Marc Maturo’s official sports column
Boxing digging its roots deeper in Hillburn
The storied New York Golden Gloves amateur boxing tournament staged another card at the Torne Valley Sports Complex in Hillburn, and it’s not too soon to already talk about next year and beyond.
Asked if the tournament, being held for the 87th time in halls throughout the metropolitan area, would return to Rockland next year, Town of Ramapo public affairs coordinator Phil Tisi responded unequivocally, “Absolutely.”
“We’re on the schedule now, we’ve built up a good relationship with Brian Adams, the Golden Gloves director,” Tisi continued.
“Let me tell you,” Tisi told the County Times exclusively, “one of these days you’re going to see pro bouts up here, or maybe mixing Chicago Golden Gloves champions with New York champions. We’ve talked to Brian about that … that would be something.”
Something, indeed, as the Intercity bouts featuring the Windy City and The Big Apple were once a staple in amateur boxing circles for nearly 40 years, featuring among others future world champions Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay) and Sugar Ray Robinson. (The Intercity rivalry was introduced in 1928 and lasted until the 1960’s.)
The card at Hillburn on February 1 proved to be another rousing success, with town supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence again handling the ring announcer assignment.
“All the seats I ordered were taken,” offered Tisi, giving the number at 450. “And we had people standing, too.”
The Intercity concept might come to fruition sooner than later, as Adams, himself a four-time New York GG king, appears to be thinking outside the box. Last year, Adams moved the two-day finals from Madison Square Garden to the newly opened Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where they’ll be held again this year on April 16 and April 17.
“That would be great for the area,” noted veteran mentor Sal Corrente of the Yonkers PAL, regarding the possibility of the Intercity renewal.
Corrente, tutored by legendary amateur coach Charley Caserta — who developed 40 champions during his tenure at the Mount Carmel CYO in the Bronx and Cage Recreation Center in White Plains – also thinks that staging GG shows in Westchester and Rockland is a great benefit, and well-deserved for avid local boxing fans.
Yonkers PAL, located at 127 North Broadway and which will host a card on February 7 at 7:30 p.m., was the first area hall to host a GG card.
“It’s wonderful,” said Corrente, who has 28 GG champs under his belt including six-time kingpin Davey Villar, now an assistant coach at the PAL. “There are a lot of boxers in this area – why not? We travel way out on Long Island (for cards), so it’s good for us to stay at home once in a while.”
Corrente had good words, too, for the Ramapo PAL gym, across from the Torne Valley Sports Complex, having taken six boxers to a recent sparring session that also featured a group of well-conditioned West Point pugilists and several prospects from Ace’s Gym in Tenafly, N.J.
Steve Bratter of Orangeburg and Al Artola of West Nyack – “Historic West Nyack,” Al likes to offer – worked the Hillburn card, with novice boxer Mike “The Dog” Luciano of Monroe winning a three-round decision to advance in the 152-pound division.
Note: Another show for area boxing fans is scheduled April 2 at nearby Empire City Casino, 810 Yonkers Avenue, Yonkers.
ON THE RUN: The St. Thomas Aquinas College men’s track and field team, ranked 55th in the nation in Division II, features seventh-ranked sprinter Winslow Dorsainvil of Monsey, who has clocked 6.82 in the 60. Dorsainvil, a graduate of Spring Valley HS, has been named East Coast Conference (ECC) athlete of the week three times this season. The Spartans, rated eighth in the East Region, also showcase George Erazo of North Babylon, ranked third in the East with a time of 49:67 in the 400 and fifth in the 200 with a clocking of 22.97. The women’s distance medley relay team is ranked fourth in the region, with a time of 13:09.36 behind Keeley Bateman of Pearl River, Gabriela Sloezen of Westwood, N.J., Allison Borriello of Montgomery and Meagan Jaskot of Blauvelt. The Spartans compete at the Collegiate Track Championships at the Bacon Field House in Middletown, Conn., on February 8.
IN THE SWIM: John Conway of Airmont and Katie Arnott of Suffern turned in outstanding efforts as the University of Massachusetts swimming and diving team won 12 events en route to a 176-103 victory over Fordham at the Joseph R. Rogers, Jr. Pool in Amherst, Mass. Conway, who was second in the 50-yard freestyle, anchored the victorious 200-yard medley relay. Arnott won the 100-yard breaststroke, and placed second at the 200-yard distance. The Minutemen are off until the four-day Atlantic 10 Championships, scheduled at the Spire Center in Geneva, Ohio, Feb. 19-22.
