The Yonkers Wednesday Night Fights

Pro Boxing Returned to Westchester County last week at the Yonkers Arena. Some 500 fans attended. One was our colleague at Westchester Wire, and the Yonkers Tribune, EHezi. He filed this report from ringside at Yonkers Arena. Here is his blow-by-blow.
The Yonkers Raceway Arena parking lot was almost empty as I arrived to the venue for Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing Productions and Alex Ramos’ Retired Boxers Foundation presentation of the Main Event between David Telesco vs Faustino Gonzalez and Vinnie Maddalone vs Greg Tomlinson.

It was 6:45 PM. This was my first attendance of a live “bout.” The evening was unusually warm. The parking lot was filling up quickly. I entered the arena. The venue was an Everlast-equipped ring, straddled on all four sides by 3 judges, a coterie of “press” representatives, of which, I was one, and a subdued crowd filling the seats with expectation.

The Ring Announcer gave the audience a few minutes to prepare for the upcoming events. It was about 7:30 PM. Decorum achieved, the presentation unfolded with the introduction of “Jun” a singing sensation who, donated the song “Stick and Move” to benefit the Retired Boxers Foundation, founded by Alex “The Bronx Bomber” Ramos. The rendition was powerfully delivered and seemed to whet the audience for the evening: the “Main Event.”

The first bout of the evening was between Gary Carriero, of Port Chester, New York, and his opponent, Franklin Betances of Newark, New Jersey. This would be a six round “fight.”


Round 1: The adversaries meet in the center of the ring. Immediately, Carriero lands a strong right to Betances. Betances responds, yet only glances his opponent. The energy level is high. So much so, that it is palatable. The men are ready for this confrontation. They are through with the initial posturing. Moves are about to be made.

An exchange of powerful jabs are passed, staccato like delivery by each of the protagonists in the ring, cause a yearning within the crowd to explode with pent up energy.

The moment would have to wait a while. The bell rings.

Round 2: Carriero and Betances return for the second round. The pent up energy and determination to defeat their opponent is presented with equal focus by each of these conditioned men. Betances steps with alacrity and delivers a salvo of left, right, left, right jabs that cause Carriero to lose his balance. Carriero recovers, yet again, Betances unsteadies his opponent. The second round ends.

Round 3: Determined, the two opponents return to the match with will and power. Carriero seems to have more attitude, yet Betances seems to derive strength from his plodding, deliberate plan, he has developed, to keep his approach less emotional. It is a plan that he hopes will reduce his opponent’s ability to endure the evening. Carriero taunts Betances by trying to jab him here and then, there. The taunting fails to emit an uncontrolled response from Betances. Betances will not be lulled into a game plan he has not rehearsed or one he feels is not his own. The round ends.

Round 4: Each jab thrusts a spray of sweat from the opponent struck, to fly through the air – Carriero seems to have become tired.

Round 5: Detances is focused. Carriero loses control of his aim. Muscles sapped of their power seem not to find their goal. The throws go wild. They seem impotent. Franklin seems strong. He impresses me to be an intelligent and well-thought- out “fighter.” Carriero lands a “lucky” throw. Betances responds with a powerful battery of the body of the weakened Carriero. Carriero is trying to get into a routine he has practiced often. It seems Betances allows the routine to be practiced on his body. Before too long, Betances responds with a few return “hits’ that scream, “No, not on me, you don’t!” R R r r r i n g. The round ends.

The final round, Round 6: The opponents approach each other at the center of the ring; they size each other up, again. Betances strikes; the referee separates the combatants. A commendable exchange ensues. Betances seems to get the better of Carriero. The crowd backs Carriero. Sentiment is strongly in his corner. Carriero may sense this at last and unleashes his might and energy onto the unsuspecting demeanor of Betances. The assault saps Betances’ strength. The bell sounds. The protagonists cease their “fight.”

The judges come to a unanimous decision. Gary Carriero is acclaimed the winner with a vote of 60 to 54.

The performance in the ring took my breath away. The adrenalin had me writing feverishly. My subjective view is not meant to be condescending nor derisive. Let me state unequivocally now, that I respect these well-honed athletes and respect their ability to transform their internal drive and expose it in the public arena with such resolve.

Let me not forget to mention that a bevy of beautiful women entered the rings between rounds, clad in revealing gear, attesting for all to see, the number of the round awaiting our attention. These were the representatives of The Round Card Girls website on the internet.

I was glad to have been invited to this venue. My libido revved to unexpected heights as the adrenaline surged with each punch. Does it get better than this? Who knows?


The second bout of the evening pitted the talents of Eduardo Torres of Puerto Rico against the fight debut of Kevin Carey of Brown Mills, New Jersey, in a four rounds battle in the welterweight division.

Each fought gallantly. It seemed to be a struggle of heart more than of form. Even so, the judges pronounced a 39 to 37 score in favor of Eduardo Torres.

Bout 3 was in the heavyweight division. It was a match between the talent of James Harris, of The Bronx, and his capable opponent, Anaudi Santos, of Hempstead, New York, in a four rounds match. This would be the inaugural fight for Santos.

The first round was a simple one in which each sized up their opponent. Santos delivered a few blows and was met in kind by Harris.

The second round was a repeat of the first round. The crowd wanted more. The protagonists needed the time to set up their form. The bell rang a second time.

Round 3: Harris and Santos connected when they delivered a jab. Each connection met with a flurried exchange. They each exhibited a graceful form of adulation to their sport. The energy they brought to bear through the exercise of their connecting arms upon their opponent was like a poem to the art of boxing. They epitomized the “perfect” boxing form. they were both “smart fighters,” exchanging jabs, all the while, searching for that slight weakness in their opponent’s armor and delivery. Finding the Achilles Heal was tantamount to winning the bout. The bell was rung. The round closed.

