Category Archives: Sports

Sam Hodman and his partner, Valerie Sroka, left, qualified for the 2016 U.S. Figure Skating Championship with a solid performance at Midwest Sectionals last month. This is the second time the duo has advanced to the national championships. Contributed photo

Hodman qualifies for nationals

 

 

Sam Hodman and his partner, Valerie Sroka, left, qualified for the 2016 U.S. Figure Skating Championship with a solid performance at Midwest Sectionals last month. This is the second time the duo has advanced to the national championships. Contributed photo

Sam Hodman and his partner, Valerie Sroka, left, qualified for the 2016 U.S. Figure Skating Championship with a solid performance at Midwest Sectionals last month. This is the second time the duo has advanced to the national championships. Contributed photo

By MIKE SMITH
The 2016 U.S. Figure Skating Championship, set to be held in Saint Paul, Minn., next month will have something of a local flavor, as Mamaroneck High School freshman Sam Hodman will hit the ice looking to bring home a medal in the Juvenile Ice Dance division.

Hodman, 14, and his partner Valerie Sroka qualified for the nationals after placing fourth at the Midwestern Sectional Championships held in Strongsville, Ohio, last month.

The Mamaroneck resident, who has been skating for around six years, made the transition to ice dancing—a pairs discipline—four years ago and is already making a name for himself. This is the second-straight year the duo has qualified for the national championships.

According to Hodman, the transition from singles skating to ice dancing took some getting used to.

“With individual skating, I got to do more things like spins and jumps, but with partner skating, you don’t have some of those elements,” he said. “The biggest difference is you have to do different stuff and support your partner.”

Leading up to sectionals, Hodman and Sroka logged about seven hours of ice time together per week, but the pair will likely look to put more time in with nationals looming. One minor obstacle, Hodman explains, is the distance between him and his partner, who lives in New Jersey. Sroka and Hodman also practice in New Jersey, which requires upwards of an hour of travel for each workout.

“It definitely limits us, so we try to take advantage of every single session,” Hodman said. “We have to put in 100 percent effort; we can’t waste any time because we don’t have that much time.”

With the biggest competition of the year on the horizon, Hodman said that the pair is currently working on fine-tuning the routine and making sure they hit all their marks.

“There are certain areas we need to tighten up,” he said. “We need to make sure we’re showing the judges all the elements, because sometimes they aren’t defined enough.”

Although he admits that the previous trip to nationals should help the duo prepare for this year’s competition, Hodman also said that, last year, he and Sroka weren’t burdened by the pressure.

“Last time we went, we skated pretty well and part of that was because we felt we had nothing to lose,” he said. “But this year, we’re going to try to be more confident.”

In the end, however, Hodman said the only thing he and his partner can do is block out the judges and just skate their best.

“You can’t really control where the judges put us,” he said. “But if we can go out there, hit our elements and do everything we’ve be working on, I’ll be happy.”

CONTACT: sports@hometwn.com

 
Ashley Anello brings the ball up the floor against Woodlands on Dec. 5. Eastchester topped Woodlands 58-49 in the Holiday Basketball Tournament Finals.

Eagles start season strong

By MIKE SMITH
Eastchester’s girls basketball team started the 2015 season off on a high note, as the veteran-laden squad was able to come away with a hard-fought 58-49 win over a solid Woodlands team. For second-year coach Lindsay Carr, the Eagles’ promising start could point to big things for

Fiona Teahan fights for a loose ball against Woodlands last Saturday.

Fiona Teahan fights for a loose ball against Woodlands last Saturday.

Eastchester this winter. 

Gabby Ricciardi and Cassidy Mitchell led the way for the Eagles in the tournament final, scoring 21 and 20 points respectively, as Eastchester was able to hold off a second-quarter challenge from the Falcons and come away with a nine-point win.

“We came out really strong, especially playing a team like Woodlands and how talented they are,” Carr said. “We had a conversation at halftime, and we came out focused, motivated and we executed.”

