MetroSports Magazine Jan-Feb 2021

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MetroSports Magazine

Army Football Road to the 2020 Commander-in Chief’s Trophy

January-February 2021

Formula E Racing Accelerate I in NYC Spirit of America Women’s Gymnastics Shuang Wang Tainjin to NYC Pleasantville’s Katie Moses NY and CT Strong Men & Women


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January-February 2021

4 The Stuff of Legends: Part 1 Three Amazing Football Games in 2020 Added Memorable Chapters To the Long History of Army Football and West Point’s Michie Stadium 10 Formula E -Accelerate The FIA Formula E race series opens the 2021 season with a virtual race on the Brooklyn wtyerfront. 13 Shuang Wang: Making Her Mark in New York City From Tainjin, China to NYC USA. 16 2021 Spirit of America Women’s gymnastics continues in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic 24 Prevailing in the Time of Covid Pleasantville High School’s Ktie Moses 26 New York Strong Competitions US Strongman competitions carry on at Mamaroneck’s NY Strong Gym

Cover Photo Courtesy of:

U.S. Defense Visual Information Distribution Service MetroSports Magazine | 1

Train Like a Champion. Train with a Champion. MetroSports Magazine’s former Athlete of the Month and cover of our May-June 2015 issue, Keisher “Fire” McLeod, a former NY Golden Gloves Champion, current NYS Flyweight Champion and current WIBA World Flyweight Champion can now be your personal boxing trainer at the world famous Gleason’s Gym.

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MetroSports Magazine (MSM) is published six times a year by the New York Sports Photo Group. MSM is available online and can be downloaded in electronic format for viewing on tablet and hand-held devices, laptop and desktop computers and purchased as full-color glossy print editions. Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Art Director: Warren Rosenberg Publisher: New York Sports Photo Group: Editorial Director / Sales: John Chuhran Writers: John Chuhran, Warren Rosenberg Director of Photography: Clark Thompson Social Media: Clark Thompson, Warren Rosenberg Photo Contributors: -Clark Thompson, -Warren Rosenberg -U.S. Defense Visual Information Distribution Service Advertising: For rate card contact Please direct all inquiries to: Visit us on the web at:

MetroSports Magazine accepts and welcomes photos, short articles, opinions and letters from our readers. There is no guarantee that unsolicited contributions will be published and MetroSports Magazine assumes no responsibility for failure to publish or for editing published contributions. The Contents of MetroSports Magazine consist of copyrightable and/or copyrighted material and cannot be reproduced without the express written consent of the publishers. MetroSports Magazine | 3

Part 1 of John Chuhran’s Chronicle of Army Football’s Road to the 2020 Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy

The Stuff of Legends Part 1: Setting the Stage by John Chuhran

Three Amazing Football Games in 2020 Added Memorable Chapters To the Long History of Army Football and West Point’s Michie Stadium o a passionate sports fan, a trip to a legendary sports venue can be an adventure in a time machine.


And if you are very, very lucky, you can be there when the extraordinary happens, leaving the brain with sensory imprints that may last a lifetime.

Palms get sweaty and breathing gets quicker as you realize that new chapters in the ever-unfolding story of improbable and nearly impossible athletic achievements can and do happen every year. You are someplace where magic has happened before and you hope it will happen again while you are there.

Places like Fenway Park, Lambeau Field, Augusta National Golf Course, Churchill Downs and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are revered by diehard sports fans as much for what has already happened there as for what newer events will add to the emotional legacies felt by those who watch in person or on TV. Seeing history in the making adds new chapters and ties generations together.

These feelings can happen at stadiums old or new, but older venues have the advantage of having a vast inventory of sports competitions to compare with the events that will soon unfold. Close your eyes and your mind will take you to the sights, sounds and smells of the past; open them and you can see the present and visualize the future.

