Sebastian Germosen: Looking beyond the Major Leagues

By Taylor Yon
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Sebastian Germosen is devoted to journalism, but sees it as a backup career if his dream of becoming a professional baseball player falls through.

“My goal is to go to the Major Leagues as soon as possible,” said the 16-year-old junior at Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens. “It’s my dream job and it’s what my life revolves around. But my backup plan if baseball doesn’t work out is to major in journalism.”

In pursuit of his goal, Germosen plays catcher and third baseman on the his school’s baseball team. His sports role model is José Altuve, a second baseman for the Houston Astros.

Germosen’s interest in journalism was sparked by attending a lecture last fall at Stony Brook University by longtime broadcast journalist Ted Koppel.

He is a staff writer on the school’s newspaper, The Stanner. “I like the newspaper club because it allows me to speak about topics outside of the school and allows me to express my ideas and thoughts on political or world issues freely,” he said.

Germosen’s interest in journalism was also piqued by watching CNN and Fox News.

It isn’t just journalism that makes school appealing to Germosen. “I really enjoy high school, making friends and learning in general,” he said. Germosen primarily takes honors classes and is successful in earning straight A’s. For his upcoming junior year, Germosen will be taking courses including U.S. History Honors, Pre-Calculus, Spanish 3 Honors, Physics Honors, Participation in Government and Constitutional Law.

His teachers and his parents are his biggest role models. “Sebastian is an excellent student and the brains of the family,” Germosen’s mother Erica said. And “he looks out for his little brother.”

In his free time,  Germosen reads, exercises, plays video games and a lot of basketball. “I enjoy these hobbies because they let me relieve myself after stressful days,” he said.

After high school, Germosen’s dream is to attend Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and major in sports management.

To keep his journalism options open, Germosen applied to the Stony Brook University’s Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists when his newspaper adviser mentioned it. “I felt relieved and excited when I learned I got accepted,” he said.

“My expectation of the program,” Germosen said, “is that it will be a wonderful program with great teammates and awesome coordinators, and I will learn a lot of new things about the journalism industry.”

Luck of the Ducks: Baseball team hosts Irish Heritage Night

Jane Pino of Islip Terrace gets into the spirit of Irish Night at Bethpage Ballpark. (Photo by Sebastian Germosen.)

By Emily Bishop
The Stony Brook School

At the Long Island Ducks game on Wednesday, July 18, Kathy Fels proudly wore an Irish hat that her husband had bought and decorated. She had put the hat away in a closet after his death, but since she was going to Irish night, she figured it was a good reason to bring it out.

“Themed nights are good,” the Lindenhurst resident said. “Everyone gets into it.”

Irish Night at Bethpage Ballpark is an opportunity for families to enjoy some of the culture and traditions of Ireland. In addition to Irish-themed graphics on the Jumbotron and Irish music playing over the speakers, fans were treated to a performance of the Irish national anthem before the first pitch. And the first 1,500 fans to arrive received commemorative cups, courtesy of Shandon Court, a local Irish restaurant.

Robert Mulvey of South Farmingdale celebrates Irish night with a irish themed Ducks costume. (Photo by Sebastian Germosen.)

“We try to offer something for every group,” said Michael Polak, director of media relations and broadcasting.

The Ducks have been scheduling an increasing number of themed nights. Other events in the schedule include a Jewish Heritage Night, Heart Health Night, and an Anti-Bullying Night.

In addition to raising awareness for important causes and diverse cultures, themed evenings have also boosted ticket sales, according to Ducks president and general manager Michael Pfaff. Many fans said they came to Wednesday’s game because of the special theme.

“There are about 1,500 seats [sold] in a 1,600-seat stadium,” Pfaff said. “People are interested in Irish Heritage Night.”

Fans are drawn to the Irish step dancers as a highlight of the evening.

Ducks fan Therese Parks, part Irish, attended Wednesday’s game to honor her heritage.

“Irish people are happy and spirited,” she said, “so yeah, it’s good.”

Rain or shine, Ducks fans storm Bethpage Ballpark

Empty stands at the Long Island Ducks game on Wednesday night. Only some super fans were in attendance due to the rained out game on Tuesday. (Christian Miller)

By Rachel Schneider
Great Neck South High School

Stephen Watkin was set to see the Long Island Ducks take on the Connecticut New Britain Bees with his wife, Paulette, on Tuesday – until it was postponed due to torrential rain. The weather was still on his mind when he returned to Bethpage Ballpark in Central Islip for the rescheduled game Wednesday.

“We pick an under hang so we are dry no matter how hard it rains,” said Watkin, who comes to about 10 games a season.

U.S. Army veteran Padraic Nugent, 83, of Massapequa, a fan of the Ducks for the last six years, said he was also planning to come on Tuesday, but was pleased the game had been postponed.