The Eagles topped Hunter College to advance to the finals and followed up the tournament win with a one-sided victory over Gorton on Dec. 7 to improve to 3-0 on the young season. For Carr, coming into the year with a host of returning players has made a world of difference.

“With nine girls returning, we knew what to expect from each other,” she said. “We had that baseline down so we expected to build on what we did last year.”

Ashley Anello takes a foul shot on Dec. 5. Anello is one of nine returning players on the Eagles this year.

Ashley Anello takes a foul shot on Dec. 5. Anello is one of nine returning players on the Eagles this year.

Along with Ricciardi and Mitchell, Carr is expecting big things from freshman point guard Ashley Anello, who saw time on the varsity as an eighth-grader last year.

According to the head coach, Anello should benefit from another season playing alongside Eastchester’s upperclassmen.

“She’s got good fundamentals and good skills,” Carr said. “And I think our seniors and juniors do such a great job leading her in the right direction.”

Carr is also happy with the team’s length, and believes that forwards like Fiona Teahan and Amanda Shkreli will have an impact on games this year.

“We have some good size,” she said. “If we can use our size, we can do some good things.”

The Eagles will be back in action on Dec. 11 when they play Ardsley in the first round of the Panthers’ tournament. Afterward, the squad will be primed for a Dec. 15 showdown against a solid Irvington team before hitting the road to play in the Pearl River tournament. After the winter break, the Eagles will begin league play, which brings with it some unique challenges against strong teams.

“Last year we came in just trying to win a few games, but this year, I think we have the talent to win a league title,” Carr said. “But we do have to play a lot of competitive teams like Pelham, Rye and Harrison.”

Contact: sports@hometwn.com

 
An ETBE player pokes the puck up ice against Mt. Pleasant on Dec. 4. The Ice Cats topped the Eagles 10-4.

ETBE fall to Ice Cats

An ETBE player pokes the puck up ice against Mt. Pleasant on Dec. 4. The Ice Cats topped the Eagles 10-4.

An ETBE player pokes the puck up ice against Mt. Pleasant on Dec. 4. The Ice Cats topped the Eagles 10-4.

Will Knox fights for the puck against the Ice Cats. Photos/Mike Smith

Will Knox fights for the puck against the Ice Cats. Photos/Mike Smith

An Eagle tries to sneak a puck past the Ice Cats goalie on Dec. 4. ETBE was shorthanded in the loss and should fare better with a full squad.

An Eagle tries to sneak a puck past the Ice Cats goalie on Dec. 4. ETBE was shorthanded in the loss and should fare better with a full squad.

An ETBE skater corrals the puck along the boards at the Ice Hutch on Dec. 4.

An ETBE skater corrals the puck along the boards at the Ice Hutch on Dec. 4.

By MIKE SMITH
On Dec. 4, the ETBE Eagles skated against Mt. Pleasant at the Ice Hutch and fell 10-4 to a solid Ice Cats team. Despite the loss, head coach Steve Forzaglia believes that his squad has the ability to make great strides this year.

The Ice Cats’ speed and depth presented a problem for the Eagles on Friday, as the ETBE squad, which takes players from Eastchester, Tuckahoe, Bronxville and Edgemont, was missing five players who were away on class trips. Mt. Pleasant was able to wear down the Eagles, who cut into a 3-0 second period deficit on a goal by Leo Gretzinger, but ultimately fell short in the comeback bid.

“Missing so many guys, we looked at the game as a learning experience,” Forzaglia said. “But I was very happy with the way the kids kept battling and didn’t give up.”

This season marks Forzaglia’s second with the ETBE squad. Although the Eagles are currently 0-2-1 on the season,
the head coach is happy with the way his team is starting to come together.

“Last year, I came in as a new coach, with a new system and new drills and it took a long time to get everybody aboard,” he said. “But this year, everybody knows what to expect, so it’s just about getting comfortable with each other on the ice.”

