Former players pay tribute to the late Jack Riley

The passing of Army hockey coach Jack Riley will surely be discussed as former players gather for his funeral services, as well as this weekend’s ceremony celebrating the careers of past greats Dave Merhar, George Clark and Dave Rost.
When Jack Riley was honored in 2007, a host of players spoke with me about their legendary coach. Here are some of their thoughts:
“When you could understand Jack’s strategy, his game plan and how it worked, it was amazing what you could accomplish. It wasn’t complex, he didn’t have an elaborate game plan, but it was basic hockey and he expected it to be performed flawlessly.’’
Brian Concannon, Class of 1979
Norwell, Mass.

“I was extremely respectful of his coaching and pretty much in awe of what he had accomplished and could accomplish. I was very much in admiration of him and honored to play for him.’’
Parker “Brick” Anderson, Class of 1967
Santa Barbara, Calif. (originally Roseville, Minn.)

“Coach Riley was a true motivator. He continuously challenged each individual, each of us to elevate our game to the next level, in a very passionate way. It was tough when you needed it to be tough but there was a degree of empathy when that was needed as well.’’
Ted Moran, Class of 1986
Nashua, N.H.

“He was absolutely animated. He broke his leg one year – it was at home and he had crutches on the bench. The ref made a bad call and one or two of those crutches was on the ice. That just demonstrated his passion to me.’’
Lt. Col. Chris Rizzo, Class of 1984
Fort Jackson, S.C.

“He was tough on us but he never was unfair. If you had it coming, he gave it to you and you understood that and respected that, but in the end he helped us through a tough situation at the academy. I think we all look back on that and are very thankful.’’
Tyler King, Class of 1984

“I loved to be on a road trip with coach. I would sit on the first step of the bus; he always had the front seat. We would talk about what happened on the weekend. … It was just listening to him talk hockey – the guy had a wealth of experience. He talked about his pilot days back in World War II. I could have played on the road all year and I wouldn’t have minded a bit. … He walked on water for me.’’
Dave Rost, Class of 1977
Grand Rapids, Mich. (formerly Buffalo)

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Marist 2016 baseball schedule rather tame

The Marist baseball team has a relatively easy schedule for 2016, facing only four foes which finished in the top 100 Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) rankings used by the NCAA. Of the 26 Division I opponents, the Red Foxes face just six teams in the top 150 and 20 in the lower 151.
Marist opens play with three games at Davidson (N.C.) from Feb 19-21, facing the host, Air Force and Buffalo. The Red Foxes have three-game weekend road sets with High Point (Feb. 26-28), Virginia Commonwealth (March 4-6), Delaware State (March 11-13) and North Carolina Greensboro (March 18-20).
The home opener is March 22 against formidable Saint John’s.
The highest-ranked RPI teams are Stony Brook (No. 62), Saint John’s (71), High Point (76) and VCU (97). Marist (19-27-1) was ranked No. 247.
The Metro Atlantic opening series is March 24 and 26 at home against Quinnipiac. Marist will also host Manhattan, Monmouth and Saint Peter’s in league play and travel to Iona, Niagara, Rider and Siena. With the unbalanced scheduling, Marist does not play Canisius (32-28) and Fairfield (17-32) during the regular season.
Army and Marist renew the Hudson Valley series on April 27 at Dutchess Stadium in Fishkill.
The MAAC championships, featuring the top six clubs, will be played May 25-29 at Dutchess Stadium.
This is the sixth year Chris Tracz serves as head coach of the Red Foxes.

