By Mitch Silver

<<Cross-Country>>

The Rye Neck harriers — including lone female runner Anna Boswelle (center) — pose with Coach Myla Allen, left, and her short-but-very-demanding assistant before their first meet.

Myla Allen welcomed team captains Mitchell O'Brien and Genki Ono and co-captain Brendan Tuohy — along with fellow seniors Raymond Rivituso, and James Lord — to tough August workouts that she hopes will reap results when the stopwatches are ticking down. During a break she said, “A successful season will depend on hard work, dedication, and a positive mindset. Our goal is to win all of our dual meets.”

The starter’s pistol went off this past Wednesday when the Panthers traveled to Westlake High School for their first competition of the fall.

<<Field Hockey>>

Meet the 2017 edition of the Rye Neck field hockey team. Assistant Coach Amy Magaletti and Head Coach Marissa Kluber flank the girls.

Longtime Head Coach Beth Gulotta has given way to Marissa Kluber, who played field hockey and lacrosse at Mercy College while earning her degree in Psychology.

She’ll need that degree to help instill a winning state of mind for a program that’s been no better than .500 the past couple of years. Captains Daisy Jayson, Kaylee Sanabria, and goalkeeper Sonia Finkenberg should help in the process. Coach Kluber said, “We have a lot of solid players. Our returning seniors have been good role models for our young team.”

The sticks began to clash yesterday when the Panthers took on Croton-Harmon post-press time. The locals will host Hastings tomorrow at 2.

<<Football>>

Rye Neck seniors, back row from left: Joosep Juhkam, Ben Galerne, Frencesco Branca, Pedro Peter Cueto, Zach Gibbs, and Derick Ramirez. Front row from left: Danny Morningstar, Kenny Soriano, and Shikhar Saran.

Junior Tyler Simon runs for some of his 100+ yards against the Blue Devils.

Head Coach Nick Ianello, in his 15th season at the helm, lost most of his skill players on offense to graduation. Among them was one of the best running backs in Westchester, Gio Maffei, along with the starting quarterback and leading receiver. So it wasn’t a surprise when they fell to non-league Haldane in their opener last Saturday, 20-7.

There were bright spots all over the field, however. Senior QB Pedro Cueto threw for 48 yards and ran for another 79, including the team’s only touchdown. Junior Tyler Simon broke off a 38-yard run in addition to catching a couple of passes for more than 100 all-purpose yards. Then he turned around and made a game-high 20 solo tackles on defense. Freshman Evan Falco picked off a Haldane pass and brought it back 30 yards.

Assistant Coach Mark Poniros summed up the challenge of meeting league foes Albertus Magnus, Dobbs Ferry, and Woodlands in the weeks to come. “Success will depend on hard work at practice everyday and staying healthy.” Tomorrow they’ll host another non-league foe in Pine Plains from Duchess County at 1:30 p.m.

<<Boys’ Soccer>>

 Rye Neck Boys’ Soccer seniors are, from left: Joshua Goldin-McCarthy, Conor Flood, Donovan Dunning, Christopher Ortiz, and Jack Sheldon. Tom Bermingham was absent.

The 16-3 Panthers who lost to eventual state champion Hastings 1-0 in the Sectional finals last year have largely left for college. Those thirteen graduates include three of the four starting defenders Noah Klur, Fraser Shaw, and Tim Kelley center midfielder Pierre Klur, striker Reed Peterson and Luis Galeano, who played all over the field.

In addition, co-Head Coach Frank Gizzo has left to spend more time with his young family. Fortunately for his partner in coaching, Bryan Iacovelli, the school has gained a worthy replacement. Ivan Martinez was Section 1 Player of the Year for the Panthers in 2010, earning first team All-State honors as an attacking midfielder.

The seniors pictured above will have to provide the team chemistry that has been so crucial to the Black Cats’ success. Rye Neck opened its season by hosting Westlake this past Wednesday post-press time and will be home to arch-rival Blind Brook tomorrow at 2 p.m.

<<Girls Soccer>>

Rye Neck Girls’ Soccer seniors are, back row from left: Jess Sevean, Maggie O’Malley, Sophie Gibson, and Emily DeLillo. Front row from left are: Jessica Santoli, Sophia Wice, and Marissa Santoli.

Head Coach Amy Bushnell began her first year as Panthers’ Head Coach by counting her blessings. “The leadership and experience of our 11 upperclassmen, coupled with some very talented newcomers, make us a big threat this year.

“In goal, we are strong and deep with senior Marissa Santoli and 8th grader Sofia Capparelli. In front of them, seniors Jessica Sevean, Jessica Santoli, and Sophie Gibson — along with junior Georgia Meyers and freshman Stephanie Santoli —will provide a very strong, gritty defense. At midfield, freshmen Anna Murphy, Maddy Murray, and Naomi Young are phenomenal additions to juniors Isabella Vidales and Liz Farassat. Senior Emily Dilillo and our senior captain Maggie O'Malley will anchor the midfield with their playmaking abilities. Senior Kathleen DaSilva tore her ACL, but her vocal leadership on the sideline has already been a huge help to her teammates.

“Up front, captain Sophia Wice returns for her senior year and is hungry for more goals after leading the team a year ago. Sophomore Natalia Ruscitto adds additional strength and speed up top, along with a tremendous ability to score and cause havoc for opposing defenses.”

The Panthers opened the season yesterday at Dobbs Ferry. They’ll travel to Yonkers tomorrow to take on Montessori Academy.

<<Girls’ Tennis>>

Rye Neck seniors who will lead the Panthers are, from left: Beatrix Cress, Lindsey Sexton, Nina Buetnner, and Elizabeth DeGeorge. Alana Proudian was absent.

Veteran Head Coach Mark Canno gave a rundown of his team’s prospects for the fall season. “Clemence Balzano, one of the top players in Section 1, moved to London with her family. That will be a huge loss. Our number one will be freshman Lucy Friedman, who has been playing tournaments all spring and summer and should have a great season. I think she has a great shot to go to at least the quarterfinals at Sectionals and could make states by next year. 

Captain Alana Proudian will play 2nd singles in her sixth year on the Varsity team. She had a great run to the Conference doubles title with Clemence last year.  Delaney Park, who is showing huge improvement, will play 3rd singles.

“Our other two captains are seniors Lindsey Sexton and Beatrix Cress. They will join with Anna Nakagama and Nicole Pereira at 1st and 2nd doubles. Two newcomers are ninth grader Natalie Goldberg and eighth grader Katie Lipman, who will play 3rd doubles. Our 4th doubles team will be senior Nina Buettner and sophomore Sarah Paumier.

We have a solid group, but our league has very deep teams, so it will be challenging.

They hosted Edgemont Wednesday post-press time, and will travel to Bronxville today at 4:15.

<<Volleyball>>

 Rye Neck’s squad is ready to face the season.

With a few injuries preventing her from settling on her rotations, Head Coach Kristin Desio enters her 13th year at Rye Neck with a new Assistant Coach. Dana Trani returned to graduate school this month, so Physical Education teacher Jamie Collareta joins the Panthers.

The team lost only three seniors to graduation, though one of them was libero and court general Samantha Yannuzzi, who will be hard to replace. The team opens their season today with a long road trip to Putnam Valley, the first time they’ve ever played the Tigers up in Putnam County.