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Varsity Teams Gear Up for Spring Season
Posted 03/19/2017 08:27AM

Harvey Spring Sports Preview

Boys Tennis Looking for Sixth Straight Title                

Harvey’s boys varsity tennis team will be shooting for a sixth straight Housatonic Valley Athletic League (HVAL) title this spring without its top three players from last year’s 13-4 championship team.

Not only will there be several fresh faces on the roster but a new head coach as well. Voytec Rymarowicz will take the helm for his first year with the help of returning assistant coach Tim Cornell.

The coaches have named returning seniors Noah Kagan, Jared Ellis and Jonathan Kushner as captains of the 2017 squad. Kagan, a 2016 HVAL All-League honorable mention when he was Harvey’s No. 4 singles player, moves up to the No. 1 position this year. “We’re looking for Noah to step up to the challenge of increased competition,” said coach Cornell.

Expected to line up after Kagan are Ellis and another returning senior, Daniel Qiu, followed by eighth-grader Ryan Villano. Coach Cornell says big things are expected of the team’s number two, three and four players. “These three singles players played a lot last year and had a lot of success, so their continued development is crucial,” the coach said.

The two other returning players, Kushner and freshman Harley Cohen are in the mix to play a greater role this year. “Kushner and Cohen played sparingly last year, but played well in practice and look set to contribute immediately,” said coach Cornell. Last year’s top two JV players, juniors Sam Roschelle and Noah Bailey, are also being considered for singles playing time, the coach said.   

One newcomer could see some significant playing time. Junior Kasim Cisse, who just completed a stellar basketball season as Harvey’s lone HVAL All-League selection, has a shot to see action on the tennis court this spring. “Cisse is a very athletic player who, despite only just picking up the sport, might be able to contribute to doubles because of his athleticism and height,” said coach Cornell.

Last year’s regular season champion Watkinson looks to be a tough opponent once again this spring. Harvey, who had finished as the No. 3 seed in the HVAL last year, pulled out an upset with the defeat of the Rams in the 2016 league championship matchup. “Watkinson returns its top six singles players, so they will be the team to beat this year,” said coach Cornell.

The coach fully expects this year’s Harvey team will be in the hunt for a sixth straight league championship. He said, “Despite graduating our top three players from last year’s team, we have an excellent core of players returning who have experience and know how to win. If they rise to the challenge of increased competition, we expect to contend for the HVAL title once again.” Harvey begins defense of its title in the season opener at home Wednesday, March 29, against Chase Collegiate.



Expectations High for Girls Tennis                      

Girls varsity tennis head coach Lesley Boltz begins her third year at the helm of a team she believes is ready to take another step up from its solid 9-5 season last year. Coach Boltz and her first-year assistant coach Ari Meadows have selected veteran players Sara Steinberg, Alexandra Barber and Brooke Dodderidge as the captains who will help lead the 2017 Lady Cavs team to a chance at capturing the championship of the Housatonic Valley Athletic League (HVAL).

Hopes are high for this year’s team after securing its first winning season last year, garnering a No. 3 seed in the HVAL before losing in the semifinals.

The talent, depth in the lineup and the return of so many battle-tested players gives coach Boltz reason to hold high expectations. “Most players have a good amount of match experience, which helps both in the mental and physical parts of the game,” said the coach.

Harvey will have the first and second singles tandem of senior Steinberg and sophomore Nicole Warshaw returning. “They are back, looking match-ready and will be definite threats in the league,” said coach Boltz. Steinberg was an HVAL All-League selection last year. Warshaw earned an all-league honorable mention. Also returning and expected to contribute in significant ways are Dodderidge, an all-league honorable mention last year, and senior Tali Looney, sophomore Charlotte Levy and freshman Zoe Anastas. “They have all worked hard during the offseason and show great improvement and skill,” said the coach.

Coach Boltz also sees freshman newcomer Jessica Rosenblatt as a player “showing a lot of potential.”

Coach Boltz is not predicting a league title this year, but she says, “Expectations are high to top last year’s league placement and record. We have a strong group of players throughout the 12- member team, and many will be challenging for the top seeding spots.”

