Westlake Indoor Track and Field 2016-2017

By MANNY CORONA

As the winter sports season draws to a close, the Westlake Track and Field team is extremely happy with all the results from the season. However, with the League and Westchester County meets behind us, there are still more challenges to come, such as Class B and State Qualifiers to follow.

 

Nonetheless, the team has once again grown together to become one big family made of strong individuals who always leave their best efforts on the track and jumping mats and in the throwing circle and sand pit. Although we are the only team to practice outside in the dead of winter, we are not worn ourselves, as we tackle old standing records and bring titles and hardware home.

 

Each meet has been looked forward to; maybe not the one happening on the day of Super Bowl Sunday, but the will to compete and compete with our very best is there. Led by amazing coaches, Devon White and Martin Rodriguez, and by great leaders on the team, it is almost impossible to think that any dream is out of our reach.

 

The team likes to showcase the hard work that’s being put in, to show off the dedication in numbers, color, athleticism and to make those who believe in us proud.

 

Thanks to those who put in the hard work and made everything possible, we were able to put together an amazing team that makes the future look bright. As long as the athletes gave it their all, continue to give it their all, and left it all on the track, there was never disappointment on any of our coach’s faces.

 

There have been many results throughout the season and records broken that are inspiring:  

 

Girls at the League Meet:

 

Nicole Izzo, advanced to the 55m dash finals

Mary Lyons, 2nd overall in the 600m

Alexandra Leitch, 3rd overall in the 1000m

Joelle El Hamouche,5th overall in the 1000m

Arianna Edwards, 2nd overall in the 1500m

Faith Summers, 2nd overall in the 3000m

Julia Remo, 1st overall in shot put

Julianna Castellano, 2nd overall in shot put and 3rd overall in weight throw

Cynthia Briggs, 3rd overall in shot put

 

Guys at the League Meet:

 

Eric Nieves, 2nd place overall in 55m dash

Kane Lyons, 3rd place overall in 55m dash

Kane Lyons, 2rd place overall in the 300m

Manny Corona, 2nd place overall in the 3200m

4x200m team (Eric Nieves, Brian Kelly, TJ Policarpio, and Kane Lyons), 1st overall

Peter Vogel,1st place overall in high jump

 

Records Broken:

 

The girls 4×400 school record relay time was broken at the Ridgewood Winter Games – Faith Summers, Mary Lyons, Colleen Bradley and Arianna Edwards

 

Mary Lyons broke the 600m school record at the League meet
Julianna Castellano broke both the shot put (section 1 kickoff meet) and weight throw (league meet) school records

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End of Cross Country 2016

By MANNY CORONA

As the fall sports season comes to a close, the Westlake Cross Country team couldn’t be happier with all the results from the season. At practice, during our workouts, and at the meets full of competition, Coach Smith reminded us to “leave it all on the course,” and that’s where we left it.

By the end of the season, no one could tell the difference between a family and the cross country team.

At the league meet against Briarcliff, Croton-Harmon, Valhalla, and Pleasantville, our girls team came in first with a combined score of 39, compared to the next team with 41 points.

Faith Summers, Mary Lyons, Arianna Edwards, and Alexandra Leitch came in 2nd, 5th, 7th, and 10th respectively to receive All League titles, and Joelle ElHamouche came in 15th to receive All League Honorable Mention titles.

Apart from being undefeated the whole season against other teams in the league, the girls team had stunning performances all throughout the season and Coach Smith was proud. Faith Summers, at an invitational meet at Byram Hills, broke the JV girls course record.

The guys team didn’t do as well as the girls but they did have some stunning performances. Manny Corona came in 4th at the league meet and received an All League title and Austin You and Christopher Bauco came in 15th and 19th to receive All League Honorable Mention titles.

No competition ever scared the athletes and each challenge was tackled with the intense spirit and motivation of the Wildcats. The team looked forward to each meet in hopes to show off their hard work, dedication, athleticism and to make those who believed in them proud.

