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Carmel, Somers, P’Ville Enticed by Three-Peat Possibilities
By Ray Gallagher, Examiner Sports Editor @Directrays
What we are witnessing in places like Class AA Carmel, Class A Somers and Class B Pleasantville are modern-day marvels; things that don’t often happen on gridirons in Northern Westchester and Putnam County (NY). All three programs are coming off back-to-back Section 1 football championships, which means the trio are seeking to three-peat as the Rams, Tuskers and Panthers, respectively, embark upon the 2023 grid campaign.
This in no small feat in an era of highly competitive challengers, but three-peating will only be dogged this season with the BED numbers changing and the new classifications making it tougher at places like Pleasantville, which will now be dealing with former Class A powerhouse Rye and other former Examiner-area Class A schools like Lakeland dipping down to Class B this fall.
Although NYS football won’t be implementing a sixth class the way other high school team sports have, there are still several major changes this season. Rye High, a factual juggernaut with nine sectional titles since 1993, has now dropped from Class A down to Class B, where it previously won NYS titles in 2005, 2007 and 2008 to go with its one Section 1 Class A title in 2019 and a runner-up showing to Somers in 2021. Lakeland, Nyack and Sleepy Hollow are also moving down to Class B from Class A, making Class B one tough road to hoe.
Pleasantville is equipped to grade that road out behind versatile senior Daniel Picart, who returns for 2023 after racking up 2,654 all-purpose yards and 26 combined rushing and receiving touchdowns last season while racking up all-NYS, Section 1 and New York State Class B Player of the Year honors. This young man is setting season-long and cumulative records that may never be broken in school history, barring another freak of nature.
Without Rye to contend with in Class A, preseason favorite Somers, which has won five sectional crowns since 2012 (6 overall, including 2000), should have a much easier path to the sectional finals, as will legit title contenders like Harrison and Clarkstown South, plus Examiner-area locals Mahopac, Yorktown, Greeley and Fox Lane. Let’s just say the road still runs through two-time NYS champ Somers in Class A.
“We can’t wait,” Somers senior captain and two-way starter Ryan Cole said. “We’ve been putting in the work and we can’t wait to finally get out on the field. There’s great energy with the team this year. I love it.”
And let’s just go ahead and pencil in a Rye vs. Pleasantville clash for the Class B marbles where 15 other clubs are likely vying for a Final 4 run. Certainly, Pleasantville won’t be backing down from such a challenge, and expect Byram Hills to fight to the death in a semifinal bout.
“After just finishing our scrimmage and seeing what we need to tune up on, all we’re worried about is Byram Hills then Pearl River and so on and so forth with whoever stands in the way of our goals this season,” said P’Ville’s Picart, among the finest three-sport athletes in Section 1 history.
Class AA is a little dicey and tougher to call with Carmel having to deal with the sleeping giant that is Arlington and its Wisconsin commit Colin Cubberly (OL/DL), and a vastly improved John Jay EF club with perhaps the section’s most dynamic signal caller in senior veteran Brady Feliciotto. Carmel will tap into its 2022 reserves to complement the skills of three-year senior LB/FB Matt Risley, the heart and soul of the 2021 NYS champs.
“Everyone is ready to roll,” Risley exclaimed! “We’ve been grinding every day, falling in love with the process instead of the outcome. Just glad I get to be back around my boys every day again.”
Hear, hear! Good luck to all! Hope to see you on the campus of Arlington High on Nov. 10-11 when the Section 1 championships will be contested this season, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll find a couple of Examiner-area clubs still playing on Dec. 2-3 for NYSPHSAA championships at JMA Wireless Dome (the old Carrier Dome) in Syracuse. Anything’s possible, gang: Remember, the most disruptive force in football history, NY Giants Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor, hailed from unheralded UNC in the wee 80s and changed the way the game was played #IsItInYou.
2022 record & Playoff Result: 13-0 Section 1, NYS Regional, Class A State Champs
Coach: Anthony DeMatteo (3rd season) 25- career record
Top Returning Players: Ryan Cole SR, Nicky Crecco SR, Matt Klee SR, Mason Kelly JR, Miguel Inglesias JR, Adian Coolican JR, James Balancia SR, Mac Sullivan SR. QB, Andrew Violante; Nick Newman SR; Nick Conti SR; QB Mac Sullivan SR
Key Adds/Newcomers: Giuseppe Gioffre SR, Luca Ploger SR, Dean Palazollo, SOPH, Andrew Kapica JR; Mario Mancini SR
Top Offensive Threats: All Skill listed above
Top O-Linemen: All lineman listed above
Top Pass Rushers: Cole
Top Coverage Guy: Iglesias, Coolican, Balancia, Violante
League Favorite: Somers
Section Favorite: Somers
Goals: Section 1 Championship
Coach’s Comments: We are very excited to see guys step into roles that were vacated by all time greats here. Our goals never change. We have had a tremendous preseason and cannot wait to get started.
