Edito Letter From The Editor
Dear fans, Thanks for checking out the New York City edition of Ultimate Athlete Magazine’s fall volume II issue! Here at UA, we love to turn the hard working efforts of today’s high school athletes into feature articles and graphically design them into keepsake memorabilia. To all of the teams and athletes featured in this edition, congratulations! With the fall season in full swing, some of the stars of this issue were simple choices to highlight. As seen on our cover, we’ve featured the men of the Campus Magnet football who have the dedication to succeed both on and off the field. On the undefeated Tottenville Pirates football team, we’ve got a story on the unstoppable wide receiver Alvin Cornelius III, or “A.C.”, and undefeated Lincoln High School as well. In other sports, you can read about the amazing Beacon girls soccer team this year, and the Bronx Science girls volleyball team that has pulled an unexpected upset in the borough by beating rival JFK. Don’t forget to check out Susan Wagner volleyball star Emily Burke, and meet New Dorp’s star bowler, Carla-Ann Spoto. Thanks for checking out the issue and enjoy! Remember, for all things Ultimate Athlete including photos, video interviews and more, check out our website at www.ultimateathletemagazine.com.
Ultimate Athlete Magazine
JOSE LUIS COVARRUBIAS Joe Weinreb director of development Scott “Scotto” savitt senior producer jessica peters graphic editor david stewart distribution manager z senior sports editor SENIOR ART DIRECTOR
richard bier asdrubal hernandez jerry del priore sean reilly bailey stephens renee keller dr. tom ferraro luis vazquez joe pietaro mike meija Cover Photos by Andrew Adler Cover GRAPHiC WORK by Joe Weinreb Contributing photographers
Sincerely, Jessica Peters
andrew adler daniel burnstein asdrubal hernandez
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ultimateathletemagazine.com Ultimate Athlete Magazine (ISSN 1931-5295) is published 12 times a year by Ultimate Athlete, Inc., 40 Woodbine Avenue, Northport, New York 11768. All contents copyright 2009 by Ultimate Athlete, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use in whole or part of the content without the prior written consent of Ultimate Athlete, Inc. is strictly prohibited. All logos and trademarks are the properties of their respective owners. Although the writers and the publisher have exhaustively researched all sources to ensure the accuracy and the completeness of the information contained in this publication, we assume no responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or any inconsistency herein. The opinions expressed in all materials are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of Ultimate Athlete, Inc or Long Island’s Ultimate Athlete Magazine.
Fall Volume II, 2010
nts FEATURES Features
Feeding your muscles
14 Campus Magnet Football
22 Bronx Science Girls Volleyball
24 Christ the King
28 Curtis Swimming
32 Fordham Prep Boys Soccer
36 Forest Hills Girls Soccer
38 Lincoln Football
42 New Dorp Bowling
46 Riverdale Kingsbridge Girls Soccer
48 St. Francis Prep Boys Soccer
52 Tottenville Football
54 Susan Wagner Girls Volleyball
Boys Cross Country
62 Pro Corner Jets
68 Xenith Helmets
72 Training Why Weight
76 Psychology Winning Ugly
Photo by andrew adler
A player from Campus Magnet makes moves and heads to the end zone against New Utrecht in a recent game.
Photo by Andrew Adler
With the ball up for grabs, members of the Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy girls soccer team fight to gain control of it.
Photo by Andrew Adler
Tottenvilleâ€™s Alvin Cornelius III stiff arms an opponent and looks to gain some massive yardage in a recent game.
Compe Competition Nutrition
FEEding your musclEs
By Sandy Sarcona
Competitive athletes want to be strong. When thinking of gaining muscle, most athletes assume loading up on protein will produce bigger pecks. It is true that we need protein for muscle, but taking in more protein than you need, will not equal muscle growth. In fact, too much of this macronutrient will either be used for energy or stored as fat and can even add stress to your kidneys. To build muscle, you first must be developmentally ready and then you can combine a workout program that includes strength training along with adding extra calories to your diet; start with 500 additional calories each day.
HErE arE somE stratEgiEs to add Extra caloriEs: • Eat frequently. Pack portable snacks like fruit, cheese sticks, crackers, trail mix and energy bars to eat throughout your school day. Have one between breakfast and lunch and one before your workout. If you have a long bus ride home then plan on having a recovery snack as well.
EnErgy packEd snacks • 1 Cup Shelf Stable Chocolate Milk (portable aseptic box) • Energy Bar • 1 Yogurt Container and a Banana • Cheese Stick and Crackers • Fig Bars and 1 cup Shelf Stable 2% Milk (portable aseptic box) • Cereal (bag it in a Ziploc) • Trail Mix of Cheerios or Life, Nuts, Raisins, Small Pretzels (bag it in a Ziploc) • Apple Slices (can be bought bagged and preserved) and Peanut Butter (in the “to go” container)
etition BEgin witH BrEakFast
makE HEaltHy cHoicEs
Eating your first meal soon after you wake up will give you a jump start on getting the extra fuel you need for the day. A bagel, peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat toast, frozen waffles, or cereal only take a few minutes to prepare and eat. If you love having extra sleep and have limited time, take that bagel or sandwich to eat on the bus, in the car or on your walk to school.
When aiming for additional calories, make sure that your food choices supply nutrients. Athletes have higher needs for carbohydrates and certain vitamins and minerals in order to keep the body tuned to run in high gear. “Empty calories” from sugary drinks and high fat desserts may cause a shortage in your daily nutrient load. Even though fruits and vegetables are low in calories, they are high in fiber and antioxidants; substances that will keep your intestinal tract healthy and your immune system in top shape. An athlete that suffers from constipation or one who gets sick a lot will not be a dependable team member. Don’t forget to drink water throughout the day and to consume a sports drink during your practice to stay well-hydrated. Practice hard and eat healthy and your muscles will make their mark.
load up on HigH-caloriE liquids Drinking your calories is quick and easy. Go for healthy options like 100% juice, milk, smoothies, vegetable juice, and milkshakes. High calorie liquid shakes: (mix ingredients in a blender) • Strawberry Smoothie: 1 Cup 2% Milk, 1 Packet Strawberry Carnation Instant Breakfast, ½ Cup Frozen Strawberries, 6oz. Fruit Yogurt, Ice Cubes • Chocolate Shake: 1 Cup 2% Milk, ¼ Cup Dry Non-Fat Milk Powder or 1 Scoop Whey Protein Powder, 6oz. Vanilla Yogurt, 3 Tbsp. Chocolate Syrup • Peachy Orange Cream: 1 Cup Orange Juice, 1 Cup Vanilla Ice Cream, ½ Cup Frozen Peaches (fresh or canned) • Peanut Butter Banana Blend: 1 Cup 2% Milk, 1 Packet Vanilla Carnation Instant Breakfast, 1 Frozen Banana, 1 Tablespoon Peanut Butter
By Sean Reilly Photos by Andrew Adler
The now infamous incident of a Boys and Girls High School football coach mooning the crowd after being ejected from a game against Campus Magnet last month was a textbook example of stupidity; a mindset not possessed by the Bulldogs, who from the top down have cultivated a climate focused on smart decisions. Head coach Eric Barnett has honed his program into an atmosphere tantamount to a family. His players thrive in an environment in which they not only aim for the common goals of a winning season, city titles and accolades; but have their best interests taken to heart. While nearby Catholic Schools such as Holy Cross and St. Francis Prep are legacies on the city’s football scene, Campus Magnet strives to do more than emulate their storied histories of success, but rather to assure that their players’ best days come after they leave their walls. “What we’re doing here, we won’t know the full effect until 20 years from now,” Barnett says, “when these men are judged for the kind of people they’ve become.” Barnett states with pride that all of his players graduate on time, and most of them go on to college, with the exceptions being some who’ve proudly opted to serve in the military. During his six years as head coach, Barnett has attracted students from other schools with this personal attentiveness. “I always tell parents, ‘if you bring your son here, I will sell your son,” Barnett says, detailing how meticulously he’ll work to lure the eyes of college recruiters to his players, and often mapping their routes to top universities through junior colleges if necessary. Some former Bulldogs have found themselves playing college football at schools like Fordham,
Minnesota, and Ole Miss, while others are happy knowing their academic persistence paid off with their acceptance to schools like West Virginia University. Barnett himself understands the importance in education and it is the reason it’s at the forefront of his directive with his team. A Criminal Justice major, he was headed toward a career in law when the opportunity to coach youth football, coupled with a longstanding commitment to contributing to the community, shifted him onto a different path as an educator and a mentor. “You have a lot of guys who coach who don’t live in the kinds of neighborhoods they coach in, live near the guys their coaching,” he says. For the Bulldogs, benchmarks they are made to hit now, will hopefully yield results that will vastly improve their prospects going forward. “Every kid that’s come into our program, their grades have improved,” he said, noting the players work with college tutors twice a week and throughout the year, including the off-season. Players’ lockers are also assigned and shifted according to their grade-point-average, lowest being the furthest back. Besides that, Barnett also makes it clear that one’s marks affect more than their place in the locker room, but also possibly their playing time. “If I’ve got two guys that are about the same level of talent at the same position, I’m gonna start the one with the better GPA. That other guy’s gonna wonder why, and I tell him you put your best face forward, sooner or later, he’ll get it.” Barnett believes that a firm, but supportive environment does more to motivate the students than the reputation or rank of the school they happen to be attending.
