Hudson Valley Sports Report
Don't Miss

RICH THOMASELLI COMMENTARY: Marlboro proves once again why its athletic program is the best in the 845

GLENS FALLS – Here is what has happened in the last nine months for the Marlboro High School athletic program.

Since last June, its softball team has been to the New York State Final Four in consecutive years (and baseball is a perennial Section Nine champ); its tennis doubles duo of Grace and Emma Messenger won the Mid-Hudson Athletic League championship back in the fall; its football team won its fifth consecutive Section Nine, Class B crown (which included a run to three straight NYS Final Fours before being upset in the state quarters by Westlake last November); its girls basketball team advanced to the state Final Four, falling Friday in the semifinals; and now its boys basketball team will play for the state championship on Saturday night.

And I probably missed something.

So …. How’s your year been?

Rich Thomaselli Commentary

Rich Thomaselli Commentary

We have tremendous athletic programs in this area and great successes at virtually every one of the 31 schools in the HVSR coverage area. This is no knock on those schools and, in fact, several could make a case of their own – John Jay comes to mind in the last couple of years with sectional titles in football, softball two years ago, and boys and girls soccer.

But for sustained success – and dominance, in some cases – nobody does it better than Marlboro.

Now, that’s going to piss off a lot of folks because, well, outside the comfy confines of the greater Marlboro/Milton/Town of Newburgh area, the Iron Dukes don’t generate a lot of love. I’ve written about this before – Marlboro is the program people love to hate.

To that I say, in the immortal words of Tony Soprano, you don’t have to love them. You don’t even have to like them.

But you do have to respect them.

In some ways, being a small town and a smaller school has its advantages. Sure, the pool from which to choose from is not as big as an Arlington, Jay, Ketcham, Newburgh or Roosevelt. But the youth feeder programs are less scattered and more concentrated to allow for the teaching of what is being run at the high school level. Even at the CYO basketball levels.

Next comes a savvy, ultra-competitive athletic director who has the backing of her school administration to pursue whatever she needs to make her athletic program a raging success.

And the parents and the fan base are as good as they come, even though they get a bit, uh, animated at times. (Note to orange-and-black clad man behind me – no, you can’t get every call, and when you scream “Ref? Ref? REF?” like you’re screaming for your buddy across the street, no, he’s not going to turn around and listen to what you have to say.)

That aside, right now, at this moment in time, it’s awfully difficult to argue against this – Marlboro has the best athletic program in the 845.

Rich Thomaselli



  1. Penny Kroh

    March 12, 2016 at 7:58 am

    I was very proud to read this article. I was a Marlboro graduate, Class of 1968, but more importantly, my Dad, Jack Kroh, cemented the basics of athletic prowess in the 50s through the new century. He was called THE COACH and what a teacher he was! Through the years, I have been happy to keep track of doings in Marlboro, especially sports and would like to say that Jonnah O’Donnell is an excellent AD. THE COACH would have been proud. Go Dukes!

  2. Catherine Ahlers

    March 12, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Just to let you know the Winter Track Team has Marshall Mannese at Nationals this weekend with the weight throw.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *