By Justin Rodriguez
Section 9 Football Insider
New Paltz coach Tom Tegeler shared with what he thought was his unsuspecting his team that he just picked up career win No. 100 after the Huguenots upset third-seeded Warwick in the Class A playoff quarterfinals last Friday.
However, Tegeler’s team was way ahead of him.
Before the Warwick game, New Paltz star linebacker Kenny Verney held a players’ only meeting, letting them know that Tegeler was on the verge of the milestone and that they had to bring it home for him with a win over Warwick.
“As soon as I heard about him approaching 100 wins, I had to motivate the team,” Verney said. “Coach Tegeler means so much to this team and he does everything for us. We wanted to give something back to him. It felt good to beat Warwick and help Coach Tegeler get the milestone.”
Sixth-seeded New Paltz (4-4), a Class B school last year, hopes to play spoiler again when it takes on second-seeded Goshen (6-1) in the Class A semifinals at 7 p.m. on Friday night at Dietz Stadium in Kingston. The Gladiators overcame a seven-point halftime deficit to defeat New Paltz 29-14 two weeks ago to clinch their first divisional title since 1994.
“I’m happy to face them again because we have some unfinished business,” Verney said. “I think we got too confident when we were up last time. But Goshen is a great team and we hopefully can pull out a win.”
New Paltz put away Warwick 21-6 in a rare playoff game that a sixth seed knocks off a third seed. Verney rushed for two touchdowns and also had 12 tackles and a fumble recovery to highlight an impressive defensive performance. The New Paltz-Goshen winner plays top-seeded Cornwall or Minisink Valley, the fifth seed, for the title, next week.
“Everyone was doubting us, so it felt good to beat Warwick,” New Paltz defensive lineman Blaise Driscoll said. “They were out there dancing during warm-ups and stuff like that, but we came out there and kicked their butt, honestly. We also wanted to win for Coach Tegeler because he is such a great coach and works so hard.”
Tegeler is now 100-71 in 18 seasons. He has led New Paltz to four Section 9 championships (2002, 2007, 2010, 2016) and three other finals appearances (2003, 2008,2017). He starred in baseball and football at Rondout Valley. He went on to play baseball at Division I St. Bonaventure and was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2017. Tegeler is Section 9’s 12th all-time winningest coach.
“I’m excited to get my 100th win,” Tegeler said. “It has been on my mind the last couple of weeks. We have had our ups and downs, but the kids played their best game of the year against Warwick. I’m proud of this program. We might not be the shiniest apple in the grocery store. We aren’t ever 7-0 or 9-0, but we are always ready to play. I don’t think anyone looks forward to playing us.”
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