“It’s all about your focus, the guy you’re sitting next to isn’t going to make you any smarter, you have to want it for yourself.” This attitude inspires the young men in his charge, some of whom transferred from more prestigious or geographically closer schools to be a part of this unique setting. “I heard a lot about Campus Magnet, that they have a lot of good programs, and a good team here,” said Luis Sorto, a senior defensive lineman who came by way of Richmond Hill. His sentiments are echoed by Jhaleel Oswald, formerly of Holy Cross. “Holy Cross wasn’t giving me what I wanted; here seemed more to my standards.” Marcus Smith at 6-8, 350 lbs is obviously hard to miss on the field, yet his presence is only just now being felt on the field for the Bulldogs. After tackling ineligibility, the Offensive Guard now is now a better student through his struggles, and appreciates all that the team did to help him. “We worked hard, the coaches got me tutors, and a lot of the programs here really help me out,” says the business
student and FBLA member. “These guys took me in here, they showed me love,” said senior Jimmy Potepa, who left Westbury, Long Island to play for the Bulldogs and like Smith sings the team’s praises. To put this regard in perspective, consider Robert Robertson, a sophomore who commutes to Campus Magnet despite living ‘right across the street’ from Boys and Girls High School. Though averse to commenting on the other school because he jokingly refers to himself as living in enemy territory, he nonetheless notes the decision to attend this school as one that he hopes will enrich his future. “I know what I want from my life, I know I can get that here, I’m gonna have a better life.” The Bulldogs are 3-2 so far through a season that’s seen them face strong opponents, yet whatever the outcome in the win-loss column, this team is amassing different victories, ones that will hopefully count for years to come.
Story By: Bailey Stephens Photos By: Andrew Adler
For a team that has cruised relatively easily into the playoffs in each of the several seasons, the Beacon High School girls soccer team knows more about adversity than you might expect. Consider the situation they find themselves in at this point in the season -- fighting an uphill battle against injuries to some of their veteran leaders all the while keeping their eye on yet another trip to the postseason. Most teams would at least stumble under this sort of circumstances. Not here. Coach Kevin Jacobs' squad is playing with all the poise of years past, but that's to be expected with the culture he's been able to establish at Beacon over the last decade. After losing leading scorer, sophomore forward Tyler Sloan (foot fracture) and senior captain Sophie Kligler (sprained ankle) earlier this season, Beacon has continued to roll, remaining unbeaten in the PSAL Manhattan A-II league. "We're not where we expected to be, because of the injuries," Jacobs explained. "We do have depth, but our loss of Tyler for at least the regular season. I think that's the hardest to replace. While Sloan may not be an easy player
to replace on the field, the Blue Demons have turned to their deep bench and to the untrained eye, the transition has been fairly seamless. "They've been great," Kligler said. "There's not one player on this team that I wouldn't trust to go out there and make a difference." Kliger, who is making her way back from the ankle injury, has been resigned to assisting from the sidelines -a role she's filling so naturally, it's easy to mistake her for an assistant coach. "It's definitely a new experience," Kliger said of watching from the side. "It actually helps to see what we can do better and what we need to work on. ... I want to come back already, but my team has been very supportive telling me to wait and come back when I'm healthy so we'll be good for when it matters." When it matters is the playoffs -the championships specifically. That's the stumbling block that has also taught the Blue Demons a thing or two about adversity the last few years. After winning the league championship in 2008, Beacon has gotten all the way to the 'ship each of the last two seasons only to see the title slip through their fingers at the hands [err, feet] of penalty kicks. "We've gone from being a team that liked penalty kicks to one that
doesn't," Jacobs said. â€œActually, no one really likes them win or lose." But Beacon has found themselves on the losing end of the dreaded penalty kick scenario. Twice. In a row. "It's very frustrating," junior Alex Easton said. â€œ[Our class] came in after the last championship. It's hard to be so close." If this season's early results are any indication, though, Beacon's junior class could get their shot in 2010. According to Jacobs, though, they expect nothing less. "This team has high expectations for themselves," he said. "They expect nothing less and they'd be disappointed not to win." Jacobs, though without intending it, keyed in on what has become Beacon's culture. It's a culture of winning, success at the highest level. It's a culture that the modest Jacobs will attribute to the growing popularity of girls soccer in the city, the rise of club soccer teams, the talent and tenacity of his players, everything except himself. Yet, it's obvious even from a casual observer that Jacobs and his work ethic lay at the heart of Beacon's success. Just ask his players. "He's 100 percent devoted all the time," junior Liza Kapelus said. "He spends his time making sure we get good
practices in. He keeps us focused and makes sure we take practice seriously." It isn't just tough practices that keep Beacon sharp despite a schedule littered with competition that isn't always competitive. Jacobs works to schedule tough non-conference opponents that will prepare his squad for the teams they'll see later on. At this point in the season, though, the Blue Demons expect lopsided victories, especially at this point in the season. Yet, even with the score heavily in their favor, Jacobs can still be found using every situation in the game as a possible teachable moment as was the case during a recent 6-0 drubbing of Stuyvesant. "Every game, he tries to make us better, even if we're winning," Kapelus said. "He keeps up the intensity so I think we're a lot less overconfident this year." The Blue Demons can't afford to bring that overconfidence in any game, as teams around the region routinely save their best shot for the league juggernauts. Being that team is just fine with Jacobs. "We've just become that team over last three years," Jacobs said. "Teams that match up well will bring their best energy to every game. That's good, it pushes our players." There's no doubt that this team is one that's used to being pushed. Being part of a perennially successful team, with all of the vaunted expectations isn't without its challenges, even before all the injuries. Fortunately, their reputation, their culture of winning, is exactly what keeps Beacon's players hungry. "There are a lot of expectations," Kligler said. "But they make you work harder. You want to live up to and exceed them."
Bronx High School of Science Girls Volleyball Team By Renee Keller Photos by Daniel S. Burnstein This is a reloading year for the young Bronx High School of Science girls varsity volleyball team. Last year the Wolverines reached the second round of the playoffs in the Bronx A-1 division. The Wolverines finished with a 8-4 record. “We have several new players this year,” said Jeremy Bass, the third-year head coach of the girls team and the head coach of the boys varsity volleyball team. “We’re still looking to find our chemistry.” The girls’ team strategy will be similar to last season. “Pass, be mentally tough and try to give their all no matter what the situation is,” he added. After losing two starters, 13 active players remain, including three seniors, five juniors, four sophomores and one freshman. The team is currently in first place with a 3-0 record. Co-captains Anna Barron and Liza Park are two of the top players on the team. Barron is not only a talented athlete but a talented student as well. She is a junior with a 97% grade-point-average. Her future hopes are playing volleyball at a top university where she will major in
psychology and then go to law school. Barron, who has been with the team for a ear, started as a sophomore. She is a junior libero. “Anna is a good receiver, a good server and a good leader,” said Coach Bass. Barron, who is 5’2 and weighs 120 pounds, has made 12 service points and 9 aces so far. Barron also plays club volleyball and varsity tennis for the Wolverines. Senior Liza Park is a versatile outside hitter. She is 5’5 and weighs pounds. “Liza is a good passer and has a good volleyball IQ,” said the coach. In two matches this season, Liza had 4 aces, 6 service points and 5 kills. She is also on the varsity Handball team and the Outdoor Track team. Two other sophomores round out the list of the Wolverines’ skillful players: Mary Platt and Dominique Watt. Platt’s height allows her to aptly play the position of middle blocker. She is 6’1 and weighs 140 pounds. “Mary has good timing in the middle, puts up a good block and makes strong saves,” said the coach. Platt has 12 aces, 16 service points, 1 block and 12 kills this season. Platt also plays on the Wolverines’ varsity softball team.
Dominique Watt has good hands to be an alternate setter, according to her coach. She will play on the right side and all-around. She is 5’9 and weighs 150 pounds. ”Dominique is a good hitter and serves well,” added Coach Bass. She has had 10 aces, 12 service points, 1 assist and 2 kills this season. Also a strong student, Watts is on the Robotics team and is interested in attending MIT. Sophomore Amanda Ruiz will be an outside hitter. She made 20 aces and 29 service points in three matches. The 5’5” 128-pound athlete has a 96% grade-point-average, and has worked as a hospital volunteer for two years. She is interested in attending Cornell for veterinary studies. Two other seniors whose skills add depth to the team are senior middle blocker Eugenie Dubin and Angela Han. Dubin who stands at 5’8 and weighs 140 pounds, has made 1 ace, 1 service point, 1 dig and 9 kills this season. She also plays on the varsity girls basketball team, and outdoor track team. Like her teammate, Anna Barron, Angela Han will also play libero this year. She has made 4 aces, 7 service points and 1 dig this season. She also plays on the varsity handball team. The
5’4 120 pound student athlete has a 91% grade-point average and also does community work. She was a volunteer at Queens Hospital in New York City for two years. Han is interested in attending New York University. Although the Wolverines have proven themselves to be a highly competitive team, they are surrounded by equally skilled top division teams, such as John F. Kennedy High School. Coach Bass says he looks forward to having his team play against the JFK Lady Knights because the Kennedy team has the a standard of excellence. In the meantime, the team’s head coach plans to make sure they keep improving so they can go further in the playoffs. Coach Bass, a former Bronx Science alum, truly enjoys his job, “I love working with all of the student athletes,” he says. (Bass played for the Wolverines’ basketball team when he was a student.) “We have a young team, so we are looking to make it to the quarterfinals and keep working hard to compete in the citywide championships next year.”
