MetroSports Magazine Sept-Oct 2022 cvr2

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MetroSports Magazine

NYPD vs FDNY 2022 Heroes Baseball Classic

Battle of the Belles XII Josh Green Breaks Through to Indy Lights Racing

September-October 2022

NFL Flag Football with the Mad Dogs of Westchester Champion Melissa St Vil Boxing for Autism



Contents

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September-October 2022 4 NFL FLAG Football with Mad Dog Sports Westchester County’s Mad Dog Sports brings the NFL FLAG football program to the area’s young men and women 10 Hitting Hard for Autism Champion boxer, Melissa St. Vil, fights in support of those with Autism. 14 Mt. Kisco’s Josh Green Steps Up To The Indy Lights Racing Series Josh Green continues his climb through the ranks of open wheel auto racing and steps up to the Indy Lights racing series 18 NYPD and FDNY Baseball Teams Face Off in the 2022 Heroes Baseball Classic The FDNY baseball team evens the 2022 season score by avenging their prior loss to the NYPD squad at City Field 22 Battle of the Belles XII Strongwoman Contest The remnants of hurricane Ian could not stop these strong women from competing in the Battle of the Belles

Cover Photo by Warren Rosenberg, www.nyspg.com

www.ClarkShots1.com MetroSports Magazine | 1


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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: nyspg.com 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 Advertising: For rate card contact warren@nyspg.com Please direct all inquiries to: warren@nyspg.com Visit us on the web at: www.MetroSportsMag.com

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


NFL FLAG Youth Football with Mad Dog Sports by Warren Rosenberg

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he New York Jets started the 2022 season on a 5-0 undefeated run as did the San Diego Chiefs. The Philadelphia Eagles had put together a 4-1 record with the Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos each managing three wins against two losses as the season opened. Yes, we’re talking about this season’s NFL team records but not the professional NFL teams. These are the records of teams that play in the ten team Mad Dog Sports League of NFL FLAG football based in Westchester County. Mad Dog Flag Football is powered by NFL FLAG which is backed by the National Football League. It is a non-contact, flag football program that welcomes both boys and girls in grades 1 through 8. The Mad Dog Flag Football league creates a welcoming community for young athletes that teaches leadership, sportsmanship, and self-confidence on and off the field. The mission of Mad Dog Sports is to grow and develop young athletes in a fun, safe, friendly, and competitive environment. This year the league has about 100 players across its three divisions, 1st and 2nd grade, 3rd and 4th grade, and 5th through 8th grade with all teams competing each Saturday on the field at Alexander Hamilton Jr/Sr High School on Elmsford. Players competing in the league come from across the County and represent the municipalities of Elmsford, Greenburgh, Ardsley, White Plains, Irvington, Tarrytown, Yon-

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kers, Bronx, Hastings, Dobbs Ferry, New Rochelle, Ossining, and Hartsdale.

more than a half million young people are involved in NFL FLAG programs.

This year’s Mad Dog season runs from September 10th through November 12th with the regular season concluding on October 29th and the playoffs beginning the weekend of November 5th.

The season will conclude in early November.

The NFL FLAG football program got its start back in the 1990’s when the National Football League launched its global health and wellness initiative called Play Football. This was followed shortly after by the NFL’s youth camp program brining youth flag football to the New England Patriot’s Gillette Stadium. After spreading across the state of Massachusetts, the program took off nation-wide. Today, 6 | September-October 2022

Because of the success of the current Fall program, Mad Dog Flag Football is looking considering expanding to include a Spring league and developing some travel teams which will compete in NFL Flag regional tournaments although no firm decisions have yet been reached. For more information about registering with the league and about upcoming events, please reach out to Mad Dog Sports at: https://www.maddognflflag.com/contact.html


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Mad Dog Sports NFL FLAG Football provides opportunities to both girls (above) and boys (below) to play competetive football

