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Manhattan Academy of Technology this year won four major middle school sports championships in one season and without losing a single game. The championships went to the girls softball, boys baseball, girls volleyball and track and field teams.
In softball, after an undefeated regular season and a tough final eight-matchup game against East Side Community High School, Chinatown’s M.A.T found themselves facing Battery Park City powerhouse I.S. 276 in the semi-finals.
I.S 276 has state-champion pitcher Jamie Morrison and the M.A.T. Dragons found themselves fearing elimination, down 3 to 1 with two outs in the bottom of the last inning.
“Needless to say, we needed a miracle, but our kids don’t go down without a fight,” said M.A.T.’s athletic director, John DeMatteo.
No sooner had parents started filming what everyone thought would be the final out, M.A.T. eighth grader Dorie Levine hit a shot to centerfield for a base hit.
After a stolen base, Dorie was knocked home by eighth grader Casey Curran. Seventh grader Isabella Pelaez was up next and again hit a shot to send Casey home and tie the game.
After moving over to third base, sixth grader Jalyn Cassarino doubled to left center for a walk off win, sending the Dragons into the city championship for the first time in four years.
At the city championship, seventh grader Annabella Pelaez pitched a one hit gem to seal the city title for the Dragons 6 to 2 on June 10.
In boys baseball, the Dragons were the team to beat all year, ending up with the number one seed overall and defeating the Institute for Collaborative Education, Simon Baruch, Robert F. Wagner and Salk School of Science to advance to the city final four versus the Sandhogs from the Bronx.
At the old Yankee Stadium field, M.A.T. held onto a slight lead before finally winning 3 to 2. In the city final at Columbia University on May 30, the Dragons showed their dominance, winning by a crushing score of 16 to 1 behind the pitching of Eric Pascale and Max Moss.
The M.A.T. bats got hot early, as the Dragons jumped out to a 5 to 0 lead on the hitting of eighth graders Kyle Gordon, Justin Lipitz, Jason Virasami, Alex Fernandez, Louis Ostrowski, Elvis Morel and Nick Filanovsky.
“I’m very proud of the way my boys played but more importantly how they portrayed themselves as student athletes,” coach Rob Mehan said.
Coach Steve Schmidt did a great job working with the girls volleyball team in the fall (M.A.T won the city title) and their skills only got better in the spring, demonstrated by the 10-0 record the Dragons brought into the playoffs.
Led by eighth graders Anna Comitini, Maia Villalba, Lucy Yaccarino, Julie Schoenmaker, Payton Reising, Erin Eisner, Dorie Levine and Sonali Govind, the Dragons cruised to easy victories, winning in straight sets in every match including the championship against Baruch on June 9.
Seventh graders Alexis Harvell and Qi Mei Schmidt were also very instrumental in the win.
For the 11th time in 12 years, M.A.T. took home the Riozzi Cup as the District’s best track and field team. Winning by a score of 106 to 98 over Robert F. Wagner and 14 other middle schools on Verizon track on June 8, the Dragons swept the relays and had some outstanding performers.
Jason Morales was N.Y.C. champion in the 100 and 200-meter run and posted a top five national time. His relay team of Rea Davis, Massimo Bertini, Allijah Carr and Evan Gershoff won the city title as well and broke the city record.
Eric Pascale came in second in the 100 and 200-meter run and Stella Teeter was city champion in the 1600 meter run. The girls relay team of Kiana Araujo, Mya Rodriguez, Darby Jahn, Rease Griffiths and Kadijtou Darboe won in record time as well.
“Needless to say I am proud of all of my teams and what we’ve done this year has simply been unimaginable,” DeMatteo said.