A runway display of the latest Antonovich Furs designs were displayed.

Round 4: Santos came out determined to make a statement. The assault hit its mark. The hits were an impotent flurry. He would need to focus and set up for a viable statement. Time was limited. We were in the fourth and final round. Yet, the set up came moments later. It was quick, it was meaningful, and it took Harris by surprise.

Despite the potent assault, Harris was prepared. Both fighters were sticking to their “game plans.” They each were weakened by their efforts. Their efforts commendable and very respectable.

By unanimous decision, Harris received 40 points against 36 for Santos.

First Knockout of the Night

Bout 4 was in the middleweight division. It found Miguel Gutierrez of The Bronx, on one side and Eric Simmons of Brooklyn, on the other. The four rounds were not to be utilized tonight between these two. Within the first round, actually, within 1 minute 52 seconds, Gutierrez was Knocked Out by the still undefeated presence of Eric Simmons.

“Jun” returned to the ring to sing “We Fought For the World” and to introduce Alex Ramos and the Retired Boxers Foundation. The theme to “Rocky” was playing in the background to introduce the Main Event. The air was electric. Craig Tomlinson of Reading, Pennsylvania, weighed in at 220 pounds. He did not seem to be in his element. Vinny Maddalone came to the ring. He was impressive. Expectation was rife.

The Main Event

Round 1:The 10 rounds would begin with Maddalone unleashing a turret of right, left, right, left, right, left jabs. An endless assault, all leaving their mark. The pounding, hard. Maddalone was crowding Simmons with unrestrained energy. The pummeling seemed to bring Tomlinson to his element. He shone in the arena. It was as if he needed the ring to express a part of him that is diminished when out of the ring. He thrives in the arena.

Maddalone moves, as if he smells the “kill.” The expenditure of power is taxing on Maddalone. He rests on Tomlinson, evidently resting for the next assault.

Maddalone seems to need a two-step approach against his opponent. He needs to be goaded into his attack. When it begins, he is relentless. Tomlinson is stimulated into top form by the confrontation. He holds his own. He is responsive. He is not active. His mental resolve may just now be waning. The bell rings. The second round ends.

Round 3: They come at each other. They must tire each other out. This round will be used to sap the opponents’ strength. Maddalone goes “wild” in his display and assault. Tomlinson responds, yet is weakened by the unending assault. He falls upon Maddalone. The referee sends each to his corner. Tomlinson got hurt in this round.

Round 4: Maddalone’s barrage continues, yet he too, seems to have lost steam. No, he reaches deep down and pummels his opponent into “submission.” Maddalone is unrelenting. Tomlinson seems incapable of fathoming from where his opponent musters his power. The fight is stopped.

The referee called the fourth round to a halt after 45 seconds. Maddalone remains undefeated and continues his venerable wins.

The match, a commendable example of the sport. Raw energy, unremitting and unrelenting, when channeled by hours and hours of disciplined practice is poetic. These men are a credit to their art and their sport.

Bout 6 would close the evening with the much-awaited second part of the Main Event. Faustino Gonzalez of Miami, Florida, against the favorite David Faustino of Port Chester, New York.

Feature Match

Gonzalez made an impressive entrance onto the ring. Before the first round, he looked gaunt. He proved to be strong, and aggressive, active, plodding. On the other hand, Telesco was impressive. He had bulk, he had attitude, and he seemed assured, perhaps even cocky. The first round would be taken by Gonzalez.

Round 2: Telesco could not find his form. Perhaps his cockiness colored his form. Gonzalez would connect; it seemed, with every punch. The crowd started to yell, “something to remember” at every moment Gonzalez would connect on Telesco’s body.

Round 3: Telesco came out determined. He came out fighting. He was held in check by Gonzalez. The crowd started to fear that perhaps, tonight, Telesco could not gather all it would take to defeat the Floridian. Then, the thought that perhaps Telesco wanted to saunter through a few more rounds was his plan, came to mind. Was I rationalizing this? Gonzalez lands a few on Telesco, making sure Telesco would take the pain with him. Gonzalez landed his jabs. Telesco would be pained. He would remember the assault. The bell rang.

Round 4: Determined, Telesco comes out of his corner with a demeanor that says, “I won’t be beat!” The crowd is not so sure. They fear the worst. They are invested in Telesco. They are not prepared for the loss… Telesco cannot seem to get past Gonzalez’s jabs to do any harm. Gonzalez lands jabs to the face and the mid-section. Telesco is made tired by the assault. Gonzalez seems to have taken the first four rounds. He has held Telesco at bay. The bell rings.

Round 5: Telesco is reminded by the crowd that they are with him, that he is their champion, that they will not take defeat tonight. Telesco starts to swing. he lands a few jabs. The crowd appreciating his connecting. Telesco, in my opinion, seems to have been hurt. He seems tired, he is not breathing in a steady and regular fashion. He seems spent, more so mentally than physically.

Gonzalez accumulates his point gains on Telesco in an unexciting, yet plodding, and steady manner. He seems to have a steady supply that drives him. I question though, if he has a reserve. Telesco, despite his poor showing so far, seems more rounded. He has a reserve that he has not yet tapped tonight.The bell rings.

Round 6: More of the same. The crowd is just about ready to capitulate defeat, yet they hope against all hope. There is no way this evening can be challenged. The towel is at hand. Will the white towel be virtually thrown into the ring in submission? The bell rings.

COMEBACK!

