MetroSports Magazine May-June 2016

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MetroSports Magazine


New York‘s Finest (NYPD) New York’s Boldest (DCNY) New York’s Bravest (FDNY)

May - June 2106

Yonkers Police (YPD) Yonkers Fire YFD Hell on Wheels Gotham Girls Roller Derby


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May / June 2016

Features Heroes on Ice Metro Area First Responders Battle It Out On The Ice 4

New York’s Boldest NYCD Hockey New York’s Finest NYPD Hockey New York’s Bravest FDNY Hockey

22 Yonkers Finest Police Department Hockey Yonkers Bravest Fire Department Hockey 28 Hell on Wheels New York Gotham Girls Roller Derby


34 Athlete of the Month 35 Coach’s Corner 36 Sports Photo Tip

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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.

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


New York City’s Police, Correction and Fire Department Hockey Teams Take to the Ice for the 2016 Season


ith more than four decades of uninterupted inter-squad battles on the ice, New York City’s Finest (NYPD) and Bravest (FDNY) hockey teams have now been joined by a third member of the City’s uniformed service hero brigade, the NYC Department of Correction (NYCD) Boldest hockey.

While members of these essential uniformed services work cooperatively in keeping the City safe and clean, they exhibit a healthy rivalry among their various competitive sports teams. The New York Boldest Hockey is the latest addition to the Boldest’s sports empire, joining the previously existing New York Boldest Basketball and Football teams (see coverage of NY Boldest Football in the Sep/Oct 2015 issue of MetroSports Magazine). The New York City Department of Correction (DOC) is charged with one of the toughest tasks among NYC’s uniformed services, the housing and supervision of over 10,000 daily prison inmates, and is comprised of a force of 8,000 uniformed correction officers and over 1,000 civilian staff members.

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Referred to as “New York’s Boldest”, the DOC’s officers take their place alongside New York’s Finest (Police), Bravest (Fire) and Strongest (Sanitation) in providing essential services to the City’s residents, workers and visitors. New York’s Boldest Hockey was founded in 2015 by the DOC’s current Deputy Commissioner of Operations, Dr. Errol Toulon, Jr., who also plays for the team and serves as an Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice at Dowling College. Under Deputy Commissioner Toulon’s watchful eye, the DOC has been working to develop a more comprehensive set of sports programs for its personnel and MetroSports Magazine looks forward to continuing our coverage of NY Boldest sports in the future. Facing Page: Dr. Errol Toulon, Jr., Deputy Commissioner of the NYCD and chief architect of the DCNY Boldest Hockey team

Photo: Clark Thompson

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The Boldest Hockey is enjoying a successful 2016 having scored recent wins over the Ridgefield CT Fire Department (7-3 on 3/12/16) and an 8-2 win over the Finest Hockey Club on March 26th. This season, the NYCD Boldest Hockey Club is 5-0 against “Local Law Enforcement” teams and was crowned the 20152016 Division 6 Champions of the Long Island “Hot Shots” League. The Hot Shots are Long Island’s largest Police and Fire league.

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Below: Deputy Commissioner of the D.O.C., Dr. Errol Toulon, Jr., in a pre-game greeting with “P-Trocc” of Suffolk County’s Boldest Hockey. Behind them, wearing #15, is Norman Seabrook, President of the Correction Officers Benevolent Association. Facing Page: Deputy Warden Michael Catuosco (#10), Assistant Team Captain of the New York Boldest in action against Suf folk County’s Boldest Hockey.

Photo: Clark Thompson

Photo: Clark Thompson

Photo: Clark Thompson

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Officer Rose Vega, who was instrumental in assisting with the preparation of this article, in speaking about the importance of the Boldest’s sports programs said, “Our Members of Service are dedicated personnel who perform a difficult, daunting and very unappreciated task day in and day out. It is our belief that by providing an arena where they can come together as team mates and be involved in something that they love, have a passion for and are proud to take part in, is very important and provides a “positive” outlet for many of our members. Additionally, for those members who may not be able to actually play the sports, it is an opportunity to come out and support their coworkers while enjoying some good games. In our eyes, it is a win-win for all of the Department.”

