Peter Tonkel, 14, and Julianne Tonkel, 11, competed last month in the USA Snowboard and Freeski Association Nationals at Copper Mountain, Colorado.

Julianne, who attends The Ursuline School, began snowboarding in third grade. She entered five events at nationals – Slalom, Giant Slalom, Slopestyle, Halfpipe, and Boardcross. She won three medals, taking overall gold in her age group.

Peter, an eighth grader at Rye Middle School, competed in Halfpipe and Slopestyle. He started snowboarding in fifth grade and is ranked third in the country.

Julianne and Peter live in Rye, but train in Vermont almost every weekend from December through April. At Copper Mountain, they competed among nearly 2,000 of the best snowboarders from across the country.

<Photo courtesy of Vast Photos>

Julianne Tonkel winning the Giant Slalom at Copper Mountain last month.


Peter Tonkel soared at USA Snowboard and Freeski Nationals.



Rye High Baseball

By Mitch Silver


If you thought Mike Bruno’s Rye High baseball team wouldn’t be the same after losing All-State pitcher George Kirby and a raft of All-League players to graduation, you’d be right. They’re better. 


This past fortnight saw the Garnets shut out Yonkers by 8-0, defeat arch-rival Harrison 7-1 in the third annual Andrew Gurgitano Memorial game at Silver Lake Park, and down league foe Pelham twice by scores of 3-1 and 11-2. Rye’s nine did drop a 3-0 four-hitter to non-league Pearl River, currently the top-rated team in Class A. But they came right back to win a seesaw 5-4 cliffhanger against 9-1 Hendrik Hudson. And the way they did it tells you a lot about the 2017 Garnets.


With snow days in March wreaking havoc with an already tight season, Rye was forced to play four straight days last week. And with the new, more rigid pitch counts also limiting pitcher availability, Coach Bruno gave junior Sean Hale his first varsity start against Hen Hud. Though he threw four straight balls to the leadoff hitter, Hale found his rhythm and was leading 4-2 going into the sixth. A walk, a double, and a two-out line single knotted the score at 4 and brought on senior James Laverty. Lav threw wild on a pickoff play, and a second error on the play moved the lead runner to third. But Myles Burbank in center managed to grab a sinking liner on his knees to end the threat.


 An inning later, Burbank would move from the outfield to the mound and toss a 1-2-3 7th. The Garnets’ last licks saw sophomore Henry Friedrich ground out to second, ninth grader Declan Lavelle draw a walk, and junior Gavin Kenny bounce out to third, with Lavelle moving to second. That left it up to senior co-captain Mat Bruno, and did he ever deliver, smashing a huge triple to the wall in left-center and driving in Lavelle with the winning run.


After the game, Coach Bruno admitted he went a little longer with Hale than he wanted to. “Sean threw a strong game. I knew anyone we might bring in who threw more than 30 pitches wouldn’t be available against Pelham tomorrow, so we rode that arm. And he got the win.”


Rye’s lineup boasts only three seniors: Bruno, the coach’s nephew; Burbank, who got the save; and hard-hitting first baseman Dusty Mion, who scored a run and drove another in. Heading into May, they’re all hitting over .300, as are junior Andy Bach and sophs Alex Noga and Finn Westerink.


The Garnets played league foe Ardsley twice post-press time as well as non-league toughie Tappan Zee. This afternoon they host the Harrison Huskies at Disbrow, looking to win the season series and lock up the Conference II League title.





Rye Neck Softball

By Mitch Silver


Section 1’s winningest coach of all time has done it again. Joan Spedafino, in her 32nd year at the helm, has another title contender at Rye Neck. The Panthers spent the last couple of weeks winning games in every way imaginable — with overwhelming pitching, timely hitting, and airtight defense. Even the lone blemish on their record, a 3-2 loss to Valhalla, was to the Sections’ other perennial powerhouse and the No. 14 team in New York State’s Class B. They’ll meet again.


But first, lets talk about the wins. The Panthers crushed Haldane 11-1 April 20 on an Olivia Dunne one-hitter. She struck out 16 batters while Alycia Rodriquez drove in three runs. Alana Proudian went 3-for-4 and drove in two more.


Four days later Dunne was back at it, shutting out cross-town rival Rye on 12 Ks while allowing two hits. They might still be playing had not catcher Sam Yannuzzi blasted a walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh for the game’s only run.


Coach Sped and the girls knew Valhalla was going to be tough when they faced the Vikings 48 hours later. The Vikes won four straight Sectional titles before the Panthers snapped that streak in 2015, and the games between the two are always a battle. Dunne struck out four and went 3-for-4 at the plate, but Julianna Abonndola nicked her for the winning RBI.


Rye Neck returned to the winning path with a big 8-0 victory May 1 over their Class B rival Blind Brook. Alycia Rodriguez took the ball and struck out 11 while yielding a single hit. Rodriguez also tripled and drove in two runs while Proudian went 4-for-4 with an RBI. What made the victory especially sweet is the way Rodriguez shut down the Trojans’ Julia Bucci. 


Seven days earlier, Bucci entered the New York State Public High School Athletic Association record books by hitting three home runs and driving in 12 RBIs in the team’s 31-0 (yes, 31-0) rout of Palisade Prep. The junior finished the week going 7-for-12 at the plate. But Rodriguez cooled her off pretty convincingly.


The locals, now ranked No. 16 in New York State’s Class B, played at Keio and Edgemont post-press time before returning home today to return the favor and host Edgemont. Game time is 4:15. Tomorrow sees the Rye Neck nine travel to Pelham for the Pelicans’ tournament that starts at 4 at Glover Field.






