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At Rye Recreation’s March Madness Tournament at Rye Middle School, it was the Cavaliers against the Clippers in the 5th/6th Grade Boy’s final. The Cavs brought home the title and capped off a great season.

Pictured, from left: Assistant Coach Eddie Collins, Sam Rafa, Billy Eggers, Harry Swanson, Caleb Kaplan, Owen Myers, Dillon Fowle,

Derek Bahl, Rafferty McSweeney, Tyler Canna, and Head Coach Craig Wilson. Not shown: Kosei Shimotsu.

Photo by Emily Eggers

By Melanie Cane

Girls Lacrosse

The Wildcats are looking to reclaim the NYSAIS championship that they last won in 2015. University of Virginia-bound senior Taylor Regan and junior Sarah Walker are two of the five returning players. In addition to the co-captains, Coach Georgette Summers is counting on senior Emily Moran to help lead the 14 new players to a successful season.

Their season begins March 29 at Canterbury School.

Caption: Captains Drew Kesselmark, Jared Jones, Evander Jackson, Noah Swan, and Elena Kim

Boys Track

Despite graduating 21 seniors, the Wildcats team is 40-members strong. Seniors Jared Jones, Evander Jackson, and Noah Swan will lead the pack. This is Jones’ second year as captain.

Coach Charles Ogbana said, “We are strong in sprints, relays, throws, and jumps. Our distance squad is also competitive.” He allowed that with 14 new boys on the squad they’ll need to focus on teamwork.

The athletes to watch are sprinters Jones, who was injured last year, and sophomore Cameron Coleman, who qualified for the freshman 100 and 400 at Nationals. Shams Elbardissy, who had a breakout season last year, will anchor the throwers. Evander Jackson is the defending NYSAIS champion in the 110 hurdles. Jumper Obosa Ogbeide is expected to compete for at least three titles and Noah Swan should place at the top in the steeplechase.

Their first meet is the Ossining Relays on April 1. Last year, the boys won the 4x100, 4 x200, and the 4x400.

Co-Captains Sarah Walker and Taylor Regan

By Mitch Silver

Rye Neck’s baseball team, flanked by the coaches, is more than ready for “Play Ball!”

Baseball

Head Coach: Joe Carlucci
12th year. Led Panthers from 1999-2007 and again from 2015 to present. Took team to Sectional Final four years in a row from 2004-07, winning in 2005.

2016 Record: “We were 9-12, showing great improvement as the year went on.”

Returning starters: “Conor Liguori and Christian Cefaloni return as our top two pitchers.  Kevin Tamucci, 3B; Jack Sheldon, C; and Corey Parker, OF will anchor our lineup.

What/who will a successful season depend on?  “Finding two people to play SS and 2B.  Brian Scott and Mike Colasanti are candidates. Pitching and defense have to carry us. 

League changes: Bronxville is in, Hastings is out.

Opening Day: Home vs. Valhalla, April 1 at 11 a.m.

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 Rye Neck captains Tim Kelley, Ben Banker, Jack Van Buren, and Logan Spencer are set to tee off.

Boys’ Golf

Head Coach — Mark Canno

12th season. “I played on the golf team here from 1982-1985.”

2016 record: “We had a solid season.

Returning starters: “We have six of our top seven players returning, and eight strong players competing for starting spots, a few who could make Sectionals. Our four captains are Ben Banker, Tim Kelley, Logan Spencer, and Jack Van Buren.

What/who will a successful season depend on? We can contend for the league title if everyone can improve off last year by 2-3 strokes.

League changes: Remains the same. Bronxville will still be the favorite.

Opening Day: At Bronxville (Siwanoy CC) April 4, 4:15 p.m.

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Coach Jonathan Sable, right, joins his seniors. From left are Ian Gabriele, Alex DeLitta, Brian Reyes, Kevin Reimers, Daniel Garofalo, and Amoré Gordon.

Boys’ Lacrosse

Head Coach — Jonathan Sable

7th season, 3rd as varsity coach. I grew up playing football and lacrosse at Lynbrook High School on Long Island and went on to play college lacrosse at Manhattanville.

2016 Record: “Last year's team was a good group of hardworking players. With Rye Neck still fairly new to lacrosse, the inexperience showed.”