Two teams expected to be tough this season are league opponents Watkinson and Christian Heritage. The Lady Cavs open their season on the road March 29, against Chase Collegiate.

Cavs Baseball Counting on Experience

Head coach Mike Rubenfeld has a good feeling about the upcoming varsity baseball season, his sixth year at the helm. The coach and his second-year assistant, former major league player Luis Lopez, like the attitude of a young team coming off an 8-10 record and No. 4 seed in the HVAL last season. “This group has a very good work ethic, and they’re showing that they want it really bad,” coach Rubenfeld said. “I’m hoping this will translate to success on the field,” he added.

Another strength he sees is a squad with some good team speed, and some power, especially from the left side of the plate. The coach believes the team will be able to be aggressive to help spark the offense. Depth also looks to be strength of the 2017 squad. “We have a lot of guys who can play a multitude of positions, and who know the game pretty well,” coach Rubenfeld said. Too many errors in the field and too many strikeouts at the plate were glaring weaknesses of last year’s team. The Cavs have been working hard in the preseason to improve the defense and make more contact.

Returning players being counted on to serve key roles this season are senior Curtis Grellier (OF), juniors Matt Drude (OF/IB), Victor Mizzaro (P/INF), Larry Waterhouse (P/3B/OF), Jake Reber (P/CF), Ben Kabakow (2B) and team captain, junior Pierce Steinberg (P/C/INF). Expectations are also high for key underclassmen, sophomores Ryan Goodliffe (P/INF) and Alex Ogg (P/UTL), along with freshman Ryan Horowitz (P/OF).

Coach Rubenfeld said the returning players are excited for the upcoming season and have been working hard to get ready to compete. The coach is counting on them to help Harvey improve upon last year when the No. 4 seed Cavaliers were bounced from the playoffs in the opening round by the No. 5 seed Forman. “All of these guys have experience at the varsity level, and know what is expected of them. They will all see their roles become more important this year, as we have lost our top two hitters to graduation, Shawn Mallon and Ryan Alpert.”

To help the Cavs go deeper into the playoffs this year, the coaches believe the team will get help from two sophomore  newcomers, Brian Cicero, a transfer to Harvey, and Alex Kaplan, up from last year’s JV team.

Coach Rubenfeld expects Cicero to see time behind the plate and in the infield. “Brian has a very good arm and a real nice swing from the left side of the plate. He’ll be thrown right into the middle of the lineup for us this year.” The coach also likes what Kaplan can contribute. “Alex too has a good arm with excellent speed and could be looked upon early on to come off the bench late in the game as a pinch runner or defensive replacement in the outfield. He is a tough kid, a hard-nosed baseball player who will help us do all the little things needed to be successful.”

Coach Rubenfeld described this year’s Cavs team as “young but confident.” With most of the starting lineup from last year returning, the coach sees a squad “hungry for success.”

The coach believes the road to a possible championship in the HVAL will not be easy. “All of our league opponents are tough games, but Master’s of Connecticut, Forman and South Kent have developed into our bigger rivalries over the last few years.”

Harvey was to open its baseball season the first day back from spring break, Monday, March 27, against Kolbe Cathedral High School, but the fields won't be ready. The hope is the Cavs will open at home Saturday, April 1, against Marvelwood.

New Faces and High Hopes for Varsity Softball

 

Jackie Kelm, who heads into her seventh year managing Harvey’s softball team, hopes last year’s 6-4 season offers this year’s squad something to build on.

Coach Kelm and her assistant, Carolyn Bean, will field a team that lost five seniors from last year’s roster, but are counting on their captains, senior Katrina Garbin and juniors Lia Barning and Sydney Penn to help lead the way to a successful season.

One of the question marks heading into the season is who will replace four-year starting pitcher Selena Cummings lost to graduation last June. Coach Kelm is turning to sophomore Mackenzie Rendo to be the ace of the staff. Rendo will toe the rubber after roaming the outfield last year. Ready to fill in on the mound will be Lara Dimick, a junior who will be the starting shortstop. Donning the catching gear this year will be eighth-grader Kathryn Ogg.

