MetroSports Magazine

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MetroSports Magazine Melissa St. Vil An Unstoppable Force

March-April 2017

Westchester Shooting Stars Women’s D-League Basketball White Plains Adult Basketball

68th Annual Westchester County Cheerleading Tournament


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4 Melissa St Vil An Unstoppable Force prepares for her upcoming title fight in Haiti 10 Westchester Shooting Stars A new Women’s D-League baskeball program gets ready to kick-off its inaugural season 20 2017 Westchester Cheer Westchester County hosts the 68th Annual Cheer Competition featuring the Metro region’s best teams. 26 White Plains Parks & Recreation Adult Basketball League Corporate and College Adult-League Basketball 29 Athlete of the Month Melissa St. Vil Kristina Ford 29 Sports Photo Tip Sharpness Counts

Westchester Shooting Stars Women’s D-League Basketball

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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. 2 | March-April 2017

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: Features Editor: Warren Rosenberg Director of Photography: Clark Thompson Social Media: Clark Thompson Photo Contributors: Clark Thompson, Warren Rosenberg Proofreader: Melissa Tougas Contributors: 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

An Unstoppable Force Melissa St. Vil

“The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who’s going to stop me.” Ayn Rand


lthough Gleason’s Gym has recently moved to a new home on the Brooklyn waterfront, this world-famous mecca of boxing, owned and operated by Bruce Silverglade, is still pumping out champions in the sweet science. MetroSports Magazine had the pleasure of visiting Gleason’s for a photo shoot and interview with boxer Melissa St. Vil as she prepares to defend her WBC title on March 30 in her native Haiti. St. Vil joins other Gleason’s fighters that we’ve featured in the pages of previous MetroSports Magazine issues including the then “Bronx Bombshell”, Maureen Shea, now fighting out of Ventura California and championship holder of the International Female Boxers Association’s Super Bantamweight title, World Boxing Association’s North America Female Feathweight title and WBC World Featherweight title and Keisher“Fire” McLeod, a four time Golden Gloves Champion and two time World Amateur Champion. Referred to as “Little Miss Tyson” for her muscular build and aggressive fighting style, St. Vil’s fights are co-promoted by Luigi Olcese in the U.S. and Jacques Deschamps in the Caribbean. Olcese is well-known to MetroSports Magazine for his work with other fighters, Maureen Shea, Alicia “Slick” Ashley, a three time Golden Gloves (continued on p 7) 4 | March-April 2017

Photos by Warren Rosenberg Makeup by Daye Pascal MetroSports Magazine | 5

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Champion and five-time world boxing Champion, Jennifer Han, the International Boxing Federation World Featherweight Champion, and former Golden Gloves Champion Jody-Ann Weller, now his wife. St. Vil, a native of Haiti who fights out of Brooklyn, NY and relocated to the United States in 1996, is a 5’4”, 130 pound dynamo fighting in the Super Featherweight Division, sports a 9-2-3 record and is currently ranked number 2 in the U.S. and number 10 in the world and holds the World Boxing Council (WBC) Silver Super Featherweight Title, the International Women’s Boxing Federation (IWBF) World Welterweight Title and the Women’s International Boxing Association (WIBA) Regional Title. It’s no surprise

that ST. Vil has held three world and international boxing titles as her career has taken her to fight in nine U.S. states and four nations around the world including the U.S., Haiti, New Zealand and China. Her next scheduled fight is, once again, in her native Haiti later this month. A well-rounded athlete who first competed in track and field events before coming to boxing, Melissa is a two time All-American in track and field and was a frequent participant in the Empire State Games between 2001 and 2005 where she captured the Women’s Open 100 Meter Hurdles championship and became the first athlete to compete in, and medal in, two events, track and boxing.

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To be competitive and successful as a hurdler, an athlete has to possess a large percentage of fast-twitch white muscle fibers in their legs, and then train to maximize the development of muscle power in addition to just strength. Since successful boxers derive much of their punching power by pushing off of their legs as opposed to relying on just arm-delivered punches, it’s is evident that St. Vil’s early training as a track and field athlete has helped her boxing career.