ETBE has a solid mix of veterans, including forwards like Gretzinger, Tyler Stupart and Eddie Cho, as well defensemen including Trevor Pettit and Jack Klion, whom Forzaglia believes will help some of the team’s younger players grow into their roles.

“Some of the guys we called up from modified at the end of last year have adjusted well to the speed of the game,” the head coach said. “And there are a few sophomores who we expect to be key players.”

ETBE will play a challenging league schedule this year, and Forzaglia believes that his squad will be tested during the regular season.

“I don’t think there’s a bad team in our league,” he said. “I think a lot of games are going to come down to which teams shows up to play.”

The Eagles will be back in action on Nov. 14, after press time, against another tough league foe in New Rochelle. Although the Huguenots are a hungry team, Forzaglia said, the Eagles should give them a run for their money.

“New Rochelle skates hard, they battle for 45 minutes,” he said. “But I think having a full team is going to make a world of difference for us.”

Contact: sports@hometwn.com

 
From left, Kayla Correa, Monae Cooper and Symone Darius pose after signing their national letters of intent on Nov. 12 at the New Rochelle High School Library. All three Huguenot standouts will be competing in Division I collegiate athletics next year. Photo/Bobby Begun

New Rochelle Roundup

Keelan Thomas runs for a gain against John Jay. Against Saratoga Springs, Thomas returned an interception for a touchdown. Photo/Mike Smith

Keelan Thomas runs for a gain against John Jay. Against Saratoga Springs, Thomas returned an interception for a touchdown. Photo/Mike Smith

Football
11/21 Saratoga Springs d. New Rochelle 32-29
In the Class AA state semifinals, New Rochelle’s perfect season came to an end when it fell to the Blue Streaks in a hotly-contested nailbiter, 32-29.

The Huguenots had a chance to tie the game with 37 seconds left, when kicker Omar Pulido hit a 27-yard field goal to knot the score at 32. But the kick was disallowed when officials ruled that Saratoga called a timeout prior to the snap. When play resumed, Pulido’s subsequent kick sailed wide right.

Saratoga Springs was led by mammoth fullback Dakota Harvey, a 6-foot-2, 250-pound standout, who, at one point in the first half, had 120 yards and two touchdowns on six carries.

The Huguenots, however, made the most of several Blue Streaks’ miscues in the first half, as Keelan Thomas returned an interception for a touchdown and then clamped down in the second half, holding Saratoga Springs to -5 yards in the third quarter.

Greg Powell carries the ball during New Rochelle’s section championship win over John Jay on Nov. 7. Two weeks later, New Rochelle’s season came to an end with a 32-29 loss to Saratoga Springs in the Class AA state semifinals. Photo/Mike Smith

Greg Powell carries the ball during New Rochelle’s section championship win over John Jay on Nov. 7. Two weeks later, New Rochelle’s season came to an end with a 32-29 loss to Saratoga Springs in the Class AA state semifinals. Photo/Mike Smith

Greg Powell shined in his final game under center for New Rochelle, finishing the day with 216 yards and a passing touchdown.

In the state finals a week later, Saratoga Springs found itself on the wrong side of a lopsided score. Taking on Section V Aquinas Institute, the Blue Streaks were drubbed 44-19. Aquinas held a 44-0 lead into the fourth quarter before the Blue Streaks were able to mount a late rally.

Hockey
11/28 New Rochelle d. Rivertown 4-0
The Huguenots shut out the combined Rivertown team on Saturday, thanks in part to a two-goal performance from Nick Scollard. Scollard and teammate Karina Sirabian both had two assists on the day as well. Veteran goalie Arthur Liebowitz made 17 saves to keep Rivertown off the stat sheet.

The win puts the Huguenots at 1-0 on the season, but the schedule will kick off in earnest this week, when New Rochelle hosts a surging Rye Town/Harrison squad on Dec. 4. The Titans are off to a 3-0 start this year after dominating at the Guy Mathews Thanksgiving Invitational Tournament in White Plains last weekend.

