Boys’ Golf Team Ready to Tee Up Another Fine Season
Rye High School
Boys’ Golf Team Ready to Tee Up Another Fine Season
A year ago, Rye High School won the Conference championship after sharing the regular season title at 13-3 with perennial powerhouse Fox Lane. Coach Pat Romano’s charges then barely lost the Section 1 title to Scarsdale, 214-218.
Three starters from that group — Henry Bailey, Jabril Whiteside, and Thomas Henderson — graduated. The team’s No. 1 player, sophomore James McHugh, is now attending a private golf academy in Florida. So the outlook is a little cloudy.
But Coach Romano says that while losing McHugh was a big loss, “it’s also an opportunity for others to step up. We have returning players with a lot of match experience in seniors Paul Staudinger and Brad Holzer, junior Jack Maresca, and sophs Matt Shainberg, Will Gladstone, and Will Colwell.
“Senior Jack Donnelly has improved every year. He’ll be battling for a top-6 spot, for sure. One newcomer who should help us is another sophomore, Dillon Lahey.”
The Garnets kick off the season next week with three tough matches in a row: at Harrison on April 8, at Rye Golf Club against Byram Hills on the 9th, and Blind Brook on the 10th.
Alexis Hios Leads Garnet Golfers into 2014 Campaign
How does it feel to have the number one golfer in Section 1 returning to your team for her senior year? “It feels pretty terrific,” Coach Rich Savage said. “The team is very excited for the start of the season.”
Why wouldn’t they be? Not only was Hios the Sectional champ as a junior, she was runner-up at States. Joining her will be junior Frida Henningsson, who finished fifth in the Section and 23rd in the State.
Other returning golfers are junior Chistiana Villani, who earned All-League and All- Section Honors, placing 15th in the Section tournament; senior Alexandra Ostan and sophomore Erin O’Brien, both of whom qualified for the 2013 Sectionals.
“Our toughest opponents will be Byram Hills, Scarsdale, and Ursuline,” said Coach Savage, “with Ursuline being the most difficult. Still, the girls are motivated to improve both as individuals and as a team this spring.”
The girls tee off at Rye Golf Club April 9 against Edgemont. The next day, the Garnets travel to Suffern, weather permitting.
Rye Country Day School
Boys’ Tennis Looking to Top Last Year’s Mark
How do you get ready for the spring tennis season when the weather’s still in the deep freeze? You head to Florida. To the Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa, to be precise.
“My assistants and I took a group of 18 players to Saddlebrook for spring training,” Coach Gil Castagna told the paper. “The trip proved beneficial because it gave our players six hours a day of court time during the week. Last season we were co-runner-up in the Fairchester Athletic Association with a record of 8-4, 6-2 in our league. Naturally, we’re looking to improve.”
Despite losing senior co-Captains Nick Kemp and Robert Levine, as well as Tyler Tanenbaum and Andrew Wong, Coach Castagna is optimistic. “We’re looking to add five players from last year’s very successful JV team. Plus, we have many key pieces of the puzzle returning, including Bo Curry, Sam Hearst, and Teddy Tanenbaum.” He added, “Key players looking to break into the singles role this year are our Captain, Paul Leake, and Jack Alpert.”
The season kicks off at home against Byram Hills April 7.
Wildcats Seek FAA Repeat
Last year, Rye Country Day’s hitting star Taylor Forte (and her .630 batting average) was stranded on deck when the final out was made in the 4-3 State Championship loss that ended the Wildcats’ season.
This year, she’s a freshman playing softball at Emory University. And Rye Country Day Coach Margaret Scarcella has to figure out how to replace her, pitcher Eve Wulf, and first baseman Elena Conn from the 15-2 juggernaut that tied for the FAA crown.
So far, so good. With sophomore Micki Carver pitching, junior Jessica Cordiano in left, and fellow junior (and power bat) Hailey Nicholson at first, the Wildcats rolled to an 18-14 opening win against Long Island Lutheran.
“We made a lot of early season mistakes,” Coach Scarcella said afterwards. “But the hitting was there. Everybody got at least one hit. Our catcher, Nereida Mendez, went 5-5 with a homer and 6 RBI.”
The coach is looking to sophomore Melanie Mandel to cover a lot of ground in center field with help from senior Lily Velona in right. Yale-bound Sydney Ginsburg at short teams with fellow senior Captain Jess Grasso at second to form a dynamic keystone combination. And junior Maria McEnroe has a rocket for an arm at third.
The coach looked ahead to another tough season with the likes of perennial powers Holy Child and St. Luke’s in the Fairchester AA. “Still, if we can clean up those mental errors, we’ll be fine.”
The Wildcats are away at Fieldston April 5, and home to Riverdale April 7.
New Coaching Staff Hopes to Lead Baseball Team to FAA Title
A year ago, Rye Country Day went 12-8, earning a berth in the FAA playoffs and the NYSAIS final game. Though graduation stripped the Wildcats of their starting corner outfielders and standout pitcher Andrew Waite, the rest of the lineup returns for the season.
