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Q&A with Former Sailor Standout Snyder, a Rising Star: Daily Sports Digest June 22

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Welcome to Patch's daily snapshot of sports in Peekskill and Cortlandt.

Q+A with Caitlin Snyder

I have always told Hendrick Hudson volleyball coach Diane Swertfager that what makes her program special is not just all the success it has had throughout the years but also that the people in it are as nice as they are, that they are people that you can genuinely root for.

One of those graduates from Swertfager’s program who fits that profile to perfection is Caitlin (Krueger) Snyder, who also played softball at Hen Hud for another top-notch coach in Rosemary Malanphy.  

She would go on to be a standout softball player at Mercy College, splitting time between centerfield and catcher.

Snyder was recently named to The Business Council of Westchester’s “40 Under 40” Rising Stars List for 2012, as seen in Peekskill-Cortlandt Patch this week.

We congratulate Snyder on such a lofty honor and wish her the best in the future, which is certainly burning bright.

We also thank her for taking the time for answering the below questions for the Daily Sports Digest.

Q. In softball, you were an all-section leadoff center fielder at Hen Hud, where you graduated from in 2000 and won the League 2B crown your junior year. What were your best memories of that season?

A. A friend of mine, Tim Foley, was playing for Briarcliff Baseball at the same time I was playing for Hen Hud Softball. That year, we were particularly competitive. We would check the paper the mornings following our games to see which of our teams won, who went yard, who had a better game at the plate, etc.

Naturally, reading the paper would be followed by a phone call in which one of us had bragging rights, and the other, well…just had to listen. I’d like to say that during my junior season I did more of the talking on those phone calls, but I’m sure to this day Tim would disagree. That competitive nature started up again in college, as Tim played for Mercy Baseball.

My brother Kyle was a freshman at Rutgers University that year (Scarlet Knight Lax Middie, Hen Hud Lax Middie). He came to one of my games with his roommate who, for lack of a better term, was intense. 

While on deck, my brother’s roommate did nothing but heckle me. As I arrived at the plate, the pitcher took the mound, and then the roommate yelled “hit a homerun Krueger!” So, I did. 

Q. In volleyball, you were an outside hitter for a team your senior year that won a share of the Sailors’ fourth-straight League 2B title, which made it to the sectional finals before losing to Fox Lane.

What did it mean to you to be part of that type of success and back then could you tell that the program, under coach Diane Swertfager, was building the foundation that led to 11 straight sectional crowns, a run that started in ‘00, and three straight state titles ('06-'08)?

A. Programmatically, Diane Swertfager was one of the best coaches I have ever met. From day one, she clearly illustrated her passion for the sport and goals for the program, and throughout each season continued to keep those goals front and center. 

She was physically tough on us, which made us mentally tough for our future.  Her knowledge of the sport and deep understanding of the strengths of the team as a whole and each player individually allowed for her to develop winning strategies which undoubtedly led to our success and that of our successors.

Q. Playing softball at Mercy College, where you were captain for two years before graduating in '04, you had a .491 batting average your senior year, which was second in NCAA Division II. What enabled you to have that type of success?

A. At around age 5, my father realized my potential at the plate, and quickly put up a batting tunnel in our backyard.  I must say that my father was a bit nervous about the 2nd portion of my offensive play (base running), as I apparently ran like Groucho Marx at that age. Thank goodness that was just a phase.

Next, I was a proud member of the Hudson River Bandits softball organization for about 5 years. I spent my summers with the Bandits playing with and against some of the nation’s top softball players…perfecting my “craft” of hitting. 

While at Mercy, I spent my free time in the cages at Frozen Ropes, receiving instruction from former Major and Minor league ballplayers. I usually prefer not to state the obvious, however, practice does make perfect.

Q. How did playing sports help you for the job you have now, which is Director of Special Events and Major Gifts officer at Mercy College?

A. Through athletics, I developed specific characteristics that drive my work ethic on the softball field and in my professional field. Leadership, execution, dedication, loyalty, resilience, etc. have all played a part in my success. I don’t have to try and be this way…it’s the only way I know.

Officials Needed

The below is according to MSG Varsity's Kevin Devaney Jr.'s twitter account:

Section 1 will host an Officials Recruiting Fair at Briarcliff HS gym on Wed June 27 from 4-7. Officials are needed badly in all sports!

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About this column: Your daily stop for the latest on sports in your town, from little league, to recreational soccer to varsity football.

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