Archive for December, 2010

Bellizzi, del Pezo, and Kennedy Earn Lions Club Athlete of the Month Awards

December 10, 2010

Rye senior Laurel Kennedy was recently named Lions Club Athlete of the Month for November. Fellow seniors Luis del Pezo and Lia Bellizzi were tabbed as the winners for October and September, respectively.


First Varsity Season a Success for Crew Team

December 10, 2010

Five mornings a week, the Rye crew team members rolled out of bed at 4:45 a.m. – that is not a typo – to greet the sunrise with steady strokes out on the Mianus River. The weather and boat lineups may have changed, but the one constant was the rowers’ Garnet commitment.


Rye Basketball Coach Fired After Accusations of Theft from Backpack

December 9, 2010

Brian Lavelle’s tenure as head coach of the Rye girls’ basketball team is already over. Hired to lead the Garnets this season after Mary Henwood’s June retirement, Lavelle was let go from his position in the wake of allegations that he stole money.

Although Athletic Director Rob Castagna and Superintendent Dr. Ed Shine declined to comment on the dismissal, both cited it as a “personnel issue”, Lavelle’s lawyer confirmed the reason for his termination, which was made official at the December 7 Board of Education meeting. The attorney, Gerald DiEdwards, verified that Lavelle was accused of stealing money from a backpack, an incident the district purportedly has captured on videotape. No criminal charges have been filed as of press time.


Registration for Rye Little League Has Begun

December 8, 2010

Rye Little League registration for the Spring 2011 season is currently open. Boys and girls born between May 1, 1998 and April 30, 2003, residing in the City of Rye, are welcome to join.  Eligible participants who register before January 24, 2011, are guaranteed a spot on a team. After registration closes a waiting list will be created and openings may not occur. Register online at

Jabril Whiteside Tabbed Golf’s Regional Player of the Year

December 8, 2010

Jabril Whiteside, a rising sophomore star at Rye High School, was recently named US Kids Golf Westchester/Fairfield Tour Regional Player-of-the-Year for his excellent performance throughout 2010.

Jabril Whiteside

The Garnet won five gold medals and one silver during tournament play with US Kids Golf this year, earning him the nod as king of the links. Whiteside also claimed second place at the Tour Championship held at Putnam National Golf Course, and was recognized by the Junior Metropolitan PGA during their awards ceremony at Iona College for shooting a 76 en route to second place at Burning Tree Country Club in Greenwich.

He looks forward to returning to the RHS golf team this spring.

Best of Both Worlds

December 8, 2010

Rye’s athletic teams dominated this fall, regardless of whether they were playing on a court, field, track, or in the pool. The athletes also stood out in the classroom, as nine Garnet squads qualified for the Scholar/Athlete Award. Rob Castagna, Rye’s Director of Athletics, recently announced that boys’ and girls’ cross-country, field hockey, football, boys’ and girls’ soccer, girls’ swimming and diving, girls’ tennis, and volleyball all made the academic cut.

Fresh Faces, Old Bloodlines, and Reigning Champions On the Menu for Garnets

December 8, 2010

New coaches and programs highlight the beginning of the winter, but by season’s end the Garnets should – as usual – be in contention for several Section crowns.

Ice Hockey

The expectations for the Garnets in 2010-11 remain the same as always, according to head coach Jason Friesen. Skate to the Section championship game, win the title, and move on to the State tournament. It may sound bold, perhaps lofty even, but those goals are based on the precedent of a wildly successful run.

Michael Benincasa

Friesen’s Rye teams have posted a combined 63-33-9 record over the last four seasons, with three Division II Section championships. After dropping the title at the end of the 2008-09 campaign, the Garnets bounced back to win it last year in convincing fashion. The skaters thrashed a senior-laden Yorktown squad 7-1 at West Point.


Rye Residents Rock in Thanksgiving Tennis Tournament

December 8, 2010

Turkey wasn’t the only thing on the menu this Thanksgiving, as Rye Racquet Club held their annual tournament. Rye’s hometown competitors faired very well in the November 25-26 event, one that boasted nearly 150 entries. Kazuo Iwasaki won the men’s singles bracket, while Devin Wakeford and Marc Jennings teamed to take the doubles competition. In an all-Rye 16&under singles finale, Alexandre Adam defeated Shu Funato. The 12&under championship was also an all-Rye affair, as Teddy Van Eck topped Justin Mandell.

Justin Mandell and Teddy Van Eck

Devin Wakeford and Marc Jennings

Kazuo Iwasaki and Takaya Yamazaki

Rockets at Head of the Class in Wins and Sportsmanship

December 8, 2010


Front row: Jack Bryan, Dennis Kennelly, Will Sands, Ryo Tatsuno, Taichi Zaiki, and Carl Friedrich; middle row: Peter Chabot, Harry Barringer, Sam Rock, Alec Jautz, Billy Chabot, James Sands, and Brendan Simandl; back row: Geoff Sands (Head Coach), Mark Whitehouse (Trainer), and Scott Barringer (Coach); missing: Alan Chabot (Coach), John Rock (Coach), Elena Sands (Manager)

The Rye Rockets boys’ under-11 soccer team finished the season in first place in the top division of the Westchester Youth Soccer League. They were undefeated – nine wins, zero losses, and one tie – and also won the Sportsmanship Award, registering the rare feat of a perfect score in all of their games for parent, player, and coach sportsmanship.

Garnets Fall Shy of State Title in Double OT Loss to Garden City

December 8, 2010

Heartbreak, shock, and disappointment were all emotions felt by the Rye girls’ soccer team in the wake of their 2-1, double overtime loss to Garden City in the Class A State championship game November 20 at SUNY Cortland. But, more than anything, it was the sense of finality that pervaded the Garnets, and especially the 14 seniors.

“Beyond the win and loss column, we came together as a team,” said head coach Rich Savage. “Each player supported one another both on and off the field. The girls are more upset the season is over and that they won’t get to play together again.”