Round 7: Gonzalez continues his methodical form against Telesco. Telesco begins the round with a determination not yet revealed tonight. Within seconds, Gonzalez is on the floor. He stands up. Telesco pummels him onto the canvas again. The crowd yells, “Good night.” The fight is over. The fight is stopped.

The crowd would not be denied. Telesco wrenched victory from defeat for the fans and reached deep into his heart to clutch victory. Telesco showed his metal. He is formidable, but only when focused. He is a tour de force. No wonder he is loved by the fans.

What a night. I will be back See you there next time…This is Hezi at ringside.

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Tigers outkick Gorton, 20-6, in game of attrition,

White Plains evened its record at 2-2 Saturday on the foot of Orlando Cruz mastering the 25-knot winds swirling across Donald D. DeMatteo Stadium in Yonkers. Jeff Lee, after setting up the first Tiger TD, in words of one fan, “looked like Lawrence Taylor” with sacks, tackles and whack-downs that frustrated Gorton all afternoon.




GOING INTO THE WIND, it was impossible to pass Saturday at windswept DeMatteo Stadium. The Tigers move on Gorton in second quarter action in Yonkers. WPCNR PHOTO

The mustang northwest winds whipsnapping across DeMatteo Stadium meant field position and proficient kicking would be needed. White Plains elected to receive, and Gorton took the East goal of the old stadium, so they would have the wind in the fourth quarter.

Wrong decision. It cost them two touchdowns in the first 6 minutes of the game.

A Jeff Lee 48 yard “Rebound” Sets Up First Six

Starting at their own 23, the tigers were facing a 2nd and 14 on their 17 after illegal motion. Darrell Mack dropped back, rolled away right and threw downtown 48 yards on the far sideline to flanker Jeff Lee, triple-teamed.

In the air he went, the ball was tipped high and as Lee fell to earth the ballwas batted down into his hands, and he cradled it in, as his back hit the turf for a 1st on the Wolves’ 34 yard line.

After two pass plays failed, Spencer Ridenhour, lugged the ball to the Gorton 27, and the Tigers faced 4th and 3 on the 27.

Mack dropped back as if to pass, freezing the Gorton secondary to the far side of the field and pitched the pigskin back to Ridenhour who turned the near corner and bulled to the 11 yard line for a 1st and 10. A counter play up the middle moved White Plains to the 3. On the next play, Spencer Ridenhour took a pitch back and bulldogged up the middle into pay dirt and it was, 6-0. Conversion was successful and within 3 minutes, it was 7-0.

Muffed punt snap sets up Tigers in seconds

Orlando Cruz, with the whistling wind at his back, kicked the football 60 yards into the end zone and the Wolves took over at the 20. After three plays, Gorton attempted a punt. The punter fumbled the snap and the Tigers recovered on the 10. Three runs found White Plains on the 5. On 4th down, Darrell Mack dropped back rolled to the right, passed to Wilson Moronta in the flat who darted into the far corner for 6. The kick failed, and within 6 minutes, it was 13-0, Tigers.

Tiger Dee pens the Wolves for full half as offense goes three-and-out eight possessions in row.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Wolf return man got up a full head of steam and reached the 45 in the open when Moronta met him head-on in a courageous, touchdown-saving tackle and Gorton started up at their own 45. The Wolves got a fast 1st to the Tiger 45 on a flat pass, but their quarterback fumbled a snap that bounded all the way to the left side line where the Tigers recovered at their own 42, as the first quarter ended. This was the deepest penetration Gorton was to get until midway in the 4th quarter.

Coach Santa Donato took to a conservative play-calling strategy moving into the wind. In their next eight possessions (unofficially) through halftime and until 5 minutes to go in the 4th quarter, they went three-and-out. They relied on Orlando Cruz’s sure punting to handle the wind.

In his first punt into the gusting wind from the Tiger 43, Cruz bounced it to the Gorton 32, a 25-yard punt from scrimmage.

Jeff Lee does his Lawrence Taylor Impression

Gorton tried to come back. Jeff Lee always seemed to be making the big play to stall Gorton drives. It started now. With a Gorton 1st on the 43, Lee batted down a pass over the middle, the receiver was just waiting to pull in.

On the next play, Lee nailed the Wolf QB for his first sack of the day blitzing up the middle and single-handedly bringing him down for an 8 yard loss.

Lee did this so often Saturday that a Tiger fan beside me remarked he was playing like Lawrence Taylor of the 1990 Super Bowl Champion Giants. On 3rd and 18, the Tiger line overwhelmed the Wolf passer. The Wolf punter shanked his first punt with the wind, setting up White Plains at the 50. However, they could not move. Three-and-out was to be a recurring problem the rest of the day.

If you can’t move it, let Cruz kick it.

No problem. Big Number 67, handling the snap perfectly punted into the wind with an elegant line drive low with a neat knuckle roll to the Gorton 15. I mean, Cruz got so much roll on his punts today it was amazing. On 3rd and 5 from the 20, Jeff Lee rampaged in from linebacker and recorded his second sack of the day, forcing another Gorton punt, this time a good one.

White Plains took over on their 43 and ended up back to their 35. With a lead, with the wind blowing back passes, the Tigers simply stopped passing and this hurt their ground game. Cruz made his only poor punt of the day but, no problem, Gorton’s returned muffed the punt and Jeff Lee was right there to recover it on the Gorton 43, with no time left in the first half.

Third quarter a wash with a kick from the past.

Attacking into the wind in the third stanza, Gorton used up valuable time with runs. They went three-and-out on their first possession. White Plains did the same. After an exchange of fumbles after two undistinguished series by both teams at midfield, the Tigers again stalled.

