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Drew Hassenbein and Ethan Falkowitz Will Live on Forever

By: Jack Nevins

On Wednesday, May 3, 2023, just before 10:30 P.M. in Jericho, New York, two stand-out tennis players and students, Ethan Falkowitz and Drew Hassenbein tragically died when the car they were in was struck by a drunk driver traveling in the wrong lane. Along with the two young teens, 16 year old Ethan Solop and 17 year old Zachary Sheena, the driver, were both injured and hospitalized, but have since been released from the hospital.

You may ask, why am I writing this article and why is it important? This story hits close to home because Ethan and Drew lived in a town near me, played high school tennis, and spent their summers at sleepaway camp in Pennsylvania. I play Varsity tennis at Half Hollow Hills High School East and I was also a camper at the sleepaway camp for the past nine summers. Although I did not know Ethan and Drew, I realized I shared many similarities with them. Hearing about the horrible accident made me feel empty inside knowing that both fellow varsity tennis players lived a life with many similarities to mine, but it was all taken away by a drunk driver. 

All four boys involved in the accident played on the Roslyn High School varsity tennis team and helped Roslyn achieve the 2022 Long Island High School Boys Tennis Team of the year. Despite only being 14 years old, Ethan and Drew were both starters for the Bulldogs and were both fierce competitors on the court. As the season came to a close, both were key in helping Roslyn win the Nassau County Championship in back-to-back years. Drew was a top ranked player nationally, reaching the number one seed for boys 12 and under. Ethan had a big role in doubles for Roslyn, picking up major wins over Syosset, Jericho, and Wheatly. Zach Sheena will be attending Michigan University in the fall of 2023 and Ethan Solop will be heading into his Junior year of high school next fall. 

The tragedy that happened to Ethan and Drew had a huge impact on high school tennis teams and many teams honored them during recent matches. Plainview Old-Bethpage high school varsity tennis team wore blue and white t-shirts to support Roslyn. Wheatley wrote the initials “EF” and “DH” on their shoes and racquets memorializing and paying tribute to Ethan and Drew. The Drew Hassenbein Foundation was established to help raise money for underprivileged tennis players and to bring awareness to drunk driving. Also, there will be a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MAAD) walk in June to continue to raise awareness to stop drunk driving. 

The tragic passing of Drew Hassenbein and Ethan Falkowitz has broken the hearts of high school tennis teams. Ever since the devastating event I have thought of Ethan and Drew every time I step on the court. This is another piece of motivation to win and win in their honor.  But their legacy will live on forever. As Roslyn tennis says “For Hass” and “For Falk”.