By Ray Gallagher
Examiner Sports Editor @Directrays
Here’s yet another grid poll that features only Section 1 football programs covered in the Examiner region for the week of Apr. 26.
No.1 SOMERS — Somers boss Tony DeMatteo’s Class A Tuskers (6-0) held on for what we expected; a #LastTouchWin in a 17-14 Section 1 Class A North regional title win over John Jay CR. Freakin’ Kaiser killed it and I’m just short of calling him the best back in Somers history, but since Coach D did we’ll defer to his knowledge.
No.2 BYRAM HILLS — Coach Carp’s Class B Bobcats (6-0) were screwed by COVID-19 more than any team in the section. If not for this freakin’ pandemic, first-time Section 1 champion Byram Hills is likely at the Dome in ’Cuse playing for every marble in NYS. Still, Coach Carp is a molder of young men #BackThisDude.
No.2A CARMEL — Coach Cayea’s junior-laden Class AA Rams (5-1) will surely be atop this useless poll to start the 2021 Fall campaign, so work your tails off bros. #Justify.
No.4 MAHOPAC — Coach Dom DeMatteo’s Class A Indians (4-2) erased a dreadful start with one of the finest finishes in recent memory, thus building a stout foundation for the future, provided there’s an RB in the mix that can take over senior Vin Bastone’s role #WhosDaMan.
No.5 YORKTOWN — #FlippinCovid!
No.6 WESTLAKE — Coach John Castellano’s Class B Wildcats (3-2) were right there — tooth-and-nail– with one of the best teams in the state before Byram willed its way to the title.
No.6A HEN HUD — Coach John ‘Big Cat’ Catano’s Class B Sailors (4-1) are one of those woulda, coulda, shoulda teams that might have challenged Byram Hills for supremacy in a normal year. Nonetheless, Sailors had one of the top backfields in the section between Ryan Travis, Nicholas Cepeda and Chanse Artope. Travis had a day in the 41-7 win over Pearl River: 7 carries, 245 yards and 4 TDs.
No.8 VALHALLA — Coach Troilo’s Class C Vikings (5-1) finished with five straight wins, including Troilo’s 200th career victory. Congrats on the milestone, coach.
No.9 LAKELAND — Coach Mike Meadows Class A Hornets (2-3) had Mahopac on the ropes for three-plus quarters but need to learn #KillerInstinct before they take the next step.
No.10 PLEASANTVILLE — Coach Tony Becerra’s Class B Panthers (3-3) finished on a high note, expect more of the same in September, God willing!
HM OSSINING — Coach Larry McRae’s Pride (4-1) took the Class AA Independent League title in Week 6 and re-established what was once a great culture.
HM HALDANE — Coach McConville’s Class D Blue Devils (2-4) gave rival Tuckahoe fits to finish the season, and I’ll take two of them Santos bros. every damn day.
HM BRIARCLIFF — Bears Coach Skip Stevens saw Briarcliff RB/DB Brandon Rispoli crush Magnus for 5, yeah, 5 TDs in a Class B Independent Bowl regional title win over Magnus. I’m not saying Rispoli could run with the likes of Bobby Blevins, Tim Foley, Tim Hegarty, Antonio Guzzo, Marco DeRose and QB Rob Higle in Cliffy’s prime at the turn of the century, but he conjured up some images the last few weeks.