News Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.
Carmel, Pleasantville, Somers Set to Defend Section Titles
By Ray Gallagher, Examiner Sports Editor @Directrays
Section 1 football was all the rave in 2021 as three Examiner-area teams – Class AA Carmel, Class A Somers and Class B Pleasantville – packed the buses for Syracuse to play in the NYSPHSAA championships at the Carrier Dome, and all three have similar aspirations as we head into the 2022 campaign. All three clubs return first team All-NYS starpower, including Carmel RB/DB Nick Rosaforte, Somers OL/DL Jake Polito and Pleasantville RB/DB Daniel Picart, so the fans of these communities are chomping at the bit, as are we at the Examiner.
“We are all locked in and wired at Somers, getting ready to make another run at it,” the Navy-bound Polito said. “Energy has been through the roof during camp and preseason, especially as a senior knowing it’s my last shot at this ring. I am ready to go and looking forward to this season.”
The Road to Mahopac – home of the Section 1 championships (Nov. 11-12) – is the first stop along the map to places like Middletown (regionals) and Syracuse, home of the NYSPHSAA finals.
And the mindset at Carmel is right on target. “The team and I are very excited for the season, but the section title and even states are far in the future,” the 6’4” 240-pound Boland said.. “Even though they are our ultimate goals, we are focusing more on the day-to-day operations. You know, the little things in practice and trying to get better every day.”
Similarly, Picart’s Panthers are ready to roll, and set to pay the necessary toll, and do whatever it takes. “I am looking forward to working hard with my brothers this year and finishing what we started last year,” Picart said.
Fantasy football, check! High school football, check! NCAA football, check! NFL football, check! You just can’t get enough football. Let’s hit the grid, shall we!
2021 record and result: 13-0, Sectional/Regional/NYS Champion
Coach: Todd Cayea, 29th overall (170-81-1)
Top Returning Players: Owen Boland Sr. OT/DE (All-Section); Nick Rosaforte Sr. RB/FS (All Section, Defensive Player of Game in NYS championship); Thomas Keating Sr. RB/SS; Matt Risley Jr. LB/RB; PJ McGrory Sr. TE/DE; Jake Storen Sr. CB/WR; Anthony Briante SR. C/DT
Key Returners/Newcomers: Ryan Abel Jr. CB/WR; Michael Andricosky Sr. OG/DT; Chris Macina Sr. OT/DT; Liam Forester Jr. OG/DT; Damien Santiago Jr. WR/R; Jayden Robles Jr. OT/DT; Tristian Werlau Soph. RB/LB; Jeremey Smith Jr. LB/FB; Matt Gay Sr. QB; Shaun George Sr. TE/R; Chris Nerys Sr. WR/CB; Troy Weber Sr. WR/DB; Brandon Carty Sr. WR/DB
League Favorite: Arlington
Section Favorite: Arlington
Goals: To make a deep run in the playoffs
Coach’s Comments: We have a great group of student-athletes. We have a core of players back from the state championship team and we are going to rely on their leadership and experience. Captains Boland, Briante and Rosaforte are all three-year starters. We also have some really talented juniors that have to step up and get adjusted to the physicality and speed of the game. That will take time but the potential is solid. As always, it starts on the defensive side of the ball. We have to create a mindset to run and tackle, create turnovers and play great team defense. Offensively, we have three solid capable running backs in Werlau, Keating and Rosaforte. Gay will take over at QB and has some big targets in Santiago and Storen. Slots are up for grabs with Carty, Nerys,Abel and Weber in the mix. The OL features a mix of experience and youth with some pretty good size. Kicking game is a work in progress. Still trying to sort through who will handle those chores.
Outlook: We’ll know after Week 1 if the Rams are up for an encore performance as they open up against perennial Section 1 powerhouse New Rochelle, which may or may not rebound from a down season (by New Ro’ standards) in 2021. The two powers that be will square off in Week 1, which should provide an indication of what to expect in 2022. Chances are pretty good the Rams have enough in the tank, despite massive losses to graduation, to remain among the Final 4 in AA. It won’t be nearly as easy as it was last year (the Rams won each game by at least 24 points), but there’s nothing telling us the Rams can’t repeat as Section 1 champs in 2022 with a grinding Rosaforte chugging at fullback behind ‘Big Bo’ Boland while Risley and Keating provide more of the off-tackle attack. We fully expect to see the Rams, who swarmed on defense last year, to be playing on Saturday, Nov. 12 at Mahopac with the Class AA crown on the line.
