Category Archives: Athlete of the Week

Tyler Clickner

Rye Athlete of the week: Tyler Clickner

Tyler Clickner

Tyler Clickner

Because of early morning practices out on the cold water, crew isn’t a sport for everyone. But for senior Tyler Clickner, it just felt right from the moment he started. 

Clickner tried many sports when he was younger but nothing felt as natural as rowing.

He is currently a member of the Rye Garnets Varsity Crew Team.

At the Bill Braxton Memorial Regatta held at Mercer Lake, N.J., Clickner placed in all three of his races, winning two gold medals and one silver. In his initial race, the Men’s Varsity Double, he, while rowing in the stroke seat, teamed up with Michael Batal and finished first. In the Men’s Second Varsity Eight, Clickner and his teammates finished second in a very tightly-contested race. He followed that up with a first-place finish in the Men’s Varsity Quad.

Coach Stanley Nelson was impressed with the performance of his senior rower.

“Tyler raced three times that day which was more than anyone else on the team,” he said. “Tyler’s has been a longtime member of the team and it was great to see him have such a successful day.”

Teammate Liam Wilson agreed.

“Tyler is an incredible athlete and skilled rower,” Wilson said. “He is the picture of sportsmanship and his upbeat attitude keeps our team going through tough times.”

This is Clickner’s fourth year on varsity. The team will work out over the winter and begin to race again in the spring.

But Clickner is also active out of the water. He is an honor roll student, was named a Class of 2016 Scholar and is a member of the Bread of Life Club, an organization that helps to feed the hungry and homeless of Westchester.

Rye Athlete of the Week: Julia MacLaury

aotwjuliaBy LIAM BRENNAN
Senior co-captain of the Rye girls diving team Julia MacLaury, who is completing her sixth and final season on the squad, has earned the latest Athlete of the Week honors.

The team has had a great season, thanks in part to MacLaury’s strong leadership. Some of their big wins this year have been against Mamaroneck, The Ursuline School and New Rochelle. The team went on to divisional championships on Oct. 23 and all four divers from the Rye diving team placed top five in the conference. Recently, the team competed in a sectional championship on Oct. 30 and MacLaury finished the competition as a finalist.

“Out of all the athletes I have ever had the pleasure of coaching, Julia is one of the most remarkable young ladies I have ever met,” Garnet coach Melanie Dilascio said. “In and out of the pool she is never concerned about herself, but all her teammates around her.”

Dilascio noted that MacLaury will be greatly missed on the team in years to come, but admits that she is looking forward to watching her accomplishments at the college level.

MacLaury is also a hard worker when she’s out of the pool.

She is a member of the National Honor Society, an AP Scholar and a Rye High School Scholar and a Spirit Award winner. MacLaury has volunteered her tutoring services at the Don Bosco Community Center in Port Chester where she helps Spanish-speaking day laborers learn English, and has also been a camp counselor and a coach at Future Stars Diving Camp. She has also spent the past two summers working as a camp counselor, swim instructor and lifeguard at a sleepaway camp in Litchfield, Conn.


Rye Athlete of the week: Roger Paganelli

Protecting the goal in lacrosse like he protected the quarterback in football, senior goalie Roger Paganelli sacrificed every part of his body to lead the Garnets into the sectional playoffs. After battling his way back from a devastating injury that he suffered in the 2014 section final game, he has become a force on the football field and the anchor of a lacrosse defense that has given up the second fewest goals per game, 6.25, in all of Section 1 this year.

The Garnets entered sectionals with a record of 11-5 and Roger was an integral part of the team’s success.

“Roger has been the backbone of our defense all season,” head coach Brian Dooley said.  “He is a solid goalkeeper and he has made many big saves all season. He will be very hard to replace next year.”

Teammate Drew Abate said Paganelli’s play was invaluable to the Garnets this season and that players took their cues from the upbeat netminder.

“Roger’s a great leader in net and we can always count on him to make the big save.” Abate said. “Roger brightens up practice every day.”

Roger’s father, uncle and aunts also attended Rye High School. Next fall, Roger will be attending Elon University.


Rye Athlete of the week: Johnny Emanuel

With his unconditional commitment to his tennis team and devout love of the game, Johnny Emanuel has earned Athlete of the Week honors. The Ivy League-bound senior is a captain alongside Andrew Emanuel, no relation, and serves as a leader to the younger players with his knowledge of the game and experience. Johnny has been on varsity tennis for the past three years moving up in the ranks to first doubles with Andrew Burke this year.

