By Mitch Silver and Melanie Cane

Girls’ Basketball

The 2016 NYSAIS champions have 11 returning players and five new ones. Seniors Therese Mooney and Alexa Jablonski (the co-captains) and Tatiana Fernandez will be joined by sophomore Alana Jones and junior Jess Yaffa in the starting lineup. Coach Scottie Nails is also excited about his freshmen class. 

Girls Squash

Senior captains Ashley Hatstadt and Samantha Bobman will be joined by five returning players and six new ones. Coach Victoria Simmonds, who is carrying a very young team, is looking forward to seeing many of them compete at the varsity level for the first time.

Girls’ Ice Hockey

After winning the lower division championship last year, the Wildcats have moved up in the WIHLMA League. Senior captains Katherine Holtby and Maddie Zuber will lead ten returning players and three newcomers. Zuber is one of the most consistent players. Freshman Selia Coady made 1st Team All-League last year and eighth grader MK Braun will play goalie. Coach Elizabeth Bennett says that despite their short bench they have a lot of talent and depth.


Coach Joe Rue said the team is excited to train and play in their new ‘home court’ at SUNY Purchase.

All six squads (girls’ and boys’ sabre, epee, and foil) are working hard in preparation for their first encounter against Horace Mann on December 6 at Purchase.

The teams returns 24 fencers and has added 11. Celeste Kelly and Niamh Kernan will captain the girls and P.J. Pujadas and Josh Shapiro the boys.


By Mitch Silver

How good was Cayla Brown’s season for the Rye High Volleyball team? Beyond the usual accolades from her coach and teammates, Pelham Coach Mark Finnegan’s words spoke volumes after the Garnets knocked his team out of Sectional play in five thrilling sets — 22-25, 25-21, 25-21, 23-25, 25-20.

“You get into these tight, close matches and whose great player is going to take over? And it was Cayla Brown. She made every play. I mean, I don’t even know if she made a mistake. I’m sure she did, but I don’t remember it.”

The unassuming Brown, who will make a tour of colleges this month, follows in the footsteps of older sister Courtney, who plays volleyball for Hamilton College. “My entire family has been incredibly supportive. My sister, being a player herself, has been great.”

And there’s more to the league’s Player of the Year than high school, club, and beach volleyball. Winter finds her playing varsity squash, though Cayla’s favorite athletic endeavor is gymnastics. “I learned at the Rye YMCA, and I spend my summers teaching gymnastics to kids from 4-14 at the Y.”

The honoree, chosen for the award by the Rye Lions Club and the RHS Athletic Department, gave a special shout-out to a couple of mentors: Mr. Murolo, her AP Calculus teacher, and her two-year volleyball coach, Geri Jones. “Ms. Jones is so easy to talk to, on and off the court. She can be funny, and serious when she needs to be, and she’s there to talk about anything.”

In the classroom, Cayla’s favorite course is Advanced Placement Digital Photography, her third such course at Rye High. Is photography in her future, too?

“I love the work you do at the computer after taking the picture, Photo-shopping and the rest. Then again, I could see my self becoming a medical researcher.”

Before she has to declare a major and choose a career, Cayla will join the other monthly Lions Club winners at a year-end dinner at The Osborn, where Rye’s Player of the Year will be announced. She’ll be in the running.


By Mitch Silver

Boys’ Basketball

Head Coach: Steve Gage ( 3rd year)

Asst. Coaches: Brendan Barile and Jordan Griffith

2016 Record: 7-12

Returning Captains: Sam Berger and Allan Houston

Returning Starters: Billy O'Meara and Ben Pierce

<<What/Who Will a Successful Season Depend On?>>RCDS returns a strong core ready to take the next step as a program. Our 6’7” senior Sam Berger has grown into his body and is poised to be a difference-maker this year. With an offseason of hard work. Sam has transformed himself into an inside/out threat on offense who can also defend on the perimeter and protect the rim. His presence is an X-factor for the team this year. He can change the game. Junior Allan Houston looks to become one of the top players in the region. He can score, is an elite defender, and has all of the intangibles to lead his team.  

“The leaders are clear and will carry the team, but a deep bench means the Wildcats will have numerous options behind Houston and Berger. Returning starters Billy O’Meara and Ben Pierce move into leading roles this year and should thrive with the added responsibility.  

“Seniors Cole Price and Austin Pager will compete with a strong new group of newcomers graduating from a successful JV team to round out a talented squad. Sophomore Shane Regan and juniors Brett Robinson and Nick Owens look like major contributors and will surprise those who have not seen them play.

<<What About the Competition?>>With an ambitious schedule filled with the always-strong FAA league slate and non-conference games against top NYS public and private schools, the Wildcats will have to be ready to play at their highest level every game.”

Opening Game: December 1 against Fieldston in their tournament. 



Wildcat captains Sam Berger, left, and Allan Houston.


By Melanie Cane


The team is small this year with five returning players and four newcomers. Having graduated so many seniors and with a new head coach Jason Hix, this will be a rebuilding year. Newcomer freshman Eliza Mills will likely play number one.


New head coach Mike Clancy has been pleased with what he has seen from the team so far. “I have pushed these players hard and they have responded well. We have an appealing mix of veterans and new players. Everyone has been really upbeat and I am thrilled to have the addition Bianca Kowgios as an assistant.”

