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MikeSmith

Column: Tears of joy

New Rochelle quarterback Greg Powell breaks down after the Huguenots’ 44-25 win over John Jay in the Class AA finals on Nov. 7. The Huguenots’ emotional win was especially poignant for the senior signal caller.

New Rochelle quarterback Greg Powell breaks down after the Huguenots’ 44-25 win over John Jay in the Class AA finals on Nov. 7. The Huguenots’ emotional win was especially poignant for the senior signal caller.

Miles Harvey and Justin Cossifos look at the Section I championship plaque. For the first time since 2012, the Huguenots are Class AA champions.

Miles Harvey and Justin Cossifos look at the Section I championship plaque. For the first time since 2012, the Huguenots are Class AA champions.

New Rochelle head coach Lou DiRienzo leads his team in a postgame celebration. Photos/Mike Smith

New Rochelle head coach Lou DiRienzo leads his team in a postgame celebration. Photos/Mike Smith

Kevin Singletary flashes a big grin after the final whistle on Nov. 7. The Huguenots will be back in action on Nov. 14 in the Class AA regional finals against Newburgh.

Kevin Singletary flashes a big grin after the final whistle on Nov. 7. The Huguenots will be back in action on Nov. 14 in the Class AA regional finals against Newburgh.

One of my favorite postgame celebration moments ever came in 2013 after the Detroit Tigers clinched a playoff berth. The Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland, a notoriously prickly customer, was speaking with a few reporters outside of the clubhouse when the enormity of the situation seemed to sneak up on him. While discussing his team’s achievements that year, the baseball lifer began to stumble over his words, his eyes welling up, until he was rescued by veteran outfielder Torii Hunter, who hoisted up the 67-year-old skipper and carried him out of the room and into the midst of the players’ celebration. Leyland was then doused in champagne and beer, and performed a nifty moonwalk to the raucous cheers of his ballclub.

Simply put, it was an almost-perfect celebration.

I was reminded of Leyland and the Tigers on Saturday, as I found myself on the sidelines at Yorktown High School for the Class AA football championship.

With a 44-25 win over John Jay on Nov. 7, the New Rochelle Huguenots won their first section title since 2012. But out of everything about New Rochelle’s play—the big defensive stops, the offensive explosion—it was how they celebrated their win that is going to stick with me.

New Rochelle’s players were hardly uniform in their reactions, and with more than 50 players suited up on the sidelines, how could they be? Sophomore running back Jared Baron, a youngster who has emerged as one of the section’s top players quite early on in his short varsity career, had a delirious ear-to-ear grin as he bounded across the field to hug his teammates. Senior lineman Justin Cossifos, who helped anchor the Huguenots’ defense all year, got his hands on the Section I championship plaque and stared at it in disbelief, almost like he couldn’t quite comprehend what he and his teammates had just accomplished.

And then there was quarterback Greg Powell.

For a team as deep as New Rochelle, one that has succeeded not because of one player’s efforts but a collective team play, Powell’s spot as the starting quarterback has made him the de facto face of the program, something that was certainly not lost on him as he broke down in the arms of teammates and coaches after the final whistle blew.

All the pressure of leading the Huguenots back to the promised land was lifted from his shoulders on Saturday, and his recognition of that was a beautiful thing to watch.

Of course, New Rochelle’s story isn’t over yet.

With their regional final matchup with Newburgh looming on Nov. 14, the Huguenots were back at work on Monday, getting ready to tackle their latest challenge.

But on Saturday, none of that mattered. The only thing on the minds of New Rochelle’s players and fans was letting the program’s biggest win in three years sink in.

They’ll have all week to come down from their win over John Jay, but at least they got the chance to enjoy the ride for a few minutes.

And isn’t that why we all love sports?

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@LiveMike_Sports

 
tuck5ffff

Tigers take Class D crown

Christian Pinto rushes for a positive gain against Haldane. Pinto had a touchdown catch in the Tigers’ win.