 

From left, Kayla Correa, Monae Cooper and Symone Darius pose after signing their national letters of intent on Nov. 12 at the New Rochelle High School Library. All three Huguenot standouts will be competing in Division I collegiate athletics next year. Photo/Bobby Begun

From left, Kayla Correa, Monae Cooper and Symone Darius pose after signing their national letters of intent on Nov. 12 at the New Rochelle High School Library. All three Huguenot standouts will be competing in Division I collegiate athletics next year. Photo/Bobby Begun

College signings
On Nov. 12, New Rochelle celebrated the college decisions of three scholar-athletes, as Symone Darius, Monae Cooper and Kayla Correa all put pen to paper to sign their letters of intent.

Darius and Cooper are both track and field standouts at New Rochelle and will be attending strong Division I programs next year. Cooper will be running for the Northeastern Huskies while Darius will be competing in the SEC as part of the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Correa, a basketball star, will be patrolling the hardwood for Maryland’s Coppin State University.

A Harrison player tries for a layup against Bronxville last Saturday.

Huskies gear up for season

Zach Evans brings the ball upcourt in a scrimmage against Bronxville. Evans and the Huskies will look to push the pace this year.

Zach Evans brings the ball upcourt in a scrimmage against Bronxville. Evans and the Huskies will look to push the pace this year.

By MIKE SMITH
Despite featuring eight returning players from last year’s playoff squad, Harrison’s basketball team isn’t taking anything for granted this winter. With a tough league schedule and a lack of size on the roster, the Huskies will have to outwork the competition if they want to find their way back to the postseason in 2016.

Last year, the Huskies posted a 14-6 record and advanced to the Class A quarterfinals where they fell to a surging Tappan Zee squad 67-59. Gone from last year’s team, however, are a few key players including Justin Stagg and Joe Nannariello, which will force Harrison to rely on other contributors this season.

“With Justin and Joe, we lost our top scorer and our top rebounder,” head coach Gary Chiarella said. “We’re just hoping that we can have guys step in to those roles.”

The Huskies have no shortage of talent in their returning players, however, with Zach Evans and Jack Hochman coming back. Yet, aside from 6-foot-4 Omar Nesheiwat, Harrison doesn’t have much in terms of length, which will necessitate some changes in the way it approaches games.

Chiarella believes that Harrison’s best chance for success will come from pushing the tempo and forcing teams out of their comfort zones.

A Harrison player tries for a layup against Bronxville last Saturday.

A Harrison player tries for a layup against Bronxville last Saturday.

“Last year, we got a ton of easy points on second-chance baskets from Joe,” Chiarella said. “Now, our big advantage is going to be our athleticism and the way we press and run the fast break.”

The Huskies won’t have the luxury of easing into their new style of play, however, with tough games on the schedule right out of the gate. The Huskies open the season on Dec. 9 against Roosevelt, and will tangle with White Plains two days later. The Huskies’ annual holiday tournament will kick off on Dec. 17.

“Hopefully we can find it quickly,” Chiarella said. “But the goal is for us to be peaking towards the end of the year.”

Although the Huskies have difficult non-league games on the schedule, including a showdown with Fordham Prep in the Slam Dunk Challenge on Dec. 28, the biggest test they face this year will likely be their in-conference tilts. Harrison’s league is especially tough this season, as Byram Hills, Rye and Eastchester are all deep, veteran-laden squads.

“I’d say personally, this is the most competitive our league has been,” the head coach said. “But hopefully playing in so many close games will make us better and get us ready for the playoffs.”

Contact: sports@hometwn.com

 
Jerry Frost strips a Harrison player during a preseason scrimmage. Frost is expected to contribute in his first year on the varsity roster.

Broncos led by youth

 

Jeff Sargent guards the lane. Photos/Bobby Begun

Jeff Sargent guards the lane. Photos/Bobby Begun

By MIKE SMITH
After being hit hard last spring by graduation, Bronxville’s basketball team has a new look this year with a host of new players stepping up to the varsity level for the first time. But although the team might take some time to gel, according to head coach Brian Senior, the Broncos certainly have the talent to compete. 