Outlook: They don’t rebuild at Somers, they simply reload; just check any grid between Lincolndale, Shenorock and Amawalk, which are full feeder programs. We simply don’t see a scenario where coach D’s Tuskers aren’t challenging for a third consecutive Section 1 title and their seventh since 2000, when the DeMatteo era commenced and legendary Tony D changed the culture and helped build a dynasty by assembling a cast of committed coaches and a community that lives and breathes pigskin. A sketchy last-second loss to New Jersey power Ramapo in Week 0 should do nothing to deter the Tuskers from their mission.
Twitter/Social Media Acct: Twitter-@SomersFootball IG-somersfootball
Coach: Dominick DeMatteo, 7th season at Mahopac
2022 Record & Playoff Result: 5-4, lost to Harrison in quarters
Top Returning Players: Sr. Danny Koch, RB / WR / DB / PR / KR (2022 9 games: rushing: 47 carries, 298 yards, 5 TDs // Receiving: 10 receptions, 192 yards, 1 TD // passing: 9 completions, 13 attempts, 173 yards, 2 TDs // KOR: 2 returns, 45 yards // PR: 3 returns, 90 yards, 1 TD // all-purpose yards: 798 // 42 Total Tackles // 3 Interceptions (led team)
All-Conference, All-League); Sr. Dominic (DJ) DeMatteo, QB / LB (2022 9 Games: passing: 35 completions, 61 attempts, 634 yards, 6 TDs // rushing: 17 carries, 115 yards, 3 TDs (Only played 6.5 games on Offense due to injury) // 24 total tackles (only played 5.5 games due to injury), All-League); Sr. John Kearney, WR / DB (2022 9 games: receiving: 10 receptions, 177 yards, 2 TDs // 23 tackles while playing every down as CB, All-League); Sr. Owen Ryan, RB / LB (2022 9 games: led team w/ 66 tackles and was 2nd on the team w/ 1.5 sacks, All-League; Soph. Nate Mascoll WR / RB / LB / KR (2022 9 games: 349 all-purpose yards, 4 TDs and 35 tackles a freshman); Sr. Liam Scanlon OL / DL (2022 9 games: played LT, LG, RG, RT on an offensive line that rushed for 2,133 yards and passed for 810 yards); Jr. Landon Varley OL / DL (2022 9 games: 42 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 blocked PAT)
League Favorite: Somers
Section Favorite: Somers
Goals: Win our league, earn home playoff game, compete for sectional chip
Coach’s Comments: Our offense should start with Danny Koch. We plan to get him the ball a variety of ways and anticipate him being a matchup problem for many teams. Danny will also be a big part of our defense and special teams. DJ emerged as a leader on our team last season and continued to evolve in this role this past winter, spring and summer. The offense goes through DJ. He is our decision-maker and facilitator. DJ has the arm strength to push the ball down the field and the wrist to attack the entire field. DJ also excels at LB both as a physical tackler in the box and effective defender in pass coverage. Kearney has the linear speed to take the top off of any coverage. This past spring and summer he has demonstrated the ability to play big downfield and make plays with the ball. John will be one of the best cover corners in Class A this fall and possibly all of Section One. Ryan has the ability to play all three linebacker positions. He is an effective tackler in the box and in space. Owen will also contribute on offense and special teams. Nate Mascoll possesses the ability to excel at multiple positions on offense, defense and special teams. The future is VERY bright for this young man and when I say the future I mean NOW. Nate will be a “Difference-Maker” this season in all three phases of the game. Scanlon is a highly intelligent student-athlete who will serve as the leader of our offensive line this season. Liam possesses the intelligence and athletic ability to play every position on our offensive line. We also expect Liam to contribute on our defensive line this season. Varley is a dynamic defensive lineman who has the strength to be a 2-gap defender versus the run game and the athleticism to rush the passer. Landon has had an excellent off-season training and very productive camp season (June & July) on both sides of the ball. We expect Landon to have a big year on both sides of the ball.
Outlook: Replacing the all-purpose play of record-setting Joey Koch (UAlbany) cannot be done by one man, so it will take an across-the-board effort to replace virtually 80% of the offensive attack. Coach D has a handful of skill players who can/should combine to put up similar numbers. Danny Koch ran for 111 yards and 2TDs in the Week 0 win over Goshen. Jack Clifford and Mascoll each scored a TD and DJ DeMatteo threw a TD. Ryan had two sacks, and Scanlon and Mascoll each had INTs. Expect a massive jump from Mascoll (an exciting prospect who also excels on the diamond), a solid connection between the QB and Kearney and a massive share of Danny Koch. If this athletic team stays healthy and it isn’t a Final 4 outfit in the end, it would probably seep to the level of a disappointing season.