Christian Pinto rushes for a positive gain against Haldane. Pinto had a touchdown catch in the Tigers’ win.

Steven Fleuridor dives for an extra yard against the Blue Devils.

Steven Fleuridor dives for an extra yard against the Blue Devils.

Tuckahoe celebrates its Class D title last Saturday. The Tigers have won four straight section titles. Photos/Bobby Begun

Tuckahoe celebrates its Class D title last Saturday. The Tigers have won four straight section titles. Photos/Bobby Begun

Tuckahoe hoists the Class D plaque after topping Haldane 24-12 on Oct. 31.

Tuckahoe hoists the Class D plaque after topping Haldane 24-12 on Oct. 31.

By MIKE SMITH
As one of only two Class D teams in Section I, Tuckahoe comes into each season with the section title game against Haldane circled on the calendar. Since 2012, the Tigers have been undefeated in the annual game and continued that streak on Oct. 31 when they downed the Blue Devils 24-12 at Pace University. 

It didn’t take long for Tuckahoe to assert its dominance on Saturday, as the Tigers came out firing for their second win of the season against their Class D foe this year, taking a 24-0 lead well into the fourth quarter before the Blue Devils rallied for two late scores.

“Our game plan coming in was not very different than in our first game,” Tuckahoe coach Tom Itri said. “We had success running the ball, and we wanted to limit the turnovers and the penalties.”

Although the Tigers couldn’t quite shed the penalty  bug, as they were flagged for five personal fouls in the game, they were able to control the line of scrimmage and found success on the ground and through the air.

Sophomore quarterback Matt Annunziata had two first half touchdown passes, one to Christian Pinto and the other to Robert Kiernan, to provide a boost for the Tigers’ offense.

According to Itri, Annunziata was fired up for his first sectional contest under center, especially considering his Haldane counterpart, fellow sophomore Tyler Giachinta, figures to be an integral part of the Blue Devils’ program for the next two years.

“We started all week with [Matt], talking about [Haldane’s] sophomore quarterback and saying we wanted to see who the better guy was going to be,” Itri said. “He really rose to the occasion and proved he was the better guy, at least that day.”

For the Tigers, who spent much of the season taking on larger Class C schools, all roads led to the Class D crown.

“We called [our schedule] ‘Murderer’s Row,’ and every school was bigger than us, no matter who we played,” Itri said. “But we know that now that we got to this point, we’re not going to see teams as big as Hackley or Chester.”

Tuckahoe will be back in action in the regional finals on Nov. 14 when they take on the winner of the matchup between Section IX Downsville-Roscoe and Eldred on Nov. 7 at Sleepy Hollow High School.

Although the Tigers are prepared to take on Downsville, which beat Eldred twice already this year, they will first focus on getting physically prepared for whomever they play next week.

“We are going to use this week to get everyone healthy and towards the end of the week, we’ll start preparing for Downsville,” Itri said. “In case they don’t win, we have a whole week to prepare for Eldred.”

Contact: sports@hometwn.com

 
The Tigers celebrate their 5-1 section final win over Horace Greeley on Nov. 3.

Tigers claim Class A crown

 

 

Lizzie Clarke controls the ball during Mamaroneck’s Oct. 29 playoff game against Arlington. On Nov. 3, Clarke had two goals in the Class A championship game.

Lizzie Clarke controls the ball during Mamaroneck’s Oct. 29 playoff game against Arlington. On Nov. 3, Clarke had two goals in the Class A championship game.

Gracie Fitzgerald battles for the ball with an Arlington defender on Oct. 29. Fitzgerald scored twice in the Tigers’ 5-1 win over Horace Greeley on Nov. 3.

Gracie Fitzgerald battles for the ball with an Arlington defender on Oct. 29. Fitzgerald scored twice in the Tigers’ 5-1 win over Horace Greeley on Nov. 3.

