MSG Varsity Fall 2012 Magazine

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Find out more about high school sports from your very own high schools students and reporters within the NY,NJ,CT Tri-State area.



FALL 2012
John Haggart
Charlotte Gelfand
Friends Academy
Ousmane Camara
Bay Shore
Kristin Desmond
Anthony Passiatore
Ward Melville
The latest games, scores, highlights and
stories that matter most to you and your community.
CHANNELS 14 & 614
Brett Topel
Art Director
John Tomaselli
Senior Writers
Kevin Devaney Jr. (@MSGVarsityKDJ)
Brian Fitzsimmons (@FitzWriter)
Pat O’Keefe (@patokeefe_NYC)
Gregg Sarra (@MSGV_Sarra)
Contributing Writers
Lou Brogno, Dylan Butler, Isaac Cass,
Mike Gavin, Stephen Haynes, Gregg Lerner,
John Malone, Mike Quick, Jesse Quinlan,
John Quirk, Adam Ronis
Mike Stobe, Frank LoCascio,
Mark Spagnuolo, Bill Mueller
Copy Editor
Ian Bross
Carly Blake, Mike Casey, Bill McGlone,
Mark Robinson, Ellie Seifert, Brad Serton,
Seth Sylvan, Danielle Tocchet, Jefferson Wilson
Ad Design
James Grasso, Gregory Heim
Printing Spectrum
Cover Photo by Mike Stobe
General Manager
Theresa Chillianis
Senior Vice President & Executive Producer
Michael Lardner
Vice President-High School Partnerships
Jennifer Ostrager
Vice President-Digital Platforms
Jonathan McCarthy
Vice President-Marketing
Philip Summers
Vice President-Finance
Dara Romano
Vice President-Programming Operations
Sean Kennedy
To contact MSG Varsity, email us at:
[email protected]
Follow MSG Varsity on Twitter
Welcome to the the first MSG Varsity The Magazine for the new school year!
This edition is packed with everything you need to know about high school
football, soccer, field hockey and volleyball throughout the tri-state, as we
have broken down the teams and the players to watch for each of our regions.
You can also read about all of the great things MSG Varsity's student reporters
accomplished during the last school year. More than 300 schools contributed
16,000-plus pieces of content—including videos, photos and articles! We have
even higher goals for this school year, but we can't do it without you. Become
a part of the MSG Varsity School Media Program today!
Please enjoy this edition of MSG Varsity The Magazine and let us know what
you think! You can always email us any comments or questions you have at
[email protected]
Theresa Chillianis
General Manager, MSG Varsity
Photo: Brian Stanton
CHANNELS 14 & 614 t
Follow local high school dancers’
as they pUrsue a once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity to train alongside the
world-famous Rockettes.
Full episodes and exclusive video highlights
can be viewed on
Follow local high school dancers
as they pursue a once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity to train alongside the
world-famous Rockettes.
Full episodes and exclusive video highlights
can be viewed on

MSG Varsity breaks down the football scene in the tri-
state, including 10 players to watch within each region.

The Tough Choice
Tri-state area high school seniors are faced with the dif-
ficult decision of where to play Division I college football.

Student Reporters Cover Empire Challenge
MSG Varsity student reporters from four Long Island high
schools cover the all-star football game.

Players and teams to watch in both boys and girls soccer
throughout the tri-state.

Field Hockey
Players and teams to watch in field hockey throughout the

Girls Volleyball
The players to watch throughout the tri-state.

A Look Back
Enjoy photos from spring sports across the tri-state.

Fan Favorites
Find out what students want to eat while tailgating.
What's inside
Photos by
Mike Stobe
Mike Taranto
Friends Academy's
Charlotte Gelfand
Clarkstown South's
Kaitlyn Montera
Kristin Desmond
CHANNELS 14 & 614 ÷
Throughout the 2011-12 high school year,
MSG Varsity covered more than 1,400
games, broadcast 750 episodes of High
School SportsDesk, nearly 200 episodes of
The Challenge and dozens of other shows, such as
A Quick :60, The Talent Show and more!
However, among the things that MSG Varsity is
most proud of, are the more than 16,000 pieces of
content that were submitted by high school stu-
dents from throughtout the tri-state.
Student journalists uploaded more than 10,000
videos alone, which are all featured on MSG Varsity
Interactive, channel 614 and on
In addition, many of those videos were featured
on MSG Varsity’s new shows—The Student Direc-
tor’s Cut and High School Life—which exclusively
spotlight student-produced videos.
The most elite student-produced videos were hon-
ored in late spring when MSG Varsity announced
the winners of the 2012 V Awards. (For more on win-
ners, please see page 40).
And it’s not just videos. Student photographers
and aspiring journalists had their work featured on and many young writers had their
work featured in MSG Varsity The Magazine. Some of
that work is featured in this issue, on pages 24 and 36.
If you are interested in getting involved, please
see the MSG Varsity advisor in your school. For more
information, email us at [email protected]
By Brett Topel
Making their mark at MSGV
Students contribute 16,000+ pieces of content
This fall, MSG Varsity will have wall-to-wall football coverage of the entire
tri-state area! Friday Night Football and Gametime will be your destina-
tions for all of the action, while High School SportsDesk and A Quick :60 will
give you highlights and analysis of everything you need to know when it
comes to gridiron action in the region. In addition, all of the action will be
recapped during our Sports Talk web broadcasts on
In 2012, MSG Varsity will broadcast more than 100 football games dur-
ing the regular season alone, not to mention all of the playoff coverage.
You can also watch encore performances of the Tri-State Quarterback
Showdown, as well as MSG Varsity’s new documentary, New Jersey’s
Last Patriot, which follows Wayne Hills quarterback and top recruit Kevin
Olsen throughout his senior season.
Student reporters from Syosset High School on Long Island interview
MSG Varsity’s Mike Quick at the 2012 Empire Challenge.
Don’t have the MSGV app yet? Now’s the
time! New for 2012-13, you can watch all
MSG Varsity Livecast games streaming on
your iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire or Android-
powered device. That’s 400 games this
season and 400 chances to see the best tri-
state high school athletes right in the palm
of your hands. You can also get tri-state
football updates, videos and highlights in
our new Football Files section. Don’t miss
a minute of the action—download the
MSG Varsity app today!
Photo by Frank LoCascio






10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24






For complete Long Island football coverage, including updated team and player rankings, log on to!
NaĬau and
Suğolk Squads
Hit the Gridiron
By Gregg Sarra
William Floyd is the top seed in Suffolk Division I and the de-
fending Long Island Class I champions. Loaded on both sides
of the ball, fullback Mark Coles and linebacker Miguel Brennan
are as good as they come. … Sayville, the Long Island Class III
champion, doesn' t skip a beat with a stronger group of skill po-
sitions than all opponents. Watch for wide receivers Matt Starr
and Jim Giattino to have big years. … The return of Trent Cros-
san is the key to the success of a talented Sachem North team,
that has won 30 games in the last three years. Tyler Andreassi
is one of Long Island’s very best linebackers. … Newfield, the
defending LI Class II champions, graduated the majority of a
shut-down defense. The Wolverines will need to find the piec-
es to reload a game-changing defense. … At Sachem East, it
starts and ends with the workhorse Steven Casali. He's a top
five player hands down on Long Island. … Bay Shore shocked
Floyd last season in harsh weather. They are the real deal in
Suffolk Division I and boast D-I prospect Ousmane Camara. …
Highly-regarded quarterback Ryan Bitzer, a three-year starter,
leads a young Riverhead squad as the top seed in Suffolk Divi-
sion II. … The spread, the speed, the athletes and the unpre-
dictable play-calling of Kyle Madden makes Half Hollow Hills
West a threat to win D-II. … Miller Place has a ton of experi-
ence on defense. A skills-by-committee approach will help the
Panthers battle for the crown. … John Glenn, the defending
LI Class IV champions, graduated almost every starter but the
winning tradition and the team speed will keep it in the mix
for the title.

A big line and a fullback in Billy Andrle that crushed the op-
position will make East Meadow the team to beat in Nassau
Conference I. … Record-breaking quarterback Joe Capobianco
and wide receiver Eddie Robinson are Long Island's top pass-
ing connection. That means that Lawrence should find the end
zone often with a lineup that includes brothers Tyler and Jordan
Fredericks. … The defending Nassau Conference II champions,
Garden City graduated a ton of talent, but coach Tom Flatley
will reload with a bevy of talented underclassmen. … Baldwin
is the No. 3-seed in Nassau Conference I and halfback JoVaugn
Tomlinson is one of the best around. … Wantagh brings back
very successful head coach Keith Sachs after a year away from
the program, and the Warriors are seeded second in Nassau
Conference II. … Oceanside and wide receiver Anthony Pintibo-
na are widely considered a threat to win the Nassau Conference
I crown. The transfer of Vasilli Grigorakos is a big boost to the
defense. … Plainedge is a solid No. 2 seed in Nassau Conference
III and one of the top teams in a very competitive conference.
… Roosevelt is the defending Nassau Conference IV champions
and graduated all of the skill positions. … Traditionally a playoff
power, Bethpage is coming off an outstanding season in which
they upset the Nassau Conference III champion. … Freeport
lost a heartbreaker in the Nassau Conference I final, 34-33, to
East Meadow—but is always in the championship mix.

St. Anthony's earned the school's 10th CHSFL title in the past
11 years in 2011. The infusion of youth in the skill positions, and
added muscle on the lines, will make it tough to dethrone the
Friars. … A fantastic 2011 leads to renewed optimism at Chami-
nade where the Flyers feel they can compete for the CHSFL AAA
title. … Holy Trinity will pass, pass, and pass some more with
Division I quarterback Chris Laviano, who is headed to Rutgers.
… Kellenberg was a scoring machine in 2011, but heavy gradu-
ation will make it tough to duplicate those numbers. … St. John
the Baptist reached the semifinals of the CHSFL AA playoffs in
2011 and will battle for that title this season behind quarterback
Greg Egan.
Bay Shore’s Ousmane Camara Photo by Mike Stobe
2012 Tri-State Football Preview
Ousmane Camara OT/LB Bay Shore Senior
Camara emerged as a major defender with 99 tackles, including 14 for a loss. At 6-foot-3, 268-pounds, he is being pursued
by big-time D-I schools.
For scores, highlights and more, check out the MSG Varsity app!
Joe Capobianco QB/LB Lawrence Junior
Capobianco is a dynamic passer, who shattered the LIC mark with 541 yards passing and seven touchdowns. He totaled
more than 2,600 yards passing as a sophomore.
Giancarlo Carvalho OT/DT East Meadow Senior
Carvalho is a dominant all-county two-way lineman at 6-foot-2,
Steven Casali RB/LB Sachem East Senior
Casali had 1,448 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns, along with 80 tack-
les and three interceptions. He's committed to UMass after a spectacu-
lar junior season.
Vasilli Grigorakos RB/LB Oceanside Senior
A transfer from Massapequa, Grigorakos brings 910 yards rushing and
seven touchdowns. He also had 73 tackles and three sacks.
John Haggart RB/LB Sayville Senior
Haggart rushed for 1,285 yards and 14 touchdowns in an LIC champion-
ship season. Also a leading edge rusher, Haggart had 14 sacks.
Chris Laviano QB Holy Trinity Senior
Laviano has amassed 4,360 career-passing yards, including 1,713 as a
junior. He's committed to Rutgers.
James Manginelli OT/DT Newfield Senior
Manginelli is a big road grader that paved the way for the Wolverines to win the LIC Class II title. The athletic two-way
lineman with quick feet and powerful upper body at 6-foot-4, 255 pounds.
A.J. Otranto QB/LB Floyd Senior
A dual threat on offense, Otranto threw for two touchdowns in a LIC win. In addition, he is an extremely big hitter on
Zach Sirico QB/DB Sayville Senior
Sirico rushed for 1,043 yards and 15 touchdowns, including a six-touchdown performance in the LIC Class III title win
over Lawrence, 78-61. He will move to quarterback and fill the cleats of record-breaking quarterback Steven Ferreira.
Sayville's John Haggart
Photo by Mike Stobe
Compiled by Gregg Sarra
For complete New Jersey football coverage, including updated team and player rankings, log on to!
Elite QBs Lead
the Way in NJ
By Mike Kinney
There are plenty of new faces gracing Don Bosco’s roster, but
the state's most dominant program—riding a 46-game winning
streak—is still the king until someone proves otherwise. …
Bergen Catholic looks primed to go offensively with veteran
QB Jon Germano, receivers J.J. Kulcsar and Kyle Queiro and
speedy RB James Dawson. … St. Joseph has ever-reliable Ricky
Jeune as a top target and can look to Jeff Farina and Sherman
Alston to bolster the ground attack. … Miami-bound QB Kevin
Olsen will look to steer Wayne Hills to a third straight sectional
crown with the help of running backs Cristian Rodriguez and
Robby Schiller and WR Erik Moskel. … Delbarton returns with
a strong ground attack, led by Jamie White, Rob Avancio and
guards Niyi Odewade and Casey Moran. … Paramus Catholic’s
steady building process was significantly enhanced by the
spring transfer of former Don Bosco standout Jabrill Peppers,
a sterling two-way back. … Montclair’s Nate Crutchfield is a
highly capable leader with a good arm and head. Greg DeFranco,
Sam Zeff and Brandon Taylor head an experienced line for his
protection. … St. Peter's Prep senior Mike Rabasca has enough
experience at QB to know that sure-handed Charlie Callinan
is a preferred target when he looks downfield. … Phillipsburg
lineman Jarrett Williams, LBs Dajuan Lee and Marcus Williams
and safety Alex Martin are among the Stateliners' seven return-
ing defensive starters. … Pascack Valley quarterback Kyle
Schneider passed for almost 1,300 yards last year to lead the
Indians to a 9-2 mark.