Clancy is looking forward to Kayla and Victoria Hanley having healthy seasons. Both are returning from ACL injuries. “It’s tough to think of a better one-two punch than the Hanley sisters.” Along with seniors Madi Warne and Carly Okon, junior Isabella Alaimo, and sophomore Emily Panarella, this team has an outstanding nucleus.”

The bench has a lot of depth. The five new players and those returning from a season off will make this team tough to beat.


Coach Art Tiedemann is “very excited to compete in a dual meet season, with a sense that we will be competitive with anyone we swim against.”

Team captains Alexandra DeStaebler, Lily Hurley, Tor Gaffney, and Maggie Scala head a roster of 24, which includes nine new members.

Coach Tiedemann’s goal this year is the Division III New England Championship. “We were second last year, ten points out of 1st place. Our team is solid from top to bottom, and all three eighth graders, Kate Hoesterey, Lizzy Ford, and Willa Sarcone, will make their presence felt immediately. Returning seniors DeStaebler, Hannah Cleary, Hurley, and Gaffney, as well as returning junior Scala, will be fun to watch.” Rounding out the team are freshmen Juliana Rivera, Olivia Gaffney and Alanna Kelly and sophomores Lizzy Scala and Charlotte Hurley.

He added, “This is a great group of young ladies who possess an exceptional amount of swimming talent.”


By Melanie Cane and Mitch Silver


Girls’ Basketball

Senior captains Margaret Mitchell, Ellie Dailey, and Hannah Mullaly will lead six other returning players and four new arrivals — juniors Olivia Palermo and Maddie Frielich and freshmen Amanda Latkany and Ava Gretto. Coach Dennis Hurlie is looking forward to seeing how well the team competes in a very competitive Class A.


The team graduated ten players and added eleven new ones. Senior defenseman Seamus Carroll and Forward Alex Noga are the captains. Carroll will get assistance from senior Davis Ross, junior Johnny Finnegan, and sophomore goalie Peter Paouhas. The attack is strong with seniors Cameron DiEdwards and JT Howard, juniors Max Kahle, Connor O’Brien, Noga, and sophomore Declan Lavelle.

The team has several young players with a lot of speed and the hunger to win.

As always, says Coach Peter Thomas, “Our goal is to compete for a Section 1 title.”

Girls Squash

Sixty-two girls are playing in the program this year, 25 on Varsity and 37 on JV. There are two Varsity teams, 1 and 2, and seven players are returning to each. Caroline Baldwin, who will play in the top spot, and Kina Kacha are the co-captains. Junior Sophie Barber, who Coach Tony Campbell said is playing at a high level, is his No. 2. Two new players, sophomores Olivia Dabinett and Clare Cassidy, will be crucial to Team 1’s success.

Campbell is looking forward to bringing both Varsity squads to Nationals this year. Team 1 will be looking to win their division after coming so close last year.

Caption: (pic #3462) Garnet seniors Kyle Doran, John Mhilli, AJ Thompson, Will Tepedino, Max Samberg, and Jake Rosenstadt

Boys’ Basketball

Head Coach John Aguilar, now in his sixth year, and assisted by Bart DiNardo and Andrew Spinelli, says the season will be depend on how well the bench plays. “We will be one of the more inexperienced teams in our class, but I think we will have very good depth. The key will be to wear other teams down with our various presses and transition game.”

The league remains the same. “Byram Hills is the clear favorite while Ardsley returns the bulk of their team coming off of a 13-win season. Additionally, we play such powerhouses as Mamaroneck, Scarsdale, and Hen Hud this year.” He’s relying on co-captains Max Samberg, AJ Thompson, and Will Tepedino to lead his young team.

Rye’s own Cliff Clinton Classic tips off December 8, with Sleepy Hollow vs. Blind Brook at 5. followed by the Garnets vs. Pleasantville at 7.


Boys’ Indoor Track

Three senior captains Anders Jensen, Floris Van Beurden and Alec Radtke will lead 20 returning and 26 new team members. Jensen and Radke focus on long sprint/short distance and Van Beurden is the top hurdler and sprinter. Senior Marek Nowak is the leading distance veteran and Cole Brennan is the best long/triple jumper. Among the talented but as yet untested juniors are Liam Fallon and Cian Galligan in distance and Ben Johnson, Connor Maloney, and John Goldszer in the jumps and sprints.

Coach Yedowitz said, “We hope to give Harrison a run at the league meet and do well individually at the County and Class meets. There are several school records that we have a definite shot at breaking.”

Coach Hurlie talking strategy with his girls at a scrimmage.


Despite being a very young team, with two new coaches, the Gryphons Field Hockey team made it to the NYSAIS semifinals.

Led by captains Julia Howe and Molly Mackie, Holy Child earned the No. 3 seed in the NYSAIS Tournament. After dispatching Brearley School 6-2 in the quarterfinals November 1, they earned a third shot at Hackley this season.

In both of their earlier match-ups, the Gryphons lost by just one goal. Unfortunately, in the semifinal, Holy Child fell behind 3-0 early. The girls fought back, but the Hornets prevailed 5-2.

Although disappointed not to have made it to the championship round, the girls from Holy Child ended the season with heads held high and experience on their side. 

— Melanie Cane


Holy Child in a huddle before the semifinal against Hackley