Returning starters: Seniors Kevin Reimers and Amoré Gordon. Juniors Justin Leydon, Andy Rayburn, and Roman Calcagni. “Upcoming freshman who will contribute this season are Max Thruer, Sean Drace, Harry Rosas and Jack Cavanaugh.” 

What/who will a successful season depend on? A successful season is not based on wins and loses, but on the brotherhood that is developed on this team. At the end of the day, the boys are better prepared for what is next in life. 

League changes:This year, we’ll be in class D, and will face new teams such as Edgemont and Bronxville.” 

Opening Day: At Byram Hills, March 28, 4:15 p.m.

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Panther stalwarts are, from left: April Zhang, (G); Jessica Gottlieb, (A); Cristal Finkenberg, (M); Alison Cohen, (D); and Nicole Manzella, (D).

Girls’ Lacrosse

Head Coach — Amanda Heyde

3rd year. “I played at Somers High School and then club lacrosse at Hofstra, as well as field hockey and soccer. I began coaching lacrosse at Hastings High in 2014.”

2016 Record: Last season our record did not reflect our efforts. We had a strong group of girls that knew how to play with each other.  

Graduated: “We lost six key players, athletes who started our lacrosse program.

Returning starters: “We are returning five starters with a wealth of experience. Jessica Gottlieb, a junior attacker approaching 100 career goals, will be a force to be reckoned with this season. We have a ton of depth (partly due to the folding of our JV program), positive attitudes, and girls who really want to learn the game. Freshman Julianne Spencer will be an impact player in the midfield. 

What/who will a successful season depend on? “Success will depend on how hard the girls work. I always say that hard work beats talent every time, and I truly mean this. 

League changes: “Now that we’re in class D, our league will be significantly more challenging than it’s been in the past.

Opening Day: Home against Croton-Harmon, March 31 at 4:30 p.m.

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Coaches Joan and Frank Spedafino flank the Black Cat softball standouts. Back row from left: Jamie Strozza, Jasmine Cores, and Alexa Garcia. Front row from left: Jessica Santoli, Olivia Dunne, Samantha Yannuzzi, Lisa Bianco, Mary Cintron, and Marisa Santoli. Not pictured: Alana Proudian and Alicia Rodriguez.

Softball

Head Coach — Joan Spedafino; Co-Coach — Frank Spedafino

33rd year. Winningest softball coach in Section 1 history.

2016 Record: 15-5, League champions. Unfortunately, we committed five errors in the first round of the playoffs and were eliminated.

Returning starters: “We definitely have the experience. The infield is back as well as strong pitching and catching. Among our six veterans are our senior captains, Mary Cintron and Lisa Bianco, and juniors Olivia Dunne and Samantha Yanuzzi.

What/who will a successful season depend on? “It is vital that we stay healthy and work hard on every aspect of the game. Our team T-shirts read, ‘Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.’”

Opening Day: Home vs. Putnam Valley, April 1 at 11 a.m.

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Coach Shawn Lincoln, second from right, joins his defending league champs.

Boys’ Tennis

Head Coach — Shawn Lincoln

8th year.

2016 Record: 10-3, league champions.

Returning starters: “Nine of our seniors return. Eikoh Hayashi went undefeated in the league and made the Sectional quarterfinals. Our first doubles team of Alex Kebbe and Ben Styler are back as well.”

What/who will a successful season depend on? “Of course we hope to compete for a league title again. Just as important will be the mentoring our seniors provide for our younger players.”

League changes: Croton-Harmon out, Pleasantville and North Salem in.

Opening Day: Home against North Salem, March 30 at 4:15 p.m.

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Coach Myla Allen, back row center, and her fellow coaches join the Panthers for their first workout of the season.

Track

Head Coach — Myla Allen, Girls; Dennis Loosen, Boys

8th year.

2016 Record: Last year we had a fairly young team that put a tremendous amount of effort into the spring season.”

Returning starters: “Our returnees include junior team captains Christopher Ortiz, hurdles and sprints, and Raymond Rivituso, middle distances. Sophomore captain Enora Lauvau will compete in the sprints.

What/who will a successful season depend on? “In order to have a successful season, our track and field athletes must remain mentally and physically strong.

League changes: None.

Opening Day: Home vs. Clark Academy, March 28 at 4:15 p.m.