Versatile senior Nadir Barnwell returns for a fourth season at
QB for Piscataway and has guided the Chiefs to sectional
crowns in the last two. … Multi-threat QB P.J. Walker sparks
an explosive Elizabeth offense that also features RB Jahad
Thomas and WRs Kyle Ward and Kason Campbell. … Immacu-
lata senior QB Antonio Natale passed for almost 1,000 yards
last year and also showed a capacity to run with frequent suc-
cess. … Sayreville’s Isaiah Cureton and Mike Carey, along
with the promise of sophomore RB Miles Hartfield, should
keep the Bombers clicking. … Union standout guard Darius
Stapleton and tackle Kristin Lewis will steer the way for junior
RB Jamauri Bogan, who typically doesn' t need much help. …
Hunterdon Central may embrace more of a ground game, but
should flourish all the same. … All-around Summit standout
Mike Badgley is back to propel the Hilltoppers as a runner, re-
ceiver and return man. … South Brunswick has youth in the
backfield with sophomores Amir Johnson at QB and Dontae
Strickland at RB, but Alex Berkuta and Rashaan Baker anchor a
line that expects to provide solid leadership. … Dual-threat QB
Reggie Green accounted for 2,200 combined yards and 24 TDs
last year for 10-1 Cranford. … Montgomery is led by young QB,
Chris Chugunov as well as Ryan Boyle, a 1,000-yard rusher.

Red Bank Catholic presents an impressive defensive line with
Josh Klecko (one of the area's top overall players), Ron Robin-
son and Richie Curran all back from a 10-1 season last year. …
Manalapan’s Mike Isabella is back at QB after a strong junior
year and Tyler Leonetti is eager to assume more of the running
responsibilities. … Southern senior QB Dan Higgins is back,
along with two receivers—Mike Gesicki and Kevin Barreau—
who played key roles in last season's 8-2 finish. … Matawan
returns with an experienced and still-improving QB, junior
Kashaun Barnes, and several hard-nosed defensive veterans. …
Middletown South returns behind the running of Jake Ripnick
and the blocking of Keith Wylie and Taylor Hendrickson. …
West Windsor-Plainsboro South’s Brian Schoenauer carried
for 1,044 yards last season. … Myles Martin leads Neptune’s
running game, while Geoff Fairbanks once again doubles as a
standout at WR and DB. … Rumson-Fair Haven has talented
QB Danny Roberto back from last year's 10-2 season. … Stein-
ert’s Eddie Ashley and Jeff Mattonelli return to the defensive
secondary following all-conference junior seasons in 2011. …
Allentown quarterback Nick Palladino, RB Norman Williams
and kicker Markus Collins are among several returning offen-
sive standouts.
Bergen Catholic’s Jon Germano Photo by Mike Stobe
2012 Tri-State Football Preview
Nadir Barnwell QB/CB Piscataway Senior
Barnwell was fabulous on both sides of the ball last fall to help the Chiefs
win the North 2 Group 4 title as an eighth seed. Piscataway is a legitimate
contender to repeat as champions.
For scores, highlights and more, check out the MSG Varsity app!
Jamauri Bogan RB Union Junior
The reigning Gatorade Player of the Year finished his sophomore season with
2,260 yards on 258 attempts and 27 touchdowns to guide the Farmers to a
7-3 record.
Tashawn Bower DE Immaculata Senior
The 6-foot-5, 240-pound Auburn commit is expected to begin solidifying his
reputation as one of New Jersey's most talented defenders, as well as propel-
ling the Spartans deep into the playoffs.
Jon Germano QB Bergen Catholic Senior
The winner of MSG Varsity’s Tri-State QB Showdown surprised everyone and
transformed into a statistic machine in his first year as a signal-caller, finish-
ing 2011 with 2,359 passing yards, 31 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions.
Ricky Jeune WR St. Joseph Regional Senior
Arguably the top wide receiver in the tri-state, the Green Knights’ big-time recruit recorded 805 yards and 12 touch-
downs through the air.
Brendan Mahon OG Randolph Senior
The 6-foot-5, 300-pound lineman passed up offers from UCLA, Florida, West Virginia, Boston College and many others to
sign with Penn State.
Alquadin Muhammad DE Don Bosco Prep Senior
The big question entering the new season is, does Don Bosco Prep have enough firepower to make it seven straight Non-
Public Group 4 titles? Anything is possible with Muhammad, a high Division I recruit, leading the way on defense.
Jabrill Peppers RB/S Paramus Catholic Junior
The Paladins’ most important incoming transfer, Peppers rushed for almost 1,000 yards, scored 24 TDs and was brilliant
all season as an All-American cornerback to help Don Bosco Prep win the national championship. He certainly is poised
to bring PC to the next level.
Kevin Olsen QB Wayne Hills Senior
Regarded as one of the top football recruits in the nation, the Miami commit notched 1,686 passing yards and 20 touch-
downs in 2011, helping the Patriots capture a second straight North 1 Group 3 championship.
P.J. Walker QB Elizabeth Senior
Walker, who committed to Temple in the offseason, threw for 2,168 yards and 18 touchdowns for the Minutemen as a
junior. Look for an even bigger spike in production this fall.
Wayne Hills’ Kevin Olsen
Photo by MSG Varsity
Compiled by Brian Fitzsimmons
For complete Westchester/Hudson Valley football coverage, including updated team and player rankings, log on to!
Plenty of Talent
to Go Around
By Kevin Devaney Jr.
North Rockland, the defending Section 1 Class AA champi-
ons, lost its season opener last fall and then rolled the rest of
the way. Expect this squad to fly out of the gates as it eyes a
repeat title. … There may not be a faster, more fierce defense in
the section than New Rochelle, and the roster is loaded with
skill-position talent on offense. … From top to bottom, this
may be the most talented Harrison team in almost a decade.
Quarterback Vinnie Nicita and lineman Charlie Credendino are
four-year starters. … John Jay-Cross River has a strong core
of returners, led by Tyler Keech and Jack Lambert, who’ll split
time at quarterback and wide receiver. … No team graduated
more than Poughkeepsie, reigning Class A champs, which
lost 17 starters. But the Pioneers have plenty of talent coming
up. … Arlington should be in the hunt again in Class AA this
season despite heavy roster turnover. … This should be a major
turnaround season for Ketcham, which had a lot of young talent
last season. … Opposing teams are going to have a tough time
matching up with the physicality and toughness of Somers,
which is big up front on the offensive and defensive lines
and have a special trio of running backs. …There’s been much
talk about the other programs in Dutchess, but don’t count
John Jay-East Fishkill out. ... Despite being a Class B team,
Lourdes has the size and strength to line up and play any team
in the section.

Expectations are far higher for Newburgh Free Academy enter-
ing this season after ending Monroe’s seven-year reign in Class
AA. This year’s team is blessed with speed and depth, but has
plenty of holes to fill on the line. … Monroe-Woodbury’s win-
ning streak in Section 9 may be over, but the dynasty might
not be. The Crusaders, under new head coach Bernie Con-
nolly, have depth at the skill positions and talented linemen in
Nick Dillon and Rob Kelly. … Cornwall, the defending Class
A champions—boast Section 9’s top passer in Mike White, a
third-year starter who threw for 2,114 yards and 23 scores last
season. Connor Staudle, a two-way lineman, may end up being
a Division I recruit. … At Warwick, it’s going to be difficult
to replace quarterback John Garcia. However, his younger
brother, Brad, is a serious downfield threat after recording 918
yards receiving and nine touchdowns last season. … Wallkill
has four linemen returning, led by tackle Andrew Connors, and
one of the region’s top running backs in Josh Villafane. … Class
AA power Kingston graduated the bulk of last year’s playoff team
but will again be in the mix in a wide open conference. Standout
linebacker Wally Stephens leads a defense that should be near
the top in the section. … This could be FDR-Hyde Park’s year to
take the next step under third-year coach Brian Bellino. FDR has
the offensive and defensive line to compete with any team in the
conference. … Marlboro, the reigning Class B champions, have
the program pointed in the right direction under third-year coach
Rich Ward. Marlboro has a star at linebacker in Michael Tam-
burri, and a talented backfield with Ryan Cary and Devin Pierre.
… Washingtonville always seems to be in contention, but can
never quite get over the hump against the bigger schools in
Class AA. This fall it has a dangerous athlete in Matt Poveromo,
who had 759 yards receiving and nine touchdowns last fall. …
Spackenkill has legitimate aspirations to get back to the Class
B title game and win it this fall. Josh Riley, a bruising tight end/
linebacker, will have to play a big role in that, as will fullback/
linebacker Nick Celestino.

