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John Jay’s Schell Can Sing It As Well as Sling It

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By Chuck Slater

This area is fortunate to have many athletes who demonstrate outstanding skill once their game begins.  One of them, however, demonstrates outstanding skill BEFORE  the contest begins.

Meet John Jay’s Jilli Schell.  The rising junior had an outstanding sophomore season as an attack on a championship lacrosse team . . .

. . .  and she sings the National Anthem before many of the Indians’ events in which she’s not involved and also outside events such as the Memorial Day Parade.

Jilli Schell-National Anthem

Before games in which she’s playing, and at other games, Schell is a popular choice to sing the National Anthem. Photos courtesy Jilli Schell.

“She is a great player, hands down,” says John Jay lacrosse coach Christina Smith, who guided her team to league, sectional and regional championships before it lost in the state semifinals.  “And she’s a great singer.”

Schell was introduced to lacrosse in the second grade.  Her devotion to song started in the first grade.

“I got my first guitar in the first grade and started singing,” Schell said.  “The words of songs often said what I wanted (to say).”

So she started writing her own songs.

“I had experienced a few tough things when younger which helped me write and it was good speaking to people through my music,” Schell said.

Her song “Three-Day Turnaround” can be found on Youtube.  And she sings with a choral group for which she had to try out.

“”I can see me doing something in music in my future,” she said. (more…)

July 16, 2013 |

Mahopac Lefty Stars in MLB All-Star Futures Game

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By Chuck Slater

C.J. Riefenhauser, the kid from Mahopac who was only a 10the-round draft pick in 2010, is still pursuing his dream of pitching in the major leagues.  And the 23-year-old lefty reliever took a big step in that direction on Sunday, July 14, when he pitched a perfect inning jn the Futures Game at Citi Field which kicks off the All-star weekend the Mets are hosting.

Riefenhauser, recently promoted to Tampa Bay’s triple-A farm team in Durham, worked a perfect eighth inning in the Futures game, needing just six pitches to retire the side on a popout, a fly out and a soft lineout to the infield.

“I was just trying to throw strikes” and not throw a fat pitch, Riefenhauser said.

July 15, 2013 |

S. Salem’s Morales Takes 4th in National Golf Tournament

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By Chuck Slater

After sharing the lead following the second round, South Salem junior golf standout Nicole Morales ended up tied for fourth in the AJGA’s Rolex Tournament of Champions at the Lancaster (Pa.) Country Club.

The result in the 62-girl national invitation-only four-day event which ended July 12, moved Morales, 17, up to third in the national girls 18-and-under rankings.

Morales carded rounds of par 70, 69, 72 and 74 – 285.  “The course was well suited to me and I played well,” Morales said afterward.  “I was hitting all my shots but my putter let me down in the final round.”

Morales, who is committed to the University of Alabama as she prepares for her senior year at John Jay, rallied to win the AJGA Thunderbird Invitational at the end of May.

July 15, 2013 |

More Honor’s For Ossining’s Chong

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By Chuck Slater

Graduation has past, but the honors are still coming in for Saniya Chong, Ossining’s basketball superstar.

She has been named the national high school player of the year by the National High School Coaches Association.  She will have a permanent spot in the organization’s Hall of Fame now under construction in Easton, Pa..

“It’s really incredible,” Chong said.

As a senior, the University of Connecticut-bound guard averaged 34.4 points per game in leading Ossining to its first state girls basketball title.  Previously she had been chosen an All American and the Parade Magazine’s Player of the Year.

“She’s gone but the honors keep coming,” said Ossining basketball coach Dan Ricci, who fashioned his team schedule to spotlight Chong’s nonpareil abilities.

Chong said she has spent the off-season practicing and working on her shots.  She reports to UConn this Sunday, July 14, to embark on the next stage of her basketball legend.

July 10, 2013 |

Ossining’s Loeb Make’s Her Way ‘Round Europe

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By Chuck Slater

That was quite a time Jamie Loeb had in Europe.

Loeb, who won the state high school tennis championship as an Ossining High sophomore, then opted for home schooling the last two years to work on her already superior game, participated in the girls junior championships at both the French Open and Wimbledon.  She got in both some good tennis and some sight-seeing before returning home last weekend.

“In Paris I got to see the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum,” Loeb said.  “The city itself is an experience.”

Then in London, she took a tour bus and was “Impressed by the history of everything and how clean, preserved and pretty it all was.”

And the tennis world was impressed by how clean Loeb’s game was.  Unseeded in both of the major tournaments, she won multiple matches in each, even reaching the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.  In both cases, it took the tournament’s top seed to send her to the sidelines. (more…)

July 10, 2013 |

Bobby Blevins in Top Form in CanAm League

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By Chuck Slater

Bobby Blevins, the Briarcliff native and still resident, became the Canadian American League leader in victories on Sunday, July 7, when the Rockland Boulders ace defeated Trois Rivieres, 8-l, in Canada for his sixth victory. He gave up just six hits and pitched a complete game —  a rarity in the hitter-happy Can Am League.

Blevins also leads the league with 70 l/3 innings pitched and hopes his stellar work  — 6-4 with  a second-place club in its independent professional league –0 will catch the eye of major league scouts.

Blevins carried a shutout into the bottom of the ninth, when he allowed a run on a sacrifice fly and yielded  two hits.  It was his second complete game in his last four starts.

Trios Rivieres is a Quebec suburb.

July 8, 2013 |

Barely 13, South Salem’s Kyra Cox Already Is a ’10’ at Golf

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SLATER’S SLANT
BY CHUCK SLATER

Scott Klemme, the veteran head pro at Centennial Golf Club, has worked with many outstanding golfers and observed even more. Men, women, boys, girls – he has seen them all. And when it comes to youngsters of the female persuasion, he has a small list of the very special ones.

“Marissa, Kyra and Nicole – that’s the set,” he says firmly.

Marissa is Marissa Kamelgarn, the only girl in recent years to win the Section 1 boys championship. She did it was a junior at Mahopac high School. It was part of her success there before going on to a standout scholarship college career.

Now she’s about to embark on something at least as difficult: graduate work towards a career as a medical doctor.

Nicole is Nicole Morales, who after leading the John Jay boys team in scoring as a sophomore, graduated to national junior golf events with immediate and ongoing success. (more…)

July 5, 2013 |
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