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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 |

Mahopac’s Santini Drafted By NJ Devils

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By Chuck Slater

Mahopac’s Steven Santini, who left Kennedy to join the U.S. Hockey developmental team after his sophomore year was an early pick by the New Jersey devils in the National Hockey League draft on Sunday, June 30.

The defenseman with a strong offensive presence was selected in the second round, the 42nd overall pick.  “I’m really excited,” the 18-year-old said. He had dozens of family and friends at his home listening to the draft.  “It’s a relief when your name is called,” he said.

“I guess he impressed people at the NHL combine in early June,” said his father, Stephen Santini Sr., who coached his son at Kennedy and is an off-ice official for the New York Rangers.

The son has a hockey scholarship to Boston College starting in the fall and the father confirmed he is intending to go to college rather than turn professional now.  The Devils will still hold rights to him when he graduates BC.

July 1, 2013 |

Carmel’s Eric Holt Finds Perfection in Running

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By Chuck Slater

That surprisingly great finish to the outstanding high school distance-running career of Eric Holt surprised first the state and then the national scene.  But it came as no surprise to the just-graduated Carmel athlete and his coach.

Ever since he started running competitively in the spring of his eighth-grade year, the almost 6-1 Holt has followed promise with accomplishment.  By the winter of his senior season, he earned All-American status in the 2-mile run and qualified for the prestigious Millrose Games in the mile.

And then came his finishing kick.

After sweeping his regular-season, league and section mile and two-mile events outdoors, Holt ran off with the Division 1 and Federation titles at 1,600 meters in the state track championships in Middleton on June 6.  His personal-best clocking of 4 minutes 7 seconds was the ninth fastest in New York history. (more…)

June 26, 2013 |
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