The new faces in the dugout belong to the coaching staff. Michael Pollak played his college baseball at Tufts before coaching at his alma mater, Horace Mann. By his side as co-Head Coach will be Rye Country Day Football Coach John Calandros, Pollak’s coach and mentor when he headed the baseball program at Horace Mann 15 years ago.
The old Boston Braves used to say of their dominant pair of pitchers, “Spahn and Sain and pray for rain.” Hmm, what rhymes with “Fernandez and Stefanoni”? Tyler Fernandez is coming off a 5-2 campaign in 2013, in which he led the team in innings (42.1) and posted a 1.49 ERA while striking out more than a batter an inning. Enzo Stefanoni is building off a superb first varsity campaign, posting a 6-1 record and a 2.48 ERA in 31 innings of work. The freshman knuckleballer moves into a starting role after a season as the long man out of the bullpen.
Looking to make big strides offensively, the Wildcats’ Princeton-bound co-Captain Peter Shu (1B), fellow co-Captain and Cornell-bound Fernandez (CF/1B when he’s not on the mound), and junior Matt Webster (SS) will set the table for the middle-of-the-order bats. Senior second baseman Quinn Kurzner and a trio of juniors — third sacker Luke Cappellano, catcher Liam Dalton, and left fielder Erik Hanson — will be expected to drive in runs, as will sophomore right fielder Billy Grossman.
Coach Pollak told us, “The FAA has expanded its playoff format to include all teams, with seedings based on league record; so every game counts. We also compete in the NYSAIS Tournament for metropolitan-area private schools. Last year we lost to eventual champion Poly Prep in a 3-1 pitchers duel.”
The team hosts Berkeley Carroll Saturday, April 5.
Track Team Sprint Into Spring
Starting with just 28 athletes four years ago — and that’s counting boys and girls, sprinters, distance runners, leapers, and throwers — Rye Country Day will fields a strong combined track and field team this spring.
Coach Clemmie Everett is looking for big things from senior sprinter Caroline Kimmel and sophomore Jinjer Pearce. “Our hurdlers, too, are young but have great potential, especially sophomores Catherine Walker and Tory Katz. Junior Ryan Wilk is the most experienced of the boys, but freshman Evander Jackson has also been showing great promise. There’s a lot of potential on both the boys’ and girls’ side if we can stay healthy.”
She went on to praise sprinters Dylan Bronson and Nat Cooney. “But we expect sophomore Jimmy Sandling and junior Salim Green to make significant contributions as well.”
The girls’ distance squad is led by senior Captain Franchesca Pena. Along with junior Acacia Dougan, she’ll have a very young group to nurture as the season progresses. Coach Charles Ogbonna looked confident. “Freshman Sara Vumbacco, Elena Kim, and sophomores Amanda Cutler and Elizabeth Mastoloni bring a lot of strength and versatility. As for the boys, Tyler Kaye and Kevin Collado both have run under five minutes in the mile, and should anchor another strong group of harriers this season.”
Senior thrower George Matelich will miss the first half of the season due to surgery. “While he gets into form,” Coach Ogbonna said, “production should come from junior Derick Wallace, sophomores Nick Chririco, Jack McPhail, and freshman Hannes Boehning.”
And the girls? “In the discus, junior Sarah Brodwolf will be a huge threat, and junior Caroline Brody will score in the shot put.”
Ogbonna summed up the squad’s chances: “At season’s end, we look forward to competing at a high level, and hopefully have a few kids qualify for the NYS Federation Championship meet.”
The starter’s gun goes off April 5, with the King Relays at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island. Then the Wildcats travel to Hackley April 8.
Kitahara and Dubin Lead Golfers
Thirteen strong golfers, led by co-Captains Summer Kitahara and Amanda Dubin, traveled to Tampa, for a week of preparation for the Rye Country Day Girls’ Varsity Golf season.
Returning senior Katie Lattanzio, juniors Emily Gorin and Kate Weiss, and sophomores Jasmine Kitahara and Nicole Schumaker will be joined by newcomers Samantha Shyer, Sarah Loewentheil, Kimi Spilo, Natalie Alpert, Mackenzie Martin, and Stefanie Starker.
We asked Coach Kaori McManus to sum up the team’s Florida “spring training” week in a single word. Her reply? “Productive. I’m looking for big seasons from the Kitahara sisters. And watch out for Kate Weiss.”
With the snow finally gone from their home course at Apawamis Club, the Wildcats’ Fairchester Athletic Association season is already underway. The team traveled to Van Cortlandt Park to take on Riverdale post-press time April 3.
Laxmen Have a Crown to Defend
How do you improve on 7 and 0? That was last year’s Fairchester Athletic Association regular season record for Rye Country Day. Well, let’s see: The Wildcats’ record outside the league was 5-5, so there’s upside there. And Coach Matt Rosolen has the players to do it.
“We lost Captain Tommy Garry from last season’s roster. While he will be hard to replace, we have a great core of talented and experience players.”
That just may be the understatement of the year. Returning are All-American midfielder Tyler Miller (42 goals and 12 assists) and 36-goal scorer Dylan Bass, who will lead the attack. If offense starts with defense, Rye Country Day is in capable hands. Four-year starting netminder Michael Farber has been an All-League choice in each of first three years. Another Farber, Matt, will be providing protection, as will Andrew Antonacci and Jon Singer.
