South Huntington

School District

March Athletes

of the Month

(left to right) High school principal, Mr. John Murphy, proudly presents Chris Silverio, Grace Buckshaw, and Nick Bottoni as Walt Whitman’s Athletes of the Month for March.

Congratulations to cheerleader Grace Buckshaw on earning Athlete of the Month for March! As a senior, Grace plans to attend the University of Pennsylvania in the fall to study nursing. One of her most impressive highlights during this season was making the All-Long Island second team and being able to compete with her teammates, despite this year’s implemented restrictions. In her spare time, Grace interns for the Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition, and is an active member in the Girls Leaders Organization, as well as the National Honor Society. While in school, Grace enjoys math the most and considers her teachers and the sense of community to be her favorite part about Whitman. During her senior year, Grace has plenty of advice to offer to her younger teammates. The college bound student recommended, “Make the most of the time you have in high school and with your teams because when you get to college you may not know if you will continue playing.” Cheering since 7th grade herself, Grace looks forward to attending the University of Pennsylvania to further her studies and try out for the Quaker’s cheerleading squad. Congratulations and best of luck, Grace!

In March, Grace made Newsday's 2021 All-Long Island Cheerleading second team as main base for Whitman.

Congratulations to Nick Bottoni on earning Athlete of the Month for March! Nick is a junior at Walt Whitman High School and is the Varsity Football team’s quarterback. In addition to playing football since he was 8 years old, Nick is an active member of the Ambassador’s Club, possessing the leadership skills that make him both an ambassador for other students and a great playmaker for his teammates. Heading into their first playoff game since 1990, Nick was anxious yet confident about competing in the game against Longwood, who they dominated 30-6. Bottoni felt excited to be leading the team as they headed into the Suffolk Conference I title game against William Floyd. “It feels great,” Bottoni shared, “it’s been a long time coming for Whitman. We have a really good group this year and since the beginning of the year, we knew we had a good group and that we had to make the best of it. I’m really proud of the guys.” His most memorable moment on the field was the home varsity football game against Ward Melville when the team was down with 16 seconds left and he made the epic throw to Chris Silverio for the game-winning touchdown. Reveling in this moment, Nick leaves his teammates with solid advice that makes moments like these possible. “Work hard. The summer workouts are very important to get in good condition,” he shared as he remembers back to preseason training. “Even if you have a bad game, it’s important not to get down on yourself. Keep working hard and move forward to work even harder at the next game.” Congratulations and good luck Nick!

Junior quarterback Nick Bottoni snuck into the endzone to give the Wildcats a TD at the championship game against William Floyd.

Congratulations to Chris Silverio on earning Athlete of the Month for March! Chris is a junior wide receiver and defensive back for the Varsity Football team who is elated to have had a spot in the league championships for the first time in 37 years for Walt Whitman. As a junior, Chris enjoys science and has aspirations of attending TSU and continuing playing football there.  His favorite part about Whitman is the balance of great friends, supportive teachers, competitive sports, and the countless opportunities to have fun. Chris’ most memorable moment from this fall sports season was making “the catch” against Ward Melville when the Wildcats were down with 16 seconds left in the nail-biting home game. Chris brought the same competitive edge into the Suffolk Conference I title game against William Floyd to add to the team's total score. Chris shared a bit of advice with his teammates to keep working hard and pushing themselves to never give up despite the challenges they face on and off the field. The possibilities are endless with the right mindset and work ethic, and March’s Athletes of the Month exhibit just that. Congratulations and good luck Chris!

In their game against Ward Melville, Junior Chris Silverio caught the 42-yard pass from Nick Bottoni with 16 seconds left to give the Wildcats the win, 28-25.

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