Coach Kelm expects two newcomers to step in and play key roles. Junior Anna Buchmueller will play first base while junior Kylene Groff is being counted on to add some punch to the offense. Both players are expected to be part of an offense that coach Kelm believes will be the strength of the 2017 team. “We’ve been hitting very well in practice. I think we’re going to have a great offense this year,” the coach predicts. 

Losing a good number of seniors to graduation is not the only factor contributing to the difficulty of forecasting how the Harvey softball new season will pan out. The Lady Cavaliers will battle a number of unfamiliar teams as part of a schedule very different from what coach Kelm is used to. “We are not playing the usual opponents but rather all new teams,” the coach said. “It's exciting but we don't know what to expect,” she added. 

Coach Kelm credits a day trip the team took in February for a softball clinic at SUNY Cortland with helping her players get ready for the 2017 season. The Lady Cavaliers had the chance to work with the college team and acclaimed head coach, Julie Enhart. “The Harvey girls learned a lot and really enjoyed it,” said coach Kelm. “It was a great way to kick off our season,” the coach added.

Though she must enter a season with several returning players assuming new roles and first-year players being counted on to produce, coach Kelm is anxious to get the season underway. “I'm looking forward to seeing what this season brings. Between returning player and newcomers, I think we'll be able to recover the loss of last year's five seniors.” 

The varsity softball team starts its season on the road against King, Saturday, April 1.

 


Boys Rugby        

Harvey’s boys rugby coach Luigi Loiola returns for his fourth year on the sidelines with a new wrinkle added to this year’s squad. The boys on the A and B sides will benefit from having help from professional rugby coach Maicol Maccagnini, on loan to Harvey from the Italian Rugby Club ‘Rugby Reggio’ in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Maccagnini is the conditioning coach for the Rugby Reggio’s top team and the head coach of the club’s under-16 and under-18 youth teams, and Harvey’s coach is very happy to have him working with the Cavaliers. “He is a valuable addition to our side and having him with us continues Harvey rugby’s traditional connections to the international rugby world,” said coach Loiola, who welcomes back his assistants, JV coach Mike Leone, also handling the fitness-strength duties, and Justin Koonce, the defensive coach of both the varsity and JV.

Though disappointed with last year’s 6-5 overall record (2-3 Metro 1 league), coach Loiola believes better times are ahead for this year’s team. “We have a strong senior class with experienced, well-trained, four-year players, and we expect strong contributions from members of the junior and sophomore class,” said the coach.

Coach Loiola is looking for his junior team captain, Ian Macari, to provide leadership on the varsity squad, especially now with the injury to senior flyhalf Rafael (“Raffy”) Tapia, described by coach Loiola as “the heart and soul of our squad.” Tapia broke his collarbone in a preseason game in Texas and the coach hopes his star player recovers in time to play by the end of the season. A senior being counted on is Peter Lombardo at the hooker position. “Peter will guide the forwards,” said coach Loiola. Two other seniors, flankers Kole Dokaj and Dylan Vitello, will play major roles in helping Harvey have a successful year. “Kole and Dylan came in together as freshmen and have driven our boys to excellence,” said coach Loiola.”They will be examples of toughness and fortitude our boys can model,” he added.

Coach Loiola is also expecting significant contributions from newcomers. The coach describes sophomore flanker Ollie Davies as a player “gifted with both skills and physical ability and can be one of the league’s best as a sophomore.” Sophomore centers Hudson Insolia and Daniel Pope are two more newcomers expected to play key roles. “Both centers are tough, young players ready to lead the future Harvey ruggers,” said coach Loiola.

Coach Loiola has high hopes for the 2017 campaign. “This year we have a chance to return to greatness. With a strong, senior class, talented underclassmen and a hunger I’ve seen in our boys during their long winter’s strength training should all lead to Harvey boys rugby competing with some of our nation’s best high school rugby teams.”

Two of the teams coach Loiola predicted will be Harvey’s toughest opponents are Xavier and Pelham. After returning from a spring break trip to Texas for workouts and preseason competition, the boys begin their regular season with five nonleague games before playing host to Play Rugby USA, Sunday, April 30, at noon.

