By Rich Acritelli
In praise of old Nassau we sing,
Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!
Our hearts will give, as long as we live,
Thumbs up for Old Nassau.
These sacred words represent the proud alma mater of Princeton University, which has acquired the academic and athletic talents of current Rocky Point student Alexandra Kelly and 2016 graduate Kyle Strovink. Both individuals will undoubtedly shine. at the prestigious university.
A graduate this year, Kelly is a humble, soft-spoken woman and dynamic football forward who has helped the Eagles have a distinguished season. This countywide athlete was seen rushing onto the field for her team, which scored numerous goals.
Once football was over, Kelly focused on her winter track season, where she was one of the top triple jumpers and long jumpers on Long Island and New York State. She placed fifth as a 10th grader in the state, but was unable to compete in her freshman year due to COVID-19.
On March 5, this determined competitor took first place in the triple jump with a leap of 39-06.00 at the 2022 NYSPHSAA Indoor Track and Field Championships held at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex, Staten Island. She continued to do well at the New Balance Nationals, where she placed fifth at this New York City Armory event.
Although recruited by Dartmouth, the US Naval Academy and Stanford University, Kelly chose to attend Princeton this fall.
Strovink is now in uniform as a volunteer assistant baseball coach at Princeton, working with catchers and hitters. A graduate of Limestone University in South Carolina, this high school All-American and college standout now has the experience of working with former New York Yankee Scott Bradley. The former Major League Baseball player was instrumental in mentoring the Rocky Point native who coached his team in games against strong southern colleges.
Strovink comes from an important family of athletes from the North Shore. His older brother Brennan was an excellent athlete who now teaches physical education and coaches baseball and wrestling at Patchogue-Medford High School. Father Eric was a baseball phenom at Shoreham-Wading River High School. This feared hitter played for Louisiana State University, the CW Post and briefly for the Texas Rangers.
Like his family, Kyle wants to become a college baseball coach and make it his career. He has connected well with Ivy League baseball players who have had little time on the field over the past two years due to the pandemic. And while his team has a losing record this season, 2-13, the Tigers recently won a doubleheader against Towson, scoring 39 points.
Strovink is eager to open his team’s conference game against rivals such as Brown, Cornell, Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard and Yale.
The sky is the limit for these former Rocky Point Eagles who are now proud Princeton Tigers.
Author Rich Acritelli is a history teacher at Rocky Point High School and an assistant professor at Suffolk County Community College.