Another legendary venue dripping with a rich history and tradition is Michie Stadium, the home of football at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Opened in 1924 with C-shaped grandstands, the venue added permanent stands behind the East sideline in 1962, expanded with an upper deck over the West grandstands in 1969, and was

Above: Three U.S. Army Cadettes looking out on the field of Michie Stadium. Photo Credit Warren Rosenberg

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Above: The traditional run out of the Army Football team at Michie Stadium. Photo credit - Warren Rosenberg

capped with a press box and various hospitality suites for media, dignitaries and coaches over the upper deck in 2003. With a vista that overlooks the East bank of the Hudson River and a vast variety of trees producing a stunning Technicolor spectacle that reflects off the adjoining Lusk Reservoir when leaves change color in the fall, Michie Stadium was ranked by Sports Illustrated two decades ago as the number 3 venue in the world to see a sporting event. Think about that: number 3 in the entire world. Michie Stadium is a place that has hosted memorable games for nearly a century, and with the replacement of the original Yankee Stadium by a modern imposter, only Augusta National remains ahead of this wonderous facility – part stadium,

2021 Season Opens 3/27 vs Philly;

4/24 vs Dallas;

part shrine – on that bucket list. And it sits less than 50 miles from Manhattan, largely unknown by modern sports fans because it receives little coverage from the New York City TV stations or newspapers. The arena named for Dennis Michie, who organized, managed and coached the first football team at West Point in 1890, was still going strong in 2020. It was a year that will forever be remembered as the time when COVID-19 changed the idea of a normal life, yet the story of West Point Football and Michie Stadium were to gain some remarkable new chapters. One of the most challenging aspects of collegiate athletics is the annual change to the rosters -– losing seniors to graduation, maximizing the chang-

5/8 vs D.C.;

5/15 vs FDNY;

5/28 vs NYCD;

6/12 vs NYPD

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Above, Game Day promotion courtesy of West Point Athletic Department

ing abilities of juniors and sophomores as they mature or get injured, and integrating freshmen with developing skills into the existing program. Add in the unique, unchangeable academic and physical requirements of military life as well as a code of moral ethics (“I will not lie, cheat or steal or tolerate anyone who does”) that is all but forgotten at most institutions and it becomes clear that, in many ways, the football teams at West Point (and their counterparts at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., and the U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Col.) are symbols of excellence not just on the gridiron but in life itself. These are the young men who embody the intelligence, physical fitness, and strength of character that many Americans pray will be developed in their own children. 6 | January-February 2021

Every four years there is a 100 percent turnover in player personal (with the rare exception of a fifth-year returning red shirt), so college coaching is a never-ending process that must adjust to ever-changing talents as players come and go. But when they go from a service academy, they leave with training and experience that will help them for the rest of their lives. For Army, 2020 was a year to rebuild. After three consecutive winning seasons and three consecutive post-season Bowl victories, in 2019 the Black Knights suffered with the loss of several key players and stumbled to a 5-8 record. Among the defeats were losses to both Air Force and Navy, which earned the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy by also defeating Air Force.

The Prize The varsity football teams at the three service academies live to win the Commander-In-Chief’s (CIC) Trophy. Though not as well-known as the NFL’s Vince Lombardi Trophy, the NHL’s Stanley Cup, the Claret Jug of the British Open, or the Indy 500’s Borg-Warner Trophy, the CIC Trophy is every bit as magnificent as those other symbols of athletic excellence. It stands 30 inches tall with a silver, threesided, pyramid-like center section atop a black, circular base, and it weighs a solid 170 pounds. On top of this prize sit three silver footballs, each above the crest of one of America’s three military service academies. Below the crests are 20 small plaques that are engraved (or will be in the future) with the name and year of the winner of the annual round-robin competition. The CIC Trophy is awarded each year to the service academy that can defeat the other two (if each team wins one game, possession stays with the previous year’s winner). Even more important, the win-

ning team receives an invitation to the White House where the President officially presents the trophy to the team and the players and coaches get to meet and spend a few minutes (usually a lunch) with the Commander-In-Chief. It is a humbling and awe-inspiring experience to have the chance to talk with the leader of the free world in a place ordinary people never see. There was a lot of football to be played in 2020 before anyone knew which team would earn the White House invitation. The pandemic demolished the initial schedules for virtually all teams in the nation as most opponents dropped out when programs were suspended due to conference, medical or preventative decisions. Army Senior Associate Athletic Director Bob Beretta tirelessly worked the telephones and amazingly was able to reconstruct a 12-game schedule for the Black Knights; only Tulane, Air Force and Navy remained from the original slate.

