Marc My Words!

Marc Maturo’s official sports column

Yes sir! Stony Point tennis player ready to serve

As he winds down his collegiate career, with one regular-season match on tap and then the Skyline Conference Championships, Purchase College tennis player Pocholo Chavez of Stony Point is already looking ahead to quite a different career path.

“One of my main goals is to go through officer training after my first tour and (I) hope to fly one day,” said Chavez, who might consider some tournament play after graduation but most certainly will continue to play recreational tennis.

Chavez, who took part in tennis and swimming at Ramapo HS – “It’s only tennis now, I have no time to be in the pool,” he said – will soon be headed to the Air Force, to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

“I’ll do one tour, six years probably, and see if I like it,” the former Rockland CC player added.

Young Chavez was introduced to the sport by his dad, Michael.

“My father bought me a tennis racquet and I went up to RCC and hit balls against the wall,” recalls Chavez, who also participated in USTA and NJTL competitions. “I’ve been playing a long time, since maybe I was seven or eight years old. I loved it, obviously; I just naturally liked it. I’ve enjoyed it, but now it’s time to move on.”

Chavez’s college career is fast approaching the end, with the Panthers scheduled to host John Jay College on April 18 at 3:30 p.m. in their regular-season finale. The Skyline Conference Championships are set to open on April 23.

The Panthers struggled all season, starting when their No. 1 singles player opted not to play and Chavez also struggled under the .500 level in singles and doubles. Nevertheless, Chavez said the friendships he made and the camaraderie made it all worthwhile.

“The season fell short of expectation … most of the team is new and inexperienced, which greatly affected our performance and mindset overall,” observes Chavez. “Although this season has been disappointing the camaraderie of the new cast has uplifted my experience as a senior and I’m satisfied with my time on the team … just enjoying what’s left of the time I have on the courts with a great group of guys I’m proud to call my brothers. I find myself cherishing the memories and the relationships I have and focus on the good. Although winning would be the icing on the cake, we can’t have it all but what I have right now is well worth the stay.”

Chavez, apparently, has already found the secret to success.

They're off and running at the Hook
They’re off and running at the Hook

HOOKED: Tim Kuklis of Mount Kisco won the men’s division and Christina Ferencevych of River Vale, N.J., scored her second half marathon title in two years at the 25th George Wodicka Hook Mountain Half Marathon and 5K Run. The race was held on a hilly 13.1-mile course at Rockland Lake State Park in Congers, NY. Kuklis, 32, was timed in 1:16:32, while Ferencevych, 26, finished in 1:34:08. Efraim Shaw, 19, of Monsey was the first Rockland resident to finish the half marathon in 1:18:29 as 301 runners completed the course. Carol Guzinski, 47, of Garnerville was the first woman to finish, clocking 1:39:40. The 5K, which had 230 finishers, was led by 28-year-old Orlando Rivera of Pomona, who was timed in 17:23 to win the men’s division. Lauren Cullen, 33, of Ossining won the female division in 19:43. Jonathan Farrell, president of the Rockland Road Runners, ran the half marathon for the first time. He was quoted as saying, “I’ve never received more support from other runners who were also running the race.” Farrell, 30, placed fourth overall with a time of 1:24:47. The race, named for the late RRR member George Wodicka, raised more than $75,000 for United Hospice of Rockland.

Lady Chargers on a roll
Lady Chargers on a roll

ON A ROLL: Shayne Gallagher of Blauvelt had one goal and as assist and Brittany Kiernan of Clarkstown tended the net as the Domincan College women’s lacrosse team rolled past host Nyack College, 22-5, for its sixth straight victory. Leading the Lady Chargers with a career-high five goals was Christina Brennan of Washington Township, N.J., while Allison Smithwick of Commack contributed four goals and three assists. Other goal-scorers for Dominican were Kelly Barbarite of Smithtown, Haliann Fitzgerald of Walden, Emily Murray of Oakdale, Traci-Joan Muniz of Middlesex, N.J., and Gina Sparaco of Freeport. Dominican, coached by Taryn Brechbiel of Stony Point and Jim Drivas of Pearl River, hosts Caldwell College at 4 p.m. on April 22 to celebrate senior day, and then closes the regular season on April 24 against Southern Connecticut State University at the Torne Valley Sports Complex in Hillburn, also at 4 p.m.