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MetroSports Magazine sat down with Melissa for a candid one-on-one interview. She told us that she originally became interested in boxing “as a way to deal with all of the anger I had inside me”. Boxing provided her with a safe outlet to work through her anger and the training has taught her to be more patient with herself and with others. This is not an uncommon story and we’ve heard it elsewhere from both men and women whom we’ve interviewed.

MetroSports Magazine: What advice would you give to young women who might be interested in the sport? Melissa St. Vil: No matter what you’re going through in life remember to love yourself first and don’t let the dark past in your life consume you. Use it to make you stronger and don’t let anyone in life put you down or tell you what you can’t do. Believe in yourself, stay humble and positive, and never give up. Keep on grinding and pray. MetroSports Magazine: Who has been the greatest influence in your boxing career? Would you like to give them a shout out? Melissa St. Vil: I would like to give a shout out to my coach, Leon Tyler, because he’s like the father I never had; my real dad didn’t care anything about me. MetroSports Magazine: Is it a special feeling for you to be fighting in Haiti? Melissa St. Vil: Fighting in Haiti is very special to me because before I moved over here in 1996 I was going there almost evrey summer to see my family. So Haiti is definitely my second home so it means a lot to me to come home to Haiti and fight. My family in Haiti is excited to see me fight. MetroSports Magazine: Who is Melissa St. Vil when she is not training or fighting? What is she like? Melissa St. Vil: When I’m not boxing I’m like a big kid. I like to play Nintendo or watch adventure shows or to go out to a fun place where there a games.

April 13-15 Gleason’s gym will host it’s 7th annual all female boxing clinic and all female show. The cost of the clinic is $369. This includes Small group instruction by Gleason’s Female World Champions, tutorial sparring with the female World Champions, and unlimited access to Gleason’s Gym, Thursday-Sunday. Schedule Thursday: 1 session 2-4 pm Friday morning and afternoon sessions Saturday: morning session Saturday Evening ALL FEMALE AMATEUR SANCTIONED BOXING SHOW (competition is optional) If you are interested please contact Bruce Silverglade at 718-797-2872 or email Sunday: open gym 8 am - 6 pm May 4 - 7, 2017 Personal Trainers Certification Clinic Personal Trainers-Get your Boxing Certification and earn more money. Tell your friends and co-workers. Spread the word. Sign up now for this clinic. 914-765-0688

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Westchester Shooting Stars Women’s D-League Basketball The Westchester County Center in White Plains, New York, home to the NBA’s D-League Westchester Knicks, was the site of the inaugural game of a new, national Women’s D-League between the Westchester Shooting Stars and the Connecticut Stars. These two teams are part of the six team league with franchises in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, the District of Columbia and Georgia. The Westchester Shooting Stars will call the County Center their home court, sharing the facility with the NBA’s Westchester Knicks. The Connecticut Stars will play their home games at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT, home of the Fairfield University Stags basketball and Sacred Heart University hockey teams. The Westchester Shooting Stars Women’s D-League was started by New York’s basketball power couple, Mark and Danielle Bethea as a way to provide talented women an opportunity to showcase their skills in a competitive league. Photography by Warren Rosenberg 10 | March-April 2017

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Each year, there are approximately 35 open draft slots for new WNBA players. The NCAA estimates that only 3% of draft-eligible NCAA Division I women’s basketball graduates make it to the WNBA professional ranks. For those not interested in disrupting their lives to head overseas and join a professional team, the options were limited. Until Now. The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFSHA) reports that basketball is the third most popular sport among high school students with over 420,000 young women participating in competitive high-school level basket-

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ball. Over 16,000 women participate in NCAA college-level women’s basketball programs. Thousands more adult women play competitive basketball in communitysponsored recreational leagues. Players in the WSSBL are strong, talented, diverse and multi-dimensional women who are passionate about their sport and their involvement in the community according to League president Mark Bethea. Their success is a powerful source of inspiration for women and girls to “dream, believe and achieve”. With the players’ unparalleled accessibility, the WSSBL has redefined the unique connection between players, fans and partners.

