The interview: Randolph coach Brent Brown checks in on his team and Chester

It might only be Sunday, but as expected, Randolph coach Brent Brown has already done some homework on Chester.

I talked to Brown and, when asked about Chester, he quickly signaled out the Hambletonians’ three most dangerous players: Quarterback Vinny Aloi, running back Angel Suarez and wide receiver Brandon Sadlier.

Another thing stood out to Brown: “Chester looks bigger up front than last year.”

As far as Chester’s “Big Three”, Brown added: “The tailback is fast, he’s been pretty good the last few weeks. I know the quarterback can throw it and the wide receiver is difficult to cover. We will approach it as we will try to stop the run first. At this level, if they can throw, it will be tough to stop.”

Chester and Randolph meet for the Class D state championship at noon on Saturday at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. Randolph (11-1) defeated Chester 42-13 for last year’s Class D state title and is seeking its third championship in a row.

Only four football teams have won three straight titles since the state began a full playoff format  in 1993 – Section IV’s Maine-Endwell (Class A 2011, Class B 2012-13), Section V’s Hornell (Class B, 2009-2011), Section I’s Edgemont (Class C, 1998-2000) and Section V’s Caledonia-Mumford (Class C 1993, Class D 1994-95).

Randolph (11-1) graduated only six starters from last season’s team, but that included its entire backfield – quarterback Mitchell Maycock and running backs Chris Doubek and Lucas Brown. Doubek rushed for 273 yards with three touchdowns against Chester last year and finished his career with 2,352 yards.

The key players for Randolph this year are also impressive. Quarterback Bryce Morrison has passed for 1,200 yards with 16 touchdowns and rushed for 700 yards. Tailback Devyn Nelson has rushed for 1,400 yards and 12 touchdowns. Tight end Mason Bosley, who is 6-foot, 220 pounds, has caught 10 touchdown passes.

Put simply, Randolph blew Chester off the ball last year, and the Buffalo-area champion has two more big guys mixing it up in the trenches: Michael Bowers is 6-foot-4, 290 pounds and Jeff Andrews is 6-2, 260. Both players are two-way linemen.

According to Brown, Randolph is playing some of its best ball of the season. The Cardinals have won 11 in a row since losing to Maple Grove, a Class C school, 24-12 to open the season. Brown said Randolph has really developed during the playoffs.

Randolph defeated rival Ellicottville 28-0 in the Buffalo-area Class D championship, following that up with a tough 19-12 win over Red Jacket in the state quarterfinals. The Cardinals defeated Tioga 20-8 in the semifinals.

“It hasn’t been easy this year,” Brown said. “It’s hard to replace that kind of talent. But I think we have really turned a corner. I think the kids realized that we have to get things done by ourselves. We can’t rely on the players from last year. Every week, we have gotten better, and more confident.”

As far as going for the state championship three-peat, Brown said: “Of course, it would feel great. That’s not something we wanted to talk about at the beginning of the season. There is a lot of pressure on these kids because the town is so used to winning. But the kids have definitely been thinking about it. Now that we are here, it is definitely one of our goals.”

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Section 9′s state swim meet results

  • Some quick notes on how Section 9′s swimmers fared at the state finals today in Ithaca before I run over to the football games at Dietz Stadium. For full swim/dive results, check here.
  • Monroe-Woodbury senior Taylor Stalnaker placed third in the 100 backstroke in a time of 56.21 at the state girls’ swimming and diving championships at Ithaca College on Saturday. New Paltz junior Caroline Murphy placed fourth in the backstroke in a time of 56.81.
  • Minisink Valley senior Jessica Crumm placed fifth in the 100 breaststroke in 1:05.87.
  • Murphy was ninth in the 50 freestyle in 24.61.
  • Kingston’s 200 medley relay team of Madelyn Chiera, Courtney McCardle, Erin Leirey and Taylor Robey placed ninth in a time of 1:50.49.
  • Valley Central senior Kaitlyn Troy placed 10th in the 200 freestyle in 1:56.82.
  • In the 100 freestyle, Kingston’s McCardle placed 12th in 53.47 and Valley Central’s Troy was 13th in 53.72.
  • Late Friday night, Minisink Valley senior Emily Wilson took third place in the diving finals with a score of 516.65. Minisink Valley sophomore Erin Clifford placed fifth with 485.25 points.