This was my first and last season doing Cross Country at WHS as a senior and it has been quite an experience that I wish I had started earlier in my high school career.

Switching over from soccer after 3 years had its drawbacks but nothing will compare to what Cross Country had to offer.

It has been a proud and honorable opportunity to lead the team and watch everyone grow. At the beginning of the season, I watched freshmen stop running after 5 minutes of a workout, and by the end, I saw them pushing and giving it their all.

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Westlake Homecoming 2016

By VICTORIA AVILES

On Saturday October 8th, Westlake students cheered as they left the football field, winning their 6th game yet.

In the school week leading up to the big game, students all dressed up to show their school spirit in a collection of fun outfits. Wednesday was a day for all students and staff to showcase their American pride. On Thursday, freshman dressed up in cowboy boots and western clothes; sophomores dressed in their best tourist clothes; juniors dressed preppy and seniors battled in mathletes vs. athletes. These were just some of the fun outfits students wore to show their school spirit. Friday was the annual color day, representing each grade level, seniors taking the school color: blue. 

Amanda Rubeo, a photographer for the Westlake yearbook, took pictures during Friday afternoon’s pep rally. Rubeo exclaimed, “It was an amazing experience that captured the true heart of Westlake spirit.” Rubeo is right, for everyone at the pep rally was overjoyed to cheer on their school, fall sports teams and especially the football team.

Lauren Schneider, a Westlake junior, joyfully said, “I love Spirit Week! It makes school so fun and brings the students of all grades together.”

Westlake High School’s 2016 homecoming game and Spirit Week proved to all of the students that our school come together as a whole in order to support all fall athletes and showcase their school pride.

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The Road to the States

By LAUREN SCHNEIDER

State semi-final title champions: that was a name that the Westlake Wildcats varsity football team hadn’t heard in years. Since 1983 to be exact.

All of that changed last year when the new head coach, John Castellano, lead the team of seniors and juniors, with select sophomore and freshman, to grab that title once again. The achievement was so grand it even lead the Mount Pleasant School District to dedicate a day to the Wildcats.

Now, one year later, the pressure is back on.

The Westlake High School football team is a part of Section 1, Class B.  The class ranks are relative to how many kids are in the school: Class A being the largest, Class B being the second and so on. The sections, on the other hand, are determined by which area the school is located in, with a total of 11 sections in New York state. At the very end of the season, when the state tournament game is played, is when each of the sections come together.

Back in November of 2015, our very own Wildcats made it to the state semi-finals, one step away from the state final held in Syracuse. It was a ground-breaking moment in the waiting for 33 years.

However, the varsity players can no longer shower in the glory of the past but only look ahead.

According to one of the team’s players, Nicholas Colabatistto, “We have a different team from last year, no doubt, but last year is in the past. We try to forget that so we can focus on this years goals.”

The Wildcats, as a team, hope to “win a consecutive section title, go farther than last year and win a state title.”

Being the second ranked football team in New York, making these dreams a reality are right at the players’ fingertips. The road to the state final is promising, but since it is still a while off, the team prepares to focus and take each individual game as it comes.

“We are just working extremely hard to play our best and go above and beyond,” Colabatistto adds.

With their, so far, six to zero undefeated streak, there is no doubt in the Westlake Wildcats varsity football team’s mind that they won’t only make it to state finals, but bring back home the gold with them.

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Cross Country 2016

By MANNY CORONA

With only a week and a half remaining of summer, the Cross Country team was already prepared for what was to come. With Coach Smith and team captains: Dean Riccio; Aiden Glendon; Manny Corona; and Brenda Servin leading the team, it was already decided that Fall 2016 would prove for a great season. 

The majority of the team ran over the summer, so the conditioning workouts ran smoothly; day after day  each and every one of the athletes left it all on the track. However, the Cross Country 2016 team experienced more than just workouts, scheduled meets and practices, they turn out to be a family. One that laughs and plays ultimate frisbee as a warm up, but still gets the job done.