Kicking from his 40, Cruz punted with the wind and executed a thing of beauty, a coffin corner kick. Orlando’s majestic launching hit at the 15 and rolled 10 yards out of bounds on the Gorton 4, as the third quarter ended. The kick was a 45 yard punt from scrimmage (NFL quality!).

Gorton Boards with 5 minutes to go

Gorton doggedly ran the ball out to their 40 on 3rd down, where a great play by Evan McGuire delayed the drive for precious minutes . After three plays, the Wolves faced 4th and 4. Kicking with the wind, with a new punter this time, Gorton pinned White Plains back to their 14 yard line.

Then Orlando Cruz made his only poor punt of the day, popping it up, getting a blow back, and the 17-yard kick gave Gorton the ball on the White Plains 35 with 8 minutes to go. A pass on 3rd down set them up on the Tiger 15.

After three tries, Gorton faced a 4th and 10 on the 15 when the Wolf Qb found a receiver in the end zone to make it 13-6 with 4:22 to play. Jeff Lee raced in from out of nowhere to bulldog the run for a 2-point conversion.

Taking over on their own 35, the Tigers needed to make a first down. On 2nd and 7, Eric Dickey drove for a first down on the Tiger 45.

McCoy’s 55-yard second effort wraps it up

On the very first play, Jeff McCoy took a handoff and went into a pile, merged bounced off the massed Gorton linebackers and picking up an escort dashed down the middle for 55 yards into the end zone. 19-6, Tigers, and with the kick, the Tigers had put away the game, 20-6.

This game was a game won by defense and special teams, which played almost flawless football. Aside from the pummeling administered by North Rockland, the Tiger defense has been very respectable. We attribute the offensive doldrums Saturday to the windy conditions that took away the passing option for half the game. Next week the Tigers play Mamaroneck in Mamaroneck at 2 PM.

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Cappelli financing delayed another week but “sees no obstacles”

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has not come to terms yet with Cappelli Enterprises on the financing of the City Center.
A spokesman for the Cappelli organization, Geoffrey Thompson, informed WPCNR Tuesday that he had spoken with Louis Cappelli Monday who reports that the financial deal with CIBC was “moving along.” According to Thompson, “he anticipates no problems.”

Originally Cappelli said he needed Common Council approval to close his financing with CIBC on September 25. Then it was delayed to October 2. Now, Thompson reports, Cappelli expects to close on the $375 million in financing “within two weeks.”

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Undercover Freshman Reports From High School USA

The Undercover Freshman files this report on his first experiences in White Plains High School last month. As Sergeant Joe Friday would say, the names have been changed to protect the innocent.
If virtue truly is rewarded, then high school is the reward for graduating middle school.

Don’t think about it for too long.

That’s one thing I have learned that really sticks in my mind so far about school:  if you think about something for too long, it makes less sense.

The best example of this is the schedules.  Now, in high school, there are nine “days” (Day One, Day Two, etc., like Letter Days back in middle and elementary schools).  Each day has eight periods.  Your schedule has nine classes.  Whatever Number Day it is, you skip that class.

For example, if it is Day One, you skip your first class. Some classes alternate.  For example, on some days, I have Biology Lab Eighth Period, on others, Project Adventure.  Which means that some days are both Day Ones and Day Sixes.  As I said, don’t think about it for too long.

          
On the first day, Thursday, September 6, we had all our classes, but shorter periods.  My first period was English Honors.

Over the summer, we were assigned to read Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.  I found it to be stupidly unrealistic, poorly conceived, and exhibiting a great disregard to non-white, non-Christians.  Every time I finished a chapter and exclaimed, “I hate this book!” my father would say, “I’m sure you weren’t assigned to read it so that you would agree with everything it says.”

 
As it turns out, the instructor was considering a career in transportation in younger days. When he read Robinson, he loved it, and decided to pick up a career in teaching.

Right across the hall from English was room B-2, or the cafeteria/study hall.  During study hall, we were all forced to face front, sit on one side of the table, only two people per table, and not talking.

After study hall I had band, which is held in the auditorium.  To get to the auditorium I had to go down two hallways, down two flights of stairs, outside, and into a building.  After band I had study hall again, so I had to do the reverse.

The teachers in this study hall said they didn’t mind if we talked as long as they couldn’t hear us.  Everyone talked loud and got in trouble. 

After that study hall I had French, which was down several hallways, of course.  This worried me.  My schedule had “English Theatre” listed between French and Study Hall.

Now, you can’t hear the bell in B-2, so I thought I had accidentally cut a class. After French, I went to my English Theatre teacher to explain what had happened.  She gave me the material from the class, and that was it.

After French I had lunch.  Apparently, the school had yet to get organized, so lunch was free.  Really.

After lunch I had Global Studies Honors.  The teacher is British and liked me from the first thing I said.  He asked, “What is history?”, and I said, “What people think happened.”

He believes that everything is controlled by those big scary conglomerates and/or white males.  Conspiracy theories do well in his class.

After Global Studies came Biology Honors, which has, apparently, fallen into bad terms with the administration, who have assigned a small room with only desks, no tables, and no electricity. 

Last year, some students were helping the teacher pack up, but apparently they didn’t label the boxes,so the teacher doesn’t know what’s where.  The administration said not to unpack, incidentally, as they may be moving at any time.  We’re learning out of a book.  Sort of. The problem is, no one apparently learned anything in Science last year,so the teacher needs to spend a long time reviewing, saying, “What did you learn last year?!”

After that I went to Project Adventure.  My first reaction to the demeanor of our teacher was that she thought that we took Project Adventure rather than gym because we were easily unsettled.  “If you don’t feel comfortable with what we’re doing, that’s okay.  Class participation can mean just cheering other people on.”  I kid you not.

