Marc My Words!

Sports columnist Marc Maturo’s official column

Hip hip hooray for Red Raider cheerleaders

Coach Gould with prospective cheerleader, daughter Emily.jpg
Coach Gould with prospective cheerleader, daughter Emily.jpg

Cheerleading, which is a varsity interscholastic sport, has been something of a passion for North Rockland High School coach Lauren Gould.

What started as a pastime while playing varsity sports for the Red Raiders quickly became something more for Gould, now into her sixth season as the head coach of varsity cheerleading and 11th all told.

“I cheered all four years at North Rockland, and also played softball and basketball in the ninth and 10th grades,” recalls Gould, who has owned Mania Training Facility in Stony Point ever since being graduated from Rockland Community College 12 years ago.

“In my junior and senior years I did just cheerleading,” Gould continues. “It became a passion of mine, I made it my life.”

Gould was a protégé of Coach Gina Tedesco, who remains a teacher at the high school, ultimately became the junior varsity coach and took over the varsity when Tedesco stepped aside.

Gould’s teams have become quite a hit, to say the least, with many successes to their credit.

Ann Marie Curley of Haverstraw, whose daughter, Kellianne, is on the 30-member roster, knows something about the sport, having coached many of the current team when they were at the Pop Warner level.

“They’re doing very well and we’re very proud of them,” noted Curley the mom.

Hard work, apparently, has had something to do with North Rockland standing.

“We practice five days a week, from 3 to 5 (p.m.), and in November we compete every weekend,” said Coach Gould, whose team has a busy day scheduled on Nov. 2.

Three cheers for North Rockland HS.jpg
Three cheers for North Rockland HS.jpg

The cheerleading squad, which was on hand last week when the Red Raiders’ football team beat rival New Rochelle in the playoffs, will again be with the gridders at 1:30 p.m. at Ketcham HS, and following the game will compete at Lakeland HS.

In addition to local competition, North Rockland competes at Eastern Region events, has dominated in Section 1 with three straight Grand championships, and has earned a trip to Dallas, Texas, in late January for the national championships.

“I have high expectations, it should be really exciting,” says Gould. “We took a team there eight years ago and competed at the Intermediate division, but now we’re in Advance, the big dogs! If we win, we’ll bring home national championship jackets; that would be wonderful.”

Before then, however, North Rockland will again put its Section 1 crown on the line on Nov. 9 at Somers HS, beginning at 9 a.m.

Later that month, on the weekend before Thanksgiving, Gould & Co. will continue fund-raising efforts that need to reach about $30,000 for the trip to the national championships. To date, Gould said they are about $6,000 shy of the target.

The event before Thanksgiving is set to take place at the Shoprite in Garnerville.

“It’ll be a bag and carry, instead of just asking for money. We want to do something to earn any donations,” Gould noted.

As for the team, Gould does not appoint captains, believing that every member has something to offer and that individuals often grow on their own into a leadership role.

She also notes that the team is co-ed, thanks to one male cheerleader, senior D.J. Hopkins of Haverstraw.

For further information or perhaps to make a donation, contact Gould at 845-269-3300 or email

Varsity roster: Amanda Genovesi, Ariana Ahmadzai, Ashley Scheffold, Briana Cioffi, Brianna Feniger, Bridget Genovesi, Brittany Koch, CArly Ciminello, Ciara Carlson, Claudia Dentico, Courtney Smith, Dana Konicoff, D.J. Hopkins, Imani Burroughs, Izzy Mueller, Jessica Leone, Julia Garrison, Juliana Depinto, Kaitlyn Garvey, Kellianne Curley, Maddy Oakley, Marissa Dimola, Melissa Grall, Mia Mancuso, Nicole O’Brien, Nicole Strianese, Ravynn Waters, Stacie Abrams, Sydney Lewis.

Former Mets GM in STAC spotlight

      Omar Minaya, a former general manager with the Mets, will be featured on Nov. 4 in the second episode of St. Thomas Aquinas College’s  “Art of the Interview” series hosted by Ed Randall of Larchmont.

Randall, a longtime New York radio personality with a show on WFAN each Sunday at 9 a.m. (“Talking Baseball”), is generally considered one of the nation’s sharpest and most personable interviewers.

The event, co-sponsored by the Communications Arts and Sports Management departments at STAC, is scheduled at 7  p.m. in the Sullivan Theatre at the college’s campus in Sparkill. The event is free and open to the public.