Since the first day spent together on August 22nd, the team had more numbers than it has had in the past few years; they’re strong competitors with motivation and drive unlike any other. With a total of 25 members it is a fun and inspiring team.

Halfway through the season, the progress that has been made by the athletes is very noticeable. With wins tucked under their belts and medals stored away, the team is ready to tackle anything.

The girls team, consist of 9, are currently 5-0 in their dual meets with other schools, proving to be at their A game due to their devotion to the team. The guys team on the other hand isn’t doing too well on the winning scale, but they are proud of what they have accomplished and what they have become.

Looking ahead to the rest of the season and for the League meet that will be at Croton Park on Tuesday, October 18th, the girls team has a strong chance of taking the win, but there is still some work to be done and other opponents to defeat along the way. The guys team will do whatever damage they can do as a family, backing each other up and beating the runner ahead of them.

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Coldplay and Beyonce to hit Super Bowl 50 Halftime Stage

 

By GABRIELLA MANISCALCO

2016 marks the 50th Super Bowl, and the NFL and Pepsi plan on making it a Super Bowl to remember for fans.

Coldplay will headline the famous Super Bowl halftime show, and Beyoncé will join the band onstage for an extra special performance.  

The British band Coldplay is excited to rock the stadium, According to Matt Tabeek of CBS Sports, the band’s frontman Chris Martin said, “‘It’s the greatest moment of our band’s life. We’re going to give it everything we have,’” in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.

The band has won 7 Grammy Awards and “Coldplay is one of the world’s most popular musical acts, selling more than 80 million copies of their six No. 1 albums and garnering eight BRITs,” as noted in the NFL article, “Coldplay will perform at Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show.” Some of the group’s best known songs are “Yellow,” “Viva La Vida,” “A Sky Full of Stars” and “Fix You.”

The plan for this year’s Super Bowl halftime show is to incorporate the NFL’s “On the Fifty” campaign, “by honoring the past, the present and looking ahead to the next 50 years,” Tabeek reported. To honor the Super Bowl’s past, former halftime performer Beyoncé will take part in the amazing show. Beyoncé headlined the 2013 halftime show in New Orleans, accompanied by her former Destiny’s Child group members, and together they put on an incredible show.

Pepsi has been the title sponsor of the Super Bowl halftime show for the past 4 years. This year is the first year Pepsi is providing an exclusive behind the scenes view of the making of the legendary Super Bowl halftime show. This digital mini series presented by Pepsi is available to watch on Pepsi’s website as of January 11th.

The big question is whether Coldplay’s and Beyoncé’s performances will be able to top previous halftime acts like Katy Perry and her iconic dancing sharks that performed during the previous Super Bowl show. According to Tabeek, Katy Perry’s performance last year “was the most-watched halftime show in history with 118.5 million viewers.” Although not amounting to the record 118.5 million viewers, other famous acts from previous years, including Bruno Mars, Madonna, Beyoncé, and Bruce Springsteen certainly entertained the crowds.

The NFL hopes that they set a new record for Super Bowl 50 with Coldplay, Beyonce, the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers. It will be played at Levi’s Stadium in California on Sunday, February 7, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. ET, and this historic event will be watched by millions.

 

Works Cited:

Coldplay will perform at Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show.NFL. NFL Enterprises LLC, 3 Dec. 2015. Web. 24 Jan. 2016.

Tabeek, Matt. “Super Bowl Halftime Show: Coldplay Teaming up with Beyonce.” CBSSports. CBS Interactive, 23 Jan. 2016. Web. 24 Jan. 2016.

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Westlake Indoor Track & Field

By MANNY CORONA

As the indoor track and field season comes to the latter part of the season, nothing less than astonishing performances, goals and records have been not only met but broken and torn to shreds.

