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By Mitch Silver

<<Football>>

Wildcat seniors are ready for the new season. Back row, from left: Jackson Broidwolf, Troy Kesselmark, Colin Duncan, Jack Curry, and Christo Sullivan. Front row, from left: John Golden, Tyler Block, Richard Antoine, Jack Birchenough. Absent: Maxwell Smith.

Coaching Staff: Head Coach John Calandros; Assistants Charles Ogbonna, Dan Hannon, Andy Lopez.

Graduated Starters: “Seven of our graduates are playing college football this fall. Hannes Boehning, Stanford; Ryan Wolitzer, Duke; Raishaun McGhee, Harvard; Evander Jackson, Trinity; Billy Grossman, Occidental; Jared Jones, Amherst; Sean Price, Carnegie Mellon.

Opening Day: At Long Island Lutheran, September 16 at 1 p.m.

Home Opener: Hamden Hall, September 24 at noon.

What will a successful season depend on? “We have to replace eight starters on defense and seven on offense. The players who had a successful season on JV will have to step into those spots. And step up for us.”

<<Boys’ Soccer>>

Rye Country Day soccer seniors pose with Head Coach Cristiano Pereira. From left are Zach Wiener, Matt Molinelli, Matthew Boccanfuso, and Cole Price. Absent: Alonzo Dias and Dylan Pepe.

Coaching Staff: Head Coach Cristiano Pereira, 12th year; Assistant Coach Gary Solem, 2nd year.

2016 Record: 5 wins, 7 losses, 3 ties.

Graduated Starters: Felipe Gomez and Noah Swan.

Returning players: captain Matt Mollinelli, captain Cole Price, seniors Alonzo Dias, Dylan Pepe, Zach Wiener, juniors Cole Boester, Lucca Piccinini, Jack Miller.

Opening Day: At Poly Prep, September 6.

Home Opener: Fieldston, September 15 at 4:30 p.m.

What will a successful season depend on? “Our success will depend on how well we press on defense to win the ball back, as well as playing with composure, skill and good tactical awareness in possession.”

 

Coaching Staff: Head Coach Shannon Bolger, 16 years; Assistant Coach Brinn McGuire, 1st year; Dive Coach Melanie Dilascio, 4th year.

Last Season’s Results: “We had a 7-1 record in dual meets. The team placed 2nd at our Divisional meet and sent several girls to our Sectional meet, where we placed 14th.” 

Returning Swimmers:We are a team of close to 40 girls: five from Rye Neck, five from Blind Brook, and 26 swimmers and three divers from Rye High. Our returning Blind Brook senior is Marie Neubauer. Rye Neck returnees include Grace Kujawski, Maggie Victory, and Ida Henriksson. Returning Rye High swimmers are Lara Geelen, Ella Brady, and Samantha Bluvol. The Garnets’ Katie Laverty placed 14th in the dive competition.” 

2017 Captains: Larissa Hodzic (Rye Neck), Adele Harshbarger (Rye), Lucy Liu (Rye), Julia Mackey (Rye). 

What will a successful season depend on?We are anticipating another strong season, though we’re now in League Two, going against teams we haven't seen for a while. Competition should be good. 

Opening Day: The team competed post-press time at the Relay Carnival, a fun event for the teams where the girls only swim and dive in relays.” 

Home Opener: At Arlington September 12.

By Melanie Cane

<<Field Hockey>>

Assistant Coach Charlotte Tierney, Captains Julia Howe and Molly Mackie, and Head Coach Alex Bean

The new Holy Child field hockey coaches, Alex Bean and Charlotte Tierney have big shoes to fill. They replaced Barb Lorys and Cheryl O’Shea, who coached the team for 13 years. While a student at Holy Child, Tierney played under Lorys and O'Shea for four years, and went on to play for Georgetown University. Bean played for Wesleyan.

The coaches will rely on senior co-captains Julie Howe and Molly Mackie, as well as the seven other returning players, to make the transition smooth.

Coaches Bean and Tierney are excited to work with a talented group of returning players, as well as the nine newcomers who are “motivated, hard-working athletes with a fast learning curve.” They look forward to the challenge of developing a cohesive team culture. “We know if we buckle down and make each one of our players stronger and work to play with a purpose day in and day out that will benefit us this season and for many seasons to come. We can’t wait to see where the season takes us.”

The coaches worked closely with the former coaches last season and want to thank them for their dedicated years to the Holy Child field hockey program. “We hope to see them at many games this season!”

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<<Volleyball>>

The seven seniors, front row: Gabby Rivera, Lily Hurley, and Ginny Cacsire; back row: Carly Okon, CeCe Hylton, Olivia Califano, and Cate Kaplan

Former JV coach Jennifer Walsh moved up to take over as Holy Child’s new head Varsity coach. She says she’s counting on her seven seniors, including captains Cece Hylton, Carly Okon, and Gabby Rivera. Hylton is a dynamic player who plays setter and right side hitter. Okon is the middle hitter who is a smart player at the net. Rivera, a big presence in the back row and is the main line of defense.

Nine veteran players, as well as returning assistant coach Maureen Fearon, will guide the four new players.

Coach Walsh expects to have a successful season because the team has depth. “We can put any six players on the court and be successful.”

The coaches are looking forward to watching the team grow on and off the court. “We are off to a fresh start, and we are counting on the girls to put everything they have out on their court.”

