Declan Lavelle Named Lions Club Athlete of the Month
By Mitch Silver
How good an athlete is Rye senior Declan Lavelle? He was recruited to pitch for Fordham University’s baseball team, but he’s just been chosen as Rye High’s Athlete of the Month for September in his <second> sport, football. Oh, and when this season is through, he’ll rejoin his third varsity team, ice hockey, to tide him over for the winter. He’s that good.
The Lions Club award, chosen with the help of the Rye High Athletic Department, values not only athletics, but academics, extracurricular participation, and community service. The busy Mr. Lavelle has those bases covered as well.
He’s an Honor Roll student who, though he hasn’t yet decided upon a college major, particularly enjoys his classes in History, English, and Government. “Oh, and the Economics course Mr. Baker teaches,” Lavelle added. “He makes the subject really interesting.”
Playing football (he’s an All-State player who was chosen League MVP a year ago and is playing at an even higher level now), hockey (two-year captain, All-League and All-Section), and baseball (captain of Rye’s league champs, Declan was a Journal News All-Star a year ago) at a high level doesn’t leave much time for non-sweaty activities.
Even so, he has helped the Lavelle clan raise over $30,000 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, to assist in the fight against childhood cancer. He’s also organized and donated clothing and food to the Carver Center in Port Chester and its Puerto Rico Disaster Relief effort and stocked the shelves.
“It makes me feel good, helping any way I can,” he said. “Whether it’s with my family or my teammates.”
My final question of the interview, in a nod to this weekend’s greatly anticipated football game against Harrison, was: “How cold <is> the Brook?”
He smiled. “It’s not that cold. I’ve gone in a couple of times now and it’s a little cold at first, but after a minute, it’s nice and pleasant in there.”
The nine monthly Lions Club winners will be invited to the Lions’ year-end awards dinner at The Osborn. That night, the winner of the vote by the Rye High student body for Athlete of the Year will be announced. We think September’s winner will be in the running.