Marc Saracino was the Garnet quarterback in the year before John Niehaus started. If it seems like ancient history to today's players, it may be because John and Jack Donnelly combined to cover 5 remarkable years of service. Niehaus started as a sophomore in the 2001 season and played through to the Dome in 2003; Jack was quarterback in 2004 and 2005, the year Rye was State Champion and Jack was named the NY State Sportswriters' Player of the Year.
In 2000, Marc Saracino led the Garnets to an 8-1 record, beating Harrison 39-12 (for the first time in three years). Their only loss was to Edgemont in the post season. Edgemont went on to win the Class C State Championship that season (as it had in 1999 and 1998) behind Matt Bernstein, who, among many other awards, was named Player of the Year by the NY State Sportswriter's Association in 2000 and who went on to play football at the University of Wisconsin. Marc was recognized with All State honors, a Con Ed award and recruited to play football at St. John's.
As to the other Garnets named in the Poll:
- Flattering though it may be to Tom Maloney (who with 7 votes seems a sentimental favorite) clearly the voters knew Tom Maloney was not John Niehaus' immediate predecessor as quarterback. As readers of the results of the previous Poll know Tom graduated from Rye in 1971 - before John Niehaus was born!
- Peter Thomas is a 1993 Rye graduate who played running back with the Garnets. He now assists Coach Jason Friesen with the Garnet Ice Hockey team, which won their first Section 1 Championship last year. No doubt Coaches Friesen & Thomas are anxiously awaiting the healthy return of Jordan Eck, Kevin Gordon and Donald Keough - hopefully after a trip to Syracuse!
- Kurt Josephson graduated Rye in 2002. He was one of the captains of the 2001 football team.
Ramsey Gordon was quarterback of 1993 Garnets; the first Rye team to go to the state championship game in Syracuse. In addition the Garnets can thank Ramsey for inspiring a loyal fan in his father who can still be seen at the sidelines for most Rye games!
Congratulations to this year's quarterback Jordan Eck for his "game ball" from Kevin Devaney (to read about it click here). Nice picture too!
As usual, thanks go to The Old Garnet for much of the information set forth above;he is another fan inspired by the play of family with the Garnets; his father George Feeney was a running back for the Garnets in the 1939-40 seasons, son Stewart Feeney was a receiver on the 1993 tean which went to Syracuse and again in 1994 and son Chris Feeney was a receiver for the 1996 and 1997 seasons!!
Information on the State championships and honors can be found at the NY State Sportswriter?s Association web page, which you can get to by clicking here.