Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame introduces 2020 class
The Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame introduced its Class of 2020 Tuesday, and it includes the Nets’ coach, a World Cup winner and two high school athletes whose deaths have left an impact on the Island and beyond.
Kenny Atkinson, a Northport native, has been coaching the Nets since 2016. Allie Long, also of Northport, was on the U.S. women’s soccer team that won the World Cup in 2019.
Northport’s Louis J. Acompora died in 2000 from a blow to his chest. He was playing in his first high school game. Following the 14-year-old’s death, the Louis J. Acompora Memorial has work to spread awareness about the importance of owning automated external defibrillators.
Thomas Cutinella died Oct. 1 after suffering a traumatic head injury playing football for Shoreham-Wading River High School. The Thomas Cutinella Memorial Foundation has since worked to improve awareness of football-related head injuries.
Matthew “Dezy” DiStefano will also be honored. The Sachem volleyball coach became a motivational speaker and an advocate for cancer patients before his death this year at the age of 42.
The Hall will also induct Phillies International Scouting Director Sal Agostinelli, Mets scout Larry Izzo and University of Michigan women’s basketball coach Kim Arico.
Newsday’s Mark Herrman and Andy Slawson, Hofstra’s Rick Cole Jr., Brentwood’s Ron Eden, St. Anthony’s coach Rich Reichert, Shoreham-Wading River coaches Paul Koretzki and Bob Szymanski, Stony Brook’s Joe Spallina, UConn coach Raymond Reid and former NFL player Kevin Riccio round out the Class of 2020. The Suffolk Hall will also recognize Dr. H. Jean Berger, Ruth Gracey, Jeannette Rogers and Annamae McKeever-Kress as pioneering females. Baseball historian and sportswriter Henry Chadwick is the 2020 historic inductee.
The inductees will be honored in a ceremony May 26. The Hall of Fame is also marking its 30th anniversary.