Iona Prep is led by elite defensive back Chris Cooper, the most
electric athlete in the Hudson Valley, who will also double as a
top receiver and running back Shaquille Townsend.
Iona Prep’s Shaquille Towsend Photo by Mike Stobe
2012 Tri-State Football Preview
Chris Cooper DB/WR Iona Prep Senior
Cooper is a legitimate Division I prospect at defensive back, and opposing teams in the CHSFL have stopped throwing in
his direction. But look for him to make his mark as a receiver, with three touchdown receptions last fall.
For scores, highlights and more, check out the MSG Varsity app!
Joe Letizia RB/LB Tappan Zee Senior
A fourth-year varsity starter, Letizia is a dynamic two-way player. He rushed for 1,159 yards and 19 touchdowns last
season and had 192 yards receiving and two scores. He’s also a punishing hitter on defense with a knack for making the
big play.
Charlie Credendino DL/OL Harrison Senior
The Fordham University-bound two-way lineman is an exceptional run-blocker
in Harrison’s triple-option scheme. Credendino, a fourth-year starter, is poised
for a monster season.
Shaquille Townsend RB Iona Prep Senior
As a junior last fall, Townsend had a breakout year and got better as the sea-
son progressed. He rushed for 1,032 yards and nine touchdowns, averaging
5.8 yards per carry.
Khalil Edney QB New Rochelle Senior
In his second season as starter, Edney is primed to lead the Huguenots back
into the state tournament. He’s developed as a passer and runner, and has
plenty of weapons in the New Rochelle offense.
Kevin Duke QB Ketcham Senior
A starter since his freshman year, Duke is candidate for a major breakout in
2012. Last season, Duke passed for 1,148 yards and 10 touchdowns in just nine
games, highlighted by a 245-yard, two-touchdown effort against Scarsdale.
Josh Villafane RB Wallkill Senior
The Panthers offense will center this fall around Villafane, an explosive run-
ner. Villafane ran for 1,096 yards and nine touchdowns for Wallkill last year,
helping reach the Section 9 Class A final.
Daniel Hoffer QB Stepinac Senior
No player had a better offseason in the Hudson Valley than Hoffer, who lit up the summer circuit with strong showings
at a dozen 7-on-7’s and quarterback combines. He should surpass last year’s totals of 1,282 passing yards and 11 touch-
Tommy Hopkins OL/DL Westlake Senior
The most high-profile recruit in Section 1, Hopkins has already committed to play at the University of Connecticut. He’s
worked hard in the offseason and improved his quickness and strength and will be a brutal matchup for opposing line-
Jack Lambert WR John Jay-Cross River Senior
As last season went on, Lambert just got better and better, splitting time between quarterback and receiver. He has
arguably the best hands in Section 1, guiding John Jay to the Section 1 Class A title game where he recorded 145 total
yards and a touchdown.
New Rochelle’s
Khalil Edney
Photo by Isaac Cass
For complete Connecticut football coverage, including updated team and player rankings, log on to!
Breaking Down CT FĨtbaĥ
By Jesse Quinlan
Staples, the reigning FCIAC champs, are loaded on both sides
of the ball as they attempt to return to Rentschler Field. They
are led by Nick Kelly and James Frusciante. … Greenwich
would love to host rival Staples for the FCIAC title after last
year's Thanksgiving thriller. … Darien is coming off back-to-
back two-loss seasons, and should have enough firepower to be
in the postseason mix. … New Canaan’s Lou Marinelli and his
staff always get the most out of their players. This year, the pro-
gram is aiming for its seventh straight trip to the state finals.
… With Connor Rowe and Sam Gravitte leading the Ridgefield
offense, the Tigers should be in position for another Class LL
playoff berth. … Like many teams, Stamford was hit hard by
graduation. But this should be one of the program's fastest
squads in years. … After a storybook run to the state semifi-
nals in 2011, let's see if Sean Ireland can work some magic with
almost an entire new starting lineup for Norwalk. … Wilton is
looking to build off last year's strong finish to the regular sea-
son. … After three straight 5-5 seasons, Fairfield-Warde looks
to finally eclipse the .500 mark. … St. Joseph won back-to-back
state titles in 2009-10, then took their lumps last season. A more
experienced squad could make some noise in 2012.

Now that Casey Cochran has moved on to UConn, maybe this is
the year Bryan Castelot and Bunnell can bring home the SWC
crown. … It should be another big year for UConn-bound Noel
Thomas and St. Luke's, a team that finished 6-1 and averaged
close to 37 points per game. … Weston went 7-3 last season,
and should be heard from once again led by Tyler Hassett. …
Torrington should still be near the top of the NVL standings.
… Big-play senior John Shannon returns to a Bullard Havens
team that went 7-3 a year ago. … Fairfield Prep is looking to
build off of last year's 5-5 finish. … Division I all-SCC selection
Dennis Flanagan is back to anchor Amity’s lines. … Water-
town is hoping to find itself back on the other side of .500 after
a 4-6 finish. … Joel Barlow returns its top three rushers, includ-
ing junior quarterback Jack Shaban, who had 1,092 yards and
nine touchdowns on the ground. … The good news for Foran is
that the school does not have to play mighty Xavier this season.
Staples’ Noel Thomas
Photo by Mike Stobe
2012 Tri-State Football Preview
Nigel Beckford RB/LB Notre Dame-Fairfield Senior
The all-SWC selection is a two-way standout for the Lancers. In 2011, he rushed for 1,391 yards, averaged 8.75 yards per
carry and scored 16 touchdowns from scrimmage while also piling up 114 tackles, four sacks and four caused fumbles.
For scores, highlights and more, check out the MSG Varsity app!
Bryan Castelot QB Bunnell Senior
Castelot led an explosive Bulldogs offense that averaged nearly 43 points per game in 2011. A year ago, the all-SWC selec-
tion passed for 2,497 yards with 29 touchdowns and just six interceptions and finished with a QB rating of 121.
Rodrigo Denapoli OL/DL Stamford Senior
A first-team all-FCIAC Central choice on offense, Denapoli opened holes for a Black Knights team that finished 7-2 and
averaged over 33 points per contest. Defensively, Denapoli registered 45 tackles, 4.5 sacks and recovered two fumbles.
James Frusciante WR/DB Staples Senior
On his way to CHSCA Class LL all-state and all-FCIAC West honors, Frusciante caught 37 passes for 870 yards—an aver-
age of 23.51 per catch—and nine touchdowns.
Peter Gesualdi WR/DB Darien Senior
In his breakout junior season, the versatile Gesualdi was second in the state
with eight interceptions, while adding 36 tackles. Offensively, the all-FCIAC
East selection led Darien with 24 catches for 455 yards and seven TDs.
Nick Kelly RB Staples Senior
A CHSCA Class LL all-state and all-FCIAC West first team selection, Kelly is
coming off a season in which he ran for 684 yards and 13 touchdowns, while
also catching 17 passes for 178 yards and four scores.
Mike Pulaski FB/LB St. Joseph Senior
The first-team all-FCIAC East selection has totaled over 90 tackles in back-
to-back seasons. As a junior, Pulaski also scored five touchdowns, caught 16
passes, carried a team-high 82 times and had five passes defensed.
Dennis Flanagan DL/OL Amity Senior
A workout warrior who leaves it all on the field, Flanagan—who plays left guard and defensive end—was only one of four
offensive linemen named to the Division I all-SCC squad a year ago.
Joey Santoro WR/S King Senior
One of the most electrifying players in the region last fall, Santoro had 14 touchdowns and six conversions in just eight
games with averages of 142.3 rushing yards per game, en route to all-FAA and team MVP honors.
Noel Thomas WR/DB St. Luke's Senior
One of the top recruits in the state, the UConn-bound Thomas piled up huge numbers (75 rushes, 1,062 yards, 11 TDs, six
catches, 167 receiving yards, 62 tackles, two INT) as a junior in leading the Crusaders to a 6-1 record.
Staples’ Nick Kelly
Photo by MSG Varsity
Tottenville will be led by Syracuse-bound Augustus Edwards,
who replaces Alvin Cornelius as the team's leading man. A lot
will depend on quarterback Brandon Barnes' recovery from a
torn ACL. … It won' t be easy replacing the all-city backfield
of Jessel Jones and Kareem Folkes, but Abraham Lincoln—the
defending PSAL champs—have won 20 straight regular season
games and 25 of 26 overall. … Fort Hamilton was decimated
by injuries at the end 2011 season. However, a healthy Travon
Reid Segure should lead the Tigers back toward the top of PSAL
standings. … Last year's PSAL runners-up Erasmus Hall hope
to take that next step this year. Mr. Everything Wayne Morgan is
gone, but as a sophomore, Kahlil Lewin opened a lot of eyes with
his play during the Dutchmen's playoff run. … Campus Magnet
head coach Eric Barnett has built one of the best programs in
the city. The Bulldogs are 26-10 over the past four seasons and
have made three straight trips to at least the quarterfinals.
Last season was a banner year for DeWitt Clinton, advancing
to the city semifinals for the first time since 1989. … Despite a
tough loss to Campus Magnet in the playoffs, Curtis’ expecta-
tions are higher with three-year starter Prince Dukes at quarter-
back and Kevin Austin at running back. … Thomas Jefferson
boasts the city's highest profile player, Ebenezer Ogundeko,
who leads the Orange Wave. However, they're not a one-man
show, with quarterback Al Stewart and running back Kendall
"Speedy" Thomas. … At Brooklyn Tech, a trio of Division I tal-
ent—wide receivers Kyvaune Brammer and James Gales and
tight end/defensive end Thomas Plonski—could lead the Engi-
neers to one of their best seasons in years. … John F. Kennedy
head coach Andy Lancberg got the Knights back to the playoffs
in his second season and is looking for more.

