Memorable Mondays: Top 5 heartwarming moments
Welcome to MSGVarsity.com's Memorable Mondays, a summer-long series that looks back on the top players, games and moments from the past season and gazes ahead to 2012-13. As the summer goes on, we'll compile all the lists and post them here:www.msgvarsity.com/mondays. New lists will be posted every Monday at noon.
In Week 5 of Memorable Mondays, we look at five of the most heartwarming seniors from Hudson Valley high schools.
Memorable Mondays: Heartwarming Moments
Suffern hockey ends Utica heartache
The mere mention of the upstate city of Utica used to make people around the Suffern hockey program cringe. Not any more. In 2010, Suffern suffered a crushing one-goal defeat to Williamsville-North before losing to West Gennesse in 2011, a game where the Mounties allowed two goals in the final 30 seconds and then lost in overtime. But 2012 wiped away those defeats as Suffern knocked off West Genny in an epic four-overtime contest before defeating Pittsford in the title game. It was only the second hockey state title by a team from Section 1, the other being Suffern in 1992.
Monroe-Woodbury community rallies around Vespa
Vinny Vespa is a wrestler. He’s also a fighter. The Monroe-Woodbury sophomore was a standout wrestler until he was diagnosed with cancer on May 8, just months after qualifying for the state wrestling tournament at 99 pounds. The community – and people across the Tri-State, really — have come to Vespa’s side, creating Team Vinny V. There have been countless fundraisers through t-shirt sales, raffles, and various events. Vespa has continued to fight and has been told his body has responded to the chemotherapy. He’s determined to the return to the mat this season.
Stover family guides Chester to the Dome
Thanksgiving dinner has probably never tasted as good as it did for the Stover family last November. Chester football coach Ron Stover and sons Shawn (a standout lineman and linebacker) and Ryan (an assistant coach) led Chester to its first appearance in the state championship game, a date in the famed Carrier Dome in Syracuse in the Class D final. No Class C or D team in Section 9 history had ever won a state tournament game, let alone make it to the final. During the thrilling ride, the moment that will likely stand out most for the Stover family will be after Chester’s upset over Cambridge in the state semifinals when Ron, Shawn and Ryan shared a tearful embrace on the field together during celebrations.
Several Yonkers schools end losing streaks
It’s been a difficult few years for the athletes in the city of Yonkers as budget constraints have put their seasons at the seven high schools in danger of being canceled. The fear was never greater than last summer when the district didn’t announce it would have athletics until the days leading up to preseason camps. No team in the city took advantage more than Gorton football. The Wolves won the first time in three seasons, ending an 18-game losing streak, and later qualifying for the Section 1 Class A tournament. Saunders football opened its season with its first win in three years, and the Blue Devils basketball squad won 15 games, their most in over two decades. The Palisade Prep baseball team, in its second year in existence, won its first ever game — a playoff contest — to ended a 35-game losing skid. The Palisade girls basketball squad also won its first ever game.
Minisink Valley girls hoopsters honor coach
One of the most emotional nights of any season in the Hudson Valley was on January 5 at Minisink Valley. The girls basketball took on Monticello n the final game of the season for first-year head coach Chuck Reynolds, who was diagnosed with abdominal cancer. The Warriors wore headbands to honor Reynolds, who is one the most beloved and respected teachers in the district.
Join us throughout the summer as "Memorable Mondays" brings you more top 5 lists:
July 30: Top five favorite venues from 2011-12
Aug. 6: Top five coaches from 2011-12
Aug. 13: Top five most memorable games from 2011-12
Aug. 20: Top five teams from 2011-12
Aug. 27: Top five teams to watch in 2012-13
Find them all at www.msgvarsity.com/mondays.
Email Kevin Devaney Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org