BY MARC MATURO
Suffern HS girls athletics program recognized as No. 1
Despite being one of the smaller Class AA schools in New York, the Suffern High School girls athletics program was ranked No. 1 by the New York State Sportswriters Association.
Suffern, with 1,141 students in grades 9-10-11, thus competing against schools often two or three times larger, was awarded top honor based on performances in volleyball, lacrosse, outdoor track, cross country and indoor track.
Under the leadership of Coach Sean Barnes, the Mounties won the state championship in volleyball, while finishing second in lacrosse under Coach John Callanan and second in outdoor track under Coach Jeff Dempsey.
Coach Dempsey’s girls were third in cross country while veteran mentor Joe Biddy took the team to third during the indoor track campaign.
In addition to saluting the athletes, coaches and parents, it must be noted that the Lady Mounties’ support system must also be saluted: namely, athletic director Andy Guccione; administrative assistant Barbara Ordas; and trainers Ann Marie Hill and Robert Addon.
Suffern’s success was a theme in the much-celebrated Section 1 community, with Bronxville being recognized in Class B and Haldane in Class C.
Other Rockland County programs honored this year were Suffern’s in combined boys and girls, third place; and North Rockland’s, fourth place, also in Class AA.
PIRATES PREVAIL: The Rockland OTB Pirates’ junior team, led by manager Phil Fratello and coaches Tony Musto and Jerry Hoppe, won the double-elimination state tournament, finishing with an overall record of 21-1 in American Legion ball.
The seniors, led by manager John Greeley and coaches Tom Bohlander and George Nicks, lost in the semifinals but compiled an equally impressive 21-3 mark in Legion competition.
The Junior Pirates American Legion Post 130 Leo Lader team won the state championship by defeating Saratoga, 10-1, as Michael Dunne of Albertus Magnus HS hurled a nifty five-hitter.
Jordan Rivera, also of Albertus Magnus, had three hits and five RBI including a three-run homer while Peter Lombardi of Stony Point added a solo shot.
Nick Tauken of New City and Conor McCabe of Pearl River each had two hits and two RBI, and Christian Cartier added three hits.
In a 7-3 semifinal win over Saratoga, Alex Henriguez of North Rockland spun a complete game while McCabe went the distance in a 14-4 first-round victory over the Clinton Districts.
Mike Dunne tossed another complete game as the Pirates shaded Middletown, 1-0, in the final while McCabe got the win and Collin Musto a save in the semifinals, a 11-5 triumph over Shrub Oak.
In a 7-1 win against Middletown, Henriquez went the distance, with help from Chris Cooney of Albertus Magnus, Ivan Rodriquez of North Rockland, Steven Chillemi and Jack Sheehy, both of Tappan Zee, and Kevin Nolan of North Rockland.
The senior Pirates, who were upended by eventual champion West Seneca, 4-1, in the semifinals, defeated Utica, 8-0, behind winning pitcher James Reilly of Albertus Magnus and Robert Ottaviano, also of Albertus Magnus, who earned the save.
The well-balanced senior Pirates also featured Billy Manzo and Robert Iametti, both of Suffern; Frank Nigro and John Greeley, both of Stony Point; Stephen Greeley of Albertus Magnus; Dan Marcillo and Jordan Correa, both of Nyack HS; and Matt Coccidiferro and Joe Toepert.
During the season, Leo Laders Post 130 won the Shoot for Stars Tournament on Staten Island against a stellar 44-team field; the Sal Ciaccio Memorial Tournament in Newburgh; and the Perfect Game Super 25 Super Regional in New England.
To stay in touch with the Pirates visit Facebook or twitter at Rockland OTB Pirates.
COLLEGIATE CLIPS: All-state selection Luke McLaughlin of Blauvelt, who finished his high school basketball career as the all-time leading scorer at Tappan Zee High School, is taking his game to Pace University in Pleasantville. McLaughlin is one of three freshmen in Coach Matt Healing’s recruiting class. “We are very excited about these young men,” wrote Healing. “This recruiting class adds depth to our team … Luke has the ability to score from the outside and at the rim. His perimeter skills will allow him to play multiple positions. We are very excited about (his) potential here at Pace.” McLaughlin also excels in the classroom, being named by The Journal News as one of Rockland County’s Scholar Athletes in 2014. … Rutgers University alum Pat Kivlehan of West Nyack, playing in his fourth season of professional baseball, is packing a power bat for the Tacoma Rainiers in the Pacific Coast League (PCL). Kivlehan, a 25-year-old outfielder, has 16 homers to tie for the team lead with Jesus Montero and is third in RBI with 54 for the Rainiers (52-56).
THE LATEST ON ROCKLAND’S GREATEST: As requested in our quest to determine the greatest ‘amateur’ athlete ever in Rockland County, the names are pouring in. I may need to simplify the quest to merely determine the greatest athlete ever, because how can one leave out baseball standout Jo Jo Mackey and all-around legend Howie Pierson, both of whom also competed professionally. Among the candidates offered by our readers (many of the selections can be found on Andre Chiavelli’s Facebook page, Rockland’s Greatest) are Rockland HS alum Gerard Benderoth of Stony Point, a champion boxer and strongman who is now with the New York Police Department; the late Todd Giles, who nearly earned an Olympic berth in wrestling; Griff Powell, a two-time state champion wrestler at Suffern HS and a Division I all-American; Chuck Scarpulla, who also earned high status in coaching; Joe D’Auria of Sparkill, a four-sport standout at Tappan Zee HS and a Rockland Hall of Famer; standout sprinter Jimmy Ashcroft, a national champion at Florida A&M; and softball legend Bob Tortorello, a mainstay on the now-defunct Paul Mobil team. All suggestions are welcome. (Ed note: we are well aware of former Yankees catcher John Flaherty of Pearl River, and Suffern native and Colorado Rockies manager Walt Weiss, who had a solid and lengthy big-league career at shortstop.)
THIS & THAT: The Town of Orangetown Summer Concert Series continues August 7 at Veterans Memorial Park at 7:45 p.m., featuring the Mystical Majesty Band, listed as the East Coast’s greatest Beatles cover band. The final concert is set for August 14, also at 7:45 p.m. Concerts are free and open to the public. For information call 845-359-6503. … The Game Changers Conference celebrating Women in Sports will be held in New York at the Marriott Marquis on September 17. Key speakers include actress Alyssa Milano; Laurel Richie, president, WNBA; Shelly Lazarus, chairman emeritus, Ogilvy & Mather; Michele Roberts, executive director, NBPA; and Michelle Wilson, chief revenue & marketing officer, WWE, among others. Details at
http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Conferences-Events/2015/GC.aspx4. … Iona College in New Rochelle is seeking an assistant director of athletic communications/digital and social media, and is offering an internship in athletic communications. For information: BBeyrer@iona.edu.