by Henry Hargitai
For Irvington’s varsity lacrosse team and Sleepy Hollow’s junior varsity baseball team, the school year’s close is bittersweet, as it marks the end of two unprecedentedly successful spring sports seasons. Though the Bulldogs (Irvington) and the Horsemen (Sleepy Hollow) play completely different sports on different levels of competition, both teams attribute their successes to the same cause: Chemistry, or the effortless, unspoken communication unique to small-town athletes who have played together since the days of youth lacrosse and little league T-ball.
Senior leadership and vigilant coaching merged to create a historic season for the Bulldogs. Head coach Drew Werney, credited for expanding Irvington lacrosse to a vigorous 12-month program, led the team to an 11-7 season. In the first round of sectional playoffs, the Bulldogs saw a staggering defeat against the Warriors (Our Lady of Lourdes High School, Poughkeepsie). Though the team lost to the Broncos (Bronxville High School) a few days later, the players were not discouraged or disillusioned, either with themselves or with the coaching.
Said senior captain Dillon Morley regarding his coach, “He [Coach Drew Werney] is the reason our program is where it is. He does everything for our team, and we try to deliver for him every time we step on the field. For the past four years, he has been pushing our senior class on and off the field.”
The senior captain led the team in goals, scoring over 50 by the end of the season. Humbly, Morley attributed the Bulldog’s success not to his own accomplishments, but to the team’s chemistry.
“We’ve all been playing together since we were in third grade, which has helped build the chemistry between our 10 seniors,” he explained. “The fall and winter leagues we were in also helped.”
Dylan Woods, fellow senior captain and key member of the Bulldog’s defense, attests to the near-telepathic chemistry Morley described. Woods and fellow defensemen Christian Enax and Luke Hargraves make up what is arguably the team’s most experienced subgroup of players. As a trio, they have established the necessary foundation for victory, an accomplishment they attribute to an intuitive understanding of each other’s athletic styles.
“We were always on the same page,” described Woods, “And obviously communication is a big part of the game.”
Just over three miles up the river from Irvington, another dynamic athletic trio is working to win big this spring season. On the Sleepy Hollow Junior Varsity baseball team, young pitchers Ben Oshins, Manny Perez, and Jared Carey have led the team to an 11-3 record, with one game remaining. Sophomore Ben Oshins, nicknamed “Red,” for his uncanny red hair, has recorded two complete game wins and one save. For Oshins, Perez, and Carey, the future appears extremely bright.
“I think this team will be very successful when we move up to varsity,” Oshins predicted. “We’ve been together since the early years of summer ball, and we’ve been successful ever since. We have great team chemistry, which is half the battle, and the talent is all there. I think we can go really far next season.”