Gracie Fitzgerald looks to pass to a teammate. Photos/Mike Smith

Gracie Fitzgerald looks to pass to a teammate. Photos/Mike Smith

By MIKE SMITH
Not one to mince words, Mamaroneck field hockey coach John Savage can find plenty of them to describe his team. “Talented” is one, “exasperating” is another, but the most fitting in his mind is “resilient.” And after the team’s win over Horace Greeley on Nov. 3, he was able to add “champions” to the mix. 

In the Class A finals at Brewster High School, a strong second half propelled the defending state champs to victory as they outscored the Quakers 3-0 in the final stanza to come away with a 5-1 win.

According to Savage, the game showcased Mamaroneck’s knack for turning things on late. After jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first half, the Tigers surrendered a goal to Greeley’s Sophie Berkowitz which seemed to give the Quakers life. For the remainder of the half, the Quakers applied pressure on the top-seeded Tigers, getting several good looks off corner chances.

But less than two minutes into the second half, Mamaroneck’s Lizzie Clarke scored off an assist from Gracie Fitzgerald. Three minutes after that, Emily Mahland put the Tigers up 4-1, effectively ending the threat.

“Early on, we were doing a lot of individual stuff—and we have a lot of great individual players—but we were overcompensating and weren’t getting the spacing we needed,” Savage said. “But eventually, our strength can wear teams down.”

The results have been inarguable, as the Tigers currently hold a 17-1-1 record on the year. According to Savage however, the stress adds up, especially in big games.

“They find a way to win, so I trust them,” he said. “But it’s a weird trust because I’m
always on edge.”

Fitzgerald had two goals and an assist in the win and said that even though the Tigers come into each season expecting to vie for a section title, the thrill of hoisting the championship plaque hasn’t lost its luster.

“It’s exciting, but it’s also kind of a relief because we’re always looking forward to the next step,” she said. “Now it’s regionals, but the end goal is always states.”

The Tigers celebrate their 5-1 section final win over Horace Greeley on Nov. 3.

The Tigers celebrate their 5-1 section final win over Horace Greeley on Nov. 3.

Next up for the Tigers will be a showdown with Section IV Maine-Endwell on Nov. 7 at Valhalla High School. Like the Tigers, the Spartans are no strangers to the state tourney, but Savage said his team will be ready for its next challenge.

“They’re a good team, a young team, and they’ve got a good coach,” he said. “But we’re going to work on the things we need to do, correct some of the mistakes and just stress the things that we do best.”

Contact: sports@hometwn.com

 
Reed Peterson plays the ball. After dropping five of its first eight games, the Panthers reeled off seven straight wins to enter the postseason.

Panthers stung in finals

 

 

Kol Lewis goes up for a header against Edgemont on Oct. 29. Rye Neck topped Edgemont to advance to the Class B finals against Hastings.

Kol Lewis goes up for a header against Edgemont on Oct. 29. Rye Neck topped Edgemont to advance to the Class B finals against Hastings.

Reed Peterson plays the ball. After dropping five of its first eight games, the Panthers reeled off seven straight wins to enter the postseason.

Reed Peterson plays the ball. After dropping five of its first eight games, the Panthers reeled off seven straight wins to enter the postseason.

Luis Galeano charges upfield against Edgemont. After Galeano was moved to midfield midseason, Rye Neck’s fortunes improved vastly this year.

Luis Galeano charges upfield against Edgemont. After Galeano was moved to midfield midseason, Rye Neck’s fortunes improved vastly this year.

Adrien Henry fires a shot against Edgemont on Oct. 29.  Photos/Bobby Begun

Adrien Henry fires a shot against Edgemont on Oct. 29.
Photos/Bobby Begun

By MIKE SMITH
Sometimes, the ball just doesn’t bounce your way. 