With highly touted speedster Laray Smith, quarterback Zach
Kearney and tight end Jonathan Badyna back, it’s CHSFL Class
AAA title or bust for Xaverian. … Poly Prep two-way lineman
Jay Hayes and tight end/defensive end Cameron Stapleton—
who verbally committed to UConn—have the Blue Devils poised
for another big season. … Fordham Prep quarterbacks James
McHale and Jack Trimble, two-sport standout Logan William-
son and receiver James Drago return for a prolific Rams offense
that won the CHSFL Class AA title last year. … Jordan Franck-
lin, Joshua Wallace and Brandon Pelzer earned valuable experi-
ence as sophomores a year ago for Holy Cross. The trio should
help lead a Knights team always in the CHSAA ‘AAA’ mix. …
Defensive back Jared Chester and outside linebacker Arton Me-
haj return as starters for a Mount St. Michael defense that is
always stingy.
Monsignor Farrell receiver Logan Somma and defensive
backs Robert Yohrling and Mark Delprete are back for the Li-
ons, who returned to the CHSFL Class AAA playoffs in Jim
Bradley’s first year as coach. … Nick King, who rushed for 728
yards and nine touchdowns for St. Joseph by the Sea and line-
backer Anthony Venturine, are back for a Vikings team look-
ing to rebound from last year’s disappointing campaign. …
Cardinal Hayes quarterback James Richardson, who threw
for nine touchdowns and rushed for three more, and running
back Patrick Heumegni key an explosive Cardinals offense. …
Xavier welcomes back William Solomon, who rushed for 1,168
yards and 18 touchdowns and should be one of the top running
backs in the city this fall. … Christ the King could be the most
improved team in the city this year with 6-foot-7 wide receiver
Jordan Fuchs and running back James Coleman, leading the
offense for first-year coach Tyree Allison.
For complete New York City football coverage, including updated team and player rankings, log on to!
Big Teams Back
for More in the
Big City
By Pat O'Keefe and Dylan Butler
Thomas Jefferson’s Ebenezer Ogundeko Photo by Mike Stobe
2012 Tri-State Football Preview
Brandon Barnes QB Tottenville Senior
A two-year starter, Barnes threw for 835 yards and 10 touchdowns and rushed for another score before his junior year
was cut short by an injury in Week 8.
For scores, highlights and more, check out the MSG Varsity app!
Augustus Edwards RB Tottenville Senior
Edwards, who rushed for 1,304 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior, verbally committed to Syracuse in July, after receiv-
ing 17 BCS-level scholarship offers.
Jordan Fuchs WR Christ the King Senior
Fuchs, who is being recruited as a Division I basketball player, has received scholarship offers from Rutgers and Con-
necticut despite limited exposure on the gridiron.
Jay Hayes OT Poly Prep Junior
In his second year as a two-way starter for the Blue Devils, Hayes has scholarship offers from Michigan, Notre Dame,
Maryland, Rutgers, Syracuse, UConn, Temple, Oregon, Penn State and UCLA.
Zach Kearney QB Xaverian Senior
In his first year behind center, Kearney had 2,295 yards of total offense, second best in the CHSFL, and had 13 touch-
downs to guide the Clippers to the Class AAA semifinals.
Kahlil Lewin RB Erasmus Hall Junior
No one came up bigger late for Erasmus Hall than Lewin, who scored the
game-winning overtime TD against Tottenville in the semifinals and had
a remarkable 52-yard run in the final at Yankee Stadium.
Ebenezer Ogundeko DE Thomas Jefferson Senior
The top-rated player in New York State in the Class of 2013, Ogundeko—
6-foot-4, 225 pounds—had 79 tackles and 11 sacks as a junior and has 36
BCS-level college offers.
Travon Reid Segure WR/DB Fort Hamilton Senior
Segure, who has offers from Syracuse, Temple and UMass, had two rush-
ing touchdowns, two receiving scores, and a pair of interceptions in a
junior season cut short by injury.
Laray Smith RB Xaverian Senior
The shifty speedster, who rushed for 993 yards and 10 touchdowns last
year, lists Oregon, West Virginia, Tennessee, Syracuse and UConn in his
top five.
Cameron Stapleton TE/DB Poly Prep Senior
A two-way standout at Poly Prep, Stapleton verbally committed to the
University of Connecticut in August, choosing the Huskies over Syracuse.
Xaverian’s Laray Smith
Photo by Mike Stobe
A Quick Column
By Mike Quick
A Football Family Continues its Legacy
The first time I ever went to Wayne Hills to watch a football
game, it was a QB who lured me to take the 60-mile drive from
my Connecticut home to New Jersey.
A young kid from a football family—blond, tall, strong arm—with a
bright future ahead of him. The year was 1996 and it was a cold, frigid
night on the old grass field at Patriot Stadium.
Somewhere in the crowd of more than 6,000 that night was a toddler
not old enough to understand that 16 years later it would be him I was
coming to see.
The toddler’s name was Kevin Olsen. His dad, Chris, was the head
coach who had been on the job at Hills for 10 years and was on the cusp
of turning the maroon and gold into a Jersey power.
When you’re an Olsen, you’re kind of born into the football thing.
His older brother, Christian, would become the most highly recruited
quarterback in Wayne Hills history before he graduated in 2002. The
middle boy, Greg, was cut right out of an NFL mold and, after graduating
in 2004, became a first-round selection out of the University of Miami.
Well, Kevin is the last Olsen—as hard as it is to believe. The little kid
who—while his dad was coaching and his brother was playing—would
run around on the sidelines, playing ball with his little buddies, is all
grown up.
Not much has changed in the nearly two decades since my first trip to
Hills to see that tall, blond quarterback—whose name, by the way, was
Chris Simms. Simms, who went on to play in the NFL, is of course from
another well known New Jersey football family.
When I make the trip these days, I once again get to see the big-time
QB, with a big arm and big dreams. This time, it’s that toddler from the
sidelines—Kevin Olsen—who enters his senior year as one of the top
quarterbacks in the entire nation.
Sixteen years later, man, it’s still fun making the drive to Wayne Hills
High School.
MSG Varsity Produces Olsen Documentary
New Jersey’s Last PatriotIROORZV:D\QH+LOOVFRDFK4%
Intensity, excellence and controversy—in a nutshell—is what
the documentary film, New Jersey’s Last Patriot is all about.
Wayne Hills High School’s Chris Olsen—a dynamic coach,
with a successful family—commands center stage as he moti-
vates everyone around him to be their best.
Where did he come from? Why are his teams such winners?
How did he inspire his sons to thrive in high school, college
and beyond? Olsen has achieved much, yet is resented by half
of the residents of Wayne, New Jersey.
This MSG Varsity production takes you behind the scenes
to witness the recruiting of Olsen’s son—and current Hills
QB—Kevin, as he visits top football programs around the
country and shares his thoughts on what those teams have to
offer. Kevin’s summer culminates with his performance at the
ESPN Elite 11 Quarterback Camp.
New Jersey’s Last Patriot is a film by Leandra Reilly and
Tony D’Angelo produced exclusively for MSG Varsity. Check
listings for air dates on channel 14, or watch it anytime on
MSG Varsity Interactive, channel 614.
Be sure to tune into ‘A Quick :60’ every Tuesday night this fall to talk tri-state high school football!
You can call in at 516-224-6100, email at [email protected], or Tweet Mike at @Quick60
2012 Tri-State Football Preview
This season, approximately 7,000 high school
seniors will be playing football at schools within
MSG Varsity’s coverage area. In five years, a hand-
ful of those players will begin their rookie season
in the NFL. However, the four years in between—and the de-
cision of where to spend those four years—are extremely im-
portant for a student-athlete.
As with anything else in life, that decision needs to be
based on finding the best fit for the specific individual.
While there is no shortage of options for local top football
players, the choice often comes down to wanting to stay close
to home, with one of the only Division I football programs in
the Metropolitan Area—Rutgers University.
Rutgers—consistently ranked among the top academic
universities in the nation—has hit its prime on the gridiron.
“This is a different program now than it was even seven
years ago,” said Kyle Flood, who was named Rutgers’ 29th
head football coach this past winter, after spending seven
years as an assistant under Greg Schiano. “We’ve been to six
bowl games in the past seven years, have had tremendous
academic success and have more players in the NFL right now
than any other Big East team. That’s what’s happening ‘now’
and this generation of young people is a ‘now generation.’
We’ve been really fortunate to have all this success in recent
history and that has definitely helped us as a program.”
To understand where Rutgers is as a program in 2012, you
have to understand what goes into making up the program
itself. And there is no better place to start than looking at the
man in charge.
“I tell young players that if they go to Rutgers, what you’re
going to get from coach Flood is a straight-up man,” said Ray
Rice, the Baltimore Ravens’ All-Pro running back and former
Rutgers star. “He will give you everything you need to be suc-
Rice, who graduated from New Rochelle High School and
shattered records at Rutgers, including setting the single-sea-
son rushing mark in 2006 with 1,794 yards. During his career
with the Scarlet Knights, he was an All-American, two-time
first team All-Big East, a Doak Walker finalist and a two-time
Maxwell Award finalist. However, it was what Rice learned
about life—and how to carry himself—that he remembers
most about his years in Piscataway.
“They treat you the way you would want to be treated—like
a man,” Rice said. “From time management, to strength and
conditioning, to keeping up with you in class, they really teach
you to do the right thing. … They are a class act over there.
They let me grow as a man and choosing Rutgers has meant
Preparing for
for life
Why many football players in
the tri-state choose Rutgers
By Brett Topel
Head Coach Kyle Flood
2012 Tri-State Football Preview
everything in terms of my success in the
NFL. I not only learned to work hard there,
but I learned what smart, hard work was.
That’s what they teach you at Rutgers.”
It is those blue-collar values that Flood
preaches to his team. However, he is more
than mindful that the game of football,
even if you ascend to the highest level,
cannot alone suffice.
“If you’re fortunate to come through
Rutgers and have the dream
career that you want to have—a
Ray Rice type of career—and
then you are fortunate enough
to go to the NFL and have the
dream career you want to have,
when you retire you are still going to be
about 32 years old,” Flood said. “You are
a young man with a lot of life to live and
what are you going to do now? Where’s
your passion going to be? How are you
going to give back? … We use the expres-
sion here that ‘we take them from young
men to grown men.’ That’s our job as col-
lege football coaches.”
Perhaps that comment represents no
one as well as Ryan Neill, who was one
of the finest young men to ever put on a
uniform at Rutgers.
One of Schiano’s favorite all-time play-
ers, Neill became a leader, who, in 2005,
helped take Rutgers to its first bowl
game in 27 years. During his career with
the Scarlet Knights, he was a two-time
All-Big East first-team selection, a team
MVP, an All-American and an Academic
Following graduation, Neill spent parts
of five seasons in the NFL, before injuries
forced him to retire. At the age of 27,
however, Neill was prepared to move on
thanks to the values he learned at Rutgers.
“As a man, adversity not only reveals
character, but builds perseverance and
builds character,” Neill said. “And it’s not
only the coaches who were associated
with the program when I was there, it
still continues. I have a lot of respect for
coach Flood, he’s one of my favorite guys.
I think, all around, Rutgers has high-
caliber people.”
Following his playing days, Neill was
able to find a career that he loves almost
as much as playing football, working
directly with doctors in his role in sales
for Stryker’s sports medicine division.
“It’s a performance-based industry and
extremely competitive,” said Neill, who
was a communications major at Rutgers.
“Performance is reality no matter what
market place you are in, so it’s the same
college football as it is in life. … I wanted
a career where I was going to be judged
on my performance. That’s what I always
enjoyed about football. It’s a really good
Adjusting in and out of football—and
being prepared for what life throws at
you—is something that is taught almost
immediately upon arrival at Rutgers.
“When you first get here, it’s going to
be difficult because you’ve never had
such a strict schedule and you never
had so much on your plate,” said Scott
Vallone, currently a senior defensive
lineman at Rutgers and a graduate of
St. Anthony’s on Long Island. “There’s
always a learning curve when you get to
college, learning what it takes to be suc-
cessful at all aspects, socially, academi-
cally and athletically.”
For Vallone, like so many other current
and former players, it comes back to the
coaching staff.
“I love this coaching staff, it’s a very
tight-knit group that cares about its
players,” Vallone said. “They
don’t just take an interest in you
on the field. They take interest
in you on a personal level and
that’s something I have been
really happy to be a part of.”
Former Rutgers star quarterback Mike
Teel, a graduate of Don Bosco Prep, agrees
“They do a great job of giving you
the resources you need to be success-
ful, especially as a younger guy,” said
Teel, who was named the 2009 Big East
Conference Player of the Year by the New
Jersey Sports Writers Association. “For
a young kid, the support staff there and
the academic and mentoring people they
have there do a tremendous job to point
the young student athletes who have
been told that they’re the best thing since
sliced bread, they point them in the right
It is that type of attitude that Teel, now
the quarterbacks coach at Wagner Col-
lege, tries to instill in his own players.
“What Rutgers does that is so exciting
is that they take boys and they teach
them life skills to be successful as men,”
Teel said. “They do so much more than
just play football. I am proud to say that I
am a Rutgers alum.”
“From time management, to strength and
conditioning, to keeping up with you in class,
they really teach you to do the right thing.”
Ray Rice Mike Teel Scott Vallone
2012 Tri-State Football Preview
Following their Dreams
This past summer, students from Syosset, Lawrence, East Meadow and Roosevelt high schools
had the opportunity to cover the UnitedHealthcare Empire Challenge for MSG Varsity. Here you
will find articles written by student reporters, as well as photos from the event. To view student-
produced videos and photos, go to Photos by Frank LoCascio
By Jake Asman
Syosset Student Reporter
The 17th Annual Empire Challenge football
game, founded by former NFL quarterback and
East Islip native Boomer Esiason, was played
Tuesday night at Hofstra’s James Shuart Stadi-
um. The game showcases the best high school
football players from New York City and Long
Island, while raising funds to help fight cystic
fibrosis—something that is very important to
Esiason—as his son Gunnar is affected by cys-
tic fibrosis.
Grabbing the spotlight this year was Long
Island’s defense, which suffocated New York
City all night, leading to a 31-7 victory.
“This event means a lot to me,” Esiason said
before the game. “It brings together the game
that I love and a cause so close to my heart.”
MSG Varsity’s Mike Quick said the game is
a testament to the efforts Esiason has put into
organizing the event for 17 years.
“Boomer has worked so hard for this event,”
Quick said. “To see all his hard work pay off
and this event get bigger and bigger each year
is great because it supports such a wonderful
Syosset star linebacker Evan Kappatos
knows the game is much more than just about
“It is a great honor to be chosen to play in the
Empire Challenge game,” Kappatos said be-
fore kickoff. “This game supports an amazing
cause and is something great to be a part of.”
Receiving recognition as a dominant foot-
ball player is nothing new for Kappatos, al-
ready a three-time Piner Award winner (given
to the best linebacker on Long Island), a first
team All-State linebacker, and a future Princ-
eton University football player, Kappatos lived
up to his accolades.
MSG Varsity’s Carl Reuter spoke proudly
about the type of person Kappatos is.
“He is one of the best kids I have ever cov-
ered in almost thirty years of covering high
school sports,” Reuter said. “Evan is just a
hardnosed kid and he just gets it. He knows
that sports is important, but he also knows
how important the classroom is. He is going to
be a sensation whether that be in the NFL or
the business world.”
Kappatos attributes his great work ethic to
the success he has had.
“Many people do not see the work put in out-
side of practice and on the weekends, so they
can’t really understand what we as athletes
go through,” Kappatos said. “To be selected to
the team is the ultimate confirmation of all the
hours of work put into this great sport.”
Led by Kappatos, Long Island’s defense
dominated the Empire Challenge from start
to finish. Kappatos set the tone early for Long
Island. On a third-and-5 in the first quarter
Kappatos sacked New York City quarterback
Jessel J. Jones.
To read this entire article, go to:
By Alex Lederman
Syosset Student Reporter
The Empire Challenge is a truly special event
for all involved.
“This game,” said MSG Varsity’s Mike
Quick, “it’s the most important event that we
do all year as far as high school sports. When
we cover games, it’s always about who wins
and loses. Tonight, there is no loser. The win-
ner is the Foundation.”
Former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason
founded the Empire Challenge in support of
the Boomer Esiason Foundation. Esiason’s
mission is to increase awareness and educa-
tion about cystic fibrosis, improve the lives of
those suffering from the disease, and strive
to find a cure for the illness. The charity was
launched in 1993, shortly after Esiason’s two-
year-old son, Gunnar, was diagnosed with CF.
A few years later, the Empire Challenge, was
created to help make a difference.
To read this entire article, go to:
By Anthony DiBernardo
Syosset Student Reporter
The 17th Annual Empire Challenge—a
fundraising all-star game to help support the
