Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cadets have Hart, win second straight CCHS tourney title

This was what Albany Academy's Nolan Hart faced through the first three quarters of Saturday's CCHS Holiday Hoop Tournament championship game against Lansingburgh. Hart, however, earned his Tournament MVP award in the fourth quarter, leading the Cadets to a 57-50 victory and their second consecutive CCHS Tournament title. (Photos by J.S. Carras - The Record).

Hart completed a three-point play as soon as Lansingburgh tied the game at 43-43 and he hit a wide-open three-pointer with 39.7 seconds to go that put the Cadets ahead by six and sealed the deal. He added three points from the free throw stripe the rest of the way, finishing with 12 points in the championship game and 30 points overall in the two games.

Hart couldn't exactly remember that last time he won tournament MVP honors anywhere, but he was quick to thank his teammates for the hardware.

"Not since when I was younger, maybe JV in ninth grade," Hart said, "but I look to my teammates, definitely. It was a team win. I played poorly in the first half, but I was happy to help my team out at the end."

"It’s not a secret to everybody that they’re going to try to stop Nolan Hart from shooting the basketball," said Academy head coach Brian Fruscio. "He’s a really special shooter and he has a great skill, but he’s worked really hard in the offseason to put the ball on the ground and go some places."

Hunter McCarthy provided plenty of energy for the Cadets and was also an All-Tournament selection. The sixth man a year ago, McCarthy is learning to keep himself in control from the opening tip as a starter, but he ran into foul trouble early in the first and third quarters.

Junior forward David Benoks, who was limited by injuries the last two years, added 17 points and 10 rebounds Saturday afternoon, proving to be an adequate replacement for Chris Pelcher. Benoks scored 35 points and grabbed 23 rebounds in the tournament.

Academy (2-0) jumped out to a 10-0 run to start the game, but Lansingburgh stuck around and crawled back to tie the game midway through the fourth quarter before Hart took matters into his own hands.

"We came out firing with our guns blazing, but they crept back into the game," Hart said. "It was definitely a test of our mettle and it was good to pull this one out. Other teams haven’t played yet and we already have two wins under our belt."

Lansingburgh senior center Tyler Hammett, held scoreless by Catholic Central, scored a game-high 19 points in the championship game and grabbed 20 total rebounds in the tournament.

"I was very proud of the effort," Lansingburgh head coach Guy DiBacco, an Albany Academy alumnus, said. "We were down 10-0 and I was worried that maybe playing in a crosstown tournament in a championship game we got a little nervous. But we battled back against a great Class AA team."

Kingston downed Catholic Central in the consolation game, 63-57, behind 30 points from Davonne Dunlap.

Shiva Senthil scored 23 points for the Crusaders, while Mike McFerran added 13.

Lansingburgh's Salaam Knight elevates over Albany Academy's David Benoch during the first quarter of Saturday's game at Msgr. Burns Gymnasium in Troy.


Catholic Central High School Holiday Hoop Tournament All-Tournament team

MVP -
Nolan Hart, Albany Academy
Hunter McCarthy, Albany Academy
Salaam Knight, Lansingburgh
Davonne Dunlap, Kingston
Mike McFerran, Catholic Central

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Sweet Home 34, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 7

Section II will wait at least another year for a football championship, as Sweet Home defeated Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class A championship game for the second consecutive year.

Amsterdam's 2005 Class A championship team remains the most recent state championship-winning squad from Section II.
Section II has advanced to the Class A championship game in four of the past five years.

Here are some pictures from the game, courtsey Erica Miller of The Saratogian. Make sure to read Nicole Russo's full account of the game in Sunday's edition of The Saratogian.







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Friday, November 27, 2009

The day BH-BL football changed course

I don't usually get the pleasure of writing about my alma mater, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, but thinking about the Spartans' second trip to the Carrier Dome in as many years got me thinking.

I think I know the exact day Burnt Hills' success on the gridiron began.

Turn back the clock to the fall of 2000. Our JV team had just finished a second straight 1-8 season and the varsity team went 2-7. The mood wasn't great as we handed our in pads and helmets that November.

Rather than have the annual banquet at the Holiday Inn in Saratoga Springs, Burnt Hills head coach Ed Ronca switched the location to the Ballston Lake Baptist Church just across Lakehill Road from Stevens Elementary. Unlike most years, it was closed to parents. Players and coaches only were invited to a special meeting.

There were some funny things that happened that night. Varsity players exchanged gag gifts and we traded funny stories from the season. On the other hand, it was a very somber occasion. This was not your typical end-of-season party because the program had, in effect, hit rock bottom.

I don't remember exactly what was said or what happened in the basement of that church, but in a few short hours, the mood surrounding the program changed, excitement was built and many players hit the weight room and camps in the following months.

The next season, Ronca's final year at the helm, Burnt Hills won its first eight games before losing to La Salle in the Section II Class A semis. The Spartans lost in the semis a year later at Amsterdam under then first-year head coach Matt Shell. A foundation for success had been built.

Matt Shell's personal story has been well-documented. His brilliance as a coach - both as a leader and an offensive whiz - is perhaps overshadowed by his circumstances. He, his coaching staff (Jason LaPietro, Shawn Kline and Pete Parisi, longtime BH-BL assistants all) and certainly all of his players deserve the credit for making back-to-back trips to Syracuse.

But what Ed Ronca did in the fall of 2000, when he took a bold step in shaking up the status quo of the program, was the first step on Burnt Hills' journey to the Carrier Dome. Many of today's players may not remember his name or have ever seen a game he coached, but they owe a small part of their trip to Ronca's long tutelage at Burnt Hills.

Ed Ronca, who coached the Burnt Hills varsity football team from 1985 to 2001 is now retired from teaching and works at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

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Knights, Crusaders rekindle rivalry in exciting fashion

Lansingburgh's Alex Drake looks to move the ball against Catholic Central's Jordan McBride during Friday's opening round game at the CCHS Roundball Tournament. Lansingburgh held off a late CCHS rally to win, 49-45. (Photos by J.S. Carras - The Record).

Albany Academy defeated Kingston in the other game, 62-54, setting up an old Colonial Council rivalry with Lansingburgh in Saturday's championship game. Tip off is set for 6 p.m. Kingston and CCHS tip off in the consolation game at 4 p.m.

The Crusaders certainly made a game of it in Rich Foglia's first game at varsity head coach. Trailing by 13 points with just over five minutes to play, CCHS kick-started a 12-0 run, but they never drew closer than that.

CCHS shot 5-of-31 from the floor in the first half and finished 10-of-22 from the foul line. It was just one of those off days for the Crusaders shooters, who were baffled by Lansingburgh's 6-foot-8 center, Tyler Hammett. Hammett didn't score any points, but he grabbed 10 rebounds and forced CCHS ballhandlers to avoid driving straight to the hole.

"During the course of the game we were playing hard, but we were just making a few mistakes," said Catholic Central head coach Rich Foglia after his first varsity game. "When we started taking care of the ball and making some shots, the kids got confident and we were able to make a run."

Miles Perras finished with four points – all scored in the fourth quarter – but he added seven rebounds, three steals and three assists, sparking the Crusaders’ late rally.

"For the first game of the season, it’s just kind of a wake-up call, I guess," Perras said. "That was a game that would have been nice to win because they’re our rivals right down the street, but like I said, it’s a wake-up call. It’s an eye-opener and we just have to come out with more energy at the beginning of the next game."

Catholic Central's Sam Clement looks to find a way to the rim as he's guarded by Lansingburgh's Sajae Pryor (32) and Tyler Hammett.

Pryor missed the first two months of last season dealing with a broken wrist, but he was glad to be helping out on opening day in 2009. He said he studied his good friend Haneef Scott a lot last year and he's been trying to fill that leadership role this year.

