Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hoosick Falls was second to one among Class C schools in 2010

Hoosick Falls football players burst through a banner during a 2009 home game. (Photo by J.S. Carras - The Record).

HOOSICK FALLS - The 2009-10 school year not only was one to remember for athletes at Hoosick Falls High School, it was the second-best performance by a Class C school in all of New York State.

For the second straight year, the New York Sportswriters Association has released its All-Sport Championship, which calculates the most successful schools in the state based on points earned by winning sectional, regional and state championships.

Hoosick Falls’ boys and girls teams earned 24 points, one point behind Class C All-Sport champion Marathon High of Section IV. The Panthers’ Wasaren League rival, Greenwich, finished third with 22 points.

In the fall season, four teams excelled for Hoosick Falls. The golf team posted a winning record, while the girls soccer team won the Wasaren League championship. Hoosick Falls’ field hockey team was a Wasaren League co-champion and the football team won the Section II Class C North Division title.

The field hockey team advanced to the New York State semifinals before losing to Port Jefferson, 2-1. Late in the season, head coach Denise Campbell admitted she thought it might be a rebuilding year after the team lost its top two scorers and starting goaltender from the 2008 team to graduation.

On the gridiron, the football team went undefeated in the regular season and needed a last-second, 39-yard field goal from Quinn Rasmus to defeat Chatham in the Section II Super Bowl, 17-14.

The football team advanced to the state semifinals in Kingston, but lost to Bronxville in heartbreaking fashion, 28-27.

In the winter, the boys basketball team, led by Kevin McMahon and Alex Lilac (pictured above) won a second straight Wasaren League regular season title and advanced to the Section II Class C championship game.

Not to be outdone, the bowling team placed second at sectionals. On the wrestling mats, Jacob Pearson, Brad Burns and Matt Fogarty each won at least 19 matches.

Josh Mulready makes the catch of the year in center field during the Panthers' second-to-last game of the regular season against Granville.

In the spring, Hoosick Falls’ youthful baseball team made an unexpected surge to the top of the Wasaren League standings, finishing the season in a three-way tie with Greenwich and Schuylerville.

Although a state championship eluded the Panthers during the 2009-10 school year, the softball team made the longest run in the postseason. Behind sophomore pitcher Rachel Quackenbush (pictured below), Hoosick Falls was making its second consecutive appearance in the Final Four.

The Panthers won their semifinal game against Ganada, but fell in the championship game to Rhinebeck, 3-1, in eight innings.

"Not only do we have ourselves to get pumped up, but we have the school, the parents and then the outside community," senior shortstop Jenna Priore said before the team headed off to the Final Four. "It’s a small town and having a small town helps a ton because everyone knows everyone and we get so much support."

Many of the student-athletes competed on at least two of the teams, which explains the Panthers’ three seasons of success.

"With a small school, if you get one good class, you’re going to be competitive across the board," said Mike Lilac Jr., who is Hoosick Falls’ head boys basketball and baseball coach and the district’s Athletic Director. "But we really have three good classes in a row with our junior and sophomore classes, too."

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, which scored 45.17 points in Class A, was the New York’s overall champion for the second straight year. Other local place-winners include Saratoga Springs (second, Class AA), Queensbury (fourth, Class AA) and Mechanicville (fifth, Class B). Using just points scored by boys teams, Christian Brothers Academy was tied for third among Class B schools. Using just the girls’ scores, Mechanicville was second in Class B and Colonie was tied for fourth in Class AA.

Maple Hill was New York’s Class C All-Sport champion following the 2008-09 season.