WHITE PLAINS TIGERS
2021 Record & Playoff Result: 5-4, lost first round playoffs
Coach: Michael Lindberg, 7th season
Top Returning Players: Isiah Graham, Sr. WR/DB; Jacob Le, Sr. WR/DB; Jacob Oglesbee, Sr. OL/DL
Key Newcomers: Trey Fee, Sr. OL/DL, Nick Sexton, So. RB/LB
League Favorite: New Rochelle
Section Favorite: Arlington
Goals: Very young team just want to get better every week, playing our best football in October.
Outlook: After two big wins in the 2021 regular season against Fox Lane and John Jay EF, the Tigers were bounced out of the playoffs by a strong Arlington club. The Tigers lost a lot to graduation and are building for the future in 2022.
Social Media: @wptigersfb
2021 Record & Playoff Result: 12-1 NYSPHSAA runner-up
Coach: Anthony DeMatteo (2nd season)
Top Returning Players: Luke Kennedy, Sr. RB/DB; Jake Polito, Sr. OL/DL; Ravi Dass Jr., (All-Section) Sr. RB/DB; Luke Savino, Sr. RB/K/P; Matt Fitzsimons, Sr. QB; Ryan Cole, Jr. TE/OL/DL; Nick Crecco, Anthony Carino, Sr. Ol/DL
Key Adds/Newcomers: Matt Klee, Jr. OL/DL; George Forbes, Sr. OL/DL; Stefan Swee, Sr. LB/FB; Mac Sullivan, Jr. QB; Tyler Ostrander, Sr. WR/DB; Miguel Inglesias, Nick Conti, Jr.; Peter Mcintyre, Luca Ploger, Mike Aqualino, Sr. DB/RB; Andrew Violante, Jr. DB/RB; Adian Coolican, SO. WR/DB
League Favorite: yes
Section Favorite: yes
Goals: Section 1 Championship and beyond
Coach’s Comments: We are very excited about the core group of guys we bring back as well as the young talent coming up that will be competing to play. A lot to be excited for in Tusker Nation.
Outlook: The proof is in the pudding. Somers is cream of the crop, the upper crust of Section 1 football. DeMatteo inherited a gold mine from his dad, legendary Coach Tony DeMatteo, and didn’t skip a beat in 2021. We suspect 2022 will be much the same, as the Tuskers simply reload and shoot for the moon once again with a battle-tested coaching staff and a core of solid returnees. They were one two-point conversion away from winning their second NYS title since 2016 last year, and while Somers has lost a ton of talent to graduation, they are being touted as the favorites to win its fifth sectional title since 2012 and sixth title overall (Covid-shortened 2020 N.West/Putnam Crown). This is a well-coached, well-oiled juggernaut, make no mistake, and we’ll be shocked if they’re not playing on Nov. 12 at Mahopac in the Class A finals.
Twitter/Social Media Acct: Twitter: @SomersFootball Instagram: @somersfootball_
2021 record & Playoff Result: 5-4 (did not qualify)
Coach: Pantelis Ypsilantis (3rd season)
Top Returning Players: Justin Meyreles QB/DB; Dion Brucaj OL/DL; Justin Price SE/DB;
Chris Constantine RB/DB; Cristian Di Canio OL/LB; Thomas Costello SE/DB; Jack Ferone RB/DB
Key Adds/Newcomers: Dylan DelVecchio RB/LB; Ryan Cane SE/DE; Ronan Forde OL/DL; Conor Duncan RB/LB; Adrian Haxhiaj OL/DL
League Favorite: Rye
Section Favorite: Somers
Goals: Just Grind!
Coach’s Comments: We need to continue to build our program and build off the success we have had the last two years despite a string of bad luck. We want to grind. We want to be difficult to play against and we want to make other teams and coaches uncomfortable. We want to continue to raise the level of play and those desired results come from hard work and dedication to our craft as players and coaches. We continue to strive for and chase excellence playing our brand of football.
Outlook: The QB, Meyreles, is a legit stud and the OT, Brucaj, is, when healthy, a legit D-I prospect with size and stature that translates to the next level. Remember the name Brucaj. He won’t sneak up on anyone, that’s for sure, but he does like pancakes. What remains to be seen, though, is whether or not the Huskers have the kind of depth that had them challenging for the state title back in 2017 in a 14-6 loss to West Seneca. It’s unlikely they have the dogs to run with Rye for a league title, but given the current landscape in Class A there’s no reason they can’t push for a Final 4 berth.