Story By: Luis Vazquez
Photos By: Andrew Adler
Christ the King Football, as far as New York City programs go, is on the rise. After a disappointing but useful experience last season, Coach Higgins has made the adjustments and revised some things that did not work well in his first season for the Royals. The results have proven him correct for the most part. Despite a recent tough loss to Xavier, Christ the King has worked hard to change. “The difference is two-fold,” said Coach Higgins. “I have an older team and a new coaching staff. Last year we put together a staff a month and a half before the season started. We pulled the best we could. This year we were prepared and
were ready to go. When the season started we got off to a better start coaching wise.” Led by a quarterback Terrel Hunt, who is headed to Syracuse, things have gone well with Christ the King, who stands currently at 5-2. This is a direct result of flexible thinking in certain spots and sticking to a philosophy in the other. The offense has been as effective as it is talented. Held up by improved offensive line, this team of speed burners has been able to accomplish a lot against their opponents, and Coach Higgins has been pleased for the most part. “Our quarterback (Terrell) is a year older,” said Higgins. “He’s a phe-
nomenal player. Right now he looks amazing. The O-line has improved with Omar Hunter stepping up. He’s the senior leader of the line. It’s their second year together. We plugged in one new player. It’s much better than it was last year.” The athleticism sets the offense apart. Mr. Higgins has ridden this horse for most of this season. “I will change my offense,” he said. “I will change with the times and with the kids we have in the building. We’re fast. We’re athletic. That’s what we do. That’s who we are on offense and a ‘grind it out’ kind of defense. A ‘bend but don’t break’ kind of defense. We are fast and that’s what we’re geared towards. We change with the personnel we have.” It’s been a difficult job chang-
ing people’s view of Christ the King but it’s coming together. Take for example, Higgins defensive coordinator Scott Hegan made a suggestion and the result is a more balanced team. “Scott gave me a defense I wanted and ran it well,” said Higgins. “A couple of weeks ago he said ‘I know we’re a 4-4 team and you are a 4-4 coach, but I want to show you this. It was a 5-3 defense. It worked with the personnel we had. I think we benefitted from it, especially guys like defensive lineman Joe Thompson. “ Coach Higgins knows what it will take to get where they want to go. He is on the lookout for the effort week in and week out. He is wary of increased media coverage but understands what it does ultimately for his school. “We have to work extremely
hard no matter what,” he said. “You can’t rely on the fact that we are athletic as a team. When a kid sees his name in the paper, he has to understand that the work ethic has to be the same. One of the biggest pitfalls of losing is finger pointing. We established that we a family, we win as a team and lose as such. The pros outnumber the cons.” While at many schools, the view of the coaches in regards to how long they should be a coach differs. Some stay a couple of years then set up their next move. Some want to start long traditions. Coach Higgins is one who wants to
create a legacy. He is following Kevin Kelley, whose goal to rise the program to respectability was ended prematurely. However, Higgins feels though he may be wrong here and there, the ideas are solid. Coach Higgins explains, “It’s hard to build a tradition with a losing season. My plan is to be here as long as they let me. As a coach your body of work will define whether I will be here. I don’t want to be a flash in the pan. I want to be here awhile.”
Story By: Luis Vazquez
The Curtis women’s swimming team performs with a dynastic edge. Despite having to prepare for meets away from their home pool due to renovations, the team is looking to secure their fifth consecutive city finals appearance. Coach Ellen Cartmell-Kaht explained the goals before this season. “Our main goals this year were to have as many girls as possible qualify for the “A” individual swim championships at the end of the season and to make the playoffs. We would still like a few more girls to qualify and we have made the playoffs again.”
Photos By: Andrew Adler
Led by a Curtis alum who happened to inherit the job after assisting for a number of years, Cartmell-Kaht followed the same pattern as her former coach in that she also manages the boys team at Susan B. Wagner. How does she do it? “The Curtis girls swim season starts at the end of August and runs through the middle of November and the Wagner boys season starts the second week in November and runs through February,” explained the coach. “The seasons overlap for a week or two depending how far teams get in the playoffs.”
Curtis not only came into the season with great expectations, but they fulfilled them for the most part by qualifying for the playoffs again. This was one of the goals for the warriors and their coach. “The team is doing well this year. We have finished the season 2nd on Staten Island and have made the playoffs again this year. Right now we have five swimmers that have qualified for the “A” individual championships and we are hoping for a few more.” The key to their success over the course of this season has been the coach’s
philosophy and reliance of flexibility. It has helped in overcoming unusual odds. Ellen tells why. “Our strength is in our versatility. I like to move the lineups around. The more versatile a team is the better. Our weakness this year is our lack of pool time to practice. Our home pool at Curtis has been closed for two seasons due to needed renovations. This has made it difficult to recruit and to keep members focused. It is more difficult this year having practices only a few nights per week in a pool.” Despite this, the team is packed with talent that has been led by three captains, Krista Caputo, Allison Ulsh, and Elizabeth Peteya, all who have stood out this year. It has been a pleasure for Ellen to coach this trio. “I would have to say my seniors
are my key players. They have been around for four years and they know how to win. They know what is needed to have a strong and competitive team. Krista Caputo can swim anything asked of her, Allison Ulsh is our main sprinter and Kaylie Bruce is also very versatile. She has moved around our lineup this year making us much more flexible. Ann O’Connor is another of our top swimmers and she is only a sophomore. She swims all strokes.” Coach Kaht has also been pleasantly surprised with the development of some of her younger swimmers who have emerged into quite a force. They, along with the stable set of seniors, have placed quite a few girls into the “A” individual swim championships among others. Kaht explains, “Overall I am very proud of how
well the team has done this year, but we did have a few surprises. Sophomore Amanda Iken has improved a great deal, already qualifying for the “A” championships in three events and second year swimmer, junior Elsie Dedrick, has improved across the board, but her best events have been the freestyle events. She still has a few more chances to make the “A” champs.” The constant tinkering with the lineup along with the excitement that extended media coverage gives to programs like Curtis have been sources of joy and have lent something different to look forward to day in and day out. Coach Ellen expounded on why this is, “I think the extended coverage that the athletes are getting is great. First, they all love to see their names in print, but it really gives the
athletes more exposure. Now, not only can friends and family see their accomplishments, but colleges can too. “I have been very proud of the way this team has swam this season. At our recent meet we did very well. We keep making changes in our lineups and the girls are swimming events that are new to them and they enjoy it. I am very proud how they have stepped up their performances to get us to the playoffs.” The closing of the home pool the last couple of seasons has taken a mental toll on the team at times and on the teams recruiting efforts during the same period. Yet, Coach Kaht expects a lot of all her student-athletes, not just the stars. It’s the key to their success in and out of the pool. “The team needs to show more dedication and commitment to meet past accomplishments. It has been difficult keeping the swimmers focused. Practicing late at night has been difficult with all of their schoolwork. But they have to understand this is a team sport and we need each and every one of them to contribute.” Curtis has an excellent tradition and they feed off of it. Yet, as Curtis enters the playoffs they know they are more than trophies and victories. They are about excellence and desire. Goal-oriented from top to bottom, they teach valuable lessons to young girls who want to swim for Curtis and beyond. Ellen discloses her feelings on this. “One of the main reasons athletes should come to Curtis to swim is our tradition of winning. We are an established team with great success. But we also have a lot of fun. Wins are important but not as important as having the athletes improve over the years. I want them to be the best they can be and we work hard at that. The friendships they make on the team last a lifetime.” On top of those benefits, Cartmell-Kaht is anxious for the school’s on-campus pool to reopen. “Having a pool at Curtis is also a big draw. We usually have practices right after school, which makes it easier on the student athlete. It also makes it easier to recruit when you have a pool in the building.” Watch out for Curtis when renovations are complete and don’t sleep on this unit come playoff time.
