Marc My Words!

Marc Maturo’s official sports column

RCC ready to induct another Hall of Fame class

Isidro “Papo” Cancel, who serves as a Town of Haverstraw councilman, and Suffern chief of police Clarke Osborn will receive service awards and join four former athletes for induction into the Rockland Community College Sports Hall of Fame on January 18.

The event, scaled at $50, is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the Italian-American Social Club in West Haverstraw.

For tickets and information call 845-574-4452 or 574-4512.

Cancel, a one-time RCC Board of Trustee member, and Osborn, who will officially receive the award after being noted as the 2012 honoree, will be recognized as recipients of the Cliff L. Wood Service Award.

Also being honored are Carl Svensson, Class of ’62, wrestling; Peter Scheibner, Class of ’72, tennis; Kevin Reilly, Class of ’95, golf; and Kenny Amparo, Class of ’04, basketball.

The seventh annual Hall of Fame class will join 34 members and one team that has already been enshrined.

The inductees, with information as supplied by communications director Kevin Hanlon:

Carl Svensson: Fearless on the wrestling mat during his two-year career at RCC, Svensson, along with Neil Robinson and Cliff Ward, virtually put the athletic program on the national map when they all earned JUCO all-American honors in 1961.

Peter Scheibner: After a rebuilding year in 1971, Coach Joe Famellette assembled a dynamic men’s tennis team. Scheibner, the team captain, led the Hawks to the Mid Hudson Conference championship and earned a spot on the 1972 all-Mid Hudson Conference team.  The Hawks fell one point shy of a NJCAA National Tournament berth.

Kevin Reilly: A 1995 NJCAA all-American and two-time all-Mid Hudson Conference selection under Coach Howard Pierson, Reilly helped lead the team to a Region XV championship and a spot in the NJCAA National Tournament at the Bryan Park Country Club in Greensboro, N.C.

Kenny Amparo:  As a sophomore, Amparo earned all-Mid Hudson Conference first-team accolades, and was cited as all-Region XV honorable mention.  Amparo, who continued a stellar career at SUNY Brockport, teaches at Clarkstown North and serves as the varsity boys basketball coach.

Josephine Pucci, Olympian
Josephine Pucci, Olympian

OLYMPIC PEARL: Pearl River native Josephine Pucci, a senior at Harvard University, is one of seven defensemen selected to the 21-player roster for the U.S. Women’s National Hockey team at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Pucci, whose sister Samantha is a junior defenseman at Utica College, has played for Team USA in two International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships, helping the U.S. win gold in 2011 and silver in 2012. She was fifth on her Harvard team in scoring as a junior in 2011-12. She withdrew from school for 2012-13 to recover from a concussion. This is her first time playing in the Olympics.
Pucci, who attended the St. Margaret School in Pearl River, is one of three players on Team USA who attended Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Conn. The other are Julie Chu, making her fourth Olympic appearance, and Hilary Knight.

Team USA is slated to leave for Sochi February 1 and play its first game on Feb. 8 against Finland, one day following the opening ceremonies. Other contests are scheduled February 10 against Switzerland and February 12 against Canada.

The quarterfinals are scheduled February 15, the semifinals on February 17, and the final on February 20.

OWLS HOWL: Former Pearl River HS basketball teammates Luke Houston and Joe Clinton went head to head in the finale of the eighth James Clancy Memorial Tournament at Dominican College in Orangeburg.

Houston, a junior guard, helped the high-flying Southern Connecticut State University Owls win for the 11th time in 12 contests, prevailing 85-73 against the host Chargers, whose sophomore guard Clinton posted a game-high seven assists.

In the other game on the tournament’s second night, Bentley University defeated Post University, 61-53, at the Hennessy Center.

Junior Nick Smith of Middletown, an MVP candidate in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference, led Dominican with 21 points and added five rebounds.

Clinton added seven points and four rebounds in 39 minutes.

Houston, who scored six points with two steals and two assists in 35 minutes, pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds while freshman Michael Mallory of Waterbury, Conn, poured in a game-high 26 points coming off the bench.

Dominican travels to New Jersey for three straight road games, meeting Caldwell on January 11, Bloomfield on January 14 and Felician on January 18. The Chargers return home on January 22 for a rematch with Caldwell at 7:30 p.m.

The Owls are in Waltham, Mass., on January 11 to meet Bentley at 3:30 p.m., and then challenge Saint Anselm on January 14 in Manchester, N.H., at 7:30 p.m.

Reed Neuendorf, senior swimmer
Reed Neuendorf, senior swimmer

QUICK HITTERS: Suffern HS graduates John Conway of Airmont and Katie Arnott are junior standouts on the swimming and diving team at the University of Massachusetts. Conway, a sprint specialist, and Arnott, who specializes in the breaststroke and individual medley, are back in action January 10-11 at the Rhode Island Invitational in Kingston, R.I. … Senior Reed Neuendorf of Blauvelt, a Tappan Zee HS alum, is a mid-distance freestyler on the University of Maryland-Baltimore County men’s swim team. The Retrievers host Howard University on January 11 at 1 p.m. on Alumni Day/Senior Day at the UMBC Aquatic Center. … Sophomore Don DiBari of Garnerville, who competes in the pole vault, and Abel Gilet of Spring Valley, a senior team captain who competes in throws, are members of the track and field team at the University of Albany. Gilet has only been on the team for a year, yet already holds the third-best shot put (51 feet 1 inch) and fourth-best discus throw (165’-7”) in outdoor school history. … Former Albertus Magnus HS basketball standout Felicia DaCruz of Chestnut Ridge, a junior guard, has compiled a team-leading 65 assists while averaging 6.2 points per game at Fairfield University.  The Stags host Marist College on January 11 at Alumni Hall in

Felicia DaCruz, assists leader
Felicia DaCruz, assists leader

Fairfield, Conn. Tip-off is set at 6 p.m. Fairfield then meets Siena at 6 p.m. on January 16 at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn., in a game to be televised on ESPN3. …Freshman guard/forward Colleen Taylor of Blauvelt is averaging eight minutes and 2.4 points per game on the women’s basketball team at SUNY New Paltz. Taylor, a Tappan Zee HS alumna, has nine rebounds and six steals for the Hawks, who host Oneonta at 2 p.m. on January 11, and then visit Oswego on January 14 at 6 p.m. … Sophomore Rod Taskindoust of New City competes in freestyle and butterfly on the swim team at SUNY New Paltz, which visits Cortland on January 10 and hosts Mount Saint Mary College on January 24 at Elting Pool at 6 p.m. Taskindoust is a graduate of Clarkstown North HS. … Senior KC Jentzen of Pearl River had the game’s only double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds as the Dominican College women’s basketball team fell to Philadelphia University, 68-57, at the Hennessy Center in Orangeburg. The Lady Chargers hit the road for three straight games in New Jersey against Caldwel on January 11, Bloomfield on January 14 and Felician on January 18. … Senior guard Jessica Bullock of Thiells was held to two points on 1-of-8 shooting from the field as the Purchase College women’s basketball team fell to neighboring Manhattanville

Abel Gilet, team captain
Abel Gilet, team captain

College, 84-55. Bullock added three rebounds and two steals for the Panthers, who host NYU-Poly on January 11 at 5 p.m. … Clarkstown South HS alumna Rachel Kim of New City is a freshman member of the women’s swimming team at Army, which welcomes Lehigh to West Point on January 10 at 5 p.m. and Bucknell on January 11 at 1 p.m.

THIS & THAT: The New York Red Bulls are seeking a communications manager who will be responsible for assisting coordinating aspects of day-to-day media relations and communications functions for the soccer team. Send info to

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