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Bronco Athletes Honored at Fall Sports Awards PDF Print Email


By S. Quinn DeJoy and J. Murrer     

Dec. 5, 2018:  At the sports awards evening on November 27, Bronxville School varsity athletes were recognized for their accomplishments during the fall season. Sixty-six Bronxville athletes were given All-League awards and fourteen were honored with All-Section or All-County recognition. In addition, many athletes were given special coaches’ awards.

Athletic Council co-presidents Gigi Chrappa and Rachael Peacock introduced the evening by summarizing the accomplishments of the fall teams. Five teams--boys’ and girls’ cross country, girls’ tennis, girls’ soccer, and field hockey--won their respective league titles, and the girls’ soccer and girls’ cross-country teams also won sectional titles.

Many Broncos went on to compete at the New York State Championships. For the swim team, Ellie Dessart, Keala Schubert, Emily Gjersten, and Alisa Fominykh finished ninth in the 200 free relay, and Dessart, Julia Bazinet, Fominykh, and Gjersten placed 17th in the 400 free relay. The girls’ cross country team placed second in the Class C State Championship, Matt Rizzo placed first in the Class C Cross Country State Championship, and Alex Rizzo placed fourth.

Athletic director Karen Peterson welcomed athletes and their families to the annual fall event and recognized the coaching staff for their commitment and hard work.

“Our coaches give a lot of their time and effort to the team starting in August during the preseason and continuing throughout the post-season,” said Peterson. “It's a difficult job--it’s a complex job. A lot of you just see what happens on the field during games, but they work tirelessly during practices and always have the best interests of the athletes in mind. I feel very fortunate to work with so many great educators on our coaching staff.”

Peterson also gave a special message to the Bronco athletes: “As time goes by, your memory of wins and losses will fade a bit, some more than others. But of all the things, the one thing I hope you all walk away with this fall is a sense of working toward a common goal with friends and teammates. I hope you learn that success does not come easily and does not come without sacrifice and sometimes it doesn’t come at all. Sometimes we have to step back and regroup and try again. But that’s life, and that’s why we have athletics in an educational setting--so that you can walk away with a skill set that will make you a better person.”

The awardees are listed below.


Girls' Cross Country

Coach: Jim Mitchell
Assistant Coach: David Ryan
Captains: Gigi Chrappa, Emma Mandanas, and Molly Palma

All-County: Natalie Weiner, Emma Mandanas, Patty Haggerty, Molly Palma
All-League: Lyndsie Schultz, Sophia Prior, Marguerite Scotti, Rory Denning, N. Weiner, E. Mandanas, M. Palma, Avery Widen, Anna Outcalt, Gigi Chrappa, Lyric Abbott, P. Haggerty, Betsy Marshall, Sophia Sulimirski, Ruby Howell

MVPs: E. Mandanas, N. Weiner

Graduating seniors: Lyric Abbott, Gigi Chrappa, Bella Dibbini, Patty Haggerty, Emma Mandanas, Sophia Sulimirski, and Natalie Weiner.


Boys' Cross Country

Coach: Jim Agnello
Assistant Coach: Ian Clark
Captains: Alex Rizzo, Matt Rizzo, and Timothy McGrath

All-Section: Alex Rizzo and Matt Rizzo
All-League: A. Rizzo, M. Rizzo, Ashton Smith, Tim McGrath, John Ryan, Trent Dillon, Joe Daher, James Apostolatos
All-League, Honorable Mention: Spencer Dessart, Charlie Gay, Billy Rizzo

Most Valuable Runners: A. and M. Rizzo
Most Improved Runner: J. Ryan
Bronco Spirit Award: Ashton Minich, Dylan Ruddy, S. Dessart

Graduating seniors: Trent Dillon, Charlie Gay, Timothy McGrath, Cory Ramundo, Ashton Smith, Alex Rizzo, Matt Rizzo, and Emmanuel Yimer.


Girls' Swimming and Diving

Swimming Coach: Dominick Galimi
Assistant Coach: Claire O'Reilly
Diving Coach: Melanie DiLascio
Captains: Nina Veru and Alisa Fominynkh

All-League and All-Conference: Alisa Fominykh

Most Valuable Swimmer: A. Fominykh
Most Improved Swimmer: Keala Schubert
Breakout Performance: Julia Bazinet

Graduating seniors: Sophie Geer, Alisa Fominykh, and Nina Veru.