Above: Commander-in-Chief, President Donald J. Trump conducting the coin toss to start the 2020 Army-Navy Football Game at Michie Stadium. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nathan Burke

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Army Head Coach Jeff Monken and his staff had some important roles to fill. As the disappointing 2019 season had unfolded, Army suffered from not having an effective quarterback. Monken took his team into training without a clear choice for signal caller and as practice intensified and progressed he saw flashes of brilliance, but no clear dominant choice for quarterback. He also lacked experience at running back, leaving the entire offense questionable. Through the early games, Monken kept opponents off balance by rotating multiple players at quarterback and running back – a situation compounded by injuries as well as inconsistency – and kept finding the right combinations as the Black Knights built a 6-1 record with only a 24-10 road loss to Cincinnati (ranked 14th nationally) heading into the November 7 matchup with Air Force. But that game had to be postponed when it was announced that the Falcons were in lock down following discovery several Air Force players had been exposed

to individuals infected with COVID-19. With the Mountain West Conference making a late decision to conduct a season, Air Force had a very full and compacted schedule ahead. Given the possibility of additional COVID-19 outbreaks and the difficulty of finding a common off-week to reschedule the Air Force-Army matchup, there was serious doubt about whether it would ever be played. After the unexpected week off, the Cadets traveled to New Orleans to face Tulane. The Black Knights never looked comfortable and failed to score in the second half, falling 38-12 to the Green Wave. Army headed home, licking its wounds as it prepared to face Georgia Southern, Monken’s previous team. It would be an epic game, the preface to a two-act play that added new pride and glory to the storied history of West Point football. And the full stories of those three contests will be told in the next issue of MetroSports.

Above: Army-Navy Game at Michie Stadium. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Alexander Kubitza

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Above: U.S. Arir Force Academy special edition uniform of the Air Power Legacy Series uniforms honoring the Tuskegee Airmen. Photo by Trevor Cokley, U.S. Air Force Academy.

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FIA Formula E

Accelerate Race 1 on the Virtual Brooklyn Waterfront by Warren Rosenberg


he Brooklyn, New York, waterfront has been the site of the FIA Formula E New York City ePrix since 2017. The NYC ePrix has been the last stop on this international racing circuit with stops in Saudi Arabia, Monaco, Berlin, Mexico City, London, Morocco, Paris, and China among others. The Covid-19 pandemic brought that to a screeching halt in 2020.

Formula E: Accelerate is a six-race competition that kicks off at the end of January and concludes in March at the Grand Final with double points on offer for the sim racing stars. The virtual races will take place at inch-perfect digital recreations of tracks from real world locations like Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport, Hong Kong Harbourfront and Red Hook City in New York City, among others.

While the 2020-2021season has now gotten underway with some of this season’s racing schedule released, there has been no commitment yet made to the New York City race. When the live action New York Knicks season was cancelled in 2020, the NBA and Madison Square Garden stepped in with a virtual competition through the NBA2K video gaming league and the Knicks Gaming squad dubbed the KNX. Similarly, the FIA stepped in with its own virtual racing series, the ‘Formula E Race at Home Challenge’, and mounted a contest on a virtual Brooklyn waterfront track. This race was covered in a June 4th, 2020 article in MetroSports Magazine as was the NBA2K’s KNX season.

Facing Page: Above - #48 RoKit Venturi car on the 2021 virtual NYC track. Photo credit - FIA Media Below- the #19 Venturi car on the actual Brooklyn watefrront road course in 2019. Photo credit - Warren Rosenberg

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With the 2020-21 season uncertain, and with growing interest in virtual gaming, the FIA launched its “Formula E:Accelerate Racing” eSports series with its inaugural race on the streets of a virtual Brooklyn race track. Formula E: Accelerate is a six-race competition that kicks off at the end of January and concludes in March at the Grand Final with double points on offer for the sim racing stars. The virtual races will take place at inch-perfect digital recreations of tracks from real world locations like Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport, Hong Kong Harbourfront and Brooklyn’s Red Hook Cruise Ship Terminal in New York City, among others. The 24 sim racers will also be gunning for a piece of a minimum €100,000 prize pot and the ultimate all-electric driving experience of taking the Gen2 car for some laps around a Formula E circuit during an E-Prix weekend. In the New York race to open the season, ROKiT Venturi Racing’s Erhan Jajovski established his dominance by capturing the pole position in qualifying and going on the win the race. From the front row, Erhan secured the perfect start and led into Turn 1, defending from Audi’s Manuel Biancolilla to convert his pole position into the lead by the end of the opening lap. At the front, Erhan fended off a mid-race assault from Race at Home Challenge champion Kevin Siggy and opened up a comfortable lead, building a four-second buffer between himself and P2. This gap was enough to ensure victory, and after 25-minutes of hard-fought racing, Erhan took the checkered flag in first place to become the inaugural winner of Formula E: Accelerate.