Girl Rugby: Lots of New Faces

The girls varsity rugby program begins its fourth year with a new head coach and a lot of newcomers on the roster which lost 10 players to graduation last June.

Alexa Kauffman takes over the reins as head coach with help from assistant coach Susan Harris, who was instrumental in establishing the girls rugby program in 2014.

Of the 23 girls on this year’s team, 10 are rookies. The coaches expect the team’s veterans to help show the newcomers the way. “Our experienced senior players will be taking leadership roles throughout the season, each focusing on their strengths - conditioning, team building and strategic play,” said coach Kauffman. “Their various contributions to the team will leave a lasting legacy,” she added.

Despite nearly half a roster of unproven players, the coaches were encouraged by the team’s overall performance on its spring training trip to Bermuda. “In addition to training with the coach of the USA Women's Olympic 7s and a member of the men's USA Olympic 7s, we played in the Ariel Re 7s tournament,” said coach Harris. “While a developing team, our girls have learned and grown remarkably in both skills and athleticism,” she said.

The trip gave the coaches a good look at the team’s first-year players. “All the rookies who traveled to Bermuda showed great tenacity and the potential to fill key positions in the weeks to come,” said coach Kauffman.

One player who will play a key role as the scrumhalf is freshman Victoria Cartularo who will fill the shoes of Rebecca Tuteur, Class of 2016. The coaches have put their players on notice that much is expected of them. “The girls, rookies and veterans alike, will be challenged to push themselves every week,” said coach Kauffman.” It will be a season full of dedication, determination and domination,” she added.

Coach Harris said, “We all have the highest expectations for this team, most importantly that they come together as one unit and play to the best of their abilities.”

The girls have a full league schedule which includes matches against powerhouse teams like the elite Play Rugby USA team and Morris club team in New Jersey. Their regular season begins Sunday, April 2, against NY Rugby Club.  

Girls Lacrosse Looking to Rebound             

After getting their first taste of winning a league championship in 2015, the Harvey girls varsity lacrosse team and head coach Greg Janos and his assistant Christina Binns are gunning for a return to glory this spring after a 2016 season which ended in a disappointing semifinal loss.

Coach Janos, entering his fifth year at the helm and coach Binns, her fourth as an assistant, have tapped their two 2016 all-star midfielders, junior Sadie Albert and sophomore Sophia Scarsella, as the team captains. Both were named HVAL All-League and New England Prep School Women’s Lacrosse Association (NEPSWLA) All-Stars last season.

Harvey finished at 7-3 in the HVAL last year, but losses to NEPSWLA opponents dropped the Lady Cavs’ overall record to 7-7.

Coach Janos is counting on a large number of returners with experience to have a successful season. Albert will continue to be the team’s biggest offensive threat. “Sadie has been working hard all year-round to continue to improve her game,” said coach Janos. “She can control the game with her presence,” he added. The junior captain racked up 13 goals in the two games the Lady Cavs played in California on their 1-1 west coast spring break trip. In the first game, the sixth of the nine goals Albert scored gave her 100 for her career.

Scarsella is the second half of Harvey’s one-two punch. Coach Janos said the sophomore captain was the team’s “best all-around player last year.” He said Scarsella “will continue to be depended upon as a leader on the field.” Completing the outstanding midfield trio will by junior Julia Mallon who will play returner. Coach Janos said he’s counting on Mallon to be a playmaker and also to capitalize on her scoring opportunities. “Julia’s been a workhorse in the midfield in the past and I’m excited to see her break out offensively this season,” said coach Janos.

Another key returning player is junior Kelly McMorrow who guards the goal. Coach Janos said the team needs McMorrow to repeat her stellar performance in the pipes last season. “Kelly had a fantastic season last year and we’ll need her to continue to be big in the net to win the championship this year,” said the coach.

