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Slocum Students Collaborate with the World

Slocum Students Collaborate with the World photo

In celebration of International Dot Day, first-graders in Dina Pinelli’s class at Slocum Elementary School used their artistic talents to create their very own dot-inspired paintings which will later hang in the classroom.

Motivated from their reading of “The Dot” by Peter H. Reynolds, the students began their artistic creations with a simple dot of paint, which further blossomed into masterpieces resembling monster trucks, sunny garden scenes and superheroes.

According to their website, International Dot Day aims to bring millions of people throughout the world together to connect, collaborate, create and celebrate all that creativity inspires and invites. 

Exploring Scientific Possibilities

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Connetquot High School juniors and science research students Christopher Picchiello and Giavana Prucha spent a week this summer conducting scientific experiments and furthering their scientific knowledge at Brookhaven National Lab’s National Synchrotron Light Source-II.

After learning about the facility’s capabilities through a series of lectures by scientists from NSLS-II and SUNY Stony Brook, the students gained hands-on experience in the process of protein crystallization and x-ray crystallography. By week’s end, they were able to harvest protein crystals and use both the AMX and FMX beamlines to produce high resolution diffraction patterns. These images were then processed by the students using advanced software to create 3-D images of the proteins as they bound different ligands. 

The students will now be able to use their knowledge and experiences to develop proposals to submit to Brookhaven National Lab’s National Synchrotron Light Source-II to access time to use these beamlines for their future research projects. 

Preparing for the New School Year

Preparing for the New School Year photo
The district recently hosted its annual Superintendent’s Conference Day, inviting all staff and employees to come together and share best practices in preparation for the upcoming school year. 

During the first day of the two-day program, faculty and staff members gathered at Connetquot High School to learn about innovations of mindfulness to be utilized in the classroom and personal practice, courtesy of Carin Winter, CEO and founder of Mission Be. Additionally, district elementary staff members were invited to the Noel S. Ruiz Theatre at CM Performing Arts Center for a presentation hosted by Cory Muscara, mindfulness teacher, speaker and coach. 

Included in the professional development opportunities provided throughout the program was a workshop on hands-on CPR. The training demonstration, presented by Dr. Chris Byron of Nationwide Instruction for Cardiovascular Education, equipped the attending staff members with life-saving information and techniques that all attendees will be able to utilize should an emergency situation arise.

Outdoor Lessons in Full Bloom

Classes at Bosti Elementary School are now able to enjoy the recently renovated outdoor classroom within the school’s courtyard for reading, writing and science-based lessons.

Additionally, a variety of flowers, plants and even pumpkins are growing, making it a haven for butterflies and birds. This beautiful space was enhanced this past spring through a CFAC grant written by Lisa Manzo, Patricia Koster, and Laura Nektaredes. The Labyrinth was designed and created by Ronkonkoma resident Richard Koster.

This summer, the space was cared for by parents and students alike, as they watered and weeded the garden.

A heartfelt thank you to the following families and scout troops for their contributions - Ramirez, Monalvo, Arroyo, Castaldo, Quinn, Hippler, Farino, Focarile, DiGaetano, Girl Scout Troop 1855 (Mrs. Ciaccco) and Girl Scout Troop 2314 (Mrs. Olsen). 

Weekly Sports Update - September 11-15, 2017

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Football Team Remains Undefeated

The Connetquot High School football team is off to an undefeated start with their recent 34-26 overtime win over Ward Melville High School. 

The T-Birds were down 13-7 at the half, but came back to tie the score and earn the win in overtime in their first home game of the season. Connetquot Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lynda Adams and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dean Mittleman were on hand to witness the win, along with Board of Education trustees Craig Amarando, Nicholas Ferraioli and Robert Grable. 