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Summing up his performance in the race, Erhan commented, “That was the most intense qualifying and race session I’ve ever had. After the online qualifiers, we knew that the gaps across the field would be small, but to secure pole position in the first race is a fantastic feeling. My race was all about the start and I knew that if I was able to defend up to Turn 4, I would be in a good position. That’s exactly what happened. I was able to open up a small gap but all of the fighting behind played into my advantage. Lorenz was looking strong and it’s a shame he got into some trouble on the first lap. I’m grateful for the team’s support and I hope we can maintain this form into Round 2.”

Shuang Wang: Making Her Mark in New York Table Tennis Prodigy from Tianjin, China In a November 26th, 2008 article, the New York Times referenced the sport of Table Tennis and its devotees and a “secret society” soon poised to “emerge from behind unmarked doors” of the small handful of places serving the sport in New York City. In the ensuing decade, the sport has grown in popularity and the New York Metro area has become a mecca for world-class athletes pursuing the sport. We recently met one such athlete, Shuang Wang, at Will Shortz’ Westchester Table Tennis Center in Pleasantville, N.Y., a suburb just north of the City.

With a growing list of impressive results in local competitions, she started to consider Table Tennis as her full-time career. Her passion and dedication to sports led her to attend the Tianjin University of Sports, where she graduated from the Physical Education Program, focusing on Table Tennis. At 18, she was drafted into the Tianjin City Table Tennis Team and received the distinction of“First-Class Athlete,”a rare award only given to elite Chinese players aiming for full national & international career development.

Shuang Wang, now living in New York City, hails from Tianjin, China, a city known for being the cradle of several champions in the sport of Table Tennis. She began playing Table Tennis at the early age of 7 when a coach from her hometown noticed her knack for the sport and encouraged her to participate in local competitions. By the age of 11, she had already impressed older and more experienced players in China with her abilities.

Besides being an incredible player in her own right, Shuang was also the practice partner of many legends of Chinese table tennis in the Tianjin Team, like the world champions Hao Shuai, Li Ping, and outstanding athletes like Ma Wen Ge, Li Nan, Li Yan, and Wang Hui Jing. She also had the opportunity to practice with the North Korean World Champion of 2013/2014, Kim Jong, who provided her with incredible insights on the serving and spin

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techniques that she still uses to this day. Such experiences not only improved her play but also allowed her to develop unmatched coaching skills. Willing to take her career as a player and coach to a higher level, Shuang decided to come to the United States to share her knowledge with American players and coaches, giving private lessons and participating in tournaments across the country. Her achievements have been extraordinary: while participating in less than 20 local tournaments in the country, she reached the highest ranking of 2423, was ranked among the best 25 female players in the USA, and attracted a legion of loyal students who daily rely on her coaching abilities to improve their games. An example of one of Shuang’s successful students is Jensen Feng, who recently became a USA National Table Tennis Men’s Team member. According to Shuang Wang, success in table tennis depends on mastering the control of the ball in each stroke, considering speed, placement, force, and spin. Only by adequately mastering these four basic principles, a table tennis player can succeed in a match.” Based on her extensive experience in the sport, she obtained her Coach Club Certification from USATT

• • • • • • • • • • • • •

willing to make positive contributions to American Table Tennis Communities. Now, Coach Shuang plans to move up the Table Tennis ladder locally and become a National Coach with USATT, developing herself - even more - as an expert player and coach. “A good coach is positive, enthusiastic, supportive, trusting, focused, goal-oriented, knowledgeable, observant, respectful, and patient with its students,” says Coach Shuang. “More than being a compassionate ear, a coach must always welcome his/her student’s comments, questions, and input. The effective coach will actively seek out information from other athletes to improve his own skills and pass it along.” On a personal level, among Shuang’s hobbies are reading, taking walks in Central Park, skiing and, most interesting, playing billiards. What makes this most interesting is that, going back the 2008 New York Times article, the growth of Table Tennis initially began in the billiard halls of the lower east side and Greenwich Village as the establishments began replacing billiard tables with Table Tennis tables. Her favorite athletes are Ma Long and Michael Jordan, and her favorite food is dumplings and cucumbers.

