NORTH SALEM, N.Y. - North Salem News looks back on the top five sports stories of the year

Jolley runs to section title, second at states
Ava Jolley had a breakout freshman season in cross country and her sophomore year in 2018 was even better. Jolley, who took fourth at sectionals as a freshman, won the Division 3 sectional race this year with a time of 20:14.9, defeating the second-place competitor by over a minute at the Bowdoin Park course in November.

“It feels really good after working hard and putting everything out there during the season and all of the practices,” Jolley said. “I had kind of a jump from last cross-country season to this cross-country season. I think that was just growth and practicing really hard.”

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She then went on to place second at states in a clocking of 19:04.30 in a 130-girl field.

Leicht double dips at states
North Salem’s Ben Leicht qualified for states in both spring track and field and cross country. In cross country, he made a late push to place fifth in the Division 2 sectional race to get the final spot on the state team. He also qualified for the 1,600 meters in spring track where he took 16th.

“Ben’s success is well-deserved,” North Salem coach Nick Kowgios said. “He trains with purpose and he is just so dedicated.”

Capra drafted by New York Mets
Phil Capra, a 2015 North Salem graduate, was drafted by the New York Mets. Capra, a catcher, was selected in the 15th round back in June.

“Seeing my name pop up at all is a dream come true,” said Capra, who was a member of the Wagner College baseball team. “All of my hard work paid off. There’s still a lot of work to do but getting drafted by a New York team is unbelievable. It’s always any kid’s dream to get drafted by their state’s team.”

Ski team wins another title
The North Salem/John Jay boys ski team won the Section 1 team title and placed second at the state meet.

“Our boys had the most fun making every moment count on the race course and off it,” coach Tom Adamec said. “They’re always encouraging each other and cheering for one another to do their best.”

Field hockey team reaches finals
North Salem’s field hockey squad pulled off a thrilling upset over Bronxville in the Section 1 Class C semifinals, defeating the Broncos in a penalty shootout in October.

“It may sound funny, but it truly meant the world to my kids to defeat Bronxville for the first time since 2003,” North Salem coach Jennifer Frohman said. “We’ve had a few ties with them throughout the years, but not a victory, so for many it felt like that was the win of a championship game. Reaching the finals was an amazing feeling and one well deserved for these young ladies.”

The Tigers fell to Pawling 2-1 in the Class C final at Brewster High School. It was the team’s first finals appearance since 2013.