Cole Bunicci’s fourth-quarter interception and score with five minutes left in the final quarter tied the game at 26 points. Connetquot quarterback Dylan McDermott completed 16 passes for 194 yards and one touchdown. George Wichelns picked up 70 yards on eight carries and a touchdown, while GQ Grippo added seven receptions for 60 yards. Additionally, Grippo scored in overtime to give the T-Birds — and their excited fans — their second win of the season.

Connetquot High School football coach Mike Hansen was pleased with his team’s determination in the second half and overtime to come back from a halftime deficit and pick up an impressive win against the very competitive Ward Melville team.
The T-Birds will play William Floyd High School at home tonight at 7 p.m.   

Soccer Teams Display Valiant Effort

Connetquot High School hosted a double-header of soccer games featuring both the girls and boys teams on Sept. 14. 

Mark Dellecave, the district’s director of health, physical education, athletics and recreation, was on hand to support both teams as they competed to improve their records in anticipation of moving up within the league standings.

The boys team, coached by Nick Sturtz, played hard for the entire game and were down by one point at halftime, but came back to tie the score in the second half.  Unfortunately, Riverhead scored once again and landed a 2-1 victory over Connetquot.   

Emmanuel Kwansah scored the only goal for Connetquot, with Oslen Aluc earning an assist and goalie Tom Foschino contributing four saves. The team’s record dropped to 1-5, but the young athletes look forward to continued improvement throughout the season. 

The girls soccer team came into the Sept. 14 game against Northport High School confident that they would rise to the challenge of playing an undefeated visitor. The girls gave their best efforts but were down at the half by a score of 4-1, and ultimately finished the game on the short end of a 7-1 final score.  
Connetquot’s Celina Schenk scored the team’s lone goal, while Jillian Neunzig picked up the assist and goalie Nicolette Pasquerella stopped four possible Northport goals. The girls, along with coach Ryan Cavanagh, hope to bounce back against Central Islip High School next week. 

Girls Tennis Team Falls Short After Impressive Matches

Connetquot’s girls tennis team played East Islip High School at home on Sept. 12, and, despite their best efforts, came up short by a final score of 4-3.

“Olivia Esposito and Deanna Arndts played a great match in their second doubles competition,” said coach Amy Cohen. “Our girls won 7-5, 6-4 despite being down 4-1 in the second set. The ladies were very impressive in winning the next five games to win the match.”

The team’s record currently stands at 1-3 in the conference, but after playing East Islip the team seems to realize its potential and will be putting in additional effort to move up in the standings. An enthusiastic crowd of family and friends was on hand to support the team, and is looking forward to their next match against Sayville High School.

College Preparation

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Connetquot High School Financial Aid Night

Date: Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Start Time: 7 p.m.

Location: Connetquot High School Auditorium, 190 7th St., Bohemia, NY 11716

Guest presenter is Daniel M. Tramuata, Associate Vice President for

Enrollment Services at SUNY Fredonia

New York State Financial Aid Administrators Association (NYSFAAA) - Past President

Eastern Association of State Financial Aid Administrators (EASFAA) - State Rep


Connetquot High School / Sayville High School College Fair

Date: Thursday, September 28, 2017 @ Sayville High School

Start Time: 6:30 p.m.

End Time: 9:00 p.m.

Location: Sayville High School, 20 Brook St., West Sayville, NY 11796


SUNY College Fair

Date: Wednesday, October 11, 2017 

Start Time: 4 p.m.

Location: The Javits Center, 655 W. 34th St., New York, NY 10001

High school seniors and their families are invited to join SUNY representatives for a program designed to provide information and answer your questions about the college search process and all that is available to undergraduates at the State University of New York.



Words of Wisdom

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Read by Zachary Palazzotto 9/14/17 
Good morning Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School. This is Zachary Palazzotto with a few words of wisdom.

Writer/ philosopher of the European Enlightenment, Charles de 
Montesquieu says, "To become truly great, one must stand RIGHT with people, NOT above them!"