Boomer Esiason Foundation’s fight against
cystic fibrosis—has become a huge contribu-
tion to the football community on Long Island,
and throughout New York.
The stars were out to show their support—
former Jets running back Freeman McNeil and
wide receiver Wesley Walker were in atten-
dance and participated in the coin toss. Also
in attendance, a record 12,418 fans showing
their support for Boomer’s foundation, and who
witnessed a 31-7 Long Island victory over New
York City. The win was the Island’s second
straight and eighth overall in the series.
MSG Varsity’s Mike Quick said that this
year’s Long Island team is “the best it’s ever
been.” Others have said that this was a dream
team for high school football and they proved
that theory true as the Long Island all-stars
routed New York City.
To read this entire article, go to:
2012 Tri-State Football Preview
By Samuel Berger
East Meadow Student Reporter
For many high school football players, their last high school game took
place months ago. However, a select few players from Long Island and
New York City were invited to the United HealthCare Empire Challenge
and were able to have one last game as a high school student.
The Empire Challenge is a high school football all star game which
features Long Island versus New York City, and took place on June 19th
at Hofstra University.
To the average fan, the results of the game were clear. Long Island
won easily, 31-7, over New York City. They would say that the game was a
great experience for the players and something they will remember and
can help them with there future sports career.
While that is not the wrong answer, however, it is not the only an-
swer. The Empire Challenge takes place for two reasons, to feature some
of the top players in New York and to help raise money and awareness
for former NFL player Boomer Esiason’s foundation. Esiason started the
foundation to fight cystic fibrosis, a disease that has been negatively af-
fecting his life. Esiason’s son, Gunnar, was diagnosed with CF when he
was just two years old.
To read this entire article, go to:
A View From the Pitch
Boys Soccer Players to Watch
Senior defender Jeffrey Medina was a
key cog in Brentwood’s defense, help-
ing win the Suffolk Class AA title. He
anchored a defense that had 13 shutouts.
… Mark Romanowski of South Side is
fast, good with the ball and disrupts
the opposition’s offense continuously. …
St. John the Baptist’s Junior Rosero is
an explosive goal scorer and playmaker.
Rosero had 18 goals and six assists to lead
the Cougars to their first outright CHSAA
championship last year for the first time
since 2001. … Ever Torres of Brentwood
was far beyond his years as a freshman
in helping his team win the Suffolk Class
AA championship in 2011. He had 18
goals and five assists. … Sachem East’s
Andrew Tinari is excellent at freezing
defenders. He helped lead Sachem East
to the Suffolk League I championship last
season. … Anthony Passiatore leads a
talented Ward Melville squad.
As a junior, Ramapo’s Mike Taranto
scored 14 goals and registered 23 assists
while Ramapo enjoyed a 22-1 season and
the fifth championship in school history.
… After helping his school to its first ever
Passaic County Tournament champion-
ship, DePaul’s Eric Klenofsky hopes to
anchor this squad to big things again
in 2012. … Despite missing five games
in his junior season, Pompton Lakes’
Enver Caymaz registered 22 goals and
seven assists, many in dazzling fashion.
… Paramus Catholic’s Adam Najem is a
big reason for the team’s success in 2011.
… In just his sophomore season, Bergen
Catholic’s Erick Alonso tied for the team
lead in goals with 12.
Arlington’s Jeff Greblick is a dynamic
all-section threat and a lightning-quick
playmaker. Greblick led Arlington’s
offense with 11 goals and eight assists
last year. … Hamilton’s all-section cen-
tral midfielder Melvin Huaman creates
magic on the pitch. … Giovanni Galvano
of Pearl River was last year’s League
IV-B MVP and opted to play high school
over club. … Blind Brook’s Ben Seguljic,
who earned all-state honors in 2011-12,
returns as Section 1’s premiere keeper.
… Ken Davis of Beacon was the MVP of
League I-C in 2011. He racked up 10 goals
and 23 assists to help Beacon compile an
impressive 14-2 campaign.
As a junior, Tarek Beckles of Martin
Luther King had 16 goals and 20 assists
to help Martin Luther King to a 13th
PSAL Class A title in the last 16 years.
… Christ the King’s Calogero Curcuru is
a big part of Christ the King’s meteoric
rise to an elite CHSAA Class AA squad.
… One of the city’s most lethal strikers,
Collegiate’s Weller Hlinomaz scored all
the big goals for Collegiate, which won
its second straight NYSAISAA champion-
ship. … A classic center forward, Kenny
Redzematovic of St. Francis Prep scored
in the CHSAA Class AA semifinals and
helped guide the Terriers to their first city
title since 2006. … Mount St. Michael’s
Anton Porter came out of nowhere as a
freshman to lead Mount to its first title
game of any kind since 1986.
Darien’s Brennan Branca—a first-team
all-FCIAC selection last season—scored
the penalty kick goal against New Canaan
that sent the Blue Wave into the state
quarterfinals. … Staples goalkeeper
James Hickok was an all-state selection
and first-team all-FCIAC goalie, recording
12 shutouts. … Defender Andrew Melit-
sanopoulos of Norwalk is one of the top
stoppers in the state. … Will Steiner of
Fairfield Prep was an all-SCC Quinnipiac
Division choice, posting 16 shutouts in 21
games in net. Greenwich’s forward Pieter
Zenner is one of the most skilled and
speedy players in the region, Zenner was
named first-team all-FCIAC last season.
Players to Watch and Top 10 Teams compiled by Dylan Butler (NYC), Isaac Cass (WHV), Jesse Quinlan (CT), John Quirk (NJ), Adam Ronis (LI)
Ward Melville’s
Anthony Passiatore
Photo by by Mike Stobe
James Hickok
Photo by by Mike Stobe
Brentwood: Brentwood is aiming to win its fifth
consecutive Suffolk Class AA championship and re-
turns most of the team from last year.
Hicksville: The defending state Class AA cham-
pions look to be the team to beat in Nassau.
St John the Baptist: The Cougars won their
first outright CHSAA championship since 2001 and
the explosive Junior Rosero returns.
Commack: A perennial contender for the Suffolk
Class AA title the last few seasons, Commack will
be in the mix again.
Jericho: The defending state Class A champions
bring back a strong team.
Massapequa: Always one of the top teams in
St. Anthony’s: The Friars lose several players
to Academy soccer, but are still a top power.
Sachem East: The Flaming Arrows won a very
tough Suffolk League I season and are on the rise.
Chaminade: The Flyers always find a way to vie
for the CHSAA title.
Half Hollow Hills East: Hills East won its
first league title since 1996 and Tyler Kirschner
leads the way.
Christian Brothers Academy: Going
wire to wire and finishing with a Non-Public A title,
CBA proved why it is truly the crème de la crème of
high school soccer. It was the team’s fifth title since
2002 and was completed in dominating fashion,
with 83 goals scored and 14 shutouts registered on
the season.
Ramapo: A mild setback against Old Tappan in
the Bergen County final was not nearly enough to
derail this locomotive, as Ramapo would roll on to a
21-1 record and the schools first Group 3 title since
Seton Hall Prep: Three-straight Essex Coun-
ty titles and a tough loss to Delbarton in the state
championship made Seton Hall Prep an easy choice
for one of the top boys soccer teams in New Jersey.
Bridgewater-Raritan: After a surprising early
loss, the Panthers reeled off a streak of 20 games
unbeaten before falling in a heartbreaker to Chero-
kee, 2-1, in the Group 4 title game. Still, Rick Szeles’
squad would finish the year 21-3-1.
Pingry: Penalty kicks would ultimately be the Big
Blue’s undoing in a Non-Public A semifinal loss to
Delbarton, but it was Pingry’s only loss on an other-
wise spectacular season (18-1-1).
Chatham: A Morris County title and a North
2 Group 3 championship appearance were good
enough to land Chatham on our list for top boys soc-
cer teams. The Cougars enjoyed a 21-2-1 record
during Gene Foca’s final season at the helm.
Delbarton: Section and county titles eluded the
Green Wave in 2011, but building off of a 19-4-1
campaign a year ago, this year’s squad will have high
expectations come playoff time.
Bernards: The little team that could a season
ago, Bernards captured its first state title since 2006
in dramatic fashion with close win after close win.
This feisty squad was tough when it mattered most,
going 9-0 in one-goal games.
St. Peter’s Prep: The Marauders had one of
their most successful boys soccer seasons in 2011
under head coach Josh Jantas. A Hudson County
title was a fitting way to cap off an impressive 22-2
run through 2011.
Mountain Lakes: The Lakers just couldn’t get
over the hump against Newton in a 1-0 state title
loss but still had plenty of success on the way to a
19-3 record. Quality wins over tough opponents like
Whippany Park and Mahwah marked a successful
2011 for Mark Walters club.
Newburgh: Four-time defending Section 9 Class
AA champs will look to make it five in a row in 2012.
Monroe-Woodbury: The Crusaders graduated
eight seniors from last year’s powerhouse squad.
However, coach Pat Bulla consistently fields a com-
petitive side. Expect it to continue in 2012.
Arlington: The Admirals have the offensive
weapons to end their two-year title drought in Sec-
tion 1 Class AA.
Byram Hills: Leading scorer Jon Berry returns
as the Bobcats look to get back on top of the moun-
tain in Section 1 Class A.
Greeley: Second-year coach Adam Borman looks
to follow up last year’s Cinderella run to the Section
1 Class AA title.
Port Chester: The Rams are coming off the best
regular season in program history.
John Jay-East Fishkill: The core of last
year’s squad that reached the Section 1 Class AA
finals was lost to graduation, so there will be some
rebuilding to do in 2012.
Mamaroneck: Juan Giraldo is slated to have an
expanded role as the Tigers look to improve on last
year’s 11-6-1 campaign.
Lakeland: Returning center midfielder Tim
O’Driscoll, who has drawn interest from Fairfield
University, will lead the Hornets in their Section 1
Class A title defense.
Pearl River: With playmaker Giovanni Galvano
in the midfield and finisher Alex Castillo up top, the
Pirates have their eyes set on the Section 1 Class A
Martin Luther King: With Tarek Beckles re-
turning, the Knights should again be the favorite to
win a 14th PSAL crown in the last 17 years.
St. Francis Prep: Forward Kenny Redzema-
tovic is among the returnees for a St. Francis Prep
squad that won its first CHSAA Class AA intersec-
tional title since 2006.
Fordham Prep: Set piece specialist Sebastian
Palomino will anchor the midfield for Fordham Prep,
which captured its first CHSAA state crown last year.
Archbishop Molloy: The Stanners are always
in the mix and that should again be the case this fall
with Nick Matusewicz and Denes Kostel back.
Christ the King: The Royals made their first
appearance in the CHSAA Class AA semifinals last
year and have talented players Calogero Curcuru
and Christian Nolasco back.
Beacon: The Blue Demons lost to Bayside on pen-
alty kicks in the quarterfinals last year, but forward
Jeremy Hardy and goalkeeper Alex Coste return for
the perennial powerhouse.
Bayside: Anchored by two-year starter Mario
Reyes in the back and Andres Huerfano in the mid-
field, the Commodores should again be a PSAL title
contender this fall.
Francis Lewis: Star midfielder Danny Bedoya
is at St. John’s now, but Yiming (Charlie) Yang, who
had 14 goals and five assists last year, leads the Pa-
Collegiate: With forward Weller Hlinomaz and
defender Elias Bresnick back, the pieces are in
place for Collegiate to compete for a third straight
John Adams: The Spartans have flown under
the radar recently, but midfielder Kiyo Scott, who av-
eraged a goal a game last year, have them poised for
another deep postseason run.
Staples: Remarkably, the Wreckers have won 27
FCIAC titles in their 50 seasons.
Trumbull: The defending FCIAC champs lost
only two games last season, including a heartbreak-
er to Pomperaug in the Class LL finals.
)DLUÀHOG 3UHS The Jesuits return a strong nu-
cleus from a team that finished 15-1-7, won the SCC
crown and reached the state quarterfinals.
Norwalk: The Bears, with talented seniors such as
Andrew Melitsanopoulos and Kevin Joslyn, will try to
build on last season’s trip to the Class LL semifinals.
Darien: Under first-year coach Jon Bradley, the
Blue Wave went from a two-win season in 2010 to
15 wins and a spot in the Class L quarterfinals.
Bunnell: The Bulldogs graduated every starter
from last year’s first-ever state championship squad.
New Canaan: The departure of UConn-bound
goalie Scott Levene—who will train with the U.S.
Soccer Development Academy—hurts, but the bar is
still set high for a Rams team that has reached the
states finals in two of the last three seasons.
Watertown: A 13-win season last fall gives the
Indians plenty of optimism for 2012.
Westhill: After having to forfeit its first three victo-
ries last year, the Vikings came on strong late in the
Greenwich: Kurt Putnam’s squad always seems
to be dangerous come the postseason.
A Tour Around
the Tri-State
Girls Soccer Players to Watch
Massapequa’s Rosie DiMartino is the
youngest of four sisters in the first fam-
ily of Nassau girl’s soccer. She made first
team all-Long Island after leading Mass-
apequa with 13 goals. … Jenny Scro of
MacArthur was the anchor of the defense
for defending Class AA state champion,
which allowed just seven goals in 20
games. … South Side’s Christina Klaum
scored 11 of her 20 goals in the postsea-
son last year to lead her team to its 16th
state title. … Islip’s Morgan Santoro was
a first-team all-state midfielder, who had
four goals and six assists. … Krystina
Iordanou of Friends Academy was first-
team all state, Class C Co-Player of the
Year, who scored 10 goals and had four
assists to lead Friends Academy to a Co-
Class C state championship.
Nickolette Driesse of Wayne Hills is
a lethal finisher with a blistering shot
from practically any range. The striker
amassed 31 goals and 16 assists as a
junior. … Clifton’s Rachel Egyed had
12 shutouts and a 0.55 goals against
average in 2011. … Piscataway’s Daija
Griffin has unmatched speed on the ball,
deft finishing touch and unselfishness,
which makes her such a dangerous force
up top. … Madison Holleran of Northern
Highlands was instrumental in a 24-0
season that culminated with the Group 3
state championship. … Montclair’s Kaila
Jenkins is one the state’s most difficult
defenders to elude.
Minisink Valley’s Jenn Peters is a prolific
finisher. She has already racked up 98
goals and 15 assists in her illustrious
career. … Olivia Szeker-Cortes of Clark-
stown South will look to prove she’s still
the same player who notched a team-
high 19 goals in 2011-12. … Gladys Loyas
of S.S. Seward is a speedster who totaled
an eye-popping 39 goals and 16 assists
last year and has 99 goals and 46 assists
for her career. … North Salem’s Brenna
Brown tallied 21 goals and six assists in
2011-12 to earn all-state honors. … Han-
nah Wear of John Jay-Cross River scored
12 goals and was named all-section last
New Canaan’s Anna Borea is an
all-New England and first-team all-FCIAC
choice, whose right foot is a major asset
for the Rams. … Alyssa Fratarcangeli
of Lauralton Hall recorded 11 goals
and nine assists last season. … St.
Joseph’s Samantha Grasso is already a
two-time all-state and all-FCIAC selec-
tion. She was perhaps the most electri-
fying player in the FCIAC last season.
… Weston’s Grace Mattison scored 20
goals as a junior for the Trojans en route
to all-SWC honors. … Casey Pearsall of
Wilton is a three-sport standout who was
named all-state and first-team all-FCIAC
last season.
Kristen Drogsler of Christ the King came
up huge in the Royals biggest games last
year, including three late saves in the
program’s first-ever Brooklyn/Queens
Diocesan championship victory. … Bay-
side’s D.J. Glazer was the PSAL’s leading
scorer, tallying 59 goals in 15 games last
year. … Cindy Henderson of Fontbonne
Hall utilized her speed and will be one
of the most skilled center midfielders
in the city this fall. … Summer Sofer of
Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy finished
second in the PSAL in scoring with
43 goals in 11 regular season matches. …
Leon Goldstein’s Pamela Wishart scored
41 goals last year for the Dolphins.
Players to Watch and Top 10 Teams compiled by Dylan Butler (NYC), Isaac Cass (WHV), Mike Gavin (LI), Gregg Lerner, (NJ), Jesse Quinlan (CT)
Piscataway’s Daija Griffin
Photo by by Mike Stobe
Fontbonne Hall’s Cindy Henderson
Photo by by Mike Stobe
St. Anthony’s: Fresh off winning a state title on
its home field, the Friars return strong as always, led
by Sydney Arestivo and Maggie Bill.
South Side: The defending Class A state
champs seek their 17th state title and have a 20-goal
scorer in Christina Klaum, who also added five as-
sists last season, to lead the way.
Friends Academy: After capturing the first
state title in the history of girls sports at Friends
Academy, Krystina Iordanou and Heather Maierle
will look to repeat.
Farmingdale: The Dalers could take that next
step this season, led by Amanda Turturro, who had
10 goals and eight assists last season.
Islip: Morgan Santoro, Amanda Buck, Rachel
Cipriano and the defending county champs peaked
at the perfect time last season. Most of the team is
returning this season.
MacArthur: The Generals graduated major con-
tributors to their Class AA state championship but
return sweeper Jenny Scro and Arianna Montefusco,
who had 11 goals as a freshman.
Sayville: The Golden Flashes looked unstoppa-
ble last year until they were upset in the semifinals.
They are set for another run with Madison Hoon,
who had 14 goals and 12 assists, Amanda Famularo,
Sam Bishop and Emily Sellitti.
West Islip: The Lions saw their streak of three
straight county championship game appearances
end last season but could return this year behind
Brenda DiDonna, Michelle Murphy and Nicole
Massapequa: A perennial contender returns one
of Long Island’s best goal scorers in Rosie DiMar-
tino as well as Erica Modena and Taylor Kugler.
Northport: The county runner-up lost some key
offensive weapons but return Courtney Fortunato
(eight goals last season) and defensive anchor Kris-
tin Desmond in a wide-open Suffolk Class AA.
Northern Highlands: A memorable 24-0
season that featured a Bergen County Tournament
title and culminated with the NJSIAA Group 3 state
championship hinged on a diversified offense and a