Fri. 19 – at Davidson (28-21), 6 p.m.; Sat. 20 – vs. Air Force (23-29), at Davidson, 1 p.m.; Sun. 21 – vs. Buffalo (16-35), at Davidson, 10 a.m.; Fri. 26 – at High Point (29-26), 4 p.m.; Sat. 27 – at High Point, 2 p.m.; Sun. 28 – at High Point, 1 p.m.
Fri. 4 – at VCU (36-22), 3 p.m.; Sat. 5 – at VCU, 2 p.m.; Sun. 6 – at VCU, 1 p.m.; Fri. 11 – at Delaware State (16-29); Sat. 12 – at Delaware State; Sun. 13 – at Delaware State; Tues. 15 – vs. Albany (14-28), at Central Connecticut; Fri. 18 – at N.C. Greensboro (23-27); Sat. 19 – at N.C. Greensboro; Sun. 20 – at N.C. Greensboro; Tues. 22 – Saint John’s (38-14), 3 p.m.; Wed. 23 – at N.J. Tech (24-23-1), 3:30 p.m.; Thur. 24 – Quinnipiac* (29-27), 3 p.m.; Sat. 26 – Quinnipiac* (DH), 12 p.m.; Tues. 29 – Univ. Mass-Lowell (17-26), 3 p.m.
Sat. 2 – at Iona* (20-33) (DH), 12 p.m.; Sun. 3 – at Iona*, 12 p.m.; Tues. 5 – Albany (DH), 2 p.m.; Sat. 9 – at Niagara* (13-32-2) (DH), 12 p.m.; Sun. 10 – at Niagara*, 12 p.m.; Wed. 13 – Hartford (23-30), 3:30 p.m.; Sat. 16 – Manhattan* (18-34) (DH), 12 p.m.; Sun. 17 – Manhattan*, 12 p.m.; Wed. 20 – Binghamton (17-24-2) (DH), 2 p.m.; Sat. 23 – Monmouth* (22-24) (DH), 12 p.m.; Sun. 24 – Monmouth*, 12 p.m.; Tues. 26 – at Stony Brook (33-14-1); Wed. 27 – vs. Army (21-26), at Fishkill, 6:35 p.m.; Sat. 30 – Saint Peter’s* (10-38-1) (DH), 12 p.m.
Sun. 1 – Saint Peter’s*, 12 p.m.; Fri. 6 – Wagner (27-23-1), 3 p.m.; Sat. 7 – Wagner, 1 p.m.; Sun. 8 – Wagner, 12 p.m.; Sat. 14 – at Rider* (28-22) (DH), 12 p.m.; Sun. 15 – at Rider*, 12 p.m.; Thur. 19 – at Siena* (23-26) (DH), 12 p.m.; Fri. 20 – at Siena*, 12 p.m.; Wed. 25-Sun. 29 – MAAC tournament, at Dutchess Stadium, Fishkill
Home games at McCann Field, Poughkeepsie; last year’s records in parenthesis; * – indicates Metro Atlantic game

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Army’s Ella Ellis drafted by NBA D-League’s Maine Red Claws

Former Army all-star Ella Ellis was drafted by the Maine Red Claws of the NBA D-League on Saturday. Ellis was a second-round choice and 31st overall pick by the Red Claws, who have an affiliation with the Boston Celtics of the NBA.
Ellis is a 2013 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy. He averaged 14.6, 17.5 and 17.7 points over his final three seasons, and concluded his career with 1,585 points.
If Ellis signs and makes the team, his debut could come Nov. 12 in White Plains against the Westchester Knicks.

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SUNY Sullivan women’s basketball roster

The SUNY Sullivan women’s basketball team welcomes six newcomers to a veteran roster of nine sophomores for the upcoming season. Daniel Lang is back as head coach, with Carl Graham as his assistant.
The Lady Generals play their final preseason scrimmage at St. Thomas Aquinas on Tuesday. Their season and home opener is Thursday, Nov. 5, against Hostos Community College.
Guards: Nia Miller, Soph., South Shore (Brooklyn); Sheryl Pinder, Soph., Fallsburg; Angelica Albino, Soph., In-Tech Academy (Bronx); Alexandria Davis-Sumter, Fr., Sleepy Hollow; Ashley McDonald, Fr., South Shore (Brooklyn)
Swing: Tiffany Fields, Soph., South Shore (Brooklyn); Sade Sullivan, Soph., School of the Future (Manhattan); Kyla Givens, Fr., Newburgh Free Academy; Brittany Mitchell, Fr., Wings Academy (Bronx)
Forwards: Makelya Alleyne, Soph., Lab Museum (Queens); Mariah Rosario, Soph., R.F. Kennedy (Queens)
Forward/center: Terri Jones, Soph., Marcy Avenue Campus (Brooklyn); Nyasia Blakney, Soph., Fallsburg
Center: Betneshia McLean, Fr., Newburgh Free Academy

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SUNY Ulster basketball roster; Senators open Sunday

