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Rye Rugby Club Makes Another Trip to States,

But Falls to Keio/FASNY in Final

By Melanie Cane

With a 5-1 regular season record, the Rye Rugby Club earned the No. 2 seed in the New York Metropolitan Division. In four of their five wins, the offense proved formidable, scoring 40 to 65 points. Their only regular season loss was against Keio/French-American School, a game in which the Garnets got off to a fast start, but their opponent came back and won 43-21.

And it was top-seeded Keio/FASNY whom they met in the State Tournament held in Binghamton the weekend of June 3.

The State semifinal game was a rematch of last year’s final against Saratoga. Rye won 52-10. The following day the Garnets met their nemesis.

Through rain and mud, the two teams sloshed it out in a defensive battle until the bitter end. Rye was down 10-5 when they got the ball into the try zone in the last seconds of the game. Unfortunately, they were not able to put the ball down, as a defensive player kept his hand under the ball.

Senior captain Cameron Kamer, who started the Rye Rugby Club in his freshman year, along with Paul Devlin, Jack Bryan, and Dylan Fisher, was pleased and proud of the team’s successful season. “Not many teams can say they have been to back-to-back state championships in their first three seasons.”

He added, “I’m so thankful for all the coaches, players, and supporters who’ve helped the club get to where it is today, and I can’t wait to watch it continue to grow in years to come.”

 

The Rye Rugby team

Rye High Girls’ Golf

Shy a Title, but on a Steady Course

By Melanie Cane

The Garnet finished the season 10-4 and sent four players to sectionals. Coach Rich Savage praised the girls for their composure, which enabled them to win matches against tough opponents like Edgemont. Scarsdale edged Rye out of a league title by nine strokes.

On this young team, eighth grader Amanda Latkany made steady progress and had some of her best rounds this year. Freshmen Jena Yi and Olivia Dabinett were integral to the Garnets success. Yi shot the team’s lowest score of 40 against Bronxville/Yonkers at Dunwoodie golf course. Sophomore Delucia Lepore consistently improved her scores throughout the season. Classmates Simone Fortin and Lara Martin had consistently low scores in all of the league matches.

Latkany, Yi, Fortin, and Lepore qualified for the sectional tournament, which was played at Centennial Golf Club May 23-24. The girls played 18 holes each day. Latkany was poised to take 9th place, which would have qualified her for states, but she missed a 3-foot putt on the 36th hole, which sent her into a playoff, where she missed qualifying by one stroke. Yi placed 16th and Fortin finished in 20th place. All four players were named All-League.

Coach Savage said he is proud of the team’s accomplishments and captain Mary Kate Kelleher’s great leadership.

Caption:

Amanda Latkany teeing off

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Rye Neck Boys’ Tennis

Panthers Sweep League for Third Straight Crown

By Mitch Silver

The last time the Rye Neck Panthers lost a league tennis title, Cuba was off limits to U.S. tourism, Donald Trump was host of “The Apprentice”, and the Chicago Cubs were still America’s lovable losers. The last time Rye Neck tennis star Eikoh Hayashi lost a league singles match was, well, never.

They did it again in 2017. The Panthers ran through their 12 league matches without a blemish, and Hayashi at 1st singles finished the season undefeated as well. In fact, this spring he became the first male tennis player at Rye Neck to win the Conference Championship in singles. Not surprisingly, the junior earned All-League and All-Conference recognition for the season. Then he made it to the Sectional Quarterfinals before losing in a hard-fought match.

Fellow junior Ryan Francavilla, who played 2nd singles, also earned All-League honors and played in the Conference Tournament, losing in the first round. Senior Hunter Greenhill, who played 3rd singles, finished the regular season 9-2 and earned All-League honors as well.

In his eighth year at the helm, Coach Shawn Lincoln was characteristically low-key. “We ended up having a pretty good season. We’ll graduate eight seniors from this year's team, but they’ve had quite a run.”

The Cubs can only wish for such a run.

 Coach Shawn Lincoln, second from right, joins his three-time league champs.

 Eikoh Hayashi on the way to another easy win

Rye Country Day Girls’ Tennis

Wildcats Flourish in Their First Spring Season

By Melanie Cane

In their first year as a spring, not fall, school sport, the Rye Country Day Girls’ Tennis team finished the season with a 10-4 record. In their last regular match, May 12, they beat King 5-2, with all of the doubles’ teams winning 6-0, 6-0.

Freshman Sena Selby, the top singles player, played her best match of the season. She beat King’s top player who until then was undefeated in league play.

On May 15, Selby and the No. 1 doubles team of Lily Rosen and Sofia Wilmer made it to the semifinal round of the FAA tournament. Both Selby and Rosen/Wilmer lost in the semifinals to the eventual champions.

Coach Jen Smith said she was very proud of all the players and thanked them for their commitment. “We had a terrific season.”

