By Mitch Silver
When Rye High Boys’ Basketball Head Coach John Aguilar nominated his starting center for the Rye Lions Club monthly award, he wrote the following: “Charlie has flipped a switch during the second half of the season and has been an enforcer on both ends of the court. He has led our team in points and blocks during this time and his aggressive play has opened up perimeter shots for his teammates.
“Off the court, Charlie is one of the more subdued and soft-spoken kids you will ever meet. His teammates love him and he is always in a positive mood. On the court, he has found that fire that has made him, and our team, a threat to play!”
Asked if there <was> such a switch that suddenly turned on, Charlie nodded his head. “It happened at Mahopac early in the season. I had had a couple of so-so games and then, that game, Coach Aguilar had me sitting on the bench. And I realized just being tall wasn’t enough. I had to go all out. It’s been a different senior year since then.”
How different? Charlie scored 20 points, had eight rebounds and three blocked shots against North Rockland,e followed that up with 22 points, eight rebounds, and three more blocks against Sleepy Hollow in a dramatic two-point win, and led the Garnets with 18 points and nine rebounds in an upset of number-three-ranked Eastchester.
Charlie isn’t just a varsity basketball player. In the fall, he played right tackle for Dino Garr’s championship football team, and in the spring, he’ll play at lock for the Garnets’ Rugby team. “My older brother Grant plays the same position on <his> college rugby team,” he said.
In the classroom, Charlie sports a GPA in the upper 90s. “I really enjoy my Band class, where I play the trombone. That includes playing in the Rye High Concert Band. I also like my AP Calculus class, which Mr. Murolo teaches.”
At the moment he’s undecided about which college he’ll attend. “I know it will be somewhere warm. The South, or maybe California, where I have family living.” Charlie hopes to play a team sport on the club level, either basketball or rugby.
His community service includes teaching English and Math skills in Spanish to at-risk campers at the Ward Summer Learning Institute run by Christ’s Church. He’s also been a volunteer at the Rye Free Reading Room and Edith Read Sanctuary.
Charlie asked to thank his AAU basketball coach, Mr. McComb, for developing his skills, as well as his older brother, Grant, for teaching him to use his height (he’s now six-foot four) and body in pickup games in the family driveway.
Charlie’s win has earned him the right to join the other monthly winners at the Lions Club’s year-end get-together in June, when the Rye High Athlete of the Year will be announced.