Twitter/Social Media Acct: @YtownHuskers
2021 Record & Playoff Result: 6-3, lost to Rye in OT of semis
Coach: Dominick A. DeMatteo (6th year at Mahopac)
Top Returning Players: Joey Koch (SR / Captain / RB / LB) 2021 All-Conference; Anthony Porco (SR / Captain / OL / DL); Liam Dodd (SR / Captain / OL / DL); Tommy Jacobellis (SR / Captain / OL / DL); John Kearney (JR / WR / DB)
Key Newcomers: William Brann (SR / OL / DL); Liam Scanlon (JR / OL / DL); Ryan Ahler (SR/ OL / DL); DJ DeMatteo (JR / QB / LB); Danny Koch (JR / QB / DB); Quentin Bally (JR / WR / DB); Joey Grassia (SR / WR / DB); Nolan Keenan (SR / WR / DB); Nate Mascoll (FR / WR / LB); Owen Ryan (JR / RB / LB)
League/Section Favorite: Somers
Goals: Attain the highest possible seed for the Section One Playoffs.
Coach’s Comments: Last year we finished the season ranked #6 in the LoHud Top 10 Poll, #3 in the LoHud Class A Poll. We also finished #25 in the NYS Sportswriters Association Poll for Class A – NYS. We won our first playoff game in eleven years and were undefeated at home (5-0). However, we also graduated 27 seniors, including 17 starters on offense, 11 starters on defense, as well as our kicker, punter and long snapper. This year we have a unique combination of core student-athletes in our senior and junior class that have bought into our program since day one as freshmen. They will serve as our leaders on and off the field this year. We also have a significant group of student-athletes that have returned to our program either from private schools and/or after taking a season off. Finally, we have four sophomores and one freshman who will all contribute in various roles with our varsity this year.
Outlook: The 2021 Indians pushed both state finalist Somers and state semifinalist Rye to the limit last year. HB Joey Koch is a strong, punishing runner, who doesn’t have quite the breakaway speed of a Ravi Davis at Somers, but does have workhorse potential, the ability to shed tackles and a nose for the goal. He is an All-Section-type, two-way stud and should produce double-digit TDs this season, which will keep the Indians in more games than not. That said, with so much turnover within the lineup, Mahopac could be third in the pecking order in League A behind perennial powers Somers and John Jay CR. The turnover includes the QB position where juniors D.J. DeMatteo and Danny Koch were awaiting word on who would get the initial starting nod as the Indians prepare for a Week Zero game against visiting Goshen (Sect. 9). Coach D can’t go wrong with either QB, but will find ways to utilize both irregardless. Can’t think of many (if any) freshmen off the top of my head to make the varsity squad at Mahopac, so I’ll be sure to keep eyes on Nate ‘The Great” Mascoll, a 5’11” 165-pounder who can do a little bit of everything and then some #Stud.
Twitter/Social Media Acct: @MahopacFB
2021 Record & Playoff Result: 5-4 (OT loss in quarterfinal to Pelham)
Coach: Ed Mulvihill (11th season)
Top Returning Players: Massimo Parrello – Sr. QB All-League; Luke Sanchez; Sr. WR/DB All-League; Joe Anfuso – Sr. LB/RB; Logan Simon – Sr OL/DL; Alex Rienzi – Sr. DB/WR; Derek Karlsson – Jr. DL/OL; Marco Accurso – Jr. DL/OL; AJ Pieragostini – Sr. DL/OL; Julius Walters – DB/WR; Kevin Perez – Jr. K
Key Adds/Newcomers: Colin LaMoreaux – Jr. LB/WR; Matt Thompson – Jr. DL/WR; Mohammed Barrie – Jr. LB/RB;
Kevin Fox – Jr DB/QB; Leo Thomas – Sr LB/WR; Nick Howell – Jr DB/WR; Ryan Brace – So LB/RB
League Favorite: Rye
Section Favorite: Somers
Goals: Make a deep playoff run
Coach’s Comments: With a lot of new faces in the fold, I believe it will take us some time to find our feet but we do have some talent throughout the roster and come playoff time we will be looking to make some noise. Depth is a concern as the younger players will need to “grow up” fast to help out and join the rotations for playing time Our offense will have a different look as we move from a three-year pocket passer to a 1st year mobile QB and a more run oriented scheme. It will take us some time to master the nuances of the offense but the team has been working hard during the summer workouts and the coaching staff is optimistic. Defensively, we should be more active with a faster, more athletic defense and some good strength up front.