2017 First Place Women’s singles at Aurora Cup,U.S. 2017 First Place Women’s singles at Princeton Pong February Open,U.S. 2017 Second Place Women’s singles in Memorium Open,U.S. 2017 Fifth Place Women’s singles JOOLA LA Open Tournament at U.S. 2018 Third Place Women’s single at Aurora Cup U.S. 2018 Third Place Women’s singles Butterfly February Open at U.S. 2018 Third Place Women’s singles at Arnold Table Tennis Challenge U.S. 2018 First Place Women’s Team JOOLA North American Teams Championships, DC,U.S. 2018 Fifth Place Women’s Double at U.S. Open, U.S. 2019 Second Place Women’s single at Aurora Cup, U.S. 2019 Third Place Women’s single at Butterfly Ultimate Fieldhouse March Open, U.S. 2019 Fifth Place women’s Double at U.S.Open, U.S. 2020 Third place women’s single at Butterfly Ultimate Fieldhouse Winter Open, U.S.

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The Spirit of America Invitational Gymnastics During Covid by Warren Rosenberg


lthough the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games were postponed last year and are likely to be cancelled, the Covid pandemic has not been able to stop this year’s national competitions of USA Gymnastics and the State-wide and Regional events leading up to them. With proper protocols in place, several New York State qualifying meets have been taking place in the New York Metropolitan area, among them the January 29-31 “Spirit of America Invitational” at Dynamic Gymnastics in Mohegan Lake, New York. Following the strict safety protocols established by the New York State Department of Health for ‘Moderate Risk Sports’, over 300 athletes representing six regional training facilities gathered for the three-day event. Participants ranged in age from under ten through high school seniors, and from Junior Olympic levels 3 thorough 10 and Xcel levels Bronze through Diamond. The 2021 Spirit of America is one of 35 scheduled women’s artistic gymnastics competitions in New York State leading up to the State, Regional, and National competitions to be held in April and May. Following safety guidelines, athletes were limited to having only one person accompany them, thereby limiting the number of people in the facility at one time and allowing for proper social distancing. On-site density was further limited by separating the competitors and their guests into ten separate sessions, spaced out over three days, with a limited in number of participants in each. Temperature screening was carried out on everyone as they entered the facility – athletes, guests, coaches, judges and event workers. Directional signs on doors and hallways helped manage traffic flow and limit personal contact and everyone was required to wear face masks at all times. 16 | January-February 2021

Above: Graduating seniors were honored during the opening ceremony while observing the requirement for wearing face masks Below: Properly masked participants stand during the singing of the National Anthem to start each of the ten competition sessions

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Above: Left-Social Distancing and directional markers on floor and, Right- signage ensured compliance with Covid protocols Below: Competition officials and workers were properly masked and maintained social distancing throughout the event

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Dynamic Gymnastics is an 11,000 square foot state of the art training center operated by Olympic gymnasts Sorin Ceopi and Teodora Ungureanu-Cepoi. With backgrounds as Olympic competitors and credentials in sports science and coaching, Sorin and Teodora have met with extraordinary success in guiding the more than 10,000 gymnasts they have trained. Dynamic Gymnastics has helped lead young gymnasts on to earn college athletic scholarships, coveted positions on the U.S. National Gymnastics Team, a gold medal at the 2011 World Championship in Tokyo and an opportunity to compete in the U.S. Olympic Team trials.

Participating in the 2021 Spirit of America Invitational were 318 athletes and coaches from the following training centers throughout the Hudson Valley region of New York State. All Around Gymnastics, Newburgh, NY Dynamic Gymnastics, Mohegan Lake, NY Gold Star Gymnastics, Pleasant Valley, NY Pike Gymnastics Academy, Port Jervis, NY Twist & Flip Gymnastics, Albany, NY YWCA Aerials, White Plains, NY YWCA Tumblettes, White Plains, NY

Above: New York State Department of Health regulations allow for athletes to be unmasked during competition but for coaches and others in close proximity to them to be properly protected. These safety protocols were stricly followed.

