Cinderella Stories in Sports Continue to Inspire

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There are moments when I’m reminded how much I love sports and competition. This past Wednesday I stopped by White Plains High School to watch some of the Boys Sectional 1 Class A Lacrosse Championship between Mahopac and Mamaroneck. I wanted to see Mahopac, one of the better lacrosse programs in the section, in action.

The majority of the best lacrosse is played at high schools north of Interstate-287. When I got to the game a little late Mahopac was doing what I thought it would do, winning 6-3 and trying to build a substantial lead over a Mamaroneck program that several weeks ago had no business of being in the Sectional Championship game.

During the regular season Mamaroneck lost two games to White Plains. At one point this spring they dropped seven games in a row. They had to play at White Plains in the first round of the Section 1 Tournament and pulled off an upset victory 8-5. Four days later they traveled north to play Suffern and won 10-9 to advance to the finals against Mahopac.

As the Mahopac game progressed Mamaroneck refused to fade away in the background and let history take its course. I checked the official lacrosse game program, which told me the last time a high school located south of I-287 won the Section 1 Class A championship was in the late 1970’s.

Mamaroneck tied the game by halftime and the game remained tied at 7-7 with one quarter to play. I kept thinking to myself that Mamaroneck might be a Cinderella team or like Hickory High School (for your Hoosiers fans) and it was only a matter of time before Mahopac would seize control and blow this game wide open. The statistics pointed towards Mahopac winning. History would suggest that Mamaroneck wouldn’t be victorious on this day.

The final quarter of this game reminds me why I love sports. Two teams just going after it with all their hearts and leaving nothing in their gas stank. Both teams sprinting to every ground ball, like their life depended on it, each body check becoming a little harder and me holding my breath with each offensive possession to see what happens.

On this day we would get the Disney sports movie finish, with Mamaroneck scoring two goals in the final period to win 9-8. After the final horn I heard in my head Jim McKay’s voice from the theme of ABC’s World Wide of Sports saying,“The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”

You had one team celebrating like they never had before and another looking as if their world had ended. It was a game that you wish could keep going because of the excitement level but in the end sometimes there has to be a winner and loser.

Lacrosse is clearly the fastest growing sport in the country. In Southern Westchester it hasn’t caught on like it has in the northern region of the county. Other than football it was my favorite sport to cover this year. It’s a game that even if you don’t know all the rules you can appreciate the athleticism and skill that go into it.

Mets Get Their No-Hitter

I sadly admit I missed watching the game on Friday night but as a lifelong Met fan I felt I needed to write something about Johan’s Santana’s nine-inning, 134 pitch gem of a game. It’s a wonderful feeling to get this small non-vital statistic off our backs.

In Mets nation we rarely have had anything to really celebrate so I think we shall celebrate Santana’s 136th career victory for a bit longer.

The Mets have a more storied history than we get credit for.  We had Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Nolan Ryan, Jon Matlack, Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling and David Cone. It’s hard to believe none of them authored a no-hitter during their tenure in Queens.

I watched Gooden and Cone throw no-hitters for the Yankees and I felt in my heart they were always Mets first even though they were wearing the wrong colored pinstripes.

As we look at the Mets in 2012 you’re looking at a bunch of guys with a lot of heart who are okay overcoming adversity. If the Mets have any more injuries they might have to start calling up players from the Brooklyn Cyclones.

The Mets are a MASH unit that so far have shown they can handle adversity and so far this season they have a better record than the Yankees, which is always a good thing in my mind.


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