Hudson Valley Sports Report

HERE COMES SPRING, AND HERE’S WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO

Things I Want To See, Athletes I Want To Watch, And A Whole Bunch Of Spring Questions

By Rich Thomaselli
HVSR Staff

What Julius Caesar started in 46 BC and Pope Gregory refined in 1582 – the modern-day calendar – tells us that spring is still two weeks away.

All due respect to Hail Caeser and Your Holiness, but we only watch one calendar around here.

The high school sports season calendar.

And that one tells us that the spring sports season began last week with practice and will commence with games starting next week.

So now that spring has sprung, here’s a little of what I hope to see and what I’m looking forward to and what questions I have. It’s not a complete list; Lord knows I’m going to get the inevitable tweets saying “Don’t sleep on (fill in the blank).”

And that’s absolutely perfect! I want you to marry the appropriate amount of confidence with cockiness. We’re more than happy to revise the list as we go along!

(In no particular order)

* Let’s start with Arlington baseball, because that was the story of the spring in ’17. The Admirals were a No. 10 seed in the Section 1, Class AA playoffs and went on to win the whole darn thing. The beauty of that team was pitching. Will the Admirals have enough on the bump to rise to the top of the section again?

* Lacrosse season began when I saw the first tweet that read, and I’m paraphrasing here, ‘(Expletive deleted) wall ball, there’s only a few inches on the ground and it’s already up to 19 degrees. Get your gear.” Love my lax bros and gals and can’t wait to see if history-making Wappingers boys, Putnam Valley girls, Highland boys, Kingston girls, Monroe-Woodbury boys, Millbrook girls and Minisink boys all have enough juice to ascend to the top again.

* I want to see which of our crew teams is going to speed across the Hudson River, or the Schuylkill, or Lake Lenape in New Jersey, among other bodies of water, collecting medals along the way.

* Inquiring minds want to know – who is the next John Jay softball pitching phenom now that Ally Muller has graduated.

* I can’t wait to watch Lenny Torres Jr. of Beacon get filthy on the mound. The senior, already committed to east coast powerhouse St. John’s University, should be even more dominant this year.

* Have to, have to, have to see if Lourdes’ Jaheim Jones – defending state champ in Division 2 in the 100-meter dash – can cut a half-second off his time and break the state record.

* Looking forward to seeing one of the area’s best all-around athletes compete – Warwick’s Emily Welling, star basketball player in the winter and pentathlon champion in the spring.

* Carmel’s Lauren Peter won a state girls golf championship last year at Bethpage Yellow. Now she’s a senior and I can’t wait to see her go back-to-back.

Carmel golfer Lauren Peter, left.

* Sneak Tip For You: The best baseball player you never heard of outside of northern Dutchess is in reality one of the best players in the Valley. Keep an eye on Matt Funk of Pine Plains.

* I want to see how far Kingston’s Grace Longendyke and Beacon’s Jummie Akinwunmi plan on leaping this year in their respective jumps.

* Despite the fact that Spackenkill plays its golf in the fall, I want to know if Erik Stauderman can continue to challenge for the Section 9 title and make a run at a state crown.

* Does Liberty softball standout Olivia Racette plan on averaging two runs batted in per game? Because that’s what she averaged last year with 27 ribbies in 13 games.

* Wondering what Monroe-Woodbury attackman Danny Fitzpatrick has in store for his senior year after tallying 79 points last spring?

* Gotta catch up to Cornwall hurdles star Maximo Olavarria of Cornwall just to ask him if anybody calls him Maximus and if he ever has uttered the phrase “Upon my signal, unleash hell.”

* Without studs like Jack Matero, Trent Valentine and John Tuccillo, can John Jay have another season of playing .800 baseball?

* Who emerges as the area’s best boys tennis player this season? Crazy how much young talent we have in the area.

* Who’s going to replace the graduated Maggie Bennett on Rhinebeck’s girls 1,600-meter relay team (Stephanie Cassens, Daisy Gadsby and Elise Voorhis) that won MHALs, won Section 9 and finished third in the state?

* Can’t wait to watch teams try to run on S.S. Seward catcher Sarah Wierzbicki. That’s a big no-no.

* How good will Warwick and Monroe Woodbury and Newburgh and Arlington and Roosevelt going to be this year in track and field? Welp …. Pretty much like every other year. Outstanding.

* I want to know how two sophomores – Cornwall’s Isabella Fabrizio and Monroe-Woodbury’s Jamie Waldron – are so darn talented in the shot put. Fabrizio won the OCIAAs last year as a freshman.

* Kingston baseball made a run to the Final Four last year. The question is, what’s coming up behind graduated pitchers Avery Short (7-1, 1.54 ERA) and Jeff Hayner (perfect game vs. Middletown), and star shortstop Tyler Kelder?

* Is there a better leadoff hitter than Chester’s Johnny Hipsman? All he did was stroke 30 hits last year (18 for extra bases) and walked 16 times.

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