“SCHOLASTIC SPOTLIGHT” WITH MARC MATURO RETURNS

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Red Raiders Preview: North Rockland gridders gird for rebound season

BY MARC MATURO  

The Red Raiders are hoping last year's dud is a distant memory come November
The Red Raiders are hoping last year’s dud is a distant memory come November

It takes a special breed to keep on trying when there seems to be no hope at all, so allow me to introduce the North Rockland High School football team as it prepares for its season opener against Section 1 and statewide powerhouse New Rochelle.

“As a staff, all we can do is look to compete,” offers intrepid veteran coach Tom Lynch of Stony Point, now in his 16th year with the Red Raiders and into his sixth year as head coach following a 33-year run at Clarkstown South.

The one-time Clarkstown South HS football and baseball player, who took to the diamond at Oneonta, is no stranger to success. When he succeeded legendary Joe Casarella, who himself followed a legend (Ralph Cordisco), Lynch responded with three consecutive Section 1 finals before the Red Raiders dropped to 5-4. Then came last season, which can only be called a terrible season.

“Last year was a disaster,” Lynch said straightforwardly of an uncommon one-win season. “Everything that could go wrong went wrong. We had one of those seasons in baseball once. But don’t get me wrong. We started lifting after Thanksgiving and the players have bought into the program.”

Casarella, still the school’s athletic director as he celebrates his 50th year at North Rockland, also would not sugarcoat last year, calling it “a terrible season.”

The Red Raiders have lost several players to catholic schools, but not to worry.

“We had a turnout of 80-81 kids (varsity and JV) the first day, which isn’t bad,” offered Casarella. “There was a lot of disappointment (last year), but you can get by with one (bad) year, but if more, it gets tougher.”

Lynch, for his part, has been around the block and is ready to tackle the season.

“We just had a parents’ meeting and they were pretty receptive,” Lynch noted. “We had a lot of bumps last year, but it’s easy to point fingers. I’m not blaming the kids, and I’m not blaming the coaches. I’m blaming everybody.”

The New Rochelle opener, on the road no less, actually offers both the staff and the players a golden opportunity to show their mettle against the toughest of opponents. And despite what anyone might say, the Red Raiders should relish the role of being a heavy underdog.

“Who knows, they (New Rochelle) are the team to beat, but it’ opening day and maybe we can catch them in a bad game,” said Lynch, a realist and optimist at the same time, who will be going against a longtime friend in Huguenots coach Lou DiRienzo. “We beat them in the Section 1 semifinal three years ago, so who knows.”

For their part, the Red Raiders are not devoid of special talents, including such stalwarts as senior receiver/RB Lamar Steward; senior running back Cameron Lewis; senior college prospect Patrick Fenton, the left offensive tackle; and offensive guard Anthony Imperato, a long-snap specialist who will take this specialty to the collegiate ranks.

“He’s a small guy, but will definitely play at the next level,” said Lynch, whose finest lineman ever was Eric Favors, now a shot-putter at South Carolina.

Senior Luke Martin is expected to handle the punting duties while junior Dylan Senatore, who played as a sophomore, is a dual threat the important quarterback position.

Lynch said the Red Raiders will again run the I formation, but will pass a bit more.

(Ed note: For my part, as a scribe who has covered countless so-called upsets, I would be surprised if North Rockland does not answer the bell and give New Rochelle a tussle, from start to finish.)

 

North Rockland schedule

(Home games in caps)

Sept. 3:  at New Rochelle, 1:30 p.m.Sept. 10: CLARKSTOWN SOUTH, 1:30 p.m.Sept. 17: RAMAPO, 1:30 p.m.Sept. 23: at Suffern, 7 p.m.October 1: at Scarsdale, 3 p.m.October 8: CLARKSTOWN NORTH, 1:30 p.m.

Other opening games:

Sept. 2: Nyack at Tappan Zee, 7 p.m.;  Clarkstown North at Clarkstown South (West Nyack), 7 p.m.; Ramapo at Suffern, 7 p.m.; Spring Valley at Horace Greeley (Chappaqua), 7 p.m..

Sept. 3: Pearl River at Walter Panas (Cortlandt Manor), 1:30 p.m.; Albertus Magnus at Pleasantville, 1:30 p.m.; Ardsley at Nanuet, 1:30 p.m.

(Ed note: please forward any schedule corrections/changes to marcmaturo@aol.com).

HELP FOR TOMMY: Hopefully the first of several fund-raisers to assist former Clarkstown South quarterback, Tommy McGuire, a recent Manhattan College graduate who was
paralyzed in a swimming pool accident on June 11, was held at Palisades Credit Union Park in Pomona on Sunday.  McGuire, 23, played for Coach Mike Scarpelli, who is planning other fund-raisers at the season opener against rival Clarkstown North, and at the November alumni tournament. The event held prior to a Rockland Boulders game was held in conjunction with Triple P Promotions and included a softball game that featured, among others, St. Thomas Aquinas College softball coach Kristen Sullivan and former Yankees catcher Rick Cerone. “Tommy’s attitude is pretty good, considering,” his father Tom McGuire, was quoted as saying on LoHud.com. “He knows it was a bad accident and kind of what happened …. He knows he can’t move his arms and legs.” For information contact Coach Scarpelli at  mscarpelli05@gmail.com.