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Of the 172 athletes participating, 80 were in the Junior Olympics program and 92 in the Xcel program. All Around Champions were fairly evenly represented across all participating gyms while the bulk of individual event Champions skewed more heavily to host Dynamic Gymnastics and Putnam County’s Gold Star Gymnastics.

Competitive Level Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 Level 6 Level 7 Level 8 Level 10 Xcel Bronze Xcel Silver Xcel Gold Xcel Platinum Xcel Diamond

All Around Champion Ava Sanchez, YWCA Tumblettes Alexa Dobbs, Pike Gymnastics Alexis St. Auburn, Gold Star Gymnastics Emma Giglo, All Around Gymnastics Emma Sherwood, Gold Star Gymnastics Olivia Maricco, Dynamic Gymnastics Taylor Dunn, Dynamic Gymnastics Olivia Butler, Pike Gymnastics Rowan Bezio, Twist & Flip Gymnastics Julia Pauze, Twist & Flip Gymnastics Claire Celaya, Gold Star Gymnastics Adelynn Laurie, Dynamic Gymnastics

Achieving the competition’s high score on individual events

Vault Bars

Junior Olympic Xcel 9.575 Alexis St. Auburn, Gold Star 9.500 Katerina Stojanovski, Dynamic


9.525 Regan Klos, All Around

9.500 Stella Krebser, Dynamic 9.500 Leona Dyson, Gold Star 9.800 Rowan Bezio, Twist & Flip 9.500 Emma Sherwood, Gold Star

Floor 9.650 Ava Sanchez, YWCA Tumblettes 9.650 Rachel Vassel, All Around

9.650 Rowan Bezio, Twist & Flip 9.750 Charlotte Hebner, Twist & Flip 9.750 Lydia Hall, Twist & Flip 9.750 Maya Malcarne, Gold Star

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Prevailing in the time of Covid: Pleasantville High School’s Katie Moses


020 was a year that wreaked havoc on the NY Metro area sports scene leading to serious disruptions or full cancellations of major league sports, NCAA sports, high school and club sports and the cessation of events at Yankee Stadium and City Field, Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center, the Nassau Coliseum, Newark’s Prudential Center and the Westchester County Center. In an article published on December 26, 2020, the online publication “Soccer Today: Voice of American Soccer” summed up the tumultuous year that 2020 has been by noting that, “The soccer world continues to be massively impacted on all levels, from youth soccer to the professional game, by the Coronavirus COVID-19.” To keep up with the Covid-related disruptions, MetroSports Magazine turned to coverage of the NBA2K online gaming to follow the New York Knicks eSports team, the FIA’s virtual New York City ePrix race to replace the scheduled Formula E race on the Brooklyn waterfront, and the movement of Olympic Weighlifter Alexis Jones from her training site at Downstate Crossfit to her home garage. In the midst of all of this turmoil there were notable success stories. the West Point Football team recaptured the Commander-in-Chief Trophy, in part with home field wins in December against Navy and Air Force, on December 12th Vanderbilt University soccer player, Sarah Fuller, became the first woman to score in an NCAA Division I Power 5 Conference Football game and, more locally, Ossining High School graduate, Obi Toppin, was drafted by the New York Knicks, Rye Neck High School graduate Kristina Esposito won the National Auto Sports Association’s “One Last Chance North East NASA 2020 at the New Jersey Motorsports park and the Formula and Automobile Rac24 | January-February 2021

ing Association’s Enduro Championship Trophy at Homestead Miami Speedway, and Pleasantville High School senior soccer player, Katie Moses, was named Player of the Year by the New York State Sportswriters and Coaches for For those who follow Pleasantville High School sports, this December 14th announcement came as little surprise. Moses has a history of racking up commendations having been designated the three-time High School All Section athlete (2018, 2019, 2020), two time High School All Section athlete (2019 -11th grade; 2018 - 10th Grade), High School All State 2nd Team athlete (2019) and High School All Section Honorable Mention as a 9th grader in 2017. Pleasantville High School Coach, Chris Osterhoudt told Pleasantville. I am so proud of all of her accomplishments, as well as the teams. It has been an honor to have coached a great young woman these past 4 years.” And like Coach Osterhoudt, Katie also gave credit to her teammates and to the coaching staff, telling MetroSports Magazine, “My teammates and coaches have pushed me to be the best player I can be and I feel like my work payed off coming out of my last season as a captain with only one loss, winning all league, all section and player of the year.”

