Archive for the ‘Spotlight On’ Category

These Wolverines Can Swim

February 10, 2011

It’s not an uncommon sight to see Taka and Hiroki Kaneko bowing to the pool after finishing a swimming race. The brothers, who moved with their family to Rye from Yokohama, Japan, in 2008, have maintained the respectful tradition of their native country while enhancing the already-talented roster of the Westchester Aquatic Club Wolverines.

Taka, a seventh-grader at Rye Middle School, and Hiroki, a fifth-grader at Osborn, are just two of the 20 Rye residents on Carle Fierro’s 163-member Wolverines. The team, part of the Metro League, is comprised of some of the youngest swimming talent in not just Westchester, but the entire nation.

Taka and Hiroki Kaneko

Taka and Hiroki, along with Midland third-grader Connor Popp, are among the most talented and accomplished on the roster for their ages.

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Amanda Benincasa Was Rye’s Secret Weapon

December 8, 2010

As the Rye girls’ soccer team gained more and more acclaim this season, their fan base increased exponentially, packing the stands for home games and even boarding the “Lady Garnet Express” bus to cheer their team at road venues in the postseason.

It quickly became evident that the knowledgeable fans recognized the talent the team possessed as a whole, as well as the winning ways of individual Garnets. One of those athletes Rye’s loyal supporters were abuzz over was senior defender Amanda Benincasa, the four-year varsity starter who decided the outcome of many games with her powerful throw-ins. Throughout the season, Benincasa’s throw-ins led to nine of the Garnets’ 52 goals (eight assists and one goal), six of which came in the playoffs.

Amanda Benincasa

“Amanda was often required to make 60-yard runs down the field for a throw and then sprint back for her defensive responsibilities,” said head coach Rich Savage. “She had to mark the most dangerous forwards throughout the Section, but had a quick step to the ball and would consistently shut down and frustrate those players. Her effort was truly tremendous.”

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McCormack and Linehan: The Power of Friendship on and off the Field

April 22, 2010

Cole McCormack and Mike Linehan try their best not to think about those last grains of sand trickling into the bottom of the hourglass — sands of time that represent their Rye varsity careers.

The senior captains of the Garnets’ lacrosse team have been the best of friends since the halcyon days of their childhood on the Rye Youth Soccer fields. Now, at the height of their high school athletic powers, the idea of not being able to play sports with lifelong friends is upsetting.

Mike Linehan and Cole McCormack

“It’s a bittersweet thing,” said Linehan. “Growing up I watched the best athletes I thought I would ever see in my life – Connor O’Grady, TJ Smith, Franny Archibald, Colin Hart – and when I first started playing I wanted to be one of those guys that kids look up to. I wanted to earn that respect. It’s going to be tough graduating, but I feel like I’ve been blessed.”

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Spotlight On: Molly Smalt has made all the difference for Rye volleyball

October 2, 2009

When Molly Smalt made her return to the volleyball court this season, the Garnets didn’t just gain another senior with experience. According to head coach Tim Tolve, they got their “heart and soul” back.

Smalt tore her ACL in a collision with a teammate during practice last October, which resulted in a November surgery and many months of vigorous rehabilitation. The hard work paid off though, because Smalt and her infectious smile are back, and the results are evident on the court. Rye is 6-3 thanks in part to Smalt’s intense concentration and focus. She’s always the first player to celebrate a good point, or to encourage a player who has missed a shot. Smalt is a leader who is loved, respected, and admired by teammates and coaches alike.

Molly Smalt

Molly Smalt

A starter on the volleyball team since her freshman year, Smalt has turned it on in her final season in Garnet and Black. She has connected on 156 out of 169 serves for a 92 percent success rate, and has stifled the competition with 28 aces. Smalt has also made 103 out of 119 attack attempts for an 87 percent hitting rate with 30 kills. In addition, the team leader has 33 digs, 10 assists and two blocks.

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