Below and Facing Page: Correction Officer and DOC Investigator Greg Braska (#35) who serves as Team Captain of the New York Boldest Hockey, in action against Suffolk County’s Boldest Hockey on April 2, 2016.

Photo: Clark Thompson

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Photo: Clark Thompson

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Photo: Clark Thompson


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While ice hockey may be among the most recent of the Boldest’s sports teams, it should be of no surprise to any student of New York City’s history that the relationship between the DOC and ice hockey is a natural one given the NYC Department of Correction and the sport of ice hockey’s strong historic connection. New York City’s famous correctional institution, the Toombs, now in its third location and known more properly as The Manhattan Detention Center, was originally located on Centre Street in what is now Chinatown. Constructed between 1835 and 1840, the original Tombs was built on the site of a former freshwater pond, The Collect Pond, which was drained and leveled with landfill between 1803 and 1811 after becoming contaminated with pollutants. In the early 1780s during America’s Revolutionary War, New York City residents used the frozen Collect Pond to play a game known then as Ice Hurley, a variation of the sport of Hurling brought to New York by early Irish immigrants. Today, the site of both New York’s first hockey “stadium” and the original Tombs correction facility is better known ad New York City’s Collect Pond Park.

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The April 2nd contest between the hockey teams of the New York City Department of Correction and Correction Officers from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, billed as “The Battle of the Boldest” is becoming a popular annual event and provides support for charities such as the Correction Officers Benevolent Association, the Suffolk County Correction Officer’s Scholarship and Welfare Fund, and the “Feal Good Foundation”. While the NY Boldest Hockey team and the Battle of the Boldest are relative newcomers on the New York metro area sporting scene, just one week after the NYC’s Boldest won their Battle the hockey teams of New York City’s Police and Fire Departments (NYPD and FDNY, respectively) took to the ice of New York City’s famed Madison Square Garden for the 43rd Annual “FDNY vs NYPD Ice Hockey Heroes” charity event. Begun in 1973, this annual contest has run, uninterrupted, for over four decades. Held this year on April 9th to a sell-out crowd at Madison Square Garden, the NYPD’s Finest Hockey Club defeated the FDNY’s Bravest Hockey club by a score of 6-5. As noted earlier in this article, New York City’s Collect Pond may have been the site of one of America’s first ice hockey venues but Madison Square Garden claims prize to being the original site for professional hockey in New York City. The New York Americans, one of the original 3 American expansion teams to be admitted into the NHL, played their inaugural 1925-26 season in the then newly built Madison Square Garden on 8th Avenue and 50th street. 12 | May - June 2016

Photo: Warren Rosenberg

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Above Left: Families of fallen NYPD Officers during opening ceremony. Above Right: NYPD Chief of Department, James P. O’Neill, being introduced. Below: NYPD scores its first of six goals against the FDNY at the 2016 Ice Hockey Heroes.

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Photo: Warren Rosenberg, ZogSports-NYC

Photo: Warren Rosenberg

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Among the many reasons for the success of the NYPD Hockey Team is the quality of players who serve on the force and volunteer to play. Jason Sessa (#9), pictured at right and below scoring during the April 9th game at The Garden, joined the NYPD after a brief career in professional hockey. A silver medalist with Team USA at the Junior World Championships in 1997, Sessa was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1996 and went on to play in the farm systems of Toronto and the New York Islanders. Newcomer to the NYPD and to the team, Matt Morales, currently assigned to the 24th Precinct and wearing NYPD Hockey’s #24 (facing page) was a three-year varsity player for Becker College in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Photo: Clark Thompson

Photo: Clark Thompson

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Above: Jason Sessa of the NYPD putting one past Kurt Pflumm of FDNY Ladder Company 29 in goal.