"We’re a young team, so it’s going to be hard work," Pryor said. "We just have to keep pushing it and try for greatness. We have to be unselfish and play as a team."

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In the opening game, Nolan Hart and David Benoks scores 18 points apiece - Hart on the outside and Benoks on the inside - in Albany Academy's victory over Kingston.

The Cadets lost four college-level athletes from last year's starting five, but Hart, along with the top reserves from a year ago, Hunter McCarthy and Matt LeClair, looked pretty good in stretches Friday afternoon. Academy head coach Brian Fruscio stressed that the team needs to become a "32-minute team," and can't allow lapses like the did Friday if they wish to compete with the best of the best in Section II's Class AA come sectional playoff time.

Saturday's game should be interesting as 'Burgh's Hammett and Benoks will provide a battle underneath. The Knights got into a little bit of trouble when they started to run and pick up the pace late in the game against Catholic High, so don't be surprised to see the Cadets try to speed up the tempo.

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In other high school basketball action Friday night, Watervliet scored 97 points against Tamarac in a 97-55 Cannoneers Tip-Off Tournament opening round game. Five Cannoneers finished in double figures, led by Devonte Gleason and Nick Durocher, who scored 15 points apiece.

Watervliet faces Schoharie in Saturday's championship game, which begins a 7:30 p.m.

Waterford and Tamarac square off in the consolation game at 6 p.m.

Hoosic Valley held off Duanesburg in the Indians' annual Tip-Off Tournament, 63-50, setting up a championship date with Loudonville Christian, which topped Galway in the other contest.

Kevin White scored 23 points for the Indians, while Kyle Pallozzi added 20 more.

Cullen Overholt scored 27 points for Loudonville, which should challenge Heatly and Germantown for the Central Hudson Valley League regular season title.

In non-league action, Schuylerville topped Cohoes, 62-47. Josh LeMay scored 23 for the Tigers, but Brad Lyon and Steve Backus scored 15 apiece for the Black Horses. Austin Bateman added 14.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

2009 Troy Turkey Trot winners

The starting line on 4th street was jam-packed with 4,685 runners in the annual Trot Turkey Troy 5k race. Over 7,000 people participated overall in the 10k race as well as the Grade School Mile and a pre-race walk, setting a participation record for the 13th consecutive year. (Photos by Tom Killips - The Record).

Briefly, here are your race-winners for 2009. Pick up a copy of The Record on Friday for a 16-page tabloid section including pictures, stories and full results from the day's races.

5k
Men - David Raucci, 23, Germantown, 15:22
Women - Liz Maloy, 24, Loudonville, 16:47 (14th overall)

10k
Men - Chuck Terry, 27, Albany, 31:24
Women - Toni Wiszowaty, 22, Plattsburgh, 38:06

Grade School Mile
Boys - Jordan Johnson, 13, Albany, 5:23
Girls - Julia Slyer, 13, Averill Park, 6:16

Uncle Sam jumps for joy in front of the American flag prior to Thursday's big race.

Staff Sergeant Tim O’Brien, running his 20th and final Trot in full National Guard regalia while carrying the American flag, finished in 39:47.

Here were your top Troy natives in the 5k race.
Men - C.J. Sousis, 16, 16:20 (11th overall)
Women - Estelle Burns, 34, 19:31 (seventh among women)

Check out the full story and the results in The Record on Friday!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

2009 Section II Class D All-Stars

Rensselaer's Mico De Los Santos was named the Section II Class D Most Valuable Player in 2009. A wide receiver/running back combination, De Los Santos was also one of the most ferocious tacklers out of the defensive backfield.

MVP - Mico De Los Santos, Rensselaer

Offensive Player of the Year - Caleb Meroski, Lake George
Defensive Player of the Year - Nate Butler, Rensselaer
Coach of the Year - Joel Preston, Rensselaer

First team
Offense
QB - Derrick Pitts, Bishop Gibbons
RB - Tyler Pruiksma, Greenwich
Jashem Hamilton, Rensselear
Justin White, Fort Edward
WR - Kyle McKeighan, Salem
Ryan McFee, Greenwich
TE - Rob Redman, Bishop Gibbons
OL - Ben Barbour, Greenwich
Jack Clark, Lake George
Todd DeLuke, Rensselaer
Cory Christian, Whitehall
Nick Abare, Fort Edward
PK - Tim Pompa, Saratoga Central Catholic
KR - Brendan Frye, Warrensburg

Defense
DL - Jason Brown, Rensselaer
Josh Fleming, Bishop Gibbons
Chad Niles, Greenwich
Jack Keller, Saratoga Central Catholic
LB - David Northshield, Salem
Dave Mulcahy, Saratoga Central Catholic
Colby Stout, Greenwich
Phil Sayers, Rensselaer
DB - Connor Dougherty, Bishop Gibbons
Ryan Maxwell, Bishop Gibbons
Dylan Anderson, Saratoga Central Catholic
P - Pat Wilson, Salem

Honorable mention
Bishop Gibbons - Victor Villanueva, Matt Butrym
Fort Edward - Steve Chapman, Mark Yagy, Ben Sawyer, Jonah Taylor
Greenwich - Tony Giroux, Neil Fryer, Jordan James, Collin McCormick, Alex Stuart, Mike Orminski
Lake George - Josh Borgh, Matt McGowan, Robert Adsit, Kris Koscz
Rensselaer - Marquee James, Keith McElroy, Paul Dominy, Tyler Bishop
Salem - Jacob Dyker, Austin Eastman
Saratoga Central Catholic - Joe Durand, Dale Long, Nick Valenze
Warrensburg - Mike Perrone, Jason Power
Whitehall - Chris Therrian, Mike Kline, Will Stafford

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2009-10 high school basketball sneak peek

Catholic Central High School boys varsity basketball head coach Rich Foglia talks to his team during a timeout in Tuesday's scrimmage against Ballston Spa. He coaches his first official game Friday afternoon against Lansingburgh in the Crusaders' annual Roundball Tournament. (Photo by J.S. Carras - The Record).

Believe it or not, the high school basketball season kicks off Friday afternoon when a number of schools host Tip-Off tournaments.

We'll have full previews running in the paper in the coming days, but here are some rough drafts on preseason Dream Teams to get the conversation started.

BOYS
Large Schools
Starting five
Derrick Millinghaus, Jr., G, Schenectady
Matt Miner, Sr., G, Shenendehowa
Kameron Ritter, Sr., G/F, Christian Brothers Academy
Chris Jeffers, Sr., F, Bishop Maginn
Tyler Hammett, Sr., C, Lansingburgh

Millinghaus and Ritter were two of the area's most exciting scorers a season ago and they will remain two of the best during the 2009-10 seasons. It looks like CBA and Schenectady should be battling for the top spot in the Big 10 Conference, but expect Shenendehowa, led by Matt Miner, to be one of the favorites in the Suburban Council.
Jeffers was a tough-nosed player on a talent-packed Maginn team last year, but I expect he'll be relied on much more heavily this season to score and be a defensive rebounding presence.
Hammett played limited minutes a season ago but has focused exclusively on basketball lately, and he has all the potential in the world to wreak havoc on smaller Colonial Council opponents.

Small Schools
Starting five
Austin Bateman, Sr., G, Schuylerville
Alex Heffern, Jr., G, Heatly
Griffin Kelly, Soph., F, Watervliet
Kevin McMahon, Sr., F, Hoosick Falls
Ethan Mackey, Sr., C, Voorheesville

Bateman will be one of the top sharpshooters in the Wasaren League, as will McMahon, who at 6-foot-6, also has a great height advantage.
Heffern led the Hornets to the Section II Class D title game this year, and I'm sure he spent all summer honing his game at the park around the corner from the school. I wouldn't be surprised to see Heatly, Germantown and Loudonville Christian all fighting for the top spot in the CHVL this seaosn.
Kelly was a freshman sensation for the Cannoneers in 08-09 and should be more confident and relaxed in a leadership position this year. Mackey is an experienced post player and gives the Blackbirds a tremendous advantage on the boards.

