Crusaders celebrate Fall Sports with surprising rally

QB Azaan Ledbetter ’21 talking to the school

Steven Rissotto '20, Editor-in-Chief

The Crusader Community gathered inside Lindland Theater on Thursday, as they held a surprise mentor group rally to honor the fall sports participants. Since the Frosh Olympics took up the brunt of the last full rally, the mentor group schedule was able to squish in a moment for the Riordan athletes.

The event was hosted by School Captain Michael Gray ’20 and Vice School Captain Aidan Murtagh ’20, who walked down the two middle aisles sporting purple ties. They also included sunglasses in their attire, an interesting selection even as the lights went down in the theater to make way for party lights flashing everywhere.

As one of the senior team leaders, Murtagh introduced the Varsity Cross Country team. Coming fresh off a meet at the Lowell Invitational last Saturday, the group recognized two new additions to the group. Science teacher Julia Balisteri and English teacher Mary Dalton join head coach Benny Willers ’08 as members of the coaching staff. The players ran down the aisles in shoulder pads and helmets, a complete opposite of their usual attire. The crowd erupted with laughter.

“We are miles ahead of our competition,” Murtagh confidently stated.

Gray next introduced the next club as “the athletic program you can actually go watch.” In their white home jerseys, the 2-0 Varsity Football team was brought up on stage with new head coach Mark Modeste. Coming off two wins, the team has already surpassed their victory count from last season. A 26-24 win against Terra Nova and a recent 39-27 victory against Tamalpais did the job. Modeste — whose father coached the Crusader football team almost 60 years ago and created the victory bell — was quick to compliment the energy and electric atmosphere around the team.

“Terra Nova felt like a home game for us. Thank you guys for that”, Modeste said.

The first year head coach for Riordan estimated that the Crusaders rushed about 900 yards in their first two games. Junior running back Fazon Ruth ’21 was a large reason why, as he rushed for 495 yards and six touchdowns in his first two contests.

The new field renovations also recorded a mention, as the hopeful target dates are November 2 and November 9 against Saint Francis and Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Quarterback Azaan Ledbetter ’20 and defensive tackle Gabe Martin ’20 took over the microphone. Martin used the team slogan, “#MakeThat Choice”, while Ledbetter expressed a distinct message, and revealed the club’s mindset is to “go 10-0”.

The final segment was the alma mater, performed by the award-winning concert band. The fall sports at Archbishop Riordan High School are ones that remind students and teachers how exciting the start of the school year actually is.