2010 New York State All-Sports Championship, as complied by the New York State Sportswriters Association

Combined (boys and girls) Class AA scoring
1) North Rockland, 42.5 points
2) Saratoga, 36.33
3) Fayetteville-Manlius, 34.33
4) Queensbury, 31.67
5) Newburgh Free Academy, 30.67

Combined (boys and girls) Class A scoring
1) Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, 45.17 points
2) Honeoye Falls-Lima, 42
3) Lakeland, 41
4) Garden City, 39
4) Pittsford Mendon, 39

Combined (boys and girls) Class B scoring
1) Westhill, 37 points
2) Bronxville, 25
3) Center Moriches, 24.5
4) East Aurora, 17.5
5) Mechanicville, 17

Combined (boys and girls) Class C scoring
1) Marathon, 25 points
2) Hoosick Falls, 24
3) Greenwich, 22
4) Rhinebeck, 21.5
5) Greene, 21
5) Friends Academy, 21

Combined (boys and girls) Class D scoring
1) Maple Grove, 27.5 points
2) Chazy, 25
3) Bolivar-Richburg, 20
4) Plattsburgh Seton, 17
4) John A. Coleman Catholic, 17

Boys Class AA scoring
1) North Rockland, 27.5 points
2) Newburgh Free Academy, 24
3) Fayetteville-Manlius, 19.17
4) West Genesee, 18.5
5) Saratoga, 18

Boys Class A scoring
1) Jamesville-DeWitt, 34 points
2) Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, 30.17
3) New Hartford, 25
4) Manhasset, 21
5) Honeoye Falls-Lima 20

Boys Class B scoring
1) Westhill 37 points
2) Marcellus, 16.06
3) Albany CBA, 15
3) Center Moriches, 15
3) Hornell, 15
3) Southwestern, 15

Boys Class C scoring
1) Friends Academy, 17.5 points
2) Barker, 15
2) Buffalo Middle College, 15
2) Randolph, 15
2) Valhalla 15

Boys Class D scoring
1) Chazy, 15 points
1) Fort Ann, 15
1) Maple Grove, 15
4) Bolivar-Richburg, 10
4) John A. Coleman Catholic, 10
4) Moriah, 10
4) Northville, 10
4) Watertown Immaculate Heart, 10

Girls Class AA scoring
1) Canandaigua, 22 points
2) Saratoga, 18.33
2) Queensbury, 18.33
4) Bay Shore, 17.5
4) Colonie, 17.5

Girls Class A scoring
1) Lakeland, 30.5 points
2) Garden City, 29
3) Pittsford Mendon, 28.5
4) Cornwall, 22.5
5) Honeoye Falls-Lima, 22

Girls Class B scoring
1) East Aurora, 17.5 points
2) Mechanicville, 17
3) Briarcliff, 15
3) Bronxville, 15
3) Buffalo City Honors, 15
3) Chenango Valley, 15
3) Eden, 15
3) Irvington, 15

Girls Class C scoring
1) Rhinebeck, 21.5 points
2) Tioga, 18
2) Elmira Heights Edison, 18
4) Stony Brook, 17.5
5) Hoosick Falls, 17

Girls Class D scoring
1) Livingston Manor, 15 points
1) Arkport, 15
1) Clymer, 15
4) Maple Grove, 12.5
5) Chateaugay, 10.5

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Owens excelled at four schools - three in the Capital Region

Continuing our high school basketball history series this week, Record sports editor Kevin Moran caught up with Rod Owens, who played at Berlin, Catholic Central, Davidson and Siena College.

The 6-foot-6 power forward’s highlight-reel dunk came while playing at Syracuse in Manley Field House, several years before the Carrier Dome opened. Siena, in its infant days as a Division I program, traveled west to take on a Syracuse team that featured Louis Orr, Roosevelt Bouie, Jay Cohen and Marty Head.

Late in the second half, Owens blocked a shot by Orr, who eventually became head coach at Siena. The Saints sprinted upcourt on a fast break, with Siena guard Mike Catino handling the ball.

"I though Mike was going to pull up for one of his patented 15- to 18-foot jump shots," Owens said. "I was going hard to the basket, filling one of the lanes. Mike said he saw me frothing at the mouth, so he passed me the ball."

Owens took two power steps, elevated and slammed the ball home over Bouie, Syracuse’s 6-foot-11 All-Big East center who in 1980 was a second-round selection of the Dallas Mavericks, but opted for a 13-year pro career in Italy.