GIRLS
Starting five
Large Schools
Katie Duma, Sr., G/F, Averill Park
Kierra Moore, Sr., G, Holy Names
Brittany O’Shea, Sr., PG, Averill Park
Ariana Youngs, Sr., G, Lansingburgh
Maria Foglia, Sr., F, Catholic Central

Duma and O'Shea will write the final chapter on their wonderful high school careers this season, and the expectations will be high for a very talented and experienced Averill Park team. Duma will be playing D-II ball at Holy Family University next fall.
Moore has already made a commitment to Saint Anselm, a Division II school, and she will battle with Lansingburgh's Youngs to be the Colonial Council's top scorer.
Foglia is one of a few returning players for the Lady Crusaders this year and she'll have to add a bit of offense to her defensive-minded game to lead CCHS to a top finish in the Big 10.

Small Schools
Starting Five
Dani DeGregory, Soph., G, Greenwich
Tierney McGlynn, Sr., G, Watervliet
Abbey Hanehan, Sr., G, Stillwater
Jackie Sorensen, Sr., G, Waterford-Halfmoon
Katie Roth, Jr., C, Maple Hill

DeGregory was a sparkplug in the Witches backcourt last season and she, along with reigning League MVP Hanehan, will make for an exciting Wasaren League season. How will Hoosic Valley regroup after the loss of Houston, Anderson, Moore, Davidson and Chapko?
McGlynn will look to guide the Cannoneers to a fourth consecutive Section II title and Watervliet should be the favorites with a heavy influence of returning talent.
Roth dominated the Patroon Conference a season ago and looks to finally guide the Wildcats past the Section II Class CC/C playoff game, which has been a hang-up in recent years.
Sorensen has already eclipsed the 1,000-point mark and will lead the Lady Fordians through another season in the CHVL with an eye toward the Section II tournament in February.

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Those are just a few of the players who should have big seasons this year and plenty more will emerge in the coming weeks. Check back in the coming days as we add a second team, honorable mention players and stories and notes to fully preview the 2009-10 season.

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Friday, Nov. 27
BOYS BASKETBALL
Non-league
CCHS Roundball Tournament
Albany Academy vs. Kingston, 4 p.m.
Lansingburgh vs. Catholic Central, 6 p.m.
Hoosic Valley Tournament
Loudonville Christian vs. Galway, 6 p.m.
Hoosic Valley vs. Duanesburg, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 28
BOYS BASKETBALL
Non-league
CCHS Roundball Tournament
Consolation game, 4 p.m.
Championship game, 6 p.m.
Hoosic Valley Tournament
Consolation game, 6 p.m.
Championship game, 7:30 p.m.

(Watervliet also hosts a Tip-Off tournament with the same schedule as Hoosic Valley's - Schoharie, Waterford and Tamarac will participate)

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2009 Class AA Liberty Division All-Stars

La Salle Institute senior wide receiver Lou DiNovo (shown above in a 2008 game against CBA) and Columbia's Alex Tesoriero (below) were named named 2009 Section II Class AA Liberty Division co-Players of the Year.


co-Players of the Year:

Lou DiNovo, Sr., WR/DB, La Salle
Alex Tesorieor, Sr., RB/LB/PK/P/KR, Columbia

Offensive Player of the Year: Casiem Maxwell, Bethlehem
Defensive Player of the Year: Tyler Washington, La Salle

First Team
Offense
QB - Tim Cox, Schenectady
RB - Conor Alund, Shaker
Herman Seise, Schenectady
WR - Nick Colello, Colonie
Steve Kent, Schenectady
TE - David McKeiver, Schenectady
OL - Nick Barone, Schenectady
Ami Berger, Shaker
Chris Cossart, Colonie
Nolan Flike, La Salle
Brendan Smith, Columbia
PK - John Martin, Bethlehem
KR - Anthony Pascarella, Shaker

Defense
DL - Ted Abriel, Bethlehem
Carlos Mendez, Shaker
DE - Josh Panasik, Schenectady
Devin Stampley, Bethlehem
LB - Derek Gardella, Shaker
Cainann Lacy, La Salle
Zach McDowell, Bethlehem
Mister Taylor, Schenectady
DB - Nick DiFlorio, Colonie
Vinny Planz, La Salle
Corey Tillman, Schenectady
P - Mike Branche, Colonie

Second team
Offense
QB - Mike Murray, La Salle
RB - Davion Brink, Colonie
Matt Hamilton, Colonie
WR - Jason Nesmith, Schenectady
Trey Silver, Bethlehem
TE - Alex Cook, Colonie
OL - Jeff Antidormi, Columbia
Joe Curro, La Salle
David Doty, Schenectady
Amre Osman, Schenectady
Erik Thiessan, Schenectady

Defense
DL - Shawn Ford, Schenectady
Alex Tracy, Bethlehem
DE - Nick Balzano, Columbia
John Ramirez, Schenectady
LB - Isaiah Earing, Schenectady
D'Metri Gilbert, Schenectady
Ryan Nolte, Colonie
Derrick Rokjer, Shaker
DB - Garick Baily, Schenectady
Jaquell Chandler, Shaker
Mike DeRuve, Bethlehem

Honorable mention
QB - Mike Branche, Colonie
OL - Shawn Gibson, Columbia,
Sam Hall, Colonie
David Ramon, Columbia
Shaquille Parker, Schenectady
Joe Wilson, Bethlehem
DL - Andrew Cleveland, Columbia
Cody Rothhaupt, Colonie
DE - Mike Koberger, La Salle
Joe Shell, Colonie
LB - Chad DeJohn, Columbia
Mike Strohecker, Bethlehem
DB - Nick Edgington, La Salle
Richie Hendrickson, Shaker
R.J. Williams - La Salle

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Monday, November 23, 2009

2009 Big 10 Conference girls soccer All-Stars

Troy High’s Lily Rosenberg, left, battles with Julie McNeff of Catholic Central for possession of the ball during a Big 10 girls soccer game at CCHS this season. McNeff was named a first team Big 10 All-Star. (Photo by Tom Killips — The Record).


Player of the Year: Katie Michaelis, Sr., Forward, Albany

Goalkeepers of the Year:
Kayla Lewandowski, Sr., Troy and Jenine Sajdak, Sr., Amsterdam

First team
Ashley Carbone, Sr., Defender, Schenectady
Kim Creviston, Sr., Defender, Bishop Gibbons

Alex Huss, Sr., Forward, Albany

Hayley Kellam, Sr., Midfield, Albany
Erin MacBeth, Sr., Midfield, Schenectady

Abigail McCarthy, Sr., Defender, Catholic Central

Julie McNeff, Jr., Forward, Catholic Central

Skippi Ripepi, Sr., Midfield, Amsterdam

Hillary Rouse, Sr., Midfield, Amsterdam


Second Team
Morgan Avery, Sr., Midfield, Troy
Christina Constantine, Sr., Midfield, Amsterdam

Angela Damiano, Jr., Defender, Amsterdam

Taylor Florio, Soph., Forward, Bishop Gibbons

Maria Foglia, Sr., Midfield Catholic Central

Alex Kellam, Frosh., Defender, Albany

Leah Moran, Jr., Midfield, Albany

Casey O'Brien, Soph., Midfield, Catholic Central
Angela Rojas, Sr., Midfield, Schenectady

Tara Tiemann, Jr., Forward, Amsterdam

Leah VanBuren, Sr., Midfield, Schenectady

Amanda Villela, Sr., Defender, Albany

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Close, but no Dome; Hoosick Falls edged by one point in NYS Class C semis

Hoosick Falls High School football players console each other after Saturday's 28-27 loss to Bronxville in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class C semifinals at Dietz Stadium in Kingston. From left to right: Ryan Hand and Steve Colvin (21), Mike Brewster (12) and Matt Brewster (83). (All Hoosick Falls photos by Tom Killips - The Record).