Girls' Tennis

Coach: Gillian McGovern
Captains: Sarah Goodell, Lindsey Cruikshank, and Alexandra Brumbaugh

All-League: E. Dani, L. Cruikshank, A. Brumbaugh, Katie Formato, Rory Christian, Sarah Goodell, Susie Goodell, Olivia Doyle, Isabella Patterson
Coaches' Award: A. Brumbaugh, S. Goodell, L. Cruikshank
Most Improved: E. Dani

Graduating seniors: Alexandra Brumbaugh, Hannah Beldotti, Linsey Cruikshank, Olivia Doyle, Sarah Goodell, Susie Goodell, and Eliza McFadden


Field Hockey

Coach: Jacquelyn Frawley
Assistant: Cassie Caplan
Captains: Caroline Brashear and Mairead Cain

Golden Dozen: Fiona Jones
All-State: Caroline Brashear
All-Elite: C. Brashear and Bridget Sands
All-Section: Caroline Brashear
All-League: C. Brashear, B.Sands, Mairead Cain, Andrea Shephard, Sunday Ladas, F. Jones, Vance Wood, Grace McSherry, Hailey Mullen, Caitlin Mooney
All-League, Honorable Mention: Jenny Pettee, Holly Ungvary, Sarah Coneally
Most Valuable Defensive Player: C. Mooney
Most Valuable Offensive Player: S. Ladas
Coaches' Award: J. Pettee

Graduating seniors: Bridget Sands, Mairead Cain, Caroline Brashear, Andrea Shephard, Fiona Jones, Jenny Pettee, Sarah Conneally, and Vance Wood.


Girls' Soccer

Coach: Don Cupertino
Assistant Coaches: Scott Lucas, Caitlin Hoffer, Michaela Donohue
Captains: Rachael Peacock and Isabel Sondey

All-Section: Rachael Peacock, Isabelle Sondey, Catherine Faville and Victoria Ruffo.
All-League: R. Peacock, I. Sondey, C. Faville, Lily Jebejian, Kunzang Namgyal, Clio Dakolias, Kiki Tormey, V. Ruffo, Milly Koenig, Ashley Toal, Maeve Sullivan

Team MVP: R. Peacock
Defensive MVP: I. Sondey
Offensive MVP: C. Faville
Team Impact Award: V. Ruffo
Coaches' Award: Alex Doukas
Most Improved: M. Koenig

Graduating seniors: Catherine Faville, Rachael Peacock, Clio Dakolias, Kunzang Namgyal, Isabel Sondey, and Hayley Berry.


Boys' Soccer

Coach: Donald Lucas
Assistant Coaches: Sean Kenny
Captains: Paul Magaud and Luke Doukas

All-League: Paul Magaud, Luke Doukas, Theo Liao, Luke Freeman, Henry Sheehan.
All-League, Honorable Mention: Jack Kochansky, Jimmy Gallo, Aidan Sulimirski

Coach's Award: Luke Redman
Role Model Award: Lucas Rodembusch
Love of the Game Award: Jay Burnstein
Jack Murray Sportsmanship Award: Kevin Leka
Stu Bush Leadership Award: P. Magaud

Graduating seniors: Jack Kochansky, Paul Magaud, Lucas Rosembush, Jay Burstein, Luke Redman, and Kevin Leka.



Football Team

Coach: Patsy Manganelli
Assistant Coaches: Danny Hoffer, Chris Scarella, Patrick Henderson and James Goldman
Captains: Seamus Watters, Tommy O'Connell, and Alex New

All-Section: Clark Stephens, Will Mayer
All-League: C. Stephens, W. Mayer, Andres Saralegui, Tommy O'Connell, Anastasios Samios, Alex New, Henry Donohue

Bob Burt Award: Jack Conneally
Vito Priore Award: T. O'Connell
John Fearon Award: A. Samois
Phil Kuczma Award: Seamus Watters
Offensive MVP: W. Mayer
Defensive MVP: A. Saralegui
MVP: C. Stephens

Graduating seniors: Seamus Watters, Quinn Daly, Jack Conneally, Liam Greely, Jack Palermo, Tommy O'Connell, Will Mayer, Andres Saralegui, Quin Madden, Sean Sullivan, Thomas Purdy, Brian Braumuller, Alex New, Lock McKelvy, Tass Samois, Patrick Mooney, and Mike Murray.


Coaches: Tashi Campbell-Tulloch

Graduating seniors:  Samantha Huss and Bailey Barton.

Go Broncos. 

Pictured at top (rotating): Assistant Coach David Ryan (left) hands out cross country awards; varsity field hockey players on stage during the awards ceremony; members of the varsity football team receive awards; the girls’ soccer team receiving All-League awards. 

Photos by J. Murrer

75th Annual Fred H. McGrath Memorial Football Dinner Celebrates Values and Lessons of Football PDF Print Email


By Tim McGrath

Nov. 21, 2018:  On Thursday, November 8, the 75th Annual Fred H. McGrath Memorial Football Dinner was held at the Bronxville Field Club to honor the 2018 Bronxville High School varsity football team.