“It’s been a steep learning curve for a lot of the players,” Senior said. “We do have six players returning, but behind them, we don’t have a whole lot of game experience.”

Bronxville graduated nine players from last year’s 12-8 squad, but Senior is confident that the returning players will be able to provide a lift to the young squad this season. Chief among the returnees is two-year All-League selection Matt Toal who will run the point for the Broncos and provide a calming veteran presence in the backcourt.

“If I had to return one player, it would be Matt,” Senior said. “He’s a calming influence, he’s very even-keeled and when the ball is in his hands we know he can get it to his teammates.”

Andrew Harwood drives towards the hoop during a scrimmage against the Huskies last Saturday.

Andrew Harwood drives towards the hoop during a scrimmage against the Huskies last Saturday.

Toal will be joined by Jack Reilly and Alston Tarry, who played important minutes off the bench last year and should figure heavily into the Broncos’ offensive plans this season. Senior has also been impressed by a pair of talented newcomers, 6-foot-2 wing Brian DePaul and versatile guard Jerry Frost, who could be difference makers.

“We’re young but we are athletic this year,” Senior said. “As the season goes on, I think we’re going to have to grow into our roles.”

On Nov. 28, the Class B Broncos scrimmaged against a much larger Class A Harrison team, and Senior was impressed with the way his squad played despite not playing with Toal, who was recovering from an injury.

“We were missing some guys, but I was pretty happy with the way that we rebounded and weren’t outmuscled by a bigger team,” he said. “Obviously there are still some things we need to work on, like our press offense and some defensive rotations, but I think that will come.”

The Broncos begin the regular season on Dec. 2, after press time, with a home game against Solomon Schechter, but their real tests will come against league opponents like Sleepy Hollow, Ardsley and Woodlands.

“You always have a sense, and I think it’s going to be a competitive league this year,” Senior said. “But the big thing for us is that we don’t see a huge height discrepancy between the teams, which will allow us to hide some of the things that we don’t do well.”

Contact: sports@hometwn.com

 
Matt Annunziata throws a pass in the state semifinal game. Annunziata will again be a key contributor in 2016. Photos/Bobby Begun

Tuckahoe bows in semis

Chris Corrado carries the ball against Ticonderoga on Nov. 19. Six turnovers doomed Tuckahoe in a 32-0 loss.

Chris Corrado carries the ball against Ticonderoga on Nov. 19. Six turnovers doomed Tuckahoe in a 32-0 loss.

Matt Annunziata throws a pass in the state semifinal game. Annunziata will again be a key contributor in 2016. Photos/Bobby Begun

Matt Annunziata throws a pass in the state semifinal game. Annunziata will again be a key contributor in 2016. Photos/Bobby Begun

Robert Kiernan sheds a tackler on Nov. 19.

Robert Kiernan sheds a tackler on Nov. 19.

A Tuckahoe tackler tries to bring down Brady Rocque in the state semifinals. Ticonderoga made the most of their opportunities en route to victory.

A Tuckahoe tackler tries to bring down Brady Rocque in the state semifinals. Ticonderoga made the most of their opportunities en route to victory.

By MIKE SMITH
Tuckahoe’s impressive postseason came to an end on Nov. 19 when the Tigers fell 32-0 to Ticonderoga in the state semifinals at Dietz Stadium. Beset by six turnovers, Tuckahoe’s offense simply couldn’t find its footing as the Sentinels capitalized on their chances to punch their ticket to Syracuse. 

Tuckahoe’s ball control struggles put the Tigers in an early hole on Friday. Jevyn Granger scored on a goal-line dive after Ticonderoga picked up a Mike McLaughlin fumble deep in Tuckahoe territory and running back Ryan Trudeau scored two plays after Tuckahoe’s second turnover to give Ticonderoga momentum and a 12-0 lead heading into halftime.