It was a game they could have had and perhaps a game they should have had, but the Hoosick Falls Panthers nevertheless put on quite a show Saturday afternoon.

Unable to develop a consistent running game against a gargantuan Bronxville front line (the Panthers gained 21 rushing yards on 13 attempts) quarterback Mike Brewster took to the skies with great success, passing for a season-high 307 yards on a 17-of-29 performance.

The Hoosick Falls goal line defense made a stand with 7:45 to play, but Bronxville struck back five minutes later, scoring the game-tying touchdown and kicking the go-ahead extra point. Hoosick Falls advanced to the Bronxville 30 on the ensuing drive, but Brewster threw four consecutive incomplete passes from that spot, turning the ball over on downs and ending the Panthers' season.

Hoosick Falls senior wide receiver Greg Stifter looks for running room during Saturday's game. Stifter caught three passes for 44 yards in the game.

Hoosick Falls finished 11-1. It was the first time the Panthers had advanced to the NYS semifinals since the 2003 season, when they played in the NYS Class C championship game at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.

"I’m proud of my guys," Hoosick Falls head coach Ron Jones said. "What are you going to do? You go 11-1, you get to the state semis and you lose by a point. It hurts, but I’m proud of my guys. They gave me everything they had."

A gang of Hoosick Falls tacklers (left to right: Pat Mulvihill, Tanner Williams and Garrett Foster) bring down Bronxville's Dillon Mitchell. Mitchell, who replaced starter Brian Murray in the first half after Murray sustained an injury, earned Bronxville offensive MVP honors with 116 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns.

All things considered, the Hoosick Falls defense did a pretty good job, as the Broncos rushed for 275 yards on 54 attempts, a 5.1 yards per carry average. Bronxville QB Jack Near was 5-of-13 for 80 yards and one touchdown pass.

What the Panthers couldn't do, however, was stop Bronxville on fourth down gambles. The Broncos converted on fourth down five times on seven attempts, extending drives and deflating the Hoosick Falls sideline at every turn.

"I’m not taking anything away from Bronxville," Jones said. "They made fourth down after fourth down and they won the game on that stuff."

Logan O'Brien makes a cut after a reception. O'Brien finished with a game-high eight catches and 138 receiving yards. O'Brien was especially slippery on the slip screen play, where he ran toward quarterback Mike Brewster, made a catch and followed his blockers across the middle of the field.

O'Brien really played well Saturday, and he and Tanner Williams were great at making tacklers miss, leading to big gains. O'Brien's second quarter touchdown was especially impressive because he got the ball very quickly on a slip screen, but waited patiently for his blockers to get out in front before he turned on the jets.

Quarterback Mike Brewster will return in 2010, but his top receivers - Greg Stifter, Kevin McMahon and O'Brien all graduate. Other than Tanner Williams, who steps up to fill their shoes next year?

Tanner Williams also had a great day catching the football, finishing with five receptions for 111 yards and a touchdown. He scored Hoosick Falls' first quarter touchdown when a Bronxville defender fell down, leaving him wide open over the middle.

Williams, just a sophomore, was a tremendous asset to the Panthers this year as a receiver and a defensive back.

Freshman Brad Burns played well in limited duties as the Panthers' No. 2 running back, but I wonder if Williams could morph into a running back next year to fill in for Alex Hansen.

Burns also played well at linebacker in Saturday's game, recovering a fumble.

Logan O'Brien gets his face mask inspected by Bronxville quarterback/defensive back Jack Near (12). Near didn't have to throw very much for the Broncos, but he was a very similar two-way player to Hoosick Falls' Mike Brewster.

Final season statistics for Hoosick Falls:

Rushing
Alex Hansen - 215-1,575-26
(Hansen was one of four backs to rush for more than 1,500 yards in 2009.)
Mike Brewster - 84-450-13

Passing
Mike Brewster - 113-184-1,651-19-2
(This gave Brewster two more yards than Guilderland's Ryan Smith, making Brewster the most prolific passer in Section II this season. We'll see how his official numbers pan out, but it would rank as the 29th best season in Section II history by these figures.)

Receiving
Logan O'Brien - 37-500-3
Tanner Williams - 25-361-3
Kevin McMahon - 17-323-4
Alex Hansen - 16-318-5
Greg Stifter - 11-127-2

Hoosick Falls head coach Ron Jones pleads with case with an official during Saturday's game. There were a handful of controversial plays, including what looked like 12 Bronxville players in the huddle late in the game.

Jones had no comment on the too-many-men in the huddle non-call near the end of the game. It certainly would have changed the situation had the referees called it, but you also can't really blame them for keeping mum on a ticky-tacky rule at the end of a close and well-contested game. As hockey and basketball officials tend to swallow their whistles late in games, one has to wonder if that happened in this case as well.

In the first half, each team lost a fumble when it appeared as if the runner was already down by contact. The calls wound up balancing out, but that was just my view from the sideline.

Tanner Williams reflects on the game as Bronxville players celebrate in the background at Dietz Stadium.

Hoosick Falls was limited to (-2) rushing yards in the first quarter and they never forced the running game.

Credit Hoosick Falls head coach Ron Jones, who presciently preached this exact mantra during the opening week of practice when I spoke with him for our 48-page preseason preview tabloid.

August:
"When we went to the state finals in 2003, we saw three teams we just couldn't run on," Jones explained. "There is going to come a time when you can't run the ball and I'm not going to concede that game. We try to throw the ball about 15 times a game, but there is going to come a game where we need to throw it 30 times. And when we get to that game, it doesn't freak anybody out. We just do it."

Saturday:
"We understood that they had a lot more beef and it would be tough to run," Jones said. "It was kind of what we planned to do. We were going to throw the ball and try to set up the run the best we could."

It was an interesting way to see the 2009 season come full circle.

Hoosick Falls junior lineman/linebacker Garrett Foster made an impassioned speech to his teammates following the game. He is just one of many talented players that figure to have Hoosick Falls in contention for another Section II Super Bowl title in 2010.

I had the pleasure of seeing Hoosick Falls play six times this year and it was an enjoyable ride as an disinterested observer on the sideline. The Hoosick Falls crowd was always great, although the best I saw anywhere this year was at the Cambridge game, which on my all-2009 list, wound up No. 2 to Saturday's great back-and-forth game against Bronxville. Fellow students were enthusiastic, signs were plentiful and their Hoosick Falls band always made a lot of noise for a small bunch.

This team meant a great deal to the Hoosick Falls community and I think that was all part of Ron Jones' plan the last few years. Between the chatter in the hallways, Hoosick Falls football alumni are bragging to their current teammates about how their old high school team is doing. Steve Colvin, Garrett Foster and Alex Hansen beamed with pride at the very thought when I dropped by their practice earlier this week. Jones said he wanted to build a team that provided an event for the town every single game and I wonder if there were 12 days that held as much anticipation in Hoosick Falls this year as football game days.

The players were also respectful and sportsmanlike during the games and candid during interviews - thank you.

Doing everything the right way and doing it for the right reasons was the true calling card of the Hoosick Falls football team, a laudable and commendable effort.

--
Check back in the next few days for a season wrap-up and some Burnt Hills (and possibly Saratoga Springs) NYS championship preview notes.

The Record's 2009 All-Area football team will be published, as always, on Christmas Day. Boys and girls soccer teams will run in the Dec. 24 and 26 issues, respectively.