A number of Rye High’s college-bound senior athletes gathered in the school library recently with Athletic Director Mike Arias and High School Principal Patricia Taylor.

In alphabetical order, they are: John Amaya-Bryant University-Soccer; Teddy Aquilino-Ohio Wesleyan University-Lacrosse; Clemente Borgogni-Georgetown University-Crew; Katherine Brown-Oswego College-Softball; Mat Bruno-Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute-Football; Myles Burbank-Gettysburg College-Baseball; Jamie Chabot-Union College-Football; Caitlin Cornacchia-Boston College-Crew; Jaime Donnelly- Middlebury College-Volleyball; Sharon Doyle- UCLA-Crew; Firoz George-UNC-Fencing; Fusine Govaert-Boston College-Field Hockey; Amanda Hartzell-Yale University-Lacrosse; Will Hynson-High Point University-Lacrosse; Erica Kinstel-University of Tampa-Crew; Ryan Kirkpatrick- Dennison College-Lacrosse; James McHugh-Penn State-Golf; Charlie Nagle-Colgate University-Basketball; Caroline Neave-Stanford University-Squash;Katie Popp-Washington and Lee University-Basketball; Lindsay Powers-Tufts University-Sailing;Tyler Reno-Washington and Lee University-Football; Nathalie Rodilosso-Princeton University-Tennis; Augustine Rodriguez-Brown University-Crew.

By Melanie Cane

It wasn't billed as a doubleheader, but it seemed like one: on the afternoon of April 28, the Garnets played a long game against Ardsley, and the following morning they faced Somers. Before the Ardsley game, Coach Alex Tejera said the team had been inconsistent, playing really well one day and poorly the next. Case in point: the Garnets lost to Ardsley 14-5, and beat the Somers Tuskers 6-5.

Against Ardsley, the Garnets got into a 9-1 hole early in the game. The Panthers scored twice in the first, three times in the second, and tacked on four in the third. Rye scored one in the bottom of the second and started to chip away at their deficit, scoring three in the third and one in the fourth.

In the third inning, Sam Bluvol led off with a single to left field. Hannah Mullaly’s double to centerfield moved Bluvol to third. Pitcher Katherine Brown had an RBI single. Then Taylor Volpe loaded the bases with a single, and Julia Bateman and Sadie Mazzola both walked in runs.

The Garnets added their last run in the fourth inning. Neither team scored in the fifth, but Rye had some solid hits. Shelby Gadaleta replaced Brown after the first out in the fifth. She retired the side, but the Panthers hit her hard in the sixth, scoring four runs.

In the Somers game, Montalto went 3 for 4, and Brown pitched a complete game. These were the first two games of 11 the Garnets will play in the space of two weeks due to rescheduling of rainouts.

Tejera praised his team for never giving up, but emphasized that “against a top team like Ardsley, you can’t fall behind early and hope to catch up.”

He added, “The girls always try their hardest, and for that I’m very proud of them, no matter the outcome. That’s all I can ask for.”


Megan Montalto on her way to third

Katherine Brown on the mound


By Melanie Cane

In the Wildcats’ April 21 home game against Hackley, Taylor Regan broke the school’s Girls’ Lacrosse scoring record. The senior co-captain scored 13 times and ended the game with 268 goals. But breaking the record was bittersweet for because her team lost 19-17.

The Wildcats won the first draw and Regan got a low shot off immediately, but it was stopped by Hornets goalie Tyroma Nwakonie. Hackley scored on their first possession five minutes into the half. Regan answered 30 seconds later with a high shot from the left side. The Hornets scored again three minutes later and Regan responded by running the ball downfield off the draw and shooting a rocket past the goalie. She followed that up with a penalty shot to give the Wildcats a 3-2 lead.

Hackley quickly tied it up, but Wildcat Emily Moran scored off a fast break. Hackley came back and knotted the game at 4. On the next play, with Hackley double-teaming Regan, her teammates settled the ball and Sarah Walker passed to Paula Harasimicz, who scored from the right side inside the circle. Hackley answered back immediately to knot it at 5. Wildcat Ryan Hammel then scored on a penalty shot. The Hornets scored two consecutive goals. Nwakonie saved two of Regan’s shots, but Regan scored three goals in a row to give the Wildcats a 10-9 lead at the end of the half.

The second half was essentially a carbon copy of the first half, until the final minutes. With the teams knotted at 17 and Hackley in possession, the Hornets scored, and on the play the Wildcats received a yellow card leaving them down a player. The Hornets maintained possession and settled the ball until the last second when they shot to score again.

In Coach Georgette Summers’ words, “We beat ourselves. Our errors were ones of youth and inexperience.”

When asked about Taylor Regan’s big night, Coach Summers said, “Taylor has worked exceptionally hard year-round to perfect intricate skills that allow her, day in and day out, to play an exceptional game. Breaking the school scoring record is a monumental milestone. I can only imagine what the new scoring record will be at the end of the season.” (As of May 1, it was up to 290!)

Regan went into the game knowing she was on the verge of breaking the record held by Julia Massaro, class of 2015, but she said her priority was to win. “My main focus is always on the team and although breaking this record means a lot to me, in the moment I was focused on the game.”

Ryan Hammel about to score

Taylor Regan shooting around the Hackley goalie

Sarah Walker running the ball downfield.

Taylor Regan being double-teamed.

Emily Moran scoring off a fast break.

Taylor Regan racing to the Hackley net.