COLLEGIATE CLIPS: Ashley Lew of New City, a sophomore shortstop on the Northeast-10 Conference Championship Pace University softball team, was named to the Jewish Sports Review’s all-America Team (D-II, D-III, NAIA). Lew, whose highlight season led to a number of awards, batted .400 with 37 runs and 46 hits. She added two home runs and 16 RBI, and was successful on 21-of-23 stolen base attempts. She had a .939 fielding percentage while starting all 44 games and also slugged six doubles and a triple, with an on-base percentage of .504.

Clarkstown South HS alum Adam Klein and top competitor Darren Guzman of Teaneck, N.J., return to practice today with the second-year Dominican College men’s cross country team, which opens its season on Sept. 2 at the Ramapo College Roadrunners Invitational at Garret Mountain in New Jersey. Coach Jamie Kempton’s squad,  which is limited  in number and still being formed, includes Chris Vaught of Hillhouse H.S. in New Haven, Conn; Andrew Souza, a freshman from New London, Conn.; and David Jeffers, another freshman, from Seward HS in Florida, N,Y.  

THIS & THAT: The Celtic Club will host its annual Memorial Golf Outing on August 27 at Broadacres in Orangeburg. The outing starts with a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start followed by a BBQ dinner at Broadacres. The club’s championship is set for Sept. 10-11, which is open to all Orangetown residents and Grandfathered members with a sanctioned USGA or MGA handicap. Larry Ayers is the defending champion. Contact the Blue Hill Pro Shop at (845) 735-2094 or email at proshop@bluehillgolfcourse.com. … The Sports Business Journal will be hold the fourth annual Game Changers Conference at the New York Marriott Marquis, Times Square, on September 15. The Game Changers Conference focuses on the multiple ways in which women intersect with sports. Built into the program are ample networking opportunities, including a networking reception at the conclusion of the event where this year’s honorees will be recognized. Details at http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Conferences-Events/2016/GC.aspx. … White Wolf Sports, a new website launching on September 8, is looking for interns. Writers needed for feature writing, athlete coverage, college sports (football and basketball). Respond to david.chappine@gmail.com.

SNIPPETS: The 2nd annual Nyack Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Dinner is scheduled September 29 at the Patriot Hills Clubhouse in Stony Point beginning at 6 p.m. State champion wrestler Marcel Cooper, who was also a two-time Senior National Champion while serving in the U.S. Army, heads a 10-member elite class that includes Julian GouldGary GrayJermaine HarrisPaul LankauJohn ReillyAlvin SimondsShulton WhitleyErica Lawrence and Dan White.

Contact the athletic office at 845-353-7135. … Football coach Mike Scarpelli, who ran track at Clarkstown South for the legendary Ray Konkracke, has a blue-chipper in two-way safety/running back Kyle Samuels. … At Nanuet, Coach Phil Carbone can expect another big season from four-year standout Connor Breit, a bruising back who also wrestles. … Coach Andrew Delva at Spring Valley is fortunate enough to have a pair of Division I prospects in 6-foot-2, 220-pound quarterback Ori Jean-Charles, who as a junior passed for 1,429 yards and 20 TDs and ran for 1,009 yards and five TDs; and 6-5, 240-pound tight end/defensive end Devan Lawson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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COLLEGIATE CLIPS: Ashley Lew of New City, a sophomore shortstop on the Northeast-10 Conference Championship Pace University softball team, was named to the Jewish Sports Review’s all-America Team (D-II, D-III, NAIA). Lew, whose highlight season led to a number of awards, batted .400 with 37 runs and 46 hits. She added two home runs and 16 RBI, and was successful on 21-of-23 stolen base attempts. She had a .939 fielding percentage while starting all 44 games and also slugged six doubles and a triple, with an on-base percentage of .504. … Clarkstown South HS alum Adam Klein and top competitor Darren Guzman of Teaneck, N.J., return to practice today with the second-year Dominican College men’s cross country team, which opens its season on Sept. 2 at the Ramapo College Roadrunners Invitational at Garret Mountain in New Jersey. Coach Jamie Kempton’s squad,  which is limited  in number and still being formed, includes Chris Vaughtof Hillhouse H.S. in New Haven, Conn; Andrew Souza, a freshman from New London, Conn.; and David Jeffers, another freshman, from Seward HS in Florida, N,Y.

 

 

THIS & THAT: The Celtic Club will host its annual Memorial Golf Outing on August 27 at Broadacres in Orangeburg. The outing starts with a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start followed by a BBQ dinner at Broadacres. The club’s championship is set for Sept. 10-11, which is open to all Orangetown residents and Grandfathered members with a sanctioned USGA or MGA handicap. Larry Ayers is the defending champion. Contact the Blue Hill Pro Shop at (845) 735-2094 or email at proshop@bluehillgolfcourse.com. … The Sports Business Journal will be hold the fourth annual Game Changers Conference at the New York Marriott Marquis, Times Square, on September 15. The Game Changers Conference focuses on the multiple ways in which women intersect with sports. Built into the program are ample networking opportunities, including a networking reception at the conclusion of the event where this year’s honorees will be recognized. Details at http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Conferences-Events/2016/GC.aspx. … White Wolf Sports, a new website launching on September 8, is looking for interns. Writers needed for feature writing, athlete coverage, college sports (football and basketball). Respond to david.chappine@gmail.com.

 

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