By Owen Lynch
Hard and diligent offseason work by all of Briarcliff’s winter sports teams has Briarcliff athletics poised for a successful winter campaign. Mr. Drosopoulos and all of the coaches have been focused on preparing winter athletes for the challenges to come. From the basketball courts to the bowling alleys, Briarcliff High School athletes are ready and determined to meet their potential for success and produce championships.
Briarcliff Boys’ Basketball wrapped up their 2011-12 season with a regular season record of 13-7, but their season ended abruptly with a first round playoff loss to Albertus Magnus. The returning seniors will need to play keen leadership roles as this team has many underclassmen that will be seeing time on the court. Briarcliff’s returning players are seniors Brian Daniels (scoring leader in 11-12 season), Ryan Huegel, Jared Jones, Spencer Seabrook and juniors Kevin Wolff, Will Hou, and Javan Robinson. Sharpshooter Jared Jones’s hard work paid off as he committed to play for Roanoke College before this season. Senior Ryan Huegel, like other seniors looking to play in college, is still in the midst of finding the right program. Coach Coxen, entering his second year as the varsity head coach, is instilling great foundations in the minds of his players. Is this the year Briarcliff establishes itself as a Section One powerhouse?
Coming off of a productive 2011-12 season (10-5 record), Briarcliff Girls’ Basketball looks to turn a corner this season. The girls’ team is in a similar situation to the boys’ team in that they are coming off of winning seasons but is looking to become a force to be reckoned with in Section One. Senior Brianna Celaj earned eighth team Class B honors last season and will play a major role this year. The Bears have a solid core of underclassmen with Cassidy Carrafiello, Grace Orr, Kelsey Simpson, Kelly Monaghan, and Erika Zirman. Add the stellar post play of senior Summer Horowitz and the Bears seem destined for a successful 2012-13 season.
In recent years, track at Briarcliff has improved significantly under coach Sean Ryan. This year in the fall season, Briarcliff’s boys cross country team won the League Championship for the first time in 24 years. Last year, the winter track teams for both genders won League Championships. Seventeen athletes in 2011-12 were recognized as All-League Performers, and thirteen athletes were recognized as All-League Honorable Mention Performers. Three were recognized as All County Performers. Obviously, some of those runners graduated, but this upcoming season seems to have auspicious results in store for the Bears.
The Mt. Pleasant Ice Cats are a hockey team composed of players from Briarcliff, Pleasantville, Westlake, and Valhalla. The Ice Cats play their home games at Westchester Skating Academy. They finished with a record of 7-12-2 last season. This year the Ice Cats have a very young team. Head coach Josh Isenberg had the following to say about the team for this season: “Our team is extremely young, but we are going to be exciting to watch. We have a good mix of young talent balanced by veteran leadership.” A mere nine of the Ice Cats’ 26 players are returning players from the 2011-12 season. This will call for not only seniors to rise to the occasion of being leaders on the ice but all returning players as well.