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<<Soccer Preview>>

Captains Jax Pace and Ryan Delane

Mike Rivera is the only head coach returning to Holy Child for the fall season. He, along with returning assistant coach Lindsey Ferris, are counting on senior captains Ryan Delane and Jax Pace, as well as nine other returning players.

Last year, the team struggled to adjust to Coach Rivera’s style of play, but the co-captains said the team caught on to by the end of the season and the seven new players are quick learners.

The team cohesion and chemistry is extremely strong, says the coach, as is the defense, which is anchored by Madi Warne, Emma Kryza, and goalie Giulia DeVita. Rivera also has high praise for midfielders Grace Mensi and Pace and striker Delane.

The Gryphons have set their sights on qualifying for post-season play. They open against Riverdale, at home, on September 8.

 

Joe Raho, the assistant squash coach at Brown University since 2014, has been hired as the next head coach of the Tufts University men's and women's squash programs.

“I am very excited to welcome Joe to Tufts to lead our men's and women's squash teams,” said Director of Athletics John Morris. “He embodies everything we were looking for in our next head coach. He has a genuine passion for the sport and his values align completely with the ideals that we stand for at Tufts Athletics.”

At Brown, Raho assisted head coach Stuart leGassick with the men’s and women’s teams. Both programs were ranked among the College Squash Association (CSA) top 20 throughout Raho’s tenure. In 2017, the Bears’ women’s team was ranked 11th and the men were 19th in the final CSA poll.

Previously, Raho was an assistant coach at Greenwich Academy, as well as the assistant squash pro at Round Hill Country Club.

Raho, who grew up in Rye, is a 2009 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, from which he received a degree in History. He was captain of the men’s squash team during his senior year, and he chaired the community service committee of the Penn Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

A two-time U.S. Junior Squash champion, in 2004, Raho was a member of the U.S. team that competed at the World Junior Squash Championships in Islamabad, Pakistan.

“It is truly an honor and a privilege to be named the next head squash coach at Tufts University,” Raho said. “I hope that at Tufts I can help our men and women on the varsity squash teams find that perfect balance between achieving everything they can in the classroom while still reaching their full potential in squash. Tufts seems to be a special place, and I only say that because of the countless stories I have heard from alumni, staff, and current student-athletes who have told me how much the school means to them. I am very much looking forward to being part of the Jumbo family.”

By Melanie Cane

 <<Rye High School>>

 

The RHS Cross-Country team warming up on the track in the rain.

While Rye High School superstar Natalie Weiner moved to Bronxville over the summer and two female and three male runners graduated, all the other runners on the team have returned. And the Boys’ team added 17 freshmen.

Head coach Michael Szarkowicz expects Marek Nowak to continue to excel. Last season Nowak was 8th in Section 1 Class B and is looking to be in the top five this year. “The Boy’s team has a lot of depth, which we hope translates into a great season,” said Coach Szarkowicz.

On the Girls’ team, Elena Perez Segnini —a soccer convert — looks to build on her 2016 indoor and outdoor track seasons.

Coach Szarkowicz and the Girls’ coach Blair Monahan look forward to seeing how the young runners perform. “With so many freshmen on the Boys’ team and a lot of sophomores on the Girls’, it will be exciting to see new young talent improve year to year.”

Their first meet is the Bear Mountain Invitational September 9.

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<<Rye Country Day>>

Captains Ed Abrama, Rick Burke, Sarah Colin, and Luci Rochat leading the stretching.

 

Coach Ethan White is pleased to be at the helm of the largest Wildcat team he has had in his 13 years of coaching. Twenty of the 47 runners are new to the team.

Boys’ captains Ed Abrams and Rick Burke and Girls’ captains Lucie Rochat and Sarah Colin have done a great job welcoming their teammates and providing motivation, according to Coach White.

The four captains are the team’s strongest runners and he expects them to have successful seasons. The coach says he is looking forward to watching all his runners develop.

Their first meet is September 13 at Sherwood Island in Westport.

 

By Melanie Cane

Rye Recreation Softball underwent an overhaul for the 2017 Season. For the first time in over a decade, the Adult Men’s League was split into two, not three divisions. The A, B, and C division format was replaced with the American and National leagues, mimicking Major League Baseball. 

The Men’s League boasted 19 teams. This new format allowed for six teams from each division to make the playoffs, instead of only four teams as in the past.  

The Women’s Sound Shore League grew to seven teams with the addition of The Wild Pitches. 

After four months of weekly games, and several rainouts, the season culminated with three champions: Pete Miceli’s Second Chance in the National League, Joe Casino’s Sam’s Bar and Grill in the American League, and Bobby Piovesan’s Poppy's Ballbusters in the Women’s League.

The National League teams had some unexpected twists in the playoffs. Fifth-place 2nd Chance triumphed over first-place Coyotes, and third-place MnM beat second- place Hammerheads. In the two-out-of-three-game championship series, 2nd Chance beat MnM 15-12 in the first game and 9-8 in extra innings in an exciting title game.

In the American League, first-place Sam’s Bar and Grill topped Rye Liquor in two games. The first game was close, 15-13, but the second game was a blowout.

In their third consecutive Sound Shore League championship match-up, first-place Poppy’s Ballbusters beat Neri’s Bakery 10-5 in the first game. In their next game, Neri’s returned the favor, winning by the same score. A week later, Poppy’s turned up the heat, beating Neri’s 11-5.

Sam’s Bar & Grill, winners of the American League

High-fives all around for Second Chance, National League champs

Poppy’s Ballbusters claimed their third consecutive Women’s Sound Shore League title.