If championship teams are strong on attack, in midfield, and in goal, the Wildcat stickmen have silverware in their future.
The opening faceoff is away at Portledge March 31. RCDS beat Portledge April 1 in their opener 15-6.
Bringing Indoor Success Outdoors
Little more than a month ago, junior Joshane Wakefield represented School of the Holy Child track team at the New York State Indoor Championships, running the individual 300 in under 43 seconds.
Now that it’s spring, Coach Mike Simon has her running the quarter-mile and anchoring his relay teams. “Joshane will join Chioma Nwana and sophomores Arnell Stewart and Miffy Riley in the 4×100. Joining her in the individual 400 will be Jada Williams, Kailah Brinson, and freshman Christine Altomare.”
He went on to say, “We view State qualifiers as a goal for our team as well as winning the New York State Association of Independent Schools meet. Our sprinters and middle-distance runners look strong, including our 4×800 group of Jolie Brakey, Maeve MacGowan, Altomare, Anna Liddy, Cameron Kellett, and Christina Steeele.”
Simon didn’t limit his praise to the runners. “Tyra Cureton, Sedinam Anyidoho, and Gabby Iarocci give us some really promising throwers.”
The team begins the quest for NYSAIS hardware April 4, at Portledge before visiting Convent of the Sacred Heart April 7.
Veteran Softball Team on Base
Coach Michael Clancy has announced this year’s captains for Holy Child Softball are pitcher Molly Leitner and first baseman Julie Kellett. They’ll be expected to build on last season’s 11-5 record, despite losing outfielder Bella Mazzola, first sacker Katie Muniz, and second baseman Julia Giordano to graduation.
“This spring we’ve worked hard to solidify our defense and become more consistent at the plate,” Coach Clancy remarked. Fortunately, he has a veteran squad to work with. Returning in addition to Leitner and Kellett are catcher Millie Cavicchio, shortstop Elizabeth Curcio, third baseman Julianna Capasso, and outfielders Stephanie Kireopoulos and Francesca LaSalla, all juniors.
Senior outfielders Alexa Cipollone and Anna Bauer will help guide newcomers Alena Maiolo (freshman) and juniors Ashley Martinez and Christianna Guttridge.
Clancy went on to say, “Our goal this year is to increase our pitching depth.”
It’s working, if the season opener is any indication. Two new pitchers, Elizabeth Curcio and Stephanie Kireopoulos, combined to defeat Greens Farms Academy, 15-4.
In their next game they’ll take on Long Island Lutheran at home, April 5 at 1 p.m.
Ready to Improve from Tee to Green
“We are young and talented and hope to improve as the season progresses.” So says Coach Michael Duignan of his Holy Child golf team. In order to reverse last year’s 3-9 record, the Gryphons will have to overcome the loss of Captains Meghan Myers and Katie Rogan, as well as senior Jackie De Marco, to graduation.
Returning senior Captain Kristen Daddario and junior Maggie Curtis will lead the way. Sophomore Maddy Lauth will fortify the lineup, as will ninth grader Claire Monahan.
“Sure we’re young,” said Coach D, “and some of our varsity players will be new. But with hard work and patience we will be not just improved, but competitive.”
The Gryphs open the season April 10, against Greenwich Academy at Westchester Country Club.
Gryphons Looking to Serve Up New Aces
With five seniors having graduated from last year’s strong Holy Child tennis team that whipped traditional powers like St. Luke’s in the process of finishing 4th in the Fairchester Athletic Association, this year’s girls “have big shoes to fill,” in the words of Coach Allison Schwartz.
“We lost Tori Almeida, who played No. 1 for us and now plays for Lafayette College. However, this Holy Child team has depth and determination. With the leadership of seniors Jen Kary, Cristina Ciminello, and Sabrina Liquorie, I know we have a promising season ahead of us.”
The team visits Convent of the Sacred Heart April 7 before traveling to Greenwich Academy April 9.
LAX Team Relaxed and Raring to Go
Last year, Holy Child finished 12-7 and lost in the New York State Association of Independent Schools Semifinals to eventual champion Hackley. This year, Lacrosse Coach Charles Sliter looks to do better.
“We return a good core of seniors including four-year varsity players Caroline O’Neill and Maggie Welsh. Maggie was a New England and FAA All-star last year, and Caroline won our Coaches Award,” he said. “We lost Liz McCooey, now a freshman on Catholic University’s women’s lacrosse team and our fourth all-time scorer. Still, we’re looking to make another good run in the NYSAIS tournament and finish strong in the FAA.”
Things are looking up for the Gryphons now that Welsh has recovered from a winter ankle injury. The coach ticked some more names off his fingers. “I’m looking for our juniors — Nicole Shapiro, Lily Dennis, and Julia Pfohl — to have breakout years. Mix in some talented newcomers like Dulcie Delpriore and Brigid Hans with our strong, experienced senior class, and we could do a long way.”
Holy Child defeated Long Island Lutheran March 29. The team travels to Portledge April 4 and visits Convent of the Sacred Heart April 7.