Twitter/Social Media Acct: @MahopacFB
Coach: Pantelis Ypsilantis (4th Season as HC)
2022 Record & Playoff Result: 5-4 (did not qualify for postseason)
Top Returning Players: Thomas Costello WR/DB SR; Kaden Gonzalez, QB JR; Ryan Vogel, LB/WR SR; Justin Price, WR/DB SR; Ryan Cane TE/DL SR; Jake Wilson, OL/DL, SR; Adrian Haxhiaj, OL/DL, SR; Chris Constantine, RB/LB, SR; Jack Ferone, RB/DB, SR; Drew Weissman, RB/DB SR; Dylan DelVecchio, RB/LB SR; Conor Duncan, RB/LB, SR;
Ronan Forde, DE SR; Aiden Lajqi, OL/DL SR; Matt Cicinelli, OL/DL SR; Michael Desiderio, OL/DL So.
Key Adds/Newcomers: Tyler Galante, RB/DB, So.; Art Krasniqi, OL/DL So.; Dennis Mitchell, OL/DL Jr.
Top Offensive Threats: Gonzalez, Costello, Price, DelVecchio, Constantine, Weissman
Top O-Linemen: Wilson, Haxhiaj
Top Pass Rushers: Forde, Cane
Top Coverage Guy: Weissman, Price
League Favorite: Somers
Section Favorite: Somers
Comments: We are very excited for this team and hope to work to be competitive. We have a nice group of returning players and a few newcomers who I think will help add depth and competition to the team.
Outlook: The Cornhusker community is not comfortable with anything less than a team that sets forth to challenge for sectional supremacy, and the 2023 unit has more than enough athleticism to do so. Certainly, crosstown rival Somers is the team to beat and we will surely know more about Yorktown’s intentions to contend when the host Huskers challenge Mahopac in Week 2. Reckon we’ll know more about the WolfPac that day, too, but that is “Must-See” stuff. This Week 2 game could have major implications down the road.
Twitter/Social Media Acct.: @ytownhuskers
2022 Record & Playoff Result: 4-5 Lost in quarterfinals to Somers
Coach: Ed Mulvihill (13th season)
Top Returning Players: Derek Karlsson (captain) – SR OL/DE All Conference; Colin Lamoreaux (captain) SR LB/WB; Marco Accurso SR DL/OL; Kevin Fox (captain) SR QB/DB; Ryan Brace JR LB/TE; Nick Smith WR/DB; Matt Thompson SR WR/DB; Kevin Perez SR K; Mohammed Barrie LB/RB; Nick Howell SR DB/RB; Markian Syrko SR DB/WR; Chris DiBiccari SR TE/DB
Key Adds/Newcomers: Josh Walker JR LB/RB; Jack McKenney SO DE/OL; KJ Dillon SO QB; Luke Johnson JR DL/OL; Chase Prohazka SO DB/WR
League Favorite: Somers
Section Favorite: Somers
Goals: We have the same goals each year. Work hard to improve each week both individually and as a team. If we do that we will put ourselves into a position to win games.
Coach’s Comments: We lost a ton of offensive production to graduation. We will need to get our players up to speed quickly so they can produce on offense. I think we can be balanced on offense but our depth will be a concern. We have 29 players on the roster so we will need to rotate playing time to keep everyone fresh. Offensively, both Fox and Dillon have looked good under center and our RB’s, Barrie, Walker and Howell, all have speed and toughness. Matt Thompson is a 6’4″ WR with deceptive speed and Mark Syrko catches everything thrown to him. Up front, Kenny Mejia is the center with Accurso, Karlsson and Johnson joining him. Charlie Bloss, Colin Krebs and Jack McKenney are all battling for the final spot.
Defensively, Colin Lamoreaux anchors the defense from his middle LB position. Ryan Brace, Josh Walker and JP Mariella will be next to him. The backfield will feature quick athletic safeties with Chase Prohazka, Marco Parrello, and Jason Weller. The corners are Nick Smith, Nick Howell and JT Ercole. The beef up front will have Karlsson, Accurso and Johnson with Narno Martinez, McKenney and Krebs all in contention for the last spot. The kicking game will have Kevin Perez who shows good range on his kicks. Field Goals will be a scoring option with him.
Outlook: There is no quit in the Bears and the community gobbles up its gridiron goodness, but the schedule is loaded week to week with legitimate foes. However, if the Bears first play from scrimmage in a 25-22 loss at John Jay CR in Week 0, is any indication (a 75-yard TD agent from Barrie), the Bears have some notable star power and a monster back who can both push the pile and gain the edges behind Karlsson and big Luke Johnson, which should put them in position to be in the hunt for the playoffs come the final week of the season. But the second half proved that depth-challenged Brewster won’t get back to their championship heyday (1996-99) when the Bears won three titles in four years and appeared in two state finals, but they should settle for nothing less than a sectional final appearance.