Caption:

Sena Selby, the Wildcats’ top singles player

RowAmerica Rye Looking to Medal at Nationals

By Melanie Cane

Nearly 2,000 athletes representing over 40 teams competed May 20-21 in the US Rowing Northeast Youth Championships on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass., the qualifying regatta for the US Rowing Youth National Championships. And six boats from RowAmerica Rye made the cut.

In the Northeast Championships, two RowAmerica boats — the Women’s Youth Lightweight and the Men’s Youth Pair — won gold medals. The winning girls were Izzy Aronin, Carolyn Soltz, Mackenzie Smith, Ashley Gianetti, and Hannah Weingartner. Rye’s Sean Hayes and Gus Rodriguez comprised the Men’s Youth Pair.

The Women’s Youth Four boat of Kate O’Byrne, Hannah Schaenman, Kelly Morrissy, Melanie Holmes, and Amanda Mustafaraj brought home silver.

And both the Women’s Youth Quad and the Men’s Youth Eight won bronze medals.

Clemmi Borgogni and Chris Pyne will represent RAR’s Men’s Youth Doubles as well as the Eight at Nationals, which will be held the weekend of June 9 in Sarasota, Florida.

“Our athletes have been working very hard towards reaching their goal of medaling at the Nationals, and qualifying at regionals was a critical step,” said Marko Serafimovski, Director and Head Women’s Varsity Coach. “With fewer than 40 varsity members, it is impressive that we are sending six boats to compete on the national level.”

The coach was excited to report that 12 of those 40 athletes have been recruited to row in college — from Hobart to Harvard to U Penn to Tulane to UCLA.

Men’s Eight just off the Milton Harbor dock

Women’s Quad

Rye Country Day Boys’ Lacrosse

Wildcats Beat Hackley in Overtime for NYSAIS Title

By Mitch Silver

What is it about Hackley? For some reason, the mere sight of a Hackley uniform no matter the sport has Rye Country Day athletes playing on a higher level than even they thought possible. It was certainly true May 24 at Manhattanville College when the two teams met to decide the championship of the New York State Association of Independent Schools boys’ lacrosse tournament.

Of course, it also could have been a grudge thing. The Hornets defeated the Wildcats 12-9 in the 2016 final at Randalls Island, and Coach Matt Rosolen’s boys certainly wanted payback. It looked like they would get it in spades this year when, after tromping Dalton and Trinity in the quarters and semis, Tommy Chai picked up the opening faceoff of the final, drove to his right, and slung a shot over the right shoulder of Hackley goalie Eli Hankin for the first score just 20 seconds into the game. Less than three minutes later, senior co-captain Chai fed sophomore Ray Konopka in front for a one-bounce shot and a 2-0 lead.

The Hornets called time out. There must have been Kickapoo Joy Juice in the Gatorade bottles in the huddle, because when play resumed Rye’s domination was gone. Suddenly, passes went awry, stick checks were missed, ground balls were bobbled. Hackley took advantage and scored. And scored. And scored. And scored. And, yes, scored with a minute left in the half to go up by 5-2.

The ragged play by the Grandview Avenue crew persisted right through the third period. Only senior Henry Shipman’s spectacular play in goal kept the score at 5-2 going into the final 12 minutes. But then the game looked out of reach when yet another giveaway in front led to a sixth Hackley goal by Will Jones at the nine-minute mark.

It was at that point that, as Assistant Coach Tim Silverman put it, “Tommy put the team on his back.” Chai scored on a nifty reverse from behind the cage at 6:32 to make it 6-3. Like the Prince kissing Sleeping Beauty, it woke things up.

Chai scored a minute later on a solo effort that included moves with his stick that should lead to a re-recording of “Hand Jive, that 50s hit. It was 6-4 Hackley.

Rye Country Day sophomore Harrison Roth managed to sneak a shot past Hankin’s right foot to cut the deficit to a single goal with two and a half minutes left in the game. And then, with 90 seconds to go, sophomore defender Isaac Sacks used his long stick to win the most important faceoff of his life. Chai picked up the ball and fooled Hankin with a jump shot for the goal that gave the Wildcats new life at 6-6.

In the first five-minute, sudden-victory OT, Chai had two shots stopped and Roth had a point-blank effort that was turned away. Then, with two minutes left in the second extra period, Shipman made a save and got the ball out to his defenseman who overshot his clearing pass, something the Wildcats must have done a dozen times or more. This time, though, Konopka was Johnny on the spot. He picked up the loose ball, rumbled down the right side, and whipped a shot past the startled keeper for the win.

After praising Shipman, Konopka, and what he termed “an airtight defense the whole second half,” Assistant Coach Brian O’Callaghan singled out Tommy Chai for special praise. “That kid has really broad shoulders.”

Wildcat sophomore Isaac Sacks (in white) battles for a faceoff.

Senior captain Tommy Chai, right, was ferocious in the 4th quarter.

Tommy Chai wards off a Hackley defender on his way to scoring the tying goal.