Croton Tigers Settle Long Time Rivalry - For Now

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The Tigers-Sailors rivalry game Photo Credit: Jessica Glenza
Jesse Mainiero, 8, Croton Tigers' quarterback Photo Credit: Jessica Glenza
Jesse Mainiero, 8, Croton Tigers' quarterback Photo Credit: Jessica Glenza

MONTROSE, N.Y. – A 46-year rivalry between the Sailors and the Tigers was settled on Friday night, at least for this year. The Tigers will have bragging rights through the season, with a 41-13 victory over the Sailors. The neighboring teams will continue their weekly scrimmages again on Wednesday.

“The score is not indicative of the play that went on today,” said John Catano, head coach of the Croton Tigers, “it was a tough game.”

More than 2,000 people showed up at Hendrick Hudson High School to cheer on their respective teams, Croton dressed in black, and Hen Hud dressed in white.

The game was broadcast by MSG Varsity.

The Sailors started the game off with a 73 yard touchdown at the beginning of the first quarter, run by quarterback Joe Fraietta, number 12. The Tigers quickly rallied, making three touchdowns during the first quarter.

The Tigers dominated in the second and third quarters, the team is ranked sixth in New York State Class B.

Jesse Mainiero, the Tiger’s quarterback, was the hero of the night, making multiple touchdowns. Catano commented afterward, “He might have played the best game of his career tonight.”

Mainiero made total of four touchdowns, saying “It was a big game, I did it not only for this team, but for past years,” referring to the varsity teams which graduated before him, and hadn’t had a chance to play Hen Hud.

Despite the point spread, Fraietta made a touchdown in the beginning of the fourth quarter to rally the crowd. “I’m always trying to pick up the team,” said Fraietta, about the 58 yard touchdown one minute into the fourth quarter, “I made a nice catch, it was a big play for us.” The game’s final touchdown was made by Mainiero, with five minutes left in the fourth quarter.

“We battled,” said Hen Hud co-head coach Michael Lynch. "Playing your rival—the kids are fired up.” Perhaps the best part of the night for the Sailors was the packed bleachers. “It was great driving down the street,” he said, “and seeing, ‘Go Hen Hud.’”

At least one player from the Tigers-Sailors 1965 game was present to see the rivalry renewed. Mike DePalma, Croton-Harmon Class of 1968, said, “We had the biggest rivalry going, Croton and Hen Hud,” he added, “A monster rivalry.”

The Hendrick Hudson High School’s population took the teams out of the same class, thus they didn’t play during the season anymore. He said he doesn’t remember the score, or who won, but that the night was cold, and he was back with his grown son on Friday night, to cheer Croton on.  

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