Upon reading this quote, I was reminded of our ALL IN pledge...
"I pledge to stand up and speak out against bullying.
To accept my role as an EVERYDAY HERO.
To be less critical and more positive.
To treat everyone with RESPECT. 
To be part of the solution, because I am...

So to be a truly great person, learn to treat everyone the same. No one is above you, nor is anyone below you. Equality rules in all matters of RESPECT!

With something to think about, this is Zachary Palazzotto. Make it a great day or not. The choice is yours.

Honoring Fallen Heroes

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Students throughout the district came together as one on Patriot Day and paid tribute to the individuals who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001. 

Staff and students at John Pearl Elementary School dressed in patriotic colors, recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang patriotic songs. Principal Susan White also joined the students in singing ‘Together, We Can Reach Our Goals,’ the John Pearl Elementary School song. Ms. White talked to the students about patriotism and heroes, past and present, including students’ parents, teachers, local firefighters and members of the police and ambulance services. 

Additionally, staff and students at Helen B. Duffield Elementary School reflected on the brave souls who gave their lives, including two fallen heroes of the community, police officer Glen K. Pettit and firefighter John Napolitano. Principal Lisa Farrell joined staff and students in the school courtyard and together as a school paid their respects to all lives lost. 


Printed District Calendar Available

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Recognizing the importance of a strong home-to-school communication connection, the Connetquot Central School District has printed complete copies of the 2017-18 school calendar for families with children attending school in the district. The calendars are being distributed to each elementary school family this week. Parents with students in the secondary schools who do not have a child at the elementary level are encouraged to pick up a copy of the printed calendar during their child’s back to school nights. Any family with a child attending school in the district who does not receive a copy of the calendar is encouraged to contact the District Office to arrange a time to pick one up.  
As a reminder, the full calendar is also available in PDF and digital form on the district’s website. 

Lead Testing Results for Connetquot CSD

Lead Testing Results Letter

JC Broderick Connetquot CSD Sampling Report

Welcoming the Class of 2030

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Kindergarten students and their families from throughout the district had the chance to attend a number of kindergarten playdates and meet and greets before the official start of school on Sept. 7. These activities provided students with an opportunity to familiarize themselves with their new surroundings and get acquainted with their building principal.

The young students were able to meet new friends, enjoy refreshments and receive a tour of their new building, including visiting classrooms and special areas. Additionally, the students’ families had the chance to speak with staff members about school routines and practices to help ensure a smooth start to the 2017-18 school year.

Welcome Back Students for the 2017–18 School Year

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Welcome back students! Please check back throughout the week for additional photos from the first week of school.

Middle Schools Welcome New Students

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Both Ronkonkoma and Oakdale-Bohemia middle schools recently welcomed incoming sixth-graders and their families to visit the school for an orientation session prior to the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

After informative introductions from OBMS Principal Sue Bailey and RMS Principal Charles Morea, students tried out their lockers, met some new friends and toured the building while following their class schedule. 

Congratulations Readers & Writers

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Thank you to all who participated in our Summer ELA challenge and submitted photos of those students caught reading and writing! Congratulations to our latest group of readers and writers: Steven Grillo (first grade), Mia McKevitt (third grade), Ryan O’Reilly (first grade), Sophia N. Orlando (first grade) and Antonia Raccuglia (first grade). Keep up the good work!

The district extends its best wishes to all of our families for a happy and healthy school year! See you when school starts tomorrow – Sept. 7!

Conversations with New Principals

Conversations with New Principals photo

Edward J. Bosti and Cherokee Street elementary schools’ students and families were all smiles as they recently attended separate meet and greet sessions to get acquainted with their new building principals, Laura Kimball and Jill Lahey, respectively.

During the events, the principals spoke about their educational backgrounds and engaged the attendees in conversations about the exciting programs and initiatives the coming year will bring. T-Bird, the mascot, was also on hand to take a photo with students and create a family keepsake from the event. 