Photo: Warren Rosenberg

With the closing of the Nassau Coliseum, this annual charity event moved back to Madison Square Garden which last hosted the event in 2012. Although the FDNY’s Bravest lead the tournament history with a 23-17-2 (W-L-T) record over the NYPD’s Finest, the men in blue have won the last two contests held at MSG. At the start of this year’s game, it looked like the NYPD was off to a lopsided win running up a score of 2-0 in the first 15 minutes and holding a comfortable 6-3 lead at the end of the 2nd period. With the score nearly evened at 1 minute to go in the game, the FDNY threatened with several shots on goal but were unable to score and fell to a close 6-5 loss.

The FDNY’s ice hockey team traces its beginning back to 1968 where the first recorded hockey game took place between the 14th Battalion’s Bronx Bums and the 16th Battalion’s Harlem Rink Rats. In the years that followed a unified FDNY team was formed with the first formal FDNY vs NYPD hockey game taking place in 1974. As with all of the Hero teams, the FDNY raised funds to support a number of important charities including the UFA Widow’s and Children’s Fund, the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, the American Diabetes Foundation and the ALS Association of Greater New York. MetroSports Magazine | 19

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Photo: Warren Rosenberg

Photos: Warren Rosenberg

Photo: Warren Rosenberg

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20th Annual Yonkers Police vs

The Edward J. Murray Skating Rink on Tuckahoe Road in Yonkers, NY, was the site of the 20th Annual contest between the hockey teams of the Yonkers Police and Yonkers Fire Departments in a charity fund raiser to support the Ronald McDonald House. Held in honor of the memory of firefighter Lt. Anthony Mangone and police Det. Frank Fernandez, this year’s contest resulted in a narrow win by the Yonkers Fire Department who won some semblance of retribution for their NYC colleagues of the FDNY who lost a close game to the NYPD just one week before. Although they played a hard-fought game, these heroes of The City of Gracious Living displayed a respectful camaraderie during the game and at the barbecue that followed.

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Photo: Warren Rosenberg


Fire Charity Hockey Game

Photo: Warren Rosenberg

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Photo: Warren Rosenberg

Photo: Warren Rosenberg

Photo: Warren Rosenberg

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Photo: Warren Rosenberg

Photo: Warren Rosenberg

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Serving the needs of the 200,000 residents of New York State’s fourth largest city falls upon the administration of Yonkers’ Mayor Mike Spano. Protecting them falls upon the broad shoulders of the members of the City’s Police and Fire Departments. “It’s always fun to see Yonkers Bravest and Finest come together for a great cause such as the Ronald McDonald House,” said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. “As a hockey fan, I can say both teams approached the game with grit and determination, just as they do with their day-jobs. Thank you and congratulations to all who participated -- a great time was had by all.” The Mayor’s words of support for both this charity fund raiser and for the City’s first responders who competed with such “grit and determination” reflect the longstanding praise and admiration that he regularly directs to these public servants. Just one week after this charity hockey game, the Yonkers Police and Fire Departments came together again in support of Ronald McDonald House as they participated with over 300 motorcyclists in the Hogs-4-Hope charity ride.

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Gotham Girls Roller Derby NYC’s Urban Toreadors

N Skateaway I seen a girl on a one way corridor Stealing down a wrong way street For all the world like an urban toreador She had wheels on her feet... But the roller girl she’s taking chances They just love to see her take them all (C) 1980. Dire Straits

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ew York City’s Gotham Girls Roller Derby league opened their 2016 season on March 19 with a hard fought match between the Manhattan Mayhem and the Brooklyn Bombshells, pictured here in this issue of MetroSports MagazineAlthough originally conceived in Chicago’s Ricketts restaurant in 1935 by Leo Seltzer and later mapped out by Seltzer and sports writer Damon Runyon in Miami in 1937, the sport as we know it today has deep NY Metro area connections. The first nationally televised roller derby event was broadcast from NYC’s famous Polo Grounds in 1946 and later from the 69th Street Armory beginning in 1948.


