Retired Oceanside coach dies: Roy Chernock
, a highly successful track and field coach at Oceanside High from 1958-67 and then several colleges, died last week in West Palm Beach, Fla., at the age of 90.
He compiled a record of 105-3 in dual meets at Oceanside and coached multiple state champions. His C.W. Post teams from 1967-73 were 42-1, and Chernock went on to coach at Baruch College and William & Mary.
After retiring from William & Mary in 1990, Chernock coached at five Florida high schools.
The role model issue: Basketball great Charles Barkley, probably better known to current teens as a TV analyst rather than perhaps the greatest 6-foot-6 rebounder in the history of the sport, made waves 25 years by saying in a Nike commercial, "I'm not a role model. Just because I dunk a basketball doesn't mean I should raise your kids."
With that in mind, the girls tennis team at Guilderland has been riding the proverbial roller coaster for the past week courtesy of Serena Williams.
Last Friday, players donned black tutus for their home match against Schenectady in a show of support for Williams in the aftermath of the mini-uproar that materialized after officials of the French Open said her form-fitting black catsuit would not be suitable attire for their tournament.
Much of the tennis community and casual fans of the sport quickly spoke out in support of Williams, an all-time tennis great who wields great influence via her words and actions.
Now, fast-forward to the past weekend, when Williams had an ugly, well-documented meltdown while losing the U.S. Open women's singles final to Naomi Osaka.
On Tuesday, Guilderland played at Columbia and again wore the tutus.
"I still see her pretty much the same way," said eighth-grader Isabela Parker, who came up with the tutus idea. "I know we all have ups and downs, and we shouldn't stop respecting someone just because they had one little thing.
"And what she was saying through this whole big thing is that there have been men who have sworn at the umpire, and she was trying to make a point about the call. She didn't swear."
While coach Debra O'Brien said Williams calling the umpire a thief "probably wasn't the best thing," but she can appreciate the pressures that athletes face.
"We don't know what's going on behind the scenes, especially as an educator and a coach," O'Brien said. "I have no idea what kind of day this child has had, what's going on with their home life. People have issues and they have stuff going on. So can we forgive them for this? Yeah. If she turns out to make this a consistent thing, then obviously you start to lose respect for somebody like that. I think it was an isolated incident."