“Johnny is the one of the most dedicated and talented members of our team,” junior Mihir Bala said. “His unmatched volley skills and his competitive drive make him an indispensable teammate. Yet, Johnny also continually proves to be a great leader as well, and as co-captain he has united us and strengthened us. There isn’t a single person who doesn’t have a crazy amount of respect for him, me included.”

Coach Susan Dickson is proud of what Johnny brings to the team, both on and off the court.

“Johnny has been a significant and stalwart contributor to the tennis team,” she said. “He always gives his best effort and has strong and natural leadership skills.”

When he isn’t racing to the ball on the court, Johnny is on the track or in goal. In the fall, Johnny was the starting goalkeeper for the varsity soccer team then followed that with running the 300-meter and throwing shot put for the winter track team.

Johnny excels in the classroom as well and recently received the Candle of Leadership—an award given out by the National Honor Society. Johnny will continue his studies next year at Dartmouth University.


Athlete of the week: Arcadia Zahm

The Rye High School girls rugby team maybe new to competition, but that hasn’t prevented the Garnets from finding success on the pitch. 

So far, one of Rye’s key players has been junior Cadi Zahm. Cadi, a junior, helped lead the Garnets to a 37-10 victory over Lycee Francais on April 24 and a 35-27 win over the Brooklyn Girls, a club travel team, the following day. Zahm generally plays the position of back but her versatility allows her to play many roles.

Although she is relatively new to the sport of rugby, Zahm has impressed both her teammates and her coaches.

“Cadi is the anchor of our team,” teammate Katie Bird said. “She never fails to make us proud.”

Head coach Lara Vivolo added that the junior has shown a true knack for the sport.

“[She] is becoming a fast learner of the game of rugby,” Vivolo said. “She is naturally an aggressive athlete. Once the ball is in her hands, she sees the try line and runs hard to get there and score. She is also a threat on defense and as her knowledge of the game improves, she is only going to get stronger as a player.”

Zahm also excels in the classroom and takes a number of AP classes. She was also named a member of the Class of 2016 Scholars. Outside the classroom, she participates in the Adopt-A-US Soldier Club and Mission for Girls. She is also a member of the Garnets soccer team in the fall in addition to performing with the Rye School of Dance.


Athlete of the week: Micheline DiNardo

aotwdinardoBy LAUREN DEMPSEY
Although the goal scorers get most of the notoriety, the key to the success of a lacrosse team is the ability of the goalie to stop shots. Thankfully, the Garnets have one of the best around in Micheline DiNardo. On April 24, DiNardo came up with seven big saves to secure an 11-10 victory against Byram Hills and help Rye to improve to 7-1-1 on the season. 

“Micheline is an incredibly talented goalie and we can always count on her to make save after save,” said teammate Abby Abate said. “She makes our whole team better and we are so lucky to have her.”

Head coach Dennis Hurlie said that DiNardo’s play has been integral to the Garnets’ success this year.

“Micheline is one of the top few goalies in Section I and she might just be the best,” Hurlie said. “[She] has put in all the work and time to become an outstanding lacrosse goalie and future Division 1 athlete.”

DiNardo also shines in the classroom, as she was recently named a member of the Class of 2016 Honors at the 50th Annual Scholars’ Dinner. She is also an active member in the Rye High School Adopt-A-US-Soldier Club which supports Rye’s high school graduates who are currently serving in the military. Although only a junior, Micheline has already been offered an athletic scholarship to play goalie at Georgetown University in two years and has verbally committed.


Athlete of the week: Michael Ackert

Flying through the sky meters above the water and then hitting the water with essentially no splash, Michael Ackert has been leading the diving team all winter. Only a freshman, this is already his third year on the team. 

In fact, this year he is the only diver on Rye’s team.

Michael placed fourth in the Sectional Championships which qualified him for states for the first time. In the State Championships, he placed 29 out of 54 divers. This season, in one of the dual meets, Michael scored a personal best of 304 points in a six dive meet.

Despite his young age, Michael has impressed his teammates.

“Ever since he joined the team as a seventh grader, Michael has been a crucial component of our success,” junior Thomas Mackey said. “As the school’s only diver, he still manages to place very well at meets.”

