Top Harrison sports stories in 2013

Harrison linebacker John Abadir delivers a hit on Rye’s Andrew Livingston. The Huskies pressured the junior signal caller all day and held the Garnets to 80 yards through the air.

Harrison linebacker John Abadir delivers a hit on Rye’s Andrew Livingston. The Huskies pressured the junior signal caller all day and held the Garnets to 80 yards through the air.

Harrison battles Rye in
“The Game”
Although Harrison might not have emerged victorious in the annual meeting between the two rivals, “The Game” has inspired such passion and rivalry in both fan bases that it makes it impossible to leave off any year’s best list when it comes to Harrison athletics.

Coming into this year’s match up, people speculated about whether the game held the same attraction in 2013. Rye had already clinched a top playoff spot, the banged-up Huskies had been eliminated from contention and there were some who wondered if Rye would even play the majority of its starters.

Then the game started.

The Huskies and Garnets battled for 48 minutes in a physical, heated contest that showed just what the vaunted Huskies defense was capable of when firing on all cylinders.

Former Harrison coach Art Troilo Sr., seen here being inducted into the Harrison Sports Hall of Fame by his son, Art Jr., passed away this September at the age of 81. Photo/Mike Smith

Former Harrison coach Art Troilo Sr., seen here being inducted into the Harrison Sports Hall of Fame by his son, Art Jr., passed away this September at the age of 81. Photo/Mike Smith

The Huskies introduced a wildcat package that was able to move the ball against the Garnets, but neither team was able to put points on the board until Harrison’s Jake Marino sacked Rye’s Andrew Livingston in the end zone for a safety in the fourth quarter.

Unfortunately for Harrison, the Garnets would roar back with an 11-play, 82-yard scoring drive capped off by a Conor Murphy touchdown run, and held on to win the game 8-2. Rye’s victory came at a price, though, as the already injury-plagued Garnets ended up losing Murphy for the year with a high-ankle sprain.

“This is the Harrison-Rye game, this is so important to the community,” Livingston said after the game. “They are a great ball club. We knew they were going to come out and play us tough.”

Harrison loses coaching icon
In the week leading up to Harrison’s first football game of the year, the community lost one of its most respected members, as former Harrison football coach and athletic director Art Troilo Sr. passed away on Sept. 2 at the age of 81.

Troilo, the father of current Huskies coach Art Jr., was a legendary athlete in his high school days and came back to coach in the Huskies program for 22 years, serving as the program’s head coach for 11 years. He later served as the school district’s athletic director.

At a funeral service for the Harrison icon, much was made of Troilo, Sr.’s tireless commitment to Harrison’s youth, with many citing his decision to cross the picket line during a teachers strike in 1973 to coach the team as a prime example of his dedication.

“It was always about the kids with him,” Mitty McGee, who quarterbacked the undefeated 1973 team, said. “There was no question he made that sacrifice for us, along with the other coaches.”

Harrison’s student-athletes chow down at a June ice cream celebration. Every Harrison team was given the AP Scholar-Athlete award, a very rare occurrence. Photos/Bobby Begun

Harrison’s student-athletes chow down at a June ice cream celebration. Every Harrison team was given the AP Scholar-Athlete award, a very rare occurrence. Photos/Bobby Begun

Harrison’s athletes thrive on field, in classroom
In June, Harrison’s student-athletes were honored by school administrators after it was announced that every single Harrison sports team qualified for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association AP Scholar-Athlete award.

The award, which is given to teams who have 20 percent of the players on its roster earn an average of 90 or better for the school year, is a testament to Harrison’s commitment to athletic excellence as well as academic achievement.

“It’s a combined effort between everyone, the students, teachers and coaches,” girls soccer coach Jon-Erik Zappala said. “I think, in years past, it was a little more difficult to keep an eye on how each kid was doing, knowing who their teachers were. But now, with better technology, there are more open lines of communications between everyone and that definitely helps.”

Contact: sports@hometwn.com

 
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About Mike Smith

Mike Smith has been with Hometown Media Group since 2007, serving as the company’s Sports Editor. Mike has been commended for his work by the New York Press Association, winning awards in 2008 for “Best Sports Feature” and again in 2009 as part of a team that put together “The Game,” a breakdown of the Harrison-Rye football rivalry, which won for “Best Special Section.” His weekly column, “Live Mike,” offers his unique insights into a broad range of topics in the sports world. He resides in Eastchester, N.Y. and spends most of his free time serving as the player-manager for a competitive men’s baseball team in New York City. Reach Mike at 914-653-1000 x22 or sports@hometwn.com; follow him on Twitter @LiveMike_Sports.