Marc My Words!

Marc Maturo’s official sports column

You can’t keep a good man down, in this case a college basketball player who has been fouled twice by season-marring  injuries.

Consider Greg Torchon of Spring Valley, now back for what could be his last season with the Potsdam Bears. (Ed note: Torchon may yet receive a waiver from the NCAA to play another season in lieu of his injuries.)

“It’s been tough the last two years; the hardest thing I’ve had to do,” said Torchon, who started the first two games last year before losing the entire season with a stress fracture of his tibia. The previous season he was limited to just one start in 19 games, suffering a hand injury in a scrimmage.

Torchon, who was involved in only nine defeats in a four-year career at St. Joseph’s Regional in Montvale, N.J., said last year’s injury was not entirely a lost cause.

“At the end of the day, I got better mentally,” said Torchon, whose AAU play has taken him to Super Showcase Tournaments in such locales at Florida and Las Vegas. “I’m still learning how to take care of myself, and not overdoing the workouts; that’s how the stress fracture came about. The hand injury was a pure accident.:

Torchon was a two-time league champ at St. Joe’s, and joining a losing program at Potsdam that had once been a powerhouse was quite a transition.

“It was difficult but at the same time it teaches you a lot, how to build a team. It’s definitely one a one-man show, just as it wasn’t at St. Joe’s.”

A business and communications major, Torchon is a two-time captain at Potsdam and hopes he can again make some positive contributions to a winning team.

“I’m used to success, and I think we’re a better team this year,” added Torchon, whose first taste of success came under Coach Ray McGrath at St. Anthony’s Middle School in Nanuet.

The Bears, who split their first two contests, are in action Nov. 21-22 at the Hilbert Hawks Tip-Off Tournament in Hamburg, facing John Carroll and Hilbert.

PAPA KNOWS BEST: Last week in this space, John Ostrow of Nanuet, whose son Gabe is a senior defensive end on the Cortland football team, not only predicted victory for the Red Dragons in the annual Cortaca Jug game against rival Ithaca, but went out on a limb with a score: 24-19. Papa Ostrow was on target almost as if he had some sort of magic vision, as Cortland pulled out a 23-20 win with a broken-play 4-yard TD pass on the game’s final play. Cortland (5-5) won the Jug for a fifth straight year against 23rd-ranked Ithaca (7-3) in a series that now has been extended 56 years. Ostrow the Younger had four tackles while sophomore kicker Shane Cronin of West Nyack had another solid game, booting a 29-yard field goal and averaging 40 yards on eight punts. Sophomore linebacker Pete Smith of Nanuet did not see any action.

Larry Beckerle, big day ahead
Larry Beckerle, big day ahead

BECKERLE’S BIG DAY: Longtime track and cross country coach Larry Beckerle is being inducted into the Nanuet Athletic Hall of Fame on Nov. 22 at the Pearl River Elks Club in Nanuet. The event is scheduled from 6:30 p.m.-11 p.m., with tickets priced at $55 (cocktail hour, dinner and dessert). For information contact JP Bonomolo at jpbny1@aol.com or by calling 845-623-3189. “I was a runner for Nanuet High School, under the guidance of Larry Beckerle, from 1989-1993,” wrote Kristin Thelen Edwards. “My sister Kathleen (1988-1992) and brother Mike (1995-1999) also ran for Larry. I am beyond thrilled.”

ALL HAIL THE KING: All good things must come to an end. So it is for Meghan King of New City, who capped an outstanding volleyball career at The College of New Rochelle by being named player of the year by the Association of Division III Independents. Coach Georgia Efthalitsides was named coach of the year for a second straight time. King was also named first-time outside hitter, achieving all-Independent honors for the third straight season. King wraps up her career as the all-time offensive leader for the Blue Angels. This season she was twice named Independent player of the week and ranked in the top-15 in kills, hitting percentage, aces, block solos and points. The Clarkstown North graduate broke the school record, one of six that she holds, for hitting percentage in a match with a .593 effort in the senior night win over Albertus Magnus College, and tallied 10 or more kills 12 times.  She was named HVIAC Championship Tournament most valuable player after leading the Blue Angels to back-to-back tournament titles.