well-shaped defense.
Livingston: The Lancers return a loaded, experi-
enced lineup that boasts nine tested starters includ-
ing electrifying junior twins Sabrina and Monica
Montgomery: A piercing attack and one of the
state’s best defensive units makes this team an at-
tractive contender in Group 4.
Ramapo: Always among the best programs in
New Jersey, Ramapo will once again apply tremen-
dous pressure in the final third.
Pingry: The exemplary work of senior Carly Rota-
tori and creativity of junior playmaker Rachel Corboz
will go a long way toward keeping Pingry among the
state’s upper echelon.
Montclair: The Mounties will have a galvanized
defensive unit that has reliable components in senior
Deja Davis, junior Annie Monaghan and junior keeper
Sophia Lattanzio.
Ridge: There are notable strengths up and down
the Somerset County team’s lineup.
Watchung Hills: Senior striker Jessica Sol-
diviero will have ample support, as the Warriors try
to keep pace with Montgomery, Pingry and Ridge in
the Skyland Conference.
Freehold Township: With rugged defender
Tara Surick, midfielder Gabrielle Davis and emerg-
ing forward Natalie Savarino, the Patriots will be in
the hunt for a second straight Shore Conference
Tournament title.
.Piscataway: With 10 returning starters an-
ticipated to be back in the fold for the defending
champs, the Chiefs have the experience and confi-
dence to be a force in both the GMC and Group 4.
Clarkstown South: With players like Briana
Jean-Charles, Kaitlyn Montera, Laura Rolston and
Olivia Szeker-Cortes returning, the Vikings will be a
strong favorite in Section 1 Class AA.
Arlington: The Admirals will look to avoid a let-
down after last year’s historic run to the NYS Class
AA finals.
Somers: The Tuskers will be tasked with replacing
the talented core of last year’s squad that fell in the
NYS Class A championship game.
John Jay-East Fishkill: Fresh faces will be
forced to step up as the Patriots lost the dynamic
duo of Samantha McGuire and Samantha Emery to
Cornwall: All-state striker Caroline Staudle, who
bagged 27 goals last year as a junior, returns as the
Green Dragons look to defend their Section 9 Class
A title.
John Jay-Cross River: The Indians will look
to get over the hump after losing an overtime heart-
breaker to Somers in last year’s Section 1 Class A
title game.
Washingtonville: Replacing five Division I
players won’t be easy. However, the Wizards have
built a powerhouse program that always contends.
Minisink Valley: Two-sport star Jenn Peters,
who will play both lacrosse and soccer at Long Is-
land University, returns to lead a Minisink squad that
fell in last year’s Section 9 Class AA title game to
North Rockland: Shannon Robinson, who
was named all-section last year as a sophomore, will
keep the Red Raiders in every single game.
Pearl River: All-state midfielder Marissa Scog-
namiglio returns as the Pirates look to make another
deep run in the Section 1 Class A playoffs.
St. Joseph Hill: Led by goalkeeper Kristy Ric-
ca, St. Joseph Hill will attempt to repeat as CHSAA
Archdiocesan champion.
Riverdale Country Day: Midfielder Zoe
Clark, sweeper Sarah Tiffany and goalkeeper Jenni-
fer Kronish return for the two-time NYSAISAA cham-
Beacon: Forward Tyler Sloan and a host of sopho-
mores are back for a Beacon team that went unde-
feated last year, winning a third PSAL Class A title in
five years.
Bronx Science: Gianna Fitz, Isabella Pecorari
and Elizabeth Schaeffer are back for the Wolverines,
who lost to Beacon in the PSAL final last November.
Bayside: With PSAL leading scorer D.J. Glazer,
who had 59 goals in 15 games last year, the Commo-
dores will try to improve on one of the best seasons
in program history.
St. Francis Prep: The Terriers return a host of
starters from last year’s young team, including sweep-
er Aimee Kasmally and goalkeeper Kimmi Chacko.
Archbishop Molloy: Victoria Antonino and
Jessie Jamin are back for the Stanners, who will
once again compete for the CHSAA Nassau/Suffolk
class A title.
Christ the King: The Royals captured their
first CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan title. With
goalkeeper Kristen Drogsler back, CK is looking
to repeat.
Tottenville: The Pirates won 10 of 15 games
and reached the PSAL quarterfinals last year, but
that’s a subpar season for George Kaplan’s peren-
nial powerhouse.
Mary Louis: Therese Boyle emerged as a legit
scoring threat last year and she is back to guide a
Hilltoppers team that will compete for a CHSAA
Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan title.
St. Joseph: The Cadets finished 2011 with the
best regular season record in the rugged FCIAC,
and return dynamic all-state juniors Samantha Gras-
so and Sabrina Toole.
New Canaan: Led by Anna Borea, the Rams will
try to build on last year’s 14-4-2 record and trip to the
Class LL quarterfinals.
Westhill: The Vikings have one of the state’s most
talented underclassmen in Jess Laszlo, and will at-
tempt to reach the state quarterfinals for the fourth
straight season.
Greenwich: The defending FCIAC champs lost
MSG Varsity Connecticut Region Player of the Year
Shannon Colligan to graduation, but Danny Simpson
always has a solid core of young players waiting in
the wings.
Staples: The Wreckers will look to make history
repeat itself with a return to the Class LL semifinals.
Barlow: The Falcons won 13 games last season,
and are aiming for their second SWC title in three
Watertown: The Indians are coming off a 15-win
season and the NVL championship.
Amity: If the Spartans need motivation, they can
simply recall their epic second-round state-tourna-
ment loss via penalty kicks at the hands of Cheshire.
Wilton: Casey Pearsall and the Warriors should
be dangerous in the postseason once again.
Drien: Both of the Blue Wave’s postseason losses
in 2011 came to eventual champions Greenwich
(FCIAC) and Glastonbury (Class LL) by a single goal.
Field Hockey
Sachem East All-American Katie Trombetta scored 28 points and
led the Flaming Arrows to their first Class A state title. She was
recently named to USA Field Hockey’s Under-17 National Team.
… Manhasset’s Maddy Molinari was second on Long Island
with 30 points, including 14 assists, and sparked a potent offense
for what, typically, has been a defense-oriented team. … Taylor
Mills of Sayville scored 25 points in 2011, including a Long Island-
best 21 goals. She and helped lead Sayville to its first Suffolk title
since 2006. … Locust Valley’s Bairre Reilly was among Nassau’s
top scorers with 19 points and displayed stick skills that left even
opponents in awe. … Sachem East’s Jordan Miller literally saved
Sachem East’s season with spectacular performances in penalty
strokes in the state semifinals and final. … Friends Academy will
look to goaltender Charlotte Gelfand to lead the way.
Bridgewater-Raritan’s Cat Caro further established herself as
one of the most explosive offensive players in the state by record-
ing 31 goals and 24 assists last year. … Lizzie Lee of Mountain
Lakes posted 20 goals and handed out 11 assists as a sophomore
for the Lakers. … Madison’s Michelle Montagna notched 22
goals and nine assists in 2011. … Bridgewater-Raritan’s Rachel
Yaney serves as the perfect complement to Caro and helped the
Panthers offensively with 35 goals and seven assists. …West
Milford’s Janne Bednarowski recorded 12 shutouts and an 89
percent save-percentage last campaign.
Brooke Bonfiglio of Bronxville, an all-state midfielder, led the
Broncos to NYS Class C regional championship. …Lakeland’s
Gianna Bensaia, an all-state defender, also chipped in on the
offensive end in 2011-12, totaling eight goals and eight assists.
… Molly Malone of Ossining is an offensive powerhouse, total-
ing 20 goals and 15 assists last season to earn all-state honors.
…Putnam Valley’s Erin McCrudden was an all-state performer
who racked up 16 goals and 14 assists in 2011-12. … Michelle
Loguidice was an all-state talent and Harrison’s top offensive
weapon last year. … Shannon Bennett leads a talented John
Jay-East Fishkill team.
Fairfield-Warde’s Lindsey Adams—an all-FCIAC first team
selection as a junior—is one of the top returning players in the
league. … Kat Huber of Darien was a first-team all-state and all-
FCIAC choice, who uses her speed and athleticism to spark the
Blue Wave. … Greenwich Academy’s Eva Rosencranz totaled 16
goals and five assists, and was selected to the all-New England
and all-FAA squads. … Emilia Tapsall of Greenwich Academy
played a starring role in the Gators’ FAA title run, scoring seven
goals and 24 assists. … Greenwich Academy’s Pam Schulman
notched a region-best 25 goals and 13 assists, and was named
to the all-New England and all-FAA teams last season.
ield Hockey
Field hockey
players to watch
Plenty of
Talent to Go
John Jay-East Fishkill’s
Shannon Bennett
Photo by by Mike Stobe
Sachem East: The defending Class A
state champs return All-American Katie Trom-
betta and her sister, Cara, along with goalie
Jordan Miller and standout midfielders Karyn
Ryan and Katie Doherty.
Garden City: The Trojans won a seventh
straight Long Island championship and
reached the Class B state final but graduated
11 seniors.
Sayville: The Golden Flashes won the
Suffolk Class B title and almost upset Garden
City in the Long Island Championship. They
are now led by all-Long Islander Taylor Mills,
goalie Gianna Minogue and Olivia Russell,
and have a potential star in Zoe Norton.
Ward Melville: After winning four straight
Class A Long Island titles, the Patriots lost in
last year’s Suffolk final. They return a strong
cast with Kelsey Catalano (21 points), Yuna
Hur and defenders Deryn Blaney and Mary
Brigid Coughlan.
Smithtown East: The Bulls lost to rival
Ward Melville in double-overtime of the Suf-
folk semifinals. They are a perennial contender
and return Mackenzie Buckley, Samantha
Nizich, Shannon Rooney and goalie Ericka
Manhasset: The Indians return a talented
group, led by star forward Maddy Molinari,
Emily Koufakis and Julia Glynn.
Rocky Point: The Eagles came within a
penalty stroke of winning the Suffolk title last
season. They have key returnees in all-Long
Island midfielder Kristine Loscalzo, along with
Alyssa Milano and Annie Kennedy.
Massapequa: The three-time defending
Nassau Class A champs remain a deep and
talented squad with Jamie Ahrens, Kristen
Yevoli, Morgan Lukaszwicz, Lena Pollich and
goalies Cassidy O’Brien and Jordan Maneri.
Cold Spring Harbor: The Seahawks
made it to the Nassau Class B final for the
first time last year and will look to build on that.
Jillian Lee, Courtney Burke and goalie Taylor
Striar should keep them in contention.
Bay Shore: The Marauders are led by
all-Long Island midfielder Kyra Harney, Jac-
queline Ulrich and Liz Athing—each of whom
had 19 points.
West Essex: The Knights are the defend-
ing Group 2 state champions and have their
sights set on a repeat run.
Shore Regional: The Blue Devils feature
one of the Garden State’s top goalkeepers in
North Carolina-bound Shannon Johnson.
Oak Knoll: The Royals return plenty of
offensive firepower, which should make them
a true contender in 2012.
Freehold Boro: This season, the Colo-
nials look to defend their Group 3 state crown.
Bridgewater-Raritan: The Panthers
have captured four straight Shore Conference
titles and have registered seven straight 20
win seasons.
West Milford: The Highlanders are the
team to beat in Passaic County.
Wall: The Crimson Knights figure to battle
Shore Regional and Freehold for conference
Mountain Lakes: The Lakers are an of-
fensive force in the competitive NJAC behind
junior Lizzie Lee and a strong supporting cast.
Madison: The Dodgers are nearly guaran-
teed to pose a legitimate threat in the NJAC
behind the explosive Michelle Montagna.
Ramsey: Looking for a favorite to capture
the illustrious Bergen County crown? Look no
further than the Rams.
Lakeland: Who would bet against the
three-time defending NYS Class B champs?
Mamaroneck: The Tigers have their sights
set on getting over the hump at the NYS Class
A title game.
Rye: With Lakeland losing its dynamic duo
to graduation, this could be Rye’s year to
usurp the Hornets’ throne atop Section 1
Class B.
Putnam Valley: Three of its four losses in
2011-12 came against powerhouse Lakeland,
so expect the Tigers to be a contender in a
crowded Section 1 Class B.
Ossining: All-state standout Molly Malone
returns to power an Ossining team that fell to
Mamaroneck in last year’s Section 1 Class A
championship game.
Bronxville: Defending Section 1 Class C
champs return a solid number of players from
last year, however, it won’t be easy to replace
standout goalie Katie Knox.
John Jay-CR: Indians will look to rebound
after getting upset by Ossining in last year’s
Section 1 Class A semifinals
Scarsdale: The return of all-section players
Caroline Knapp and Sydney Malsch make
the Raiders a serious contender in Section 1
Class A.
Carmel: The Rams’ only defeat of the
2011-12 season came against Ossining in the
Section 1 Class A semifinals.
Ketcham: All-section talent Casey Herzog
returns to lead the Indians after scoring 15
goals last season.
Greenwich Academy: The Gators are
gunning for their 29th straight Fairchester
Athletic Association championship, and return
a strong nucleus from last year’s 22-2 team.
Darien: The Blue Wave saw their remark-
able winning steak end at 83 games in last
year’s FCIAC semifinals.
Wilton: Four players for the defending Class
M champs were selected for the National
Futures Championship.
Staples: Last season’s FCIAC crown was
the Wreckers’ first since 1994.
Norwalk: The Bears are coming off their
best season in years at 15-4-1, and their first-
ever berth in the state finals.
Joel Barlow: The Falcons’ trip to the Class
M semifinals in 2011 was their furthest since
the early 1990s.
New Canaan: The Rams are coming off
back-to-back 11-win seasons and will be led
by all-FCIAC choices Bridget Falcone and
Bea Eppler.
Lauralton Hall: The Crusaders should
be plenty motivated from last year’s double-
overtime loss in the Class S finals.
Stamford: After a 10-win regular season in
2011, the Black Knights are hungry for more.
Convent of the Sacred Heart: The
Tigers pushed GA to the limit in last year’s
FAA finals, but must replace four all-league
players who were lost to graduation.
Players to Watch and Top 10 Teams compiled by
Lou Brogno (NJ), Isaac Cass (WHV), Brian Fitzsim-
mons (NJ), Stephen Haynes (LI), Jesse Quinlan
Breaking Down the Tri-State
Girls volleyball players to watch
Despite missing eight contests due to a
broken wrist, Immaculata Heart Acad-
emy’s Nia Reed, a Penn State commit,
averaged 10.1 kills per contest and helped
the Blue Eagles capture their fifth straight
state title. … Michelle Cruz, also of IHA,
averaged 10 digs per contest, while
serving as the backbone for a team that
won its fourth Tournament of Champions
crown. … Bogota’s Carly O’Sullivan
stood out on a team filled with talent and
amassed a whopping 430 kills last fall. …
Katie Jennison of North Hunterdon was
one of the state’s best offensive players
and tallied 138 kills and 74 blocks last
campaign. … Marlboro’s Jet Manzi was
arguably the top player down South. She
posted 177 kills, 238 assists and 79 aces.
Massapequa’s Lauren Van Buren was
the Nassau County Player of the Year last
season, and had a .490 kill percentage to
lead the Chiefs to a 12th straight county
Class AA title. ... Ward Melville’s Emily
Astarita emerged as one of Suffolk’s top
all-around talents with 310 kills and 140
digs. ... Emily Clemens of Lindenhurst
is a three-time all-county selection. ...
Joelle Goldstein of Kings Park had 288
kills, 43 aces and a .533 kill percentage
last season. She had 24 kills in the Suffolk
Class A final win over Sayville.
Haldane’s Lauren Etta was the center-
piece on a team that captured the Class
D state championship last fall. The star
outside hitter was named tournament
MVP. ... Tori Bowser of Pelham—a 5-foot-
11 middle blocker—guided the Pelicans
to a sectional championship last season.
… Panas junior Brigitte Bercescu ranks
among the region’s top outside hitters,
averaging nearly six assists per game
last season. … Clarkstown South’s Tay-
lor Carroll—a 6-foot-2 senior—headlines
what could be one of Section 1’s top teams
this fall. … Standout middle blocker
and outside hitter Lauren Biolsi led
Ursuline to an undefeated regular season
and a berth in the Section 1 Class A
Francis Lewis’ Ragina Anthony battled a
hand injury, but the outside hitter had 98
digs and 68 kills, helping guide the Patri-
ots to the PSAL Class A final. … Mary
Claire Bartlett of Brearley is a powerful
hitter and deft passer with court savvy.
… St. Francis Prep’s Kelly Flynn, a two-
year starter, was instrumental in leading
her school to a fifth consecutive Brooklyn/
Queens title and the Terriers first state
final match appearance since 1999. …
Fieldston’s Arianna Francis, as a junior,
recorded 13 kills and seven aces to lead
Fieldston to its first state title since 2002.
… Jenna Hoffman of Archbishop Molloy
is arguably the best volleyball player in
the city.
Weston’s Savannah Carpenter was
named all-SWC first team last season
in helping the Trojans finish with a 17-4
record. … Alex Jordan of Convent of the
Sacred Heart was a driving force behind
the Tigers’ three straight FAA champion-
ships. … Greenwich’s Mirei Kato was
selected to the all-FCIAC first team last
season as a sophomore. … Sarah McAniff
of Joel Barlow was an all-SWC choice as
a junior, and led the Falcons to the SWC
and Class M championship games. …
Fairfield-Ludlowe’s Emily Nelson, a
three-year starter, was an all-FCIAC
second team choice after helping the
Falcons reach the FCIAC quarterfinals
and Class LL second round.
Compiled by Dylan Butler (NYC), Kevin Devaney (WHV), Brian Fitzsimmons (NJ), Jesse Quinlan (CT)
Immaculata Heart Academy’s
Nia Reed
Photo by by Mike Stobe
MSG Varsity Talent Show
crowns champs
here was never much doubt that there is a tremendous amount of talent throughout
the tri-state when it comes to singing and dancing. After a very successful premiere
season of MSG Varsity’s Talent Show, hopes could not be higher for Season Two. Those
hopes were confirmed overwhelmingly!
Hosted by former “American Idol” semifinalist Jared Cotter, MSG Varsity’s Talent
Show aired weekly this past spring, showcasing the top high school talent in the tri-
state area. The series featured a total of 32 acts—16 performers in the individual vocal-
ist category and eight performers in each of the ensemble categories, vocal and dance.
Each episode featured eight acts and the audience voted online for their favorite talent
in each category. The performances that received the most votes on each show ad-
vanced to the next round.