Football Fundraiser

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The Connetquot High School football team recently joined the West Islip, Miller Place and Islip school districts to participate in a 4-Way football scrimmage and fundraiser event in support of Response Crisis Center, an organization which aims to spread suicide prevention awareness and assist those with adolescent mental health issues.

Throughout the course of the event, each school played the other three for a 30-minute period, alternating between offensive and defensive positions. Spectators were asked for a small donation at the entrance gate, and T-shirts were also available for purchase in support of the cause.

“The day was a huge success for everyone involved, and it served as a great example of how high school athletes from different schools can come together to support a very important cause,” said Connetquot High School football coach Michael Hansen. “This 4-Way Scrimmage allowed us to bring attention to serious problems facing many young people, and I’d like to thank all the players, coaches, parents and supporters who made this important event so successful.”

Summer Bond Update

Summer Bond Update photo
The Connetquot Central School District completed several capital projects this summer. The work included the removal and replacement of 117 unit ventilators in classrooms and offices; improvement of ventilation systems in main interior classroom and office spaces; replacement of several dozen exhaust fans to improve air quality districtwide; installation of new air handling equipment in the gymnasiums at Sycamore Avenue, John Pearl and Duffield elementary schools, designed to increase control and improve air quality; replacement of the main plumbing manifolds in the Connetquot High School boiler room; and installation of an updated building management system in each of the buildings to better regulate air quality and temperature. 

Leaving a Musical Legacy

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As a result of a generous financial donation by the Sapienza family, the district has created a new state-of-the-art music technology lab at Connetquot High School.

The lab, recently dedicated as the Maria Sapienza Memorial Music Department Technology Lab, features advanced equipment such as brand-new computers, monitors, piano keyboards and software for enhancing students’ musical studies throughout the upcoming school year. Students will utilize the equipment for activities such as musical composition, recording and editing. Those who are enrolled in the high school’s music theory classes will be able to use the lab for additional music study activities.  

Maria Sapienza was a 1989 Connetquot graduate who was active in the music program. Two years into her college studies she was diagnosed with cancer, and unfortunately lost her battle.

 “Maria was very involved in the Connetquot music education program, serving as a drum major in the Thunderbird Marching Band,” said Director of Fine Arts and Music Jon-Michael Lasher. “On behalf of the entire music department and district, we are so very thankful to her family for providing these resources to our next generation of Connetquot musicians.”

Caught Reading and Writing

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Connetquot students are doing a great job reading and writing for fun this summer! Keep up the good work Gianna Eileen DeLeon (second grade), Anthony DiLorenzo (second grade), Ryan Mulvey (second grade), Thomas and Grace Nizich (fourth and third grade), Erich Reineking (seventh grade), Hunter Reineking (10th grade) and Hunter Sepela (third grade).

Have you caught a reader or writer recently? It’s not too late to submit their photo to so we can celebrate them as part of our “Catch a Reader or Writer” summer program.

Welcoming the Class of 2021

Welcoming the Class of 2021 Photo

Incoming ninth-graders recently attended the Connetquot High School Freshman Orientation, as administrators, staff and upperclassmen warmly welcomed the Class of 2021 into their new high school environment.

Connetquot High School Principal Kenneth J. Costa welcomed all in attendance and spoke about several programs and initiatives students will experience throughout the school year. Additionally, Connetquot High School staff members and administrators offered a brief welcome and explained their roles within the district. Student council representatives discussed the code of conduct, the importance of community service and introduced their devised T-Bird mantra based on the slogan “What Would a T-Bird Do?” which will serve as a guideline for all students this upcoming school year. 

Before concluding their visit, the incoming students explored the building alongside their new classmates, tried out their locker combinations and joined one another in classrooms for icebreakers. 

Lacrosse Camp Fun

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More than 50 district students in grades 1-9, as well as counselors, coaches and trainers, took part in the 10th annual Connetquot High School Ladies Lacrosse Summer Camp from Aug. 7-10.

