The date’s September 3rd, 2021. Ramapo High School is faced off against West Essex in their first official game of the season. Ramapo’s on defense. Suddenly, the crowd erupts and linebacker Dylan Snee comes marching from his defensive stop, arms flexed, getting the crowd hyped. At this point, it was confirmed that Dylan Snee is a force to be reckoned with.
Football has always been a significant aspect of Dylan’s life. The Snee family is no stranger to the sport. Dylan’s father, Chris Snee, was a star guard at Boston College and on the New York Giants, solidifying himself as a 2022 Hall of Fame nominee. Because of his great familial ties to the sport and his built up love for the game, Dylan has made it his personal goal to be the best football player he can possibly be.
“Once I was allowed to play, I took the opportunity,” comments Dylan.
Dylan’s ultimate goal to be a great player has come to fruition at Ramapo, and his 8 years of intense training has obviously paid off. Dylan Snee was a key part of Ramapo’s special teams during his sophomore year, racking up 12 tackles. However, it comes to no one’s surprise that Dylan has recently garnered the title of captain and leader of the team as his usage on the defensive end skyrocketed this current year. So far, Dylan has 18 solo tackles, 36 total tackles (6.0 tackles per game), and 1.0 sacks.
Even though numerous key players of the team graduated last year, Dylan along with other seniors such as Daniel Goldberg, Jack Denblaker, Jack Remo, Robbie Travers, and many others have led Ramapo to a hot 6-0 start to the season. Dylan’s role as a leader of this dominant squad is highly warranted as he’s often described by teammates as not only a hard worker, but a selfless player.
“I do what I’m told and always work 100%,” says Dylan, “regardless of if it benefits my stats or not.”
The game of football has always been more to Dylan than just awards and recognition.
“The best part about playing on the team is how close we all are to one another,” says Dylan. “We are together so much during the year that we have become a family, and it’s good to know that I’ve made some brothers for life.”
This appreciation is not one sided. It’s clear that Dylan’s teammates also share a special appreciation of him as Dylan does with them.
“He’s a great player and has shown very good leadership as the captain of our team,” says senior defensive end Nick August. “He’s an all around great asset to the team.”
Just as football will always be a part of his life, so too will Ramapo. When talking about what he’ll miss most about Ramapo, Dylan Snee says, “I’m going to miss how close everyone is. I’m always seeing someone in the hall that I know and always know someone in a class; it’s pretty special.”
While his time at Ramapo might be coming to an end, his time with football is seemingly just beginning. As of now, Dylan is in talks with schools in the Ivy and Patriot League including Dartmouth, Cornell, Fordham, Lafayette, and many others.
And Dylan, while you continue to be a commanding force on the defensive field, let it be known that we here at Ramapo will miss you!
Pictured is linebacker Dylan Snee after a defensive stop against West Essex. Photo Courtesy of Dylan Snee
EMILY CHICO: DEFENSIVE DYNAMO
BY: Sarah Chagares, Co-Editor in Chief
BY: Sarah Chagares, Co-Editor in Chief
There is no “off season” for senior soccer standout Emily Chico. When she is not organizing the Ramapo defensive line, she is playing for her club team or engaged in her rigorous personal training regime. That schedule is not likely to change any time soon as her senior season winds down and she transitions to her new role on her collegiate soccer team.
Chico has been a stalwart and dependable member of the soccer team since her freshman year. However, she began playing soccer long before she trotted onto the sacred Ramapo turf. Her interest in the beautiful game began when she was in first grade. That interest evolved into a passion for the sport, which carried her through her adolescence, eventually securing a varsity spot on the Ramapo squad.
Playing the position of “outside back” Chico anchors of one of the strongest defensive lines in the state. The senior explained, “There is a lot of running in that position as you have to constantly get up and down the field. It is also a big responsibility because I am in the last line of defense before our goal.” The Ramapo defense has been successful in keeping the ball out of their goal as evidenced by the team’s national ranking.
Crediting her teammates for the team’s success Chico commented, “My favorite part of being on the team is the environment and the players. We are an amazing team with undeniable talent, and not only that but we are a team and a family of twenty-one incredible girls who are constantly working hard and giving 110% no matter what the situation we are in and always laughing and supporting each other.”
Coach Madeline Gibbs was very complimentary of the senior defensive player, proffering, “Emily is hardworking, determined and motivated. She has received numerous impressive accolades over the years, such as, all state, all county and all league. She is a phenomenal captain and leader for the Ramapo girls soccer program. I am also proud to announce she is one of twenty girls on the east coast selected to play in the All-American game this December. This is extremely deserving and I am excited for the rest of our season and to watch her success grow in college.”
Chico, like seniors before her, wants to leave a legacy for future players and to that end she opined, “I would want our senior class to be remembered as a hardworking, dedicated, responsible and comforting class because starting out as a freshman that is what I hoped for and that is what I experienced and I am very grateful for it.”