“Being crowned MSG Varsity Talent
Show Champion is absolutely sur-
real,” said Matthew Mayer. “Upon
hearing my name on TV, my house
absolutely erupted. I feel like I’m still
learning more and more about music
and this show was definitely the big-
gest learning experience. It’s unbe-
lievable the amount of support I had
from my family—and I am happy to
have won this for them.”
In addition to receiving the ‘Talent
Show Champion’ title, Mayer par-
ticipated in a two-day professional
studio experience. He worked with
an award-winning producer to cut a
demo CD. He also had a professional
photo shoot.

“It feels amazing to win MSG Varsity’s Talent Show,” said Piscat-
way Dance Coach Jessica Pantaliano. “The Chiefs Dance Team is
only in its second year of competition, so this is a huge accomplish-
ment for a team that has only competed a handful of times. We feel
unstoppable now.”
Members of the Chiefs Dance team included: Ashlei Hazell, Sa-
brina Quiles, Mercedes Rodriguez, Tyaija Shakir, Daniella Sosa
and Brittany Stevens. In addition to the title, all members of The
Chiefs Dance Team attended a Broadway show and participated in
a dance workshop taught by a performer from the show.

“Being crowned MSG Varsity Talent Show champions is like the cherry on the top of an
ice cream sundae with whipped cream—it completed the picture,” said Mark Megill,
Allentown High School Music Department Chairperson. “I am so very proud of the
students for all of their hard work—they chose the songs, they helped arrange them,
they helped choreograph them, and they gladly rehearsed a lot more than usual to get it
right. Thanks for choosing us to be in the competition, and for giving us the chance to be
in such a great show—
it’s been the thrill of a
In addition to the
title, all members of
Half and Half took part
in an unforgettable
Broadway experience.
They attended the
Broadway show Mem-
phis and participated
in a singing workshop
taught by a performer
from the show.
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Don’t Get Tackled
by Traffic on the
Way to the Game!
Don’t Get Tackled
by Traffic on the
Way to the Game!
After all of the questions were asked and all of the
answers were in for MSG Varsity’s The Challenge,
Ardsley High School rose above the rest to take the title
of 2011-12 Tri-State Champion. Ardsley defeated New Jersey
champion Mountain Lakes in the final.
For their accomplishment, Ardsley was awarded $10,000,
The Challenge Cup Trophy, and each team member received
$500. Ardsley’s squad featured Rohan Pitre, Adam Gross-
Leczycki, Ryan Rosenberg (Captain), Josh Berlowitz and Bettina
Cheung (Alternate). The academic advisor was Danielle Wagner.
Now, all of the attention turns to the 192 schools that will
be competing for the 2012-13 crown. The new season of The Chal-
lenge—which is hosted by former American Idol semi-finalist
Jared Cotter—gets underway on Sunday, Oct. 28.
MSG Varsity’s The Challenge began as a Long Island effort
15 years ago and now includes high schools from the entire tri-
state area—Long Island (with Nassau and Suffolk as two distinct
regions), the Bronx, Brooklyn, Westchester/Lower Hudson Valley,
New Jersey and Connecticut.
Schools advance in the tournament through a series of
elimination rounds. After months of competition, one school
in each region will be crowned regional champion, winning
$2,500 for their school. The winning teams from each region will
advance to The Challenge Championship, where they square off
against one another in a Tri-State Showdown.
Ardsley was up to The Challenge!
Westchester school earns Tri-State Championship
MSG Varsity Senior Vice President and Executive Producer Michael Lardner (left)
and host Jared Cotter (right) present the 2011-12 trophy to Ardsley High School.
Back at Ardsley, the team shows off the trophy.
6:30PM ON
Elite student videos honored with V Awards
During the 2011-12 school year, MSG
Varsity received more than 10,000 total
student video submissions from schools
throughout the tri-state. More than 2,000 of those
were entered by the schools to be considered for
a 2012 V Award.
This past May, MSG Varsity and The New York
Chapter of the National Academy of Television
Arts and Sciences (NY NATAS) proudly announced
the winners. For the third year, the V Awards cel-
ebrated excellence in student-produced television
content and inspired creativity among the next
generation of broadcast professionals.
A $5,000 grant was awarded to the winning
school in each of 10 categories representing vari-
ous aspects of media production, while $1,000
grants were awarded for one honorable mention
in each category.
After receiving initial entries in each of the 10
categories, MSG Varsity narrowed submissions
down to regional finalists for each of three re-
gions—New Jersey, Long Island/New York City
and Westchester/Hudson Valley/Connecticut.
From the regional finalist pool of high school stu-
dents, MSG Varsity narrowed the field to the top
qualifiers in 10 categories and then selected win-
“This year’s V Award winners display true ex-
cellence in diverse aspects of media creation,”
said MSG Varsity General Manager Theresa Chill-
ianis. “We’re honored to recognize the very best
from across the region.”
Submissions for the 2013 V Awards will be ac-
cepted in March.
On-Air Talent, Sports