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Hitting Hard for Autism “It’s about representing all the amazing people like Kaylene living on the spectrum and to look at their capabilities and not just their disability. I believe in her and I go hard for her so I thank God for bringing her to me.” by Warren Rosenberg

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rofessional boxer, Melissa St. Vil, the 135 pound North American Boxing Organization champion and former World Boxing Council Silver Super Featherweight champion scored another victory in her quest to bring attention to those with autism and other special needs. She is a proponent of changing public opinion about autism and has been quoted as saying, “I just wanted to show the world the beauty of autism and how amazing and smart somebody on the spectrum can be”. Melissa won a unanimous decision against Calista Silgado on September 16th in her hometown of Brooklyn, NY. The 39 year old St. Vil is currently ranked #1 among American female boxers and #6 in the world by Box Rec. Her fight to change public opinion about autism has included a 2021 appearance on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior. Following her appearance, she posted on her social media pages, “the best part of being on American Ninja Warrior was representing for people on the spectrum & representing for people battling cancer. You all are the real CHAMPIONS & I’m in your corner”. Melissa trained for this fight under the guidance of coach Kevin Marston at the NYC Cops and Kids Boxing Gym in Flatbush Brooklyn.

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Above: (left) Melissa St Vil touching gloves with Kaylene Vazquez and (right) appearing on the cover of the Mar-Apr 2017 MetroSports issue Below: Melissa St. Vil in training with her coach Kevin Marston. Photos courtesy - Melissa St Vil

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Her introduction to learning about people with autism came through her working with Rafael Vazquez, a boxer who compiled a record of 16-3-0 and last fought in 2016. Vazquez’s daughter, Kaylene, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of 4 months. When his wife passed away from cancer, Rafael had to retire from professional boxing to care for his daughter. At the time he was helping to train Brooklyn boxer Melissa St. Vil and on the first occasion she met Kaylene, she fell in love with her.

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According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, “Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. People with ASD may behave, communicate, interact, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. There is often nothing about how they look that sets them apart from other people. The abilities of people with ASD can vary significantly. For example, some people with ASD may have advanced conversation skills whereas others may be nonverbal. Some people with ASD need a lot of


help in their daily lives; others can work and live with little to no support. ASD begins before the age of 3 years and can last throughout a person’s life, although symptoms may improve over time. Some children show ASD symptoms within the first 12 months of life. In others, symptoms may not show up until 24 months of age or later. Some children with ASD gain new skills and meet developmental milestones until around 18 to 24 months of age, and then they stop gaining new skills or lose the skills they once had.”

As Melissa told MetroSports Magazine, “that was the beginning for me of learning about people being on the spectrum and, by being around Kaylene, I learned more about how she sees the world.” On her social media pages she has posted, “it’s about representing for all the amazing people like Kaylene living on the spectrum & to look at their capabilities and not just the disability. I believe in her & I go hard for her so I thank God for bringing her to me.” In fact, in her win this past week, Kaylene’s name was on the Champ’s boxing gloves which were created by Rival Boxing Gear.

Facing page: Melissa St Vil posing with some of the young people she is fighting to support. Above: Melissa getting a kiss on the cheek from Gleason’s Boxing Gym owner, Bruce Silverglade. Photos courtesy - Melissa St Vil

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Josh Green Steps Up to the Indy Lights Racing Series Another Grand Prix NY Alum Advances His Racing Career by Warren Rosenberg

