It’s the bottom half of the last inning for Steven Napurano at Huntington High School. The senior will graduate next month with fellow members of the Class of 2017. His future plans are still taking shape.
That reference to baseball in the first sentence of this story was no accident. Mr. Napurano has been an integral member of the Blue Devil baseball program for many years. He loves the game and he plays it as often as he can.
It seems like just yesterday that Mr. Napurano headed off for his first day of kindergarten at Southdown Primary School. That was September 2004. “Many of my fondest memories of Southdown include our field trips, especially the one to Yankee Stadium and the well-known walk down Browns Road to Gold Star Battalion Beach,” the teenager said. “I have many memories of all my teachers at Southdown, especially my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. [Lauren] Wesnofske and my first grade teacher Mrs. [Dana] Hartough.
Huntington senior Steven Napurano.
One of the captains of this year’s Huntington varsity baseball team, Mr. Napurano has collected 15 hits through the first 16 games, batting .283. He’s also pitched in five games, including a pair of starts and thrown 14 innings in all. “I have done really well at the plate and am very proud of our team this year,” he said.
A member of Huntington’s baseball program since 2011, Mr. Napurano simply loves the sport. “I have always been in the starting rotation as a pitcher, centerfielder or leftfielder,” he said. “My baseball career started at just five years old. Ironically enough, my coach at that time was Billy Harris, who is our varsity coach today. My teammates and I were known as ‘The Finley Five when we went on to win the district championship in the summer of 2010. We enjoyed the ride to Cooperstown.”
Mr. Napurano has a variety of interests, but baseball is clearly at the top of the list. “Throughout my career as a Blue Devil baseball player, I have formed many wonderful memories, especially of our games at Ducks Stadium and when my brother, Andrew (Huntington Class of 2015) pitched and I was in left field,” he said. “It was an honor to be a player there and not just a fan. I also had the opportunity to play at Citi Field with the CGI Braves. What a thrill that was because I’m a Mets fan. Sitting in the dugout where the Mets sit was surreal. I am looking forward to enjoying our last summer playing with Coach Harris and helping out at the Booster Club summer camp again.”
The teenager is still evaluating his college options. Mr. Napurano is considering SUNY Old Westbury, SUNY Purchase, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Delhi, SUNY Morrisville and the University at Albany among other possible landing spots.
“Although I haven’t decided on a college, I know for certain that I’ll pursue a career in sports physical therapy or sports recreation,” Mr. Napurano said. “I really enjoyed Ms. [Paige] Tyree’s Sports Management class last year and our trip to Madison Square Garden was a thrill. I definitely wanted to pursue something in sports after taking that class and doing so well.”
When the teenager isn’t on the baseball diamond he enjoys watching ESPN for the latest scores and highlights and visiting family members in Tennessee.
“My advice to all incoming freshmen is to stay focused and join a club or a sport,” Mr. Napurano said. “Take any opportunity that comes your way. Be committed to what you love to do. I sure have. I will miss my years here at Huntington High School, especially being a Blue Devil baseball player, but I’m looking forward to college life and everything else that comes my way.”