On a cold blustery day, the New Paltz baseball/softball faithful came out to cheer on their teams. Nine divisions of them. Three-hundred-and-fifty players strong. In an American Rite of Spring.
A lot of very good football players have come and gone at New Paltz High School in the past 20 years. Some of the very best truly stand out. One thinks of Travis O’Dell, James Mach, Brandon Egan-Thorpe, Gordie Pine, Kevin Murphy, Joe Judge, Alex Dumas, Khariff Laboy, Guy Soumah, Joey DiMarco, Jon Diaz, Jimmy Verney, and this year Kenny Verney, Tanner Johnson and Mike Pisciotta. Though players come and go in high-school ball, one important feature of New Paltz football has stayed constant. Head coach Tom Tegeler, who has been running the show since the 2000 season, is arguably the best coach in the Section
New Paltz swimmer Leo Kuyl had himself quite the season.
After reverting to some bad habits in their 15-point loss to Ellenville in the MHAL basketball final last week, the New Paltz boys got it together quickly and routed Red Hook 71-55 in the Class A semifinal, before routing Minisink Valley (Friday, March 1 at Mount St. Mary’s) 58-44 in the final to defend their Section 9 title. It was a first for the Huguenots and the first team to repeat in Class A since Red Hook in 2010-2011.
Highland’s three-time Section 9 Division 2 champion Matt Malheiro had himself quite the State wrestling meet this past weekend. The senior, wrestling at 132 pounds after winning titles two years running at 138, advanced to the semifinal round on Saturday with victories on Friday over Malachi Porter of Eagle Academy (8-1) in the Round of 16 and 1-0 over Mike O’Brien of Mount Sinai in the quarterfinals.
It was a big day for the New Paltz boys this past Saturday, not only with Leo Kuyl running away with the 50 and 100 freestyle races, but also winning the 200 Medley and 200 Freestyle relays. All in all, the Huguenots are sending five swimmers to States.
Axel Rodriguez needed just three points to reach 1,000 career points. He did that in the game’s opening minute on Friday night, hitting a three-pointer from the side of the key that put him in with that very select group of New Paltz boys that have hit the 1,000 mark: Charlie Davis (1982), Tom Morales (1991) and Matt Petruzzelli (2008), but even more hit for a career-high 29 in his face-off with Saugerties’ freshman phenom Dior Johnson as homestanding New Paltz nipped the Sawyers 57-55 in overtime, clinching the MHAL’s Division 1 title.
It was inevitable that Bri Rozzi — the youngest of the fabled Highland basketball sisters — barring injury, would break the school career-scoring record of 1,615 set by Lisa Pritzlaff in 2001.
It was truly grind-it-out football.
The swim team captures its 7th DUSO championship title, ends season with 54th consecutive win.