William Floyd inducts 12th athletic hall of fame class
February 20, 2019 — Carl Corry
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For Joseph Passaro, a three-sport athlete who earned top accolades in each, including William Floyd’s 1978 “Outstanding Male Athlete” award, becoming one of this year’s William Floyd Athletic Hall of Famers “meant the world” to him.
“You’re not going to meet someone so adamant about sports as me,” said the retired Suffolk police officer, class of 1978, who played football, baseball and basketball.
Passaro was joined by three other former standout student-athletes, a world champion professional boxer, a league champion varsity baseball team and the local youth baseball league, Tri Hamlet Sports Club, in the district’s 12th class of Hall of Fame recipients.
Inductees were enshrined at a ceremony attended by more than 100 people in January at the high school.
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Ginine Duda with daughter, Kelsey Rae.
Ginine (Lucarello) Duda, class of 2002, not only went to Floyd, but also works for the district as a third-grade teacher at Moriches Elementary.
In fact, she found out she was being inducted into the Hall of Fame via interoffice mail.
“It was a nice surprise coming into work,” said Duda, 35, of Shirley. “I was a little taken back and overwhelmed.”
Duda was a dominant track and field and cross country athlete who won the Suffolk County “A” Cross Country Championship in 1999 and set numerous Floyd records. Her outdoor 1,500-meter record of 4:54 still stands.
She coached middle school track in the district, but has taken a break to spend time with her 14-month-old daughter, Kelsey Rae. She plans to coach again once her daughter is in school full time.
Of the Hall of Fame ceremony, Duda said, “It was really cool because they had the high school culinary run the program, and the food was amazing. And there were photo dropbacks like you were going to an awards show.”
Duda started in soccer and track in the seventh grade, but her coaches suggested she go in the direction of running, which led to cross-country.
“It’s a team sport. It’s not just about coming in first place, but beating your time.”
She said coaches would take her to special meets and made sure she was on top of her grades. And teachers would let her take tests on different days or give her extra time.
“I wouldn’t have been able to get a full ride to a college without track,” said the Manhattan College grad, who later went to St. Joseph’s College to earn a master’s. “That’s what led me to want to become a teacher. Because I had so many good role models with teachers.”
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Duda, Ginine Lucarello [MC2006]
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