New SUNY Ulster men’s basketball coach Justin Maxwell and assistants Matt Moore and Kyle Richmond have nine players to work with this season.
Guards: No. 21 Nolan Dalton, Fr., Red Hook; No. 4 Andrew Feliciano, Fr., Kingston; No. 2 Anthony Feliciano, Fr., Kingston; No.1 Xavier Maxwell, Soph., West Canada; No. 15 Paddy Parr, Soph., Red Hook
Forwards: No. 5 Romikeo Duzant, Soph., New Paltz; No. 44 Tyler Miedema, Fr., Rondout Valley; No. 3 Seth Odari, Fr., New Paltz; No. 10 Myles Santiago, Soph., Kingston

The Senators open play Sunday in Poughkeepsie at SUNY Dutchess. The home opener is Tuesday, Nov. 3, against SUNY Sullivan. A busy November schedule has 10 dates, plus three more in the opening days of December.

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Army hockey not intimidated by No. 1 Boston College

The Army hockey captains were all positive about facing No. 1 Boston College in Friday’s college season opener.
Here are the thoughts of captain Joe Kozlak:
Kozlak: It’s a great opportunity for us. I feel it’s a good way to start off with No. 1 because now we can take the No. 1 spot, right?
THR: What’s your message to your team?
Kozlak: We look at this as an opportunity. They are coming in here to play us. We’re not going there to play them. … We’re excited to get out there and play the first game as a team this season and start off right. We have the biggest opportunity right now.
THR: Are you more excited about facing a top-ranked team?
Kozlak: I guess it’s just another game. It’s a good opportunity for us. It’s not like I get more excited for any other game. Every game is a great opportunity. I don’t look at them as ‘Oh they are superior to me.’ I’ve played against all these guys growing up, and I played together and against people who are in the NHL right now. It’s not different. Everybody on this team has played with or against someone who is in the NHL so it’s not like we’re huge underdogs. There’s a lot of parity. We feel we can win any game we play.

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Army hockey lineup for B.C. opener

Here are the expected starting lineups for Army hockey when the Black Knights host No. 1 Boston College on Friday night (sell-out, 7 p.m.) at Tate Rink.
The freshman class is expected to make a big impact, with four players cracking the Game One lineup.

Opening-night lineups
No. 28 Josh Roberts, Sr. LW; No. 26 Shane Hearn, Sr. C; No. 14 Joe Kozlak, Sr. RW
No. 13 C.J. Reuschlein, Jr. LW; No. 9 Tyler Pham, So. C; No. 11 Tommy Besinger, Fr. RW
No. 6 Nick DeCenzo, So. LW; No. 10 Trevor Fidler, Fr. C; No. 20 Conor Andrle, So. RW
No. 22 Ian Mansfield, Fr. LW; No. 15 Clint Carlisle, Jr. C; No. 16 Brendan McGuire, So. RW
No. 4 Ryan Nick, Jr.; No. 29 Mike Preston, So.
No. 3 Christian Pomarico, Sr.; No. 5 Joe Shecter, So.
No. 25 Nash Worden, Fr.; No. 12 Blake Box, So.
No. 35 Parker Gahagen, Jr.; or, No. 30 Cole Bruns, So.
No. 1 Matt Penta, Fr., G; No. 2 Dalton MacAfee, Fr. D; No. 17 Taylor Maruga, Fr. F; No. 19 Tipper Higgins, Fr. F; No. 21 Garret Peterson, Jr. D; No. 23 Luke Jenkins, Sr. D; No. 24 Ian Murdoch, Fr. F

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Marist football: Mike White in line to start at QB