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Westchester Shooting Stars Basketball League Our Mission: To Bring World Class Basketball into the Community that is non-stop entertainment, family friendly and inspires confidence in women, girls and those who believe in them. Our Vision: We will provide women the opportunity to play Professional Basketball and compete on a Global level. The Westchester Shooting Stars Basketball League is a Women’s D-League Basketball Program to organize and compete nationally against other Women’s Professional Basketball teams. The Westchester Shooting Stars Basketball League was established in 2012 and is owned and operated by Danielle & Mark Bethea, for innovative and creative women sports and entertainment. The purpose for the Westchester Shooting stars Basketball League is to… • Expose the community, especially girls, to strong female role models • Inspire confidence in women, girls and those who believe in them • Give women the opportunity to follow their dreams of playing professionally • Bring World Class Basketball into the Community. • Offer a game experience that is non-stop entertainment and family friendly • Establish a tight link between the values of the League, the WSSBL, and your companies Great players build a brand that reaches beyond sports.

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Jasmine Brandon, a 5’10” center for the College of New Rochelle, led the CNR Blue Angels in scoring during the 2013-14 season with 557 points. She honed her skills ate the powerhouse St. Anthony’s high school in Jersey City, N.J.

WSSBL Players

Jah-Leah Ellis, another former member of the CNR Blue Angels, played her college ball as a 5’11’ forward leading her team in rebounds (364) abd blocks (29) and finishing second on her team in points (481), assists (87) and steals (55).

Amani Lightbourne, hailing from Elmsford, NY can legitimately consider the Westchester County Center her home court. Playing her college ball for the Southern Connecticut State University Owls, she scored a then career high 15 points in her freshman year. She finished her college career at Lehman College where she was named student athlete of the week an a City University of New York All-Star.

Jessica Fairweather, a 5’10” forward out of Dominican College has previously played professional basketball in Puerto Rico and with the Southern Lady Generals before signing with the WSSBL.

Shaaiza McKoy, a guard played her college ball at Salem International University in West Virginia, ASA College in New York, and most recently for the Mansfield University Mounties.

Kristina Ford, a standout for Tony Bozzella’s Iona College Gaels, suited up for the Connecticut Stars in this inaugural game for the WSSBL. Ford was named MAAC Rookie of the Week during her freshman year and now not only plays, but is helping to organize the NY City Department of Correction Women’s Basketball team. MetroSports Magazine regularly covers the NYCD Boldest sports.

Bria Moore, named to the 2013-14 Northeast 10 Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll as a member of the University of New Haven Chargers. A five-time Rookie of the Week and Rookie of the Year in the Northeast 10 Conference during her freshman year, Bria went on to score 27 points ia a sophomore year game against Southern Connecticut State.

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Biographies Alexis Ruiz, was a member of the Hostos Community College women’s varsity team after having sharpened her basketball skills at the Riverside High School in Yonkers alsong with teammate Briana Ugarte. Danielle Scolpino, a 5’4” guard out of NCAA D-III Massachussetts College of Liberal Arts. During her high school career, Danielle was named to the AllLeague and All-Area teams of the South West Conference and her AAU team was crowned silver medalist in the 2009 campaign. Whitney Toone, a 5’10” defensive specialist with the Fighting Illini out of University of Illinois pulled in her career high 20 points and career high seven rebounds in her senior year appearance in the Illini’s WNIT win over Western Kentucky. Whitney is a product of the Oak Hill Academy high school. Briana Ugarte, played her college ball at the Globe Institute of Technology following a standout high school career at Riverside High School in Yonkers.

Charmonique Watt, a 5’8” point guard with the Towson University Tigers who scored her career high18 points and career high six steals during the 2010-11 season against Rhode Island and Canisus, respectively. Charmonique was a 1,000 point scorer during her high school career with the Lady Railsplitters of Lincoln High School in Brooklyn. Nicky Young, a 5’8” guard played her college ball at SUNY Farmingdale achieving an impressive 17 points per game average and hitting 71.3% of her free throws. In her senior year she led the team in assists and steals and was named to the All Skyline Conference First Team. A graduate of John Adams high school in Queens, Nicky was also a 1,000+ point scorer in high school. free throws. In her senior year she led the team in assists and steals and was named to the All Skyline Conference First Team. A graduate of John Adams high school in Queens, Nicky was also a 1,000+ point scorer in high school.