"I went up hard and pushed Bouie’s arms out of the way and was able to score," Owens said. "They ref blew the whistle and called a foul on Bouie. He couldn’t believe it."

Syracuse, paced by the Louis & Bouie show, won the game, 99-64, but Siena had its moment as a fledgling Division I program.

For the full story, check out Sunday's edition of The Record, which will also feature our All-Area baseball and softball teams, local reaction to the World Cup, coverage of the Country Club of Troy Invitational and the ValleyCats game story from Saturday night.

Here is a list of the people who will be inducted into the Capital Region Basketball Hall of Fame's second annual class.

Debbie Barnes...Laura Barnes
Val Higgins...Katrina Springer
Jane Meade...Mary Fuchs
Robin Reed...Maureen Holohan
Julie McBride...Tonya Hansen
Anita Kaplan...Nikki Hilton
Nancy Egerton...Cathy Rousseau
Jen Scanlon...Michelle Collins
Katelyn Dooley...Kelly Scanlon
Becky Gottstein...Jolene Johnston
Carolyn Gottstein...Stacey Hurd
Heidi Harkins...Brenna Doty
Kim Corbitt...Heather Fiore
Marcell Harrison...Tahnee Heins

Lucious Jordan...Jeff Robinson
Jason Graber...John Leonard
Freddie Daniels...Rod Owens
Fred Shear...Kasheef Hameed
Steve Dagostino...Randy Cross
Corey Osinski...Tom Backer
Billy Harrell

Don Bassett...Ron Sontz
Walt Pryzyblo...Mike Long
Ken Strube...Richard "Doc’ Sauers

Tom Brennan...Bill Varno
John Cahill Sr.

We plan to have coverage of Sunday's ceremonies, so look for that story in Monday's edition of The Record.

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Sprague headed to Queen of Diamonds showcase

Cameron Sprague, a Clifton Park native and member of the Class of 2011 at Shenendehowa High School, pitches for the Electric City Bombers 18-and-under team in the summer months.

Cameron Sprague from Shenendehowa High School has recently been selected to compete in the Queen of Diamonds Showcase South (QDSS) at Winthrop University in Rock Hill South Carolina, September 3rd and 4th, 2010.

This event continues to attract elite athletes from 30+ states and 2 Canadian Provinces. Its’ sister showcase, the Queen of Diamonds North, in its 17th season, is the largest showcase in the nation. Both events have over 2,000 applicants in which 264 are selected. This showcase is very unique as athletes actually ‘apply to’ this event individually and are selected based on many criteria ranging from ability, potential, academics, grad year, coaches requests, and referrals. Cameron is a senior pitcher on the Electric City Bombers 18U Gold team.

We're going to be publishing a big feature story on summer sports and the college recruiting process on July 4. Many of the elite local athletes are beginning to self-promote themselves to colleges, using websites such as the one where Sprague hosts a profile. There, they can post statistics and videos such as the one below that can showcase their talents to college softball coaches who are trying to fill a few roster spots at any given time.

It definitely a time of change on the youth athletics front as parents and coaches have multitude ways to promote and research players. For many players, it's the summer season, and not the high school season, that helps them become college athletes.

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Troy's terrific trio: Holohan, Hilton and Harrison

Nikki Emery-Hilton (44), Maureen Holohan (25) and Marcell Harrison (32) celebrate as the finals seconds tick off the clock in the 1989 Section II Class A final played at Colonie High School. (Record file photo).

As part of our week-long look back at the history of high school basketball in the Collar City, our Andrew Santillo caught up with a trio of Troy High stars from the late 1980s and early '90s.

In 1989, Troy High's girls basketball team won a state title and may have won it again in 1990 had Holohan not injured her knee during her senior season.

For the full story, click here.

Maureen Holohan (pictured, with ball) went on to become a college star at Northwestern University. Hilton-Emery and Harrison, who are cousins, went on to play at George Mason University.

Some of the most interesting information in the story was the fact that 1,000 people had to be turned away at the door when Troy met Shenendehowa in the Class A final at Colonie High School in 1989. The next year, the rematch was moved to the Glens Falls Civic Center, the first time a Section II girls basketball championship game was not played at a high school site. Some 5,000 fans watched the rematch in Glens Falls.

