In an exciting game, the junior varsity squad, led by coach Mickey Boyle, beat the three-time defending champions from Villa Maria Academy, 3-0, to take a title that has eluded the Throggs Neck school for the last four years.
“I am so proud of these girls,” said Boyle. “They are so dedicated to the game and to beat a team like Villa Maria is such a great honor. These girls have bright futures ahead.”
Boyle is no stranger to championships. His JV girls have also won championships in basketball and volleyball this year and eight of the girls – Tara Guarino, Melissa Cwikla, Madeline Giamnini, Maria Vargas, Kaitlin Boyle, Samantha Bruno, Megan Donovan and Christine Albin – are members of all three championship squads.
“And a number of these girls are honor students, too,” noted Boyle, who also pointed out that several softball players also played on an AAU basketball team during the season. “They are remarkable. The competitive attitude they display on the field and the court carries over into the classroom. It is just an honor to coach such wonderful students.”
Boyle is confident that his young charges will lead successful lives having kept themselves away from the streets and occupied with both athletics and academics all year long.
“Ever since I retired from the 49th Precinct, it has been my mission to offer young students an opportunity to keep busy and off the streets,” Boyle, a former police officer, said. “Athletics and academics can help lead children to productive lives and developing confidence in themselves at such an early age can only help them in the future.”
The fifth and sixth graders boosted their confidence with a perfect 11-0 record on the year with Guarino picking up all the victories as a pitcher for the team, including the battle over Villa Maria Academy, holding the team scoreless until Danielle Kibler picked up the last three outs in the 7th inning in a successful save attempt.
The two pitchers received help from Cwikla and Giamnini and Danielle’s own sister Nicole, all of whom drove in runs on key hits throughout the game.
The victory comes at a time when the varsity team also won a Bronx CYO championship, beating St. Mary’s Star of the Sea 7-4 in the finals. But can either team repeat next season?
“Beating Villa Maria was a great accomplishment,” said Boyle. “Next year will be a different story. A lot of the junior varsity girls will advance to the next level. Moving to the varsity division will be a new experience and next year will be a rebuilding year for the junior varsity team, but we will give it a shot.”