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A home run idea! New sports history course added to Port Jefferson High School curriculum

Port Jefferson HS.png
Chris Vaccaro
Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame
The exterior of Port Jefferson High School on Long Island. A new sports history course is launching this fall through a partnership with the school and the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame.

The Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame and Port Jefferson High School have partnered on a program to teach students about local sports history and provide them with unique experiences in the classroom.

The idea of the joint venture came from Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame President Chris Vaccaro and his brother, Bryan, who is a social studies teacher and multi-sport coach at the high school.

“I’ve really developed new pillars,” said Chris Vaccari. “One of them being to use the Hall of Fame to help inspire the next generation and to inform people about the significance of sports in Suffolk County from a historic perspective.”

The course is the first of its kind in the non-profit organization’s 32-year history. Starting this fall, it will be open to all students who wish to pursue a career in sports journalism or business.

“There’s the misconception that history or social studies classes are boring,” said Bryan. “What I try to do with my classes is to make it as real as possible for my students. I think one of the greatest unifying forces for high school kids or for people in general in this country or the world is sports.”

The course will feature appearances from guest speakers in the sports industry.

They could include inductees of the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame, like ESPN’s Linda Cohn and actor Ralph Macchio, who is best known for his work in the “Karate Kid” film series.

Mike Lyle is a former reporter and host at WSHU.