QUICK HITTERS: Junior midfielder Meg McNally of Hillburn has eight points on four goals and four assists for the Mercy College women’s lacrosse team. The Mavericks welcome Philadelphia University to Dobbs Ferry on April 19 at 1 p.m. … Clarkstown South alum Ryan Kennish of New City is a sophomore defenseman on the men’s lacrosse team at Oswego State, which visits SUNY Geneseo on April 19. … The Dominican College baseball team will be at Provident Bank Park in Pomona on April 22, hosting LIU Post at 7 p.m., and on April 23 for a noon doubleheader against local rival Nyack College. … The St. Thomas Aquinas College softball team has back-to-back doubleheaders on tap at its home field in Sparkill, meeting NYIT at 3 p.m. on April 22 and Philadelphia University at 3 p.m. on April 23. Clarkstown South HS alumna Samantha McDonald of New City leads the Lady Spartans in batting with a .397 average, followed by Julie Sosnicki of Lyndhurst, N.J., at .311 and Alyssa Lombardo of North White Plains at .300. Paramus Catholic HS graduate Brittany Mangan of Pomona is batting .255. … Matt Kostalos of Staten Island worked six strong innings as the St. Thomas Aquinas College baseball team held off LIU Post, 4-3, in an East Coast Conference contest at Provident Bank Park in Pomona. The Spartans, led by ECC player of the week Rich Baerga of Pomona, visit Queens for a noon doubleheader on April 19, and then are home for three straight games against Queens, Caldwell and Concorida College of Bronxville, respectively. … Keeley Bateman of Pearl River set a school record in the 1,500 with a time of 4:56.31 as St. Thomas Aquinas College competed at the Rider Track and Field Invitational.  Mike Galonski of Newton, N.J., won the 3,000 Steeplechase in 9:52.14 while Spring Valley HS graduate Winslow Dorsainvil of Monsey won the 100 in 10.81 and George Erazo of North Babylon placed second in the 400 with a time of 48.77.  The 4×800 team of Garvenchy Nicolas of Brooklyn, Matt Buell of Staten Island, Joe Chegwidden of Hamburg, N.J., and Mike Kraus of River Vale, N.J., broke the school record in a time of 7:57.76 in leading the competition as the Spartans turned in the best overall performance by a Division II team. The Spartans next compete at the ECC Championships on April 19 at Georgian Court University in Lakewood Township, N.J. … North Rockland HS alumna Rebecca Sassone of Pomona was on the Third Varsity Eights boat as the University of Delaware rowing team competed at the Knecht Cup on the Cooper River in Cherry Hills, N.J.  Sassone, along with coxswain Molly Gardner, Danielle Lawler, Shannon Bell, Bethany Porter, Juli Kyritsis, Kimmie Abrams, Kim Lee and Taylor Morgan finished fifth in its heat with a time of 7:33.08. Boston College won in 7:01.66, ahead of Fordham, Old Dominion, West Virginia and the Blue Hens. Delaware will continue action on April 26 when the Blue Hens compete against Boston University, Connecticut, and Bucknell in a quad-meet at Pinchot Lake at Lewisberry, Pa. … Freshman John Kukura of New City went 1-for-6 on the day as the Pace University baseball team split a Northeast-10 Conference Southwest Division doubleheader with Le Moyne College in Syracuse. Jonathan Chudy of Goshen pitched seven and one-third innings as the Setters salvaged the split with a 3-1 victory after bowing, 8-2. Pace (8-15) opens a four-game home stand in Pleasantville on April 18 against St. Rose at 3 p.m. The teams meet again on April 19 in a scheduled noon twin bill, and on April 22 the Setters host Post at 3:30 p.m. Kukura, an alum of Clarkstown South HS, is batting .289 with three RBI in 15 games in his rookie collegiate campaign. … Sophomore Tara Monaghan of Stony Point had two goals and one assist as the nationally second-ranked SUNY Cortland women’s lacrosse team overpowered visiting Buffalo State, 18-4, in Cortland’s annual Stick it to Cancer game in which funds are raised and donated for cancer research. The Red Dragons, who elevated their mark to an unblemished 12-0 and still with an eye on a national title, stay at home for their next three

Kelsey Rehain eyes another goal
Kelsey Rehain eyes another goal

games, starting on April 19 at 1 p.m. against New Paltz. Salisbury visits on April 20 at noon, followed by Potsdam at 4 p.m. on April 22. … Senior attack Kelsey Rehain of Suffern had a hat trick as the Manhattan College women’s lacrosse team fell to high-scoring, Buffalo-based Canisius College, 18-8. The victorious Golden Griffins featured four of the top 10 scorers in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Rehain is the third-leading scorer for the Jaspers with 19 points on 15 goals and four assists. … The Nyack College baseball team, which improved to 16-10 with a 13-2 win over Bloomfield (N.J.) College, meets Chestnut Hill College on April 19 for two games at Provident Bank Park in Pomona. The opener is set at noon. Sophomore pitcher Casey Kern of Stony Point has appeared in four games, with one start, for the Philadelphia-based Griffins. … North Rockland HS alum Mike Cruz of West Haverstraw, a member of the track and field team at SUNY Cortland, placed 10th in the long jump at the Moravian Coach P Open in Bethlehem, Pa. … Junior Bryan Greig of New City struck out 10 batters but the Mercy College baseball team dropped a 3-1 decision to Bridgeport in the second game of a doubleheader. Mercy was blanked in the opener, 10-0.  … The Rockland CC golf team, led by Benedict Tagle and Daniel Tagle, are third in the Mid Hudson Conference standings. … Al Witt of New City, 90, long-time sports  photographer, will receive the Joseph Holland Lifetime Achievement Award at the Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame Dinner on April 26 at the Elks Club in Nanuet. Witt is one of eight inductees. For tickets and information contact Pete Castellano at 1-201-390-3245 or email

THIS & THAT: Fans of the Pomona-based Rockland Boulders in particular and Independent League baseball in general might get some enjoyment by visiting www.IndyBaseballChatter.comFans may subscribe to Bob Wirz’s Independent Baseball Insider column at or comment to … The Newark Bears Professional Baseball team and its concessions company are hosting a liquidation sale and auction at 10 a.m. on April 26 at Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium, 450 Broad Street, Newark, N.J. Business and personal items will be available for purchase.  All sales are final.  Purchases can be in the form of cash, credit card or check and must be paid in full on April 26.

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