White Plains-New Ro game stopped after boy’s jaw is broken


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Here is my story that appeared in today’s paper on the unfortunate incident at New Rochelle High on Wednesday. This isn’t the first instance of violence on a soccer field this season, but it is the most severe. Let’s hope that it’s also the last. 

escobedoAn altercation just before halftime of a boys soccer game at New Rochelle on Wednesday resulted in a broken jaw for White Plains Tigers’ junior Ozzie Escobedo.

Police were called to the scene and Escobedo was taken to Westchester Medical Center to have surgery on his broken jaw, according to White Plains coach Marcel Galligani.

“I saw the kid absolutely throw a haymaker and punch him in the face,” Galligani said.

“There was a foul across the field, there was some arguing and pushing and shoving, and next thing you knew, the guy just threw a right hook,” he said. “It was absolutely uncalled for.”

Both benches were cleared, but the situation was controlled quickly and no other punches were thrown, according to Galligani and New Rochelle athletic director Steve Young.

The New Rochelle player, whom police did not identify due to his age, has been charged with third-degree assault, a misdemeanor.

“There was a police report filed,” Galligani said. “I don’t know where it goes from there.”

After speaking with Young, officials decided to discontinue the game.

The game was scoreless with about a minute remaining in the first half.

The White Plains and New Rochelle athletic departments postponed both their varsity and junior varsity girls soccer games, which were scheduled to be played against each other on Thursday.

“It’s not what I expect when I send a team up to play a sport,” Young said. “There’s a rivalry here with White Plains. This isn’t the first time that there’s been an issue, and it’s certainly something that White Plains athletic director Jennifer DeSena, myself and our principals have to address.

“It’s funny, we had a football game against White Plains the other night with nearly 3,000 people here, and everything went great,” Young said. “It’s very upsetting.”

This is not the first incident involving bad behavior on a soccer field this season. Yonkers senior Chris Cruz was suspended for 16 games by Section 1 for allegedly shoving referee Pat Godfrey during a 3-2 overtime loss to Scarsdale’s B team on Sept. 17 at Fleming Field in Yonkers.

Photo by Tania Savayan/The Journal News

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About Author

VINCENT Z. MERCOGLIANO has been with The Journal News and LoHud.com since March 2010. He graduated from New Rochelle High School in 2005 and from Hofstra University in 2009 with a degree in broadcast journalism. He currently covers boys soccer, wrestling and baseball, while assisting with LoHud's Yankees coverage.


  1. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! It is time for the school administration, Mr.Young the A.D., coaches, parents, students, and the athletes of New Rochelle High School to be held accountable for their actions on and off the athletic fields. In the past, they have also shown disrespect and made inappropriate comments about other high school players in Section 1 on social media. Complaints were brought to the attention of the New Rochelle administration, and needless to say nothing was ever done about it. Mr.Young is correct, this is not the first time their has been a problem at athletic events between “rivals” New Rochelle and White Plains. Does he plan on doing anything about this inappropriate and dangerous behavior committed by his student athletes? Some of their fans and parents are just as bad. Does New Rochelle High School have a code of conduct for their student athletes to sign off on and abide by while participating in sports? If they do, do they enforce or look away when the rules are broken? I know other high schools in Section 1 do have code of conduct rules for their student athletes.. If Mr. Young and the rest of the New Rochelle administration cannot do their jobs, maybe some changes in administration are in order. Who runs New Rochelle High School anyway? The students or the administration? The administration of New Rochelle High School has a moral responsibility to their community and others outside of New Rochelle who compete against them to change the mindset of their student athletes,coaches and the fans who attend their sporting events. I have personally attended sporting events that New Rochelle has played in over the years, and have seen them in action for myself. There were times, and still are times when I do not enjoy watching the kids from my community compete in sports against New Rochelle High School. I also think that the administration of Section 1 also needs to take a hard stance against New Rochelle High School(and for that matter any other high school) and this type of behavior at their schools sporting events and on social media. The judge in this criminal case should not let the offending athlete get away with what he did. He needs to pay the price and be held accountable for his actions. I would also recommend the player and parents of the assaulted White Plains player to sue for medical bills and pain and suffering. Section 1 should also suspend the offending player from playing the remainder of the season and then some. The time has come for The New Rochelle High School community as a whole to wake up and smell the roses and make changes. You better take action before somebody gets killed. If they are not capable of doing so, maybe the can enlist Ray Rice to assist them. He seems to be a very well respected role model in the City of New Rochelle! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

  2. Just My Opinion on

    Oh stop it! Yes, this is a major issue that needs to and better be addressed. It’s very unfortunate that this happened. But, this is not limited to New Rochelle. Have we had the greatest of press? Absolutely not. But as a local HS coach in Westchester (not in New Ro, but I am an alum and former athlete), I see poor behavior from kids from just about every community. Every school district has a code of conduct that the kids must abide by on and off the field of competition and in and outside of school hours. Guess what No Name backwards? All the schools deal with alarming drug, alcohol, and some form of violence issues. So please don’t throw New Rochelle under the bus. Not just you, but WE all need to be calling out our communities. Call out every school district, parent, and coach. I’m not dismissing what happened yesterday. It’s very bad and very embarrassing as an alum. But just stop it with the whole New Rochelle is bad. It’s an unfortunate situation. But, the behavior of athletes in ALL communities are and should be a cause for concern. I’ve witnessed Soccer and Hockey parents act embarrassingly rowdy at their games – district and club – to the point Admins are called about it. Harrison and Scarsdale got into a fight at New Rochelle’s summer camp a few summers go which included coaches. There were issues in the Harrison and Rye game last year. Bronxville’s football team should have been charged with a felony for hazing a few years ago and they all got off clean. And let me not get started on the stupid things that happen due to underage drinking and how parents now a days condone underage drinking. So just stop it!