Hudson Valley Sports Report


8 Storylines To Watch Develop This Fall

By Rich Thomaselli
HVSR Staff

They’re baaaaaaaaaaaack!

The 2019 high school sports season officially began on Monday with the first state-sanctioned, official practices of the season.

Here are a bunch of storylines to follow as the preseason progresses and turns into the regular season as we draw closer to Labor Day.

(In no particular order)

* WITHER POUGHKEEPSIE FOOTBALL? – Same story, different year: the Pioneers have a new coach. For the fifth straight season, the Poughkeepsie program will have a new coach after Joe Houghton stepped down from both his coaching job and teaching position after just one season. Longtime Pioneers baseball coach Mark Bianco is the new football coach and will hopefully bring long-awaited stability to the program.

* WILL MAHOPAC GIRLS SOCCER GET OVER THE HUMP? – Two of the top scorers in the area are back in Carly Steinberg and Mia Klammer. But the Indians lost to No. 4 Clarkstown South in Section 1, Class AA quarterfinals last year and have to go up against three-time defending sectional champ Arlington at least twice this coming season.

“I think the 2019 season will be a good season for Mahopac. We only lost four seniors and have a lot of returning talent,” Klammer said. “A personal goal for me is to beat Arlington because in my two years we have yet to beat them. And I know they lost all their starters and a few others. A team goal would probably be to beat Clarkstown South because we’ve lost to them twice in sectionals.”

* SURPRISING LOURDES GIRLS TENNIS WILL GO FOR ANOTHER LEAGUE TITLE – Last year, the Warriors surprised the area by going undefeated and winning the league championship. It was a heck of a performance by an underdog OLL team. This fall, Lourdes won’t be the underdog again. This fall, everybody will be gunning for the Warriors.

* ENCORE, ENCORE – All eyes will be on Cornwall football, Monroe-Woodbury boys soccer and Monroe-Woodbury girls soccer. The Dragons won the state title with an interim coach last year and then continued hitting the jackpot in the offseason when Ryan Baldock left Monroe to coach Cornwall. Monroe-Woodbury was a double state champion on the pitch. Did someone say ‘repeat?’

* IS THIS THE YEAR FOR FIELD HOCKEY IN STATES? – Too many seasons have gone by now where Section 9 and Section 1 champions fall in the first round of states. Kingston and Rondout did last year, Pawling won a game but lost in the state quarters. The upper Hudson Valley has some good teams who can break through and get to the Final Four.

* LOURDES FOOTBALL vs. SOMERS, WHAT’S NEXT? – Two straight years the Warriors have been eliminated by Somers in Section 1, Class A play, including last year’s stunning 19-18 loss in the quarterfinals when the Tuskers completed a touchdown pass with no time left on the clock.

OLL appears ready for this season.

“The team as a whole is really excited to get back into action. Me personally, I can’t sleep right because that’s how hyped up I am, going into my senior year, thinking about what I can do to help my team be the best that we can be,” Warriors star lineman Jake Timm said. “Even though we “officially” start on Monday, the whole team has been working really hard throughout this offseason and the pride is there, almost as if our season has already began. We lost a lot of key seniors last year, but we have some young guys who have the grit to make a severe impact in our team’s success. There isn’t a kid on the team that doesn’t love the game of football and that is huge. We may have lost a great amount of talent, but I wouldn’t sleep on our guys. The heart of the team and the work ethic of the guys is still there.”

* VOLLEYBALL, THE QUEENS OF AUTUMN – Just go ahead and pencil in a local team – or two, or three – for the state volleyball Final Four in Glens Falls. Last year we had four local teams get there in Pine Bush, Cornwall, Millbrook and Mount Academy. In recent years, Kingston, John Jay, Haldane and Pawling have all made it to the last weekend. It’s a testament to the coaching and the off-season work of the players, for sure.

* KETCHAM, ARLINGTON, JOHN JAY IN A THREE-WAY DOGFIGHT – Maybe the best boys soccer league in the state. John Jay won it last season, Ketcham took the Section 1, Class AA title, and Arlington is, well, Arlington. Toss in Mahopac, which you can never discount, and this league is a …. you know what.


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