Despite the halftime deficit, however, the Tigers remained confident in their chances to turn things around. Tuckahoe came out firing in the second half, orchestrating its best drive of the game which took them down to the Sentinels’ 13-yard line.

Unfortunately for the Section I champs, however, that drive ended in another turnover and the second half was more of the same as they coughed up the ball twice more and surrendered two rushing touchdowns to the
Sentinels’ Brady Roche en route to the 32-0 loss.

Despite the disappointing end to the season, the Tigers acquitted themselves well down stretch. After losing all but one regular season game, the Tuckahoe beat Haldane to claim their fourth straight Class D title and also earned a one-sided win over Roscoe to advance to the state semifinals.

It was a strong showing for first-year head coach Tom Itri, whose Tigers should be competitive moving forward. Although the squad will lose 11 seniors, including standout running back Chris Corrado, to graduation, Tuckahoe will have several returnees coming back in 2016, including sophomore quarterback Matt Annunziata who showed great promise under center.

Itri could not be reached for comment as of press time.

Ticonderoga will play for the Class D state title on Nov. 27 against Section III champion Tioga. Tioga advanced to the finals with a 38-36 victory over Bishop Kearney on Nov. 20.

contact: sports@hometwn.com

 

 

Rye players take part in a preseason drill. Photos/Bobby Begun

Garnets eye turnaround

A Garnet hits a layup during a Nov. 23 practice. Rye has a chance to contend for a section crown this year.

A Garnet hits a layup during a Nov. 23 practice. Rye has a chance to contend for a section crown this year.

By MIKE SMITH
With a host of returning players and a newfound commitment to the weight room, Rye’s basketball team certainly seems poised for big things this winter. But even though head coach John Aguilar expects his team to contend for a section crown this year, he knows full well that many obstacles—including a difficult league schedule—still stand between Rye and its ultimate goal. 

The Garnets return six players from last year’s 10-10 team, which fell to rival Harrison in the first round of the Class A playoffs. According to Aguilar, Rye addressed its biggest problem, a lack of physicality, in the offseason.

“We realized that last year, we were getting out-muscled and out-conditioned,” Aguilar said. “But this is the hardest-working group I’ve had in 15 years of coaching and I think that’s going to make a big difference for us this year.”

Aguilar said the Garnets’ offseason weight training should help them better employ the up-tempo style that has been successful for them in past years.

“We were young last year,” he said. “But if our guards can rebound better, that’s going to allow us to get out quicker in transition.”

Rye players take part in a preseason drill. Photos/Bobby Begun

Rye players take part in a preseason drill. Photos/Bobby Begun

With encouraging signs so far, Aguilar envisions guard-play as being key to the Garnets’ success this winter.

Junior Charlie Nagle, who won all-league honors as the Garnets’ point guard last year, will slide to the shooting guard spot to make way for classmate Michael Carty, who will run the point.

At 6-foot-5, Mark Croughan gives the Garnets a strong presence in the paint, and could present matchup problems for opponents while paired with 6-foot-4 George Kirby in the frontcourt.

“[George] can play down low but he can also shoot the three,” Aguilar said. “And I think that’s going to open things up a lot for Mark, who has gotten a lot better at finishing around the rim.”

Mark Croughan leads Rye in a conditioning drill. Head coach John Aguilar believes his team will benefit this year from offseason weight training.

Mark Croughan leads Rye in a conditioning drill. Head coach John Aguilar believes his team will benefit this year from offseason weight training.

The Garnets open the season on Dec. 8 against Sacred Heart and will host their annual Cliff Clinton Classic, which will kick off on Dec. 11. Rye’s league schedule begins on Jan. 6, when the Garnets host Eastchester.

According to Aguilar, Rye’s league opponents, including Eastchester, Pelham and Byram Hills, all figure to be loaded as well.