Twitter/Social Media Acct: @BearsBrewster
Coach: Andrew Giuliano (3rd Season)
2022 Record & Playoff Result: 1-8 (did not qualify)
Top Returning Players: Brian Bailey, Sr., OL/DL; James Minotti, Sr., H/LB; Angel Mejia, Sr., OL/DL; Diego Lopez, Sr., OL/DL; Declan Connors, Jr., RB/S; John Czernyk, Jr., QB; Max Travis, Sr., Ath/DB; Logan Mammola, Jr., WR/DB
Key Adds/Newcomers: Will Rudolph, Jr., WR/S; Nate Getman, Jr., Slot/DB; Carlos Monroy, Sr.,OL/DL
Top Offensive Threats: Minotti, Connors, Rudolph, Travis
Top O-Linemen: Bailey, Mejia, Alex Nero
Top Pass Rushers: Bailey, Monroy
Top Coverage Guy: Connors
League Favorite: Can’t predict the future, we have a greatly talented league with great coaching.
Section Favorite: Anybody’s game.
Goals: Get Fox Lane back to relevancy in Section 1.
Coach’s Comments: We don’t expect people to think much of us coming off a 1-8 season, and we don’t really care. We know who we are. Nearly our entire team is back, and our coaching staff has been working endlessly to get us back to relevancy in Section 1. We know our team and who we are and who we can be. We did a lot of football this spring and summer, more than ever before, and it is showing in camp each day. Our league has great coaches and teams in it and we love how local our overall schedule is. Our schedule is sandwiched with crosstown rivals Greeley and JJCR, which is fun for everyone. We have great respect for all our opponents, but it is all about us. That is what we’re trying to focus on most. We are looking forward to grinding out the remainder of camp and entering the 2023 season with much more experience than last season turning some heads in the process. There is no room for error in our league and that’s what we like about playing in class A.
Outlook: With optimism running rampant, we would expect to see the Foxes posing as a much stiffer challenge in 2023. However, the league features five opponents with proven track records and there will be a serious grind to find enough W’s to qualify for playoffs.
Twitter/Social Media Acct: Twitter @FoxLaneFB IG @foxlane_football
GREELEY (2022, 7-2, Independent)
Coach: Joe Kearns 6th season
Top Returning Players & postseason accolades: Julian Asch (junior QB), Alex Edenbaum (Senior RB), Beckett Bloomgarden (senior OT/DT), Kyle McKenny (Senior slot), Chris Butler (Senior OT/DT), Jameson Blakeslee (Junior WR)
Key Adds/Newcomers: Tommy Woolard (Junior Center), Jason Kim (sophomore Slot)
Top Offensive Threats: McKenny, Asch
Top O-Linemen: Bloomgarden, Butler
Top Pass Rushers: Zach Cohen
Top Coverage Guy: Blakeslee
League Favorite: Harrison
Section Favorite: Somers
Goals: Compete each week (would love to fight our way into the playoffs)
Coach’s Comments: This team is a lot of fun to coach. They come ready to work every day. We know that our only chance to make the playoffs is to get off to a strong start.
Outlook: If its 32-20 Week 0 win over Ossining is any indication, Greeley plans to return to Section 1 action with a bang with juniors Blakeslee and Asch as the backbone of a legit rebuild. It’ll take some doing but the athleticism in Quakerville is steadily improving and the 2023 results should bear that out.
Twitter/Social Media Acct: @greeleyfootball twitter and instagram
League A: Brewster, Fox Lane, John Jay-Cross River, Mahopac, Somers, Yorktown
League B: Clarkstown North, Clarkstown South, Eastchester, Harrison, Horace Greeley, Pelham
The top four teams in each league qualify and will cross over in an eight-team playoff bracket.
Coach: Todd Cayea (180-82-1)
2022 Record & Playoff Result: 10-1, Section One AA Champion
Top Returning Players: Matt Risley LB/RB Sr.; Damien Santiago WR/SS Sr.; Jayden Robles OT/DT Sr.; Liam Forester OG/NG Sr.; Ryan Abel CB/WR Sr.; Tristian Werlau RB/LB Jr.; Jared Navidad K Sr.
Key Newcomers: Adam Boeheim C/DT Sr.; Hayden Fragiacomo OT/DT Sr.; Leo Venebles SS/RB Sr.; Christian Nunez QB Sr.; Tamba Kassoh DE/RB Jr.; Brian McGrory QB/CB Jr.; Dwane Hibbert DE/RB Jr.; Mark Musumeci DE/OG Sr.; Nico Melarczik LB/FB Sr.; Nolan Faudar R/TE Sr.; Aidan McCarthy OG/NG Sr.; Harrison Collazo OT/DT Sr.
Top Offensive Threats: Santiago, Abel, Weralu, Venebles
Top OL– Robles/Forester
Top Pass Rushers: Hibbert/Kassoh/Musumeci
Top Coverage Guy: Abel
League Favorite: JJEF
Section Favorite: Arlington
Goals: To have a fun, successful season. To play hard as we physically can, with class and leave a lasting Legacy.