BRONXVILLE 28, HOOSICK FALLS 27
Hoosick Falls (11-1) 7 13 7 0 - 27
Bronxville (11-0) 7 7 7 7 - 28
First Quarter
B – Will Karol 8 pass from Jack Near (Ryan Grunseich kick) 8:04
HF – Tanner Williams 28 pass from Mike Brewster (Quinn Rasmus kick) 6:32
Second Quarter
HF – Logan O’Brien 29 pass from Brewster (kick failed) 7:29
HF – Alex Hansen 3 run (Q. Rasmus kick) 4:20
B – Dillon Mitchell 2 run (Grunseich kick) 0:18
Third Quarter
B – Mitchell 23 run (Grunseich kick) 6:06
HF – Hansen 16 run (Q. Rasmus kick) 5:26
Fourth Quarter
B – John Shkreli 2 run (Grunseich kick) 2:45
Individual Statistics
Rushing: Hoosick Falls (13-21): Hansen 9-21, Brewster 4-0. Bronxville (54-275): Murray 16-95, Mitchell 21-116, Near 5-32, Mechlin 5-24, Shkreli 1-2, Berney 4-9, W. Karol 1-(-4), Nichols 1-1.
Passing: Hoosick Falls: Brewster 17-29-307-2-0. Bronxville: Near 5-13-80-1-0.
Receiving: Hoosick Falls (17-307): O’Brien 8-138, Williams 5-111, Stifter 3-44, Hansen 1-14. Bronxville (5-80): W. Karol 1-8, Mechlin 1-24, J. Karol 3-48.

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Weekend roundup

It was a crazy weekend for high school sports, as the Burnt Hills football team is the only Section II squad headed to the Carrier Dome, but plenty of other local teams chased glory as well. Here is quick recap.

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake head coach Matt Shell shakes hands with his players after Friday's 41-16 victory over Cornwall in which Evan Nusbaum rushed for 320 yards on 14 attempts.

Boys Soccer


The Waterford-Halfmoon and Shenendehowa boys soccer teams both fell in NYSPHSAA semifinal action in Oneonta Saturday. Look for full coverage of those games in Sunday's editions of The Record and The Saratogian.

Our Chris Fitz Gerald was on the scene. Here are some quotables:

Newburgh Free Academy topped Shen 2-0 in Class AA action despite playing without their top two scorers.

The Plainsmen performance, was "disappointing to say the least," said coach Mike Campisi, whose Shenendehowa team, ranked No. 3 in the state, finishes at 17-2-2. " ... Other than the fact that we couldn't pass to our own team --- we looked like a recreational team," Campisi said.

In Class C, Waterford was outlasted by Marathon, 1-0. Marathon heads to the state championship game for the third time in five years.

"It was a great season," Waterford senior goalkeeper Ryan Hardy said. "It was the farthest we've gone in almost 15 years. ... We had a great team and a great year and hopefully they keep it up next year."

Girls Soccer

The Mechanicville girls soccer team went to overtime again, but suffered a heartbreaking 4-3 defeat against Briarcliff in the NYSPHSAA Class B title game Saturday afternoon in Cortland.

Our Ed Weaver was on the scene and provided some quotables:

"It's a very tough loss," said Mechanicville coach Liz Villamil. "The girls fought so hard. They (Briarcliff) have two humongous girls (Cornacchio and Weiner) up front and the really use that to their advantage. We couldn't match that."

Cross Country
Federation Meet: The only Rensselaer County runner and the only seventh grader in the New York State girls Federation cross country meet at Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls, Columbia’s Kaylee Scott did not disappoint.
Scott finished 66th overall in 20:08.5, just one of many strong showings from Section II runners and a 1-2-3 sweep in the girls competition.
Saratoga Springs won the team title, followed by Shenendehowa and Queensbury. Shen sophomore Lizzie Predmore was third overall in a time of 18:21.2. Brittany Winslow and Danielle Winslow, twin sisters from Queensbury, finished fifth and sixth, respectively.
The Burnt Hills boys finished second overall, led by second place finisher Otis Ubriaco (16:03.7). The Shaker boys finished fourth, followed by sixth-place Shenendehowa.
The top 27 teams across all classifications are invited. 251 girls ran Saturday.

Girls volleyball
The NYSPHSAA girls volleyball championships are happening this weekend at the Glens Falls Civic Center and here are your final pairings for Sunday.

Class AA: Baldwinsville vs. Canandaigua, 2 p.m., Sunday

Class A: Victor vs. Cornwall, 2 p.m., Sunday

Class B: Eden vs. Hendrick Hudson, 10 a.m., Sunday

Class C: Loudonville Christian vs. City Honors, Noon, Sunday

Class D: T.A. Edison vs. Cattaraugus, Noon, Sunday

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hoosick Falls vs. Bronxville, a look ahead, part two

Hoosick Falls' Alex Hansen looks for running room behind his offensive line in the Panthers' Section II Class C quarterfinal victory over Canajoharie on Oct. 23. (Photo by J.S. Carras - The Record).

The Hoosick Falls field hockey team dispatched Bronxville 1-0 in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class C opening round and the football team will try for the clean sweep Saturday afternoon.

(Hoosick Falls' field hockey team lost to Port Jefferson Friday afternoon in the NYSPHSAA Class C semifinals in Vestal).

Things we know about Bronxville: their front line is very big. The average Bronxville offensive lineman is 6-foot-2, 265 pounds. The average Hoosick Falls lineman? 5-foot-10 and 223 pounds.

"It’s just pride," Alex Hansen said. "The other team might be bigger, but our team has a heart."

That's the attitude the Panthers have carried with them all season, as Hansen, Steve Colvin and Garrett Foster admitted after a practice this week that the team has often felt like it's been labeled the underdog almost all year long. In what many folks in and around Hoosick Falls envisioned to be the dreaded "rebuilding year," the Panthers are on the verge of reaching the Carrier Dome for the first time since 2003.

Here was what Kevin McMahon told me during the Panthers' second or third day of practice for my season-preview story on Hoosick Falls:
"We were good last year. We only lost one regular season game. We didn't do so well in sectionals, but I think we're even better than we were last year."

Make sure to check out Saturday's edition of The Record for a story on how Hoosick Falls' little guys have been able to match up against much larger linemen week after week.

Keys to the game:
Hoosick Falls is going to have to find a way to grind out the clock, control the ball and beat Bronxville at its own game. They can do that on offense, especially if Mike Brewster is making good reads out of the spread option and isn't afraid to tuck the ball and run with it himself every now and again. Mix in a little of the Panthers' short passing game and it's easy to see how their essentially fool-proof scheme can keep drives alive and lull the defense into allowing Hansen to get his big runs.

Bronxville also switches between a pair of defensive fronts - a 4-3 and a 6-1 - which is going to complicate Brewster's reads. The Panthers can't afford too many misreads that lead to Hansen and Brewster being dragged down behind the line of scrimmage.

They'll also have to get last week's game, a 51-6 blowout of Ogdensburg, out of their heads. This one won't be that easy.

Here was the expert opinion from Kevin Devaney at the Journal News downstate.

Hoosick Falls' Alex Hansen scampers across midfield against Chatham in the Section II Class C Super Bowl. (Photo by Mike McMahon - The Record).