Held over four afternoon sessions, the daily activities consisted of station work, individual skill development and team play. Students and staff played competitive, fun games that sharpened their skills in preparation for the upcoming lacrosse season.

Coach Sal Piscitelli was pleased with the turnout and the amount of interaction between the campers and the varsity players and coaches.

Helping Hands Club Gives Back

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In an effort to give back to their community and ensure that elementary students are ready to begin a successful school year in September, members of Connetquot High School’s Helping Hands Club recently volunteered their time to create back-to-school care packages for students in need throughout the district’s seven elementary schools.  

As a result of the effort, the club filled 36 backpacks with crayons, rulers, notebooks, folders and glue sticks.

In order to raise funds for the school supplies, students held after-school pizza sales during the school year, a fundraiser at Crazy Crepe Café of Ronkonkoma, and sold bottled water at the Connetquot High School graduation ceremony this past June.

Under the guidance of club advisers Lynn Parks and Susan Schiappa, students work diligently throughout the year to volunteer and lend a helping hand within the school community.

Field Hockey Camp

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More than 50 student-athletes in grades 4-9 recently enhanced their field hockey skills during the fourth annual Thunderbird Summer Field Hockey Camp, hosted by Connetquot High School field hockey coach Jen Piscitelli.

During the camp, the students worked on both individual and team-based skills designed to further enhance their love for the sport. Each day ended with a series of games against their more experienced, but supportive, varsity counselors.

2017/18 Calendar Now Available


Marching into the School Year

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Despite the less than perfect weather conditions on the evening of Aug. 2, student-musicians of the Connetquot High School Marching Band were all smiles as they got a jump start on the upcoming school year’s performance routines during the 2017 Marching Band Summer Camp.

The camp, which also serves as an introduction to marching band for incoming freshmen, is led by Connetquot High School Marching Band Director Gregory Johnson. In addition to enhancing their musical capabilities, students rehearsed their musical numbers which surround the theme of Disney’s “Fantasmic,” as the entire high school music department will be heading to Walt Disney World later this school year.

“We are all excited for what this year will bring, and are very proud of all the students involved in the marching band, kickline and color guard as we continue to be the largest organization within the district,” said Mr. Johnson.

Not only is the marching band the single largest organization within the district, they are also incredibly accomplished, and will be performing in the Newsday Marching Band Festival, Columbus Day Parade in Manhattan and the Holiday Parade in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Kicking Around at Soccer Camp

Kicking Around at Soccer Camp Photo

Connetquot High School varsity soccer coaches Nick Sturtz and Ryan Cavanagh recently hosted the sixth annual Connetquot Boys and Girls Soccer Camp at Connetquot High School. Held the week of July 31, the program was attended by more than 175 district students spanning grades 1-12, along with counselors, coaches and trainers.

The camp invited students in grades 1-6 to participate in the evening, while the upperclassmen attended the morning session.

The daily program for each group consisted of station work, individual skill improvement and team play. In addition to the soccer drills, the campers also joined the coaches in playing a variety of agility-based games designed to advance their skills and keep them motivated.

“This year’s group of talented campers has worked with great enthusiasm with the coaches, counselors and teammates,” said Cavanagh.

At the conclusion of the week, each participant received an official camp T-shirt and soccer ball for their attendance and overall performance throughout the week.

Keep on Reading & Writing!

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The Connetquot Central School District is proud to celebrate the ongoing efforts its students who are working to develop a lifelong love for reading and writing this summer! Keep up the good work to the following students who were recently caught reading or writing: Josephine DeBlasi (fifth grade), Kayla DeBlasi (eighth grade), Melanie Humsjo (seventh grade), Madilyn King (first grade) and Kamalnath VinothKumar (first grade)!

Have you caught a reader or writer recently? Be sure to submit their photo to so we can celebrate them as part of our “Catch a Reader or Writer” summer program.


All-Sports Camp Fun

All-Sports Camp Fun Photo

A total of 160 district students in grades 1-7 recently attended the Connetquot Coaches Summer All-Sports Camp.