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here’s something special happening within the walls of Mt. Kisco’s Grand Prix New York (GPNY). MetroSports Magazine has previously reported on the racing careers of NASCAR’s Anthony Alfredo, Aurora Straus now racing in the IMSA Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge, and Shift-Up-Now and TLM Racing’s Kristina Esposito all of whom spent time polishing their racing skills on the indoor karting track at GPNY along with Matthew Pierce, Vivek Kanthan, Nate Cicero, Gia Cicero, Robert Megennis and Michael d’Orlando.. Next year, another GPNY alum, nineteen year old Josh Green is stepping up to the Indy Lights racing circuit as a driver for HMD Motorsports and Dale Coyne Racing. “Indy Lights is one stop before IndyCar and one step closer to realizing my goal of racing in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES” which is perhaps best known for its Indianapolis 500 flagship race. But not looking past the upcoming 2023 Indy Lights series which represents the latest step up for Josh on the ‘Road to Indy’ program, a driver development program sponsored by Cooper Tires. Other notable alums of the ‘Road to Indy’ program include James Hinchcliffe an Indianapolis 500 competitor and pole position winner and Felix Rosenqvist, a former Formula 1 driver whom MetroSports Magazine covered in his 2017 NYC ePrix Formula E race.

All photographs courtesy of Josh Green Racing

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Born in Mt. Kisco N.Y., Josh didn’t begin serious racing until 2015 when he began the indoor karting circuit at Grand Prix NY. A natural athlete, Josh participated in a number of sports before focusing on his racing career including basketball, football, baseball, lacrosse, tennis and rock climbing. Currently studying Mechanical Engineering at Arizona State University, Josh is a graduate of Chappaqua’s Horace Greeley High School. It’s interesting to note that two of Josh’s GPNY fellow alumni, Aurora Straus and Kristina Esposito, also both went on to pursue Mechanical Engineering in college. When reflecting back on the role that GPNY had on his development as a race car driver, Josh told MetroSports Magazine that, “GPNY was the foundation for everything. I was lucky to have intelligent people around me during that time to give me something to build off of!”

Josh’s quick climb in the sport of racing delivered him the 2017 Northeast Super Series of Karting Championship and the Oakland Valley Race Park Championship and the World Karting Association IAME Junior Manufactures Cup in 2018. Josh was the 2019 winner of the Team USA Scholarship, a program designed to “provide opportunities for young American race car drivers at an early stage in their careers”. He considers this to be one of his most significant racing accomplishments to date. “Now that the 2022 racing season is in the books and before we turn the page to 2023, I wanted to take a moment and give a special THANK YOU to my friends and family and everyone who came to support me at the track this year, as well as my sponsors and investors who have shown their support and confidence in me and my career” wrote Josh on his racing team website.

Above: Josh Green in the cockpit of his racecar at the Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis

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Josh Green in the earlier years of his development as a racer in a buggy (above) and Go Kart (below)

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2022 Heroes Baseball Classic NYPD Finest vs FDNY Bravest

MetroSports Magazine is proud to cover many of our first responder and public servant sports teams having previously featured articles on teams which include NYPD Hockey, NYPD Football, NYPD Boxing, NYPD Gaelic Football, FDNY Hockey, FDNY Football, FDNY Gaelic Football, Yonkers Police Hockey, Yonkers Fire Department Hockey, NYC Department of Correction (Boldest) Football and Hockey, White Plains Police Basketball and White Plains Fire Basketball, NY FBI Hockey, and the Multiservice Tri-State Shields of the National Public Safety Football League.

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In remembrance of the heroic public service response to the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, the NYPD and FDNY baseball teams face off against each other in the Annual Heroes Classic baseball game, this year held on September 10th at Clover Stadium in Rockland County, home of the New York Boulders minor league baseball team. The two departments have faced each other many time this year including in the first ever NYPD vs FDNY NoBull Crossfit Open on February 24th (FDNY victorious), 45th Annual NYPD vs FDNY 5 Mile Cen-


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tral Park Run on March 5th(FDNY dominating the 5min/mile pace), 48th Annual Charity Hockey Game on May 1st (won by the FDNY), the Fun City Football Bowl on June 5th (won by the FDNY), NYPD vs FDNY Soccer on June 15th(won by the NYPD), NYPD vs FDNY Lacrosse on August 19th (won by NYPD) and NYPD vs FDNY Gaelic Football on September 17th. In this year’s first meeting of the departments’ baseball teams, the 2022 Battle of the Badges held on August 11th at Citi Field, home of MLB’s New York Mets, the NYPD were victorious with the final score of 9-6. In an attempt to even the series between the two teams, the FDNY took to

