Ridgefield won the FCIAC title for the first time in school history last year.
But the Tigers, who start the season with a 5:30 p.m. game at Staples, lost four Division I players from that team, including University of Virginia freshman Matt White.
So some new faces will need to step up if Ridgefield is to repeat.
Among them, junior defenseman Griffin McCarty. McCarty, the quarterback of the Tigers, is short on lax experience but long on athleticism and size.
The Tigers will also be counting heavily on University of North Carolina-bound junior defender Matt Shannon, senior midfielders Ian Vazquez, Aaron Mathias and Kurt Mueller, who is bound for Towson, as well as attackmen Jack Philbin and Aidan Scott (the younger brother of University of Denver freshman Colin Scott).
We’ve documented the numerous head-coaching debuts that have occurred in the Hudson Valley/Long Island/Connecticut region the last two weeks, but perhaps the most talked about will be happening today.
If we had told you a year ago at this time that Nick and Vin Savastano would be coaching their first game as co-head coaches at John F. Kennedy Catholic, you undoubtedly would have been surprised to say the least.
For the last 10 years, Nick Savastano served as head coach at John Jay. He was joined by his brother as assistant coach the last five years. During that time, John Jay won four sectional titles, and in 2007, defeated the No. 1-ranked team in the nation, Huntington, to advance to the state final for the first time in school history.
In mid-December, the Savastanos were fired from their posts, along with JV head coach Erik Hoaglund, amid charges of verbal abuse of players. It didn’t take them long to find a new venue to coach. (Hoaglund has joined the Savastanos as an assistant.)
Unlike John Jay, Kennedy Catholic is a developing program that currently plays in the shadows of the public school located in the same town, Somers, as well as neighboring programs Yorktown, John Jay, Lakeland/Panas and Mahopac.
Can the Savastanos take what they have labeled a “hidden gem” and transform it into a contender?
It will be interesting to watch, starting with a 4:30 p.m. game at Croton-Harmon.
In other 4:30 p.m. Hudson Valley games today, Lakeland/Panas hosts Suffern, Greeley visits Mahopac, Brewster hosts Fox Lane, Nyack visits Pleasantville, Ossining plays at Wappingers, Edgemont visits Pearl River, Westlake hosts Harrison, Hen Hud visits North Rockland and Byram Hills is at Clarkstown South.
South Side visits Syosset for a 4:30 p.m. to highlight Long Island action.
As always, be sure to post your thoughts on these matchups as well as any info on the scores and game details.
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