“I think this is the best team I’ve coached, and I think we have a legitimate shot to beat any team in the section,” he said. “But all these teams in our league have players coming back too, so I don’t know if we’re a top three team in the league.”

No matter how the regular season shakes out, he said, the league battles will be invaluable in getting his squad ready for postseason play.

“Every league game is going to have that playoff atmosphere,” he said. “And with our guys, especially the younger guys, it’s going to help them get used to that.”

A Rye player takes a shot during a Nov. 23 practice. Rye returns six players from last year’s team.

A Rye player takes a shot during a Nov. 23 practice. Rye returns six players from last year’s team.

Contact: sports@hometwn.com

 
From left, Sam Morton, Will Young and Lauren Chapey at the New York State Championships on Nov. 14. All three Tigers had terrific fall campaigns. Contributed photos
Rocket fuel


CAPTION:
In the Town of Mamaroneck, Hommocks Middle School is doing away with food waste in a new way. For story, see page 5. Photo/Kiley Stevens

Tigers fare well at states

From left, Sam Morton, Will Young and Lauren Chapey at the New York State Championships on Nov. 14. All three Tigers had terrific fall campaigns. Contributed photos Rocket fuel CAPTION: In the Town of Mamaroneck, Hommocks Middle School is doing away with food waste in a new way. For story, see page 5. Photo/Kiley Stevens

From left, Sam Morton, Will Young and Lauren Chapey at the New York State Championships on Nov. 14. All three Tigers had terrific fall campaigns. Contributed photos
Rocket fuel
CAPTION:
In the Town of Mamaroneck, Hommocks Middle School is doing away with food waste in a new way. For story, see page 5. Photo/Kiley Stevens

By MIKE SMITH
Over the course of a long fall season, a handful of Mamaroneck cross-country runners were able to put themselves on the map with signature performances at some of the season’s biggest meets. Lauren Chapey, Sam Morton and Will Young all participated in the state championship meet on Nov. 14, with Chapey placing eighth and the two boys finishing 21st and 50th, respectively.

While Chapey, a senior, was considered one of the area’s top runners heading into the fall season, it was Morton, a junior, who exceeded even the expectations of Mamaroneck coach Bob Morrisey.

His 21st-place finish at the meet in Wappingers Falls was the culmination of a long road back from injury, according to the head coach.

“Sam was kind of a surprise this year,” Morrisey said. “He’s been going along but had to deal with a nagging injury to his knee last year. But he has a very strong will, he’s very focused on what he’s doing and he’s kind of impervious to pain, which is part of running cross-country.”

Like Morton, Chapey also had to fight through injuries to put together a career-best fall campaign. Although she has been one of the top Tiger runners since joining the squad, her 18:23.40 time at states made her the top finisher among all Westchester runners and hers was the second-best time in all of Section I. For Chapey, who has been a part of the cross-country team for the last four years, Morrisey points to her renewed commitment to strength training as a major factor in her elite senior year performance.

“She has worked on all aspects of her running: her endurance, her speed, her flexibility, but most of all her strength,” Morrisey said. “I think that’s what helped her fight through and reach her full potential.”

Lauren Chapey competes in a cross-country race. On Nov. 14, Chapey placed eighth at the New York State Championships with a time of 18:23.40.

Lauren Chapey competes in a cross-country race. On Nov. 14, Chapey placed eighth at the New York State Championships with a time of 18:23.40.

According to the head coach, Chapey’s work ethic and her performance this fall will be something he can use to motivate younger athletes on the team.

“Lauren is the captain and the younger athletes see what she does and I think that rubs off on the team,” he said. “They see that she had a hard time last year because of injuries but through hard work, she was able to have tremendous success.”

Both Morton and Chapey will compete in the Nov. 28 cross-country national qualifiers, but will get some much-needed time off before gearing up for winter competition.

“They’re going to get a week off,” Morrisey said. “After that, they’re going to start training for the winter track season.”

CONTACT: sports@hometwn.com

 

 

 

Lauren Chapey crosses the finish line at Monroe Woodbury High School.