ON TARGET: Senior forward KC Jentzen of Pearl River led all scorers with 20 points (two above her average) and added a game-high 13 rebounds as the Dominican College women’s basketball team defeated Chestnut Hill College, 65-62, at Sorgenti Arena in Philadelphia. Jentzen threw in an assist and two blocked shots for the Lady Chargers, who host Wilmington University on February 8 at the Hennessey Center in Orangeburg at 1 p.m.
QUICK HITTERS: Steven Fejes of Stony Point is completing his freshman season on the men’s swimming ream at Mount St. Mary College in Newburgh. Fejes, an alum of North Rockland HS, competes in freestyle and backstroke for the Knights, who placed second at the Skyline Conference Championships hosted by Purchase College. … Coming off their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1985, the Pace University baseball team has been picked to finish third in the Southwest Division of the Northeast-10 Conference in the preseason coaches poll. The Setters, including freshman outfielder John Kukura of New City, open their season on March 1 at Bloomfield (N.J.) College. The Setters’ first home game is scheduled March 8 when they host Merrimack in a doubleheader at noon. … Samantha Pucci of Pearl River, a junior defenseman, had her third assist of the season as the Utica College women’s hockey team shaded visiting Cortland, 2-1. Samantha is the sister of Josephine Pucci, also a standout defenseman, who makes her Olympic debut on February 8 when Team USA challenges Finland. (The game will be televised live from 3-5:30 a.m. on NBCSN). Samantha’s Red Dragons meet SUNY Cortland for a home-and-home series on January 31 and February 1. … The Oneonta women’s basketball team is rolling along at 14-5, helped in part by senior guard Kelly Mulligan of Pearl River. … The nationally fifth-ranked Cortland wrestling team won nine of 10 matches, three by pin, in a 40-4 dual victory over visiting Nassau Community College. Paul Fields of New City won his match by forfeit at 125 pounds as the Red Dragons improved to 11-3 on the season. … Junior guard Zach Mager of New City, an alum of Clarkstown South HS, continues to spark the men’s basketball team at SUNY Oneonta, scoring 23 points with six rebounds in a 81-77 victory over SUNY Potsdam. The Red Dragons are home on February 7, meeting Fredonia State University at 8 p.m., and stay home on February 8 to meet Buffalo State at 4 p.m. … Sophomore Chris
Leary of Suffern helped the Cortland swimming team win the 200-yard freestyle relay in a 134-104 loss to host Oneonta. Leary teamed with Mathew Hasbrouck of New Paltz, Mark Hanifin of Fort Plain and Reeve Callen of Oswego to win the meet’s final event. … Joe Clinton of Pearl River had a team-high six assists as the Dominican College men’s basketball team defeated Chestnut Hill College, 92-79, in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) game at the Sorgenti Arena in Philadelphia. Justin Turner of Trumbull, Conn., led four Chargers in double figures, coming off the bench to score 22 points. The Chargers, 13-6 overall and 9-3 in conference play, welcome Wilmington University to the Hennessey Center in Orangeburg on February 8 at 3 p.m. … Fredonia Sate sophomore Kyle Collins of Suffern placed 19th in the mile with a time of 4:22 at the Spire Midwest Indoor Open in Geneva, Ohio. The Blue Devils compete on February 8 at the Brockport Golden Eagle Invitational. … North Rockland HS alumn Mike Caputo of Stony Point, a freshman breaking into the lineup on the Hofstra University wrestling team, has posted a 3-4 record at 157 pounds. The Pride host Binghamton University at the Mack Sports Complex in Hempstead at 7 p.m. on February 7, and then travel to Lawrenceville, N.J., on February 9 to challenge Rider University at 5 p.m.
THIS & THAT: Bob Baird, founder of Touching Bases, a baseball league for special-needs adults, will be honored on February 16 at the fifth St. Thomas Aquinas College preseason dinner for the Spartans’ baseball team, which is celebrating its 40th year. The dinner will be held at the Romano Student Alumni Center on the STAC campus in Sparkill. Meet the 2014 team, including pitchers Anthony Morris of New City and Greg Morano of Congers, and infielder Rich Baerga of Pomona. For information access: firstname.lastname@example.org.