The Rye Neck soccer team found that out firsthand on Oct. 31 when an intriguing Class B championship game between the Panthers and Hastings turned into a one-sided 4-0 loss after the Yellow Jackets capitalized on their early momentum. But even though the Panthers’ bid to defend their section title fell short, co-coaches Bryan Iacovelli and Frank Gizzo are proud of the way their squad battled all season.

The Class B finals was the third meeting between the two league foes this year, and each team came into the championship game with one win under their belts.

In the third matchup, Hastings’ Nate Constantine started the scoring just five minutes into the contest, and sophomore Alex Bourgeois followed suit with two more first-half goals to set the tone early against the Panthers.

Hastings outshot Rye Neck 9-5 on the day.

“They got off to a fast start,” Iacovelli said. “We just couldn’t get anything going.”

But the fact that Rye Neck even found itself in a position to defend its title is a testament to the way the team was able to reverse a tough stretch to start the season. After getting off to a 2-5-1 start, the Panthers were able to reel off seven straight wins to find itself in the driver’s seat as it headed into the playoffs.

Iacovelli and Gizzo moved standout attacker Luis Galeano to the midfield after the team struggled, and the move immediately paid dividends.

“After moving Luis to the midfield we began to get more goals from multiple players,” Iacovelli said. “It made a huge difference.”

Midway through the season, the coaches also tabbed sophomore Tom Bermingham to serve as the starting keeper, and Bermingham responded by coming up big in important spots, including Rye Neck’s tight postseason wins over Bronxville and Edgemont.

“He was tremendous, especially in the playoffs,” Iacovelli said. “He made some season-saving stops for us.”

With a final record of 12-6-1, the future looks bright for the Panthers’ program. Rye Neck loses just one starter, Galeano, to graduation and should look to learn from its slow start as they eye a rematch with Hastings in 2016.

Iacovelli said that he and Gizzo expect the team to continue to work in the offseason as they get ready for next fall.

“They were frustrated with the losing, but they never lost confidence,” Iacovelli said. “They still came out with intensity and wanted to repeat.”

Contact: sports@hometwn.com

 
Laura Martinelli controls the ball against Pearl River. Photos/Bobby Begun

Rye falls to Lakeland

A Rye player pushes the ball upfield against Pearl River.

A Rye player pushes the ball upfield against Pearl River.

By MIKE SMITH
On Nov. 3, two undefeated squads squared off for the Class B field hockey title when No. 1 seed Lakeland and No. 2 Rye met for the first time in 2015. When the dust settled, however, a strong first half performance from Hornets star Dana Bozek was enough to lift Lakeland past the Garnets with a 4-1 win. 

Bozek scored all four of Lakeland’s goals in the first 30 minutes of the game, putting Rye in a hole from which it couldn’t recover, despite a strong second half performance. Coming in, Rye coach Emily Prince said her squad was prepared for Bozek’s strategy of racking up free hits off penalties, but that preparation didn’t make defending against it any easier.

Bozek scored her first goal 14 minutes into the contest and then exploded for three goals in the final 15 minutes to put the game out of reach.

Ellie O’Callaghan passes to a teammate against Pearl River. The Garnets had a perfect season until the Class B championship game against Lakeland.

Ellie O’Callaghan passes to a teammate against Pearl River. The Garnets had a perfect season until the Class B championship game against Lakeland.

“We watched game tape, talked to other teams that played them and we knew what that strategy was,” Prince said. “But we had two girls carded in the first 20 minutes for what was basically just tackling the ball.”

Despite the disparity in penalty calls, Prince was pleased with the way her squad played. They allowed just eight shots on goal on the night while managing five of their own. Fusine Govaert
made the most of her opportunities, netting the Garnets’ only score on a redirect to even the game at 1-1 with 15:38 to play in the first half.

“We did a great job holding them scoreless in the second half, but unfortunately, the damage was already done,” Prince said. “But we kept fighting, kept making adjustments and I’m really proud of the team.”