Outlook: Brewster was inches away from a first-round playoff win last year, and if Parrello and Sanchez can make a connection that would open things up for the run game, which will be key to the Bears success. The league is formidable with Rye and Clarkstown South serving as perennial Section 1 powers, but when Brewster is Brewster the Bears, oftentimes, fill the den and provide the community with a great version of Friday Night Lights. It’ll be a different look this year with Parrello, who filled in admirably at times last year, under center, but the O-line looks solid with Simon, Morelli, Mejia, Cosentino, Peirogastini and Karlsson in the trenches.
2021 record & Playoff Result: (2-6)
Coach: Ryan Shilling (1st season as HC/ 6th season coaching at LHS)
Top Returning Players: Captain – Andrew Mendel, Sr. (DE, OL); Captain – Stephen Carroll, Sr. (LB, FB); Captain – Ian Wisker, Sr. (OL, DT) – started as a sophomore, injured last year; Robert Nugent, Sr. (LB/TE); Vincent Scaglione, Sr. (TB, S)
Key Adds/Newcomers: Captain – Michael Lendener, Sr. (RB, LB) – Injured last year – did not play; Captain – Anthony Jennings, Sr. (WR, FS) – Medically out last year – did not play; Sean Perry, Jr. (WR) – Last game call up – 100 yards, 1TD against Nyack; Grady Leonard (QB) – JV last year
League Favorite: Rye, Clarkstown South
Section Favorite: Somers
Goals: Our goal as a program is to make the playoffs and compete for a league title.
Coach’s Comments: Every week in Class A is a challenge. We open at our district rival, Walter Panas, who has one of the top players in the section playing quarterback. We then have a very tough seven-game league schedule. But, as a program, I believe we are excited to compete. We are ready for the challenge because of the work that we put in during the off-season. We don’t have a ton of varsity experience, but we do have a lot of players, and coaches, that have a lot to prove.
Outlook: Staying healthy has been an issue at Lakeland the last few years, but should they do so, the Hornets can take a positive step in Coach Shilling’s first year. Mendel is a monster on both sides of the ball and should provide the on-field leadership that could see the Hornets double their win production from a year ago: 3-4 or 4-3 and a playoff win should be the goal.
Twitter/Social Media Acct: Twitter: @LakehornetsFB & @CoachRShilling / Instagram: lakelandhornetsfb
FOX LANE FOXES
2021 Record & Playoff Result: Class AA 5-4, first round loss to Carmel
Coach: Andrew Giuliano (2nd season)
Top Returning Players: James Minotti, Jr. H/LB (All League), does everything right, works hard in everything; Brian Bailey, Jr. OL/DL (All League), he’ll be a force at DE; Roan Guyder, Sr. OL/DL, force on the line on both sides; Charlie Hoyt, Sr. FB/LB, showed some promise late in the season and vs. Carmel, expecting big things; Max Guyder, Sr. RB/S (All League), big play potential and good balance and vision in the backfield
Key Adds/Newcomers: Declan Connors, So. RB/S, fast, great lacrosse player, will play a big role; Max Travis, Jr. QB/DB, an athlete; Logan Mammola, So. WR/DB, 3-sport athlete, can be a game changer. Another big role guy. He’ll be all over the field, including many specials; Cameron Bahari, So. TE/LB, workhorse player, does everything you ask of him and more
League Favorite: Rye
Section Favorite: Somers
Goals: Playoffs. Winning season. Get our young kids playing confident. Coach’s Comments: We are a young team. Both age-wise and experience-wise. Despite our youth, we are more well rounded top to bottom then we have been, and more athletic. Our depth is strong and young guys are poised and ready for action. We have been making changes left and right to build a new culture and in my second year at the helm we are starting to see some of the off-season expectations showing in the program. We have made some huge additions to our staff that are going to immediately improve our team and gameplan tremendously. Overall the program is in a good state and we only plan to keep building to be relevant in Section 1 whether in A or AA.