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Orange-Rockland Challenge on Jan. 3

Newburgh Free Academy girls’ basketball coach Rich Desiderio announced Thursday morning that Dominican College in Orangeburg will host an Orange and Rockland Challenge tournament this year on Jan. 3, starting at 11 a.m. Each of the six games will feature one team from Rockland County and one from Orange County.

The event is partially sponsored by the Basketball Coaches Association of New York (BCANY) and will raise money for the Hudson Valley Cancer Resource Center, which serves a 10-county area. Each team is working to raise money and awareness within their community and each will bring a billboard dedicating the game to those that they are playing for.

For more information on the Hudson Valley Cancer Resource Center, visit their website here.

Here is the complete schedule:

  • Suffern vs. Goshen, 11 a.m.
  • Pearl River vs. Tuxedo, 12:30 p.m.
  • Clarkstown South vs. Washingtonville, 2 p.m.
  • Tappan Zee vs. Burke Catholic, 3:30 p.m.
  • North Rockland vs. Newburgh, 5 p.m.
  • Albertus Magnus vs. Cornwall, 6:30 p.m.

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Cornwall ready for Queensbury showdown (w/ video interviews)

Cornwall vs. Queensbury: Could it be the game of the weekend as far as Section 9’s five representatives go?

It might be.

Both teams enter the showdown in the Class A state semifinals at 8 p.m. on Friday at Dietz Stadium in Kingston at 11-0. Queensbury, the defending state champion, has won 24 straight games and is the top-ranked Class A team in the state.

Cornwall is ranked second. Adding to the drama of the showdown is that it serves as a rematch of last year’s classic in the semifinals. Queensbury won that game 37-29, after star Cornwall quarterback left the game in the second quarter with a dislocated elbow.

Cornwall has allowed only 68 points this season and its first-team offense has given up just five touchdowns. The Green Dragons have only trailed two teams all year – Rye in the Class A state quarterfinals last week and Marlboro in Week 3.

Still, Queensbury is the favorite in this must-see game. Here is what Cornwall offensive lineman Brendan Rose had to say about the Queensbury match-up:

Queensbury is known for its well-oiled double wing offense, which is like a machine, grinding up yards on the ground. The Queensbury offense might not be as flashy as Cornwall’s point-producing spread, but it is tough to stop. Queensbury is deep at running back and everyone blocks, the offensive line, two tight ends, the backs and even the quarterback – Drew Wilson.

Here is what Cornwall linebacker Quinn Zsido had to say about the Queensbury game:

Here is a look at Queensbury’s top running backs:

Sr. Tyrell Adams: 936 yards, 16 touchdowns

Jr. Brett Rodriguez: 817 yards, 11 TD

Sr. Chris Goudy: 538 yards, 9 TD

Jr. Erik Wettersten: 428 yards, 8 TD

Queensbury scored 27 first-quarter points en route to a 48-0 win over Massena in the Class A state quarterfinals last week. Even Section 9’s very own version of Bill Belichick, defensive-minded Cornwall coach Mike Connolly, said that no team likely can stop the Queensbury Express.

You just try to contain the rushing attack. For Connolly, the key for Cornwall is putting up points early and often.


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Marlboro ready for shot against heavily favored Schalmont (w/ video interviews)

Call them crazy, but Marlboro is looking forward to its rematch with Schalmont in the semifinals of the Class B state playoffs on Saturday.