Even as she enjoys her last few games on the Ramapo pitch, Chico’s focus is not only what is right in front of her, but also what is coming in the distance, much like her focus on the field during a match. She is looking forward to attending the University of South Carolina where she will don a garnet and black uniform as a member of the USC women’s soccer team. But for right now the future Gamecock is still enjoying her last few months of being a Raider.
Emily looks to find an open teammate. (Emily Chico)
Emily dribbles past the opponent. (Emily Chico)
You can’t talk about New Jersey softball without mentioning first baseman Macy Eglinton Manner. Starting in Maryland when she was only 9, Manner has developed a mentality to be the best she can be, which has helped solidify her as one of the most fearsome forces in the entire state. Also being a varsity multisport athlete, Manner has shown Ramapo her awesome capabilities.
Although the softball season has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Manner has managed to put up her usual amazing statistics. In total, Manner has notched 5 home runs and a great batting average of .329.
She also has over 50 total hits and over 50 runs. She would also like to mention that she has 27 hit-by-pitches in just one season. Attention across the state has been rightfully placed on Manner, which has helped her get two Second Team All-League in 2019 and 2020.
Because of her great work ethic and skills, Manner has helped lead the team to a 27-5 record. She also helped the Raiders win their first BCT title since 2008, making plays such as a 6th inning 5-5-3 double play while holding down 3rd base.
Over the course of her career at Ramapo, Manner has built up a great relationship with her team.
“[I’m going to miss] my teammates and the sense of family the Ramapo softball program has fostered for my four years,” says Manner.
Manner has always been up for a good challenge ever since her beginnings.
“I started playing because I wanted to participate in a fun team sport and I liked the challenge of learning all the different components of softball, like how to hit, throw, and field,” says Manner when asked why she started playing softball.
Her hard-working mentality found its way into the classroom, helping her obtain a spot in the prestigious Notre Dame class of 2025. Even though she still has a long way to go in her journey, Manner will always be grateful for her time at Ramapo.
“The willingness of everyone to help you and see you succeed,” says Manner when asked what she’ll miss most about Ramapo. “Ramapo as an institution has a reputation of producing well-rounded and successful individuals and I will always be proud to have been a part of this incredible community.”
Manner also has unfaltering thanks to the people who have helped her along the way, including her parents.
“My parents have contributed most to my success is always being by my side offering unwavering support and encouragement,” says Manner. “They never doubted my abilities and were always cheering for me and my team at each game.”
She also didn’t want to leave out her coaches.
“Additionally, Coach Baldino and Coach White for softball and Coach O’Neill and Coach Van Hook for volleyball have been irreplaceable in their guidance throughout my high school career,” says Manner. “They always believed in my athletic talent and pushed me to work hard in every practice and game.”
And as a final expression of gratitude, Manner says:
“I can hardly express how grateful I am for these people in my life and will continue to carry their lessons with me after graduating from Ramapo.”
Macy, everyone here at Ramapo is extremely grateful for what you have given to the school, and you will always be a true Ramapo Raider!
For the last 4 years, Ramapo has had the privilege of witnessing the majestics brought to the tennis court by senior Shannon Cicero. Playing for eight years, Shannon has learned to perfect her craft which has led her to becoming the 15th ranked player in New Jersey and the 358th best player in the entire country.
Her dedication to the game has clearly paid off as she has won numerous coveted state awards. These include being placed on the 1st Team All-Conference and 3rd Team All-County several times, 3rd Team All-Region in her sophomore year, and 3rd Team All-State in her junior year. Not only this, but Shannon has won a multitude of nationwide honors, including USTA Sectional Finalist 5 times, Sectional Champion 7 times, National Semifinalist, and National Quarterfinalist.
Continuing to lead the tennis team to greatness, Ramapo is at a current record of 8-1, even beating school rival Northern Highlands. And because of her constant leadership over the years, the team has shown great gratitude and thanks.
“Shannon has been the absolute best captain and friend throughout this past year,” says junior Rochelle Kitovsky. “She always believes that the team can win, no matter how much doubt we have in ourselves. Next year the remaining varsity players will all greatly miss
Shannon and her enthusiasm on the court.”
Along with this, it’s clear that Shannon loves Ramapo and its community
“I will miss the sense of community at Ramapo the most,” says Shannon. “Knowing that all of my peers want me to succeed and represent our school with pride is an exhilarating feeling. All of my teachers have been so supportive of me both academically and athletically, and I will forever be grateful for that.”
A hard worker who never gives up, Shannon attributes her success to her teammates, teachers, coaches, and her mother, who got her into tennis in the first place.
“I am so proud of how far Shannon has come and excited to see what is to come in the next four years,” says Mrs. Cicero.
