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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.

Since 1961, top-flite area tennis players, current and former collegiate stars, and club professionals have coveted a spot in the draw at Manursing Island Club’s Richardson Invitational Men’s Doubles Tournament. The finals of this year’s edition of the tournament, named in honor of club member Tom Richardson, was held August 6 in near-perfect weather.

Spectators were treated to their share of power tennis in the final, but the players also demonstrated precise touch shots, hyper-fast net play, and well-timed lobs. When the entertaining shotmaking was over, Spaniards Axel Alvarez and José

Salazar, former Big 12 stars at University of Oklahoma and University of Arkansas respectively, defeated Ryan Thacher, who played for Stanford, and Manursing’s own Brian O’Connor, a former Binghamton star, in the final 6-3, 6-7, 6-1. The runners-up showed savvy in extending the match after saving match point in the second-set tiebreaker.

The trophies were presented by Albie Collins, a mentor and coach of many of Manursing’s best players. As a collegiate player, Collins led Dartmouth to an undefeated season as a senior. In 2001, the Ivy League renamed its championship trophy in his honor.

  • <Tom McDermott>

Runners-up Ryan Thacher and Manursing’s Brian O’Connor after their semi-final win.

Albie Collins presented trophies to winners José Salazar, left, and Axel Alvarez

<<Alex Raynor>> has been named one of the captains of Denison University’s varsity football team. The 2014 Rye High School graduate, who played all four years for the Garnets under Coach Dino Garr, is a third year starter for Denison. Last year, Denison tied for second in the NCAC and was nationally ranked for the first time in years.  

Raynor, a senior, is majoring in Health, Exercise and Sports Studies and minoring in Environmental Science.

By Melanie Cane

Other than an electrical storm that forced two days’ worth of events to be held on the final day, the 92nd Annual Westchester County Swimming Association Meet (Counties) at Playland Pool went swimmingly July 31-August 3. Teams from all over Westchester, 37 in all, competed, and many local swimmers graced the winner’s podiums.

Rye Golf Club won the Diving event. Katie Laverty placed third in the Girls’ 14-17 competition and Michael Alpert came in second in the Boys’ 14-17. Rye Golf Club’s girls placed second overall as a team, with many of them winning or placing in the top three of their events. Lente Geelen, 12, earned first place in the 12 & Under 50 Yard Breaststroke, 12 & Under 50 Yard Butterfly, and 12 & Under 50 Yard Freestyle. Ten-year-old Megan Tiedeman won the 10 & Under 50 Yard Butterfly and placed third in the 10 & Under 50 Yard Backstroke. Megan, along with Lieve Geelen, Kayla Lombardo, and Sophia Lord, placed third place in the 10 & Under 200 Yard Medley Relay as well as the 200 Yard Freestyle Relay. Lombardo, 9, also came in third in the 10 & Under 50 Yard Breaststroke.

A number of Coveleigh Club swimmers had shining moments. Grace Kujawski, 15, won the 17 & Under 100 Yard Breaststroke beating her teammate Alexa Lantin, 17, by one-tenth of a second. Kujawski came in third in the 17 & Under Butterfly and she and her sister Dylan, along with Lantin and Maggie Scala, came in third in the 17 & Under 200 Yard Freestyle Relay. The Girls’ 13 & Under 200 Yard Freestyle team of Lizzie Ford, Lizzie Scala, Ellie Mackie, and Dylan Kujawski placed third.

Shenorock Shore Club’s Catherine Hamilton, 16, won the 17 & Under 200 Yard IM. Westchester Country Club’s Boys 10 & Under 200 Yard Freestyle Relay team of Ryan Melnyk, Charlie O’Sullivan, Jackson Cooper, and Eddie Molloy placed second. O’Sullivan, Cooper, Melnyk, and Tyler McDermott took third in the 10 & Under 200 Yard Medley Relay.

In the waning days of summer, we always have the 93rd Annual County Swim Meet at Playland Pool to look forward to, unless, of course, they convert the pool to a restaurant in the interim.

 

Alexa Lantin and Grace Kujawski of Coveleigh at the podium

 

The start of the Boys’ 10 & Under 50 Yard Freestyle

 

The start of the Girls 10 & Under 50 Yard Freestyle

Coveleigh’s Lizzie Scala

Matthew Capaldi represented Coveleigh in the Backstroke and Butterfly events

Megan Tiedeman of Rye Golf Club starting in the 10 & Under Backstroke

Tommy O’Sullivan of Westchester Country Club

John Souza coached the Loudon “woodsmen” against the Indian Village “tribe” coached by Paul Murphy in the annual neighborhood softball matchup August 5. The early morning rain did not slow down the Indian Village team, which routed their crosstown neighbors 20-1. Greg Ingrassia, Mike Walsh, and Phil Hartman all had home runs.

<<Tara Berger>> of Purchase was a member of the USA Open Women’s Basketball Team, which recently won the gold medal at the 20th World Maccabiah Games. The games, held every four years in Israel, are the third largest international sporting event, with over 9,000 participants representing over 80 countries.

A 2015 Rye Country Day School graduate, Berger is a junior at Wesleyan University, and plays center for her college team.

This has been a standout year for Berger, who was named to the NESCAC All-Academic Basketball Team, made the Jewish Women’s All-American Basketball Team, and received the Basketball Sportsmanship Award at Wesleyan.