Minaya, born in the Dominican Republic, was first hired by the Mets in 1998 as assistant GM and became the first Latino general manager in baseball history when he assumed the role with the Montreal Expos.

Minaya returned to the Mets as GM in 2004, a post he held until 2010. After one year as an TV analyst on the MLB network, Minaya was hired by the San Diego Padres as senior vice-president of  baseball operations.

For more information contact Mike McManus at 845-398-4091 or

Hawks’ student-athletes recognized

            The following Rockland Community College players were recognized for their academic standing by Region XV for the 2012-13 year: Anthony Barbetto, New City, and Chuong Tran, West Nyack, men’s soccer; Dominique Bucci, Stony Point, McKenna Clavell, Suffern, and Maura Riccoboni, Garnerville, women’s volleyball; Nick Kulbaba, Suffern, and Mike Sarvis, Blauvelt, baseball; Mikc Cavanagh, Garnerville, Francis Kelly, Stony Point, and Jimmy McEntee, Garnerville, golf; Nicolette Sapanaro, Nanuet, women’s basketball; and Justin Guzman, Suffern, men’s basketball.

Nancy Varughese earns conference honors.jpg
Nancy Varughese earns conference honors.jpg

 QUICK HITTERS: Purchase College women’s tennis player Emma Yavel of Brooklyn, who went a team-best 7-1 in singles, was named as an all-Skyline Conference second-team selection. Yavel went 5-0 in doubles paired with sophomore Anna Palmer of Nyack. … The Purchase College men’s soccer team, including reserve junior forward Greg Remedor of Spring Valley, blanked rival SUNY College at Old Westbury, 3-0, to clinch a berth in the Skyline Conference postseason tournament. …. Following a 1-0 win over visiting Holy Family University in men’s soccer, Dominican College honored seniors Eric Jorgensen and Anthony Kcira, both of New City, Andres Ruiz of Medellin, Colombia, Cleiton Coppola of Vinhedo, Brazil, Andy Veliz of Wappinger Falls, Sony Narro of Stamford, Conn., Brandon Medina of Rockaway, N.J., and Jorge Zubillaga  of Punta del Este, Uruguay. … The Army men’s hockey team, coming off a 4-2 loss to Merrimack in North Andover, Mass., hope to bounce back on Nov. 1 for  its Atlantic Hockey Association opener at Connecticut. The Black Knights continue AHA play on Nov. 2, opening the home portion of their schedule against AHA foe Bentley at 7:05 p.m. at Tate Rink. … Krystal Campbell of New Windsor placed 18th and Nyack HS alumna Renee Roncace of Valley Cottage placed 46th as the Dominican College women’s cross country team ran seventh at the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Championships at Belmont Plateau in Philadelphia. Other scorers for the Lady Chargers, in a field of 12 teams, were Karen Acevedo of Middletown, 27th; Emily Lopez of Staten Island, 29th; and Jessica Avila of Mount Vernon, 57th. … Struggling at 5-20, the Dominican College volleyball team welcomes Felician College to its Orangeburg campus on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m.  … The Mercy College men’s soccer team elevated its record to 9-3-3 with a 2-2 double-overtime deadlock against No. 1-ranked, once-beaten LIU Post in Brookville. The Mavericks had opened a 2-0 lead on goals by junior Chuong Tran of West Nyack, a Rockland CC alum, and senior Ransmond Aboagye of the Bronx. … Conner Alexander of Blauvelt, a senior defenseman who recently was moved up to attack, has a goal and an assist on the Northeastern University men’s soccer team. The Huskies, held without a shot on goal in a 2-0 loss to Hartford in Brookline, Mass., look to bounce back on senior night on Nov. 2 when the Huskies (6-6-3) host the College of Charleston (2-10-1) at 6 p.m. … Tappan Zee HS alumna Nancy Varughese of Blauvelt, a tennis standout at the College of New Rochelle, earned all-Hudson Valley Interscholastic Athletic Conference honors for the first time. Splitting time between No. 2 and No. 3 singles and No.1 and No. 2 doubles, Varughese, a junior, was second on the team in wins in singles competition, doubles competition, and overall wins.  Teammate Deanna Tozzo of Shrub Oak was honored for the second straight season. … Greg Caneparo of Nanuet rushed five times for 37 yards, and returned one kickoff for 21 yards as the SUNY Maritime football team crushed Castleton State, 38-6, at Reinhart Field in Throggs Neck.

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