Lauren Chapey crosses the finish line at Monroe Woodbury High School.

 

 

Jared Baron flies over the top of a Goldbacks defender on Nov. 14. Baron’s 56-yard touchdown run helped New Rochelle escape with a 21-20 win.

New Ro survives scare

A host of Huguenots converge on a Newburgh ball carrier on Nov. 14. New Rochelle’s defense was stout until the Goldbacks put together a late rally.

A host of Huguenots converge on a Newburgh ball carrier on Nov. 14. New Rochelle’s defense was stout until the Goldbacks put together a late rally.

Jared Baron flies over the top of a Goldbacks defender on Nov. 14. Baron’s 56-yard touchdown run helped New Rochelle escape with a 21-20 win.

Jared Baron flies over the top of a Goldbacks defender on Nov. 14. Baron’s 56-yard touchdown run helped New Rochelle escape with a 21-20 win.

Greg Powell sheds a tackler at Dietz Stadium. Powell and the Huguenots are one win away from the state title game.

Greg Powell sheds a tackler at Dietz Stadium. Powell and the Huguenots are one win away from the state title game.

Justin Cossifos recovers a Newburgh fumble. All three of New Rochelle’s touchdowns came off Goldbacks’ turnovers. Photos/Bobby Begun

Justin Cossifos recovers a Newburgh fumble. All three of New Rochelle’s touchdowns came off Goldbacks’ turnovers. Photos/Bobby Begun

By MIKE SMITH
Nobody said getting to Syracuse was going to be easy. 

For roughly three quarters on Saturday, it appeared as though New Rochelle was going to stroll into the state semifinals with a lopsided win over Section IX Newburgh. But a late Goldbacks’ rally tested the Huguenots’ resolve, as the Section I champs escaped with a 21-20 win.

Trailing by 21 points late in the third quarter, Newburgh quarterback Ryan Skivington began to find his rhythm, throwing for two touchdowns and a couple of big gains in the last 15 minutes of the game to cut into the Huguenot lead. Ultimately, however, the Huguenots’ unwillingness to surrender extra points—including a blocked PAT by Rashon McNeil—proved to be the difference-maker, and a New Ro recovery on an onside kick attempt with 18 seconds left spelled the end for Newburgh.

Despite giving up a late rally, New Rochelle sophomore Jared Baron said the pressure never got to the Huguenots.

“We weren’t nervous,” he said with a grin. “We knew that we were going to keep playing together, as a team.”

If New Rochelle’s defense was suspect late in the game, the first three quarters were marked by the team’s tenacious and opportunistic play. All three Huguenot touchdowns came off turnovers, and sophomore linebacker Lloyd King put his mark on the game, forcing two Newburgh fumbles on the evening.

In a game that saw both teams struggle for yards, it was King’s second forced fumble—recovered by defensive end Tyler Cohen—that led to the Huguenots’ biggest offensive play of the day: a 56-yard touchdown scamper from Baron, who nabbed the game’s most outstanding back award.

Baron’s long touchdown run came on a misdirection play, giving New Rochelle the 21-point lead it would need to come out on top.

“That’s a big play for us,” he said. “We faked the counter a couple of times and the defense really bit on that one.”

With the win, New Rochelle will advance to the state semifinal game on Nov. 21 against Saratoga Springs, which beat Shaker-Colonie on Nov. 7 to earn a first-round bye in the state tourney. For the Huguenots, who haven’t been to the tournament since winning it all in 2012, late November football is uncharted territory.

“I’ve been on the team for three years; I’ve been through the good times and the bad,” senior quarterback Greg Powell said. “It just feels good to be one win away from the dome.”

But if the scare against Newburgh has proved anything, he added, it’s that there’s certainly more work to be done.

“This was a shell-shocker, but it’s the state playoffs, and every team is going to be as good, or better, than they were,” Powell said. “We’re just going to have to step up in practice every day.”

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