Junior Heidi Lee, sophomore Jane Kelleran and eighth-grader Keegan Glucksman are being counted on to play solid defense and have breakout performances this year. “They gained a lot of experience playing in the majority of last year’s games and are familiar with the opposing attackers they’ll need to shut down this year,” coach Janos said. The coach said the game plan is to “aim for a quick defense shutdown and fast transition into attack, which will rely on our defensive causing turnovers and winning the groundball battles.”

The 2017 Lady Cavs’ roster has several newcomers who have been working hard and fighting for a chance to start. Coach Janos likes what he’s seen from freshman Cameron Thomas. “Cameron has made her mark on attack so far into the season. We are looking forward to watching her grow into the position.” The coach said seventh-graders, Erin Phillips and Ellie Kallman, have impressed him. “Erin made a noticeable contribution to the team’s defensive lineup and earned a starting spot in our preseason games. She has done an excellent job holding her ground,” said the coach. Kalman has earned a starting job on attack. “Ellie has the speed we were missing and a heavy shot. She made a serious case for herself to start. As she matures in the new position throughout the season I expect she will rise to be one of our top scorers,” said coach Janos.

One newcomer coach Janos had hoped would be making key contributions is senior transfer Drew Reno, who has signed a letter of intent to play NCAA D1 lacrosse at UMass Amherst.

The perennial all-star caliber player will miss Harvey’s season as she recovers from a torn ACL. She plans to be ready by late summer for her college workouts.

As he considers what lies ahead for the 2017 season, coach Janos believes Harvey’s girls lacrosse program’s success over the past four years has opponents circling the dates on their schedules and looking at the Lady Cavs as the team they want to beat the most. “I see that as a huge accomplishment for us, but also as serious motivation to push ourselves harder to be better,” coach Janos said.

After a successful team spring break trip to the west coast, the Lady Cavs will be getting ready for their first home game scheduled for Wednesday, March 29, against Storm King. Their first league game is Saturday, April 1, against The Master’s School of West Simsbury, Connecticut.

 



Varsity Boys LAX Gearing Up for Title Run                  

Jason Hill is looking forward to his 15th season as the coach of Harvey’s boys varsity lacrosse team, but he’s hoping that the memory of last year’s near miss in the D3 championship game will soon fade once the 2017 campaign gets into full swing.

Last year’s 6-9 team, playing in the Hudson Valley Lacrosse Association, had an exciting Cinderella end-of-season run before losing 12-11 to Wooster with just one second left on the clock in the D 3 title game.

Joining the head coach on the sidelines this season will be assistants Denis Arnautovic and former Harvey lacrosse player, Tyler Gadigian ’14.

Coach Hill sees team defense as a strength featuring several returning players. “Our defense is rock solid with returning four-year starter Teddy Little, the long-stick midfielder, and Connor Phillips at close D. Coach Hill describes Little, the team captain, as a dynamic player. “He’s a speedy, aggressive long pole who can run the field and score,” said the coach. He said Phillips, a three-year starter, commands a “strong presence” on the field. Sophomore Treshawn Felder is a 6’4” lefty attack with greatly improved skills, the coach said. Freshman goalkeeper Zach Anson returns after coming off a full year as a starter last season. “Zach shows great promise,” said coach Hill.

The coach says newcomers on defense, sophomore Amir Gidden and eighth-grader Frank McMahon, will add talent and depth. “Our attack is young, but experienced for their age,” assessed the coach. “The new players will bring a fresh look to the team,” he added.

Junior Cian Keohane, a newcomer at midfield, is expected to carry the offense this year. Another junior, Alex McLean, trading in his hockey gear for a lacrosse stick, is expected to contribute. Coach Hill also expects eighth-grader Tate Falta to make significant contributions.

In looking ahead to the season, coach Hill has high hopes for a successful 2017 campaign. He said, “Though we lost a few key offense players in the offseason, the team is gearing up for what looks like a very promising year.”

Coach Hill expects Harvey’s Fairchester opponents, St. Luke’s and Greens Farms Academy, will pose the toughest tests. He considers South Kent and “the rising talent of a young Wooster program” as two of the more difficult challenges that his team will face against league rivals.

Harvey’s boys varsity lacrosse season gets underway March 29 against Storm King School.

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