Archive for November, 2009

Rachel O’Driscoll Wins Fairchester Championship

November 19, 2009

Holy Child senior Rachel O’Driscoll won the Fairchester Athletic Association’s championship in a time of 19:45 November 9 at Waveny Park in New Canaan, Conn. Sophomore standout Kendra McNulty and senior Katelyn Racanelli saved their best performances of the year for last, running 21:45 and 22:46, good for ninth and 18th, respectively.

Rachel O'Driscoll

McNulty and O’Driscoll earned All-League Honors while Racanelli scored All-League Honorable Mention. Senior Kirsten Hantho and freshman Ellen Lautenbach also turned in season-best performances to round out the scoring for the squad. The Gryphons placed third out of seven in team competition – a tremendous improvement from last year’s sixth place finish.

O’Driscoll did not lose a race this season in the FAA, and also placed third in the NYSAIS State championship November 8 at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. She finished the 3.5-mile run in 23:01.30, just 27 seconds back of first.


Max Robinson Finishes Fourth at State Championships

November 19, 2009

Rye senior Max Robinson finished fourth in the boys’ cross-country Class B State championship at SUNY Plattsburgh November 14. His time of 15:48.8 was less than seven seconds back of the first place winner. Mason Curtis, a junior, also participated in the elite event, and completed the race in 17:35.4.

Max Robinson

Both Robinson and Curtis earned their way their with impressive performances at the Section 1 finals. Robinson took home the Class B championship with a time of 16:51.48 in the 5K run, more than 15 seconds ahead of second place. Curtis placed seventh at 17.34.33, and teammate Taylor Love was ninth (17:36.79). Overall, the boys’ team placed third in the Section, as did the girls.

Panthers Blaze an Unforgettable Path to State Tournament

November 17, 2009

It goes without saying that the Rye Neck boys’ soccer team took their Class B Regional final loss to Center Moriches hard. The Long Island school’s 2-1 victory November 14 at Arlington High School ended a dream run for the Panthers.

What the team will remember down the road, however, is not that loss, but the indelible journey that concluded with them joining the elite eight in all of New York State.

“We told the kids at the beginning of this season that last year was over and to concentrate on what was ahead of them,” said co-head coach Bryan Iacovelli, who led the Panthers to the Section final in 2008. “This was a different team with a different make-up that improved as the season went on and peaked at just the right time. Coach Frank Gizzo and I knew that when their own expectations met ours, that’s when they would realize what they were truly capable of.”

Panthers celebrate their Section championship victory (Photo courtesy McWilton family)

The Panthers – seeded sixth in the Section playoffs – returned to the Class B championship game with three consecutive playoff victories, including a 2-0 win over No. 7 Bronxville, the reigning State champs, in the semifinals. Bronxville ousted Rye Neck from the final the previous year in a 5-1 rout. The Panthers held a 1-0 lead for most of the game November 5, until senior Adam Gutierrez dished to Ivan Martinez for a clinching goal in the 76th minute.


Volleyball Sensation Rebecca Choron Selected Lions Club Athlete of the Month

November 17, 2009

Rye High School senior Rebecca Choron has been selected as October’s Lions Club Athlete of the Month. The honor comes on the heels of another outstanding season for the ferocious volleyball star.

“Volleyball has shaped me as a person,” said Choron of her beloved sport. “I’ve learned how to be a team player, motivate others, and deal with both success and failure. It has taught me discipline and accountability, and – most of all – it has added great friends to my life.”

Rebecca Choron

Choron, who served as co-captain of the Garnets this season, began playing volleyball in the seventh grade and quickly transformed into a force to be reckoned with. She was asked to play on the varsity in her freshman year at RHS, and was immediately inserted into the starting lineup as middle blocker. Choron is also the only Garnet who plays on the national level. She has served as starting middle blocker for the Downstate National team since the 9th grade as well.


Rye Graduate Topples Yale’s 32-Year-Old Scoring Record

November 16, 2009

In the final game of her collegiate career, Yale’s Ashley McCauley – a 2006 Rye High graduate – broke the Ivy League school’s three-decade-old career field hockey scoring record.

With one point for an assist and two for a goal, McCauley entered the game one point shy of Emily Montgomery’s longstanding mark of 98, but finished Senior Day in style November 7 by tying the record with an assist and then hitting 100 on a goal in the Bulldogs’ 6-2 victory over visiting Brown. The win was a Yale-record sixth in Ivy League play. They completed the season 12-5 overall and 6-1 in the conference, and also set a school record for points in a season (142).

Ashley McCauley (

“I knew I was one point away, but I was really just focused on getting the win,” said McCauley. “Our games against Brown went terribly the last two years, so this one was particularly important to the team. The coolest part is definitely that we were able to go 6-1 in the Ivy League, something that Yale hasn’t done before. The record is truly a testament to the entire team.”


Rye Neck Pitching Phenom Signs National Letter of Intent

November 16, 2009

With a stroke of a pen, Rye Neck senior Ryan Pennell made his dream official November 16, surrounded by friends, family, teachers, and coaches in the high school library. The star baseball player signed his national letter of intent to attend Elon University in the fall of 2010.

“It’s such a great feeling, especially with everyone here,” said Pennell, who will receive a scholarship to the Division 1 school in North Carolina. “But it’s hard to describe exactly. The past four years have been some of the greatest of my life. I’ve had a lot of fun and so much support, and I still have one more year to finish.”


Ryan Pennell with his family after signing

The Elon Phoenix – two-time regular season South Conference champions – are getting a player who was consistently dominant as a junior. The southpaw tossed five no-hitters en route to finishing 9-0 with a 0.44 ERA. He struck out a Section 1-best 136 batters, and allowed just 10 hits all year. In nine of his 10 starts Pennell fanned at least 11 batters. He was at his best May 13 against Blind Brook, striking out 21 of the 23 batters he faced in a no-hitter. No slouch with the bat either, Pennell hit at gaudy .456 clip.

The Panthers’ head coach, Tyler Slater, said at the press conference that Pennell’s greatest attributes don’t appear in box scores. “When this process started, the colleges were inquiring about Ryan’s character more than his ability,” said Slater. “All coaches feel they can make a player better, but character is something you can’t change. I felt awkward when speaking to them, because I couldn’t think of a negative thing to say about him.”

Garnets Shine at Sectionals; Qualify Seven Swimmers for States

November 13, 2009

There are two ways to qualify for the girls’ swimming State championships: finish first in your event at Sectionals, or hit the “magic” time standard.

The “magic” reference is of course just a cute way of saying “qualifying time”, but – as it happens – the Garnet girls’ swimmers have had no shortage of enchantment on their side this autumn. Rye followed up a perfect 7-0 regular season by finishing second overall at the Section finals in early November. There was such an abundance of strong performances among the 16 who participated that seven are now bound for the State championships. The Garnets will compete in nine different events at the Webster Aquatic Center in western New York beginning November 20.


Head coach Shannon Bolger and a handful of Garnets

“Assistant coach Jaime Saracino and I are very proud of all the girls,” said head coach Shannon Bolger. “They may compete as individuals, but at the end of the day they know they are a team and that’s what makes us successful. I think that is very important. They root for one another and encourage each other to be their best.”


Rye Neck and RCDS Soccer Teams Prepared for Playoff Battles

November 13, 2009

We have a light schedule this weekend with the autumn season coming to a close, but those games on tap are big ones. The Rye Neck boys’ soccer team (12-6) will battle Long Island’s Center Moriches (15-3-1) Saturday at Arlington High School in the Regional Final. The winner of the game, slated for 4 p.m., will advance to the State semifinals. Rye Country Day’s boys’ soccer team will also be featured in a heated playoff battle Saturday. The second-seeded school will face top-seeded St. Luke’s on the road at noon in the finals of the Fairchester Athletic Association. The Wildcats will be going for their fifth FAA title in the last six years.

Rye Country Day’s football team faces Hopkins at home. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.

RMS Student Colin Devlin Runs for Those Who Cannot

November 13, 2009

Colin Devlin, a 7th grade student at Rye Middle School, raised over $2,000 in pledges for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund by – as he put it – “running for those that can’t”. The 12-year-old finished his three-mile trek November 7 at the Playland pier with high hopes of creating additional awareness for a cause that provides financial support for dependents of U.S. military personnel lost in the performance of duty, as well as wounded warriors.

“I’m happy and proud and want to do it again next year,” said Colin. “During the run I felt like Jell-o, but I knew that I couldn’t stop even if I wanted to.”


Robert Kelly, Colin Devlin, and Jack Carlson finish the three-mile run at Playland pier

The precocious student was inspired by the summer reading assignment, “Three Cups of Tea”. In the true story told in the book, American Greg Mortenson, after somehow surviving a botched K2 climb, is nursed back to health by denizens of a poor Pakistani village. It then becomes his mission to give back by building schools in the area, hoping to offset Taliban extremism in a land where anti-Americanism is rampant.


Wildcats Win Second State Championship in Three Years

November 12, 2009

Rye Country Day’s field hockey team never veered from the course they set prior to the NYSAIS State championship game November 8 at Manahattanville. Despite mounting frustration in a contest with undefeated and top-seeded Riverdale that remained scoreless for more than 57 minutes of play, the Wildcats refused to make adjustments.

Persistence paid off when senior captain Isabel Beshar slapped a shot in on a Jess Hanway assist to give second-seeded Rye Country Day all the goals they’d need with 2:47 left on the clock. The defense continued its stalwart play in the waning minutes, and the Wildcats (10-4) won their second State title in three years.


Isabel Beshar jumps for joy after scoring the game-winner

“I am overjoyed,” said Beshar. “This has been my dream since freshman year – to lead the team to a championship as a senior. I could not be happier or more proud of the team. I’m sad to see the season end, but it could not have ended in a better way. This win was for our coaches, Georgette Summers and Brooke Fleming, who have taught us so much – not just about field hockey but also about being confident and united team players.”