A typical Ducks game this season has around 4,854 tickets sold, and 677 games have been sold out since the Ducks were founded in 1998, according to Michael Polak, director of media relations and broadcasting.

Wednesday’s game had 4,952 tickets sold, but the stands were relatively empty and concession lines were short.

Bear Court cashier Emma Garguilo said the game rescheduling led to reduced sales.

“It’s not that busy,” said Garguilo. “I’ve gotten maybe 30 [customers] and on a regular day there would be like 60.”

Like Watkin, Kathy Fels, who was decked out in a green sparkling top hat with “GO DUCKS” written across the top and clover glasses in honor of Irish Night, is willing to tolerate some rain for the love of the game.

“It depends on what kind of rain it’s going to be,” Fels said. “Obviously, last night it was more stormy. But if it’s just a little drizzle, you come anyway. Worse-case scenario, you sit up at the top.”

Adeishe Bagaloo contributed to this report.

Long Island Ducks bat for charity

Jerseys hang in the the ‘Waddle In’ souvenir shop at Bethpage Ballpark for the jersey auction to benefit the QuackerJack Foundation. The foundation raises money for ALS Ride For Life and the Alzheimer’s Association, among other charities. (Photo by Lauren Nicks.)

By Corianna Jackson
Brentwood High School

The Long Island Ducks also try to hit home runs when it comes to charity.

The Ducks just finished hosting the Atlantic League All-Star Game for the third time at Bethpage Ballpark in Central Islip. The game ended with a Liberty Division victory during the close 4-3 game on July 11. These special-edition jerseys are now being auctioned off in the Waddle In Shop at the stadium with the proceeds going to the team’s QuackerJack Foundation, which funds other charities and organizations.

The Ducks are known for finding ways to support many causes like the ALS Ride For Life organization, the Alzheimer’s Association and a heart health initiative sponsored by Northwell Health, said Michael Polak, the team’s director of media relations and broadcasting. The QuackerJack Foundation uses Chinese auctions and casino nights to help school groups, PTAs and businesses across Long Island. Polak believes it is important to “raise awareness.”

The ‘Waddle In’ souvenir shop at Bethpage Ballpark sells jerseys and other Ducks-related items, but they also auction off special jerseys to raise money for the QuackerJack Foundation. (Photo by Lauren Nicks.)

One of the Ducks’ most popular fundraising techniques is holding jersey auctions. The team auctions bright red jerseys worn by the players on the annual heart health night. Another big jersey occasion happens on Bud Harrelson Night. The event recognizes the former Mets player and current Ducks coach, who is battling Alzheimer’s disease. The team auctions purple jerseys with Harrelson’s No. 3 and proceeds go to the Alzheimer’s Association.

The auction for the all-star jerseys start at $75 and will be increased in minimum $10 increments, according to the organization’s auction website. Fans can place their bids by visiting the Waddle In Shop or by calling 631-940-3825 from now through July 31. The team said the jersey auction will end at the conclusion of the top of the seventh inning during the Ducks game against the Somerset Patriots on Wednesday, August 1.

“I think it’s great,” said Stephen Giordano, a Hauppauge resident and Ducks fan. “I think it’s a great cause.”

Bethpage Park summer jobs offer variety, community connection      

Concession stand employees work at Bethpage Ballpark, July 18, 2018, in Central Islip. (Photo by Caroline Ledoux.)

By Parker Schug
Bayport-Blue Point High School

and Zoe Gordon
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

A man in an orange shirt selling Quacker whistles. A woman cheering when a fan wins a raffle prize. A teen walking up and down the aisles selling cotton candy to children in the stands. These are some of the summer employees you may see at Bethpage Ballpark in Central Islip, home to the Long Island Ducks.

“We have 72 home games during the course of the season, so we need a good amount of people to fill roles,” said Michael Polak, director of media relations and broadcasting. “These roles include everything from ushers to on-field hosts.”

Whether it’s the advantage of watching your favorite sports team, making money, working with friends, or simply just getting experience, some teens believe that taking a summer job at the baseball park is an obvious idea.

“I think it’s cool because if you work at a sporting event it’s the benefit of working and having fun,” Stephan Schmitt, an 18-year-old Ducks fan from Roosevelt, said Wednesday. “It’s also really important to get experience working.”

The Ducks hire about 250 employees each season. Many are young adults hoping to work their way up in the sports business, according to Michael Pfaff, president and general manager of the Ducks.

“What you’ll see with a lot of the full-time positions in sports is it’s very hard to land a good internship, and it’s hard to land a good internship without exposure in an organization,” Pfaff said. “It’s a good first step.”