The trio will be inducted into the Capital Region Basketball Hall of Fame together Sunday night in a ceremony at the Crown Plaza in Albany. This second year of the Hall of Fame is focusing on recognizing the girls game in the area, something the Troy High trio are proud to be a part of.

“I think it’s great that they are celebrating the women who changed the game for the area,” Holohan said. “I’m honored to be considered in that group.”

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2010 All-State softball team

Hoosick Falls High School sophomore Rachel Quackenbush was one of a number of players selected to the All-State team by the New York State Sportswriters Association. (Photo by J.S. Carras - The Record).

The New York State Sportswriters Association recently released its All-State softball team for the 2010 season. The full team will soon be available on their website,

Below is a list of the top award-winners and all of the Section II players to make the cut.
The first number refers to a player's year in school during the 2010 season.

NYSSCOGS New York State Coach of the Year: Mike Ponsiglione (St. Joseph by the Sea-CHSAA)
NYSSCOGS New York State Player of the Year: Liz Weber (Bay Shore-11)

First team
12, P, Danielle Amyot (Shenendehowa)
11, SS, Mary Beth Dombrowski (Bethlehem)

Second team
12, P, Jena Servidone (Columbia)
12, C, Maggie Quinn (Shenendehowa)

Third team
12, OF, Megan Price (Niskayuna)

Fourth team
11, 3B, Guilianna Figliomeni (Shenendehowa)
11, P, Toni Edwards (Bethlehem)

Fifth team
12, P, Alyson Onyon (Saratoga)
11, P, Casey Rowland (Colonie)

NYSSCOGS New York State Coach of the Year: Mike Carlacci (Pearl River-1)
NYSSCOGS New York State Player of the Year: Tammy Wray (Somers-1)

Second team
11, P, Maddy Wheeler (South Glens Falls)
11, C, Meg Volz (Lansingburgh)

Third team
12, P, Delores Mattice (Mohonasen)
12, C, Rebecca Smith (Ichabod Crane)

Fourth team
12, P, Emily Ostrom (Burnt Hills)
12, 2B, Kelsey Fish (South Glens Falls)

Fifth team
12, SS, Sarah Cipperly (Lansingburgh)


NYSSCOGS New York State Coach of the Year: Eric Coleman (Chenango Valley-4)
NYSSCOGS New York State Player of the Year: Mikaela King (Chenango Valley-4) and Anna Arceneaux (Mechanicville-2)

First team
11, P/3B, Anna Arceneaux (Mechanicville)
10, 3B/SS, Alyssa Russell (Mechanicville)
12, P, Aleshia Link (Taconic Hills)

Second team
12, P, Sarah Harrison (Cobleskill-Richmondville)

Third team
11, 1B/2B, Kelsey Hines (Mechanicville)

Fourth team
12, 2B/P, Bianca Bojarczuk (Schalmont)

Fifth team
10, P, Courtney Dayter (Cohoes)

NYSSCOGS New York State Coach of the Year: Chris Villiere (South Lewis-3) and Dave Helak (Lancaster St. Mary’s-CHSAA)
NYSSCOGS New York State Player of the Year: Megan Michie (Rhinebeck-9)

First team
10, P, Rachel Quackenbush (Hoosick Falls)

Second team
10, P, Dani Hennel (Duanesburg)
11, 1B/P, Katie Kovage (Hoosick Falls)

Third team
12, C, Aimee Palleschi (Chatham)
12, P, Katelyn Callahan (Lake George)

Fourth team
10, 2B/P, Caitlyn Sanders (Duanesburg)

Fifth team
10, OF, Dani DeGregory (Greenwich)

NYSSCOGS New York State Coach of the Year: Kevin Clifford (Livingston Manor-9)
NYSSCOGS New York State Player of the Year: Jessie Winans (Afton-4) and Marissa Diescher (Livingston Manor-9)