Michael credits his dive coach Melanie DiLascio along with swim coaches Lara Vivolo and Mike Panzarino for helping him.

“I can honestly say that in all of my years coaching, Mikey is one of the most talented divers I have ever worked with,” DiLascio said. “Every year he never ceases to amaze me with how much he is capable of learning.”

When he is not diving for the school squad, Michael dives for the Marlins in Greenwich, Conn., and Rye Golf Club in the summer. Michael is also a member of the High Honor Roll and has been Student of the Quarter in math, Spanish and composition. Each Thanksgiving, Michael and his family participate in Part of the Solution, giving their time to serve food at a soup kitchen in the Bronx.


Athlete of the week: Maggie McDermott

aotwmcdermottBy LAUREN DEMPSEY
Maggie McDermott, a senior on the Rye track team, broke the indoor 3000-meter school record with a time of 10:31, a whopping 14 seconds ahead of the previous record. Breaking school records is nothing new to Maggie, who now owns two indoor records in the 800-meter and 3000-meter events as well as outdoor records in the 1600-meter, 3000-meter, 3200-meter and the 2000-meter steeplechase. She will next compete in the state qualifier and hopefully the Eastern States Championships.

Aside from her outstanding times, as captain, Maggie also plays a key role in the development of the rest of the team.

“Maggie leads a very young team through example by working hard every day,” coach John McGee said. “She has had an incredible senior year during winter track. Maggie has set school records in the 3000 meters and was the League and Class B champion in the 1500 meters.”

Mackenzie Smith is just one of the young runners whom McDermott has helped.

“Maggie deserves any victory she gets,” Smith said.  “She works really hard and I can’t believe anyone can run that fast.”

In the fall, Maggie was a starting midfielder on the soccer team. She will look to beat her personal best times when she returns to the track in the spring for the outdoor season.

Maggie has also been exemplary in the classroom. She has been a consistent member of the High Honor Roll, a National Merit Commended Scholar, a member of the National Honor Society and a member of the National Music Honor Society.


Athlete of the week: Nat Deen

Forming an almost impenetrable wall, goalie Nat Deen has been making saves left and right in leading the Garnet hockey team into sectionals. After advancing to the finals last season with Nat in goal, the Garnets are looking again to contend for a section title.

With a stellar goals-agai-
nst-average of 2.63 per game and a save percentage of 91.6 percent, Nat is one of the leading net minders in all of Section I. Nat, a senior and one of the team’s captains, held highly-ranked Canton High School of Connecticut to just one goal. He was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Canton Tournament as well as at the Rivermen Winter Classic.

“Our captain has been a stone wall in net,” teammate Rocco Macri said. “He is always making the big saves when we need him.”

Coach Peter Thomas concurred.

“Nat has been solid for us in net all year,” Thomas said.  “The team feels confident that going into every game he gives us a chance to win, which is all you can ask of your goalie.”

Off the ice, Nat is an outstanding student as well as an active volunteer. He has participated in the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics, the New Orleans Mission Trip and food drives, among other activities. In addition, the hockey team as a whole has performed various community service projects including raising money for cancer research. Nat is in the process of selecting
a college.


Athlete of the Week: Andrea Holguin

The first Rye High School Athlete of the Week for the 2014-2015 school year is Andrea Holguin, a captain on the girls tennis team.

A senior playing her third varsity season for the Garnets, Andrea has helped lead the team to a quick 2-0 start. In the team’s first match, Andrea played second doubles and teamed with Dana McLaughlin to beat her competitors from Tappan Zee High School in two sets, 6-4 and 6-3. They followed that match up with another victory in doubles, this time over Nyack High School. In the Nyack match, the Rye tandem won the first set 6-3, fell in the second set 2-6, but then fought back to earn the victory by winning in a 10-point tie breaker, 10-8.

Coach Anthony Campbell acknowledges the importance of Andrea’s experience to the rest of the team.

“Her leadership as captain helped us have a fun and productive preseason,” Campbell said. “In our first match, she decidedly won at second doubles to lead us to a 5-2 win over Tappan Zee.”

Teammate and fellow co-captain Chloe Jennings agrees.

“Andrea is an amazing athlete and co-captain,” Jennings said. “In addition, she is a positive and enthusiastic leader off the court.”

While the tennis season is just beginning, Andrea is looking forward to her senior year and considering her college choices. In the spring, she will be participating as a member of the Garnets lacrosse team.