Coach White and Coach Rodriguez are very proud of the team as the season continues, and big meets on the schedule come and go.

Both coaches have encouraged all athletes to work hard and challenge themselves every day, regardless of the weather conditions. Thanks to the motivated attitude of every athlete, the desire to improve never stops.

The amazing determination from the team has given positive results, including meeting goals and breaking school records.

The male sprinters relay team has never been better, as the 4x200m relay and also the 4x400m relay records were broken. This team consists of seniors: Oscar Melado, Ryan Lewis, and Rob Soderquist; and sophomore, Kane Lyons. In the 4x400m relay, the record was set last year in 2015 with a time of 3:55, and this year, it was beat with the time of 3:54.4. In the 4x200m relay, the record was set six-and-a-half years ago in 2009, with a time of 1:39.10; the relay team this year broke the 2009 record with a time of 1:38.99. What makes this even more noteable is that this timing also won the team the Section 1 title at the Leagues Meet held at the Armory.

Not everyone on the team has to break records to be exceptional or inspiring, but as long as the dedication and the motivation is there, anyone can be a star track athlete.

There’s nothing like seeing the younger members of the team become better and stronger than they were upon arrival at the beginning of the season. The 2015-2016 Westlake Track and Field team has turned into a strong, well-bonded, hardworking family.

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Indoor Track & Field 2015

By MANNY CORONA

Westlake’s Indoor Track and Field 2015-2016 season has arrived.

Coaches Martin Rodriguez and Devon White direct the team with enthusiasm, encouraging each and every athlete to work hard to become the best they can be.

Not only do the coaches encourage the members to work harder, but the athletes provide motivation, triggering others around them to challenge themselves every day, no matter the condition.

Indoor Track and Field is very appealing because of the intense competition thanks to hard workouts and training daily, regardless of weather or attitudes of the day.

Although other Westlake teams may have practice inside or even cancelled due to weather conditions, the Track & Field team remains outside to condition, which all of the athletes know makes them stronger.

Although the squad may not be as large as previous years, there is definitely talent among the track veterans and newcomers who recently joined.

At the very first meet, the Westlake Indoor Track and Field talent was showcased. Very astonishing performances were made by not only the squad’s 4 x 200 meter team, winning a medal for 4th place, but also by those returning to the Armory to compete.

Coach White said it was “a very successful meet,” as he was proud to see the team compete at that level at the first meet of the season.

Although the team is physically and mentally strong, another strength of it  is Westlake pride. After days and weeks of commitment to the team and countless hours spent at the track during practices, the team all feels Westlake pride.

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Varsity Boys Soccer 2015

By MANNY CORONA

After an exciting season, the 2015 Boys Varsity Soccer team was happy to have played with a team that never gave up and bonded together throughout the rough season, proving to define them as a family.

From a thrilling Homecoming game to achieving a placement in Sectionals, the men, as coach referenced them, were proud to represent Westlake.

In the beginning of the season, the team was not united, although there proved to be plenty of talent. Although talent existed, the first few scrimmages and games proved to be what the players thought would be a disappointing season.

As the season progressed and the first weeks of school pressed on, the team, however, grew stronger and closer. With close games and losses to teams like Hastings, Solomon Schechter and Croton, it only made the Varsity team push harder to go over 500. Not only did they want to win for the school, but they also wanted to yell “together” while breaking the huddle and running onto the field.

In the spirit of remaining “together” and united, the team called Homecoming “a fairytale – a dream that most could only dream of.”

After warming up, the team was pumped up to play under the lights, bleachers packed with Westlake supporters who wanted to watch their team win. Prior to starting the match, seniors received flowers for their last homecoming match of their high school career. The national anthem, reading of the lineups and team members followed, and finally, the blow of the whistle by the center referee initiated the game.

