Sleepy Hollow Varsity Baseball returned to the diamond this year after a memorable 16-4 season in 2012. This year’s team is not short of experienced players and upperclassmen. However, the Horsemen got off to a disappointing start with a 6-5 loss against White Plains and then a 13-3 loss to Nanuet.
The season turned a corner in a thrilling 10-0 victory against Edgemont when senior Edwin Lopez pitched a no-hitter with 11 strike outs and only two walks. The Horsemen were able to build on this momentum and defeat Saunders 5-3.
In a home game against Irvington, Lopez dominated again, striking out 12 to lead the team to 6-4 win. But, the following day on Irvington’s home field, the Horsemen lost despite Imner Rosado’s two RBIs.
Coach Ray Farrell is optimistic about the team’s year saying with “11 seniors, experience is on our side.”
He said Peter Pena, Ronnie Munoz, Jason Martinez, Dionel Infante, Nick Arduino, Rosado and Lopez have all contributed to the Horsemen’s wins. Farrell also is excited about the potential of new additions — Mike Fortugno playing pitcher and infielder and Daniel Chever playing first base.
You can see the Horsemen play at home at 4:30 p.m. against Hackley on May 6 and against Dobbs Ferry on May 10.
They have set the standard for excellence in high school sports, building a dynasty that most professional athletes would envy.
The Irvington High School girls’ basketball team wrapped up another season for the ages by capturing its third Class B state Federation championship in four years with a convincing 65-48 win March 24 over Tonawanda’s Cardinal O’Hara in Albany.
Along the way, the Lady Bulldogs claimed their fifth straight league title and made history by becoming the first girls or boys’ hoops squad in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties to win four consecutive state basketball crowns.
Over the last four years, Irvington has racked up a mindboggling 106-6 record, including 37-1 in postseason play. This year, the 24-2 Lady Bulldogs’ only two losses came at the hands of Class AA powerhouse Ossining and its all-world star Saniya Chong.
“I don’t know how you sum it up, it was wonderful. To do it with this group of girls was amazing,” said Coach Gina Maher, who added a feather to her 37-year cap by being selected as the 2013 Russell Athletic National Women’s Basketball Coaches Association District 2 Coach of the Year.
“I’m really excited for this team. They had more pressure on them than any other team in the last four years,” Maher said. “These girls have accomplished an amazing thing to win state four years in a row. There was a lot of sacrifice and hard work and dedication. I’m really proud of them.”
Irvington was led this season by senior center/forward Lexi Martins, two-time Class B player of the year who scored more than 1,800 points and grabbed more than 1,400 rebounds in her high school career, and senior point guard Brittni Lai, who was named MVP of the state Class B Tournament.
Complimenting Martins, who will be attending Lehigh, and Lai, who is heading to Marist, in the starting lineup were senior Ryan McMahon, who scored a career-high 26 points in the state B title 38-point clinching win against Waterloo, senior Alyssa DiCampli and junior Lauren Chafizadeh.
“You can’t beat the better teams with only two players,” Maher said. “We played great defense and that takes all five players that are on the court. They gelled very well. They were willing to play roles and play team ball.”
Maher, who will be heading to New Orleans the first week of April to serve as an assistant coach at the 2013 WBCA High School All-America Game, will be losing five players to graduation, but with seven returning players, including Chafizadeh and fellow junior Laurilyn Gelardi, she said she will approach next season with the same mindset.
“I go into every year with great expectations,” she said. “To be named coach of the year is a tribute to these girls. There are a lot of really good coaches out there. They haven’t been blessed with the talent that I have. We try to build a program and the girls buy into the system. I also have great assistant coaches and a very supportive administration. Hopefully the girls returning will carry on the tradition.”