By Mitch Silver

Rye Neck’s baseball team, flanked by the coaches, is more than ready for “Play Ball!”

Baseball

Head Coach: Joe Carlucci
12th year. Led Panthers from 1999-2007 and again from 2015 to present. Took team to Sectional Final four years in a row from 2004-07, winning in 2005.

2016 Record: “We were 9-12, showing great improvement as the year went on.”

Returning starters: “Conor Liguori and Christian Cefaloni return as our top two pitchers.  Kevin Tamucci, 3B; Jack Sheldon, C; and Corey Parker, OF will anchor our lineup.

What/who will a successful season depend on?  “Finding two people to play SS and 2B.  Brian Scott and Mike Colasanti are candidates. Pitching and defense have to carry us. 

League changes: Bronxville is in, Hastings is out.

Opening Day: Home vs. Valhalla, April 1 at 11 a.m.

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 Rye Neck captains Tim Kelley, Ben Banker, Jack Van Buren, and Logan Spencer are set to tee off.

Boys’ Golf

Head Coach — Mark Canno

12th season. “I played on the golf team here from 1982-1985.”

2016 record: “We had a solid season.

Returning starters: “We have six of our top seven players returning, and eight strong players competing for starting spots, a few who could make Sectionals. Our four captains are Ben Banker, Tim Kelley, Logan Spencer, and Jack Van Buren.

What/who will a successful season depend on? We can contend for the league title if everyone can improve off last year by 2-3 strokes.

League changes: Remains the same. Bronxville will still be the favorite.

Opening Day: At Bronxville (Siwanoy CC) April 4, 4:15 p.m.

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Coach Jonathan Sable, right, joins his seniors. From left are Ian Gabriele, Alex DeLitta, Brian Reyes, Kevin Reimers, Daniel Garofalo, and Amoré Gordon.

Boys’ Lacrosse

Head Coach — Jonathan Sable

7th season, 3rd as varsity coach. I grew up playing football and lacrosse at Lynbrook High School on Long Island and went on to play college lacrosse at Manhattanville.

2016 Record: “Last year's team was a good group of hardworking players. With Rye Neck still fairly new to lacrosse, the inexperience showed.”

Returning starters: Seniors Kevin Reimers and Amoré Gordon. Juniors Justin Leydon, Andy Rayburn, and Roman Calcagni. “Upcoming freshman who will contribute this season are Max Thruer, Sean Drace, Harry Rosas and Jack Cavanaugh.” 

What/who will a successful season depend on? A successful season is not based on wins and loses, but on the brotherhood that is developed on this team. At the end of the day, the boys are better prepared for what is next in life. 

League changes:This year, we’ll be in class D, and will face new teams such as Edgemont and Bronxville.” 

Opening Day: At Byram Hills, March 28, 4:15 p.m.

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Panther stalwarts are, from left: April Zhang, (G); Jessica Gottlieb, (A); Cristal Finkenberg, (M); Alison Cohen, (D); and Nicole Manzella, (D).

Girls’ Lacrosse

Head Coach — Amanda Heyde

3rd year. “I played at Somers High School and then club lacrosse at Hofstra, as well as field hockey and soccer. I began coaching lacrosse at Hastings High in 2014.”

2016 Record: Last season our record did not reflect our efforts. We had a strong group of girls that knew how to play with each other.  

Graduated: “We lost six key players, athletes who started our lacrosse program.

Returning starters: “We are returning five starters with a wealth of experience. Jessica Gottlieb, a junior attacker approaching 100 career goals, will be a force to be reckoned with this season. We have a ton of depth (partly due to the folding of our JV program), positive attitudes, and girls who really want to learn the game. Freshman Julianne Spencer will be an impact player in the midfield. 

What/who will a successful season depend on? “Success will depend on how hard the girls work. I always say that hard work beats talent every time, and I truly mean this. 

League changes: “Now that we’re in class D, our league will be significantly more challenging than it’s been in the past.

Opening Day: Home against Croton-Harmon, March 31 at 4:30 p.m.

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Coaches Joan and Frank Spedafino flank the Black Cat softball standouts. Back row from left: Jamie Strozza, Jasmine Cores, and Alexa Garcia. Front row from left: Jessica Santoli, Olivia Dunne, Samantha Yannuzzi, Lisa Bianco, Mary Cintron, and Marisa Santoli. Not pictured: Alana Proudian and Alicia Rodriguez.

Softball

Head Coach — Joan Spedafino; Co-Coach — Frank Spedafino

33rd year. Winningest softball coach in Section 1 history.

2016 Record: 15-5, League champions. Unfortunately, we committed five errors in the first round of the playoffs and were eliminated.

Returning starters: “We definitely have the experience. The infield is back as well as strong pitching and catching. Among our six veterans are our senior captains, Mary Cintron and Lisa Bianco, and juniors Olivia Dunne and Samantha Yanuzzi.

What/who will a successful season depend on? “It is vital that we stay healthy and work hard on every aspect of the game. Our team T-shirts read, ‘Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.’”

Opening Day: Home vs. Putnam Valley, April 1 at 11 a.m.

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Coach Shawn Lincoln, second from right, joins his defending league champs.

Boys’ Tennis

Head Coach — Shawn Lincoln

8th year.

2016 Record: 10-3, league champions.

Returning starters: “Nine of our seniors return. Eikoh Hayashi went undefeated in the league and made the Sectional quarterfinals. Our first doubles team of Alex Kebbe and Ben Styler are back as well.”

What/who will a successful season depend on? “Of course we hope to compete for a league title again. Just as important will be the mentoring our seniors provide for our younger players.”

League changes: Croton-Harmon out, Pleasantville and North Salem in.

Opening Day: Home against North Salem, March 30 at 4:15 p.m.

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Coach Myla Allen, back row center, and her fellow coaches join the Panthers for their first workout of the season.

Track

Head Coach — Myla Allen, Girls; Dennis Loosen, Boys

8th year.

2016 Record: Last year we had a fairly young team that put a tremendous amount of effort into the spring season.”

Returning starters: “Our returnees include junior team captains Christopher Ortiz, hurdles and sprints, and Raymond Rivituso, middle distances. Sophomore captain Enora Lauvau will compete in the sprints.

What/who will a successful season depend on? “In order to have a successful season, our track and field athletes must remain mentally and physically strong.

League changes: None.

Opening Day: Home vs. Clark Academy, March 28 at 4:15 p.m.