Coach’s Comment: We are very excited for the upcoming football season. We have a good mix of returning players and first-year starters. We may experience some early season growing pains but if we can stay healthy, we can make another run in the playoffs. Have some good size up front but have some untested players in key positions. Our players must do a great job every week preparing for our opponent so we can come out each week and play with confidence. It is a one day at a time approach and stay focused on the process and not the outcome.
Outlook: The entire Carmel community has bought in to what Coach Cayea is selling and the buyers will be out in force as the Rams seek to go where no Carmel team has ever ventured: To challenge for a third straight Section 1 title game #DontBetAgainstThem. Visiting White Plains will be the first to put Camrel to the test Friday at 7 pm. That said, Arlington has risen, and the culture change at Freedom Plains will be evident.
League A: Arlington, Ketcham, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Scarsdale, Suffern, Yonkers Brave
League B: Carmel, John Jay-East Fishkill, Mamaroneck, North Rockland, Ossining, White Plains, Yonkers Force
The top four teams in each league qualify and will cross over in an eight-team playoff bracket.
Coach: Tony Becerra (20th Season, 130-55 career record)
2022 Record & Playoff Result: 12-1, Section 1 Class B Champions, NYS Regional Champions, NYS Finalists
Top Returning Players & Postseason Accolades: Daniel Picart, Sr., RB/WR/DB
All-League, All-Section, Section One Player of the Year, NYS Class B Player of the Year; Ryan Horigan, Sr., LB/FB All-League, All-Section, All-State, Class B Linebacker of the Year; Aidan Picart, Sr., QB All-League; Erik Coleman, Sr., WR/DB All-League; Michael Hundzynski, Sr. WR/DB All-League; Emmet McDermott, Sr. WR/DB All-League; Fitzy Byrne, Sr., OL/LB; Louis Sdao, Jr., FB/LB; Brian McPhee, Jr., TE/LB; Nick Reich, Jr., WR/DB; Shane Mueller, Jr., WR/DB
Key Adds/Newcomers: Ethan Berger, Sr., OL/LB; Philip Dundie, Sr., WR/DB; Daniel Fuccillo, Jr., OL/DL; Shane Horigan, Sr., WR/DB; David Hundzynski, So., RB/DB; Nick Natale, Jr., OL/DL; Jose Perez, Sr., OL/DL; John Preiser, Sr., QB/DB; Joe Sokich, Jr., RB/LB; Jack Sullivan, Jr. OL/DL; Nick Vecchiarello, Sr. WR/DB; Conor Verdon, Sr., OL/DL; Nicholas Wei, Jr., OL/DL
Top Offensive Threats: Daniel Picart, Aidan Picart, Coleman
Top O-Linemen: Byrne, Verdon
Top Pass Rushers: McPhee, Byrne, Horigan, Sdao
Top Coverage Guys: Hundzynski, Daniel Picart
League Favorite: Rye
Section Favorite: Rye
Goals: Manage expectations and rebuild an offensive/defensive line lost to graduation
Coach’s Comments: In high school football past performance does not guarantee future results. The landscape of our team has changed as has the landscape of Class B with the addition of several Class A schools (Rye, Sleepy Hollow, Lakeland and Nyack). As always, Class B should be competitive, but Rye seems to be in the driver’s seat given their performance in Class A last year and the number of returning players they have.
Outlook: Harrison’s Week 0 win over Rye has already seared some of the luster off the Garnets, leading the Panthers to believe that they, too, can take care of business against the mighty Garnets. Here’s the thing: No matter how good Rye ends up being, Daniel Picart is the difference maker when push comes to shove, and the finest player in Class B, perhaps Section 1, ensures that his club will be one of the last two standing. All bets are off after that. We’ll be booking a room in ‘Cuse just in case.
Twitter/Social Media: @Pville_football
Coach: Simon Berk, 3rd Season
2022 Record & Playoff Result: 9-2, lost to Pleasantville in section final
Top Returning Players: QB Jon Accurso; RB/DB/K Luke Weiler; OL/LB Jack Quinn
Key Adds/Newcomers: Tyler Marescot WR/DB junior; Dario Amicucci WR/ DB senior;
Issac Berfield RB/DB senior; Daniel Leff TE/LB junior
Top Offensive Threats: Accurso, Weiler, Marescot
Top O-Linemen: Quinn, Greg Postian senior
Top Pass Rushers: Jake Levy soph, Liam Porter soph, Evan Petta jr. Mike Nezaj jr.
Top Coverage Guy: Berfield
Goals: Continue to build our program stronger at all levels and be playing our best football in October/November.
Coach’s Comments: The Bobcats return many talented athletes on the perimeter and will lean on the senior leadership of Postian and Quinn to strengthen our offensive and defensive lines. Accurso will lead an offense with explosive weapons and we’re excited to get to work on Saturday vs. Briarcliff-Hamilton.