Outlook: Class A is absolutely loaded and the Foxes have bounced around between Class A and AA the last handful of seasons, but they were tested by Carmel – the best team in NYS last season – and should be ready for the rigors of Class A this season. The Foxes might be a year or two away from serious contention, but they are on the come
Twitter/Social Media Acct:Twitter @FoxLaneFB; IG @foxlane_football
2021 Record, Playoff Result: 12-1, Section 1 champs, NYS regional champs, NYS finalists
Coach: Tony Becerra (19th season)
Top Returning Players: Daniel Picart, Jr, WR/DB (All-Section, Class B Player of the Year); Ryan Horigan, Jr, RB/LB (All-League); Cooper Kittsley, Sr, OL/DL (All-League); Owen Mooney, Sr, TE/OLB (All-League); Joe Reich, Sr, OL/DL (All-League); Joe Alesawy, Sr, OL/DL (All-League)
Key Adds/Newcomers: Erik Coleman, Jr, WR/DB; Thomas Cahill, Sr, C/DL; Michael Hundzynski, Jr, WR/DB; Emmet McDermott, Jr, WR/DB; Aidan Picart, Jr, QB/DB; Stepinac transfer Chad Saragganonda, Sr, OL/DL
League/Section Favorite: Hen Hud
Goals: Try to build the same team cohesion we had last year. Staying healthy and trying to find depth at key positions is always a goal.
Coach’s Comments: We have over 45 kids on our varsity roster, so we have quantity, we just need to find quality in those numbers. Since there’s just one league in Class B with eight teams it’s important we stay healthy and hit our stride come postseason. Class B is extremely competitive and anyone can come out on top.
Outlook: Daniel Picart was uncontainable as a sophomore, totaling 2,404 all-purpose yards while scoring 22 touchdowns and Horigan is a future beast. Like last year when the Panthers won seven games by 10 or fewer points, they should find themselves in several close contests this season where Picart will once again flourish, establishing a legacy on par with the very best in P’Ville history. Picart will be his brother’s top target behind a stout O-line, including Reich, Cahill, Kittsley, Mooney and Alesawy. Getting the No.1 seed will be pivotal for the postseason as nobody wants to draw Hen Hud, Byram or a Naunet in the semis, including the Panthers, who have an astounding 45 players on a Class B varsity roster, who we see winning the Panthers’ fifth sectional crown since 2013 and 11th since 1973.
Social Media: twitter @pville_football, IG @pvillefb
2021 Record & Playoff Result: 4-4 lost in first round to Byram Hills
Coach: John Catano 4th season (40th overall)
Top Returning Players: Chris Parks, Mason Dietz,Connor Harbolic, Ryan Clark
Key Adds/Newcomers: Demetris Wells, Doug Travis (Stepinac transfer), Mason Pignataro, Izzy Andrade, Nico Basalyga
League Favorite:Byram Hills
Section Favorite: Byram Hills
Goals: Our goal is to make the playoffs.
BYRAM HILLS BOBCATS
2021 record & Playoff Result: 5-4, lost in sectional semis to Nanuet
Coach: Simon Berk (2nd season)
Top Returning Players & postseason accolades (All-Section, etc.):
George Gjelaj – Sr. OL/DE, 6’5″ 235 (All-NYS); Gavin Javorsky – Sr. RB/DB, 5’11” 185 (All Conference); Sean Siegel – Sr. WR/LB 6’3″ 185 (All League); Jack Quinn – Jr. OL/LB 5’10 195 (All League)
Key Adds/Newcomers: Rick Rosenthal – Sr. OL/LB 5’9″ 190; Luke Weiler – Jr. RB/DB/K 5’9″ 170; Dylan Benz – Sr. TE/DE 6’0″ 195; Ben Lesher – Sr. TE/LB 6’0″ 195
League/Section Favorite: Pleasantville
Goals: Win the section.
Coach’s Comments: The 2021 season ended bitterly in the final moments of the semifinals. The Bobcats are coming into the season more experienced and hungry for success. We start with a challenging litmus test in Week 0 vs. Fox Lane and Class B is packed with highly competitive teams.
Outlook: The Bobcats are in it to win it, but the main obstacle is just south of them in Pleasantville. There’s good reason to believe that Byram Hills can be a forceful challenger, along with Hen Hud for a Final 4 berth and a good shot to reach the finals after falling in last year’s semis. With a year under his belt now, second-year Coach Berk is more familiar with his players and vice versa, as 11 starters in all return, including Gjelaj, the 2021 Class B Defensive Linemen of the Year.
