Immediate Release Collin Nash or Justin Meyers
May 5, 2008 (516) 869-7794
The Blazers, Great Neck’s High School Soccer Team Honored at Town Hall for Their Nassau County 2007 Class A Championship Win
For the Great Neck North High School varsity soccer team, winning the Nassau County 2007 Class A championship was equal to the New York Giants’ astounding Super Bowl victory, said the team’s coach, Eamonn Flood.
“People knew were talented and that we were good but few thought we could pull it off,” Flood said after Supervisor Jon Kaiman and the North Hempstead town board honored the team and its coaches with a citation at a special Town Hall ceremony preceding last Tuesday’s town board meeting.
Paying tribute to the Blazers triumph over Jericho in a triple-overtime shootout, Supervisor Kaiman said, for him, the accomplishment was even more special because it symbolized a key philosophy of his administration: the notion of team work—overlapping layers of local government partnering to alleviate inefficiencies that often result in higher taxes.
“It takes talent and perseverance to accomplish what this team did,” Kaiman said. “But it also took a lot of commitment and support from a network of other unsung heroes, including the coaching staff, the school system and the families of these players. I salute all of you.”
All the hard work along the road to this improbable dream culminated on bitter cold, windy night on Nov. 7.
The Blazers fans, many with their faces painted orange and navy to match their hair, literally filled the stands of Hofstra University’s stadium in Uniondale. By his estimate, Flood said, they outnumbered Jericho’s fans by at least 8-1.
Both teams, after a scoreless tie at the end of regulation, faced off in a shoot out. The nail-biter went on for seven rounds. In the eighth round, midfielder, Tal Zivan, a Great Neck High School junior, slammed a shot into the back of Jericho’s goal to make it 1-0.
Now it was Jericho’s turn. The Blazer’s goalie, Tal Grinbaum, prowled the goal line as Jericho’s kicker marked out his run-up to the penalty line. Anticipating the shot low into the left corner, Grinbaum came up with the save of a lifetime.
The fans went wild.
“It was the most amazing feeling in my life,” said Grinbaum, the game’s Most Valuable Player and prospective Division I soccer for Duke University, where he hopes to study business.
Doug Spector, whose son, Eric, is a member of the team, waxed prideful after the presentation at Town Hall.
Noting that the team, a multi-cultural squad with roots in a number of lands including Persia, Israel, and Latin and South America, was an incredibly tight bunch on and off the field, Spector said the delight he felt has been coursing through every member of the Great Neck community since the Blazers amazing feat.
“I’m incredibly proud of these boys,” he said.