Fred McGrath watched his three sons, Fred Jr., Jake, and Bob, play football over the years at Bronxville. He became a consistent spectator and fan of the Broncos. Fred came to understand that football was teaching these boys more than just Xs and Os. He felt strongly that the sport was instilling graciousness in victory and dignity in defeat, building character along with the bonds of teammates.

Fred knew that the success of a season was not based solely on the record but included the development of individual players on and off the field. And so, when in 1943 the team had a winless season, Fred decided to honor the young men with a banquet at the Gramatan Hotel and a tradition was started.

Over the past 75 years, the McGrath dinner has boasted some very prominent speakers, including former commissioner of baseball Ford Frick, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, former general manager of the Super Bowl-winning Indianapolis Colts Bill Polian, and former MLB legend Jackie Robinson, as well as numerous college coaches and players.

This year’s speaker was Samantha Rapoport. Sam has worked for the NFL for the last 16 years and is presently the senior director of football development for the league. Sam spearheads programming that serves to retain, develop, and promote qualified diverse candidates into the football operations pipeline within each club as well as the league office. 

Two years ago, Sam created a program that serves to inspire and connect women to football operations in the NFL, CFL, and collegiate football programs. As a result, a record number twenty-nine female coaching, scouting, and operations interns have been hired into professional and college football programs since 2017. Sam has been awarded the NFL commissioner’s Innovation Award for her creation of a program that sparked a girl’s flag football movement in the country. She was also recently featured in People magazine’s “25 Women Changing the World.”

NFL commissioner and former Bronco Roger Goodell was unable to attend this year’s dinner but, in his absence, wrote the team a letter to be read. He encouraged them not to allow this season’s record to define them but to use it to learn and improve. He wrote, “As the years pass, you will reflect on this dinner and the importance of football in your life. The values and lessons you learn from football, winning and losing, will serve you well.”

Since Fred H. McGrath’s death in 1954, his family has continued the practice of hosting the varsity football team, school administrators, and present and former coaches. His son, Bob McGrath, a former player and coach for the Broncos, his wife, Bumpty, and their family have been steadfast in maintaining this Bronxville tradition.

Pictured here:  Seated (L-R): Ron Catena, Samantha Rapoport, Bob McGrath, and Bumpty McGrath. Standing: The 2018 Bronxville High School varsity football team.

Photo courtesy T. McGrath

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

Matt Rizzo Wins Cross Country State Championship; Alex Rizzo Places 4th and Girls’ Cross Country Places Second PDF Print Email


By S. Quinn DeJoy and J. Murrer

Nov. 14, 2018:  It was a cold and very windy day at Sunken Meadow State Park on Saturday during the New York State Cross Country Championships. On one of the most challenging courses in the state, Matt Rizzo managed to hold on to a narrow lead to win the Class C State Championship.

Despite the wet, muddy, and windy conditions, Matt won in a time of 16:22.2, bettering his time from the 2017 state championships by more than 40 seconds. Section 1 had a good showing with Croton's Sean Gardiner placing second in 16:25.2 and Bronxville's Alex Rizzo placing fourth in 16:42.1.

Matt Rizzo approaching the finish at Sunken Meadow. Photo by C. Rizzo.

The Bronxville girls, always competitive in the Class C State Championship, took second place, finishing behind Section 2's Greenwich. Greenwich goes back and forth between Class C and Class D and was the state champ in Class D last year.

All seven girls ran extremely well and all recorded personal records on this difficult course. Out of 130 participants, Natalie Weiner, who finished first for the Broncos, placed 28th in 20:49.50.

Other Bronco finishes included Emma Mandanas in 32nd place (20:52.50), Patty Haggerty, 34th (20:58.4), Molly Palma, 44th (21:19.1), Avery Widen, 57th (21:35.7), Gigi Chrappa, 76th (22:03.5), and Anna Outcalt, 86th (22:19.1). The forty-five seconds that separated the top five Bronxville girls was the narrowest of any team in the meet.

The indoor track and field season starts practicing this week, and the Section 1 kick-off meet will take place at The Armory on December 9.

Go Broncos.

Pictured at top (L to R): Assistant coach Ian Clark, Matt Rizzo, Alex Rizzo, and Coach Jim Agnello.

Photo by Charlotte Rizzo

Bronxville Cross Country Comes Out on Top at Sectionals with State Qualifying Finishes PDF Print Email


By S. Quinn DeJoy and J. Murrer

Nov. 7, 2018:  Bronxville cross country runners had strong performances at the Section 1 Cross Country Championships held on Saturday at Bowdoin Park. The girls’ varsity team placed first in Class C and won the sectional title for the 22nd consecutive year and will head to the state championships. On the boys’ side, Matt Rizzo won the Class C Section 1 Championship, and his twin brother, Alex, placed third. The top five finishers at sectionals qualify for states.