 

Congratulations once again to the Rye Red Storm basketball team. They’ve been playing together for five years and just won their fifth consecutive championship, by defeating Castle Hill in the 7th grade A Division of the Tri-County basketball league.

Caption

Pictured, back row, from left: Coach Adam Gibbs, Samuel Gibbs, Kieran Hickey, Charlie Howard, Alex Tepedino, Owen Kovacs, and Coach Ken McComb; front row: Declan McIntyre, Liam Kennelly, and Mason McComb.

By Melanie Cane and Mitch Silver

Captains Margaret Mitchell, Amanda Hartzell, and Haley Nemsick

Girls’ Lacrosse

With ten returning players and an equal number of new ones, this will be a rebuilding season for the Garnet girls. Senior captains Amanda Hartzell and Haley Nemsick, along with junior captain Margaret Mitchell, will lead the way.

Blessed with speed in the midfield and a great offense, the Garnets will need to focus on shoring up their defense, especially because this season they are without All American goalie Micheline DiNardo, who graduated. By the time team returns from a spring break trip to Washington D.C., Coach Dennis Hurlie will have decided who will step into goal.

In addition to midfielders Hartzell and Mitchell, and defender Nemsick, one player to watch is sophomore defender Sara DeGraw.

The Garnets lost to Yorktown in the sectional semifinal by two goals last year. This year they hope to make it all the way.

Their first home game is March 31 against Walton High School from Georgia.

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Captains Megan Montalto, Sam Bluvol, and Katherine Brown

Softball

The team should benefit from having thirteen returning players, including six seniors. Senior captains Sam Bluvol (center field), Katherine Brown (pitcher and 3rd base), and catcher Megan Montalto have all been starters since freshman year and are hoping to lead the team deep into playoffs.

As yet, Coach Alex Tejera is unsure about additions to the roster, but he is hoping to find a pitcher to back up Brown, the team’s only pitcher. “The veterans know what to expect from our opponents and know what needs to be done,” said Tejera.

The players need to work on limiting their mistakes and being aggressive early in the pitch count. “In order for us to succeed, we will need a team effort, lead by our three captains.”

Last year the team was around .500 and got knocked out of the playoffs in the quarterfinal. Coach Tejera expects the team to do about the same this year in a very competitive league with some of the best teams in the section.

Their first game is March 31 at Nyack.

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Lindsay Powers and Mark Willis, two of the team’s four captains

Track

This season the Boys’ and Girls’ track teams have an enormous turnout with roughly 45-50 girls and over 60 boys. Seniors Mark Willis and Robbie Sims will lead the Boys’ team. The Girls’ captains are seniors Andrea Palu and Lindsay Powers.

Girls’ coach John McGee is anticipating an outstanding season in the distance events, as well as the long and triple jumps, since the indoor track team excelled in these events. Natalie Weiner shined in the 1500 and 3000 and Elena Perez-Segnini just missed qualifying for States in the 1000 and 1500. Powers did well in the jumps. With 20 new girls, McGee is hoping to improve in the sprints and the field events. He is looking forward to working with this great group of girls. “We are looking to build on what we accomplished indoors, and to find out what the new girls bring to the team.”

The Boys’ team is growing in popularity, notes Coach Jim Yedowitz, who is in his 39th year of coaching track at Rye High, and he hopes this translates to finding some new talent. He expects the team to be competitive in every event and is looking for seniors Chris Tobin, Mark Willis, Robbie Sims, and Jan Nowak to have strong seasons. He anticipates breakout seasons from juniors Marek Nowak, Anders Jeffers, Alec Radtke, Floris Van Beurden, and Bernardo Hammes.

Coach Yedowitz anticipates the team will be stronger than it was last year, and even better next year. “With most of our strength in the juniors and sophomores, it will take some time for them to learn to compete at a higher level.”

Looking forward to another season, he mused, “The high points of coaching are always to find unexpected talent and develop the maturity and ability of any athlete especially when he exceeds my expectations. It’s always fun to win and/or break records!”

The team’s first meet is at home against Yonkers on March 27.

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2017 Garnet captains Mat Bruno, Myles Burbank, and Dusty Mion

Baseball

Head Coach — Michael Bruno

16th year, 10th as Head Coach. Assistant Coach Chad Charney is in his 4th year.

2016 Record: “Last year we won the league for the third consecutive year. We lost in the second round of the playoffs to Tappan Zee. Disappointing, because I didn't feel we played our best.” 

