It’s Not the Section One Class A Final Game, But It’s HUGE !
Not since a pair of games in 1974/75 against Horace Greeley HS Quakers of Chappaqua and a three-year series with the Mamaroneck Tigers from 1960 to 1962 have the Garnets stepped onto the gridiron with a significantly larger opponent as this Friday’s Dutchess County foe the JOHN JAY (EAST FISHKILL) PATRIOTS from the Class AA-North League. Kick-off is 4:30PM. Looking a pure Section One classification numbers, JJEF is the sixth (6th) largest high school section-wide with numbers of 1642, while Rye is the third (3rd) smallest Class A team based on its 646 enrollment. Doing the math, JJEF is 2 ½ times the size of Rye, but that’s sheer numbers of people – it doesn’t measure “heart”.
The Patriots battled some pretty stiff competition en-route to their 4-4 record for ’09 with wins over namesake John Jay - Cross River (26-10), Mahopac (21-0), Ketcham (34-7) and Suffern (42-6). The losses were inflicted by Arlington (23-20), Carmel (10-7), and Section One Class AA finalists New Rochelle (24-7) and North Rockland (14-7). Even though you haven’t heard of most of these opponents and couldn’t locate their towns on a map, the Patriots are, as are all patriots, a force to be reckoned with.
Sectional interest abounds to see this David/Goliath match-up with gridiron aficionados curious as to how Class B upstart Rye fares against this behemoth from up north. Although these two teams have never met and probably will never play again, the coaches are not unfamiliar foes as JJ’s Brian Walsh was at the helm of the Brewster Bears from 1979 to 2004. Twice during Walsh’s tenure at Brewster did the Garnets enter the Bear’s cave – a 7-6 squeaker for Rye in 1990 and a 43-21 clawing by the Bears in the first round of Class B sectional play in 1997.
A Few JJEFHS Factoids:
· Established in the 1970’s and its first four-year graduating class was in 1975.
· Named after 18th century politician and writer, John Jay, familiar Rye resident, author of the Federalist Papers and 1st Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court.
These Patriots from the north can debate and bang gavels with the best of them, but it’s time for the Rye Garnets to recover from last week’s shocker by whigging out these Pats. Pundits always ask how would Rye fare if they ever “played up” against the New Rochelle’s and North Rockland’s of the section – well let’s take John Jay as a proxy and find out. It’s tough to bounce back when a bitterly disappointing loss knocks you out of possible state play, but it is the proud and gallant Garnets rebounding with true grit, class and style in another thriller – Rye 17 John Jay 14.