Story By: Renee Keller Photos By: Andrew Adler
The Fordham Prep Rams varsity boys soccer team is battering their competition in the NYCHSAA North division. With two games remaining in the regular season, the Rams are focused on reclaiming the NYCHSAA championship they won two years ago, but so far it’s been a struggle. In the past two years they made it to the semi-finals, but couldn’t make it to the championships. Last year they ended the season with a 6-4-6 record. This year, the Rams look a lot stronger with an impressive 10-2-1 record. They have 24 active players on their roster. “The team has a lot of depth this year,” said Head Coach Peter McNamara, who has coached at Fordham Prep for the past 25 years. McNamara, who played varsity soccer for Fordham University, also worked as a soccer coach for the New York State Olympic Developmental Program for ten years. Ironically, two of the midfield starters are his sons, Michael and Gregory. The Rams have a long list of talented midfielders and forwards. Michael McNamara is a senior midfielder who is 6’2” and weighs 170 pounds. He is also the team’s co-captain. “He’s good at organizing the team and directing plays,” said Coach McNamara. “He‘s a good dribbler, passer and header.” Michael also plays for a club team and is on Fordham Prep’s varsity track team. He is a long distance runner. He has a 3.6 gradepoint average and is interested in attending Fordham University. Co-captain Mark Kramarchuk is a 6’0”, 170 lb. junior midfielder who has been a starter since his freshman year. According to his coach, Mark is very smart and a great tackler. “He plays at a high level,” said Coach McNamara. Mark is also the captain of the New York Cosmos Academy club team. Mark has a 3.9 grade-point average. Another junior midfielder, Gregory
McNamara, is described as a strong tackler by his coach and father, Peter McNamara. He described both of his sons’ strengths in detail. “Both Michael and Gregory are technically good players with good skills,” he explained. “They take instruction well and know what’s expected of them. They play well alongside each other. Gregory reads the game well. He is a starter who plays the center of the field.” Gregory, who is 6’3”, 150 lbs., is also on the varsity track team. He runs long distance like his brother, Michael. Gregory has a 3.9 grade-point average. Gregory’s teammate, Dylan Cope, is also a junior midfielder who makes every minute count when he plays. The 5’9”, 145 lb. athlete is a skillful player. “He plays a short amount of minutes but he scores key goals,” said the coach. Dylan has 3.2 grade-point average. Mark Higgins is a skillful junior midfielder who scores key goals when necessary. Mark is 5’10” and weighs 155 pounds. “He plays well up front and in the back of the field,” said Coach McNamara. Teammate Erich Eberts is a junior midfielder who started last year as a sophomore. He does a good job defensively and makes key assists. “He is very steady and reliable,” said Coach McNamara. Returning to the team after six months of recovering from a ruptured spleen is senior midfielder Nihad Musovic. He was injured during a playoff game last season. He is very strong and able to protect the ball well because of his large size. He is 6’2” and weighs 180 pounds. “Nihad can throw the ball far and makes a lot of assists,” said Coach McNamara. “He’s really improved a lot from last year.” Nihad also plays for the boys varsity basketball team. Another senior midfielder, Berent Kowarick, is very fast and strong. “He has a scored a lot of goals and is also very good defensively,” said McNamara. Doug O’Connell is a senior forward who is a very fast, big player at 6’1”, 160 lbs. “He has done a lot for the team this year,” said McNamara. “Doug has made good passes and a lot of assists.” He has a 3.8 grade-point average. Coach McNamara believes the team has done a good job of preparing for the playoffs. “The team captains are older, stronger and understand the game better,” he said. “The rest of the team can handle more and understand more now, so I can go farther with them.” McNamara added that he is looking forward to the Rams facing off against St. Francis Prep and Iona in the playoffs. The coach is not worried about losing any games due to player injury either.” If any of our starters get injured, it won’t hurt us because we have strong replacements,” he said confidently.
No. 15 1 2 20 6 4 16 13 3 11 9 19 5 23 14 8 7 17 2 22 18 12
Name Brady, Pat Civetta, Patrick Carey, Brian Cannicotti, Anthony Cope, Dylan Eberts, Erich Gallagher, Liam Gray, Pat Higgins, Mark Heitmann, Spencer Kowarick, Berent Kowarick, Peter Kramarchuk, Mark Lisiewski, Eric McNamara, Gregory McNamara, Michael Musovic, Nihad Oâ€™Connell, Doug Oâ€™Keefe, Kyle Palomino, Sebastian Rubinstein, Matthew Santaramo, Michael
Year 11 12 12 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 12 11 11 12 11 12 12 12 12 10 12 12
Position D GK D/M M M/F M F D D/M/F F M D D/M/F D D/M/F M M/F F D M/F M GK
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massapequa 4161 Merrick Rd. Massapequa, NY 11758
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By Jerry Del Priore Photos by Andrew Adler
Last season, the Forest Hills $%. ($%&* %!$ & / % second place in the PSAL Queensâ€™ A-V division behind rivals Long Island City. After an extremely successful 9-2-1 season, the Lady Rangers ended their season with a tough 1-0 !%% " &*% &/$%& round against Bard High School that curtailed their season in gut-wrenching fashion. Heading into this year, Head Coach Bob Sprance hoped his girls would surpass last seasonâ€™s success. Resting his aspirations on a talented group he refereed to as his core /($& ! /$% '$ '(&%*!'$ *$ %&$&$ &$/$
! '+ %)"$ $ Rueda--he remained optimistic. But he wasnâ€™t exactly sure how well Forest Hills would fare due
to the addition of six new players. To make matters more challenging, the Lady Rangers lost Rueda, a key component to their defense, to a knee injury. Thankfully, though, he was able to %'0% '" !' &$&! tions as the year progressed. He also received a much-need boost from freshman dynamo Jackie Brito, who, on October 11, registered four tallies in a 6-1 victory against Bryant High School. With a mix of talent, toughness and lady luck, Forest Hills went on to post a 10-1-1 regular season record, good for second place in the division and the thirtieth seed in the playoffs, exceeding Spranceâ€™s expectations, he said. The Lady Rangers drew twentieth % '% !! & /$%& $!' and thoughts of disaster crept in, in an other)% ! / & %#' !)($ !$%& % was able to excise its demons by defeating the Lady Red Devils on a golden goal by Gamboa for a thrilling 3-2 double-overtime victory. â€œAll I wanted to do is get to the playoffs, then make it past this game,â€? Svitsky said. â€œI kept having nightmares about the game, but it felt great to win.â€?
Gamboa, who scored two tallies in the contest, shared her teammateâ€™s sentiment. â€œLast year, for personal reasons, I couldnâ€™t attend the playoff game, and it broke my heart when I heard we had lost,â€? said Gamboa, who led the club with 12 goals. â€œAll I could think about this whole season is we have to get to the "*!% )(&!) & ) )/ *!&&! this game, I had to help this team win.â€? But then came the Lady Rangersâ€™ second round match up against fourth-seeded Francis Lewis. Unfortunately, Forest Hills wasnâ€™t able to keep with the Lady Patriots, losing 4-0 on the road, ending its playoff run much too soon for the team. Although the Lady Rangers failed to advance to the next round, it didnâ€™t take away from their memorable cam-
paign, or the great season they experienced in both comradrie %&&%&% ' !"$ $ +. $!$ ! stopping 99 of 109 shots on the year. â€œTo be honest, I loved coaching them, on and off the /- & (&$ ! % , ! "$!% )& & team. In 20 years, this is one of the nicest teams, as well as best teams Iâ€™ve coached. I am very lucky to be coaching this team. Theyâ€™re great kids.â€?
Story By: Sean Reilly
Still undefeated eight games into this season, the Railsplitters of Abraham Lincoln High School have the momentum of a runaway train, and have drawn attention to a school that was once known more for its prowess in basketball than football. Lincoln stands atop the PSAL rankings, has thoroughly dominated a number of its opponents, and boasts some of the city’s top players this year. For coach Shawn O’Connor , who has helmed the program for a decade, and his students, the success they’ve reaped thus far is the product of work that began some time ago. “The season’s going well so
Photos By: Andrew Adler far, we’re undefeated, I could see us going to the big game,” said Ishaq Williams, the All-City defensive end. His sentiment echoed by a number of the Railsplitters following their win over Canarsie. “This has been in the making since our sophomore year, when we were 1-8,” said senior tackle Wayne Williams, referring to the 2008 season. “I feel like we’re gonna be number one this year.” The Railsplitters bounced back from that dismal 2008 record with an impressive 7-4 run last year, and continue a turnaround attributed not only to a talented class of players, but to
a positive attitude and environment that has enriched the team on the field and beyond it. “We have a great team chemistry,” said Kareem Folkes, a junior running back and the team’s primary rushing option besides fleet-footed quarterback Andrew Vital. “Our coaches try and get us to be our best, on the field and off, try and get us to college, it’s a winning atmosphere here.” Coach O’Connor proudly states that all of last year’s seniors graduated on time and went on to further their educations, and he expects the same of this season’s crop. He also notes that the confidence and camaraderie his
team has is what he feels carried the Railsplitters through some recent rough spots, after injuries led to Vital leaving the field during their last game, and Ishaq Williams’ not playing the last two weeks. “It shows a lot about the kids, still being able to pull it out. That they’re deep, and able to keep it together,” he said. Several of O’Connor’s players and the coach himself explain how their resilience and ensuing success is the result of a bond years in the making. “Coach O’Connor says this is not a football team, this is a football family,” Wayne Williams said. “he’s pushed
that since freshman year, and what’s happening now is what’s supposed to happen.” “We try to treat this as a program, not just a team. We study together, we go bowling together, we hit the weight room together, we bond as a family, as a unit,” O’Connor added. Indeed a unit is perhaps the perfect choice of words for the Railsplitters to describe themselves, as despite their nickname deriving from that of our country’s 16th president, they seem to look to more ancient history for inspiration. “Coach [O’Connor] compares to the Spartans, we’re 300 strong,” Wayne
Williams said. “When our front line falls, our second line is there. We show we’re not gonna go down when our starters go down.” In fact it could be said the Spartan metaphor extends beyond the strength of the team’s bench and resolve, to the way in which they’ve defeated their opponents largely at the front lines, with a nearly impenetrable defense and a solid offensive line that have resulted in multiple shutouts against opponents and a potent rushing game respectively. “With the great o-line we have, we can be effective when we have the ball,” Folkes said. They’ve beaten strong and
similarly well-rounded teams such as Campus Magnet, and Erasmus Hall, and may well be in a position to rectify last season’s crushing loss to Fort Hamilton in the playoff quarterfinals. The Tigers are also undefeated thus far, so a rematch between the teams is certainly possible, but regardless of who they face Lincoln acknowledges their intent to claim post-season success, so far the only thing that has eluded them under coach O’Connor. We’ve got to keep stepping it up every week,” Folkes said, “hopefully it all keeps up all the way to the end.” “We’ve done well, we’ve done a lot of big things, we’ve had a couple of good seasons, but we’ve still gotta get over that hump, to win the city championship,” O’Connor said. “With these guys, we’ve really got a great shot to do that this year.”