With the win, Lakeland advances to regionals where it will take on Section IV Vestal on Nov. 7 at Valhalla High School. In the meantime, Rye’s season comes to an end, but Prince believes that her one-loss team has learned a lot from an otherwise historic campaign in 2015.

Fusine Govaert chases down a Pearl River player on Oct. 29. Govaert had the Garnets’ lone goal in a 4-1 loss to Lakeland on Nov. 3.

Fusine Govaert chases down a Pearl River player on Oct. 29. Govaert had the Garnets’ lone goal in a 4-1 loss to Lakeland on Nov. 3.

The Garnets will lose 12 seniors to graduation but return several key players next year, including Govaert.

“I just told them how proud I was after the game,” Prince said. “Especially for our exceptional senior class, a group that has played with each other since they were kids.

“This was an exceptional group of young people. Throughout the season we had to overcome several obstacles, but they stayed bonded all year.”

Contact: sports@hometwn.com

 

Laura Martinelli controls the ball against Pearl River. Photos/Bobby Begun

Laura Martinelli controls the ball against Pearl River. Photos/Bobby Begun

 
Maxine Lieblich launches a serve against Mahopac. Photos/Bobby Begun

Huskies headed to semis

Maxine Lieblich launches a serve against Mahopac. Photos/Bobby Begun

Maxine Lieblich launches a serve against Mahopac. Photos/Bobby Begun

By MIKE SMITH
Through the first two rounds of the postseason, the Harrison volleyball team has been up to the task, topping Lincoln and Ursuline for back-to-back 3-0 wins to reach the Class A semifinals, and their toughest test to date. With a showdown against top-seeded Walter Panas looming, the Huskies know full well that it will take their best effort to earn a berth in the section championship game. 

On Nov. 2, the No. 4 seed Huskies soundly defeated the No. 5 Ursuline squad in straight games, winning 25-19, 25-15, 25-19 to advance to the semis. Although Harrison coach Candy Light said she entered the postseason with confidence in the way her team had been playing, she admits she was somewhat surprised with the outcome of the team’s quarterfinal match.

“We expected it to go four, maybe five games, because I know [Ursuline] was a better team than what the scores showed,” she said. “But we’re very happy with the way our girls stayed tough and did the things we had to do.”

Senior Val Sprovieri had a big game for the Huskies with seven kills and six aces, but it was sophomore Kayla DeMartini who led Harrison’s offense in the win, notching 11 kills on the afternoon.

Huskies headed to semis

Huskies headed to semis

“[Kayla] has been a great player for us the entire season,” Light said. “She’s been working hard, using more types of swings and placing the ball well, so we’ve been very happy with her since she joined the program.”

At 25-4-1, Harrison earned the right to take on No. 1 seed Walter Panas in the semifinals on Nov. 4, after press time. Panas has compiled a record of 40-5-1 on the year and has been one of Section I’s flagship programs over the last several seasons.

“In some schools, the football program is the big thing, but in Panas, they’ve really gotten their community to rally around the volleyball program,” Light said. “Fans come out to see them play, girls come out for the team, and it’s always a great atmosphere to play there.”

Light acknowledges that the highly-charged atmosphere at Walter Panas High School will be one factor working against her club when the two teams square off.

“It’s definitely a bigger stage with so many fans there cheering,” she said. “It will definitely have that big game feel.”

As for the Huskies’ opponents on the court, Light believes the her girls will need to play their best game of the season if they hope to reach the section finals.

Kayla DeMartini hits the ball on Oct. 27. Against Ursuline, DeMartini led the team with 11 kills.

Kayla DeMartini hits the ball on Oct. 27. Against Ursuline, DeMartini led the team with 11 kills.

“We need to have every single player focused and on their game; we need to stop their big hitters and also have a great passing game,” she said. “We have to be on top of our game on offense and defense.”

Contact: sports@hometwn.com

 
Bronxville celebrates after winning another section title on Nov. 3. Bronxville topped Pawling 2-1 in a double overtime thriller.