Actually, the Iron Dukes are far from crazy: They are a proud program, looking for some redemption. Marlboro (9-2) takes on Schalmont (11-0) at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Dietz Stadium in Kingston.

Dietz is the same venue where Schalmont defeated Marlboro 66-0 in the semifinals last season. Five Section 9 teams have qualified for the state playoffs for the first time in the 22-year history of the full state playoff system. Marlboro, the four-time defending Section 9 champion, is probably the biggest underdog of the weekend.

The Iron Dukes scored an impressive 38-21 win over Our Lady of Lourdes-Poughkeepsie on Friday. This is Marlboro’s third straight trip to the Class B final four. The Iron Dukes lose to Glens Falls in 2012.

Here is what Marlboro wide receiver Harry St. John had to say about the Schalmont game:

Schalmont, located in Rotterdam, a Schenectady suburb, scored 60 points in the first half of the 2013 semifinal win over Marlboro. The Sabres set state records for most points scored and greatest margin of victory in a state playoff game. Marlboro didn’t help itself with several turnovers in the first half.

Schalmont (11-0) defeated Section 7′s Peru, 60-20 in the Class B state quarterfinals last week. The Sabres have scored at least 34 points in every game this season, winning games by blowout scores of 88-0, 76-6 and 69-7.

Here is what Marlboro linebacker Ryan Greavan had to say about the Schalmont rematch:

Schalmont has outscored opponents 659-81 this season. The Sabres lost to Maine-Endwell 22-21 on a last-second two-point conversion in last year’s Class B state championship.

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Section 9 exceptional senior game rosters released

The Section 9 exceptional senior game is set for 6 p.m. Sunday at Newburgh Free Academy.

Team American defeated Team National 27-0 in last year’s showcase game. Team National won 24-11 in 2012. That game marked the first of its kind locally since the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association held an exceptional senior game from 1977-82. There are modified rules, including no blitzing.

Seniors from any Section 9 team are eligible for the game. Schools playing in the semifinals of the state playoffs this weekend won’t have representation. For the first time in the 22-year history of the state’s full playoff format, five Section 9 teams reached the state semifinals – Newburgh (Class AA), Cornwall (A), Marlboro (B), Millbrook (C) and Chester (D).

Teams were for the exceptional senior game were picked based on nominations from Section 9 coaches. Practices for the game will be from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday at Newburgh.

Here are the rosters (*denotes teams playing in state semifinals this weekend and won’t participate):

American Team
*Cornwall: LB Quinn Zsido; WR Kobie Thomas; LB/WR Matt Robinson; WR/LB Tyler Peddie; RB Kevin Gangemi.
Dover: OL/LB Jon Lieto; OL/DL A.J. Peterson; RB/LB Mike Leverich; OL/DL Patrick O’Laughlin
Kingston: OL/DL Jake Pesko; RB/DL Leroy Peters; RB Tyler Robinson
Liberty: TE/LB Stephen Johnson; OL/DL Michael Burke; RB/DB Patrick Fitzpatrick
Livingston Manor: OL/DL Matt McRell; OL/DL Jordan Heintz
*Marlboro: RB/LB Ryan Greavan; OL/DL Rob Papuli; OL Mike Panio; RB/DB Alain Dumas; WR/DB Matt Marquis
Middletown: WR Eamon Gillespie; LB Andrew Allwood; OL/DL Devondre Nesbitt; DB Isaiah Reyes; RB/LB Robert Dean
Monroe-Woodbury: RB/LB Cole Gennett; DB Jesse Kaffenberger; OL Pat Clifford; DL Zach Gordon
Monticello: OL/DL Brian Stickle; WR Dante Smalls; RB/DB Tyrelle Poole; RB/LB Nick Brown; OL/DL Isaiah Mathis
New Paltz: OL/DE Todd Mullins; DB John O’Donnell; WR Steve Branche
Pine Plains: RB/LB Joe Vita
Red Hook: RB Dustin Ducey; LB Tim Terry; WR Connor Boryk
Saugerties: OL/DL Kyle Quinn
Spackenkill: OL/DL Andrew Sahawneh
Sullivan West: RB/LB Andrew Stabbert; OL/DL Anthony Rydell; OL/DL Sean Hart; OL/DL Kevin Hart; QB/LB Richard Shevak
Warwick: RB/LB Trevor Pinkham; TE/DL Dermot Egan; QB Brendan Bauer
Washingtonville: K/P Derek Deoul; TE/DB Jakob Woods; QB Joe Tecklenburg; OL/DL Aaron Melendez
Tri-Valley QB Justin Swarthout