After that was math.  Math, keeping in line with the topic itself,was fairly uneventful.

That ended my day.  What can one say about a high school that is so ill equipped, yet so disorganized? At least I only have four years.

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Tigers Mop Up Ramapo, 14-6, on Lawrence & Lee TD’s & Boss DEE

White Plains dominated Ramapo High at Parker Stadium Saturday, 14-6 for their first victory of the season. A 57-yard, darting punt return by Junior Greg Lawrence, sprung by Jeff McKoy, and a final quarter 54-yard touchdown pass from Junior Darrell Mack to Senior Jeff Lee were the big plays.

After the smash, slash and dash of New Rochelle last week, the Tiger defense handled Ramapo’s slower backs and undisciplined line very professionally. For the first three quarters, the Tigers held Ramapo to just two first downs and under 100 yards.

Give the defense 11 game balls!

Outstanding surge and pursuit by Orlando Cruz, Gabriel Robles, and Ahmad Warren on the interior line, with dashing incursions into the backfield by Jeff Lee, Andre Riley and Wilson Moronta consistently kept Ramapo from mounting any serious drives until late in the game. The open-field tackling was sure. Tiger hits echoed when executed across the old Parker bowl at Highlands.




HITS YOU COULD HEAR highlighted White Plains domination of Ramapo Saturday in the old Parker Stadium bowl. White Plains pursuit and contain performance kept Ramapo from scoring until the 46th minute of the game. WPCNR PHOTO

Scoreless first half>br>
The Tigers held the ball for the first seven minutes of the game. They failed to score on first and goal from the 10 when a Tiger receiver fell in the Ramapo end zone permitting a great pickoff to end the drive. A Mack-to-Jeff Lee pass on 3rd and 15 from the Ramapo 35 – the Alley Ooper that worked last week – set up the Tigers for that early drive to take the lead. Ramapo would have done well to remember that play, for later in the game, White Plains “Mack-Lee’d,” using the same play for the second touchdown.

The teams battled to a scoreless tie at the half, with White Plains only penetrating to the Ramapo 45 the rest of the 2nd quarter. Ramapo was unable to get in White Plains territory the entire half.

Cruz-ing to Field Position

One of the reasons was a magnificent 43-yard punt from scrimmage by Orlando Cruz pushing Ramapo back inside their 40 when White Plains was on their 27. This punt was so good, ladies and gentlemen, that everyone on the field admired it, including the coverage.

Orlando injured his leg late in the first half, and seemed in great pain. He was able to return for the remainder of the game in the second half. Cruz is easily the best punter, I have seen in years of watching high school football. He hangs them high and his direction, roll and finesse are improving every time he kicks. He has obviously worked very hard on his technique and you can tell every time he boots one.

Keying on Spencer

Ramapo obviously watched Spencer Ridenhour’s New Rochelle highlight reel performance and was keying on stopping down the Tiger halfback. Spencer carried unofficially 14 times for 50 yards in the first half, and carried very little in the second.

Clean-living, Poise Pay off

In the 3rd quarter, Ramapo continued futility against the pit bulls in the Tiger line, and punted at the 7:36 mark towards the scoreboard end of the stadium. The punt was high and dropped innocently enough in front of Greg Lawrence back in coverage on the Tiger 30.

The punt bounced backward away from Greg, he backed off, letting the Gryphon coverage down the ball. The whistle blew and inexplicably a Gryphon grappler charged into Lawrence at full speed, waist-high, knocking him flat on his back. Yellow flag drifted to green grass. The ref accessed 15 yards and told Ramapo to punt again. Big mistake.

A Tiger raced out to Lawrence’s aid but neither Lawrence nor his Tiger teammate responded to the obvious vicious hit. Had either Tiger retaliated, an off-setter could result. Poise counted here.

In fact, Coach Santa-Donato’s teams never lose their poise, their temper, or their dignity when attacked. This time it worked to their advantage.

On the next play, the scoreless game turned around.

On rekick, Lawrence fielded the punt on the 40, cut to the near sideline in traffic, turned the corner and looked up field. Just as a Gryph was moving in to tackle Lawrence at the 50, Jeff McKoy took him out from behind in a magnificent, game-breaking block that was not a clip. (Very hard not to clip in that situation. It was the block of the year.)

Lawrence got the room he needed thanks to McKoy, and turned back into the middle of the field, outrunning the slow-footed pursuit, picking up a convoy of blockers and was long gone to the end zone. 6-0, White Plains.

But, wait, Lawrence is called for celebrating!

The Referee ruled that Lawrence, showing the ball as he long-legged it across the goal line, was “celebrating,” a new code of conduct rule on the League I-AA books this year. This social faux pas forced White Plains to kick or run from the 18-yard line for the extra point, not the 3. Tiger fans shook their heads, with that “everything happens to White Plains,” feeling we know so well.

However, with Darrell Mack holding, Cruz fakes through kicking the ball. Ramapo is up close. Mack hands to Spencer Ridenhourt, who rolls out, and floats a can of corn pass to the right coffin corner to Greg Lawrence, just a-waiting in paydirt.

Lawrence goes up, gathers it in. 2 points! Go figure. White Plains was up 8-0 with 7 minutes to go in the third quarter.

Big Dee Grinds the Gryphs

On the next Ramapo possession, Ramapo got to their own 46, when on 4th and 1, they went for it and Gabriel Robles stopped the key play cold, handing the ball over to White Plains. The Tigers failed to move the ball, and Cruz lofted another skillfully placed punt that was fair-caught at the Ramapo 15. A pair of big gainers, a run of 44 yards and a run of 15 yards moved Ramapo to the Tiger 30.

