With the regular season winding down, I figured now is a good time to start picking your brains as to who should be this year’s coach of the year in Rockland and Westchester/Putnam. I’ve included a handful of nominees for each below, along with a brief bio on them to help show you why I have listed them, as well as some additional information. Please vote in the polls below for who you think should win.
As always, I must make my usual disclaimers: (1) The polls are in absolutely no way official. They are simply a fan vote. I may end up picking the last-place vote-getter or I could pick the favorite. If I’m on the fence, the poll will likely come into play. (2) The nominations are not official. If a coach makes a deep postseason run, he or she will likely be thrown into the mix, if not win. (3) The nominations are in no way personal. If I do not have you or your coach down, it’s not because I think you/they are a bad coach, whatsoever.
I’ve listed three coaches for each because I didn’t want the field watered down with names. I have multiple other options in consideration; these are just three of the frontrunners, in my humble opinion. The section tournament — as Hen Hud showed us last year — can change a lot when it comes to this award.
Since I’m sitting in my apartment in Rockland writing this, let’s start there (all coaches are listed alphabetically):
1. Jen Adams, Nanuet: I saw a lot of potential in Nanuet last year, especially after seeing that it took Ardsley to five games. Adams was confident in her team’s talent this season, and they have certainly lived up to expectations. The Golden Knights won their first league title since 2010 and are strong contenders to be a section finalist in Class B.
2. Sean Barnes, Suffern: The Mounties grabbed the No. 1 seed in Class AA after posting a 15-1 record this season. Suffern’s only loss this year came to John Jay, one of the best overall teams in the section, and in the loss it still won the first two games. The Mounties have to be considered the overwhelming favorites to win the section crown, if not make it to states. Barnes (pictured above) won this award in 2011 and 2013.
3. Christian Collazo, Nyack: In just his second year, Collazo has completely revitalized the Indians program. Nyack won just one game last year, and a total of five in the previous three years combined; this year, the Indians have already surpassed that total and only look to be getting stronger.
And now we cross the Tappan Zee Bridge and head over to see our Westchester/Putnam nominees:
1. James Melville, Mahopac: The Indians have been building the pieces for years, putting together good, but not great, seasons year-after-year until erupting this season. Mahopac earned the No. 2 seed after a 14-2 campaign and win at the Scarsdale tournament.
2. Dave Ponterio, Ardsley: Not that last season’s success should have any basis for this year — for any coach — the Panthers posting another undefeated regular season this year is an impressive feat. Ardsley is the No. 1 seed in Class B and the favorite to win the section crown.
3. Katy Sherwood, Yorktown: The reigning coach of the year has done just as good of a job with this year’s team as she did last year. The Huskers (16-1) have been sensational this year, sweeping both John Jay and Panas, winning the their own tournament, as well as the Panther Invitational.