Gridsmen Sharpening Their Focus
With the season getting under way in just two short weeks, junior QB Andrew Livingston returns, with two seasons as starting quarterback already under his belt and a career record of 10-7.
Gridsmen Sharpening Their Focus
By Michael Gilbert
With the season getting under way in just two short weeks, junior QB Andrew Livingston returns, with two seasons as starting quarterback already under his belt and a career record of 10-7. Among returning seniors are Chris Santangelo, Ryan Yeager, Laz Chavez, Alex Raynor, and Shane O’Malley.
Injuries were a big reason why last year’s squad got derailed, and Tim DeGraw and Conor Murphy are healthy this year, which should give a boost to the team’s offensive efficiency. Garnet Coach Dino Garr will be depending heavily on all of these experienced players, as they and the rest of the team try to erase some memories of last year’s 5-3 record. “We expect this year’s team to compete for the league championship and be a part of the Class A Section I playoffs. For us to have this happen we need the team to stay healthy and get better on a daily basis,” Garr said.
That season was a step back for the Rye High football program. Along with a loss to archrival Harrison High for the first time in the past nine tries, the Garnets failed to qualify for the playoffs, a rarity for the team.
The Garnets did lose some key players. Former lineman Neil Parrello will be playing college football at St. Lawrence this year, and cornerback/running back Jimmy Dugan will be playing for Washington and Lee. The Garnets also lost linebacker Danny Sullivan and receiver Jack Hasselmann, along with special teams’ star Greg Hale, but this year’s team should be able overcome those losses, as many underclassmen are ready to step up and fill positions.
The opening game is at home against Spring Valley on September 7. After that is a tough matchup against Somers, followed by Lincoln and Ossining high schools.
The game everyone is waiting to see is October 19, at Harrison. Rye should be able to make the playoffs this season, but that game will undoubtedly determine the success of this season.
Sophomore Chase Pratt believes the team has “lots of potential, and the sky is the limit if we stay healthy.” Rye has the talent to get to the playoffs, if the team can stay focused.
New Coach Hoping to Add a Little More Spike
Coach Melanie Flowers will pick up where Andrea Reiff left off, with one of the best girls’ volleyball teams Rye High has ever produced. Last season, in large part due to Reiff, who left to coach at Manhattanville, the Garnets tied for first in the league with Blind Brook. They suffered a disappointing early loss to Ardsley in Sectionals.
Coach Flowers played for Mt. Vernon High School and Division 2 Concordia College, where she also coached. Most recently, she coached at College of New Rochelle, a Division 3 school. New Assistant Coach Katie Klock-Walker played at Westlake High School and Adelphi College.
The new coaches will have the help of seven returning players. Coach Flowers has scheduled three multi-team scrimmages, with teams from both in and out of the league to get the team ready for their season, which starts September 9 at home against Pleasantville.
Garnet Girls Hoping to Grab Title
Rye High’s field hockey team lost in the sectional title game last season to Lakeland, who went on to win the State Championship. Coach Emily Fitzgerald, despite losing nine players to graduation, says her goal is for the girls to win a league title and to compete for the sectional title.
Her optimism lies in her talented returning players. These include senior Captain Alex Bennett, senior Meredith Tibbals, junior Emily Antonozzi, junior Vivian Sulliman, sophomore Anne Rogaar and junior goalie Brenna Smith.
Their season starts on September 9 at Valhalla.
Bright Future for Boys’ Soccer
Last year’s Garnets team won the first round of the playoffs in penalty kicks against Riverside High School, before losing to eventual state finalist Port Chester in the Round of 16. Not a bad sendoff for the 12 graduating seniors.
This season, Coach Jared Small’s goal is for the team to improve with each game and to “play hard, smart, and with energy.” He hopes the boys will create many lasting memories both on the field and off.The captains have not yet been selected, but the players to watch are: seniors Ryan Costa, JJ Cronin, and Anthony Castro, who Small says have put in good work over the summer. Also returning are junior Will Hammer and sophomores Will Colwell and Leo Gomes.
Coach Small has high hopes for the JV team. “We’ve had 50 to 60 boys at our summer workouts, which is a great sign for the future of the program.”
The Garnets season opener is September 9 against Harrison at 5:45 p.m. on the Rye High turf.
Starting Over, with the Help of Three Veterans
The Garnets girls’ soccer team lost in the sectional semifinals to Pearl River, the eventual sectional winners, last year, and nine seniors graduated, leaving many starting positions to fill. But senior tri-Captains Addie Chabot, Rachel Egan, and Kate Whiston are veteran players who prospered under the tutelage of the departed seniors for the past three years, and they’re ready to lead.
Whiston will be the hub of the midfield team. Egan, Chabot, Charlotte Tucci, and Maddie Eck will anchor the defense. Junior Maggie MacDermott will have a chance to display her speed on offense and midfield. Christina Benincasa and Hannah Krapes, who is coming back from an ACL injury, will add to the depth of the midfield.
Coach Rich Savage said the team wants to continue to play the best teams in the section and all school sizes. “Our goal is to play the best soccer as a team and hopefully the wins will continue to come.”
The team leaves for Andover, Massachusetts next week to open up with some scrimmages.
Their first game is at home against Pelham on September 10.
Cross-Country, Young and Raring to Go
Rye High’s cross-country team finished third in the league last year and had two runners finish in the top 25 in sectionals. This year, there are 40 boys and girls on the team, most of whom are freshman and sophomores.
The boys’ tri-captains are senior Finn Mundinger and juniors Ryan Bird and Dave Tuttle. Senior captain Libby Burke is at the helm of the girls’ team.
Even though there are only 14 upperclassmen on the team (two seniors and 12 juniors), boys’ coach Joseph Brown said he believes the team will be competitive in the league and has a shot at winning it. And Brown thinks several of the runners could make States.
The new girls’ coach, Blair Moynahan, is a Rye High graduate, class of 1994. She coached girls’ track in the spring.
The athletes to watch are the four captains, as well as Alec Howells and Jackalynn McGowan.
The season opener is a tri-meet at Harrison High School on September 9.
Heavy Hitters Highlight Girls’ Tennis
The Garnets won the league title last year, but suffered a surprising loss in the first round of the newly structured team playoff tournament.
This year’s senior Captains, Farah Keuleers and Alanna Morque, will fill the top singles’ spots, along with freshman Nathalie Rodilosso, a USTA player who has played in Junior Nationals several times.
There are ten returning players, including Caley Carlisle and Chloe Jennings, who will play No. 1 doubles. Coach Tony Campbell said 43 girls, including 15 freshmen, came to the first day of tryouts, ten more than last year.
Campbell said, “This year will mark the start of a core group of young players that may play together for several years.” He is optimistic about their chances.
Senior Captain Keuleers is excited about the season, especially with the addition of Rodilosso, whom she said will “bump up the team.”
Swim Team Deep in Experience
The Rye High girls’ swimming and diving team is rich in seniors — ten, to be exact — as well as four returning juniors and six returning sophomores. They also have five experienced freshmen who made the team as eighth graders. In all, the team has 35 members, three of whom are divers.
Last year, the Garnets finished 6-2 and placed 4th in sectionals. Their 400m freestyle relay team placed 10th at States.
Coach Shannon Bolger says the team is looking to improve upon last year’s achievements. On the first day of practice, the girls looked strong.
As of yet, there is no diving coach, but Coach Bolger thinks someone will be hired for the position by the end of August.
Their first competition is The Carnival Relays on September 9 at White Plains High School. The Garnets will be among 18 teams competing.