Outlook: Despite an abundance of recent success and an array of game-breaking skill players, the Class B runnerup Bobcats will find a much tougher road to the final in 2023 as either Rye or Pleasantville will likely pose as a semifinal matchup. Coach Berk’s boys should remain undaunted and set their sights on such a challenge. Accurso (221 yards passing, 1 TD, 1 TD rushing and Weiler (75 yards rushing, 53 yards receiving) were key in the Bobcats’ Week 0 28-0 win over Briarcliff Saturday #DoNotSleeponByram. And WR/RB Marescot (97 receiving yards, TD, 73 TD run) will run roughshod if you do.
Twitter/Social Media Acct: Twitter @ByramFB
Coach: Ryan Shilling, 2nd year
2022 Record & Playoff Result: 5-5 (No Playoffs)
Top Returning Players: Grady Leonard (Sr. QB); Sean Perry (Sr. WR/DB); Kyle Gallagher (Sr. WR/DB); Luca Sancimino (Sr. OL/DL); Anthony Farroni (Sr. OL/LB); Kyle Ronk (Soph. OL/DL); DJ Brody (Sr. LB/FB); Riley Sand (Sr. TE/DL); John “Bubba” Baumeister (TE/DL); Nick Jurado (RB/DB)
Key Adds/Newcomers: Robbie Policastro (RB/DB); Nick Alleva (FB/LB); Nick Ferrante (OL/DL)
Top Offensive Threats: Leonard (1550 16 TDs passing & 250 rushing 2 TDs last season);
Perry (50 receptions 500 yards, 5 TD in 11 games on varsity – 1 as a sophomore); Sand – 6’4 240 TE
Top O-Linemen: Sancimino, Farroni – both return for 3rd year on varsity
Top Pass Rushers: Ferrante, Baumeister
Top Coverage Guy: Gallagher (3 INT’s last season)
League Favorite: Rye, Pleasantville
Section Favorite: Rye, Pleasantville
Goals: As a program we want to take another step in the right direction. Our goal, like last year, is to make the playoffs and make a run. We fell short last season, but we did take a huge step in the right direction. We lost a lot of key players off of last year’s team, but we feel like we have the players to compete as long as we continue to compete on a daily basis and keep improving throughout the season.
Coach’s Comments: Although we are moving down to Class B, our league schedule is no easier than it was last season. It is going to be a huge challenge with perennial powers like Rye and Pleasantville both on the schedule. We also play Hen Hud, Sleepy Hollow, Ardsley, Nyack and Byram Hills who are all great programs in their own right. Ardsley and Byram Hills have been very successful in class B over the last few seasons. We are just trying to earn some respect and establish ourselves as a contender in Class B.
Outlook: Health has been an issue in recent seasons, along with other depth-type issues the Hornets hope to resolve as they drop down to Class B where they are far better suited to challenge for a Final 4 spot, which should be the goal. The Week 0 43-14 win over Panas showed that Leonard (8 for 11 203 yards passing, 3 TD passes, plus 5 rushes 49 yards TD, Perry (6 catches, 135 yards TD), Gallagher (3 catches, 53 yards, TD, 45 yard punt return TD) and Policastro (11 rushes, 130 yards, TD) give Shilling multiple options to do so.
Twitter/Social Media Acct: @CoachRShilling
2021 record & Playoff Result: (1-7), Lost to Pleasantville in Playoffs
Coach: Cole Coyle (1st season) 0-0 career record
Top Returning Players & postseason accolades (position, All-Section, Yr. etc.): Nico Basalyga RB/LB, Mason Dietz G/DL, Brandon Sumpter G/DL
Key Adds/Newcomers: Joe Abboud QB/S, Gino Wamack WR/S, Jeremy Heady WR/S
Top Offensive Threats: Abboud, Basalyga, Wamack , Heady
Top O-Linemen: Dietz, Sumpter
Top Pass Rushers: Heathan Volcy DE
Top Coverage Guy: Kyle Peske LB, Abboud S
League Favorite: No comment
Section Favorite: No comment
Goals: Make the Class B playoffs
Coach’s Comments: First year as a head coach and implementing a new offense is never easy. The kids have been outstanding. They are eager to learn and grow in the new offense. We are establishing a positive culture and embracing change. Playoffs are on our mind every single day. 17 teams in B and 8 make the playoffs. Every game counts!
Outlook: There’s been some turnover issues at the coaching position the last five years, but one irrelevant season should not discourage the Sailors from playing the kind of hard-nosed football the program is known for. With eight teams qualifying for playoffs, it would be a disappointing season if the Sailors were locked out.
