The Boys of Fall

Written on 01/08/2024
Ryan Vega '26

Recapping the best of Farrell's Fall 2023 sports season

Pictured above: The 2023 Farrell varsity football team received plenty of recognition, including by the New York Jets, for a memorable season that included a victory over top-ranked St. Anthony's.


With the winter now in full swing, let's take a look back at the highlights of Fall 2023 in Farrell Athletics!

Pictured above: Christian Pinto, who has played quarterback for the varsity football team for the last three years, received a full scholarship to play at Wagner College.


Varsity Football 

Varsity football had an amazing run this season which started with a long trip to Rhode Island vs Bishop Hendrickson. This back-and-forth matchup resulted in a 23-20 win for the Lions. After a close battle with the Stepinac Crusaders that saw the Lions come up just short, the Lions came out on top with a 13-10 win over the Moore Mavericks in Week 3. Chris DiGiacomo got the game-winning 42-yard field goal with three minutes remaining.  

The Lions then had their most difficult matchup of their season, taking on the #1 ranked team in New York, Saint Anthony's. The Lions ended up winning the game with the usage of their rushing offense, which had over 300 yards from senior QB Cristian Pinto, junior RB Nafis Muhammad, and sophomore RB William Andrade. This win brought the Lions to 4-2 on the season.  

Homecoming also proved to be a memorable night for the team to close out the regular season. Needing a win to secure a home playoff game, the matchup got off to a rough start, going into the half down 7-0 to Kellenberg. But the Lions responded immediately out of the half with four touchdowns, ending the game with a score of 28-7.

With the No. 3 seed in the playoffs, the Lions hosted Holy Trinity in the first round, dominating in a 36-0 win. This win meant a semifinal clash with the Iona Prep Gaels. While the Lions fell short in the game, ending an amazing season, the accomplishments and recognition that this team received tells the tale of how great of a season they had. 

Head Coach Rocco Del Priore and his team received recognition from Robert Saleh, head coach of the New York Jets, congratulating them on their big win vs Saint Anthony's and giving them some motivation to keep the great season rolling. Coach Del Priore won the New York Jets Coach of the Week Award, which automatically qualified Farrell for a spot at the New York Jets 11-on tournament.

Senior Guard Brady Quinn won New York’s Athlete of the Week award for his leadership on and off the field and his physicality on the field. The Lions also had some players who had league-leading stats on defense, including nine sacks from junior Seth Clarke, seven sacks from senior Louis Martinez, and five interceptions from senior Michael Barzal.

Pictured above: Senior Sebastian Cirrincione played a key role in a number of victories for the varsity soccer team this season.


Varsity Soccer 

The Varsity soccer team had a roller coaster ride of the season, with the task of living up to the expectations of last year's CHSAA's title-winning team. They lost several key seniors, with some of them pursuing their soccer career in college, including one Division-I player. However, this team was replaced by a talented group of juniors who just fell short in the JV semifinals last year.  

The season began with a 3-1 victory at the Den against a tough Iona Prep team before coming away with two points in a challenging three-game span against Stepinac, Fordham Prep, and Regis. The team would then pick up another 5 points in an eight-game stretch, including a 3-3 tie against eventual champions Saint Francis Prep. Led by captains Alex Abbruzzese, Peter Cardinale, Dylan McDonnell, and Joe Priolo, the Lions would finish the regular season with a record of 4-5-7 scoring 29 goals and conceding 25.

When the playoffs came around, the Lions had to visit Molloy on a field that is not favorable for the possession-based style of play that the team likes to play. It was a bumpy and muddy field, but the Lions started the game out strong with a goal from Cardinale, assisted by Dylan McDonnell. The Lions kept a 1-0 lead for a while and eventually, Sebastian Cirrincione slotted in a pass from Joe Castellano for the second goal of the game. The Lions defense had an amazing game shutting down a dangerous Molloy attack and conceded only one goal in this crucial playoff matchup, leading them to a quarterfinal matchup with Regis.

In spite of a solid effort, which included a goal from Cirrincione, the season came to an end against Regis in a 2-1 loss. Though they may have fallen short, a congratulations to Coach Ed Hynes, '82, his staff, and the players on another great year.

Pictured above: Juniors Michael (left) and Thomas Maresca were key leaders for the cross country team this fall.


