Direct Rays

Newly-Minted Putnam Valley A.D. Webb Enthused for July Start

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By Ray Gallagher, Examiner Sports Editor @Directrays
Newly-minted Putnam Valley A.D. Rob Webb (R) hopes to hit the ground running in mid-July.

Folks within the Putnam Valley Central School District are hopeful that Rob Webb, the newly-minted director of physical education, athletics and health services, will stop the perpetual carousel of A.D.s within the Tiger athletic department since the legendary Bill Conroy retired 20 or so years ago.

Webb is the eighth different A.D. to follow Conroy, ninth if you include the double stints by the great Pete Kuczma. Obviously, stability has been an issue within the department, so something needs to change for the good of those within the Valley. Hence, the presence of Webb.

“I’m very enthusiastic to get started,” said Webb, who was recently announced as Section 1’s emerging athletic administrator. “I’m eager to meet the students, coaches and everyone in the community and help them achieve their goals. I’m honored to be the new A.D. in Putnam Valley. Putnam Valley is a tremendous community, and I can’t wait to be a part of it. I’m looking to continue to build on the success they have had across many of their athletic programs.”

Webb, who spent the last few years as the Yonkers Public Schools A.D., will replace former Put Valley A.D. David Kantrowitz, who spent a couple of years in Tigerland before accepting his new position at Westlake High School where he replaced Shawn Baumann, who left after one year in charge of Wildcat athletics, after a steady decade-plus tenure by Donna Pirro.

Now that you’re all caught up, we’ll remind folks that an athletic director’s job is, oftentimes, a thankless one. Nobody is saying they aren’t compensated well, but since nearly every student in high school athletics is going pro these days (tongue pressed firmly in cheek), each school’s athletic director is under constant pressure from helicopter parents, so much so that I present a new position for superintendents and school boards to ponder: Dean of Parents #LOL.

There used to be a time when parents let these busy athletic directors do their job, understanding that the greater good was always at the heart of the matter and they had bigger fish to fry. But something changed just before the turn of the century or thereabout. Nowadays, athletic directors are typically forced to meet with vicarious parents because little Johnny/Jenny isn’t getting what little Johnny/Jenny signed up for when their private coach/tutor assured them they were the best shortstop of the bunch, and that he/she has what it takes to play D-I.

Webb, who hails from Carmel and was a top-notch hurler at Kennedy Catholic in his heyday, is slated to begin at Put Valley on July 22 when he hopes to exceed the expectations of Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jeremy Luft, fellow administrators and board members, plus the parents and the vast array of students he places above all.

“Mr. Webb spoke about the importance of fostering a positive athletic environment that encourages student participation and entices and retains quality coaches,” Luft said. “Our interview committee was impressed by Mr. Webb’s knowledge of education, athletics and the close-knit Putnam Valley community.”

Webb feels blessed to be a part of it, and his cool, calm demeanor is just what the doctor ordered #IMO #BestofLuck…

NOTES/THOUGHTS: PV grad Max Martins and Hen Hud 2015 grad Anton Sterlini will be the newest additions to the Section 1 boys’ soccer coaching circuit, taking on leading roles for the Tigers and Sailors, respectively, this fall…

If jealous WNBA players can’t get aboard the Caitlin Clark train, they need to get off the track. Eyeballs are everything, and the Fever’s Clark, while not the only reason to watch, is a charismatic figure that benefits every aspect of a league that needs a shot in the arm to reach the pinnacle we all hoped it would. Hard screens, shots to the head and elbows are part of the game. My question is: Where the hell are her teammates when it comes to protecting their main asset? How come they don’t rush to her side after some of these “cheap shots” to provide cover for their star rookie? I get it, the rook needs to earn her stripes, but stop throwing shade on the new face of the WNBA. What a disgrace…

Level of concern for the Yankees is on the rise; not nearly the panic button-level yet, but on the rise for sure. After a near record-setting start, the Bronx Bombers have been exploited as a team with several holes they need to fill before the trade deadline. Defensive catcher – for sure – 3B, 1B, 2B and the bullpen could all stand some tweaking. We can’t expect just Soto and Judge to carry this club – which has lost 10 of the last 16 and seven of the last nine – past the surging Orioles and the rest of the American League challengers…

And the suddenly surging Mets are unexpectedly relevant again heading into this week’s Subway Series after producing 13 wins in the last 19 games, and that relevance is something I hope to take to LBI with me in early August because there’s nothing better than meaningful baseball on the beach while washing up on the Jersey shoreline of the mighty Atlantic. Speaking of washed up, we’ve got a pretty decent sample size that suggests former NL batting champ Jeff McNeil, much as I hate to say it, looks a bit washed the last couple years, going from a league-leading .326 BA in 2022 to a current rally-killing, sub-.215 #SadButTrue #Metallica.

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