At halftime, Westlake was down to Scarsdale B, 0-1, and the coach delivered his usual halftime speech, encouraging the team to dig deep for the win. Making this a true fairytale, the team played marvelously: passing left and right, making runs and finally, scoring the tie-maker. Ruben Lara, who went on to be the MVP of the game, scored the goal that allowed for Westlake to have a second chance. With an astonishing header, the crowd and bench went wild as there were only a few minutes left of gameplay.

The golden goal: in the last play of the game, the ball was knocked around in the goalie box as Scarsdale felt the sense that they were being overtaken; finally, Chris Donnelly put the ball in the back in the net.

The stands exploded and the bench sprinted to join Donnelly in front of the crowd. The fans rushed the field as the referee blew his whistle to signify the end of this thrilling match. The cold meant nothing to the winners as they celebrated what was, to them, the shining moment of the whole season.

Westlake Varsity Soccer could, and did, in fact, make it to sectionals.

Although the team lost the last win-or-go-home game to Briarcliff, 3-1, they never lost their faith in each other.

After the game, the coach credited the team with the fact that they “they gave up” and that every one of them “stepped up and showed improvement throughout the whole season, becoming men and family.”

The Westlake Boys Varsity Soccer team left that game together and walked off the bus as one strong family that would always remember the seniors who would be leaving and the passion that was placed into every game.

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Number 17 on the Court, Number 1 in Our Hearts

By MICHAEL DINARDO

Keep calm and set on.

This is the motto that Westlake High School Senior Stephanie Rizzo has lived by all her life.

Over the past three years, Rizzo has developed into the face of Westlake Varsity Volleyball.  She’s the one who every coach wants on their team.

It doesn’t matter what day it is or what the score is, Rizzo has always given 110% when she is on the court. Whether the ball is flying out of bounds or into the net, she always manages to keep the ball in play and provide her team with the opportunity to win the point.

As a well-rounded player, she has proven to be able to do it all. Every game was exciting because of her. Her face was either bright red from her excitement or bright red from her anger, but either way, there was never a moment when she did not care.

Having joined the Varsity Volleyball team in only her sophomore year of high school, no one would have expected Rizzo to have such a major impact on the team. Even though she was the youngest on the team, she saw the most playing time and was already starting in her first season.

Fortunately, her accomplishments and talent did not go unnoticed as she grasped her first All-Section honor, an award that is not easy to come by.

Luckily for Westlake, her role on the court only expanded and her skills only improved over the years.

In her second year on Varsity, she was named one of the Captains and led the three-seeded Wildcats to the Class C Section Finals match against Dobbs Ferry. Although Westlake was unable to pull out the victory, their journey to the Finals included a 5-Set thrilling upset over the number two-seeded Blind Brook.  Despite the loss, Rizzo once again was awarded All-Section for her achievements on the court.

As they prepared to take care of their unfinished business in Class C from the previous season, the Wildcats were upset when they heard that they had been bumped up to Class B. However, this did not faze Rizzo in the slightest bit. Instead, it only motivated her to give 200% now.

The Captain was able to lead the team to another successful season, ending with an 11-5 record, in which four out of the five losses were games that had went to 5-Sets. The Wildcats never quit, and neither did Rizzo.

Before the close of the regular season, the Senior Setter was able to achieve her first triple-double, meaning that she recorded double-digits in three different categories and also served a perfect 25-0 game.

Unfortunately, the end of the 2015 season also marked the end of Rizzo’s stellar career. Having been the heart of Westlake Varsity Volleyball over the past three years, the Wildcats have a major void to fill for the seasons to come.

She was without a doubt been one of the most impressive players that Westlake and Section 1 has ever had. Having been featured in Mike Zacchio’s, a journalist for Lohud, top seven players, Rizzo’s accomplishments have not gone unnoticed. Every time she steps out onto the court, it is as though she is going to war. Her competitiveness, sportsmanship, honesty, and integrity are what make her the outstanding player she has developed into over the years.

The Wildcats thank you, Captain, for all of your hard work these past years and for helping make WVVB such a successful program.

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