The five-day camp, held at Bosti and Slocum elementary schools, taught enrollees basic skills for sports such as basketball, volleyball and soccer. Camp-goers also took trips to local movie theaters and enjoyed some friendly competition at local bowling alleys. Michael Konsevich and Michael Oldis ran the program at Bosti, while Scott Ferguson and Amanda Ferguson ran the Slocum camp.

After working hard – and making new friends – throughout the week, these future T-Birds are looking forward to putting their newfound skills and confidence into practice this season.

Triumphant Return

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Congratulations to Connetquot High School student-athlete Mackenzie Cole for once again being selected as one of 20 young volleyball players participating in the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. 

The incoming senior has been playing volleyball since a young age and currently contributes as the defensive libero, providing her team with constant support and structure. In correlation with her current status, she remains on the direct pipeline to one day playing in the Olympic Games.

The district wishes Mackenzie continued success during her two-week training session and the best of luck with her future endeavors both on and off the volleyball court. 

Summer 2017 Newsletter Now Available


Rising to the Top

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The district congratulates Connetquot High School junior Ralph Clemente for being declared champion at the National Junior Olympics Championship event recently held in Charleston, West Virginia.

No stranger to the sport of boxing, the 16-year-old had wanted to pick up the gloves since age 5. However, it wasn’t until he turned 13 that he first stepped into the ring and pursued his dream. Since his boxing career began, Ralph has been named a two-time Junior Olympic Metro champion, three-time New York State Champion and two-time National Finalist. Additionally, he is currently ranked as the number one boxer for his age and weight class in the country.

Rather than drawing inspiration from the top athletes throughout the world, Ralph looks up to boxers he knows personally and uses their robust work ethic to drive him toward success.

“I look at the people I’ve known, and seeing them work hard in the gym really drives me,” he said. “I see local boxers coming up and I know that they’re going to be great, so it’s an honor to train alongside them.”

In order to maintain his successful boxing career, Ralph knows that keeping up with his studies is just as important. There are some days, he says, that he’ll begin training at his gym immediately after school ends and stay there until as late as 11 p.m. before waking up at 6 a.m. the next day to repeat the cycle. He credits his training with trainers Dan Rhodes and Mike Murphy (pictured here) as an essential contribution to his recent successes in the ring.

“I do a lot of cardio, including sprinting and running on the tracks, and then I’ll go back to the gym for strength training regiments for an hour or two, practicing the same moves over and over until all of my techniques are second nature,” he said. “A lot of people think boxing is all about working out, but it’s really about mental technique.”

Ralph plans on competing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, from where he aspires to take home a gold medal for boxing.

“I want to put my name in the history books for boxing; I want to be remembered as one of the greats,” he said. “I’m working hard enough, and I know I’ll get there.”

Students ‘Dig’ Volleyball Camp

Students ‘Dig’ Volleyball Camp Photo

More than 70 district students spanning grades 5-9 recently attended the annual Volleyball Summer Camp, directed by Connetquot High School girls volleyball coach Justin Hertz, for five days of fun physical activity among friends and classmates.

After working hard throughout the week, and making some friends along the way, the students are looking forward to putting their newfound skills – and confidence – into practice this coming volleyball season.

“The purpose of the Connetquot girls volleyball camp is to provide skilled instruction for athletes interested in becoming better players,” said Hertz. “The training schedule included workouts that emphasized proper basic skills and, later, advanced team-related drills, while the last day of camp ended with competitive tournament play.”

Hertz was assisted by district volleyball staff members Karen Edwards, Brianne Hertz and Ashley Marchese, as well as the support of current and former T-Bird volleyball players.

The Connetquot girls volleyball team has won three consecutive Suffolk County Championships and ended the 2017 regular season with an undefeated record of 20-0. The T-Birds were New York State champions in 2016 and finished second in the state this year.