Ramapo is stopped just as they get in position.

Gabriel Robles and Jeff Diaz combined for a stop and a loss. On 2nd down, Jeff Lee executed a great open field tackle for a stop at the 27. On 3rd and 7 Robles and Andre Riley charged through to stop a sweep. On 4th down, Riley and Darrell Mack combined to make a stop on the 33 and White Plains took over on downs as the 3rd period was ending. When Wilson Moronta scampered to the Tiger 46, it was still 8-0 after three quarters.

Mack-Lee’d Again!

On the first play of the final quarter, the play of the season so far, unfolded. A thing of beauty.

Darrell Mack drops to pass from the Tiger 46. He lofts a high Alley Oop pass to flanker Jeff Lee at approximately the Ramapo 33, far side. Three Gryphons surround the Tiger. Up he goes, up they went. Lee outleaps them, comes down in the middle, surrounded by tacklers. He eludes one, pushes another tackler away, spins, dukes and breaks away from the third. The race is on. A straggling posse chases Lee diagonally across the field to roaring multitudes.

He eludes the safety and races with dignity (this time) into the end zone. It is a 54-yard touchdown pass and run. White Plains was up, 14-0, with 11 minutes to play.

Darrell Mack and Jeff Lee are getting very good on this Alley Oop play, in which Mack throws a pass high into a general area. Lee judges it, outleaps the defenders to catch it. They have worked this successfully three times this season. Receiver R.C. Owens of the old San Francisco 49-ers originally invented this play with Quarterbacks Y.A. Tittle and John Brodie back in the late 1950s. It still works.

Ramapo long runs sets up their first score.

White Plains had the ball for most of the first half, and in the second half, Ramapo had the balance by far in time of possession. The Tigers gave up some big chunks but were grudging, stringing the Gryphons out to 3 downs on the next two down sequences and taking time off the clock. Ramapo had no passing game.

A 29-yard run by the Griffin quarterback Yvens Louis to the Tiger 7 on a 4th down and 19 at the Tiger 39 set up their first score. Jeff Lee saved a touchdown by seizing Louis at the 7. Ramapo punched it in finally on 3rd and goal with 1:39 to go in the game. The kick failed, and it was 14-6.

Questionable kick call, sets up Ramapo to tie the game

Ramapo set up an onside to the farside of the field. To this reporter, the dribbled kick not only did not go 10 yards, but also went out of bounds. No matter, the refs gave the ball to Ramapo at mid-field with 1:30 to go. It was nail-biting time.

Yvens Louis dashed 20 yards on the quarterback draw (a play New Rochelle used quite nicely on the Tigers), to the 30 and called their first timeout.

Two running plays got only to the Tiger 23, and Mike St. Fluer was able to race for a 1st down on the White Plains 18 with 40 seconds to go.

Key final sequence

On first down, Louis the Quarterback dropped back, but as had been happening all day, his line could not stop the Tigers over the top. Jeff Lee and Orlando Cruz sacked him back at the 24-yard line with 25 seconds to go.

On second down, Louis rolled out nearside, and again Jeff Lee pursued and snared him for sack number two in the key sequence.
A penalty stopped the clock. On 4th down, Louis again saw his protection break down. Lee and Andre Riley brought Louis down, ending the Gryphon hopes.

Darrell Mack fell on the ball for the last play, and the Tigers had their first win.




GATORADE TIME: Tigers mob each other, celebrating their first victory.The Gatorade Tank is on its way to the coach. WPCNR PHOTO

First Win of many to come.

Coach Mark Santa-Donato was drenched with Gatorade, as the Tigers swarmed on the field to celebrate an upset win where they outplayed, out hit, and outsmarted Ramapo. The Gryphons did not look like a 2-0 team, flagged for unofficially, six illegal procedure penalties on snaps, messing up handoffs, beaten off the snap consistently all afternoon. A win to build a season on.

Next year, is going to be a great year for White Plains football. The varsity is young. The Junior Varsity has some good young blood. They won their third straight game, beating Ramapo, 14-0 Saturday morning.

Spanning the Stands: Delgado, Tuck, Amodio, Greer, Roach, and Candyce were at the game!

You can tell it is election season, finally. Mayoral Candidate Robert Greer and Council candidate Tom Roach handing out campaign lit joined Larry Delgado, Robert Tuck and Mike Amodio and greeting voting football fans at the stadium. Candyce Corcoran, Candidate for County Legislator, was the only candidate risking her limbs working the wide track bleacher stands, fan-to-fan. Considering her recent ankle fracture, it was quite a risk negotiating the unsure, uneven Parker Stadium concrete.




STRIKE UP THE BAND:The White Plains High School Marching Band debuted at home with a sharp halftime performance that kept the crowd watching, listening, and tapping their feet. WPCNR PHOTO

The White Plains Tiger High School Band entertained before the game and during halftime in its first home appearance. The band with the big brass sound, had big time fun with “Great Balls of Fire,” and actually playing of all things, a football fight song, “We Want a Touchdown.” The brasses were crisp, the percussion on time, authoritative, the clarinets and flutes blending crisply, and they produced a big time sound. The CitizeNetSportsGuy puts in a request for “Notre Dame Victory March” next week, and perhaps, “Mr. Touchdown,” Ms. Tompkins?…And, how about perhaps “Stars and Stripes Forever,” or at least one, righteous John Phillips Sousa march?

While, we are in a request mode, could the Highlands Middle School install a flagpole at Parker Stadium so Old Glory does not have to lean against a fence? Thank you. Where is Bud Nicoletti, when you need him?

