Best of the best for fall sports in New Paltz and Highland

New Paltz’s Jimmy Verney

New Paltz’s Jimmy Verney


Best game/meet (team)
New Paltz football’s 33-17 win over Marlboro for the Section 9 Class B title, the Huguenots won their first championship since 2010 and broke the Dukes’ string of Section titles at five.

New Paltz’s Cerissa DiValentino

New Paltz’s Cerissa DiValentino

Best game/meet (individual)
Where do we start? A three-way tie between girls soccer’s Cerissa DiValentino scoring four goals in six minutes against a good Highland team; Abbie Santos winning two Section 9 girls swimming titles at the championship meet two weeks ago; and Jimmy Verney’s tour-de-force performance running and passing the ball in leading the football team to the Section 9 championship over Marlboro.

New Paltz’s Abbie Santos

New Paltz’s Abbie Santos

Best of the unsung
The New Paltz defense (football) — led by Guy Soumah and Kenny Verney, the offense rolled along on big plays, while the “D” held regular season opponents to 56 points in eight games, kudos to defense coach Sam Phelps and the rest of the guys; Cerissa DiValentino (girls soccer) — I’m not sure how one can score 32 goals in 15 games (setting a new single season girls record) and be considered unsung, but DiValentino had arguably the best season ever for the girls soccer program; Otto Richards (boys soccer) — the steadying factor for the boys team, unflappable from his sweeper position, saved many a game as the last line of defense before freshman keeper Wesley Mize; Kaela Santos (girls swimming) — the leader of the team, made it to States individually (100 butterfly) and as the heart-and-soul of two relays; Jordan Nagel and Logan Linares (cross country) — kept the great New Paltz running tradition going, top ten in MHAL’s, made Sections again; Kelly Brinkman (volleyball) — when she’s on her game: kills, blocks, digs, there’s no one better in the league, in the tradition of Andrea Wilkinson, Brooke Frey and Nyah Bonilla; Mikal Kalus (tennis) — 10-1 on the season and as steady as could be, her arsenal expanded to make her one of the MHAL’s best players.

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Best defenders
Guy Soumah and Kenny Verney (football) – Senior Mr. Down-and-Done and Sophomore Mr. Pound-em-Down (respectively) led the team all year long, and played both sides of the ball, but their biggest plays came from the defensive side, particularly in wins over Liberty (Section 9 semifinal) and the title game against Marlboro (with Verney playing injured).

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