Revived Rondout routs Tri-Valley
Story by Kayla Greco
GRAHAMSVILLE October 8, 2013 The most improved team in Section IX football has to be Rondout Valley, which didn’t win a game last year and is 4-1 this season after routing Tri-Valley 69-14 on Saturday.
For a team that was bottom feeding last year, they are full of confidence and bravado this year.
“We’re a great team,” said senior wide receiver and captain Thomas “Monti” Reardon. “We look great and we’re not the same team as last year. We’re bigger and stronger and we’re going to make it.”
Rondout is currently tied for second in Class B with a 2-1 league mark. They are fighting for a playoff spot with tough league games remaining against Red Hook and New Paltz.
Rondout took a big risk this year when it switched linebacker, Keith Malak, to starting quarterback not your typical move, but one that has paid off. Malak is currently ranked 10th in yards passing and rushing (combining for more than 1,000 yards total offense). He added to those numbers Saturday against Tri-Valley, throwing two touchdown passes and rushing for three more.
Rondout’s special teams also had a big impact on the game. Reardon, who was the starting quarterback last year, scored on an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Junior Joseph Hafner had an 80 year return putting Rondout just short of the goal line which later resulted in a rushing touchdown by Reardon.
The undermanned and very young Tri Valley team lost eight seniors to graduation and is in the process of rebuilding. Still, head coach John Rusin is proud to see how far his team has come since the beginning of the season.
“Even though we didn’t win today, we’re playing better, we’ve got a better attitude and we just have to continue to take it day to day, play to play and game to game. We just need to continue to improve physically and mentally.”
Rusin feels that with the solid amount of leadership and focus on his young team, a better future is in store.