Awards Season Continues for Declan Lavelle
By Leif Skodnick
Ask Rye High School senior Declan Lavelle to name all the athletic honors he’s amassed this year. Even he might forget one or two, because there are just that many.
Before football season began, the senior quarterback was named to The Journal News/lohud Super 11, a list of the top players in Section 1. He lived up to his billing, pulling in All-Section and All-State honors on a Garnet team that lost to Section 9’s Cornwall Central in the State Class A semifinal. Oh, and he was named Section 1 Class A Player of the Year and won the Chris Mello Award as Garnets’ MVP in the team’s 41-13 romp over Harrison.
And then came hockey season, and Lavelle, an effective scorer and set-up man who can kill penalties and backcheck, led Rye to a Section 1 title with a 5-1 victory over John Jay Cross River on March 2.
“I did score a lot, but the little things like the penalty killing and setting guys up on the power play, I really did take pride in those things. Blocking shots, the things that aren’t seen on the score sheet,” said Lavelle, who potted 21 goals and added 18 assists along with a +16 rating on his way to being named The Journal News/lohud Westchester/Putnam Player of the Year and a member of the New York State High School Hockey Coaches Association Division 2 All-State Team.
But the blunt ending to hockey season, a 4-0 loss to Section 4 power Whitesboro at Brewster Ice Arena on March 7, presaged what could be the sudden and abrupt ending to Lavelle’s high school career.
Two nights later, the Garnets Boys’ basketball team wrapped up a Section 1 title at the Westchester County Center. Three nights after that game, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association suspended the state tournaments in all winter sports due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, finally officially cancelling the remaining games on March 23.
In a normal spring, Lavelle would be on the mound at Disbrow Park, pitching his final season of high school baseball for the Garnets, undoubtedly drawing the watchful eyes of the Fordham University coaches who have secured his services for the next four years.
“It’s definitely a bitter ending because it was like it was out of my control,” Lavelle said. “We’ll see what happens going forward.”
If he does get back on the mound this year, he’ll be ready. Lavelle has been throwing when he can at home and could add more hardware to his already formidable collection.