Cross Country

The Cross Country team had another season to be proud of that included some great team wins and individual excellence. The Lions were successful at the state meet qualifiers, highlighted by senior Joe Pernice, junior Thomas Burke, junior Michael Maresca, junior Thomas Maresca, junior Nick Foster, junior Francesco Borgognone and freshman Edwin Alleva.

Alleva broke the school record and the Staten Island record with an extraordinary time of 8:18 in 1.6 miles at sectionals. Pernice led Varsity with a personal-best performance, and sophomore Nick Villamagna led the Junior Varsity team to a second place finish. At the Manhattan College Invitational, varsity runners Burke, and Borgognone led their team. Freshmen were led by Alleva, whose time was the 9th fastest out of 589 athletes. Gonzalez, Abinanti, Casale, and Cohen rounded out the scoring for the young lions.

In the Xavier Invitational, Michael Maresca led the Varsity squad to a third place finish. Borgognone, Foster, Barresi, and Burke rounded out the scoring. Once again, Alleva took first in the freshman race and the squad finished second overall with Gonzalez, Casale, Cohen, and Hodgens rounded out the scoring.

At the Regis Invitational, the freshmen placed second out of 17 teams. Varsity, meanwhile, was led by Michael and Thomas Maresca in the 115-man field, placing 27th and 29th, respectively.

Congratulations to Varsity Coach John Bentivegna, '13, and JV Coach Sean Goodwin, '15, on a great cross-country season and good luck in the indoor season.  

Pictured above: The play of sophomore quarterback Biagio D'Aquino helped lead the junior varsity football team to a second straight championship game appearance.


JV Football

Looking to defend their crown, the junior varsity team had another amazing season filled with victories. Despite dropping their opening game, the Lions gained a lot of momentum with a long win streak. 

The JV Lions defense was led by sophomores Joeseph Vitale, Daniel Mastroguilo, Andrew Doyle, and Frank DiMicelli, who helped to record multiple shutouts.

Meanwhile, sophomore Kevin Gumb led the team's rushing attack and the passing game saw success under sophomore quarterback Biagio D'Aquino's passes to sophomores Matthew Tristano and Ryan Tait.  

After finishing the season 8-1 and earning a first-round bye, the Lions cruised to the championship game with a 27-0 win over Cardinal Hayes. While the team may have fallen short of winning another title, it was another unforgettable year for Farrell JV Football team, which included a 3-0 record against Island opponents. Congratulations to Head Coach Ted Parnese, '90, and his staff on a great season.

Pictured above: Freshman Dean Cardinale scored the golden goal during the junior varsity soccer team's playoff victory over Regis.


JV Soccer 

The junior varsity soccer team had an amazing year, starting off their season at Iona Prep with a 6-0 win and showed the type of team they can be this season. Returning to Oakwood, a tough Fordham Prep team awaited them, but the Lions won 2-1 in a very scrappy game.

After a 0-0 draw against Regis, the Lions then found their form, winning six straight, including wins over Holy Cross, Xaverian, and St. Joseph by the Sea. After a loss to Saint Francis, the Lions returned to their strong form and beat Xavier and Iona Prep at the den.

After playing both Xavier and Stepinac to ties, the Lions needed two victories to clinch the 2023 Archdiocesan division championship for the Lions, and they got them. This gave them a bye for the first round and home-field advantage for the rest of the playoffs.

Throughout the season, the team was led by David DeSantis (22 goals and 5 assists), Ryan Vega (7 goals and 19 assists), and freshman Arlind Zhabjaku (9 goals and 8 assists).

A tough battle against Regis in the playoffs ended in overtime on a golden goal from freshman Dean Cardinale. Though the team fell short in the semifinals, a congratulations to Coaches Chris Vega and Rich Scafuri, '99, their staff, and the players on another amazing season.

Pictured above: Freshman Peter Tronolone played quarterback for the freshman football squad, who won five games this season.


Freshmen Football 

The young Lions showed their true hearts this year after a rough start, and being able to completely turn the season around was eye-catching.

In spite of a 1-4 start, this class of 2027 showed its true potential in the last four games of the season, winning all four, including a destructive 38-0 performance against Sea. 

Congratulations to Coach Lou Cicero, his staff, and his team on a great year.