It’s the most anticipated weekend of the fall for varsity sports in Westchester, with championships being awarded across the board in all sports.
But much of the suspense and drama occurred in the days leading up to all the big events.
The historic “October Surprise” Nor’easter that ripped through the region on Oct. 29 left the schedule of earlier-round playoff games last week in ruins.
With a large number of schools missing at least one day of school, and prolonged power outages at several others, athletic directors and officials from Section 1 found themselves scrambling to get the games in.
Two of the more anxious situations occurred at John Jay and Somers.
John Jay was scheduled to host Rye in a Section 1 Class A football semifinal on Tuesday. But John Jay was without power and the game was moved to Wednesday at a site to be determined.
For most of the day on Tuesday, it looked as if the top-seeded Indians would have to play the biggest game to date of their season at a neutral site instead of their homefield. But early in the evening on Tuesday, power was restored at John Jay.
Though the school did not reopen till Thursday (after a two-hour delay), John Jay did host Rye on Wednesday night, winning 21-0 to advanced to the Class A title game on Sunday, Nov. 6 against Poughkeepsie at 4:30 p.m. at Mahopac High School. One of the two teams will win its first sectional title since the state championship tournament started in 1993.
Somers’ football team, meanwhile, was set to play at John Jay in a Don DeMatteo Bowl against Pearl River on Thursday. But the uncertain status of John Jay prompted the game to be moved to Somers’ home field even though Somers High School did not have power until Tuesday. Somers wound up beating Pearl River 48-9.
“This has been a fun week,” Somers Athletic Director Roman Catalino said before the game, with more than touch of sarcasm.
While it was anything but fun, the Section 1 tournament is set to be completed as scheduled.
Considering where things stood at the beginning of the week, that is no small feat.
Said Section 1 Executive Director Jen Simmons: “We made it through it.”
Joe Lombardi's look at sports of all sorts in Westchester appears each Sunday.