Hoosick Falls (11-0) vs. Bronxville (10-0, Section I)
Saturday, Nov. 21, Noon
New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class C semifinal
Dietz Stadium, Kingston

Hoosick Falls Panthers 2009 game-by-game results
Schuylerville, W 39-19
HOOSIC VALLEY, W, 37-0
Tamarac, W, 40-13
STILLWATER, W, 51-6
RENSSELAER, W, 21-7
CAMBRIDGE, W, 21-19
Corinth, W, 21-7
CANAJOHARIE, W, 36-0 *
Granville, W, 32-0 #
Chatham, W 17-14 $
Ogdensburg Free Acad., W, 51-6 %

Home games in CAPS

*= Section II Class C quarterfinal
#= Section II Class C semifinal at Stillwater
$= Section II Class C Super Bowl at Stillwater
%= Regional final at Stillwater

Avg. points per game: 33.3
Avg. points allowed: 8.3
Leading rushers: Alex Hansen (206-1,554-24) and Mike Brewster (80-450-13)
Leading passer: Mike Brewster (96-155-1,344-17-2)
Leading receivers: Logan O’Brien (29-362-2) and Kevin McMahon (17-323-4) and Tanner Williams (20-250-2) and Alex Hansen (15-304-5)


Bronxville Broncos 2009 game-by-game results
Valhalla, W, 21-0
Dobbs Ferry, W, 24-7
MAGNUS, W, 22-7
CROTON-HARMON, W, 30-14
Rye Neck, W, 34-0
TUCKAHOE, W, 40-0
LINCOLN HALL, W, 41-12*
HASTINGS, W, 38-7#
Croton-Harmon, W, 35-20$
Ellenville, W, 34-6%

*=Section I Class C quarterfinal
#=Section I Class C semifinal
$=Section I Class C Super Bowl at Mahopac
%=Regional final at Dietz Stadium

Avg. points per game: 31.9
Avg. points allowed: 7.3
Leading rushers: Brian Murray (124-1,268-19) and Liam Berney (79-668-4)
Leading passers: Dillon Mitchell (15-21-258-3-1) and Jack Near (11-16-212-2-0)
Leading receivers: James Karol (12-172-0) and Will Karol (6-146-5)

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High School football chat - live at 7 p.m.

The chat window will open up tonight around 7 p.m., so feel free to drop in to discuss Hoosick Falls' upcoming game against Bronxville or any of the soccer and field hockey action going on this weekend as well. Click on the play button below to join in.

Two Bronxville football players will be chatting with a downstate paper this evening at 7 p.m. - you can see that here.
It will be interesting to see what the Broncos players have to say about their opponent.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

High school football news and notes

Hoosick Falls senior running back and defensive end Alex Hansen (38) has been one of the top rushers and scorers in Section II. Rensselaer's Todd DeLuke tries to pull him to the ground during a game at Hoosick Falls. The Panthers are the only Rensselaer County football team still alive and they face Bronxville Saturday in Kingston. (Photo by J.S. Carras - The Record).

Here are your Section II statistical leaders through 11 weeks of the season. These numbers are based on my personal statistics I've collected through covering games and results phoned in from coaches...so if you have official stats, please send them in.

These will be updated in the coming weeks as four Section II teams are still alive in this weekend's NYS semifinals at Dietz Stadium in Kingston.

Section II's 1,000-yard rushers

According to my numbers, following last week's regional finals, 21 Section II rushers broke the 1,000-yard barrier this season. I have Saratoga Springs' Tony DeLoatch 73 yards away, a definite possibility for him in Saturday's game against New Rochelle.


Player, school - attempts, yards, TDs

Vince Gallo, Schalmont - 293, 2,215, 29
Josh Keyes, Chatham, - 158, 1,994, 36
Jordan Charbonneau, Corinth - 236, 1,791, 19
Alex Hansen, Hoosick Falls - 206, 1,554, 24
Bronson Greene, Shenendehowa - 187, 1,458, 18
Alex Tesoriero, Columbia - 189, 1,436, 10
Derrick Pitts, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons - 164, 1,365, 20
Tymear Mallory, Bishop Maginn - 186, 1,363, 11
Caleb Meroski, Lake George - 181, 1,338, 16
Tyrone Nichols, Lansingburgh - 131, 1,314, 15
Casiem Maxwell, Bethlehem - 184, 1,266, 11
Shatiek Lewis, Troy - 108, 1,231, 21
Jordan Canzeri, Troy - 117, 1,204, 12
Dylan Slater, Canajoharie - 161, 1,147, 14
Dakota Drake, Hudson Falls - 147, 1,077, 14
Tyler Prukisma, Greenwich - 130, 1,075, 15
Zay Richardson, Albany Academy - 122, 1,074, 22
Brandon Beatty, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake - 121, 1,066, 16
Brad Lyon, Schuylerville - 140, 1,039, 14
Jayson Osborne, Granville - 193, 1,032, 6
Justin White, Fort Edward - 130, 1,013, 12

Section II's 1,000-yard passers
(Voorheesville's Ryan Duncan was a five-yard out away from cracking the 1,000-yard mark, so I've included the Blackbirds' signal-caller).

Player, school - completions, attempts, yards, TDs, INTs

Ryan Smith, Guilderland - 135, 240, 1,649, 16, 7
Kyle Parmenter, Cambridge - 77, 164, 1,467, 18, 10
Mike Brewster, Hoosick Falls - 96, 155, 1,344, 17, 2
Phil Neumann, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake - 82, 130, 1,328, 18, 5
Seth Hidde, Fonda-Fultonville - 83, 145, 1,319, 16, 3
Chad McCloskey, Gloversville - 85, 148, 1,134, 14, 4
Adam Biron, Johnstown - 99, 206, 1,112, 14, 5
Cullen Hanna, Cobleskill-Richmondville - 80, 164, 1,046, 9, 5
T.J. McLaughlin, Lansingburgh - 50, 96, 1,045, 16, 4
Talib Barksdale, Hudson - 42, 88, 1,014, 11, 2
Kyle Bayly, Niskayuna - 74, 138, 1,010, 8, 9
Ryan Duncan, Voorheesville - 81, 161, 995, 12, 8

Section II's 400-yard receivers

Player, school - receptions, yards, TDs

Jesse Lybert, Cambridge - 27, 570, 6
Justin Salvione, Johnstown - 39, 563, 9
Justen Markley, Cobleskill-Richmondville - 35, 562, 7
James Currier, Voorheesville - 33, 560, 6
Keaton Flint, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake - 32, 554, 8
Aaron Hall, Gloversville - 31, 502, 9
Dane O'Neil, Canajoharie - 24, 496, 5
Lou DiNovo, La Salle Institute - 27, 454, 8
Nevin Sheldon, Hudson - 17, 445, 5
Tyler Hall, Fonda-Fultonville - 24, 434, 8
Kyle Hanson, Fonda-Fultonville - 27, 411, 4
Ryan Alden, Niskayuna - 27, 410, 3
Mico De Los Santos, Rensselaer - 25, 404, 3
Steve Backus, Schuylerville - 17, 403, 3

Section II's 100-point scorers

Player, school - TDs, PATs, FGs, 2-pts., Total points

Josh Keyes, Chatham - 40, 0, 0, 1, 242
Vince Gallo, Schalmont - 31, 0, 0, 3, 192
Alex Hansen, Hoosick Falls - 29, 0, 0, 3, 180
Mico De Los Santos, Rensselaer - 23, 17, 0, 7, 169
Evan Nusbaum, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake - 16, 56, 0, 0, 152
Zay Richardson, Albany Academy - 24, 0, 0, 2, 148
Jordan Charbonneau, Corinth - 21, 7, 0, 3, 139
Shatiek Lewis, Troy - 22, 0, 0, 1, 134
Derrick Pitts, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons - 20, 0, 1, 2, 127
Bronson Greene, Shenendehowa - 20, 0, 0, 0, 120
Tyrone Nichols, Lansingburgh - 19, 0, 0, 1, 116
Caleb Meroski, Lake George - 17, 0, 0, 6, 114
Anthony Fogarty, Cohoes - 19, 0, 0, 0 114
Brandon Beatty, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake - 18, 0, 0, 0, 108
Ryan Alden, Niskayuna - 17, 0, 0, 2, 106
Tyler Prukisma, Greenwich - 15, 0, 0, 7, 104
Justin White, Fort Edward - 14, 0, 0, 8, 100

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Latest state rankings
Hoosick Falls was ranked No. 4 in the latest Class C poll. This week's opponent, Bronxville, was plugged at No. 3.

