Dyker Heights

At Poly Prep, there’s just too many to choose from

March 27, 2023 Andy Furman
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DYKER HEIGHTS — There were just too many to make a fair and honest choice.

That’s because Poly Prep Country Day School is truly a breeding ground for extraordinary athletes.

Female athletes.

The 2023 season at the Dyker Heights school celebrates more than 45 years of women’s sports on the beautiful campus.

Just take a look at the volleyball team;

  • 2022 NYSAIS Champions over Avenues
  • 2021 NYSAIS Champions over Fieldston
  • 4 NYSAIS Championships in-a-row not including canceled 2020 season
  • 11-game win streak from September 2017

And currently there are four Prep grads playing on the college level: Lauren Kauppila, a setter at Williams College; Rei Baker, a middle at Franklin & Marshall; Bella Caffuzzi, a middle at Trinity and Avery Myers, an outside at Washington & Lee.

Ariana Rodriquez, a dominant performer on this year’s team, will take her skill-set to the University of Miami and teammate Paulina Marino-Bindi will continue her athletic and academic career at Wesleyan.

Poly Prep Day School, 2022 Undefeated Baseball Team with New York Mets Hall of Famer, Joh Franco. Photo Courtesy of Poly Prep

Poly Prep student-athletes achieve phenomenal growth across all sports for both boys and girls. The athletic department at the school boasts some of the nation’s most successful coaches.

“The program is education-based, teaching student athletes important lessons that serve them well after they leave school,” Kym Carter, a former Olympian and Athletic Director at the Prep told the Eagle sometime back. “The athletics program presents opportunities, great experiences, quality competition and an unrivaled sense of sportsmanship.”

Just ask Julia Belle Reyfman, a senior who enrolled at the Prep in eighth grade. Now a senior, she’s blossomed into one of the state’s and league’s best javelin throwers. She ranked second in the state with a best 41.88-m or 137’5. Next stop, Brown University.

Sophomore Holyn Karp is a four-star tennis recruit – she’s been Poly’s No. 1 singles performer the past two seasons – going undefeated in the regular season (11-0) and 6-0 in Ivy Prep Conference play.

Poly Prep girls basketball team. Photo courtesy of Poly Prep

Poly Prep varsity girls’ tennis holds 10 Ivy Prep League titles; and two alumnae are competing at the college level – Josephine Kimball (Manhattan College) and Bella Saul (Brooklyn College).

Good players are developed through good teaching and coaching. Jeff Amurao handles the team at Poly. He played collegiately at Georgetown University, is a USPTA Elite Level/PTR Pro certified coach with an emphasis in technical player development and high-level performance training.

And Poly’s facilities: six tennis courts with lights.

Basketball boasts a First-Team All-Ivy Prep and First-Team BCANY All-State Private School forward Julissa Velazquez. She led the team in rebounding en route to a 17-4 record where they were runner-up for the NYSAIS State Championship.

Teammate Neve Yair, is a Second-Team All-Ivy Prep league and Second-Team BCANY All-State Private School guard.

Poly’s Lacrosse team made its first-semi-final appearance last spring in the NYSAIS tournament, a first since 2014.

Talk about growth! The roster had 24 total players in 2018-19. Today it boasts 42 between JV and Varsity programs – and two guards are playing on the NCAA level – Maggie Fort (2019) is a midfielder at Fairfield University and Jordan Denaver (2020) is an attacker at Haverford College.

And Elektra Urbatsch apparently just couldn’t get enough. The senior participates in volleyball and water polo.

Poly Prep was founded in 1854 and is an independent co-educational day school with two campuses. The Middle and High School is located on an expansive 25-acre campus at the foot of the Verrazano Bridge with technologically advanced classrooms, multiple gyms, outdoor fields, indoor and outdoor pools and a state-of-the-art performance theater.

Poly Prep is a member of the Ivy Preparatory School League and is known for its distinguished athletic programs.

Matt Roventini. Photo courtesy of Poly Prep

And we just might have saved the best for last: the Matt Roventini baseball dynasty. He’s coached 410 baseball games at Poly Prep in 19 seasons – and won 337.

That’s an .821 winning percentage. Tremendous in any league.

And the Prep added their 14th consecutive Ivy League championship last season with an undefeated (14-0) record and went 19-4 overall.

Try topping that.

Andy Furman is a Fox Sports Radio national talk show host. Previously, he was scholastic sports columnist for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. He may be reached at: andyf@brooklyneagle.,com Twitter: @AndyFurmanFSR


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