Photos Available at:

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The Only Thing We Have To Cheer Is Cheer Itself


the nation’s 32nd president could very well have uttered those words himself as he was the first among four U.S. presidents to have been a cheerleader during their high school or college years. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a cheerleader for Harvard University as were presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower (for West Point), Ronald Reagan (for Eureka College) and George W. Bush for the Philips Academy in Andover Massachussetts. Today, cheerleading has evolved into a highly skilled and competitive undertaking but has it achieved the status of a sport? For too long many have made the argument that it is not. A Federal Appeals Court in August 2012 determined, in adjudicating a suit filed against Quinnipiac University, that cheerleading “does not meet the standards of a sport� under federal Title IX statutes. In 2014 the NCAA affirmed its belief that Cheerleading would not be recognized as an intercollegiate sport. Opinion began to change that year when the American Medical Association officially declared Cheerleading to be a sport and recognized within the practice of Sports Medicine. Also in 2014, the Regents of the State of New York joined with 34 other States to declare Competitive Cheerleading as a recognized interscholastic sport. And, most recently, in December 2016, the International Olympic Committee at its meeting in Lausanne Switzerland granted provisional recognition to Cheerleading as an Olympic sport.

Photo: Warren Rosenberg 20 | March-April 2017

68th Annual

Westchester County Cheerleading Competition

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On January 25-26, 2017, the athleticism, precision and structured teamwork of Competitive Cheerleading was on display at the 68th Annual Cheerleading Invitational, sponsored by the Westchester County Parks Department and held at the Westchester County Center. Welcomed by County Executive Rob Astorino, thirtytwo high school teams competed for bragging rights as the best Competitive Cheerleading sports teams in the region in front of an enthusiastic crowd. In fact, if awards were given for cheering crowds, this audience would certainly have walked away with a trophy. Walking, or should we say leaping and tumbling away with tournament trophies as Champions were: 1st Place New Rochelle High School 2nd Place Yorktown High School 3rd Place Ursuline High School Co-Ed Division Champions 1st Place R.C. Ketcham High School 2nd Place John Jay High School 3rd Place Arlington High School Jr Varsity Champions 1st Place New Rochelle High School 2nd Place Ursuline High School 3rd Place R.C. Ketcham High School

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Photo: Clark Thompson

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Photo: Warren Rosenberg

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Photo: Warren Rosenberg

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White Plains Recreation & Parks Adult Basketball On the Money (Black) v The College of Westchester (White)

Although not professional D-league level, the City of White Plains Recreation and Parks Department sponsors a number of youth and adult recreational sports leagues and, as the March-April issue of MetroSports Magazine is put to bed, the Recreation and Parks’ winter baskeball season is drawing to a close. Pitting local corporations, colleges, businesses, and non-affiliated teams in an officiated and officially-scored set of games. Winter 2017 Teams Alex Lounge Brazen Fox Burke Rehabilitation Center Danon North America On the Money The College of Westchester Westchester Picks White Plains Hospital White Plains All Stars

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Photos: Warren Rosenberg

Above: Brazen Fox (Red) v Alex Lounge (Yellow) Below: Danon N.A. (Blue) v The College of Westchester (White)

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Sports Photo Tip Sponsored by Hunts Photo & Video

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MetroSports Athlete of the Month

Melissa St. Vil As the reigning WBC Super Featherweight Silver Title holder and holder of the International Women’s Boxing Federation (IWBF) World Welterweight Title, the Women’s International Boxing Association (WIBA) Regional Title, and former high school track and field All-American, MetroSports Magazine names boxer Melissa St. Vil as Athlete of the Month for March 2017.

Kristina Ford Former NCAA Division I Women’s basketball player, former MAAC Conference Rookie of the Week and current member of both the Westchester Shooting Stars Basketball League and the New York City Department of Correction Women’s Basketball team which she has helped to launch, Kristina Ford is named MetroSports Magazine’s Athlete of the Month for April 2017.

Sports Photo Tip of the Month Sharpness Counts

Sports events are typically characterized by fast-moving action and one of the things that make for the most striking sports photographs is being able to freeze that action. To accomplish this, you’ll need to set your camera to “shutter priority mode” and keep your shutter speed at 1/500 second or higher. In low light situations, that will require selecting higher iso values to maintain a fast shutter speed. Don’t be tempted to select “aperture priority” to ensure a wide open lens setting as you may find youself disappointed with the low shutter speed your camera may self-select. MetroSports Magazine | 29