National Team
Minisink Valley: LB Tyler Mayo; RB Joe Sessa; C Stephen Lauro; RB/LB Deonte Moore; QB Matt Carosella; DE Patsy Marotto; DE Nate Lake
Roosevelt: RB/SS Nick Amone; DB Christian Cappillino; DT Mike Lesione
Valley Central: DE Mike Kania; WR Nick Pacheco; LB Billy Cavalluzzo
*Newburgh: RB/DB Aaron Forbes; RB/S Anthony Dubose; TE/DL Oliver Janvier; C Tyler Gonzalez
Pine Bush: OL/DL Andrew Rogan; RB/FS Marcus Barnes
Goshen: QB/S Gene Iozzino; RB/LB Matt Mauriello
Port Jervis: RB/S Saim Mairu; RB/OLB Justin Drew; LB Quentin Hossman; OL Trent Morgan; OL Henry Schall
Wallkill: OL/DL John Demy; OL/DL Josh Kuliszewski; OLB Mike Thompson; WR Nick Gomez
Rondout Valley: WR/DE Joe Hafner
Ellenville: OL/DL Chris Kovalcik
O’Neill: OL/DL Jefferson Espinal
Highland: QB Brandon Mack; OT Alex Oliver; G Dominic Bellacicco; C Vincent Valentino
Burke Catholic: OT/DT Joe Grasso; C/DT Brandon Rawlins; TE/De Tom Connolly; RB/LB/S Matt Przybocki; RB/SS Stephen Cushing; LB Mike Martinelli
*Chester: QB Vinny Aloi; RB/WR/LB Angel Suarez; WR/FS Brandon Sadlier; OL/DL Jeremy Nolasco
Roscoe/Downsville: QB/RB/LB Colin Tallman; OT/DE Josiah Steele; OL/DL Dominick Dominguez
*Millbrook: OL/DL Jacob Higgins; RB/LB Mike DoCarmo; TE/DE/OLB Colin Wohlford

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XC, track: Six make college choices

A half-dozen Orange County scholastic athletes have made their college commitments for 2015-16.
Pole vaulter Derek Dibona of Warwick is headed for Connecticut.
As for the distance runners, Jill Decker of Cornwall is going to Buffalo, as is Port Jervis’ Brittany Fuller; Cornwall’s Ashley Wallace is headed for Marist; Warwick’s Lauren Rothstein is going to Kutztown; and, Warwick’s Dan Peterson is headed for DePaul.
Also headed for Marist are Palmer Weimann of Farmington (Conn.) and Jessica Howe of Fayetteville-Manlius (upstate New York).
Headed for West Point is Cassie Mundekis of Midwest Central (Ill.).

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Section 9, on the rise, sends five teams to state semis for first time in history

The days of Section 9 serving collectively as a punching bag in the state playoffs are long gone. Want proof? Look at the results over the past decade.

Even more impressive is the fact that Section 9’s results keep getting better. Section 9 made history last season by sending four teams to the semifinals of the state playoffs – Monroe-Woodbury (Class AA), Cornwall (A), Marlboro (B) and Chester (D). It marked the first time in the 21-year history of the state’s full playoff format that four Section 9 teams reached the final four.

This fall, Section 9 has stepped it up a notch: Five teams are alive! All five Section 9 teams are one win away for playing for a state championship.