Broncos triumph in OT

Mia Bettino pushes the ball upfield against Pawling on Nov. 3. Bettino scored in the second half to give the Broncos a 1-0 lead in the Class  C title game. Photos/Mike Smith

Mia Bettino pushes the ball upfield against Pawling on Nov. 3. Bettino scored in the second half to give the Broncos a 1-0 lead in the Class
C title game. Photos/Mike Smith

Ellie Walsh blows past a Pawling defender in the Class C championship game.

Ellie Walsh blows past a Pawling defender in the Class C championship game.

Bronxville celebrates after winning another section title on Nov. 3. Bronxville topped Pawling 2-1 in a double overtime thriller.

Bronxville celebrates after winning another section title on Nov. 3. Bronxville topped Pawling 2-1 in a double overtime thriller.

Caroline DePaul controls the ball against Pawling. With 35 seconds left in the second overtime period, DePaul found the net for the game-winning goal.

Caroline DePaul controls the ball against Pawling. With 35 seconds left in the second overtime period, DePaul found the net for the game-winning goal.

By MIKE SMITH
All season long, Bronxville coach Jacquelyn Frawley has praised her team’s ability to raise its game at crucial moments. On Nov. 3, the Broncos proved that on Section I’s biggest stage, topping Pawling 2-1 with less than a minute to go in double overtime to win the Class C championship.

With 35 seconds left to play in the second sudden-death period, Caroline DePaul received a pass from Lilly Grass and fired a shot past the Pawling goalie to break a 1-1 tie and help the Broncos repeat as Class C champs.

“I was just going with it and I had no idea how much time was left,” DePaul said. “I just saw Lilly pass, I swung and it went in.”

For a while, it didn’t look like overtime would be necessary.

Bronxville’s Mia Bettino found the net for the game’s first goal less than two minutes into the second half and the Broncos were able to control the action from thereon out. But with just 3:20 remaining, Pawling’s Carly McGrath was able to hammer home the equalizer on a rebound, forcing the first overtime period.

As deflating as the McGrath goal was, DePaul said the Broncos tried not to dwell on missed opportunities.

“We know how painful these games can be; we know how tiring they are,” she said. “But we never got down, our coaches kept us positive and we just tried to play our best.”

The two 7-on-7 sudden death periods were not short on thrills as both teams had their chances to score the game-winner. For the Broncos, the game simply came down to playing steadily and in control.

“We wanted to keep possession out there,” Frawley said. “We were just trying to keep it stick-to-stick and place the ball rather than going after hard shots.”

It came as no great surprise to the head coach that the Broncos were finally able to break through.

“We knew what was on the line,” she said. “During the season, there’s always another game, but all it took was one goal and our season was over.”

With the win, Bronxville now finds itself headed to regionals this weekend. Their first opponent will be Section IV champ Whitney Point, which beat the Broncos 2-0 in last year’s state semifinals. For the Broncos, who have just four seniors on the roster, the game will be a unique experience, but DePaul believes the team has the talent to power through.

“This is exciting, especially since this was a building up year with a lot of young girls,” DePaul said. “I’m really proud of how far we’ve made it, and I think we can keep winning.”

Contact: sports@hometwn.com

 
east4f

Eagles crush Indians

John Arcidiacono dives forward for an extra yard against John Jay. Arcidiacono rushed for 256 yards in the Eagles’ 51-27 win. Photos/Bobby Begun

John Arcidiacono dives forward for an extra yard against John Jay. Arcidiacono rushed for 256 yards in the Eagles’ 51-27 win. Photos/Bobby Begun

John Guido breaks a tackle against John Jay. In the last two weeks, Guido has scored six touchdowns.

John Guido breaks a tackle against John Jay. In the last two weeks, Guido has scored six touchdowns.

Matt Roche and Ryan Blume bring down an Indian ballcarrier on Oct. 24.

