Tim DeGraw was the engine that drove Rye’s baseball team to its most successful baseball season in 30 years.
This fall, he intends to be the spark that ends a much shorter, but equally agonizing, title drought in football.
DeGraw, a 5-foot-9 senior wideout, is coming off a record-setting junior year in both sports. Last fall he set the Section 1 mark for receiving yards in a season, catching 41 passes for 1,051 yards and nine touchdowns.
“I don’t know if there’s an expectation yet. But we have the talent,” said DeGraw, who’ll play baseball at Yale. “Now we have to see how everything falls into place. We’ll see if we have the depth and can avoid the injuries. Either way we’re looking to have a great season.”
Rye went undefeated in the regular season last fall — beating rival Harrison for the 10 th time in 11 meetings — and reached the Section 1 Class A championship. The Garnets were beaten by Somers.
It’s been five years since Rye won a section title for its football-crazy town, which was delivered six straight championships from 2003-08, including three state crowns.
DeGraw and quarterback Andrew Livingston, who has committed to play at Brown University, headline a Rye squad that has as good a chance to win a title of any in the past six years.
“Especially because of the way we finished last year,” DeGraw said. “Losing in the sectional championship definitely was tough. We all really want to get back there this year and win it.”
DeGraw actually started last football season as a bit of unknown before emerging as the region’s best downfield threat. Opponents began to build gameplans around stopping the speedster, especially Somers in the title game.
“I know there’s going to be more (attention) on me this season,” DeGraw said. “Whether it effects me or not, I’m not sure. Teams last year brought extra help to my side. It was tough but it can be good for the team because it opens other things up. I have to learn to get around it or, now with more experience, look at the coverage and read it better.”
After a solid season starting at guard in basketball, DeGraw confirmed his place among the elite baseball players in the Tri-State.
The leadoff man and centerfielder guided the Garnets to their first Section 1 baseball title since 1984, earning first-team All-Hudson Valley honors and second team All-Metro by MSG Varsity .
In his third varsity season, DeGraw batted .540, scored 38 runs, stole 35 bases and drove on 17. He has over 100 career hits and will likely surpass 100 stolen bases this spring.
DeGraw led Rye to the state championship game following a string of dramatic postseason contests