Founded in 2003, the Gotham Girls is a non-profit league within the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (FTDA) and currently consists of seven teams: Bronx Gridlock Brooklyn Bombshells Diamond District Grand Central Terminators Manhattan Mayhem Queens of Pain Wall Street Traitors

Photo: Clark Thompson

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Photo: Clark Thompson

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MetroSports Goes 1-on-1 with “The Commissioner”


Photo: Clark Thompson

The sport of roller derby is governed by the Womens Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), with several roller derby leagues calling the NY Metro area home. The Suburbia Roller Derby and the Gotham Girls Roller Derby leagues are part of the worldwide WFTDA which hosts teams in almost all US states as well as numerous foreign countries. Prior to full acceptance in the WFTDA, teams must first apprentice in one of the sanctioned leagues. Although originally conceived in Chicago’s Ricketts restaurant in 1935 by Leo Seltzer and later mapped out by Seltzer and sports writer Damon Runyon in Miami in 1937, the sport as we know it today has deep NY Metro area connections. The first nationally televised roller derby event was broadcast from NYC’s famous Polo Grounds in 1946 and later from the 69th Street Armory beginning in 1948. 32 | May - June 2016

etroSports Magazine had the distinct honor of interviewing Jerry Seltzer for this issue’s feature on women’s roller derby. Jerry was the owner of the original women’s roller derby league during its heyday period of 1959-1973 during which the sport sold out such venues as Madison Square Garden and the Oakland Coliseum. He followed his father, Leo Seltzer, in heading the league. During his reign Jerry was known, simply, as The Commissioner. A succesful businessman, Jerry remains active in advising today’s roller derby leagues. He also remains active in the sports and entertainment industry, handling ticket sales for 600 leagues throughout the world, including our own NY Metro Gotham Girls. Speaking about the glory days of roller derby, Jerry noted that, “our games were seen on 110 television stations in US and Canada, including WOR-tv in New York. Our game was not just women, but a team (i.e. New York Chiefs), composed of men and women. A game was eight 12 minute periods with the women competing against the women and the men against the men, with the score cumulative. Our largest crowd in the Tri-City area was at Shea Stadium in 1973, with over 27,000 in attendance....Our record attendance was at Chicago White Sox Park (known by that name in 1972) when over 50,000 jammed into the park.”

Gerald “Jerry” Seltzer

JS: I ran the league basically as a family business, and after 15 years ran out of steam......we used the funds from one season to operate the next, and when the country ran into the crippling gas contract in 1972-73 it affected attendance, travel, and arenas shutting down to save heat. Q. Do you think that roller derby is on its way to recapture the glory and fan base of past years?

JS: Today’s game is DIY with the players paying to play, and skating a game that I feel is more aimed at the way they want to play it rather than as a major spectator sport....and they have every right, having resurrected the game from oblivion.......I believe that with some modifications it could be presented as a successful attraction, but there would have to be some changes in the sturcture of regional leagues, ownership, etc, and I honestly belief the majority of players do not want to let go of their sport.... and as long as they can maintain their Q. Why do you feel the sport fell leagues, why should they? I think from the public eye in the 1970’s? they are content with where they are.

Photo: Clark Thompson

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MetroSports Athlete of the Month MetroSports Magazine has selected Correction Officer / Investigator Greg Braska as our Athlete of the Month for May 2016. Braska serves as the Boldest Hockey team’s captain and was instrumental in helping to form the team. While a recruit in the Academy, he questioned why the Department did not have a hockey team. He doggedly pursued this passion, ultimately getting the attention of Norman Seabrook, president of the Correction Officers Benevolent Association (COBA), who presented Braska with a Boldest Hockey jersey during graduation and subsequently funded the initial start-up for the team. NYPD Officer Jason Sessa had a successful collegiate career as a forward for Lake Superior State University, playing as a member of the 1997 Team USA silver medal World Junior Medal Championship team and playing for the NHL development league teams of the Toronto Maple Leafs and NY Islanders. Since joining the NYPD in 2007, Sessa has been a key part of the NYPD Hockey team. MetroSports Magazine congratulates Officer Jason Sessa on being selected as a our MetroSports Magazine Athlete of the Month for June 2016.