Jackson Liberty High
The Rundown March
Bob Davies

New Canaan High School
Taylor Wilson Rams Sports
Taylor Wilson
On-Air Talent, Non-Sports
Mount Olive High School
The Personalities of Kevin
Kevin Scimecca
Glen Cove High School
GCTV Friday Morning News
- Francesca Sharper
Francesca Sharper
Feature, Sports

Oceanside High School
Oceanside Student Spotlight:
Anthony Peruffo
Zach Feldman, Peter Abrams,
Niko Turrisi

Immaculate Heart
Softball 2012 Preview
Taylor Smith, Daniela Lisa,
Emilie Grimaldi, Jessica
Feature, Non-Sports

Jefferson Township
High School
Mock Accident Feature
Ben Castrogiovanni,
Adam Reines, Declan Jones,
Ed O’Brien

MacArthur High School
What is a Peer Leader?
Kevin Roach, Sam Soguero
Old Bridge High School
Ping Pong: Off the Table
Brandon Smith
Lakeland Regional
High School
Halloween Horror
Erez Bader

Jackson Liberty High
I Hate My Boyfriend
Victoria Nelli

Ridge High School
2097: Blackout
(2099 Prologue)
Chris DeLorenzo
Full-Game Coverage by a Single Camera
Yorktown High School
Yorktown vs. Mt. Vernon
Lucas Eliasson

Wayne Hills High School
Wayne Hills vs. Hackensack
Christian Rowe
Play-by-Play/Color Commentator

Oceanside High School
vs. Oceanside
Evan Pivnick

Passaic Valley High School
Passaic Valley vs. DePaul
Max Furnare
Original Production - Under 5 Minutes

John Jay-East Fishkill
Senior High School
Night Escapades:
A Sockumentary
Casey Silvestri

Dover High School
The Epiphany
Jeff Tamboia, Eli Vincent
Original Production - Over 5 Minutes
Ridge High School
Mark DePasquale, Chris DeLorenzo, Chris
Szeluga. Tim Marston, Stephen Verdi,
John Haddad, Alexander Molander, Bobby
Schmidt, Nolan Haddad
The Ross School
Zoe Wang, Iren Chen, John Cheng, Chole
Wan, Han Jiang, Candice Liu
Photo Central
HHH East vs. Northport
Cold Spring Harbor
Syosset vs. Baldwin
Have a photo for a future magazine?
[email protected]
Bay Shore
Sachem East
Garden City vs. St. Anthony’s
Photos by Frank LoCascio and Bill Mueller
Photo Central
Have a photo for a future magazine?
[email protected]
Wall vs. Manasquan
Pingry vs. Glen Ridge
Photos by Mark Spagnuolo.
Fair Lawn
Photo Central
W E S T C H E S T E R &
Fox Lane
Valhalla Arlington
Have a photo for a future magazine?
[email protected]
North Rockland
Yorktown vs. John Jay - Cross River
Tappan Zee
Photos by Isaac Cass, except Stepinac photo, by Frank LoCascio
Photo Central
& C O N N E C T I C U T
Bronx HS of Science
Have a photo for a future magazine?
[email protected]
Fordham Prep
Jonathan Law
Photos by Frank LoCascio
Poly Prep
From late summer BBQs to
fall tailgating
Chris R. William Floyd (LI)
My pick is a Big Salad, made by—me! Because I am an awesome chef!
Clare F. Warwick Valley (WHV)
My pick is a hamburger, made by my Dad. He makes them on the
grill perfectly.
Victor M. St. Anthony’s (LI)
My pick is a BBQ ribs made by my father and I. We make the best
ribs because we take our time cooking and we enjoy it!
James M. Fordham Prep (NYC)
My pick is a hamburger from Demeters Restaurant and Sports Bar
in Tarrytown, NY. Great-sized burgers with any topping you want
and awesome sides!
Tom Edgemont (WHV)
My pick is a hamburger from my best friend’s Dad, because he is
passionate about cooking!
Dylan D. Eastport-South Manor (LI)
My pick is BBQ ribs, made by my neighbor, George!
Riley N. Dobbs Ferry (WHV)
My pick is a hamburger, from Cedar Street Grill in Dobbs Ferry.
They are the best!
Ryan S. North Salem (WHV)
My pick is a hamburger from The Blazer, a small out-of-the-way place
in Purdy’s. After every lacrosse game even our opponents go there!
What makes your plate
before or after games?
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