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Amanda Hartzell Named Lions Club Athlete of the Year

By Mitch Silver

 

Rarely, if ever, have so many outstanding Rye athletes been gathered out of uniform as were assembled for the annual Lions Club dinner at The Osborn June 11. 

 

Among the honorees, all Athlete of the Month winners chosen jointly by the Rye High Athletic Department and the Rye Lions Club, were the Garnets’ all-time Girls’ Basketball scorer, the senior captain and 1,000+-point scorer for the Boys’ hoop team, a nationally ranked squash player, a State Federation Cup-winning golfer, a three-sport (football, hockey, lacrosse) varsity captain, a Section One Super 11 football star, the tennis marvel who was undefeated at number one singles for her entire high school career, and the stroke of the Garnets’ national champion lightweight crew. Absent, but present in spirit, was Rye’s All-American field hockey player.

 

And the winner of the Lions Club Athlete of the Year award, chosen by a vote of Rye High students, was none of the above. Amanda Hartzell — the four-time All-League captain of the Girls’ Lacrosse team and winner of nine varsity letters across lacrosse, basketball, and soccer — was the one holding the trophy at the end of the night. In addition to her amazing exploits on the field, the Yale-bound senior is a National Honor Society member with a 98+ GPA.

 

The evening’s guest speaker was Steve Feeney, RHS class of 1965, and PA announcer at Rye’s football games who styles himself “The Ol’ Garnet”. He used his own story as a walk-on player for Maryland’s Atlantic Coast Conference basketball team and the integrated squad’s adventures in the Deep South to underline the importance of perseverance and tolerance in athletics and in life.

 

Dave Heller, the guiding light behind the Athlete of the Month program and a Lions Club member since 1963, was honored for his more than half century of service.

 

At the end of the evening, Rye’s outstanding athletes gathered together for one final picture. Nathalie Rodilosso (tennis), Mat Bruno (football), Charlie Nagle and Katie Popp (basketball), Caroline Neave (squash), Will Hynson (hockey), Amanda Hartzell (lacrosse), John Dailey (rowing), and James McHugh (golf) raised their glasses...of water...and saluted their absent peer Fusine Govaert (field hockey) before heading out into the night.

 

 

 Rye’s top athletes join Amanda Hartzell, Athlete of the Year, third from left, at the Lions Club dinner.

 Dave Heller, the force behind the Rye High/Lions Club awards and a Lion for over 50 years, was given a special tribute.

 

 

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 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