The varsity girls’ team placed first with a strong team effort. The top five girls finished in a pack with only 40 seconds separating them. Natalie Weiner placed fourth (21:23.3) and was followed closely by Patty Haggerty (6th, 21:44.9), Molly Palma (7th, 21:46.2), Emma Mandanas (8th, 21:48.5), and Avery Widen (11th, 22:03.5).

The girls hold up the Class C Section 1 Championship plaque. Photo by Tina Chrappa. 

Matt Rizzo won the Class C title with a time of 16:59.7, and Alex placed third in 17:42.0. Also scoring for the Broncos were John Ryan (35th), Ashton Smith (49th), and Tim McGrath (69th). The Bronxville boys’ team placed sixth in Class C among 15 teams. 

The Bronxville boys’ cross country team at Bowdoin Park. Photo by Charlotte Rizzo.

The New York State championship meet will take place at Sunken Meadow State Park on Long Island on Saturday at 10:30 am.

Go Broncos.

Pictured at top: Matt Rizzo just ahead of second-place finisher Sean Gardiner of Croton-Harmon.

Photo by Charlotte Rizzo




Alex and Matt Rizzo Finish 1,2 at the Westchester County Championships; Girls’ Cross Country Places Second Overall PDF Print Email


By S. Quinn DeJoy and J. Murrer

Oct. 31, 2018: Runners from forty-two schools across Westchester County competed in the cross country championships last Saturday at Croton Point Park. On the relatively flat course, which at times runs along the Hudson River, Bronxville's Alex and Matt Rizzo found their stride. Alex won his first Westchester County title, and Matt was close behind in second place.

The course at Croton Point Park is much flatter than a lot of the local courses, so fast times are expected. Alex finished in 15:27.8, and Matt finished seconds later with a time of 15:32.6.

"It was a great race," said Alex. "I PRed by 50 seconds." 

Alex and Matt Rizzo finish 1 and 2 at counties. Photo by Charlotte Rizzo. 

The twin brothers have been challenging each other all season. For most of the big invitational races this fall, they have finished in first or second place, sometimes with Alex winning, and other times Matt would cross the finish line first.

"We are definitely super competitive with each other and have been since we were little. It hasn't really changed much," noted Matt. "We know that no matter what, the other one will be there at the end of the race. "

The Rizzo brothers started running together when they were young and have competed against each other all through high school. When asked who is the more competitive runner, Alex gave a thoughtful response.

"Competitive is a funny word," said Alex. "To me, it is more than that. I really want to win, but it's also that I love to run. It bothers me if I am running slower since I want to get better with each race."

Matt listened to his brother's response and his next comment was short and sweet. "I just like to win," he said.

When pressed for more information, Matt replied, "I would say one thing. I am competitive with Alex but also competitive with everyone. But it is not like football where you have heated rivalries. We all have mutual respect. When we are done, we are all high fiving."

Alex will be continuing his running career at the United States Naval Academy next fall. Matt will also be running in college but is not yet certain where he is going to be. After spending years together in a small school in a small village, there is good news about the boys going their separate ways.

"It will be nice to go anywhere where my name won't get mixed up," quipped Matt.

The Bronxville brothers will be competing at the Section 1 Championships on Saturday at Bowdoin Park, and the results of that meet will determine who qualifies for states. Both boys qualified last year and had strong finishes, with Alex placing second and Matt placing fifth. The New York State Championships will be held on Long Island at Sunken Meadow State Park on November 10.

Bronxville runners warm up along the Hudson River at the county championships. Photo by Charlotte Rizzo. 

Girls' Cross Country

Teams from 25 different schools competed in the Westchester County Championships, and the Bronxville girls' varsity team placed second behind a strong John Jay-Cross River team. Five Broncos set a personal record: Natalie Weiner (5th, 18:59), Emma Mandanas (16th, 19:32), Patty Haggerty (19th, 19:40), Molly Palma (22nd, 19:54), and Avery Widen (33rd, 20:12).

The girls’ varsity team finished second at counties. Photo contributed by Jim Mitchell. 

The junior varsity team won the county championship, and eighth-grader Anna Outcalt crossed the finish line in 20:44, becoming the JV county champion. Also scoring in the JV race were Betsy Marshall (4th, 21:17), Sophia Sulimirski (5th, 21:28), Ruby Howell (6th, 21:46), and Rory Denning (10th, 22:21).

Playoff season continues for the girls with the Section 1 Championship on November 3. The Class C Broncos have won the Class C sectional title for over 20 consecutive years. The state meet will be held on November 10 at Sunken Meadow State Park. Last year at states the Bronco girls' varsity team placed third.

Go Broncos

Pictured at top: The Rizzo brothers front and center at Westchester County Championships.

Photo by Charlotte Rizzo


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