Story By: Richard Bier Photos By: Daniel S. Burnstein
New Dorp High School girls bowling team was in danger of starting off the season with a record of two wins and three loses. Considering that New Dorp is coming off back to back PSAL championships, a third loss would put them in jeopardy of winning a third straight title. With the pressure on, star junior Carla-Ann Spoto stepped up and did what she normally does, she bowled a strike. It turned out to be the decisive frame that carried New Dorp to victory over their rival Curtis High School. For Carla-Ann, this was just another day at the office. The junior has been a top bowler ever since she came to New Dorp. In her first two years, the team only lost one game combined. As a freshman, she averaged a 182, good enough for fourth in the City. Last season, she averaged a 189 and just missed out of being the top bowler by finishing second. This season, Carla-Ann is looking to average in the 190’s and currently leads the City in average. Being the top female high school bowler in PSAL is a product of natural ability and hard work. Her high school coach Jacqueline Overs praises her work ethic. “Carla-Ann is an extremely hard worker who is dedicated to her sport. She always practices; during the season she practically lives at the bowling alley.” This season, Carla-Ann has been asked to do more. Her freshman year, she had the leadership of senior captain Allison Piergiovani on her team. Last season, it was captain Brittany Berto who averaged a 227 in the playoffs. This year, Carla-Ann is the captain and the leader of the team. “Carla-Ann helps teach the other players and I have even learned from her,” comments Overs. “I also know the other bowlers
learn from watching her. When she has a bad frame she just smiles and shakes it off. Shaking off a bad frame is very important in bowling.” Last January, she didn’t need to shake off any bad frames. At the tender age of fifteen, Carla-Ann bowled a perfect game of 300. This was one of her biggest thrills she has ever had in bowling and said she was pretty calm until the last frame when she became nervous. With all this success, one of the more surprising things about Carla-Ann is that she didn’t start bowling until five years ago, and according to her, she wasn’t very good when she started. What got her started could have been attributed to sibling jealousy. “I really started bowling because my brother had gotten a bowling ball from my grandfather and I got jealous and wanted one too,” says a smiling Carla-Ann. Once she started bowling she worked extremely hard at it. She practices everyday during the season. She plays in weekend leagues in addition to the school team. Carla-Ann credits her coach, Bowling Pro Ray Laursen for helping her improve. Laursen works at Rab’s Country Lanes Bowling Center, the same place where most of her high school matches take place. When asked what makes Carla-Ann a top young bowler, Laursen states that, “She has excellent fundamentals, she has a strong desire to get better, and she bowls often. Becoming a top bowler is an ongoing process, you are always learning. You learn something, you master it and then you move on to learn something new.” Laursen estimates that he works with Carla-Ann once or twice a week on average, a little less in the summer and a little more during tournament time. Carla-Ann is determined to improve her tournament play. She has competed in some of the top tournaments for high school bowlers around the country. Last summer she finished in the top half in a tournament in Indiana, and she finished in the bottom
half of a tournament in Rome, NY. “One thing I need to do is to practice more and gain experience on “Pro-Lanes”. I compete most of the time on “House Lanes” and the Pro-Lanes are more difficult,” comments Carla-Ann. Later on this season she will be competing in the City for a chance to play in a major tournament in Las Vegas. One goal Carla-Ann has set is to continue bowling in college. She knows that a big part of this is to do well in high school academically. Her impressive 90 average should help her recruitment. Ray Laursen remembers that as far back as her sophomore year, college coaches knew about her. “We had a showcase for all the top bowlers in the City and invited college bowling coaches to take a look. The showcase was mostly for the juniors and seniors but they all stopped to watch Carla-Ann and ask questions about her. At that time she was too young under NCAA rules for the coaches to talk to her,” states Laursen. Carla-Ann has received letters from schools across the country such as University of Florida and University of Kentucky. However, she has her heart set on attending St. Francis College in Brooklyn. “They have a good bowling program, and they have my major, Psychology. I like that it is close to home but I can still be away and live in the dorms,” says Carla-Ann. While Carla-Ann competes scholastically in handball, bowling is her first love. She says she enjoys watching the top bowlers on tour and one day she would like a chance to play professional if she reaches that level. With Carla-Ann’s work ethic, I would not bet against her.
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Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy Lady Tigers Girls Varsity Soccer Team By Renee Keller Photos by Andrew Adler Up until just two years ago, a girls varsity soccer team at Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy didn’t exist. In a short amount of time though, the team has improved so much that the RKA Lady Tigers wound up finishing second in the Bronx A division last year with an impressive 9-2 record. The Tigers made it all the way to the playoffs, but lost in the first round of the quarterfinals to the Leon Goldstein High School for Science in Brooklyn. Meanwhile, the RKA Lady Tigers’ arch rivals, the Bronx High of Science Wolverines, ended up winning the Bronx A division championship. This year the RKA Lady Tigers are planning a different outcome. With a third of the season already behind them, the RKA Lady Tigers have a 4-1 record. Ironically, the team’s first loss of the season was to the Bronx High School of Science Wolverines. But, the RKA Lady Tigers are gearing up to face them one more time
during the regular season. Secondyear head coach Julienne Krause says the team will play a higher level of soccer to help strengthen the team’s efforts to get to the playoffs. “We’ll play more of a passing game instead of just kicking the ball long,” says Krause. If there is any coach who can take the RKA Lady Tigers all the way, it is Krause. She started playing soccer at 6-years-old, then played for a travel team at age 11, helped her team win a championship in high school and played for a Division II college in Albany. Before she became the head coach of the RKA Lady Tigers, Krause assisted Will Cushing, who was then head coach for both the RKA boys and girls varsity soccer teams, so she is fully prepared to meet any challenges. This season, the RKA Lady Tigers have lost three seniors but 19 talented players remain to compete. There are four seniors, five juniors, seven sophomores
and three freshmen. There are three players, however, whose performances will be key to the team’s success: Summer Sofer, Julia Silverman and Carlene Fontanez. Freshman Summer Sofer will play at the center-midfielder position. She is 5’6” and weighs 120 pounds. She’s off to a strong start this season with 30 shots, 2 assists and 8 goals. “This is her first year so she is getting used to playing with her teammates,” says coach Krause. “Summer has a good knowledge of the game and makes smart plays.” Sofer also plays soccer for a club team. Her teammate, senior Julia Silverman, will also play center-midfielder. She’s 5’4” and weighs 130 pounds. ”Julia is a very good team player who knows how to get back at defense and get up on offense,” says Krause. “She never stops trying.” So far this season Silverman has made 16 shots and 2 goals. Besides playing soccer for RKA, Silverman has been playing on the girls varsity volleyball team for four years. She also plays for the Riverdale soccer club team. One of the RKA Lady Tigers’ leading scorers, sophomore Carlene Fontanez will play forward. Although small in stature at five feet tall and weighing 100 pounds, she is a tough competitor who can kick the ball well. After playing three games this season, Fontanez has made 16 shots, 2 assists and scored 5 goals. “She’s very good at finding the back of the net
with the ball, “says coach Krause. Other players who have already made some valuable contributions to the team this season are: Lea Cohen and Erica Wilcvzek. Sophomore forward Lea Cohen has a total of five assists. She also plays on the softball girls varsity team. Senior defender Erica Wilcvzek has made 1 assist and 1 goal so far. She is also plays for the girls varsity softball team and girls basketball varsity team. While the Lady Tigers have several tough opponents to face in their division, there is one team in particular that they look forward to playing against-- the Bronx High School of Science Wolverines. “The school is nearby and we know a lot of the girls on the team because they used to go to RKA,” says coach Krause. If the Lady Tigers continue to play as well as they are now, with just eight games remaining, they have a good shot at the playoffs. “I think we’ll get a playoff bid,” says coach Krause. “We’re going to play a more relaxed, sophisticated level of soccer.” If playing a more sophisticated level of soccer includes playing with confidence, skill and determination, then they have an excellent chance at reaching the playoffs this season.