First team
11, SS, Lauren Fix (Germantown)
12, C, Patti Cameron (Germantown)

Second team
12, P, Jackie Petteys (Hartford)
10, C, Brittany Brayman (Hartford)

Third team
12, P, Krista Depew (Argyle)

Fourth team
12, 3B, Stephanie Ryman (Germantown)

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Friday, June 25, 2010

2010 Big 10 Conference baseball All-Stars

La Salle Institute senior Dave Roseboom was named the Big 10 Conference's Most Valuable Player after going 6-1 with an 0.80 ERA, collecting 73 strikeouts in 55 and 1/3 innings. He also hit .426 with 14 RBI as the team's first baseman when he wasn't pitching. (Photo by J.S. Carras - The Record).

Player of the Year - Dave Roseboom, Sr., lhp/1b, La Salle Institute

First team


J.P. Sportman - La Salle Institute
Stephen Richards - Albany High
Casey McPartlon - Christian Brothers Academy
Matt Butrym - Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons
Nick Bernardo - La Salle Institute

Matt Sand - Christian Brothers Academy
Dom Loughlin - Catholic Central High School
Iziah McCowan - Troy High

Will Remillard - La Salle Institute
Joe Borowski - Schenectady High

Steve Basile - Christian Brothers Academy
Adam DeFruscio - Schenectady High

Chris Jeffers - Bishop Maginn

Second team

Max Nagelsmith - Christian Brothers Academy
Nolan Driscoll - Catholic Central High School
Zach Remillard - La Salle Institute
Zach Andi - Schenectady High
Mason Duncan - Troy High

Anibal Maldonado - Troy High
Austin Poulan - Amsterdam High
Matt Mainello - La Salle Institute

Steve Zimmering - Albany High

Mike Doyle - Catholic Central High School
Jesse Twiss - Troy High
Kyle Rufer - Amsterdam High

Steve Ziter - Troy High
Dennis Buckley - Christian Brothers Academy

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

2010 Suburban Council baseball All-Stars

Averill Park senior Nick Cioffi was named the Suburban Council's Pitcher of the Year for 2010. He finished the season with a 7-2 record (also one save), and a 1.89 ERA in 59 innings pitched. He struck out 82 batters against 18 walks and held opposing batters to a .165 batting average. He posted four shutouts in seven complete games.

Coach of the Year: (Three-way tie) Paul DeLuca, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake; John Furey, Niskayuna; Peter Mravlja, Shaker.

Pitcher of the Year: Nick Cioffi, Averill Park

Player of the Year: Matt Zanotta, Guilderland

First team
c, Brian O'Keefe, Colonie
1b, Matt Zanotta, Guilderland
mi, Branden Cogswell, Shenendehowa
mi, Bret Dennis, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake
3b, Derek Gardella, Shaker
dh, Johnny Craig, Shenendehowa
util., Brian Guilder, Ballston Spa
of, Kyle Willmott, Saratoga Springs
of, Scott Buniak, Shenendehowa
of, Keaton Flint, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake

p, Nick Cioffi, Averill Park
p, Matt Coleman, Saratoga Springs
p, Chris Kalica, Colonie
p, Jeff Hoffman, Shaker

Second team
c, Brandon Galluppi, Shenendehowa
1b, David Wixted, Shenendehowa
mi, Sean Geisel, Guilderland
mi, Christian Brown, Columbia
3b, Andrew Kalish, Shenendehowa
dh, Dan Buff, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake
util., Stephen Proper, Columbia
of, Nick Valetta, Niskayuna
of, Luke Fauler, Saratoga Springs
of, Luke Stark, Guilderland

p, John Prendergast, Shenendehowa
p, Matt Dempsey, Shenendehowa
p, Mike Nowak, Shaker
p, Corey Parks, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake

note: as voted on by the Suburban Council head coaches and submitted by Shenendehowa head coach James Carrese. (Dennis and Geisel were flip-flopped, as indicated by a correction sent in Friday afternoon).