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the field at Clover Stadium in the Heroes Baseball Classic committed to emerge victorious. Through the first three innings, things didn’t look promising as both teams failed to score. It wasn’t until the top of the fourth inning, with two outs, that the FDNY were able to score and they ended their time at the plate by adding two more runs. Adding another run in the top of the 5th, another in the top of the 6th, two more in the top of the 7th and again in the 8th, the FDNY took home the win with a shutout score of 9-0. Outside of their ongoing competition with the FDNY, the NYPD’s Finest Baseball team also competes in the ‘Westchester Rockland Wood Bat League’ (WRWBL) and amateur baseball league operating the NY Metropolitan region and including the ‘NYC Thunderdogs’, ‘New York Bears’, ‘New City Outlaws’, ‘New Rochelle Tigers’, ‘Somers Cyclones’, and the ‘NY Finest’. The NYPD’s NY Finest captured the WRWBL 2022 Championship with an 18-7 record.


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Battle of the Belles - XII Grit, Determination, Strength, and Beauty were on display at the 12th Battle of the Belles

by Warren Rosenberg

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he rains that hit New York on the morning of Saturday, October 1st, remnants of the devastating hurricane Ian, did not dissuade a hearty group of 27 women who gathered under the picnic shelter at Port Chester New York’s Abendroth Park to compete in the twelfth Battle of the Belles strongwoman contest. With the rains turning the park ground to mud and with water running off the roof of hastily erected vendor tents, the lyrics of Bob Dylan came to mind. It seemed no coincidence that these same lyrics were broadcast on the local radio station, 107.1 The Peak, at 9:18am that same morning as the competitors gathered. ‘Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood When blackness was a virtue the road was full of mud I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form Come in, she said I’ll give ya shelter from the storm

Hosted by Fem and Fierce, a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to empowering women and creating opportunities for women to shine, this twelfth undertaking of the Battle of the Belles, a nationally-sanctioned Strongwoman competition, highlighted the progress that women have made in the traditionally male-dominated strength competitions.

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The Battle of the Belles was one of the first all-female competitions in the Sport of strongman. First organized by Dr. Stefanie Tropea, the Battle of the Belles tradition continues under the guidance of Fem and Fierce. Women ranging from teenage years all the way up to the masters class with women in their 40’s and 50’s, will compete in 5 events which include a Log Clean & Press, Axle Deadlift, Iron Cross/Duck Walk, Tire Flip, and Max Stone. Cara Brennan, the 1st place winner in the Open Middleweight division summed up the day as, “Unbelievable blessing to get to compete today with wonderful people. This was so cathartic and fun; honestly this stuff is pure joy for me. Any day I get to compete is an absolute gift.” Masters competitor Mack Your Weights commented “What a great day, despite the shitte weather. As usual @cranetechnique and @femandfierce put on a welloiled show with not a single hiccup. Many thanks to all the staff, helpers, and various strong folk who came to support us.”

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Third place winner in the Novice Lightweight division, Maxyel Acevedo, posted on her Instagram site, “Got 3rd place… out of 3 in my category. Most importantly I had a blast hanging out w my strong friends and meeting a bunch of amazing strong women!” Once again, and quickly becoming a favorite event in the competition, were the Junior Belles - an event for athletes under the age of twelve who showed strength, heart and courage as they pushed through four events and this year included some male competitors. In addition to being a U.S. Strongman sanctioned event, Battle of the Belles XII supported fundraising activities for the Strong Paws Dog Sanctuary and for Breast Cancer. A full posting of scores can be found on the Iron Podium website at: https://ironpodium.com/events/live/ battle-of-the-belles-xii


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