Story By: Richard Bier
Photos By: Andrew Adler
St. Francis Soccer Coach Franco Purificato had a short message for his team after a tough loss in the CHSAA semifinals, “refocus”. With the elimination from the City Championship tournament, the St. Francis Prep Terriers are fortunate to have a second chance. Their strong season allowed them to qualify for the State Championships and Purificato knows the quicker the team rebounds emotionally, the better position they will be to win the State Tournament. The 2010 St. Francis Terriers came into the season with high expectations. In ten years as Head Coach, Purificato feels this is his best team. With two City Championships in 2003 and 2006; and a State Championship in 2003; that is strong praise for his current team. This team has also reached a new level of exposure on a national scale. Halfway through the season, the team was ranked as the number seven high school soccer team in the country. This was the first time in the school’s history that the
team was getting national ranking consideration. The exposure was somewhat bittersweet. National recognition brings positive attention to the school but it also meant that Coach Purificato was bombarded with media requests, and he needed to guard against his team becoming overconfident. Purificato gives credit to his seniors for keeping the team focused and not worrying about rankings. The talent on the team starts with senior Danny Begonja. Danny is tied for the team lead in assists and is the key to controlling the midfield. “He is the best midfielder that I have seen play all season,” says Puricato. “I definitely feel he can be a very good division one soccer player.” Upfront, the team has three guys that know how to put the ball in the net. Senior co-captain Frank Biordi is one of the team’s leaders and has drawn interest from division one schools including Fordham. Talented sophomore Kenan Redzamatovic leads the team in goals with 17 and is tied for
first with assists with seven. Junior Chris Joseph has been a starter since his freshman year and brings energy and hustle to the team where he is second in total points. The defense is led by a trio of standouts; junior co-captain Chris Molano at sweeper is a three year starter, co-captain senior Danny Finn who plays the stopper position, and senior goalkeeper Joe Cala. Both senior have been receiving interest to continue playing soccer in college. In particular, Finn has received interest from Queens College, CW Post and Old Westbury and Cala is being recruited by Old Westbury. The team played through high expectations all year long. Their record is currently 15 and 2, with a remarkable twelve shutouts. They outscored their opponents by scoring 58 goals and only giving up 8 goals. Their only regular season loss was a 1-0 decision to Molloy on the road. Their playoff loss was decided on penalty kicks with their second string keeper. St. Francis Prep was a couple of breaks away from being undefeated heading into the State playoffs. One of the more interesting matchups this season was a scrimmage against Public League powerhouse Martin Luther King High School. That game ended in a one to one tie. Coach Purificato mentioned that the top public school team and the top catholic school team use to face off for the city championship and it is a game that he would like to see return.
While the final chapter of this team has not been written, you get a sense that Coach Purificato will miss having his senior leaders next year. But his program is in good hands. They have their top two scorers returning, and for the first time next year he will have two seniors who have been four year starters. Add to this a very strong junior varsity team that reached the finals for CHSAA championship. One recent phenomenon is that parents are taking the soccer programs into consideration when they are seeking a parochial school for their sons. “When I meet with parents of eighth graders, I am hearing that they are sending the children to prep because of the soccer program. While it is nice to hear, I try to stress to the parents that academics come first here” says Purificato. “The school is consistently ranked for it academics.” After the state tournament, there
is no rest for the weary. Scholastic soccer has become a year round sport. Players are busy almost the whole year between high school, club teams and academies. Sports have become more specialized and soccer is no exception. “It has become very difficult for athletes to play more then one sport if they choose soccer. Sometimes during the year I am in contact with club coaches as the seasons cross over and they may have two games on the same day,” says Purificato. “Since the college season is at the same time as our season, the players need to play in the spring and the summer so the college coaches can see them play.” Coach Purificato also coordinates with club team coaches on helping the young men get scholarships to play college soccer. One of his top former players, Kevin Garcia is doing very well playing soccer at Villanova. So the hard work by
the coaches and players does pay off. Coach also likes to have his former player become part of the program. Two of his former players are coaching with him; Angelo Skartsiaris is his assistant coach, and Nick Caputi is the junior varsity coach. Both players were on his 2003 double championship team and are following in the coach’s footsteps. Franco Purificato was a 1989 graduate of St. Francis Prep. He came back to the school in 1994 as JV coach, and has been coaching varsity the last ten years where he is also a social studies teacher. As the 2009 season comes to a close for the St. Francis Prep Terriers, it is actually more likely the new season will be starting. Coaching and playing soccer is no longer a seasonal activity for these dedicated athletes.
By Richard Bier Photos by Andrew Adler Alvin Cornelius III has been getting it done on the football field. After five games, the Tottenville Junior leads all the City receivers in touchdowns, and is second in catches. He will be one of the most highly recruited players in New York State next year, and is a major reason that Tottenville is ranked as the top team in the PSAL. With all these accomplishments on the field, it is his unselfishness, his leadership and his hard work in the classroom that makes Alvin a complete student-athlete. Opposing coaches have tried everything to try to stop star wide receiver Alvin Cornelius, nicknamed A.C. They have matched him up against their best cover cornerback, they have jammed him at the line, they have double and triple teamed him, but Cornelius continues to make big play after big play. The only thing that has slowed Alvin down is that his team has been beating up on their opponents early in games that his coach, Jim Munson has taken him out of games. Even with not playing the full game, Alvin’s numbers are very strong. In five games he has 16 catches for 389 yards receiving. He is averaging close to 25 yards a reception, and has seven touchdowns. He also has two interceptions as he plays cornerback on defense. Cornelius is blessed with great size and speed. He is a shade less than 6’3 and weighs 180lbs. He is so tough for opposing
defenses to cover because he presents a big target and he is difficult to bring down. When he doesn’t outmuscle his opponents for the ball, he outruns them. A short pass can easily turn into a touchdown. Alvin’s success has not surprised his coach. “From the first day he walked into the gym as a freshman I knew he was going to be a special player for us,” states Head Coach Jim Munson. “He has great size and he is just a pure athlete. After twenty years of coaching you just know when you see a great talent.” Alvin grew up playing basketball but his close childhood friend, Kevin McIntosh convinced Alvin to play football at age ten. Ironically, Kevin now is a basketball player at Curtis High School and Alvin is concentrating more on football at Tottenville. Alvin takes the term student athlete seriously. He feels he is a student first and maintains at a “B+” average. He credits both his parents and his coach for instilling in him a great work ethic for his studies and for sports. “It all about getting an education as my first priority,” states Alvin. “His ultimate goal is to become a doctor so he still has plenty of education in front of him.” Getting a good education is also one of the most important things as he begins the process of looking ahead to college in 2012. Already, he has been receiving interest from top football schools like Oregon and Miami, as well as Rutgers, Syracuse, Boston College, and
Temple. At this point, he says he has no favorites. He is open to going anywhere. Last season, the Tottenville football team did better then expected and reached the finals of the PSAL and lost to their rival Curtis High School. I asked how important it is to win a championship after coming so close. “I think about winning a championship now and then, but really our team’s goal is to just look at the next game and be 1-0 every week. “ Coach Munson believes one of Alvin’s best attributes is that he is a leader. “Despite being only a junior, Alvin is already a three year starter and the other players look up after him. He is a humble kid, he is a team first guy, someone who is very coachable,” states Munson. “He does everything he is told and buys into everything we do.” There is mutual respect for coach and player. When asked if there is someone who has helped you get to where you are, Alvin did not hesitate and said “Coach Munson”. “Coach is also pushing
me to get better and to get stronger. He told me that in the offseason I needed to go to the weight room everyday to become a better player. Coach also makes sure that I am doing my job in the classroom and to be a leader on the team,” said Cornelius. With being a leader comes responsibility. Alvin seeks out the younger players on the team to give advice and to help them adjust to being student athletes. He also feels it is important to go to his old neighborhood of Park Hill and be a role model. Alvin recognizes other players on the team who are important leaders. The teams’ hardnosed middle linebacker Kenny Coughlin is the main leader on defense. Alvin’s best friend, Niheem Chavis “Sticks” is another team leader. Coughlin, Chavis and Cornelius are constantly pushing each other and their teammates to get better.” But it is the leadership of sophomore quarterback Brandon Barnes that has been the biggest surprise. Barnes has stepped up for the Pirates and the athletic sophomore has run the offense like a veteran.
A.C. Alvin Cornelius III
The next major decision facing Alvin might be whether to concentrate on football and miss the basketball season. Many camps, clinics and showcases take place in the winter and the coaches want Alvin to go from a top local recruit to a top national recruit. To get there, Coach Munson wants him to attend the Parisi Speed School this winter to improve his explosiveness off the line and improve his forty (yard dash) time. He also wants him to continue working hard in the weight room and get stronger. So opposing coaches better take note, next year, expect a stronger, bigger, and faster Alvin Cornelius III.