Twitter/Social Media Acct: @henhudsailorsfb
2022 record & Playoff Result: 2-6 (did not make playoffs)
Coach: Ryan Elsasser (8th season) 15-42
Top Returning Players: WR/LB Caden Glenn – 2022 All League – junior was outstanding last season in his sophomore year. He has gotten bigger, faster and stronger in the offseason and we are looking to capitalize on his athleticism. This kid can do big things; HB Ricky Meister – 2022 All Section, senior created big plays for us from the backfield in his junior year. Keep an eye out for his burst of speed and ability to make defenders miss; OT/DT Alex Gecaj – 2022 All League, Defensive Lineman of the Year Class C – Alex has been a pillar in our line on both the offense and defensive side of the ball. After three years on varsity, this should be a stellar year for him;
OT/DT Dylan Tucker – Dylan came up to varsity last season during his sophomore year and blew the doors open for our line. He is a tough and strong player who has been crushing the off season. He came up and was dominant. We are excited to see what he can do with his second year on varsity; WR/DB Marcos Olivera – Marcos has been a staple for us on both sides of the ball since his sophomore year. He has been all over the field for us the last few years. I am excited to see what he can do as a senior now that he can focus on a specific position. He will be able to settle comfortably into both the offense and the defense. His height, speed, and commitment to the game will undoubtedly pay off this year; QB/DBThomas Cunningham – Cunningham was pivotal in starting the transition to our offense at Putnam Valley. He was a threat in the air as well as on the ground and really helped to push the offense forward in its early developments this past season.
Key Adds/Newcomers: Mateo Dobra – Mateo is a Junior coming up to varsity off of a stellar JV year. He is a tall QB with an arm that matches. If he can study and learn our system at the varsity level he will be able to put up some pretty good numbers this year.
Top Offensive Threats: Glenn, Meister, Cunningham
Top O-Linemen: Gecaj, Tucker
Top Pass Rushers: Glenn, Gecaj, Tucker
Top Coverage Guy: Meister, Olivera, Phillip Oden
Section Favorite: Rye
Goals: Our goal and our focus right now is to win week 1, September 1st, under the lights at Putnam Valley against Hastings. We are thinking week by week this year and are excited at the opportunity to open up the season at home.
Coach’s Comments: This will be an interesting year for us at Putnam Valley. We had been clawing our way out of a hole for the last few years and we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. We have a lot of talent in the key positions this year and this will allow us to be a little more complex and open the playbook up more on both sides of the ball. I am very happy to see a large group of the independent schools coming back into the section this year. I think that it is not only good for the teams in class B, but it is also great to see those programs starting to develop again. When they left the section, Class B became a relentless struggle for most of the teams that remained. Having them back on the schedule makes the class more well rounded and creates better competition for all. We have a lot of talented guys on our roster this season and it will be fun to see what excitement the newcomers can bring as well as what these returning players can accomplish. Along with the talent being added from the younger players, we have added a few new coaches this season as well. Joining the Varsity staff this year will be Coach Michael Dellabate and Coach Alex DiCioccio. Both of these guys bring a ton to the table and have already been impactful in the preseason.
Outlook: QB Dobra was 4/8 in the air for 91 yards in a 36-6 Week 0 win over Hastings. A beast-mode Meister (12 carries for 191 yards, 2 touchdowns) showed out and will be the focal point of every opposing defense in Class B this season. Glen (5 carries for 96 yards, 2 catches for 61 yards, 1 TD and 1 conversion) balled out and figures to take a lot of the heat off Meister with his vast skill set. Tucker (5 carries for 85 yards, 1 TD and 2 conversions) and my man ‘Slick Sal’ Calicchio (2 catches for 30 yards) were all big on the offensive side of the ball while Gecaj dominated on defense with 2 sacks for losses. If the Tigers can sustain this type of production, which will be very tough given the competition, there’s no reason to think they can’t be relevant again for the first time since 2019 when the 8th-seeded Tigers fell to No.1 Ardsley in the Tigers’ lone sectional title appearance #Shillingford-Listwan.
Twitter/Social Media Acct: @CoachElsasser
CLASS B Teams: Ardsley, Briarcliff, Byram Hills, Croton-Harmon, Edgemont, Hastings, Hen Hud, Irvington, Lakeland, Nanuet, Nyack, Pearl River, Pleasantville, Putnam Valley, Rye, Rye Neck, Sleepy Hollow
The top eight teams in Class B will make the postseason.
Head Coach: John Castellano (34th Season) 233-82-1
2021 record & Playoff Result:
Top Returning Players: Chris Kalle: All-League, All-Section, RB/DB, Senior; Michael Pagan: All-League, QB/DB, Senior; Nicholas Castellano: All-League, All-Section HM, WR/DB, Senior;
Stephen DiNapoli: All-League, RB/DB, Senior; James Miele: All-League, OL/DL, Junior;
Raphael Savino: OL/DL, Senior
Key Newcomers/Adds: James Maxwell: OL/DL, Senior; Joseph Scaplehorn: OL/DL, Senior; CJ Prosperino: TE/LB, Senior; Jake Zaino: RB/DB, Junior
Top Offensive Threats: Kalle; DiNapoli, Pagan, Castellano
Top O-Linemen: Miele, Scaplehorn
Top Pass Rushers: Darron Nelson, Savino
Top Cover Guy: DiNapoli
Goals: To defend our section title and advance through the state playoffs.
Coach’s Comments: We have an experienced group that has a tremendous work ethic and passion for the game. Good chemistry and have set lofty goals for this upcoming season.
