Rye has set the bar pretty high the last six years, and it was evident in the moments after winning tonight. There was no celebration whatsoever, just a confident group shaking hands and turning their attention to the next game.
What I did notice was that Aaron Walker and Cole McCormack took a moment to go to the Pleasantville sideline to shake the hand of Arlon Panizalez. He’s a senior who was knocked out of the game in the second quarter with a knee injury. He was taken off the field on a cart but returned after halftime a roar from the crowd to watch the rest of the game on crutches.
Tonight’s game was an unfortunate end to a great season at Pleasantville. Think about it: the Panthers graduated 16 seniors, including their quarterback, two leading rushers and most of their line, and were supposed to be in a “rebuilding year” this season.
“If we can go 8-2 and reaching the sectional championship in a rebuilding year, I’ll take a rebuilding year every year,” Panthers coach Tony Becerra said.
Pleasantville graduates 17 seniors this spring. Don’t be surprised if the Panthers are back at Mahopac next year, this time hoisting the championship plaque.