Story By: Richard Bier Photos By: Daniel S. Burnstein
When Susan Wagner High School volleyball player Emily Burke verbally committed to Hofstra University it was big news in the PSAL. It is not often that a NYC high school player receives a full scholarship to play Division One Volleyball. Considering that Emily didn’t starting playing until she was a high school freshman and all the obstacles there were in her path, it was a remarkable accomplishment. The assistance from her parents, her coaches and her teammates were all pieces to the puzzle. However, the Emily Burke story is about working hard every day and slowly getting better. Emily grew up a soccer player. Soccer is a very popular sport in Staten Island and has very organized youth programs and travel teams. In contrast, there are limited opportunities to play volleyball prior to high school. So playing volleyball over soccer as a child was never an option. Emily’s start in volleyball was triggered by a conversation her sister, Meghan had with Head Coach Marco Altieri. Altieri was Meghan’s English teacher and Meghan also played JV volleyball. She told Altieri that she had a sister entering next year who is “tall and athletic”. So when Coach Altieri ran into Emily working as a busgirl at Jimmy Max, a local restaurant, he did his best work as a pitch man to try to convince Emily to play volleyball over soccer at Wagner. Evidently he is a pretty
good salesman and Emily ended up going out for the Varsity as a freshman. When Emily started playing volleyball she was far from being a star player. Coach Altieri said she “was primarily a blocker, but by the end of the season, you can see her technique was getting better and I knew she was going to end up being a very good.” Emily knew she needed to improve, and looked for a club team along with her coaches. With no club teams on Staten Island, she ended up at the Central Jersey Volleyball Academy. Her parents had to drive her two to three hours roundtrip to Flemington New Jersey. Her parents’ sacrifices are not lost on Emily. “If
my parents weren’t willing to pay for all the club teams, camps and drive me daily in the summer to New Jersey and Long Island, I would never have been able to improve the way I did or get exposure to college coaches,” contends Emily. When she returned her sophomore year, Coach Altieri noticed the difference. “Her second season her footwork and swing progressed and added more facets to her game,” states Altieri. “I remember telling assistant coach, Larry Ng, that imagine what Emily will be like when she really knows know how to utilize her size (6’3).” Her sophomore year, it was not only a coming out party for Emily but for the team as well. A sport long
dominated by other boroughs, Wagner advanced all the way to the semi-finals. The success of the Wagner program as well as Staten Island Tech helped fuel the beginning of a club team in Staten Island. Emily finally could play close to home in the offseason and it was within walking distance from her high school at the Jewish Community Center. Emily also was invited to participate at the High Performance Camp at Davidson College in
Charlotte, North Carolina. For Emily this camp was a new level of competition. “Many of the girls that attended the camp started playing at 9 or 10 years old and they had a lot more experience then I had,” says Emily. “But by the end of the camp, I felt that I caught up to the other players and the better competition made me work harder.” Emily returned and she improved to another level when she entered eleventh
grade. Coach Altieri knew he had to contact college coaches on Emily’s behalf as Staten Island is not a place where Division 1 coaches normally look for volleyball players and he started to gain interest for Emily. Meanwhile, the team reached a new level of success last season. They won their conference and again reached the semi-finals and went undefeated during the regular season. Emily feels she was very fortu-
nate to be playing at Susan Wagner because it is one of the top programs in Staten Island. The coaching staff of Atlieri, Larry Ng and Laura Bellotti preaches that the players must sacrifice their free time, practice harder than the games and maintain their grades. It is the success in the classroom that the coaches are most proud of as the team maintains averages from B+ to A’s. Emily also gives credit to Kevin Papa, her summer coach of the NYC Junior Club team. Going into the summer of her senior year, Emily felt she needed to play for a top club team and ended up at Club Ace (aka Club Cali) in Long Island at Hofstra University. This gave the Hofstra coaches a chance to see Emily play on a regular basis. So when Emily committed over St. Peters and Iona, she had a strong comfort level with the program. Being close to home, the facilities, the coaches, the campus and the family environment are all factors that led to Emily’s commitment. With the decision of where she would be going to college off her shoulders her attention is on the upcoming season where she is co-captain. She has some strong players around her; co-captain Ester Yang is a very accomplished setter and Gia Sha, who plays the libero position, brings energy to the team. After reaching the semi-finals the last two seasons, you would think that Emily’s goal for this season is to reach the finals. However, when asked the question, she replied “the goal is for the team to try to win the next point.” It occurred to me that this is Emily’s story, never looking too far ahead and just trying to get better each day.
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New Xaverian Track-Cross Country Coach, Brian McCartney, Follows Father’s Coaching Legacy By Jerry Del Priore Photos by Daniel S. Burnstein Two weeks into the new school year, Brian McCartney inquired about the assistant track coaching position at Xaverian High School. To his surprise and delight, the school offered him the head track-cross country coaching position for the upcoming season. McCartney, the son of former longtime Clippers coach Frank McCartney, who pulled the team’s reigns for an unprecedented forty years, quickly accepted the job. Since his father’s retirement, the Clippers have had two coaches, with the younger McCartney being the third. Now, he plans on giving the track program
the necessary stability in order to grow and flourish for many years to come, and he doesn’t hesitate to ask his dad for coaching advice. “Everyday I’m asking him what I should be doing,” the younger McCartney said with a laugh. “He’s definitely a silent coach (for me).” McCartney’s first order of business was to evaluate the present talent on his squad--from the freshman team all the way up to varsity. Then, work his runners slowly but steadily into racing shape and prepare them for several upcoming cross country events, giving them the muchneeded experience they’ve lacked.
“A couple kids have a lot of talent, but did not have much knowledge of racing,” the 24-year-old coach at the 53-yearold school said. “They don’t have a lot of meets under their belts.” Though McCartney said that 2010 is a rebuilding year for Xaverian, he will get a better idea of how strong his boys are after the next few weeks, and then reevaluate his team. “This year is definitely a rebuilding year,” the former Xaverian student said early in October. “I think we’re excited to just have the team we have. But, I think, depending how we do in the next two weeks, after that, we’ll know how we stack up against other teams.”
The Clippers are led by twin seniors Joe and Neil Khoury, junior Tom Frizalone and senior Kyle Powers. Mark Olsen, McCartney said, is Xaverian’s unofficial assistant coach and his go-to guy in a pinch. “He has been busting it in practice,” the Staten Island resident said of Olsen, “and every team needs a guy like him on its team.” With Owl’s Head Park, Fort Hamilton High School and the 69th Street Pier located adjacent to the Bay Ridge institution, McCartney said his school is perfectly situated to help prepare his boys for the rigors of cross-country indoor and outdoor seasons. Plus, they will battle the monotony of running by providing
them with a different training environment almost every day. “We have the tough hills of Owl’s Head Park for cross-country training, and the 69th Street Pier for long runs,” he explained. “You got switch it up. There’s not much you can do when it comes to running. You have to change the scenery or they will get bored.” Last season, the Clippers bested four other teams and captured the Brooklyn CHSAA Cross-Country Championship, and they finished fifteenth in New York City. McCartney, at least, would like to be as competitive as last year’s team,
and even surpass them if every piece of the proverbial puzzle falls into place. “I’d like to see them compete for the Brooklyn title and place in the top five in Brooklyn/Queens,” the 6-foot, 6-inch former selfdescribed utility runner said. “I think if we could crack the top ten in the city, that would be a great accomplishment.” Something even Coach Frank McCartney would be proud of his son for achieving, especially in his first season at the helm.
Story By: Joe Pietaro
Throughout the modern history of the National Football League, there have been teams that have risen out of the pack, for better or worse. Being charismatic and having colorful personalities can either work for you or against you. The Dallas Cowboys of the 1990s were as dangerous on the field as they were off it and a few years later, the Cincinnati Bengals could only attest to the latter. The Rex Ryan-led Jets are somewhere in the middle. They have made more strides than the Bengals ever did but are not quite at the dynasty level of multiple Super Bowl wins that“America’s Team” was able to attain. But if attitude has anything to do with it, then the Jets are certainly on their way to bigger and better things. As a matter of fact, Ryan is looking beyond even great teams like the Troy Aikman/Emmitt Smith/Michael Irvin-led Cowboys. His sights are set on the most successful franchise in all of sports history, not just football. “When my dad was with the Jets - I believe that year was 1968, the Mets, Jets and Knicks
all won world championships,” the second-year head coach said. “We’ll lock arms with the Yankees. That sounds good to me. They’ve won 27 now. We just want to win number two here.” And that has been the contention of the team since the start of training camp. Ryan and his boys all have been very open about their goals and anything less than a Super Bowl victory would be a disappointment. Every team goes into the season wanting that and maybe even believing that they have what it takes to make that happen, but not many have the moxie to put it out there. Bulletin board fodder and setting yourself up for failure may be like playing by a hot stove for some, but Gang Green seems to relish the attention, albeit negative or positive. Much of the latter came from the Jets being profiled on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” this past summer. Producers of the show said that they were allowed more access and obtained additional behind-the-scenes footage this time than with any previous team that was on the program before. Ryan’s colorful language throughout the episodes made for some good fodder but drew the ire of
people like Tony Dungy, the pious former head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. But Ryan is not concerned with that and most likely would hold the opinion of someone such as Joe Namath in greater regard. “They have more swagger than we had,” said the hero of Super Bowl III of the modern day Jets. “This team is out there more. It’s a reflection of Rex and his style. Rex has a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of confidence. Being able to win is the only thing that continues that kind of confidence.” Through the first five weeks of the current NFL season, winning has been the formula for this team, building their attitude up even more. After a shaky start with a one-point home loss to the Baltimore Ravens, in which nose tackle Kris Jenkins was lost for the second consecutive year with a knee injury, things began looking up real fast. And opening up the playbook had a lot to do with it. Quarterback Mark Sanchez appeared handcuffed in Week One but then was given the liberty to use his arm and head amongst much fanfare. Once offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer trusted the second year pro out of USC enough, the Jets began putting forth a formidable passing offense to go along with a strong running game and defense. Following the Week Five win over Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings at the New Meadowlands Stadium, Sanchez had modest but yet impressive stats on the season. His decisionmaking has been vastly improved from a year ago and the fact that he had thrown zero interceptions against eight touchdowns goes a long way to prove that. “I think he’s matured on the football field in a lot of ways,” said Schottenheimer. “He’s understanding the impor-
tance of ball security.” As a rookie, Sanchez had a tendency to turn the ball over, either by throwing an ill-timed pick or coughing the ball up after taking a sack holding the ball too long. The coaching staff even went as far as making a color-coded system up with a wristband Sanchez wore, informing him of what the situation was each down and if he should play it safe. Having confidence in your signal caller goes a long way in reaching those lofty goals and that has had a trickledown effect. “Sometimes last year it felt like I was giving it away like it was my job,” Sanchez said. “It was just poor decision making. Now I trust the backs to get out, I’m hanging in the protection and giving our guys chances and they’re really coming up with big plays.” Some of them have led to impressive victories in the early, going over divisional opponents New England and Miami, propelling the Jets into first place in the AFC East. They qualified for the playoffs in Week 17 of the 2009 season and Ryan would love to make it two-for-two as a postseason head coach. The Jets may not be well liked throughout the league, but that means absolutely nothing to them. They have been able to back up all of the self-generated hype for the most part, and that goes a long way in gaining the respect of your opponent. Winning it all is the only thing that matters and perhaps they can begin their own Cowboys-style run in February. The timing could not be better. The location of Super Bowl XLV? None other than Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.
