As the new school year begins, student athletes from Pawling have already begun to strive for success on the playing field. Though the school year is only several weeks old, JV and Varsity sports seasons are in full swing. At the September 18 Board of Education meeting at Pawling High School, Athletic Director John Bellucci presented a report on the progress of the district’s athletic teams this season. Here are some of the highlights of that presentation.
Varsity Boys’ Cross Country
Led by Sophomore Alex Petruso and Seniors Jon Pina and Alex Badia along with Junior Mike Colombo and Sophomore Travis Geocos the boys team opened the season with a 4th place finish among Division 3 schools in the Somers Big Red Invitational. Sophomore Alex Petruso finished in 8th place overall for the 5000M race. Overall the team still boasts a strong veteran presence. Senior Night will be held on October 10 at the league meet.
Varsity Girls’ Cross Country
The girls’ squad was led by Sophomore Juliet Governale with a 13th place finish overall in the girls 5000M race, followed by Sophomore Abbie Lewick and Senior Filomena Gentile while Seventh grader Julianne Hickey placed 3rd in the girls’ freshman 2400M race at the Big Red Invitational.
Varsity and JV Field Hockey
The teams have 28 players on their combined rosters. The Varsity squad currently has two wins and two ties, one of which came against Somers in tournament play. The Tigers often compete against larger schools due to the continuing strength of the program. Field Hockey will have Senior Night and Pink Day on October 11.
Coming on the heels of last year’s successful 6 – 1 season, the 2017 Tigers opened strong with a 6 – 0 victory over neighboring rival Dover Dragons. The team includes a roster of 31 players and recently debuted a new Tiger scoreboard at Pawling Elementary School. Pawling Tiger elusive senior Quarterback Josten Gomez has averaged 120 yards rushing per game through his first four games with a total of nearly 500 rushing yards thus far. The linebacking group of seniors James Bellucci and Cameron Tucci, and Juniors Brett Giannantonio and Zack Smith have led the defense along with strong play on both sides of the ball from senior Mike Ryan. The Tigers will next play Rensselaer High School away at Dietz Stadium in Kingston on Saturday, October 7, at 6:00 p.m. Homecoming and Senior Night will be held simultaneously on Saturday, October 21 with the game against the Haldane Blue Devils starting at 1:30PM.
Varsity Girls’ Soccer
The team is currently carrying a 22-player roster with several additional student managers. Competing against tough Section 1 competition, the team has forced two games into overtime this season, resulting in a 0 – 0 tie, and a 1 – 0 loss in the final seconds of play. On September 13, the girls had their strongest showing of the season in a 2 – 0 loss against a skilled Putnam Valley team. Senior Night will be either October 16 or 19 vs. Webutuck or Dover.
Varsity and JV Boys’ Soccer
With a total of 29 players on the roster, both squads have been playing outstanding defense this season. Head Coach Travis Light is pleased with the defensive play against some of the best teams in New York State. Coaches are confident that the offense will soon find its footing and begin to rack up wins. Boys’ Varsity Soccer will next play Putnam Valley High School away on Saturday, October 7, at 3:00 p.m.
Varsity Girls’ Tennis
The second year under coach James Agostinelli looks promising as the team hopes to once again compete for the conference championship. On September 16, Martha Topolnitski rallied from being down 5 – 3 in the second set to win a super tiebreaker in the third set against Haldane. Seventh grader Grace Wolken is also playing well against older competition, taking an opponent from Croton Harmon to a set tiebreaker. Grace also won a set against Pleasantville. In addition, the team had a win vs Tuckahoe High School winning 3 out of 5 matches. Stephanie Sypher won her second singles match that day while Veronica Bucci and Liz Klein won in doubles.
Varsity Girls’ Volleyball
The current defending Section 1 champions have seen many members of last years team lost to graduation. New Head Coach Ashley Owens will lead a squad of 10 in an attempt to repeat. Owens is a PHS graduate and last year’s assistant coach. The team has a 3 – 6 overall record with league play starting this week. The Pawling Invitational tournament is Saturday October 7. Our “Dig Pink” and “Senior Night” game will be Friday, October 13, and is the annual charity fundraiser that the volleyball team has been doing for a decade while raising thousands of dollars as well as awareness over the years.