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Common Council Rewards Fire Fighters with $2,100 Raise

City Hall announced Friday that the Common Council has agreed to a contract settlement with the White Plains Professional Fire Fighters, by granting them the same raise in pay as the Police received in 1999. The new contract extends to June 2002.
In a resolution at the Monday Common Council meeting coming up, the city will reward each firefighter with a $2,100 in take home pay a year across the board to all firefighters, retroactive to June 2000.

The new contract approved by a majority of the fire fighters union according to the Common Council resolution, will run until June 30, 2002. The general contingency fund will pay for the raise. The increase amounts to a 3.2% increase for the year running June 2000 to June 2001 and a 3.5% increase from June 2001 to June 2002.

The Council announced its decision to the Mayor’s office Thursday. The settlement presented Monday evening in Executive Session.

George Gretsas, the Mayor’s Executive Officer, said the $2,100 figure was the figure awarded the police officers in an arbitrator’s decision in 1999, according to his recollection. The firefighters, at the time, asked for the same increase as a parity issue, and the city refused. On Monday, October 1, Adrian Scapperotti, the head of the Local 274 of the International Association of Fire Fighters said he was pleased with the settlement, but expected to begin negotiations in December on the new contract due to begin in July, 2002. He declined to comment on what issues the firefighters expected to bring up in December to the city.

Other Police and Fire Matters

Police Work Rules ProposalOn the matter of the proposal put before the Common Council last Monday in the same Executive Session by the White Plains Police Benevolent Association, the Council has as of Friday not indicated whether they are supportive. The proposal, aimed at the alleged “badge drain” problem, according to informed sources, seeks to restructure work schedules.

Fire Fighters Raise Over $100,000The White Plains union thanked the citizens of White Plains for donating over $100,000 towards the families of firefighters killed in the World Trade Center attack. Motorists contributed at key intersections in the city by “Filling the Boots” held by White Plains “Bravest.”

Gretsas Clears Air on Trade Center Volunteer Injuries Policy: Mr. Gretsas also denied to WPCNR Tuesday that the city told White Plains fire fighter volunteer rescuers at the World Trade Center disaster site they would not be covered if they were injured working at the site. Gretsas said the city, “of course,” would have honored any claims resulting from injury to a White Plains Fire Fighter at that site.

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Corcoran Co-Endorsed by WCLA; County Pro Firefighters

Candyce Canelstein Corcoran of White Plains was formally co-endorsed by the Westchester Coalition for Legal Abortion Thursday for County Legislator, along with her opponent for the seat, William Ryan, bringing to six the number of key organizations and individuals supporting her for the District 5 White Plains-Scarsdale seat. She also picked up strong support from the Westchester Coalition of Professional Fighters.

Catherine Lederer Plaskett, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Westchester Coalition for Legal Abortion described Ms. Corcoran as “clearly pro-choice” in announcing the endorsement of Corcoran and incumbent William Ryan as WCLA preferred candidates. In an earlier edition of this story, WPCNR had been incorrectly informed that Ms. Corcoran had received the exclusive endorsement of the WCLA, but we have now been informed by the WCLA that the organization is co-endorsing both Corcoran and Ryan.

Ms. Corcoran is also the announced choice of the Scarsdale Police Benevolent Association, the United Construction Trades & Industrial Employees International Union, the Pro-Choice Coalition Political Action Committee, the County Legislator, Kay Carsky, and the former Mayor of Scarsdale, E. Mark Bench.

Westchester Coalition of Professional Firefighters Chief Backs Her, too.

WPCNR has also learned that Ms. Corcoran, though Republican, is receiving strong early support from the Westchester Coalition of Professional Fire Fighters. Their Chairman, Chris McCann, was critical of Ms. Corcoran’s opponent in District 5, William Ryan, in a document expressing his opinions two weeks ago, which was obtained by WPCNR.

McCann, in this document, encourages the White Plains Professional Firefighters to endorse Corcoran. McCann described his conversations with Corcoran this way:

“She has come out publicly 100% in favor of Paid Firefighters…in every conversation that I have had with Candyce she has been nothing but straightforward, honest and supportive of Career firefighters.”

McCann is not as enthusiastic about Ryan: “Bill Ryan, on the other hand, has fallen somewhat short in these categories to say the least. Bill’s answer when asked about his singing the praises of volunteer firefighters was that his position on the Public Safety committee forces him to play a balancing act. I answer there’s a difference between a balancing act and playing both sides for your own benefit.”

McCann reports the White Plains Professional Firefighters as undecided: “some confusion as to the intentions of the White Plains Firefighters in this matter due to conflicting information coming from within the union. I am under the opinion that given the facts and reviewing the incumbent’s past track record, the only candidate the (Westchester) Coalition (of Professional Firefighters) can move to endorse in this race is Candyce Canelstein Corcoran.”

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Crooked Chimney Sweep Scams Target White Plains: Gismondi

Building Commissioner Mike Gismondi cautions residents authorizing chimney, furnace exhaust repairs without acquiring a building permit.

Gismondi will be making a presentation to the North Broadway Civic Association at Red Cross Headquarters October 2 in which he will detail the modus operandi of typical chimney sweep fraud operators who step up their activity at this time of year.

City wins court case against sweep company

The problem came to the Commissioner’s attention in a recent court case the city brought against a chimney sweep performing an illegal repair on a resident’s furnace venting system.

Gismondi reports that the city took the sweep company to court for executing a negligent chimney repair without acquiring a permit from the Department of Building.

The resident had paid the chimney sweep what Gismondi terms “an enormous amount of money,” to execute the repair. Not only was the resident out the money, but the contractor had simply jammed a new pipe into the top of the chimney, actually cracking the tile within the chimney, creating a hazard. The city won the case.

