Marc My Words: West Nyack’s Solar keeps swinging away as collegian

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Monaghan, Simon, Cortland teams tournament-bound


Devin Solar of West Nyack regularly handles his dad, Vincent, on the golf course, but it’ll be a horse of a different color when the Clarkstown South alum and his teammates at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford compete at the NCAA Division III Championship.

The Cardinals will swing away on May 12-13 at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, N.C., filled with confidence and enthusiasm after winning their fifth straight Empire 8 Conference crown, and 10th in the last 11 years.

Solar, a sophomore who placed sixth at the NCAA Championship a year ago, tied for third overall with senior teammate Chris Blyth of Pittsford as St. John Fisher demolished runner-up Moravian College by 50 strokes to the win their latest Empire 8 title at Hershey Country Club in Hershey, Pa.

Solar and Blyth earned all-Conference first team honors while junior teammate Corey Hass, a graduate of Cuba-Rushford HS, earned player of the year accolades.

Last year, Fisher placed sixth at the NCAA Championship, marking the program’s third straight top-10 finish.

“I definitely have big expectations for the team and myself,” said Solar, who was a four-year starter at Clarkstown South, where he qualified for the New York State team as a senior and where he competed one year on the basketball team and three years as a wrestler.

“I expect to have two respectable scores to make the cut, and continue on for two (more) rounds,” continued Solar, who was introduced to the game by his dad as a 9- or 10-year-old, and later competed at Met PGA Junior tournaments, among others.

Solar feels he has a decent all-around game.

“In all aspects I’m pretty reliable; never make big mistakes,” he said, giving credit to Rob Horak, his swing coach at Fisher.

Solar, who has played famed Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, site of the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Open, and also likes Midvale Country Club in Rochester, often plays with his dad at Rockland Lake State Park’s championship course and Rotella Memorial Golf Course in Thiells.

And when father and son get together, “Who wins?” Devin was asked.

The answer? “Me, by a lot, and he knows,” replied Devin, with the straightforwardness of a son on the rise.

Next stop, Greensboro, N.C.

MORE MONAGHAN: North Rockland HS alumna Tara Monaghan of Stony Point, a junior, scored six goals and classmate Ashley Gentile of Baldwinsville added five goals and an assist to help the nationally fourth-ranked Cortland women’s lacrosse team to a 21-8 victory at Buffalo State. Gentile, with 104 points on 95 goals and nine assists, became the 41st player in program history to record 100 career points for the Red Dragons. Cortland, which has already clinched the top seed, will host the SUNYAC Tournament and finished the regular season 15-1 (8-0 SUNYAC). Buffalo State (5-11, 2-6 SUNYAC) will be the six seed in the conference tournament.

INDUCTION TIME: The Rockland County Track and Field Hall of Fame will welcome eight new members at its 11th induction gala on May 16 at Minisceongo Golf Club in Pomona. The reception is set at 6 p.m., followed by the ceremony and dinner at 7 p.m. The inductees: Charles Serra, Spring Valley, Class of 1952; Darryl Brown, Nanuet, Class of ’71; Rob Ossman, North Rockland, ‘’92; Misty Scott, Suffern, 1999; Paul Joyce, Clarkstown South, 2000; Taneisha Cantave, Suffern, 2003; Coach Gene Dall, North Rockland; William J. Miller, journalist. Tickets are scaled at $65 per person, $25 for children 12-and-under. Contact Bill Dailey at 845-323-0976, or email

TOURNAMENT-BOUND: The Cortland baseball team clinched the SUNYAC regular-season title and earned the right to host the four-team conference postseason tournament May 1-3 with a 3-1, 5-1 sweep at Oswego. Infielder Anthony Simon of Suffern is batting .350 with 21 RBI in 30 games for the nationally top-ranked Red Dragons (29-2, 14-1 SUNYAC).

Cortland has hosted the SUNYAC tournament every year since 1997, the first year that the conference switched from a divisional format to a full-league format in which the top seed is granted tournament hosting rights.

QUICK HITTERS: North Rockland HS alum Tom Kelly of Stony Point has enjoyed a fine freshman season on the Kean University men’s lacrosse team. Kelly, an attack, has 12 points on eight goals and four assists for the Union, N.J.-based Cougars. … Suffern HS alum Peter Sharp of Airmont raised his season point total to 23, fifth-best on the team, with a goal and an assist as the Pace University men’s field hockey team Saint Michael’s, 17-8, at Pace Field in Briarcliff. Sharp has 14 goals and nine assists for the Setters. … Freshmen Brittany Grandville of Tappan and Carol Tyson of Clinton Corners won 8-4 at flight two doubles as the New Paltz women’s tennis team prevailed in its final dual match of the campaign, beating non-conference Union College, 7-2, at the North Tennis Courts in New Paltz. … The Nyack College softball team split a twin-bill against Mercy College, winning the opener, 13-9, before bowing, 12-2, at Smith Field in Dobbs Ferry. Senior infielder Meghan Richards of Nanuet is batting .260 for the Warriors (11-30), and is tied for third-best in RBI with 11 in just 29 games. … Albertus Magnus HS graduate Lauren Cappello of New City paced the New Paltz softball team by going 4-for-7 in a doubleheader loss to visiting Brockport. Cappello is batting .253 with 13 RBI on the season. … Phil Lucien of Garnerville

was second-best in the discus with a toss of 143 feet 8 inches as Cortland had 11 individual ECAC-qualifying performances at the Cornell University Big Red Invitational men’s outdoor track and field meet in Ithaca. Jimmy Moyer of Oneida was second in the long jump at 22 feet 11 inches with Mike Cruz of West Haverstraw placing fifth at 22-5. … Deanna Felicissimo of Nanuet is a junior distance runner on the women’s track and field team at the University of Pittsburgh, which competes at the ACC Championships May 14-16 in Tallahassee, Fla. … Ashley Lew of New City is batting .263 in 38 games for the Pace University softball team. The Setters (24-14), coming off a 9-0, 8-1 sweep of Chestnut Hill College at Pace Field in Briarcliff, are the No. 2 seed in the Northeast-10 Southwest Division and have received a bye into the quarterfinals. … Anthony Accardi of Valley Cottage is a member of the Mercy College men’s lacrosse team that is ranked No. 12 in all of Division II in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Division II Coaches’ Poll. … Senior right-hander Bryan Greig of New City made a relief appearance, pitching the final one and one-third innings as the Mercy College baseball team defeated Molly College, 8-6, in Uniondale.

THE LAST WORD: Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly would be well-advised to read up on Paul Hornung, the 1956 Heisman Trophy winner out of Notre Dame who was taken as the No. 1 pick in 1957 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. Used primarily as a quarterback with The Fighting Irish, Hornung struggled in his first two years with the Packers before being made a full-time halfback in the backfield with rugged fullback Jim Taylor. Hornung became a triple threat (running, passing, placekicking) and eventually was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Now that Kelly is apparently going to give Tim Tebow a chance, he should abandon any thoughts of playing him at QB – where he is ill-suited – and convince Tebow to try his hand (and arm) in the backfield. Tebow, left-handed, would be a threat to pass going to his left, and, like Hornung, seems to smell the end zone within the 20-yard line. Tebow is a competitor, for sure, and unequivocally (my opinion) Tebow would become a double threat and provide another option for the Eagles offense. All he needs to do is forget about being a starting quarterback; Hornung couldn’t do it and neither will Tebow.

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