Matt Roche and Ryan Blume bring down an Indian ballcarrier on Oct. 24.

John Guido carries the ball against John Jay. Guido had three touchdowns in the Class A quarterfinal game.

John Guido carries the ball against John Jay. Guido had three touchdowns in the Class A quarterfinal game.

By MIKE SMITH
In a season that has seen undefeated Eastchester soar to unbelievable heights on the offensive side of the ball, the Eagles’ performance in the Class A quarterfinals might be their finest to date. On Oct. 24, Eastchester piled on the points early against No. 7 seed John Jay, capturing a 51-27 victory.

Eastchester wasted little time finding the end zone, scoring on its first six possessions to take a 43-14 lead by halftime. In total, the Eagles racked up 595 yards en route to posting its second-highest point total of the season. Quarterback John Arcidiacono led the way on the ground as well as the air, rushing for 256 yards and throwing for 138 yards and three touchdowns. All three passing touchdowns went to Andrew Schultz, who credited Eastchester’s offensive line for paving the way all afternoon.

“Definitely in the beginning, they were opening up huge holes for us to run through,” the senior wideout said. “John [Arcidiacono] and John Guido both made the most of that.”

For the second straight week, Guido, a senior, scored three touchdowns and rushed for more than 100 yards as the hard-running fullback continues to emerge as yet another weapon for the Eagles.

“I think [Guido] is one of the biggest players on this team,” Schultz said. “He’s running great right now, especially over the last few weeks.”

At 8-0, Eastchester is enjoying one of its most successful campaigns in the program’s history and the team is eager to play in just its second Class A semifinal game ever. But Schultz and the Eagles know full well that, come the playoffs, one bad game can sink even the best of teams.

“We’ve discussed it a bit as a team, but we know that as well as we’ve played, we haven’t accomplished anything yet,” Schultz said. “And we won’t have accomplished anything until we get to that section championship game.”

Standing in the Eagles’ way is their semifinal opponent, Our Lady of Lourdes, which topped Somers 37-22 in the quarterfinals. Although the Eagles and Lourdes have not squared off this season, Eastchester is expecting the No. 3 seed to prove a stiff test when the two teams meet on Oct. 31.

Like the Eagles, Lourdes have thrived offensively, thanks to a playmaking quarterback and a big, athletic wideout.

“I know coach [DiCarlo] and the rest of the coaches are going to have us prepared,” Schultz said. “We know they have some good players in [quarterback] Dean [Rotger] and Luke [Timm] at receiver, so we just need to be ready.”

Contact: sports@hometwn.com 

 
AOTWCaroline

Rye Athlete of the Week: Caroline Howard

AOTWCarolineBy LAUREN DEMPSEY
Caroline Howard has utilized her many years of dance training to lead this year’s Rye High School cheerleading team. Howard, a senior, is now participating on the varsity squad for her fourth year and second year as a team captain.

The team starts practices during the summer and does more than just cheer at football games; they perform various dance routines and execute stunts. Howard plays the role of flyer on the stunt team. She also helps choreograph the dance routines.

Coach Melissa Pellettieri is very proud of her four year veteran. “Caroline is a dedicated cheerleader who not only prepares our halftime performances and makes sure that her teammates know the routines,” the coach said, “she also organizes and implements various community service projects for the team.”

One of the projects that the team has been heavily involved in is breast cancer awareness, which they have incorporated onto their uniforms. Howard and the team have also volunteered with Soul Ryeders and the Tie the Town Pink campaign by hanging pink ribbons around Rye.

Her teammates also appreciate the effort that Caroline puts in.

“Caroline has such a passion for cheerleading” fellow senior Ali Cardino said. “She is always the girl with the biggest smile because she really loves helping the team get better.”

Caroline not only hits her marks during the dances but also in the classroom. She is on the High Honor Roll and was recently inducted into the National Honor Society.