And because of her success over her tennis career, Shannon has recently committed to Hamilton College to continue to better her education and tennis career.
But all in all, for your constant help to the Ramapo team and community, we will miss you Shannon!
Known for her profound leadership, companionship, and drive on the soccer field, in the gym, and in the classroom, Haley Schmidt continues to make her mark as a star athlete. Her soccer career began roughly 7 years ago when she first realized her abilities on the local RYSA Wildcats team. Having been surrounded by a soccer-oriented family, she gained inspiration and love for the sport by her father, a key mentor and influential figure in her success. In addition to being selected captain for the Ramapo girls team, she was also chosen to represent this role on her travel team, the NJ Stallions. She has shown her commitment to this team for over 7 years and has grown as a soccer player from her influential coach, who played for the Israeli National Team. Haley has also proven her devotion towards the community, as she took part in refereeing the local recreation teams and contributed to the Top Soccer Buddy Program where she taught special needs children the basics of the game.
As a defensive center midfielder, Haley plays a significant role on the field, both offensively and defensively. Her ability to connect passes and share the ball with the whole team is something that she is most recognized for.
Schmidt’s success has been acknowledged through her acquisition of notable awards over the years and for being selected for some competitive teams and organizations. She received 1st team all-league (3 years), 1st team all-county, and all-state honors recognition. She was also selected to play in the Olympic Development Program (ODP) where she competed with other highly skilled players from all over the state of New Jersey. A few years ago, she was also selected to play on the Next Generation Regional Team, where she and other talented players traveled to compete in games and practices in Montreal, Canada. However, one of her most noteworthy achievements was her commitment to play D1 soccer at her dream school, the University of Pittsburgh.
Here at Ramapo, Schmidt helped lead the team to many successes and league championships in which during her junior year, the girls won the Northern New Jersey league and the Bergen County tournament against Ridgewood. She also contributed to the team’s win at the State Group 3 Sectional and their eventual State Group 3 Finals appearance where they unfortunately lost. Sadly, this year, due to COVID they haven’t participated in any tournaments; however, the captain has led the team in acquiring their record of 8 wins and 2 losses.
Haley has been recognized for being a vocal leader, a team player, a positive figure, and, above all, a great teammate. Although she is usually the smallest player on the field at just 5’2, she manages to physically battle and compete in the midfield against much taller players.
Despite some adversity that she has faced over the years, Haley has continued to push through it all. Facing numerous injuries such as concussions, constant hamstring tears, and an appendix removal, she has exemplified her mental and physical strength by getting right back onto the field right after her recovery.
She has been preparing for the next step in her collegiate soccer career with weight training, 6 mile runs, personal trainers, proper dieting, practices, and games. In doing this, Schmidt has also been working towards her future goal of competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) with national team players and athletes from all over the world.
Haley remarks on her past experiences at Ramapo stating, “I am so thankful for the best four years of my life, playing alongside my best friends and being mentored by some of the greatest coaches and staff.”
Wishing success on future Ramapo teams, she also says, “I am so glad to have been surrounded by such a positive atmosphere and I am devastated that it has come to an end. However, I am so excited for what is to come in the next phase of my life. I wish the best of luck to the Ramapo soccer community, and, in the years to come, I know they are going to do amazing things.”
Ultimately, Schmidt has greatly contributed to the team by inspiring her underclassmen to work hard and leading the team in many great titles. The team, community, and staff will miss you greatly, and we wish you luck at Pittsburgh!
Ever since age 8, Ramapo running back Richie Sica has made his mark on the New Jersey football world and has solidified himself as a premier force on the field. And ever since then, Ramapo students and staff have been gratefully able to witness the majestics put on the turf by Sica. His status as one of the leaders of the football team comes to no surprise considering this year's stats. With almost 400 total yards and notching 77.2 yards per game, he has become one of the state’s biggest threats when the ball is in his hands.
Although the Ramapo football season has been cut short in numerous instances, Sica along with quarterback and Harvard commit Charles DePrima have led the team to the second best record in the league, dominating teams like Pascack Valley (42-7) and Paramus (48-7). Sica’s role as a leader is also quite warranted as his teammates and coaches often describe him as being a hardworking and tough individual.
His stats also speak for his game. Offensively, in the last 3 years, Sica has notched a total of 167 carries for 838 rushing yards, 8 rushing touchdowns, and 13 receptions for 119 yards that resulted in another 3 touchdowns. Defensively, Sica has recorded 118 tackes, 3 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles. As shown by his statistical record, Sica has garnered himself the title of a menace on the field both offensively and defensively.
Because of these stats, he has also gained numerous awards this season including the highly coveted first-team all county and first-team all league.