Waddle In employees Melissa Kelly (L) and Kelly Conway sell souvenirs at Bethpage Ballpark, on July 18, 2018, in Central Islip. (Photo by Caroline Ledoux.)

Many employees are brought into the Ducks’ staff through the annual job fair, which was held on March 3.

Polak said that, along with being passionate about working for the Ducks, aspiring employees should strive to be diverse in their skill set.

“The more versatile they are, the more intriguing they are as an employee for the Ducks,” Polak said.

Fans Colleen Schalk and Allison Caminiti, whose daughters performed in an Irish dance routine in honor of Irish Night, described employees at Bethpage Ballpark as “very helpful.”

“They are all very friendly and polite,” Schalk said.

Former on-field host Robert Shapiro, 49, of Hicksville, who worked for the team in 2000 and 2001, said the job was a thrill. “I was performing in front of 6,000 fans. If I was 23 at the time and not married, I’d probably still be working there.”

Is this really for me?

I’ve never been one of those people that easily pick up a passion, and it seems like most of the things I develop an interest for quickly die. Actually, being in this program makes me fear that I’ll discover that journalism isn’t for me. I don’t want to have to settle for just any ol’ career, I want to actually do something I care about — something that fills me with excitement every time I wake up for the next forty-five or so years I’ll be working. I’ve always found it sad that at the young age of 17 or 18, we’re expected to make pretty much the most important decision of our lives. Twelve years isn’t nearly enough time to actually figure out you want to do for the rest of your life, especially since, for most of it, we’re dealing with all these other challenging aspects of adolescence. It really isn’t fair.

On the first day with the Greene Team, I realized how incredibly lucky I was. I have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a career I’m thinking about pursuing instead of just dropping thousands of dollars majoring in a career after high school. As a person that is constantly changing their mind, this is probably the best program for me. Pitching ideas in a room full of my peers, getting feedback, and coming up with ways to execute ideas is the first aspect of journalism we touched on and one I really liked. I don’t have a shortage of ideas, and finding a place where I can extend them is comforting. Yesterday, we had a speaker discuss the change in the industry from television to the internet, and with that my biggest fear is the career itself might not be what I completely envision for myself. It seems the journalism field is always changing, similar to other fields, but I find with journalism, it’s faster than others. Is journalism a stable career with all its rapid changes? I always envisioned myself on a channel like ABC, reporting World News Tonight. What steps would I actually have to take to get there? As the week continues, I hope to find what I envision within this career.


Welcome Greene Team 2018!

Welcome to the home of the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists!

Our tenth year is off to a great start, with students from high schools on Long Island, New York City and Parkland, Florida. They were accepted into the program because they all have already produced great work for their schools in the spirit of pioneering Newsday investigative reporter and editor Robert W. Greene, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and a founding faculty member of Stony Brook University’s School of Journalism.

Photo by Wasim Ahmad.

Meet the 2018 Greene Team:

Inna Ali – Secondary School for Journalism
Adeishe Bagaloo – Uniondale HS
Emily Bishop – The Stony Brook School
Jianni Burnett – The Scholars’ Academy
Jennifer Cirigliano – W.C.Mepham High School
Brianna Depra – Hempstead HS
Brianna Diane Foster – Smithtown High School East
Emanuel Figetakis – Francis Lewis High School
Sebastian Germosen – Archbishop Molloy HS
Zoe Gordon – Marjory Stoneman Douglas
Corianna Jackson – Brentwood High School
Yash Kumar – Jericho High School
Caroline Ledoux – Roosevelt HS
Christian Miller – St John the Baptist
Lauren Nicks – Baldwin Senior High School
Julianna R. Orkin – West Islip High School
Emily Palazzotto – Connetquot High School
Matthew Quan – Longwood High School
Meghan Reilly – Westhampton Beach High School
Rachel Schneider – Great Neck South High School
Parker Schug – Bayport-Blue Point High School
Chelsea Sibri – The Scholars’ Academy
Laila Stevens – Benjamin N. Cardozo High School
Taylor Yon – Marjory Stoneman Douglas
Nijha A.Young – Baldwin Senior High School

Each Greene Team member in Summer 2018 will work in the School of Journalism Newsroom on breaking news stories that will require them to perform key journalistic tasks on all media platforms including writing news stories, taking photographs, producing, shooting and editing video, conducting an interview, addressing a newsmaker at a press conference, posting text and images to a blog or website and covering a speech. Each student will also work in Stony Brook’s television news studio operating a teleprompter, appearing live in front of a camera at the anchor’s desk or reporting live as an on-air television correspondent.

By the end of our weeklong workshop, each participant will work in a team on various multimedia assignments that will be posted here. Students will be blogging throughout the program also.

We invite you to explore the site to see the fine work the students produce!

–  Zack and Cathrine