The College Sports Notebook is compiled by veteran sports writer and columnist Marc Maturo, a lifetime member of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). The notebook will be published every Thursday. Please send items of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org.
McManus, Ducey’s Privateers red-hot on the ice
Bill Ducey, a displaced Long Islander due to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, has made West Nyack his temporary place of residence even while coaching the SUNY Maritime College men’s hockey team in historic Fort Schuyler on the Throggs Neck peninsula.
The high-flying, undefeated Privateers, now enjoying a holiday break before resuming practice on Jan. 15, feature several scoring threats, a top-notch goalkeeper and a two-way defenseman who also mans a forward position – namely, veteran James McManus of Pearl River.
“He’s one of my favorite guys, a great kid, a good team player,” enthuses Ducey, himself a 1981 Maritime College graduate who played forward on a Privateers’ championship team in the Metropolitan Collegiate Hockey Conference (MCHC).
“He’s very enthusiastic, a nice kid,” Ducey continues, mentioning that McManus, who sports one of the team’s biggest slap shots, is also used on the power play. “He’s also a great stick-handler.”
McManus, who is coming back from a hand injury, expects to play when Maritime puts its unblemished mark on the line against longtime rival Kings Point Merchant Marine Academy on Jan. 18 at Parkwood Sports Complex in Great Neck. The first puck is set to drop at 10:15 p.m. The following night at Parkwood, this time at 9:15, Maritime meets County College of Morris.
The Privateers, riding a 14-game winning streak, have been rolling along since losing a preseason scrimmage to a non-league opponent in Brooklyn.
Coach Ducey expects another tough game from Kings Point.
“It’s always been a rivalry game; they’re a same school like ours, and they’re undefeated too,” Ducey relates. “They have one game before meeting us, but no matter what happens it will be an interesting game.”
Privateers goalie Harris Burger of Davie, Fla., is ranked second in the MCHC with a sparkling 2.00 goals-against-average while Vinny Manfredo of Shirley, with 24 points on seven goals and 17 assists, and Billy Kelly of Lynbrook, with 13 goals and eight assists, are among the conference’s scoring leaders.
Maritime, which at one time would practice at Murray Skating Center in Yonkers, has found a new home in Stamford, Conn., at the Chelsea Piers. The team will have two practices before resuming play, with sessions normally set on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“They’ve been very good to us, they really help us out getting us ice time,” Ducey said.
For college hockey fans, or anyone with a taste for amateur ice hockey, McManus & Co. will be at the Palisades Center Ice Rink on Wednesday night Jan. 30 at 9 o’clock to meet local rival St. Thomas Aquinas College of Sparkill.
The Privateers are ranked eighth in the Atlantic Region by the American Collegiate Hockey Association.
Warriors hold off Spartans
Rivalries are made of this.
Khalid Samuels of Nyack College poured in a game-high 31 points, and Chris Hampton added 13 as the Warriors survived a thrilling comeback by local rival St. Thomas Aquinas College, winning 66-63.
The Spartans trailed by as many as 26 points before mounting a furious rally, but fell to 1-7 on the season, while Nyack won its second game against eight defeats. T. J. Jones led STAC with 25 points while Justin Brown added 12.
The Spartans, who hit the road to take on Virginia State on Dec. 29, and Virginia Union on Dec. 30, start the New Year at home on Jan. 5 against Robert Wesleyen at 3 p.m. at Aquinas Hall.
Nyack College closes the year at home on Dec. 31 against Dowling College at 2 p.m., and then meets NYIT in Old Westbury at 6 p.m. on Jan. 2.
Beyond the playing fields
Sophomore pitcher Matt Festa of Staten Island has been joining other members of the Dominican College baseball program in the Hurricane Sandy Relief Project. The Chargers have been lending a helping hand each weekend since first taking a bus trip to Queens on Dec. 8.
“This is a great opportunity for our players to get out to the community and help those who were affected by this devastating storm,” longtime Coach Rick Giannetti said on the college’s website.
Added Festa, a graduate of St. Joseph by-the-Sea HS in Staten Island: “It is unreal to understand the damage that this storm did to the houses and the surrounding areas until you actually see it with your own eyes.”
For further information on how to help Hurricane Sandy victims contact Christin Dilts, Dominican College coordinator for volunteer services, at 845-848-7602.