Twitter/Social Media Acct: @ByramFB
2021 Record & Playoff Result: 6-4, eliminated by Dobbs Ferry in finals
Coach: Art Troilo Jr., 3rd year Valhalla
Top Returning Players: Sr. WR Basiaka Butcher; Sr. WR Devan Cooper
Outlook: Coach Troilo Jr.’s Vikings graduated four-year starting QB Michael Dawson, but he has to figure out a way to get the ball to wideouts Butcher and Cooper, who combined to score 27 touchdowns a year ago in one of Class C’s most explosive offenses. But everyone in Class C will have to figure out a way to stop Dobbs Ferry RB Brian Dann.
2021 Record & Playoff Result:
Coach: John Castellano, 7th season at Westlake
Top Returning Players: Sr. RB/OLB Christian Knapp; Jr. RB/DB Stephen DiNapoli; Soph. FB/DB Jake Zaino; Sr. RB/DB Christian Occhipinti; QB Michael Pagan, Jr.
Outlook: Before a down 2021 season, the program had grown to new heights under Coach C, winning a sectional title, reaching four sectional finals and getting to the semifinals twice in his first six years. After a down year in 2021 and a subpar defensive effort, Westlake returns a ton of varsity experience, which has plenty of experience and drops down to Class C where they are an immediate issue with four starters at offensive line and tight end return, and seven other defenders started last year. If rookie QB Pagan, can figure things out quickly, and the incoming transfers are what we think they are, Westlake could challenge Dobbs Ferry and/or Valhalla for a title berth.
2021 record & Playoff Result: 0-7 (no playoffs)
Coach: Ryan Elsasser
Top Returners: Alexander Gacaj OL/DL – Alex has been an anchor to both sides of the line for us since he was a freshman. Each year he continues to get better and better. It is amazing to watch him grow as an athlete. We are trusting him to control both sides of the line and be a big time playmaker for us; Hudson Sperrazza OL/LB – Hudson has also been an anchor for us since his freshman year. His athleticism can be seen through his ability to be a standout center as well as a quick athlete linebacker. His play in the middle of the defense will be an important part of our success this season; Marcos Olivera WR/DB – Marcos will be filling a big role for us out wide on the offensive side of the ball as well as controlling our defense over the top. He is a true student of the game who holds himself at a high standard. He has shown us a great deal of leadership qualities and should be a great role model for his teammates this year.
Key Newcomers: Thomas Cunningham QB – Cunningham has been an interesting story for Putnam Valley thus far. He started out as a varsity backup as a freshman due to there being no JV team. He learned a lot during that time and took that role on without complaint. As a sophomore, Cunningham was a hybrid type quarterback working with both the Varsity and JV. Once again he took this complex situation in stride; Ricky Mesiter HB – Ricky Meister was a standout running back for us at the junior varsity level. He has quick feet and can make a defender miss in traffic. Between his athleticism and his muscular build, we are excited to see him getting a significant amount of snaps this year. Between him and returning RBs Albert McDonald and Michael Leone we should have a solid rotation in the backfield; Caden Glenn SL/LB – Caden Glenn had a fantastic year as a freshman on JV. It was hard to keep him down and let him grow but boy did it pay off. He is a confident player with the physical stature to defend that confidence.
League Favorite: Being new to Class C I have only seen most of our league on film, but knowing the Westlake program I can see them battling for the league coming down to Class C with us. That will be a big game for us this year.
Section Favorite: Dobbs Ferry looks pretty crisp on film and seems to be the team to beat in Class C.
Goals: We are excited to be in Class C and competing against the teams in this class again. Our focus is week to week this year. We would like to finish the season above .500 and be competing in every game in the fourth quarter.
Coach’s Comments: Both myself and my coaches are excited for the group that we have this year. We have had many of these kids on varsity since their freshman year and have watched them grow and develop. This is the culmination of all of their work the last few years as a young team. We have some new athletes coming out for the team this year that have the potential to greatly impact our play. We have been able to fill some of the gaps that have been missing in the past few seasons. This is a great group of student athletes that appear to mesh very well together. In that, we will need to get this group caught up to speed as soon as we can and move as one unit by Week 1. There is a lot of talent in Class C and we plan to see a lot of competition every week. We will have a good look at what we can do during our Week 0 contest against a very good Pearl River.
Outlook: It’s been a few years since the Darnel Shillingford/John Listwan-led Tigers reached the Class B finals for the first time in program history, and it’ll be a struggle to get anywhere near that plateau again in 2022. Rumor has it the Tigers were more than competitive against Haldane and Croton in a recent three-way, so, perhaps, they can challenge for third place in the league, but even that will be a struggle, given what they are up against.