For the complete list, visit www.roadtosyracuse.com

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Lewis headed to Lincoln Memorial


Former La Salle Institute student and South Troy Dodgers player Amar Lewis has signed a National Letter of Intent to play for Division II Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn., beginning in the 2011 season. (Photo courtesy South Troy Dodgers).

Here is an excerpt from the news release from his former school, Herkimer County Community College.

Lewis, who is finishing up his two-year career at nationally-ranked Herkimer County Community College, was signed to a baseball scholarship by the Railsplitters and will play for head baseball coach Jeff Sziksai. Lewis had an outstanding freshman season at Herkimer, hitting .463 in 134 at-bats, while posting a school record 20 doubles and adding 49 runs batted in. "I am extremely happy for Amar and his family with their choice of continuing his education and playing career at Lincoln Memorial University," stated HCCC head coach Jason Rathbun.

A Troy native, Lewis began playing with the Dodgers at age 11 and participated in the American Amateur Baseball Congress World Series as a 15 year old and a 17 year old. Lewis also represented the Dodgers on the AABC team at USA Baseball's Tournament of Stars in 2007.

He also led the La Salle baseball team to the New York State Class AA Final Four in 2008.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Hoosick Falls vs. Bronxville, a look ahead









Hoosick Falls (11-0) vs. Bronxville (10-0, Section I)
Saturday, Nov. 21, Noon
New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class C semifinal
Dietz Stadium, Kingston

Hoosick Falls Panthers 2009 game-by-game results
Schuylerville, W 39-19
HOOSIC VALLEY, W, 37-0
Tamarac, W, 40-13
STILLWATER, W, 51-6
RENSSELAER, W, 21-7
CAMBRIDGE, W, 21-19
Corinth, W, 21-7
CANAJOHARIE, W, 36-0 *
Granville, W, 32-0 #
Chatham, W 17-14 $
Ogdensburg Free Acad., W, 51-6 %

Home games in CAPS

*= Section II Class C quarterfinal
#= Section II Class C semifinal at Stillwater
$= Section II Class C Super Bowl at Stillwater
%= Regional final at Stillwater

Avg. points per game: 33.3
Avg. points allowed: 8.3
Leading rushers: Alex Hansen (206-1,554-24) and Mike Brewster (80-450-13)
Leading passer: Mike Brewster (96-155-1,344-17-2)
Leading receivers: Logan O’Brien (29-362-2) and Kevin McMahon (17-323-4) and Tanner Williams (20-250-2) and Alex Hansen (15-304-5)


Bronxville Broncos 2009 game-by-game results
Valhalla, W, 21-0
Dobbs Ferry, W, 24-7
MAGNUS, W, 22-7
CROTON-HARMON, W, 30-14
Rye Neck, W, 34-0
TUCKAHOE, W, 40-0
LINCOLN HALL, W, 41-12*
HASTINGS, W, 38-7#
Croton-Harmon, W, 35-20$
Ellenville, W, 34-6%

*=Section I Class C quarterfinal
#=Section I Class C semifinal
$=Section I Class C Super Bowl at Mahopac
%=Regional final at Dietz Stadium

Avg. points per game: 31.9
Avg. points allowed: 7.3
Leading rushers: Brian Murray (124-1,268-19) and Liam Berney (79-668-4)
Leading passers: Dillon Mitchell (15-21-258-3-1) and Jack Near (11-16-212-2-0)
Leading receivers: James Karol (12-172-0) and Will Karol (6-146-5)

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View full Bronxville stats on their MaxPreps.com page.

--
It's been a rollercoaster season for the Broncos, as they suited only 21 players for their Week 1 game when 13 seniors were suspended for "violating team rules."

Still, Bronxville has rattled off 10 consecutive victories, setting up a New York State Class C semifinal meeting with Hoosick Falls.

What else do we know about Bronxville? Hoosick Falls head coach Ron Jones told me after the game against Ogdensburg that the Broncos are a big and physical team, but so was Ogdensburg. The Panthers have made due with their relatively undersized line by playing smart - Alex Hansen has racked up plenty of receiving yardage on screens when defensive linemen over-pursue - and using the essentially fool-proof spread option offense.

Like Hoosick Falls, the Broncos played an even first half with their opponent in the regional final before turning it into a rout, said the Journal News.

The Times Herald-Record said the Broncos controlled the line of scrimmage both ways in the 34-6 victory over Ellenville.

Here is an excerpt from the Kingston Daily Freeman (one of our sister papers):
"Bronxville rushed 46 times for 325 of its 350 total yards. Quarterback Jack Near completed one pass and ran 2 yards for the team’s final touchdown."

The Broncos are certainly not a pass-first team. Their two quarterbacks have combined for 470 passing yards on a 26-of-37 performance.

Hoosick Falls' Mike Brewster, on the other hand, is 96-of-155 for 1,344 yards and 17 touchdowns. He's been intercepted only twice this season. Brewster is also the Panthers' second-leading rusher, having run for 450 yards and 13 scores.

Few teams have held Hoosick Falls off the scoreboard this season. Chatham held the Panthers to 17 points in the Section II Super Bowl and Hoosick Falls scored 21 points in three consecutive weeks to conclude the regular season with tough games against Rensselaer, Cambridge and Corinth.

Bronxville, too, scores points consistently. Their 21-point output with a shorthanded team in Week 1 was their lowest total of the season.

Both teams have posted three shutouts apiece.

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On paper, these teams look as even as could be when you concede a little of the power rushing game to Bronxville and the passing attack to Hoosick Falls.

But, Hoosick Falls can move the ball through the air consistently and I think that could be the key, especially in a two-minute drill situation. The Panthers run the two-minute drill every Thursday afternoon in practice and they are 3-for-3 on their most recent attempts. Brewster's drill performance against Ogdensburg just before halftime was a thing of beauty considering the windy and rainy conditions.

The Panthers have done a good job this season against other power running games. They shut down Rensselaer in a regular season game, but that might have been expected against a Class D team, no matter if the Rams were heads and shoulders above the other Class D teams in Section II.

Hoosick Falls gave up some yardage to Corinth's Jordan Charbonneau and Chatham's Josh Keyes, but effectively held them out of the end zone. That run defense needs to show up again if the Panthers wish to have a shot against the Broncos.

The Panthers finally lose the homefield advantage they had built at Stillwater, having played three consecutive postseason games there.

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Other Section II football teams in action in Kingston this weekend:
Class AA
Saratoga Springs (9-1) vs. New Rochelle (10-0), Saturday, 8 p.m.
Class A
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (11-0) vs. Cornwall (8-2), Friday, 8 p.m.
Class B
Schalmont (9-2) vs. Nanuet (10-0), Saturday, 4 p.m.

TW3 TV will broadcast all Section II games except the Hoosick Falls contest.
Make sure to check out The Saratogian for ongoing coverage of Burnt Hills and Saratoga this week as well.