But playing football for Richie has not always been about the recognition, stats, or the awards, but rather also about the special relationships he has formed with his fellow teammates. “My favorite part about playing was being with my teammates 24/7,” says Richie Sica. “The bonds and memories I created with those guys on and off the field will stay with me forever.”
And ever since that day in 4th grade when he picked up that football, Sica has always had a special bond with the game, and thus also with Ramapo. When talking about what he’ll miss most about Ramapo, Richie Sica says, “I’m going to miss seeing all the friends I made over the years.”
Teammates obviously show the same gratitude towards him as he does for them. “He’s a great athlete, leader, and a hard worker for the team,” says fellow senior football player Jack
Brady. “He wanted to do whatever it took to win, and that built a great team mentality.”
With all of the friends and awards that Sica has garnered over the years, he would especially like to thank those who contributed to his success. He says, “I’d like to thank my parents and coaches because they have always supported me and guided me through the right path, helping me become who I am today.”
But the journey for Sica is not over yet. Along with football, he has been given a coveted scholarship to Rider University to play baseball for the team, garnering high praise from Prep Baseball Report and Perfect Game.
And Richie, while you continue to showcase your talent on the field, let it be known that Ramapo will miss you!
Aidan Bennett-Jones Senior Spotlight - Sarah Chagares
When the referee blows the whistle, either at the beginning of the game or the beginning of the second half of the game, Ramapo soccer fans undoubtedly notice that one of the home team’s players inconspicuously bends down to touch the 50-yard line. That team member is Aidan Bennett-Jones and that gesture is his traditional pre-game ritual. This ceremonial act, together with years of hard work and discipline, has served the senior soccer player well and has resulted in his selection as the recipient of this month’s Senior Spotlight recognition.
Bennett-Jones fell in love with what is known as “the beautiful game” when he was a young boy and tried out for his first soccer team. He knew that he had discovered his passion when each week he found himself looking forward to both his soccer practices and games. Fast-forward about thirteen years and Bennett-Jones has become just that . . . a “fast forward” soccer star for the Ramapo Boys Soccer Team.
Known for his quickness as well as his technical ability with the ball at his feet, the soccer standout relishes playing the “striker” position. When asked what he enjoys most about that role, he explained, “I am able to run and utilize my speed, creating goal opportunities for my teammates and myself.” Bennett-Jones has, indeed, excelled in goal scoring, amassing over 22 goals since he began playing on the varsity squad in his sophomore year. These impressive statistics and his well-honed skills on the soccer pitch have not gone unnoticed as he was named to the “All State–Second Team”, the “All Conference-First Team” and the “All Group-Second Team” as an underclassman. These accolades demonstrate what an asset Bennett-Jones is to the team.
When he is not scoring soccer goals for Ramapo, the athlete spends his time with his friends as well as playing other sports. Participating in athletic events helps the student-athlete relax and provides an escape for him from the demands of school responsibilities, homework and other obligations. As a matter of fact, during the winter months he dons a different Ramapo uniform and is a playmaker on the varsity basketball team. Quite appropriately, his favorite school subject is “Geography” which speaks to his knack for locating his teammates both on the soccer field and the basketball court.
Bennett-Jones’ senior season, sadly, has been cut short due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, the shortened season has dampened neither his enthusiasm to play for his high school nor his gratitude for the opportunity to proudly wear a Raider uniform. He shared, “There is a culture amongst the team. Every year that I have been in the program I have not thought of my teammates as part of a team. Instead, everyone sees each other as family.” He added, “The camaraderie on and off the field is unmatched.” The senior captain believes that this feeling of inclusiveness and collegiality begins at the top with Coach Evan Baumgarten. Speaking about his coach, Bennett-Jones posited, “Coach Baumgarten is one of the most caring people I have ever met. He really knows how to make a team’s culture stronger. It is safe to say that he is the best coach I have ever had.”
Bennett-Jones obviously has a great deal of respect for his coach and his teammates, and apparently, that respect is mutual. Fellow captain and senior, Colin McKenna, praised his teammate asserting, “Aidan is a very hard worker and brings a lot of offensive skill to the team. His speed helps us out a lot all over and he brings a lot of energy whenever he is on the field.” McKenna’s words exemplify the special relationship the teammates share.
In conclusion, Bennett-Jones’ dedication to his teammates, his consistent hard work and yes, his ritual of touching the 50-yard line right before kick-off, have all contributed to the senior’s
reputation as one of the stars of the Ramapo soccer team. As this unprecedented soccer season winds to a close it is certain that the athlete’s brief touches of the sacred ground that is the Ramapo field will become even more meaningful to him and to his senior teammates. Even as Bennett-Jones touches that 50-yard line on the Ramapo soccer field for the last time as a Ramapo player, he can be assured that his contributions to the Ramapo Boys Soccer Team’s storied legacy will continue to shine brightly at his soon-to-be alma mater.