Work repairing chimney other than cleaning requires a building permit.

Residents are not aware, Gismondi says, that to execute a chimney repair (not a cleaning), a resident must submit an engineer’s report and a photograph of the area to be repaired in order to obtain a permit from the Department of Building.

Though this may seem to be an inconvenience, it is to protect the consumer, who often has not idea whether his or her chimney is really in need of repair or not.

Anatomy of a sweep scam

Gismondi told WPCNR a building permit protects residents from suspect chimney sweep operations. The typical sweep scammer schedules an appointment to inspect your chimney and offers to do a routine cleaning. During the course of the “inspection,” the sweep tells the homeowner the chimney is cracked or the interior lining of the chimney is in need of repair.

“We can do it right now. We have the materials in the truck.”

Often, the sweep crew just happens to have the material to repair the chimney with them. They offer to do the repair on the spot, often for thousands of dollars. This is illegal. A permit from the Department of Building is required, Gismondi says, with an engineer’s specification of the problem and an interior scoping showing the damaged chimney to be repaired before you can legally do the work.

Your reporter a near victim!

WPCNR was involved in this kind of swindle. I was contacted by a sweep “doing work in the White Plains area.” Since I had not had the chimney cleaned in a long time, I agreed to an “inspection visit.” A chimney sweep company arranged for an inspection.

“Inspector” waves loose brick!

One of the workers climbed atop my home and peered into my chimney. Waving a loose brick at me from the rooftop, he reported that my chimney bricks were loose and the interior of the chimney was cracked. The crew offered to line the chimney with new pipe extending down to my furnace.

“We’ve got the lining right here.”

By coincidence, they had enough pipes in the truck to do the job. The cost: $2,500. By check. On the spot.

They had started the work, when I had second thoughts. I stopped work and told them I wanted to get another estimate. Under much protest, they left. After checking with several sweep firms in the area, I was advised I should have it checked out before proceeding. This bait and switch fraud appears each fall and spring on unsuspecting homeowners.

Contact Building Department before authorizing extensive chimney repair.

Homeowners advised by chimney sweep companies that their chimneys need extensive repair should contact the building department for advice on how to proceed before authorizing the work, particularly if the sweep wants to execute the work as soon as possible. The Building Department may be reached at 422-1269.

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Martine Avenue Merchants File Notice of Claim Against City

On September 20, 5 merchants formerly of Martine Avenue, whose establishments were bought out by Louis Cappelli, served the city and its Urban Renewal Agency, paving way for a future claim for damages.
The lawsuit is filed against the City of White Plains and the White Plains Urban Renewal Agency as an “action for the recovery of damages due to injuries sustained by the claimant solely by the condemnation and acquisition by the White Plains Urban Renewal Agency of 205-211 Martine Avenue.

The suit filed by attorney John Savage of Bozeman & Trout, Mount Vernon, alleges that his clients, all of whom maintained businesses at the addresses noted, “suffered great harm as a direct result of the condemnation in that claimant was forced to relocate or consider relocating its business,” and that the suit was serving notice that his client “intends to commence an action against the City of White Plains and the URA to recover their damages with interest and charges.”

The suit was filed on behalf of Expressions Hair Design at 205-A Martine Avenue; Bridgitte Wayou and Bertine Djedje of Root African Hair Braiding of 207 Martine Avenue; Dary-Grant Minaya of 205 Martine Avenue, and Soon-Duck Hong of 205-B Martine Avenue.

George Gretsas, Executive Officer for the Mayor, remarked to WPCNR that the Notice of Claim appeared not to be aimed at stopping the City Center project, but at protecting the plaintiffs’ interests if Mr. Cappelli does not provide them with a settlement for their business losses they feel is equitable.

Mr. Cappelli has issued $4,000 checks to each of the business owners affected by the accidental cave-in of the Martine Avenue building roof, and has promised to help them relocate on Mamaroneck Avenue. He has, in addition, promised to outfit their new locations with fixtures and facilities.

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Police Union Seeks to Renegotiate Contract.

WPCNR has learned that the White Plains Police Benevolent Association has requested to renegotiate their current contract with new workrules changes to ease the “badge drain,” with a novel new proposal. Pay is not an issue.
The surprise negotiating maneuver was presented to the Common Council in Executive Session Monday evening, and the council has not had a reaction to it as of this report.

The police do not want any increase in pay at this time, according to two sources who attended the Executive Session of the Common Council Monday evening. The rationale behind renegotiating the contract is a fresh WPPBA proposal placed on the table aimed at addressing what the White Plains Police Benevolent Association calls the White Plains “Badge Drain.” The WPPBA did not return several calls for explanations by WPCNR about what they want to change in their current contract.

The police proposal was addressed in some detail in a slide show presented to the Common Council and was discussed in depth afterwards, the meeting lasting from 8 until 11:00 PM.

Previously police union suggestions for eliminating the badge drain have consisted of increasing vacation time to bring White Plains in line with other departments in the county, providing more educational benefits, (which the city did do last fall), and operating the department at full strength of 200 men, which they have contended in the past is deliberately understaffed.

The council was also briefed on the current status of negotiations with the firefighters union by the city’s negotiator. The White Plains Firefighters have been serving without a contract since June 30. The firefighter leadership did not return WPCNR’s requests for comment on their demands.

The Common Council is reported by WPCNR sources who were there to have had lively comment, a lot of questions on the police proposal, but the members of the council not advise the Mayor to take any direction for or against with regard to the WPPBA suggestions. Sources said direction from the council could come at any time.

The Mayor’s office refused to comment on the Mayor’s official position towards the proposal, because of the Executive Session nature of the briefing, and because any comment would compromise future negotiations.

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