Outlook: Kalle is among the most electric players in the section, let alone Class C, and the coaching staff has a distinct edge, so Westlake best find a way to the sectional finals, lest this season be crowned a mega disappointment.
Social Media: @WestlakeVFB
Class C Teams: Albertus Magnus, Blind Brook, Bronxville, Dobbs Ferry, Valhalla, Westlake, Woodlands
The top four teams in Class C will make the postseason.
Haldane Blue Devils
2022 record & Playoff Result: 6-3 Lost in Section 1 Class D Championship
Coach: Ryan McConville
Top Returning Players & postseason accolades: Sr. RB/DB Evan Giachinta (ALL-NYS); Sr. QB/DB Ryan Van Tassel (All-Conference); Sr. Dylan Rucker; Sr. Erik Stubblefield; Sr. Luca DiLello
Key Adds/Newcomers: Jr. Fallou Faye, So. Gabe Reyes, Jr. Nate Stickle
Top Offensive Threats: SR WR Mike Murray, Jr; Jake Thomas, SO. RB; Merrick Williams, Giachinta, Van Tassel
Top O-Linemen: SR Jack Hartman, Sr. Dylan Rucker
Top Pass Rushers: Giachinta, Stickle
Top Coverage Guy: Faye
League Favorite: Bronxville (C/D is one league)
Section Favorite: Tuckahoe
Goals: Compete during the regular season, and be in the best possible position to play our best vs. Tuckahoe in the sectional championship
Coach’s Comments: We have a great mix of players this year that will give us an opportunity to compete against the larger C teams in our league. We have a very tough schedule and must prepare each week with great effort and focus if we want to come out on top. Defensively, we are looking for guys like Erik Stubblefield to make a ton of tackles and Brody Corless to lead the secondary. On the flip side on offense, we feel there are guys who do a lot to make our offense go like Luca DiLello, Jesse Tippett with a real worksman attitude. Van Tassel enters his 3rd year as the starter and he has a very good command of the offense and knows what we are trying to accomplish with each play. Along the offense and defensive lines, contributions by Zach Harris and Anatoily Alhov will help us control the ground game.
Outlook: McConvile’s Blue Devils have enough playmakers to compete in Class C/D during the regular season, but none of that will matter if they can’t hold up against rival Tuckahoe when the Class D marbles are on the line. Expect yet another down-to-the wire tilt with the Tigers if the Blue Devils are going to represent at states for the first time since 2018 and third time since 2016. September 22nd should tell us all we need to know as the Blue Devils will host Tuckahoe.
Twitter/Social Media Acct: @HaldaneFootball
Coach: Demetrric Gardner, 2nd season
2022 Record & Playoff Result: 2-6
Top Returning Players: (Seniors) Xavier Jacobs QB; Armani Brown WR; Andre Gonzalez OL; Naseer Johnson DL; D’Perrion Cobblah LB; Amir Thames WR (Sophomore); Darius Smythe RB (Sophomore); Joseph Walker DB; (Junior) Mekai Calloway OL
Key Adds/Newcomers:(Junior) Isaiah Crawford S; (Senior); Lex Pacucuro OL (Senior); Jeremiah Anderson OT, (Sophomore); Julyen Jackson LB
Top Offensive Threats: Jacobs, Brown, Cobblah, Thames, Smythe
Top O-Linemen: Gonzalez
Top Pass Rushers: Johnson, Darnell Hinton, Antwoin Gutierrez
Top Coverage Guy: Brown
Goals: Compete for an Independent Conference Title
Coach’s Comments: Changing the culture is the top priority.
Twitter/Social Media Acct: devilsnation_fb
2022 record & Playoff Result: 8-2 HVFL Championship
Coach: Bill Castro (4th season) 9-16 career record
Top Returning Players: Travis Carlucci (Sr.) QB/SAF, HVFL Offensive MVP; Dan Leonard (SR) OLB, HVFL All-League
Key Adds/Newcomers: Kareem Lumpkins (Jr.)
Top Offensive Threats: Carlucci
Top O-Linemen: Anthony Desposati (Sr.)
Top Pass Rushers: Dan Leonard (Sr.)
Top Coverage Guy: Hoyt Kenny (Sr.)
IND. League Favorite: Spring Valley
Goals: Beat Lakeland and win the HVFL
Coach’s Comments: We look to build off a successful season last year in the HVFL and grow our program. We have seen an increase in numbers and will have 44 players on our varsity team. Keep an eye out for Travis Carlucci this year as he looks to cap off a stellar high school career. He has gotten bigger, faster and stronger since last season where he rushed for over 1,000 yards.
Twitter/Social Media Acct: Coach_Castro
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Ray has 33 years experience covering and photographing local sports in Westchester and Putnam counties, including everything from Little League/Travel Baseball to varsity high school prep sports and collegiate coverage. He has been a sports editor at Examiner Media since its inception in 2007.