Cornwall graduate Mike White made his collegiate debut last Saturday at Georgetown, and this week he has been named a potential starting quarterback for Marist when the Red Foxes host Sacred Heart on Saturday. The depth chart has White and incumbent Ed Achziger listed as “OR” on the top line. A source said White will be the starter.
The only other change has Leon Cummings moving to first team and Lawrence Dickens to second on kick returns.
The Marist depth chart for Saturday’s Sacred Heart game:
WR – Matt Tralli; Joe Jordan; Lawrence Dickens
QB – Mike White OR Ed Achziger
RB – Marcellus Calhoun
TE – Derek Gardner
Line – LT Dan Rice; LG Ryan Schneider; C Mike Mangino; RG Sean Foley; RT Seamus Ryan
Line – DE Demetrius Williams; NT Nick Foster; DE John Brennan
Linebackers – Jimmy Braun; Miguel Sandoval; Jesse Mainiero
Secondary – CB Zach Quarles; S Alex Spiess; S Kwame Darko; CB Cam Gibson; FS Zach Adler
Kicker, punter, kickoff – Mike Maccarone; Kick return – Leon Cummings (NEW) and Garrett Clay; Punt return – Matt Tralli; punt long snapper – Nick Mecca; PAT/FG long snapper – Mike Mangino

Wide receivers – Dylan Clay; Josh Royce; Malik Simmons
QB – Mike White OR Ed Achziger
RB – Garrett Clay
TE – Jonathan Boozer
Line – LT and RT Joe Fraccaroli; LG and RG Rich Duncan-Murphy; C Ryan Walsh
Line – DE Quinn McGinley; Landon Moore
NT – Rich Van Cleft and Dan Njoku
Linebackers – Ruben Avalos; Joe Nilan; Blaise Spinelli
Secondary – CB Drew Daniel; S Jordyn Jean-Felix; S Mike Marston; CB Brandon Miller; FS Wes Beans
Kicker, punter and kickoffs – Joe Giglio; Kick return – Marcellus Calhoun and Lawrence Dickens; punt return – Lawrence Dickens; punt long snaps – Chris Apicella

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Marist NFL update: Myers makes debut; Fede has six stops

Marist graduate Jason Myers made his NFL debut with the Jacksonville Jaguars in a 20-9 loss to Carolina on Sunday. He hit a 22-yard field goal late in the first quarter to tie the game at 3. Myers missed wide right on a 44-yard field goal try late in the first quarter. He missed his only point after try late in the second quarter.

Marist grad Terence Fede made four solo tackles and assisted on two more as Miami topped Washington, 17-10. Last year Fede posted eight solos and two assists for the entire season, adding a punt block which led directly to a game-winning safety in a 37-35 win over Minnesota.

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Marist football: Dan Rice outtakes

Cornwall graduate Dan Rice is the starting left tackle for the Marist football team. Rice has overcome several injuries to earn his starting job (story link).
Here are some of his additional thoughts:

On former Cornwall and current teammate Mike White: “We’ve been friends for a very long time. Our fathers actually worked together in the NYPD. We always played youth sports together. He is two years younger than me.
“There was a little question mark my senior year in high school, Who was going to play quarterback for us? Then Mike comes out of nowhere and I was like, ‘I don’t know about this,’ and everyone knows the end of that story. He put on quite a show.
“Even then, if you were to ask me, do you think you would ever play with Mike again? I don’t know the answer to that. There are so many colleges. I guess he’s like me … home grown … and likes being close to home. (Marist is) a great school. It’s awesome to get to play with him again.’’
On Mike White being promoted to No. 2 quarterback: “I am proud of him. I kind of look at him like a little brother. We definitely have that type of bond. We hang out all the time. I am really proud of him. He put in the work this summer and it showed in camp.’’
Do you have to have protective instincts in order to be a successful offensive lineman?: “Yeah, you need to be a protector and enforcer. You can’t take any plays off because guys are relying on you non-stop.
“A quarterback … they really trust me and you gain their trust over time. They have that clock in their head when they are in the pocket. I can’t block a guy for the whole day but you give him quite a few seconds hoping he can get the ball off. They feel comfortable and that almost eases me in a game, when I know they trust me where I can just do my job.’’
Do you feel offensive linemen go unheralded?: “We’re definitely the unsung heroes but all of our position guys here are great about it. Ever since high school … we’ve never been in the spotlight but behind closed doors all the skill positions – the running backs, quarterbacks, wide receivers – they thank us. They know what we do. We know what we do. We feel like we don’t even need the limelight. It’s not that big of a deal to us.’’

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    Ken McMillan

    Ken McMillan has been covering sports since he got his first writing job in 1979. He has covered Section 9 athletics for the past 34 years. He reports on college sports, including Army and Marist College. He also writes on TV/radio sports news, ... Read Full
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