 

 

 

Greg Powell sheds a tackle against Mamaroneck. After handling the Tigers, Powell and the Huguenots are one win away from a berth in the Class AA championship.

Huguenots outlast Tigers

Jayson Prince finds the end zone in the Class AA quarterfinals. New Rochelle handled short yardage situations quite well against the Tigers this time around.

Jayson Prince finds the end zone in the Class AA quarterfinals. New Rochelle handled short yardage situations quite well against the Tigers this time around.

Greg Powell sheds a tackle against Mamaroneck. After handling the Tigers, Powell and the Huguenots are one win away from a berth in the Class AA championship.

Greg Powell sheds a tackle against Mamaroneck. After handling the Tigers, Powell and the Huguenots are one win away from a berth in the Class AA championship.

Jared Baron looks for daylight against the Tigers on Oct. 24. Baron led New Rochelle with two rushing touchdowns. Photos/Mike Smith

Jared Baron looks for daylight against the Tigers on Oct. 24. Baron led New Rochelle with two rushing touchdowns. Photos/Mike Smith

Emerson Genovese hauls in a catch down the sideline against New Rochelle’s Manny Walker. New Rochelle topped Mamaroneck 28-20 in a Class AA quarterfinal game.

Emerson Genovese hauls in a catch down the sideline against New Rochelle’s Manny Walker. New Rochelle topped Mamaroneck 28-20 in a Class AA quarterfinal game.

By MIKE SMITH
On Oct. 24, New Rochelle escaped what may have been its toughest test to date, earning a 28-20 win over No. 12 seed Mamaroneck in the Class AA quarterfinals. 

At 8-0 on the season, the Huguenots remain the favorites to take a section title, but 1-7 Mamaroneck has been able to give New Rochelle a scare in both meetings between the two teams.

When the Huguenots and Tigers squared off back on Sept. 11, New Rochelle triumphed 14-6 despite several Mamaroneck defensive stands on the goal line. This past Saturday, New Rochelle fared much better in short yardage situations. Sophomore Jared Baron, who paced New Rochelle with two rushing touchdowns, said that Huguenot coach Lou DiRienzo stressed the importance of grinding for extra yards in the days leading up to the game.

“Coach D really just told us to knock them off the ball,” Baron said. “We work all season in the weight room to get stronger and we just needed to get stronger as a team and push them back.”

New Rochelle also got rushing scores from Keelan Thomas and Jayson Prince, but the Huguenot defense had some difficulty containing Mamaroneck quarterback Bill Flatow, who threw for 260 yards and a touchdown and also found the end zone on a trick-play pass from halfback Julian Haughton. Flatow missed the first meeting between the two teams due to an injured shoulder, but his presence certainly gave the Tigers more offensive options in the quarterfinal game.

“We knew coming in that [Flatow] knows that offense so well,” Huguenot defensive back Romeo Holden said. “That made us work that much harder.”

Despite Flatow’s prodigious passing day, the Huguenots clamped down when it mattered most.

In the final minute of the game, with his team trailing by eight points, Flatow drove the Tigers into Huguenot territory, when he lofted a pass for Emerson Genovese down the left sideline. Holden was there, however, and out-jumped the senior wideout to come away with a touchdown-saving interception.

“I saw the ball coming and I knew I needed to make a play,” Holden said. “So I went and got it.”

The loss ended Mamaroneck’s bid for a long playoff push, but was certainly a showcase for what may have been the most underrated team in Section I.

“The kids came out and battled like they have all year, that’s just the type of team this is,” Mamaroneck coach Anthony Vitti said. “Unfortunately, we’re not here for moral victories.”

With the win, the Huguenots advance to the Class AA semifinals, where they will take on a Scarsdale team that needed a touchdown on the final drive to top Mahopac last week. According to Baron, the Huguenots are up for the challenge.

“Every day we come to practice ready to work,” Baron said. “Every day we say, ‘This has to be a great day;’ we can only move forward, we can’t take steps back.”

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