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2009 Suburban Council girls soccer All-Stars

Player of the Year: Kaitlyn Martin, Bethlehem

Coach of the Year:
Holli Mulholland, Shenendehowa

First team

Ashley Scofield, Sr., M/D, Averill Park
Kaitlyn Martin, Sr., F, Bethlehem
Kristina Maksuti, Jr., F, Bethlehem
Anna Gray, Sr., M/D, Bethlehem
Michelle Primomo, Sr., D, Bethlehem
Monica Wolf, Sr., CM, Burnt Hills
Jillian Beatty, Frosh., F, Burnt Hills
Renae Cairns, Sr., GK, Ballston Spa
Amanda Callanan, Sr., M/D, Ballston Spa
Rachel Schofield, Sr., F/M, Colonie
Conner O'Brien, Sr., D, Columbia
Marissa Page, Sr., GK, Guilderland
Stacey Sylvetsky, Jr., CM, Niskayuna
Elizabeth Boyer, Sr., F, Saratoga Springs
Morgan Berry, Jr., M/D, Shaker
Molly Popolizio, Sr., M, Shenendehowa
Sara Mikula, Sr., D, Shenendehowa

Second team

Marjana Maksuti, Jr., M, Bethlehem
Kristie Link, Jr., M, Bethlehem
Tara Teal, Frosh., F, Bethlehem
Nicole Shively, Soph., D, Burnt Hills
Nicole Collins, Sr.. M, Burnt Hills
Alaina Greco, Sr., F, Ballston Spa
Lauren Audi, Sr., M, Ballston Spa
Kelley Murphy, Soph., GK, Colonie
Jess Marini, Jr., D, Guilderland
Meghan Mosch, Jr., F, Niskayuna
Tyler Carr, Jr., D, Saratoga Springs
Julia Sirianni, Jr., M, Saratoga Springs
Kelli Wegner, Frosh., M, Saratoga Springs
Emily Johnson, Jr., GK, Shaker
Sarah Bassett, Sr., M, Shenendehowa
Elise Moinzadeh, Jr., M, Shenendehowa
Katie Trainor, Soph., F, Shenendehowa

Honorable mention

Emily Rebehn, Sr., M, Averill Park
Sarah Boyle, Jr., D, Averill Park
Kristen Ernest, Sr., D, Averill Park
Lindsey Bush, Sr., D, Averill Park
Stephanie Sica, Sr., D, Bethlehem
Heather Varcasia, Jr., D, Bethlehem
Brianne Hadcock, Jr., D, Burnt Hills
Emily McNutt, Sr., GK, Burnt Hills
Sarah Glowa, Jr., D, Burnt Hills
Skye Kaler, Frosh., CM, Burnt Hills
Carolyn Mansir, Jr., D, Ballston Spa
Julie Lowenstein, Jr., D, Ballston Spa
Demi Feder, Frosh., F, Ballston Spa
Annie Czlusniak, Sr., F, Ballston Spa
Maleesa Santos, Jr., D, Colonie
Megan Smead, Sr., CM, Columbia
Deanna Puentes, Sr., D, Columbia
Kyra Malamood, Jr., D, Guilderland
Erin Kelly, Sr., GK, Guilderland
Jackie Bassard, Soph., MF, Guilderland
Jenna Crupi, Sr., D, Guilderland
Elizabeth McMahon, Jr., M, Mohonasen
Alicia Cassels, Sr., M, Mohonasen
Michelle Baldwin, Jr., GK, Mohonasen
Schuyler Archambault, Jr., D, Niskayuna
Tara Bartkowski, Sr., D, Niskayuna
Amelia Esposito, Sr., GK, Niskayuna
Stephanie Maslyn, Sr., D, Niskayuna
Katie Cascino, Jr., CM, Niskayuna
Jenna Conklin, Sr., D, Saratoga Springs
Emily Crandall, Sr., D, Saratoga Springs
Carly Brundige, Sr., F, Shaker
Krista Pilla, Sr., M, Shaker
Alyssa Plue, Sr., F, Shaker
Rhiannon Spencer, Sr. GK, Shaker
Caitlin McGonnigal, Sr., D, Shaker
Kaitlyn Cheney, Soph., M, Shaker
Erica Vallecorsa, Soph., D, Shaker
Rebecca Pike, Sr., D, Shaker
Kristen Connors., Frosh., F, Shenendehowa

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As submitted by Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake head coach Brian Bold.

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2009 CHVL girls soccer All-Stars

First team

Jackie Sorensen, Sr., Waterford-Halfmoon
Sarah Bower, Soph., Emma Willard
Geneva Furlano, Sr., New Lebanon
Alisa Walek, Sr., Waterford-Halfmoon
Emily Dooely, Sr., Berlin
Joanna Jackson, Sr., Loudonville Christian
Ahsley Gross, Sr., Heatly
Lindsay Patterson, Soph., Emma Willard
Rachel Ferris, Soph., Berlin
Cassie Storm, Sr., Waterford-Halfmoon
Monica Yorio, Sr., Emma Willard
Juanita Eaton, Jr., New Lebanon

Goalkeeper
Marissa Mendetta, Jr., Rensselaer

Second team

Jenny Porter, Sr., Emma Willard
Jen Hines, Sr., Waterford-Halfmoon
Shannon Breen, Sr., Waterford-Halfmoon
Janelle Gazelone, Sr., Berlin
Deanna Nash, Berlin
Maggie Springer, Sr., New Lebanon
Erica Gross, Sr., Heatly
Tara Emery, Sr., Loudonville Christian
Mya Johnson, Loudonville Christian
Kathleen Kopaskie, Jr., Rensselaer
Tory Haltermann, Sr., Doane Stuart

Goalkeeper
Shannon Nolan, Doane Stuart

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Sportsmanship award: Doane Stuart
League champions: Emma Willard

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Gersuk follows sister's footsteps to Northwestern; LSI duo make it official

Albany Academy for Girls senior Caroline Gersuk looks to make a pass in practice during the 2009 season. The Bears advanced to the New York State regional final. (Photo by J.S. Carras — The Record)

Caroline Gersuk officially put pen to paper Monday afternoon, signing her National Letter of Intent to play for Division I powerhouse Northwestern University.

The Wildcats have won five consecutive NCAA titles and have posted a 106-3 record over that span.

Gersuk's older sister, Ashley, was the goalkeeper on the perfect 2005 squad that started the streak.

Albany Academy's Caroline Gersuk (10) celebrates second half goal against Glens Falls during high school girls Class C Championship lacrosse action Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at UAlbany. Albany Academy defeated Glens Falls 12-8. (Photo by J.S. Carras - The Record).

The Bears advanced all the way to the regional finals and Gersuk is looking forward to a big senior season in the spring now that her college decision is out of the way.

"Thankfully, she’s self-motivated and she’s a true role model on and off the field," AAG head coach Greg Giombetti said. "Last year, we had the pleasure of going all the way to the regional finals and as soon as we walked off the field after defeat, the first thing she said to me was, ‘We’re getting to states next year.’ So it’s the inner drive that really keeps her going."

Carolnie Gersuk is all smiles after signing her National Letter of Intent Monday. Parents Joe and Julie look on. (Signing photos by Tom Killips - The Record).

Julie Gersuk gives daughter Caroline a big kiss on the forehead in celebration of her signing with Northwestern. Albany Academies Director of Athletics Paul Gallucci is in the background.

Caroline will be busy playing squash with Giombetti this winter, looking to develop more hand-eye coordination and have some fun at the same time.

"We're both very competitive with each other and I play with a couple of my lacrosse teammates as well," she said. "I’m not very good at it yet, but I’m working on that and hopefully I'll get a little bit better. It’s fun for a little bit of cross training."

Make sure to read the full story on Caroline in Tuesday's edition of The Record.

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La Salle Institute seniors and South Troy Dodgers standouts, Will Remillard (left) and Dave Roseboom, were all smiles after making their college decisions in October. (Photo by Mike McMahon - The Record).

Remillard, who is headed to Temple, and Roseboom, who will attend South Carolina Upstate, also put pen to paper this afternoon at La Salle.

Read the story on their college decisions, which ran in The Record on Oct. 6, by clicking here.

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