- For the third time this season, Saint Anselm College basketball freshman Mike McCahey of Clarkstown has been named the Northeast-10 Rookie of the Week. McCahey scored 21 points and pulled down five rebounds as the Hawks lifted their record to 7-2 following a 73-68 victory at Post University in Waterbury, Conn. McCahey & Co. return to action on Dec. 30 at 1 p.m. when they host Bloomfield College at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium in Manchester, N.H.
- Nicole Grossbardof Pearl River, a freshman guard on the Southern Connecticut State University
women’s basketball team, returns to action in the county on Dec. 31 when the Owls of New Haven, Conn., visit their counterparts at Dominican College in Orangeburg. The game is set to start at 1 p.m. Grossbard is averaging five points a game, with 15 steals and 27 assists, second-best on the team.
- The Manhattan College softball team will start its new season in Greensboro, N.C., at the North Carolina A&T Invitational from Feb. 22-24. Infielder Amanda Babcock of Haverstraw is returning for her senior season, following a year in which she finished third on the Jaspers in batting average (.254) and home runs (three). The North Rockland HS alumna also had three stolen bases in as many attempts.
- Seasoned seniors Taylor Wilson of Pearl River and Jennifer McSharar of Garnerville are playing prominent roles on the Manhattanville College women’s basketball team. Wilson leads the Valiants in scoring with 17 points a game while McSharar, a graduate of North Rockland HS, leads in rebounding with 11 per game. Wilson is also averaging six rebounds and two assists a game while McSharar is posting norms of 10 points and two assists per game. The Valiants (6-4) open the second half of the season with home games at Kennedy Gymnasium in Purchase on Jan. 5 against SUNY Old Westbury at 1 p.m., and on Jan. 7 against William Paterson at 7 p.m.
- The Nyack College women’s basketball team visits local rival Dominican College in Orangeburg on Dec. 31, and then travels to Lakeland, Fla., to compete in the Southeastern Invitational on Jan. 3-4.
- University of South Carolina junior Kelly Fischer of Blauvelt, a Tappan Zee HS graduate, competes in pole vault for the Gamecocks. USC is scheduled to take part in the two-day Akron Pole Vault Convention on Jan. 4-5 in Ohio, and then returns home on Jan. 12 to host the USC Indoor Open No. 1.
- Former Tappan Zee HS all-county point guard Erika Richards of Orangeburg is leading the Rockland Community College women’s basketball team with 15 points, three assists and 2.5 rebounds per game. Melissa Loughnane of Pearl River is averaging 10 points and 3.2 assists while Nikki Saponaro of Nanuet is averaging 9.9 points and 2.4 assists. The Lady Hawks (9-2) open the New Year with a two-game road trip on Jan. 5-6 against Nassau CC and Suffolk CC, respectively. RCC returns to its Suffern gym on Jan. 8, hosting Bergen CC at 5 p.m.
- Sophomore Tavon Sledge of Spring Valley is having a solid season for the men’s basketball team at Iona College in New Rochelle. Sledge is averaging 7.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists for the Gaels (6-5), who look to go two games above .500 when they visit Saint Joseph’s College (5-4) at Michael Hagen Arena in Philadelphia on Dec. 28. Tipoff is set at 7 p.m.
This & That
- The Michael O’Connell Wrestling Tournament opens at 10 a.m. on Dec. 28 at Pearl River High School, which was to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 27 to showcase the newly renovated wrestling room at the school. Bob Gullo, a Pearl River HS parent, made a generous donation that helped fund the renovations: multiple chin-up bars, pegboards, take-down ropes, a ceiling projector, screen and A/V system, and a Snap and Shoot takedown station.
- Stephanie Cleary, a 2001 graduate of Tappan Zee HS, ranks seventh all-time in the Section1 girls basketball 2,000-point club. With thanks again to diehard Rockland sports historian Tom Doherty, we note that Cleary totaled 2,155 points in her career. Topping the list is Karen O’Connor of FDR, Hyde Park (Class of ’87) with 2,662.
Freshmen boys and girls teams, as well as individuals with no connection to a team, are invited to participate in the Rockland Rockets Metro 9th Grade Basketball League, which is scheduled to tip off on Jan. 3. Registration is available online at www.rocklandrockets.com. For more information contact Larry Milligan at 914-714-3330 or John Wilson at 973-