With 16 returning players, including eight seniors, the Garnets are looking forward to having their best season in a long while.
By Melanie Cane and Mitch Silver
Senior-Rich Softball Team Ready to Swing For the Stands
With 16 returning players, including eight seniors, the Garnets are looking forward to having their best season in a long while. Four of the seniors are captains: Amanda Yannett, (catcher), Kiera Nemsick (shortstop), Amelia Haddad (left field), and Emily Antinozzi (third base). Haddad has been on the team for three years, the other captains have been on all four years.
Rye has moved up to the Section 1 A League, where they face tough teams like Harrison, Eastchester, Port Chester, Pelham, and Byram Hills. The captains say the team is up to the challenge. “We have so much experience and some really strong batters and we have all developed better throwing arms.”
While their physical talent is conspicuous, the captains acknowledged needing to work on strengthening their mental game. “In past years we always had one or two bad innings, and we need to eliminate those this year.”
They also need to keep their pitchers healthy, since they only have two — junior Molly Herbold and sophomore Katherine Brown.
The team’s strength, according to Assistant Coach Victoria Dosso, “is that they possess so much great leadership in the four captains and head coach Alex Tejera, as well as experience.”
Due to the weather, the team didn’t have a chance to practice outside before spring break. But over the school vacation, they headed to Florida, where they played plenty of scrimmages.
Their home opener is April 7 against Rye Country Day School.
Track Team Ready to Sprint Outdoors
With 110 members, 80 of whom competed in Indoor Track, Rye High’s Track team is bigger than it has ever been. Coach Jim Yedowitz said, “With so many talented seniors, this will be my best team for a while to come.”
There are 20 seniors on the Girls’ and Boys’ teams combined. Most of the newcomers are underclassmen. Ryan Bird, Jack Ryan, Alec Howells, Kenta Takatsu, and Cal Reynolds, all seniors, are at the helm of the Boys’ team. Seniors Anjali Logue and Maggie McDermott captain the Girls’ team.
This is a team with lots of record-breakers, too. Maggie McDermott set three indoor records — 800m, 3000m, and 3200m. Jack Ryan set the Junior Class 1600m record with a 4:26.3. Ryan Bird set the 1000m record with a 2:32.1, and the 800m record with a 1:57.6. The team of Bird, Andrew Willis, Jack Smith, and Ryan set the Distance Medley Relay record with a time of 10:40.8. Willis set the 2nd All-Time 600m with a 1:24. The team of Jack Westerink, Jon Dinowitz, Matt Dinowitz, and Steven Koester set the 4x200m record with a 1:35.5.
The Boys’ team is looking to pick up where they left off from indoor track. Besides improving on their personal bests, they hope to avenge a heartbreaking loss to Harrison in the Westchester County Section 1 Championship. The captains said they hope that, with the help of the field events, they can cover the gap.
In addition to Bird and Ryan, the other senior sprinters to watch, according to Yedowitz, are Jack Westerink, Jon and Matt Dinowitz, and Steven Koester. “This could be their year to break the school record in the 4×100 relay after coming close last year.”
The 4×800 team is counting on strong performances from Willis, Howells, and Takatsu. Alec Miranda should be a strong runner in both hurdle events (110 and 400). Junior Ian George and senior Brandon Olivier will lead the throwing events.
The team benefits from having lots of experienced juniors and seniors in every event, especially middle distances and relays. They are looking to overcome the struggles they had in the pole vault events over the winter.
John McGee, who coaches the girls, said the team is very young, so their overall goal is to improve every day and learn new events. “Our strength is in the middle and distance (800m-3200m) events.”
Coach McGee said, “This is a great group of kids who have been working hard at practice, so hopefully we can fit all the pieces together.
Their first meet is April 7 at Pelham.
Boys’ LAX Team Aiming to Go to the Section Ball
Could Rye High be the Cinderella team of the 2015 Class B season? If the glass slipper fits, it’ll prove to be the triumph of team play over individual talent. Not that this spring’s edition of Garnet Boys’ Lacrosse lacks talented players — with only six returning starters, there’s just not a boatload of them.
Coach Brian Dooley, helming the team for his 12th season along with brother Scott and assistant Luke Walsh, puts it this way: “We’ve got a great group of unselfish players who are showing an understanding of the team game. Not a deep team in terms of numbers, we have talented players from top to bottom.”
They’d better be. Section 1 has come up with a really tough schedule this year. In addition to third-ranked league foe Mamaroneck, Rye will face No. 5 North Rockland and No. 6 John Jay in non-league tussles. The Dooleys hope the strong opposition will help push the Garnets past those ugly stepsisters in League D who are lying in wait in Harrison, White Plains, Pelham, and Byram Hills.
Looking to improve on last year’s 8-9 record, the brothers will rely on senior leadership in key positions. Roger Paganelli will start in goal. Three-sport star Drew Abate will anchor the defense in front of him, along with Susquehanna-bound Soya Goto. Michael Dugan will hold down a midfield spot and look to feed Noah Spaeth on attack.
To keep the carriage from turning back into a pumpkin, Rye will need a major contribution from its underclassmen. If Dugan’s sophomore brother Brendan can net a few goals along with fellow sophomore Ryan Kirkpatrick — and if juniors Stephen McCarthy and Theo Bresolin come through in man-up and man-down situations — the Dooleys might have a contender for post-season play.
They have high hopes that freshmen newcomers Seamus Carroll, Billy Chabot, and Peter Chabot will contribute. If so, and if sophomores Zack Zamberg, Will Hynson, and Jamie Chabot (yes, another Chabot) step up, 2015 could be a year to remember for the Garnet and Black.
Girls’ LAX Team Is Long on Experience
Not being able to practice on the turf for the first two weeks of the season was difficult, but Coach Dennis Hurlie is confident that the experience of the 18 returning players will help them adjust quickly.
The team has fine leaders in senior captains Charlotte Tucci, Payton Emery, and Holly Hunter. Tucci has been All Section for the past three years and is headed to Duke to continue her lacrosse career. Emery was All League last season.
Last year’s team won the league but lost to Yorktown in the sectional semifinal. This veteran team, with only five new members, is looking to win the league again and come away with the Class B section title. First, they will have to get past Somers, John Jay, and Yorktown.
The Garnets are counting on returning goalie Micheline DiNardo (All Section, All League), who is committed to Georgetown for lacrosse; attackers Amanda Hartzell (All League), Ellie O’Callaghan, and Molly DeCaroa; and midfielders Caroline Neave (All League) and Abby Abate (All League). Returning defenders include Julia Stern, Caroline Franchella, Mallory Lynch, and Maddie Johnson.
Coach Hurlie and assistant coach Keri Morrison “love coaching this hard-working team of high character.” Hurlie is confident that the Garnet girls will be “one of the better teams in the section by May.”
Co-Captain Hunter added, “We are all really excited about this season. We look good, we are ready to begin, and we can’t wait to see how far we can go.”
The Garnets beat Scarsdale 14-9, April 1 in the home opener.