Returning starters: “The team is still evolving. Our team captains are Mat Bruno, Dusty Mion, and Myles Burbank.” 

What will it take to be successful? “We have been very fortunate to have great pitching over these past four years. That will be the key, if some of our veteran and young arms can be successful.” 

League changes: Ardsley is in, Port Chester is out.

Opening Day: Home vs. Yonkers, March 30 at 4:15 p.m.

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Senior captains Brendan Dugan, Will Hynson, and Ryan Kirkpatrick are eager for the opening whistle.

Boys’ Lacrosse

Head Coach — Steve Lennon

1st year. Head Coach at Eastchester last four years. “I grew up in Yorktown, where I played lacrosse for Lakeland/Panas, and then went to SUNY Cortland. At Eastchester High School last year, we won the league championship and made the Sectional semis. I was named Class B Coach of the Year.” Assistant coaches: Justin Otto, Simon Berk, Luke Walsh.

2016 record: 12-6. Both Eastchester and Rye lost in the Sectional semifinals. Rye ended the season with a 13-3 loss to Class B runner-up John Jay/Cross River.

Returning starters: Senior captains Will Hynson, M, Ryan Kirkpatrick, A, and Brendan Dugan, A, all started last year. Other returning starters are: juniors Billy Chabot, M, Peter Chabot, M/FO, and Owen Hull, D; and seniors Zack Samberg, D, and Jamie Chabot, LSM. Players on the verge are: seniors Teddy Aquilino, A, and Chris Kovacs, M/FO; juniors Seamus Carroll, A, Davis Ross, D, and Alex Goldstein, G; and sophomore Patrick Langer, D.

What will it take to be successful?These days, games are won with face-offs, good play in the goal, and efficient clearing. We will do a lot of work to prepare ourselves in these phases of the game. We have a very deep midfield filled with returning upperclassmen, and a veteran attack unit. These offensive players will need to really step up, and control the tempo of the game. Our three captains are all offensive threats, and need to take over games in order for us to win. Our defense is very solid, and we need big play out of our new starting goalie. Our two returning starting close defenders need to take serious leadership roles, and command discipline from our defense.”

League changes: “Our league is still Rye, Pelham, Harrison, Byram Hills, Eastchester, and now Ardsley was added.” 

Opening Day: Home vs. Mamaroneck, March 28, 5 p.m.

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Coach Sue Dickson joins her returning players. Back row from left: John Barber, Andrew Graham, Guy Junkins, David Weiner, and James McFarland. Front row from left: Shane Killian, Eddie Collins, Miximilian Olmos-Van Velden, Alex Tretiak, Kenneth Nakamura. (Not pictured: Mehdi and Zachary Gaoud.)

Boys’ Tennis

Head Coach — Sue Dickson

29th year; Girls’ varsity for 7, boys varsity for 11.

Returning starters: “Shane Killian and Alex Tretiak will play the top two spots on the roster. Seniors Andrew Graham, Guy Junkins, John Barber, and James McFarland, are returning starters. They’ll be joined by Kenneth Nakamura and Daisuke Tremonte.  Juniors include starter Eddie Collins, David Weiner, Max Olmos-van Velde. Sophomore twins Mehdi and Zachary Gaouad will also become significant contributors this year.  Our leadership should be solid with this large group of returners who are dedicated to the game.”  

What will it take to be successful? “We hope to have a successful year and that will depend on hard work, grit, and gratitude for the privilege of playing the game. In addition to enjoying the sport of tennis and developing a love of the game and strategies involved, we hope to expand on everyone’s tennis acumen, already strong skills, and to become physically and mentally solid while expanding all aspects of play. I’m very optimistic about this group and excited about how we take shape.”

League changes: “We have a new league this year and will be playing against Pelham, Harrison, Eastchester, Byram Hills, and Ardsley. We are in the process of scheduling crossover matches with several other schools and will begin the season with a scrimmage against Rye Country Day.” 

Opening Day: Home vs. John Jay/Cross River, March 31 at 4:15 p.m.

 

Since its start in 1937, The Rye Figure Skating Club has called Playland Ice Casino home. And on March 11, for their 80th anniversary, members of the club, from beginners to professionals, put on a spectacular show.

— Melanie Cane