Sports columnist Marc Maturo’s official column

Past and present teammates united at SUNY Maritime

Captain Chris Klass
Captain Chris Klass

They were teammates once before, helping the Orangetown Patriots, a Junior Pee Wee league football team, win its first-ever championship under Coach Lou Klass.

That was way back in 2004.

Fast forward to 2013, and they are teammates once again – hoping to bring the SUNY Maritime College football team greater success than last season’s 3-6 mark as a member of the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC).

Leading the quartet is senior team captain Chris Klass of Nanuet, a defensive back and return specialist who enjoyed a comeback campaign in 2012 after his 2011 season was cut short by injury.

Joining Klass, who was named to the all-ECAC second-team a year ago, is fellow Nanuet HS alum Greg Caneparo, a junior running back; sophomore offensive lineman J.T. Kennedy of Blauvelt, who starred at St. Joseph’s Regional in Montvale, N.J.; and freshman defensive back Francis Gannon of Pearl River.

Klass, an all-state selection under Coach Rich Conklin at Nanuet HS — where he was also an all-county choice in baseball — led all defensive backs and was fifth on defense in tackles with 36 for the Privateers last season. He also led the team with three interceptions and added three tackles for loss and eight pass break-ups.

Klass, who is majoring in international transportation and trade, also returned eight punts for 35 yards and 10 kick-offs for 186 yards on the season.

Caneparo, also majoring in international transportation and trade, averaged 25.3 all-purpose yards last season. He averaged 10.8 yards on five punt returns, and a second-best 18.6 yards on four kickoff returns.

Greg Caneparo, running back at Maritime
Greg Caneparo, running back at Maritime

Caneparo was a four-time all-section wrestler in high school, and was a one-time all-state choice.

Gannon, a transfer to Maritime after one season at Western New England College, was Pearl River High School’s defensive back of the year in 2011 under Coach Jeff Michaels, and was named all-section.

As a freshman last year, Kennedy worked his way up the depth chart and ended the season as a primary backup at the tackle position. He saw action in four games on the season.

The Privateers open the new season on the road on Sept. 12 at Massachusetts Maritime in Buzzards Bay, Mass. Game time is 7 p.m.

Homecoming is set for 2 p.m. in Throggs Neck on Sept. 21 against nearby rival Kings Point.

            THE ROCKLAND ELITE youth baseball organization will hold open tryouts for it spring 2014 season on September 7 and October 12 at Kings Park, off Kings Highway (entrance at Pitkin Lane) in Congers.  The tryouts will be for 7U, 8U, 9U, 10U and 11U teams, at these times:   7U & 8U — 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.;  9U – 11a.m. to 12: 30 p.m.;  10U – 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.;  11U – 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The spring season embraces tournament play in the tri-state area along with league play in the lower Hudson Valley and in northern New Jersey.  Home games are played at fields in the New City / West Nyack / Congers area and all Elite players are encouraged to participate in Little League or other recreational leagues.  Parents who register their kids online before Sept. 6 can do so without cost; on-site registration is $25.  For information, visit the team’s website at, email or call 914-497-2466.


Caile_Kohlbrenner, competing at Providence (courtesy Francis Hernandez)
Caile_Kohlbrenner, competing at Providence (courtesy Francis Hernandez)


HIGHLY RATED:  The cross country teams at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, which are set to open their season at the Fordham Fiasco on September 7 at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, were highly ranked in the initial poll released by the East Coast Conference (ECC). The women, led by senior Keeley Bateman of Pearl River, were ranked second while the men, featuring seniors Steve Dietrich of New City and Mike Galonski of Newton, N.J., were ranked fifth. The men’s team has added freshmen Richard Cant and James Linares, both of Nyack. The women’s team, which also features Katelyn Garvey of Pearl River and Meagan Jaskot of Blauvelt, won the ECC Conference Championship last season, marking their second conference title in three years.  The men’s team, which also includes junior Kevin Roth of Pearl River, finished fifth in the ECC Conference Championship last season, but went on to finish 11th in the East Regional race, marking their best regional finish in program history.

THE SUNY CORTLAND women’s volleyball team,

ranked 24th nationally, opened the season with three wins at the 29th Red Dragon Classic at Corey Gymnasium. Victoria Grix of Pearl River is a freshman libero at Cortland, which competes at the Vassar Invitational in Poughkeepsie Sept. 6-7 against the host Brewers, MIT, NYU and Stevens Institute of Technology.

            RUBEN DEMOSTHENE of New City, a sophomore alum out of Clarkstown South HS, had four tackles – three solo — from his linebacker position as the Monroe College football team opened its season with a 28-0 victory over the Wagner College JV squad at the Seahawks’ Hameline Field on Staten Island. The Mustangs open their home season on Sept. 7 at 7:30 p.m. against Dean College at SUNY Purchase.

            CAILE KOHLBRENNER of Sparkill, a junior on the nation’s top-ranked Providence University women’s cross-country team, finished 25th as the Friars won their season opener at the UNH Dual Meet in Durham, N.H. New Hampshire finished second, while Holy Cross took third. Kohlbrenner, a graduate of Tappan Zee HS, was clocked in 18:52. The Friars travel to Stony Brook for the Stony Brook Invitational on September 14.

            CARLA FURGUGLIETTO of Garnerville is preparing for her debut in cross country at SUNY Potsdam, whose men’s and women’s teams each placed fifth at the season-opening SUNY Canton Invitational. Clarkson captured both titles. Furguglietto, a sophomore out of North Rockland HS, might run on Sept. 4 when the Bears host the North Country Invitational.

CONNER ALEXANDER of Blauvelt, who made the all-Colonial Athletic Association tournament team last season, returns as a key defender on the Northeastern University soccer team. The Huskies, who opened the season with a 1-1 draw against Elon and then lost 2-0 to Duke, with both games in Durham, N.C., return home on Sept. 7 when Fairfield visits Parsons Field in Brookline, Mass. Game time is 6 p.m. The Stags, who battled Hartwick to a 1-1 tie in double overtime to open their season, feature nine international players.

FRANK MORGERA of West Nyack and the men’s cross country team at SUNY Maritime College are ready to run at the Army Open on Sept. 6. The race, to be contested at the West Point Golf Course, is set for 4 p.m.  Morgera, a junior, is a graduate of Clarkstown South HS. The Privateers are also scheduled to compete at the Fordham Fiasco on Sept. 7 at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx at 10:30 a.m.


       TAPPAN ZEE HIGH SCHOOL was named the public school recipient of the 2013 National Interscholastic Sports Program of Excellence Award, honoring the nation’s best athletic programs for their overall commitment to promoting a positive experience for student-athletes. The award recognizes the Tappan Zee athletic program for setting the standard for integrity, sportsmanship, and a positive overall experience.  An independent panel of judges reviewed nominations from schools in 44 states, and Tappan Zee was selected based on success in eight categories: participation rate, coaches certification, community service, athletic director national certification, scholar-athlete status, level of participation, sportsmanship, and parent participation.

To read the announcement access Coach and Athletic Director magazine:—Coach-and-Athletic-Director-Announces-Program-of-Excellence-Honorees.php


      JOE McGUINNESS, veteran athletic director at Albertus Magnus HS, is recovering from surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon. Concerned Hall of Famer Tom Doherty, who regularly keeps us and the community dutifully informed, notes that McGuinness was injured in Galloway, Ireland, while working at a basketball clinic. McGuinness can be reached at . Hopefully, Joe will be back on his feet on October 19 when he is inducted into the Clarkstown South HS Sports Hall of Fame.


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