Kingston School District officials warn athletes to wear masks properly
The winter sports season is only just underway, but school officials in the Kingston City School District last week cautioned that unless teams take the Section 9 mask mandate more seriously, it could all be over sooner than later.
“We’re going to continue to emphasize with our coaching staff the importance of keeping our masks up,” said Superintendent Paul Padalino during a meeting of the Board of Education held on Wednesday, December 8. “Quite honestly, if we can’t do that, we can’t play. That’s it. If we can’t maintain safety of our athletes and their opponents, we can’t play.”
Padalino noted that the fall season was a success with few disruptions because pandemic protocols were followed.
“Obviously, most of that is outdoors, but even in our indoor sports in the fall, we were very successful in mitigating transmission of Covid-19,” he said.
With the exception of skiing and, while the weather allows, indoor track, winter sports are played indoors. But photos circulating from recent boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball games showed masks worn low, with the nose and mouth exposed.
“You’re running up and down the basketball court, your mask is gonna fall down,” Padalino said. “It can happen, pull it back up. It doesn’t look like the occasional mask falling down, it looks like the mask is off.”
School Board President James Shaughnessy said the district will affirm with its coaching staff that it’s unacceptable to not wear masks properly.
“It just seems to me that when coaches are not enforcing that mask rule, they are jeopardizing the ability of their team to continue playing,” Shaughnessy said. “My understanding is that if there is a positive case, then that tracing would quarantine the entire team almost if you’re not wearing masks. And if there’s pictures of them with their masks around their chin, that’s not being masked.”
“Those are the rules,” he said. “Those are the conditions in which we all decided sports could happen. And that’s what needs to happen.”
Kingston High School girls’ basketball
The Kingston High School girls’ varsity basketball team is off to a perfect start to the 2021-22 season, winning three games last week to improve to 4-0.
The Tigers rallied from 17 points behind to beat visiting FDR 50-48 on Monday, December 6. Asia LeBon’s game winning three-pointer from the left wing with just 12 seconds left in the fourth quarter was Kingston’s first lead of the entire game. LeBon, a sophomore new to the varsity squad this season, had 22 points to lead the Tigers, 18 of them coming from behind the arc. Trista Lukaszewski (9 points), Kalia Hylton-Jackson (8 points, 2 steals) and Ava Ottaviano-Scaturro (7 points) also contributed for Kingston.
The Tigers trailed 18-5 in the first quarter and were behind 36-19 with three minutes remaining in the third before going on a tear to close out the frame down 36-31. Kingston was aided by the Presidents’ poor performance on the charity stripe down the stretch, when they hit just two of eight free throw attempts. Ottaviano-Scaturro’s inbounds steal with 2.3 seconds left sealed the Tigers’ comeback victory.
Kingston’s next win two days later was less of a nail-biter, a 59-20 result over visiting Cornwall at Kate Walton Field House. LeBon outscored Cornwall all on her own to lead the Tigers with 22 points. Ottaviano-Scaturro (12 points), Lukaszewski (11 points), Tashjeona Chavis (6 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists) and Jordan Perry (6 points) all contributed to the decisive win. Kingston led 14-4 at the end of the first period, increasing their lead to 39-9 at halftime.
The Tigers hit the road against Newburgh Free Academy on Friday, December 10, coming away with a 57-53 win. LeBon and Hylton-Jackson each scored 18 to lead Kingston, while Chavis (9 points), Ottaviano-Scaturro (5 points), Lukaszewski (4 points) and Perry (3 points) also pitched in for the tight victory over their longtime Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association rival.
The game was a seesaw affair, with the Tigers amassing and then releasing an 11-point first half lead. Newburgh led by six in the fourth after hitting treys on four consecutive trips down the court, but Kingston again rallied and built another 11-point lead. Though the Goldbacks mounted another comeback, time ran out and the Tigers came away with their fourth straight win.
The Tigers next host OCIAA opponent Monroe-Woodbury on Tuesday, December 14. A victory would see them match their entire win total for the 2020-21 season.
Kingston High School swimming
The undermanned Kingston High School boys’ swimming and diving team sustained another close loss on Tuesday, December 7, falling 88-84 to host Middletown. The Tigers led 80-78 going into the 400-yard freestyle relay, but the home team picked up six points by finishing first and third.
Andrew Sammons (200 individual medley, 2:13.06; 100 breaststroke, 1:04.43) and Henry Shannon (200 freestyle, 2:04.24; 500 freestyle, 5:28.46) each won a pair of individual events, while Philip Lettre placed first in the butterfly (1:04.29). The Tigers also won the 200 and 400 medleys.
Onteora High School bvoys’ basketball
The Onteora High School varsity boys’ basketball team dropped a home game against Rhinebeck 95-58 on Friday, December 10. The Eagles were unable to contain the Hawks’ Bryce Aierstok, who scored 29 points, grabbed five rebounds and amassed four steals.
Onteora was led by Irwin Walden (16 points) and Shayne Bresler (10 points). The Eagles will look to rebound on Tuesday, December 14 when they visit Spackenkill.
New Paltz High School girls’ basketball
The New Paltz High School girls’ varsity basketball team rolled over non-league visitor Poughkeepsie on Saturday, December 11, nearly doubling them up with a 63-33 win.
Alex Frenza led the Huguenots with 27 points, eight rebounds, two steals and a block, while Franny Geminiano (12 points, 14 rebounds, 2 steals, block), Lily Sturgis (8 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals) and Janiah Walker (7 points, 6 rebounds, steal, block) also contributed.
New Paltz travels to Saugerties on Tuesday, December 14.
Saugerties High School girls’ basketball
The Saugerties High School girls’ varsity basketball team won a pair of non-league games last week, opening with a 50-41 victory over visiting James I. O’Neill on Monday, December 6.
Sage Fanelli led the Sawyers against O’Neill with 18 points, while Molly Boek added 13 and Natalie Tucker 12.
Saugerties hit the road against Spackenkill on Thursday, December 9, thoroughly dominating their host for a 71-24 win. The Sawyers did not enter a box score in the win.
The Sawyers host New Paltz on Tuesday, December 14.