While the calendar may still say otherwise as winter veers from
mild to warm to cold, rain to wind to snow, the Port Chester winter scholastic
sports season is over, and what a winter it was, filled with losing discontent.
Indeed it was the worst of times, the worst of times, the
redundancy deliberate, the omission of the best of times from the famous
Dickens opening also deliberate because the losses kept following the losses
kept following the losses with the major Ram and Lady Ram teams finishing up
the track in a lot more than Track & Field.
They also got bowled over in bowling while the wrestling team
kept getting thrown for a loop because of the lack of heavyweights. And just as
sad to say, the boys’ swim team went oh for the season for the third straight
year, the Lady Rams won just three basketball games while the Rams hoop squad
came out on top in only four games and, well, you get the idea by now why it
was a winter of discontent.
Hope on horizon
But hope springs eternal, the spring season starts Monday (3/13),
the respective Ram and Lady Ram baseball and softball teams look promising with
a new and a returning coaching change bringing a fresh approach, lacrosse may
be on the horizon as a club team with another new face at the helm, the T&F
team may finally have a solid middle distance runner and, in the cyclical way
things happen in high school sports, P.C. may have its best crop of freshmen in
In baseball, raspy-voiced Eddie Martinez, a former Stamford High
School All-Star who also excelled in college as a slugging first
baseman/outfielder at Concordia, has moved up from assistant coach to head
coach. He inherits a team that may well be coming of age with a solid returning
infield built around Armond Yusi, Michael Boccarossa and Luisbert Frias, a
fleet-footed outfielder in Jason Wiley and an ace pitcher in Jonathan Fingold.
In softball, veteran coach Jeanine Maiolini, a former third
baseman with Division One national collegiate powerhouse Hofstra, returns to
the dugout after being out for a year following an automobile accident. She
will look to continue the Lady Rams’ streak of making the playoffs for five
consecutive years, four with her as the coach who turned around a losing
program. The team also made the playoffs last year under DeAnne Ostrowski, the
local mom, Con Ed engineer and former U.S. Naval Academy pitcher/outfielder who
pinch hit for Jeanine last year.
The Lady Ram softballers figure to be even better this year with
returning ace pitchers Carsen Swallen and Kaylan Pinnix, a triple threat in
Autumn Antonio who can either catch, play second base or the outfield and a
slugging All-Section centerfielder in Brooklyn (BK) Ostrowski, a freshman who
is so good she already has a scholarship to Fordham University.
Frosh bumper crop
BK heads a list of outstanding Port Chester freshmen, from
wrestling phenom Ivan Garcia who became the first frosh in Ram history to make
the All-State team, grappling his way to a fifth place finish in the 99-pound
weight class, to swimmer Marcos Cueto, the team's MVP who set school sprint
records in events ranging from 55 to 100 meters, to sprinter/cross country
running ace Joe Tapia who may yet develop into the T&F team's best all-around
runner in a variety of distances including the quarter, half and mile run.
Tapia looms as a worthy successor to Anthony Smith, who made the All-American
high school and college T&F teams in the mid-1980s and still ranks as the
best Ram runner ever.
And who knows how truly outstanding the freshman bumper crop
could have been had not two potential basketball stars, Francesca (Checka)
Sileo and Shamel (Mel) Jones, not respectively checked out of Port Chester to
play for Greenwich Academy and a prep school in North Carolina noted for
turning out big time college prospects. But you play the hand you are dealt
with the players you have.
Excitement is building locally for the debut of Port Chester's
first-ever lacrosse club team with the potential to become a LAX varsity under
the leadership of seventh grade PCMS math teacher Joe Capalbo, a former
All-Section lacrosse player at Brewster High School who went on to play
collegiate Division One lacrosse at Quinnipiac, coached the LAX team at Mount
St. Michael Academy in the Bronx and also coaches the Rams modified football
team, a feeder system for the Rams varsity coached by Paul Santavicca, a LAX
high school All-American and Division One collegiate LAX player at Marist where
he played against Joe's younger brother, Tim, just as he played against Joe in
high school. Santavicca will also be active in getting the lacrosse program off
So, all in all, it should be an interesting spring sports season
in Port Chester. Maybe even intriguing enough to make local sports aficionados
see better days ahead after their winter of discontent.