Last year’s athletic campaign left many Manhattan Center students with bragging rights. However, many athletes were left hungry for more. With the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, comes the start of a new athletic year. In Manhattan Center, the culture surrounding sports has grown and there seems to be a greater sense of pride. In years past, student-athletes were content with simply joining a team but that seems to be an attitude of the past. Winning is clearly in the minds of all our athletes and this has translated into their respective fields. Just last year the Boy’s Basketball team won the Manhattan Borough Championship, defeating Frederick Douglass Academy 43-36, led by seniors Nykolas King and Khalil Hamer. The Boy’s Baseball team reached the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year while competing in the toughest division in PSAL baseball.
The Boys Basketball Rams look to build on last season; as seniors Abubakary Sanoe and Alex Medina–along with Freddy Feliz–look to have a deep playoff run and defend their city championship. Sanoe played in 14 of the Rams 15 regular season games and shot just under 63% at the free throw line. Medina shot 70% from the free throw line and looks to be a vital part of the Rams offense this year. Feliz is entering his 3rd year on varsity basketball, and averaged 8.4 points in 15 games last season. He is likely to be a good foundation for the boys’ team.
Much less diverse in age, the Rams Baseball team is senior loaded. 13 of the 15 returning players are all seniors. The 4 man pitching staff consists of players Kevin Tise, Jerry Liang, Rajash Puar, and Chris Sanchez, three of whom are seniors. Captain Brendon Paul has high hopes for the 2014 season. “This year we are looking forward to success. Breaking records as a team, and players rising up to become stars will all in all make this year one that is memorable”, he said proudly. Coach Leon also has very high expectations for the Rams this year. “Time to fulfill our potential and rewrite Manhattan Center baseball history,” Coach Leon stated. This year seems to be the last year that the Rams can make a real push toward a PSAL Championship banner, as the future is unknown with only Chris Sanchez and Davick Capellan returning with at least two years of experience on varsity.
Expectations are high this season, all with good reason. Both the Boys Basketball and Baseball teams can contend for a title in their respective sports, which could make this year one of the most anticipated seasons in recent memory. It would be a great way to set the tone for Manhattan Center athletics for years to come.
(Sports statistics for this story were researched at psal.org)
By Nakib Kabir