Indians to Return to 'Mahopac Brand' of Basketball Under New Coach

Matt Simone, a 2006 Mahopac graduate and former player, is the Indians new varsity basketball coach. Credits: Rob DiAntonio
Senior forward Aidan Hynes is a lockdown defender for the Indians. Credits: File photo

After being a staple at the Westchester County Center for four straight years under former coach Kevin Downes, the Mahopac varsity boys basketball team has gone through some turmoil and endured a 6-12 season last year.

Former Pace University coach Jim Harter resigned after his first season with the Indians, leaving Mahopac in search of another new coach.

Enter Matt Simone, a 2006 Mahopac graduate, who is the new Mahopac boys basketball coach. Simone played basketball for the Indians under coaches Ted Georgalas and Tom McMahon.

Sign Up for E-News

“With the coaching changes the last few seasons, I plan to bring the ‘Mahopac brand’ of basketball back,” Simone said. “Playing for the program, as well as coaching here during its high points, I know what it takes and what it took for those teams to find success. Players across all levels must buy in to the system. Defense and toughness has always been a staple of the program, and we look for those two things to be the building blocks again this year.”

Simone previously coached the Solomon Schechter varsity girls basketball team last season. He coached the junior varsity at Horace Greeley the season before that and was the Mahopac freshmen coach from 2010-2013.

“I would describe my coaching style as focusing on getting players to play as hard as they can and to understand the basics of the game,” Simone said. “Team basketball is a big focus as well. As a coach, I believe it is not only my responsibility to teach X’s and O’s of the game, but also to teach life lessons through the game of basketball. I want the players to have fun and enjoy this experience.”

Two of Mahopac’s most important returning players, senior forward Daniel Foley and senior guard Christian Donahoe, both are currently out of action with injuries. Foley missed the majority of the varsity football season, while Donahoe suffered a rib injury during sectionals.

“(They) are working very hard to get themselves healthy and ready to return,” Simone said. “We are expecting both of them back as they will provide leadership and experience.”

Two other key returnees for the Indians are senior forward Aidan Hynes, a gritty defender and slasher on offense, and senior center Ryan Vitkus, who towers at 6-foot-7 and should be a force in the paint.

Some newcomers to the team who are expected to make an impact are junior guard Andrew Ryan, junior guard Dominic Iacuone and senior forward Connor Moloney.

“We have a lot of guards on this team who will compete in practice for playing time,” Simone said. “The depth and guys coming off the bench to provide a spark will be a big factor for this year’s team.”

Mahopac opens up the season when it hosts Beacon at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 8 and then will host Putnam Valley at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10.

“We are taking a game by game approach to this season and preparing and focusing on winning each game that is in front us,” Simone said. “We have a very athletic team, so we are hoping the athleticism and toughness can carry us throughout the season.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Cuomo’s Frivolous Lawsuits Cost Us Money

Since Donald Trump became president, New York State has filed more than 100 lawsuits against the federal government. This includes those filed by both Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. It does not include lawsuits filed by the City of New York. Most of them are political in nature, filed to please the plaintiffs’ voting base. In the real world, if we had filed ...

The State of the Democratic Party

Last week, President Trump gave his first State of the Union address. Here are a few things he pointed out:

• Since the election, 2.4 million new jobs have been created.

• Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low.

• African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded.

• Hispanic-American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in ...

Beautiful, 'Clean' Coal

After completing his first full year in office—an alarming year, at that— Donald Trump has concluded that climate change is not a significant national threat and that the sacred lands and waters of this country should be sold to the highest bidder. 

The Trump administration has withdrawn from the Paris climate agreement; deregulated national landmarks; freed public lands for ...

Multigrain, Please

I have no craving for white bread; it’s too plain, predictable and tasteless for me. I hunger for a chunk of multigrain or rye, maybe even a good-sized piece of pumpernickel raisin, with a schmear of cream cheese on the side.

I have no appetite for bland, clean-cut, middle-of-the-road, isolationist politics. And I find unsettling the cultural sameness, gross consumerism and incurious ...

A Trip to the 'Liberry'

Raise your hand if you didn’t—did not—call the library the “liberry” when you were little. I’m guessing not a lot of hands just went up.

Didn’t just about all of us say “liberry” when we were learning to read? (Well, whaddya expect when a place is named something way too easy for little kids to mispronounce?)

OK. Now, raise your hand if ...

Peekskill AIMs to Become a 'Mediapolis'

What could the city of Peekskill possibly have in common with Silicon Valley, Hollywood and New York City? Like those familiar centers of multimedia creativity and commerce, the historic river town is downright giddy with excitement about transforming itself into a mediapolis, to coin a phrase.

Thanks to local movers and shakers, led by prominent Peekskill businessman Ben Green, the ...

I'm Mrs. Heat Miser

To be perfectly honest, I did not need a large rodent with insomnia to convince me that we had six more weeks of winter. It’s been so cold outside lately that when I go out, my nostrils stick together. The dog is so hesitant to go out that he does his business right on the deck, less than five feet from the door, and then gives me a look of contemptuous indignation when he comes back in the ...

Getting Off on the Wrong Foot

“What happened to your ankle?” asked my neighbor when he saw the orthopedic boot on my right foot.

“I tripped while I was in Pamplona running with the bulls,” I told him.

He raised his eyebrows. “Really?”

“No. Not really,” I admitted. “I was actually climbing Machu Picchu and I fell over a llama.”

“Seriously?” he ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, February 21, 6:00 PM

Putnam County Department of Health, Brewster

Freedom from Smoking

Health & Wellness

Wed, February 28, 6:00 PM

Putnam County Department of Health, Brewster

Freedom from Smoking

Health & Wellness

Thu, March 1, 7:00 PM

Kennedy Catholic High School, Somers

The Kennedy Catholic High School Players ...

Arts & Entertainment Other Religions And Spirituality

Bazzo Needs to Get His Facts Straight

February 15, 2018

To the editor,

Once again Mr. Bazzo, in his Feb. 8, column cherry picks facts, ignores other facts, passes along lies and spins so fast to the right that it’s amazing he doesn’t drill himself into the earth.

Bazzo is correct—the economy is doing well, and we should give credit where credit is due. Thank you, President Obama for taking the economy from the brink of another ...