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The Coaches Corner

The Long-Term Benefits of Exercise and Physical Activity

The health-related benefits of a properly planned and executed exercise program are well documented. In a series of articles in the journal The Physician and Sportsmedicine, the concept of exercise as medicine was thoroughly explored. In these articles, supported by research findings, physicians are encouraged to prescribe exercise as they would medicine, to prevent or alleviate conditions such as obesity, osteoporosis (bone loss), coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes, arthritis and a host of other hypokinetic diseases. Often, the prescription of exercise will prove to be less costly, have fewer harmful side effects, and can address a number of different conditions simultaneously compared with the use of drug therapies. The term hypokinetic refers to those conditions typically associated with a lack of exercise or motion (hypo = insufficient or under; kinesis = movement or motion). Some of what we know about the benefits of exercise and athletic participation come from epidemiological studies in which populations of people are evaluated, either on a one-time basis (cross-sectional study) or repeatedly over a long period of time (longitudinal study). Three of the more well-known and well-referenced studies are the Framingham Heart Study the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), and the Nurses’ Health Study. The Framingham Heart Study was begun in 1948 and identified a representative sample of just over 5,000 people between the ages of 30 and 60 who were residents of Framingham, Massachusetts. For over fifty-two years these Framingham residents have been studied in order to follow the development of any cardiovascular diseases and

to try and determine their cause. These 5,000 participants have undergone regular physical examinations, blood tests, X-rays and electrocardiograms and have had almost all aspects of their diet and lifestyle analyzed. It was through the Framingham Heart Study that we observed the links between heart disease and smoking, high fat diets, blood pressure, cholesterol level, HDL/LDL cholesterol carrier ratio, and lack of exercise. In 1971, 5,000 children of the original study group members and their spouses became part of the Framingham study and will provide data into the study’s second century. Fortunately, more and more individuals, either on their own or under their physician’s orders, are taking up exercise to improve fitness, health, or just to have fun. The New York City Marathon now attracts upwards of 20,000 amateur and professional runners per year. Health clubs and fitness centers are proliferating in every community and major corporate office and have become so popular that they often cannot provide enough parking to meet demand. Video stores have racks of exercise, workout and instructional videos produced by athletes, trainers, physicians, entertainment personalities, and just about everyone else! Bookstore shelves are similarly crowded with self-help exercise books. In every department store circular, on most television programs, and in an ever-expanding number of infomercials, there are numerous advertisements for home gym and physical training equipment. Most school systems now offer continuing adult education courses in health and fitness. It has become evident that exercise and fitness are in! MetroSports Magazine | 35

Sports Photo Tip of the Month Shoot Low. Aim High.

The Australian Agamid lizard has a ring of loose skin around its neck which it can extend to make itself appear bigger to frighten off potential adversaries. A lion’s mane, a cobra’s neck flare, a puffer fish’s ability to inflate itself like a water balloon or bear rising to stand on its hind legs are all forms of the same strategy used by animals in an attempt to make themselves look bigger and more intimidating. In many sports, size matters as well. Whether we’re aware of it or not, we equate larger, more powerful athletes with success and, as a sports photographer, it’s a common technique to try and make your subject appear as large and powerful as possible. Short of using post-processing techniques to manipulate the photos you’ve taken, it is possible to make your sports subjects appear larger and more powerful than they actually are.

Above: West Point football game photographed from the stands. Notice the professional photographers at the far left on the field level. Right: Notre Dame vs. UConn football photographed from field level end-zone, kneeling down below playes’ eye ;evel. Photos: Warren Rosenberg

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As a photographer, you can create the perspective of size by shooting from a very low position, kneeling, sitting or when possible, lying on the ground and shooting upward toward your subject. Considered from another perspective, when we look at photographs of sporting events taken by fans and amateurs, they are typically taken from the stands and looking down upon the field of play. Photographs of those same events taken by professionals are shot at field level, often from restricted access points available only to credentialed photographers. We have become accustomed to interpreting photographs taken from high vantage points as being amateurish and those taken from lower, field level vantage points as being professional. If the opportunity arises to shoot from a low vantage point, take advantage of it.

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