2021 record & Playoff Result: 6-4 Lost in Regional Final
Coach: Ryan McConville (9th Year)
Top Returning Players: Evan Giachinta, So. RB/LB (All-Conf.); Ryan Van Tassel So. QB (All-League); Thomas Tucker, Jr.; Jake Mason Jr. (All-League); Dylan Tucker, So. (All-League); Jack Hartman, So. (All-League)
Key Adds/Newcomers: Dylan Horan WR/DB, Brody Corless RB/FS, Anatoliy Aholv OL/DL, Jake Thomas WR/LB
League Favorite: Westlake
Section Favorite: Tuckahoe (reigning champs)
Goals: Compete and win a sectional championship.
Coach’s Comments: We graduated some core players and big time playmakers, but we feel we have some guys who are ready to step up and make their own name. Offensively, led by Van Tassel and Giachinta, we will look to the OL led by Jake Mason to create some running lanes and give Van Tassel some time to throw. The defensive line will be anchored by Dylan Rucker and Jack Hartman who had plenty of snaps as sophomores, looking to take big steps forward. The defensive backs have some guys who are ready to step in with Mike Murrary and Thomas Tucker looking to shut down opposing passing games.
Outlook: Giachinta and Van Tassel are a year better than they were in 2021 when they were quite impressive in the sectional title loss to Tuckahoe. The Blue Devils will be battle-tested in the end having gone against Westlake and Valhalla, but it’s all about beating Tuckahoe when it comes to reppin’ at states and the Tigers have had the Blue Devils’ number in recent seasons. Still, Haldane continues to produce a solid, competitive program, despite being one of the smallest schools in Section 1.
Twitter/Social Media Acct: @CoachMcConville
Hudson Valley Independent League
2021 7-1, league champs
Coach: Joe Kearns, 5th season
Top Returning Players: Kyle McKenny (RB) Owen Schoonmaker (OL/DL) Erik Forester (LB) CJ Hessert (Slot) Carter Meehan (WR/DB)
Key Adds/Newcomers: Julian Asch QB Jameson Blakeslee (WR) Chris Butler (OL) Beckett Bloomgarten (OL)
League Favorite: Spring Valley
Section Favorite: Somers
Goals: To win the League
Coach’s Comments: If we are the hardest working team in the league we can win it. That has to be our goal. Be the hammer, not the nail.
Twitter/Social Media Acct: @greeleyfootball
2021 record & Playoff Result: 1-8
Coach: Bill Castro (3rd season)
Top Returning Players & postseason accolades (All Section, etc.): Travis Carlucci (Jr) QB/DB (All-League), Paul Ronga (Sr) ATH/DB (All-League), TJ Surace (Sr) OL/DL, Cooper Schmidt (Sr) OL/LB, Chris Romano (Sr) OL/DL, Brandon DiGregorio WR/ DB
Key Adds/Newcomers: Randy Wiesner (JR) TE/LB (transfer back from Stepinac), Jed Chisolm (JR) WR/DB (Missed last season due to injury)
League Favorite: Horace Greeley
Goals: Win the HVFL
Coach’s Comments: I am very excited for this group. Although our Senior class is smaller with eight it is a very strong group. We had a productive summer and competed well in our 7v7s and team camps we attended. We have two game breakers in Travis Carlucci and Paul Ronga who are set to have huge years in all three phases of the game. The addition of former Coach Anthony Fata to our staff as offensive coordinator was a huge pick up for us and our players have loved working with him.
Outlook: In Carlucci, Panas might have the best QB in the independent league, and it’s entirely possible they don’t belong there, so expect a big season and a push for the Independence Day title and a return to Class A in the near future.
Twitter/Social Media Acct: Twitter: Coach_Castro; Instagram walter_panas_football
2021 record & Playoff Result: 0-5
Coach: Demetric Gardner (1st season)
Top Returning Players: Naseer Johnson, Zaiden Smith, Andre Gonzales, Amir Thames, D’Perrion Cobblah, Jaden Chavis, Xavier Jacobs
Key Adds/Newcomers: Lex Pacuruco, Daruis Smythe, Nathan Velez
Goals: Compete for League Title
Coach’s Comments: Compete in every game… on every play!
Twitter/Social Media Acct: Instagram Handle: devilsnation_fb
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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.