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New Rochelle Opens Defense of Section 1 Title

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – The water station gushed relief for players on the New Rochelle back practice field Friday morning as the hometown Huguenots hit the artificial turf for the opening day of summer practice.

“We’re looking good so far,” junior Andrew DiRienzo said, while firing footballs to the drilling player stations on the field. “We have a good group of returning players, a lot of juniors. The numbers aren’t as high as last year, but we a good core group and everyone can contribute.”

Section 1, the local scholastic public schools sports organization, opened its football practice season officially Friday, with Westchester teams out on the field for the first time. New Rochelle, the five-time defending Section 1 Class AA large school champion, went 9-1 last fall and lost in the state regional playoff to Troy 21-19.

“We’re going to be good,” said Kahlil Edney, a lean junior sprinter type, who was leaning toward the water station. “I think we have a great team. We’ll be working hard.”

Local varsity football teams are required to practice 11 days before taking part in scrimmages with other schools. The local high school regular season begins on Friday, Sept. 9 with a dozen games. Most of the remaining teams open on Saturday, Sept. 10.

The Huguenots worked its second session of the day is four section, repeating drills as coach Lou DiRienzo coordinated the workout.

“We’re out working hard,” DiRienzo said. “It’s all about getting things straight and being prepared.”

New Rochelle opens its season on Sept. 10 at home against Fox Lane.

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