Newburgh (AA), Cornwall (A), Marlboro (B), Millbrook (C) and Chester (D) will all be playing in the state semifinals next weekend. Local teams are 11-16 all-time in the semifinals of the state football playoffs. Monroe-Woodbury has five of the wins, reaching the Class AA state championship game every year from 2005-08 and last season.

The Crusaders won the state title in 2005. Only one other Section 9 team has ever won a state championship – Rondout Valley in 2000. Jim Malak, who coached that historic Rondout Valley team, is now an assistant with Marlboro.

Not only is Section 9’s progress impressive, it’s taking shape quickly. Before 2011, three local teams had never reached the state semifinals during the same year. However, a trio of Section 9 schools qualified for the final four in 2011 and 2012. In 2012, Section 9 squads earned three wins over rival Section 1 teams (Dutchess, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties) for the first time in a round in the state playoffs.

Section 9 teams took out three more Section 1 teams last season and went 4-for-4 over Section 1 in the quarterfinals this weekend. Newburgh received a bye in this year’s Class AA quarterfinals.

From 1993-03, Section 9 teams were 6-42 against Section 1 in the state playoffs. Since then, Section 9’s record is 20-31 against its nearby rivals, including 13-5 over the past four seasons.

Here is a look at Section 9’s match-ups for the state semifinals this weekend. Stay tuned for much more coverage this week on and follow me on Twitter @justinrod845 if you want to be cool, get the girl, make the big play etc.

Class AA: Newburgh (8-2) vs. Shenendehowa (11-0), 7 p.m. on Saturday

Class A: Cornwall (11-0) vs. Queensbury (11-0), 8 p.m. Friday

Class B: Marlboro (9-2) vs. Schalmont (11-0), 3 p.m. Saturday

Class C: Millbrook (8-2) vs. Hoosick Falls (11-0), 11 a.m. Saturday

Class D: Chester (9-2) vs. Cambridge-Salem (10-0), 4 p.m. Friday





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Boys’ state soccer finals updates: Nov. 16, 2014

Mattituck players celebrate after winning a state Class B title during a state Class B championship game in Middletown, N.Y. on Sun., Nov. 16, 2014. (Will Montgomery photo/Times Herald-Record)

Will Montgomery here in the press box at Faller Field in Middletown. I’m going to be running around between all the games today, but I’ll will provide some updates when I get back upstairs throughout the day.

For up-to-the-minute updates, you can also check out my Twitter page: @THR_Montgomery.

I’m also uploading photos from the day to my Flickr portfolio. Check out some of the shots here:

We’l have two local teams playing for state titles today. Mount Academy of Esopus, in its first season with a varsity soccer team, will play for a Class D championship at 3 p.m. Rhinebeck of Dutchess County won an overtime thriller yesterday and plays for a Class C title at 12:30 p.m. Follow those links to read those stories from today’s paper.

Here is today’s schedule:

Sunday’s championship games at Middletown High School
Class AA
Commack (18-1-1, Section 11) vs. Fairport (18-3-0, Section 5), grass field, 1 p.m.

  • This game is underway. Midway through the first half, it’s still scoreless.
  • Commack scored a pair of late goals to beat Fairport, 2-0.

Class A
Greece-Athena (15-6-1, Section 5) vs. East Hampton (15-1-0, Section 11), grass field, 10:30 a.m.

  • At 12:01 p.m., there’s 23:00 to play in the second half. Greece-Athena has a 2-1 lead. As I type that, Greece-Athena scores again to make it a 3-1 lead.
  • Greece-Athena and East Hampton certainly played an entertaining game…Greece-Athena hung on for a 4-2 victory and the state title.

Class B
Mattituck (18-2-0, Section 11) vs. Beekmantown (18-2-0, Section 7), turf field, 10 a.m.

