detailed analysis of which Long Island High Schools have produced Newsday All-Long Island athletes:

  • High Schools that have produced the most Newsday All-Long Island Selections. St. Anthony’s has produced the most All-Long Island athletes with a whopping grand total of 260 athletes receiving Newsday All-Long Island recognition. Garden City is the highest ranked Nassau County high school with 213 All-Long Island selections.  Ward Melville represents Suffolk County as the high school with the most All-Long Island selections recognized as 166 athletes.  Syosset is the 4th highest ranked Nassau County public school.

 Here is a list of the High Schools with the Most All-Long Island Selections:

Rank High School # Selections
1 St. Anthony’s 260
2 Garden City 213
3 Ward Melville 166
4 Massapequa 159
5 Northport 118
6 Chaminade 116
7 Farmingdale 110
8 Commack 105
8 East Islip 105
10 Bay Shore 94
11 Syosset 91
12 Sayville 82
13 Manhasset 81
14 Sachem East 79
15 Connetquot 76
15 North Babylon 76
15 Shoreham-Wading River 76
18 Longwood 73
19 Wantagh 72
20 Cold Spring Harbor 71
20 St. John the Baptist 71

Here is a list of the Top 20 producing High Schools by County & School Type

Suffolk County High Schools   Nassau County High Schools   Private High Schools
Rank School #
Rank School #
School # Rank School #
3 Ward Melville 166 2 Garden City 213 1 St. Anthony’s 260
5 Northport 118 4 Massapequa 159 6 Chaminade 116
8 Commack 105 7 Farmingdale 110 20 St. John the Baptist 71
8 East Islip 105   11 Syosset 91
10 Bay Shore 94 13 Manhasset 81
12 Sayville 82 19 Wantagh 72
14 Sachem East 79 20 Cold Spring 71
15 Connetquot 76
15 North Babylon 76
15 Shoreham-Wading River 76
18 Longwood 73
  Totals 1,050    Totals 797    Totals 447


  • Year of Origin of Newsday’s All-Long Island Team by sport:

As stated previously, Newsday began its selection of an All-Long Island football team in 1962.  Boys basketball was introduced the following year.  Newsday extended its All-Long Island selections to most sports within the past 15-20 years.  Here is a listing of the year the All-Long Island recognition started by sport as well as a total of the number of selections for each sport.

Men’s Sport # All-LI Year Started   Women’s Sport # All-LI Year Started
Baseball 288 2001 Field Hockey 250 2001
Badminton 70 2010 Badminton 81 2010
Basketball 520 1963 Basketball 376 1984
Bowling 65 2008 Bowling 64 2008
Cross Country 84 2007 Cross Country 84 2007
Fencing 75 2009 Fencing 74 2009
Football 1,232 1962 Golf 71 2008
Golf 72 2008 Gymnastics 79 2008
Lacrosse 288 2001 Lacrosse 299 2001
Soccer 265 2001 Soccer 260 2001
Swimming 69 2010 Swimming 78 2008
Tennis 102 2008 Tennis 100 2007
Track & Field 139 2008 Track & Field 137 2008
Volleyball 114 2010 Volleyball 146 2007
Wrestling 150 2007 Softball 275 2001
  Total 3,533       Total 2,374  


  • Analysis of Syosset’s 91 All-Long Island Selections by Sport

Football has produced the most All-Long Island athletes at Syosset High School with 17 selections in the Newsday All-Long Island team.  Boy’s tennis follows with 16 selections and there is a 3rd place tie between girl’s golf and boy’s lacrosse.  Again, many of these sports (for both boys and girls) only began being awarded Newsday All-Long Island recognition in the past 15-20 years so many great Syosset athletes may not have received Newsday All-Long Island recognition.

Here is a listing of All-Long Island selections by sport for Syosset High School athletes as well as the overall percentage of the total earned by Syosset High School athletes:


  Sport # Total # All-Long Island Selections % from Syosset
Boys Football 17 1,232 1.4%
Tennis 16 102 15.7%
Lacrosse 10 288 3.5%
Wrestling 9 150 6.0%
Cross Country 4 84 4.8%
Soccer 4 265 1.5%
Golf 1 72 1.4%
Track & Field 1 139 0.7%
Ice Hockey 1
Baseball 1 288 0.3%
Girls Golf 10 71 14.1%
Cross Country 5 84 6.0%
Tennis 3 100 3.0%
Basketball 2 376 0.5%
Lacrosse 2 299 0.7%
Gymnastics 1 79 1.3%
Badminton 1 81 1.2%
Track & Field 1 137 0.7%
Bowling 1 64 1.6%
Softball 1 275 0.4%


  • Syosset High School Does Have a Rich and Successful Athletic History

Clearly, these numbers reflect that Syosset High School has enjoyed a rich and successful athletic history.  Teams have won numerous conference, county, Long Island and State championships.  The list of Syosset athletes earning Newsday All-Long Island recognition is quite impressive.  The High School ranks as one of the academic leaders on the Island and in the country.  The success of the Syosset High School athletes is a tribute to the athletes themselves, the coaching and support from families and the community they enjoyed growing up in Syosset, and the district’s commitment to having athletics be an important part of the lives of the students.  Kudo’s to Syosset and all the great athletes.  You are an impressive group!!

About the Author (
Matt Kupec is a fundraising professional with 32 years of significant higher education development experience. He has directed three major university fundraising campaigns and nearly $5 billion has been raised under his leadership. He has led the fundraising programs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Hofstra University, Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute and HelpMeSee, a New York City based non-profit and is currently leading the fundraising at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL.

A proud Syosset High School graduate, Matt was named Newsday All-Long Island quarterback after the undefeated 1974 Syosset Braves team won the Long Island Championship game and was ranked #1 in New York State.  Kupec was named the winner of the Thorpe Award.  Matt’s older brother Chris was named Newsday All-Long Island quarterback in 1970 after leading the Bravesto the Nassau County title.  Both Kupecs went on to have prolific careers as record-setting quarterbacks at the University of North Carolina.