That Katie’s talents were broadly recognized by many who saw her play, both with her and against her was evident when she told us that, “my coach told me that when they put my name up for the award that all the coaches from my league immediately agreed that I should get the award. That meant a lot knowing that coaches of rival teams and teams we have beat believed I deserve the award. Player of the year is something I strived for this year and pushed myself to work for and it feels amazing to have won it.” As with many highly competitive high school athletes, competing for their school team is only part of their commitment to the sport and something that college coaches take notice of. “I play for New York Soccer Club, my club team, and I have been with that club for 5 years. I am playing in college too. I will be playing D3 soccer but I can’t name the school yet because

I only verbally committed to the team and still have to get through the admissions process. I hope this answered your questions, I can totally answer more or add to ones I did already just let me know.” Subsequent to this interview, we learned that Katie has been accepted to Hamilton College where she will play on the women’s soccer team. We expect that Hamilton, which went 10-5-1 overall for the 2019-2020 season and 5-4-1 in the NESCAC Conference, will benefit from Katie’s presence and prowess on the field. This gracious young lady closed our interview with, “thank you so much for asking me these questions and thinking of me for your article.” It was our pleasure, Katie, and MetroSports Magazine will be following your play at Hamilton.

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United States Strongman

‘New York Novice Battle’ ‘New York State Record Breakers 7 & Connecticut State and National Records’

by Clark Thompson Above: Nicole Recchia, !st Place in the Women’s Lightweight Division finishing her Maximum Stone to Platform event

ith the Westchester County Center closed for events and functioning as a New York State Department of Health Covid vaccination site, the normally scheduled United States Strongman sanctioned competition was in jeopardy of missing its 2021 winter event. Thankfully, Todd and Anna Giorgi, promoters of the event and owners of the NY Strong gym in Mamaroneck, New York, stepped in and hosted two smaller but equally competitive events at the Mamaroneck gym. On Saturday, January 30, twenty-four competitors, 10 women and 14 men, gathered at the NY Strong gym for an event billed as the “New York Novice Battle” and consisting of five individual events. The events, which require strength, endurance, or a combination of both. 26 | January-February 2021

On Sunday, January 31, twenty-two athletes competed in three divisions – women, men, and teens – in the event promoted as the joint “New York State Record Breakers 7 and Connecticut State and National Records” and consisting of nine individual events. Operating under the sanction of the United States Strongman organization, this winter event has become a staple for the N.Y. Metro area strength athletes and last year attracted over 150 competitors to the County Center. This year, operating under Covi19 safety protocols, the event was spread over two days and held at the NY Strong training facility. All photographs by Clark Thompson, Clarkshots

The five events which made up Saturday’s Novice Competition were the: -Log Clean and Press Away for Repetitions As many repetitive lifts in 60 seconds -Deadlift for Reps As many consecutive lifts in 60 seconds -Farmers Carry 40 foot carry and return in the shortest time -Sandbag Carry Maximum distance carried in front of body -Tire Flip As many consecutive flips as possible in 60 sec.

The nine events comprising Sunday’s competition were: Maximum Log Clean and Press Maximum weight log successfully lifted Maximum Axle Clean and Press Maximum weight axle successfully lifted Maximum Standard Deadlift Maximum weight sucessfully deadlifted Maximum 18” Standard Deadlift Maximum weight deadlifted 18” off floor Farmer Hold for Maximum Time Maximum time that farmers rack can be held Log Clean and Press Away for Repetitions As many repetitive lifts in 60 seconds Axle Clean and Press Away for Repetitions As many repetitive lifts in 60 seconds Deadlift for Repetitions As many consecutive lifts in 60 seconds Maximum Stone to Platform Maximum weighed stone lifted to platform

Above: Joel Bunche performing Deadlift Below: Billie Burcume performing the Farmers Hold

Christine Galvin with her 1st Place winning 500 lb Deadlift Below (left) Kenny Olmeda performing his 1st Place Maximum 18’ Deadlist at 805 lbs Below (right) Melanie Taylor performing her 1st Place Maximim Axle Clean and Press at 175 lbs

Above: Landon Efird performing his 1st Place Record Deadlift of 805 lbs Below: NY Strong Owner, Todd Giorgi working on his 300 lb Maximum Log Clean and Press

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