By Mike Mejia, CSCS
I absolutely love lifting weights. In fact, over the course of the past twenty-five years, I can honestly say that the number of days I’ve spent “pumping iron” far outweigh those that I haven’t. To me, there’s nothing like the feeling of iron in my hands as I challenge my body to become stronger and leaner with each passing day. I like the way it makes me feel, the increased physicality it brings to my daily life, and the visual results aren’t too bad either. Given my obvious proclivity for this time-honored form of conditioning, I completely understand why young athletes are so quick to rush
into the weight room. I’m here to tell you though, it’s a mistake and one that can often lead to serious long term consequences. Please do not misconstrue what I’m saying here; I’m all for strength training, and think it’s important for young athletes to get started with it sooner, rather than later. The problem is that most kids, as well as many coaches and parents for that matter, think that strength training and weight training are one and the same. The simple fact is, nothing could be further than the truth! Weight training, as the name implies, involves the use of external loading (usually in the form of free weights and machines) as a means of increasing both size and strength. Strength training, on the other hand, refers to the process of getting stronger as a result of repeated exposure to some type of resistance. It doesn’t matter if that resistance comes in the form of
rubber tubing, medicine balls, rocks, sticks, or even your own body weight. As long as said resistance imposes enough of a physical overload on your body, you will become stronger. By now you’re probably thinking, “But if it doesn’t matter what type of stimulus it is, why are you so against young athletes lifting weights?” There are actually a number of reasons, most of which have to do with injury prevention and optimizing athletic development in one way, or another. Not that I’m amongst those who feel that weight training is somehow inherently “dangerous”. Numerous studies over the years have shown that although adolescents are indeed at increased risk for growth plate fractures, a well designed, properly supervised strength training program, is in fact, safer than many forms of sports participation. The problem is; many of the programs that kids engage in are often not well designed, or properly supervised! And, as far as athletic development is concerned, when kids rush into weight training, before building a sound base of stability and mobility, they often incur strength imbalances and/ or movement restrictions that limit their athletic potential. This is precisely why I mandate that all the athletes I work with, regardless of age, or ability level, must first master training with their own body weight before moving on to any form of external resistance. Think about it for a minute, if you can’t do a simple body weight squat without your knees pinching together, or your spine rounding forward, or visibly shifting your weight to one side, what sense does it make to place a loaded barbell on your back? Or, how about the legions of kids that rush to the bench press, without being able to do a single push-up with proper form? Now granted, they may not necessarily get hurt right away- largely because they have the resilience of youth on their side, but over time, situations like these become precursors to injury. Before you know it, these athletes have developed significant strength imbalances and restricted their movement to the point where it becomes a liability on the playing field. Just in case you’re wondering, weight machines do not offer a better alternative. In fact, in many ways, they carry with them even more potential dangers than free weights. The problem with most machines is that they offer two dimensional resistance, and we live in a three dimensional world. What I mean by that is, when you’re on a machine, more often than not all you have to do is move the weight along some predetermined path. You’re required to exert force to get the weight moving in one direction and then control it as it comes back towards the starting position. What you’re not required to do, however, is stabilize the weight in any appreciable way, or ensure that both limbs are working at an equal rate. This means that if there are any existing strength
imbalances, training on machines will only make them worse over time. Most importantly though, this simply isn’t the way our bodies were designed to move. When an athlete exerts muscular effort on the field of play, he or she doesn’t do it along some predetermined path. There’s a constant interplay between stability and mobility that you just can’t replicate on traditional weight machines. The lone exception being cable based systems like Keiser and Free Motion equipment. Another big problem with machines is that they promote muscle isolation. Hopping on some state-of-theart gizmo and focusing on pumping up your pecs, or your quads might help you look a little more “buff”, but it will do next to nothing for your ability to run, jump, shed a block, or maintain your balance while attempting to elude a defender. That’s because our muscles weren’t designed to move in isolation, but rather as part as part of a larger kinetic chain. Everything from throwing a ball, to teeing off on the golf course, involves a complex sequence of muscular actions that we just can’t prepare for by isolating specific muscles. Not to mention that fact that doing so, might even increase your risk of injury. Think about it for a minute, if a chain s only as strong as its weakest links, and you’re constantly isolating your strongest muscles with exercises like bench presses and biceps curls, there’s inevitably going to be a breakdown at some point. That’s why when it comes to young athletes, I prefer a more systemic approach to strengthening. The following workout contains some of my favorite body weight drills for kids. Give it a try and see if it’s not significantly harder than the typical “gym based” approach many of you are used to. If you’re unfamiliar with any of the drills, log on to to my website at www.basesportsconditioning.com and check the “Exercise of the Month” archives and “Injury Prevention” section for complete descriptions and pictures.
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(The 4 reasons athletes often win when injured or ill.) By Dr. Tom Ferraro I recall talking to Tommy John, the ex Yankee pitching ace, a few years ago at Ann Liguori’s clam bake in the Hamptons. As I stood next to him at the bar I asked him the obvious question, “What is the secret to your success?” He quickly replied, ‘I knew how to win with my B game. I even could win with my C game. It was a rare day that you don’t pitch with injury or pain. And I learned how to adapt to the problem.’ This comment is reminiscent of nearly every post-tournament interview given by Tiger Woods. He would always say, “Well, I only had my C game today but I managed it pretty well”. And who could forget his win at the US Open at Torrey Pines when he actually won the tournament with a broken leg? He limped around the course and winced on every shot but he won. There are many stories of athletes winning when injured or when ill. I recall Sean Lane, the great distance swimmer from Long Island who flew out to California and won a long distance ocean swim while suffering with the flu. He was on antibiotics, his doctor said “don’t fly out,’ but he ignored it all and won the race. Martina Navritilova was being fed intravenously before the finals of a US Open at Flushing Meadow and went out on the court and beat Chris Evert.
Many times the athlete who has a slight muscle tweak or chest cold will play better then usual. This article will explain why.
Players who are ill will usually give themselves the rest and recovery time they need and this will allow them to play refreshed.
Every athlete has been sick and has been injured. I won a big college match while having an aching toothache. So how do you explain this stuff? Is it that the athlete is tough and can tolerate pain more than the average person? Probably yes but there is more to it then just mental toughness. Here are some of the reasons for this strange dynamic. 1) If you happen to be sick or injured you will naturally slow down to protect your body. And when you slow down your performance relaxes and improves. 2) That upper respiratory infection or pulled muscles will serve to distract you from any performance anxiety you may be prone to and with less anxiety your performance always improves. 3) Your expectations will be far less when playing ill or injured and so you will likely be less harsh on yourself during play. So for once you will be kind to yourself on the fled, be less angry and this will definitely improve your play. 4) Players who are hurt or ill will rest more prior to a game. And since most players are always near burnout and are almost always over trained, this rest will mean you will have more energy to perform.
Performance will also improve after a layoff because the player will come back with a clear mind and a fresh outlook.
So, there are the four very good reasons players often play better when injured or ill. But do not take this as an endorsement to play injured or ill. If you are ill or hurt you need to visit your family doctor and get proper treatment. He may tell you to rest and you should listen to him. But if, and only if, you get medical clearance to play with a tweaked muscle or a chest cold you can expect to perform pretty well for the reasons outlined above. As they say, the injured athlete is a dangerous opponent. So watch out when you run into one.
It is always best to listen to doctors orders. If he says to rest then you should rest. This will only make you stronger when you return to play. 77