Luke Kern
Luke Kern

QUICK HITTERS:  Albertus Magnus HS alum Luke Kern of Stony Point just completed his freshman season as a cornerback on the football team at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. … Senior midfielder Deirdre O’Neill of New City closed her career as the New Paltz field hockey team bowed to No. 4 The College of New Jersey, 4-0, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Ewing, N.J. O’Neill had a second-best 26 points this season for the Hawks, who end at 15-7 overall after a year in which they won their third straight State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) championship.  Sarah Sansone, also of New City, is a junior back on the Hawks. … In a game that featured 11 lead changes, host Nyack College dropped its season opener in men’s basketball to Mercy College, 56-45. Chris Hampton of Queens led Nyack with 11 points while guards Yahmir Greenlee of Philadelphia, Pa., and Khalid Samuels of Mount Vernon combined for 14 points. The Nyack women’s team also fell to Mercy, 68-57. Senior Brandone Roberts of Jessup, Md., had nine points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots for the Warriors. …  Senior Paul Fields of New City went 0-2 as the Cortland wrestling team competed at Binghamton University’s  Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open. The non-team scoring event featured primarily wrestlers from Division I schools. …. Sophomore Taryn Colon of Suffern finished 126th with a time of 24:20 in the 6k race as the New Paltz women’s cross country team finished 14th out of 40 teams at the NCAA Division III Atlantic Regional Championships at Genesee Valley Park in Rochester. … Standout freshman Sarah Kynast of Stony Point finished second in the 100 freestyle as the Purchase College women’s swimming team fell to visiting Mount Saint Mary, 104-87.  Kynast was coming off a victory in the 100 freestyle as Purchase defeated the Privateers of SUNY Maritime, 109-87. Kynast, a North Rockland HS alumna, took first in 1:02.12. .… Ashley Mayo of Nanuet is one of six freshman expected to help the women’s basketball team at Utica, which went a disappointing 7-18 a years ago. Mayo, a guard, had four points, four rebounds, two assists and a team second-best three steals as the Pioneers opened the season with a 65-54 victory over host Potsdam at Jerry Walsh Gymnasium. … Sophomore Loguan Robinson of Spring Valley is a 6-foot-7 inside presence on the men’s basketball team at SUNY Canton. … The Dominican College volleyball team closed an outstanding season at 16-9 following a loss to Wilmington in the quarterfinals of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) tournament at the WU Athletics Complex in New Castle, Del. … Junior forward Devona Paul of Blauvelt and sophomore forward Jessica Dolan of Orangeburg are members of the women’s basketball team at Plattsburgh, which visits St. Lawrence University on Dec. 2 and hosts New Paltz on Dec. 5. … Junior Rod Taskindoust of New City won the 200 freestyle and North Rockland HS alum Brandon Finn of Tomkins Cove helped the 200 freestyle relay to victory as the New Paltz men’s swimming team opened its season with a resounding 141-64 victory over host Oswego. New Paltz meets Vassar College in its home opener at 1 p.m. on Nov. 22. … Senior defensive back Akwasi Degraft of West Haverstraw had seven tackles in his final collegiate game as the Pace University football team defeated  Southern Connecticut State University, 10-7, in New Haven, Conn., marking the program’s first win over the Owls in 21 meetings. … Shayne Martinez of West Haverstraw is a junior guard on the Cortland men’s basketball team, which travels to Ithaca on Nov. 21-22 to compete in the Cortaca Classic. … Albertus Magnus HS alumna Grace Ostolozaga of Stony Point is a member of the women’s swimming team at Manhattan College in Riverdale. The Jaspers host Sacred Heart on Nov. 21 at 6 p.m., and then visit Siena in Loudonville on Nov. 22 at 6:30 p.m. … Shaquille McFarlan of Mesic, N.C., player of the week in men’s basketball, and Jenna Erickson of Troy, rookie of the week in women’s basketball, were honored by the East Coast Conference for their performances at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill. … Joe Clinton of Pearl River had a solid game in defeat as Assumption College defeated Dominican College, 77-63, in Worcester, Mass. Clinton posted a team-leading and career-high 18 points, shooting 6-9 from the floor and a perfect 5-5 from the line, and also had three assists. The Chargers look to rebound at home on Nov. 22, meeting Post University at 1 p.m. at the Hennessy Center in Orangeburg.  … Paul Fields of New City went 1-2 at 133 pounds as the Cortland wrestling team placed sixth in a 12-team field the Roger Williams Invitational in Bristol, R.I. … The men’s cross country team at Cortland, including junior Julio Melendez of Valley Cottage, earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Division III Championships on Nov. 22 in Mason, Ohio. The women’s team also earned an at-large berth.

THIS & THAT: Longtime radio-television sportscaster Josh Lewin has been signed to a new contract by to provide play-by-play commentary with Howie Rose  on the team’s flagship station, 710 WOR–AM. Rose, who has handled Mets play-by-play since 1996, was quoted as saying, “I can’t imagine that there’s another broadcast booth in professional sports where the announcers enjoy as natural a chemistry and feel as deeply connected to their team as we do to the Mets.” The Mets’ preseason schedule on WOR starts anew in March.