  • In the first game of the day, Mattituck defeated Beekmantown 3-0. It’s Mattituck’s first state title since 2003.

Class C
Rhinebeck (18-1-1) vs. School 58-World of Inquiry (18-2-2), turf field, 12:30 p.m.

  • At halftime, these teams are tied, 0-0.
  • Rhinebeck won this game, 1-0, becoming the first Section 9 team to win a state title since the tournament moved to Middletown in 2010.

Class D
Mount Academy (11-2-1) vs. International Prep-Grover Cleveland (15-1-2, Section 6), turf field, 3 p.m.

  • In overtime, International Prep defeated Mount Academy, 3-2. Check out my game story on for the full scoop later tonight.

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Cornwall survives Rye with gutsy effort (w/ video interviews)

MAHOPAC – For the fourth consecutive year, Cornwall is headed to the semifinals of the Class A state playoffs, after defeating Rye 21-17 in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

It’s been some run by the Green Dragons, but this quarterfinal was different. Why? There was plenty of drama.

Cornwall’s last three wins in the state quarterfinals were of the blowout variety. The Green Dragons took out Somers 34-7 last season and 34-13 a year earlier. In 2011, Poughkeepsie was the victim. Final score: Cornwall 44, Poughkeepsie 19.

But Rye was different. Consider this: Rye led Cornwall by scores of 7-0, 10-6 and 17-14. The Green Dragons hadn’t trailed an opponent since the first quarter of a 20-7 win over Marlboro on Sept. 19.

Rye and Brown-bound quarterback Andrew Livingston scored two touchdowns off Cornwall’s first-team defense. The Green Dragons had given up three as a unit all year. Still, it was too much Cornwall on Saturday.

The Green Dragons shook off a rough first half, by their lofty standards, to pull off the win. Quarterback Jason Bailey hit Tyler Peddie for the game-winning touchdown on a 15-yard screen pass with 3:01 remaining and Cornwall held off a late drive by Livingston to seal it.

Peddie had two touchdown receptions and Kobie Thomas, a wide receiver, added a score. We talked to the pair after the game:

Cornwall (11-0) moves on to play defending state champion Queensbury in the Class A semifinals at 8 p.m. on Friday at Dietz Stadium. Queensbury defeated Cornwall 37-29 in last year’s final four and is the top-ranked Class A team in the state. The Green Dragons are ranked second.

This is the rematch Cornwall wanted, but before the Green Dragons started scheming for Queensbury, they had to escape Rye (9-2) and Livingston. Livingston’s top wide receiver, Tim DeGraw, actually threw Rye’s final pass of the season. It came on a fourth-and-14 on Cornwall’s 21-yard line with 45 seconds remaining.

DeGraw’s pass, off a lateral, was picked off by Cornwall linebacker Quinn Zsido at the 10-yard line with 45 seconds remaining, setting off a wild celebration by the Green Dragons. Livingston, who entered Saturday as Section 1’s all-time career leading passer (5,565 yards), had not thrown an interception all year. He threw three against Cornwall with Brenden O’Flaherty picking of two and Matt Robinson another.

Here is what Zsido and Bailey had to say after the game:

First-year Cornwall coach Mike Connolly said he made some adjustments on offense during halftime with his staff, based on what he saw Rye doing on defense in the first half. The Green Dragons scored on its opening drive of the third quarter, on an 11-yard pass from Bailey to Peddie. Thomas scored on a two-point conversion to make it 14-10.

Rye took a 17-14 lead with 5:50 remaining in the game on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Livingston to fullback Sam Lubeck on a third-and-13 play. The 62-yard drive featured a 32-yard lateral play from DeGraw to Brett Egan that put the ball on Cornwall’s 30-yard line.

Cornwall’s game-winning drive was fast and frenetic – taking just 2:35 and seven plays. It featured runs of 12, 15 and 16 yards by Bailey. Indeed, it was a gritty win. We all can’t wait for the Queensbury showdown.

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