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Searching for Troy's finest and McBride talking Turkey

With the second annual Capital Region Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies coming up Sunday night, we here at The Record have been chasing down some of the Collar City's finest cagers to illustrate Troy's illustrious basketball history.

Sunday, Record sports editor Kevin Moran caught up with former Catholic Central High School head coach Don Bassett, who won over 300 games and turned the CCHS program into a dynasty on the east coast. His team regularly played in front of capacity crowds in gyms such as the Washington Avenue Armory, as in the picture below. To read the story on Bassett, click here.
To read quips and anecdotes from some of his former players, click here.
In Thursday's paper, we looked at the 1964-65 Troy High team, which is widely regarded as being the top team ever to play in the Capital Region.

The Troy High 1964-65 basketball team finished 22-0 and ranked No. 1 in the nation. The team, to this day, is considered the best to ever compete in the Capital District.
Front Row: Perry Ashley, Joe Cohen, A. Wilson, Neil Dembo.

Second Row: Hubert Terry, R. Pompey, Jerry Guter, Luther Rackley, K. Holmstead, Roosevelt Phillips, Bobby Wood.

All these years later, however, the Hall of Fame committee has had a hard time tracking down former members of the team. Hence, they have yet to be inducted into the hall, although they're certainly deserving.

To read the whole story on the '64-65 team, click here.

New York City's Power Memorial team, which featured a young Lew Alcindor, also finished the '64-65 season 22-0. The teams were set to meet, but the New York State Athletic Association, which allowed just 22 games to be played, canceled the contest.

Luther Rackley, a 6-foot-10 center, went on to play at Xavier and later in the NBA. He turned down an invitation to be inducted into the hall last year.

The whereabouts of some of the other members of the team are still unknown.

Mechanicville native Julie McBride, who went on to star at Syracuse University and later in the WNBA, is now a star overseas in Turkey. Here, she posed for the cover of a Turkish basketball magazine. (Photos provided).

Our Chris Fitz Gerald caught up with Julie McBride for a story that also run in Thursday's paper. To read the whole piece, click here.

She has had her number retired at Catholic Central and in a poll by Sports Illustrated, was named Syracuse University's No. 9 all-time athlete.

Julie McBride pushes the ball up court to avoid a double team while competing in a pro league in Turkey.

She spends eight months of every year playing in Turkey, but returns home in the summers and runs a basketball camp at CCHS.

“I love going over there,” McBride said. “Basketball is who I am and that’s what I do and I love getting paid for it. I go over there for eight months (October to May) and then come home to my family. I love playing and I want to keep going.”

The 27-year old recently signed a two-year contract to continue playing in Turkey.

Check back later this week as we'll have more on the hall class, including stories on former CCHS player Rod Owens and the Troy High trio of girls, Maureen Holohan, Nikki Hilton and Marcell Harrison.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Record's 2010 All-Area baseball and softball teams - reader input requested

The Record's 2010 All-Area baseball and softball teams are being put together right now, but we're also looking for your input.

Which players deserve to make the cut? Who did you think was the Player of the Year? Which coach earned this year's Coach of the Year award?

I will be in touch with coaches to get their opinions and stats (coaches, if you're reading, please submit any nominations or numbers to me via troyrecordsports AT gmail DOT com) and I'll also be factoring in my notes and recollections from the season in determining which players will make the teams.

For now, cast your votes in the comments or send them to me via email. In a few days, I will post a poll listing the top vote-getters to see who the readers have picked as the Players and Coaches of the Year.

Here is your chance to have a say, so have at it!

(Update 10 a.m., June 18): Thanks for all of your responses so far. Keep them coming in the comments or via email. I can't promise that everyone will make the cut, but I will certainly give everyone consideration.

(Update, 1:30 p.m., June 21): We plan on publishing the All-Star section on Sunday, so please keep your nominations coming through Saturday. It will be a very tough job, but I'll do my best to slot all of these players where they belong, based on statistics, team success and input from coaches.

(Update, 6:45 p.m., June 23): Thanks again to all of you who have sent in your votes and comments for our All-Area teams which are set to be published on Sunday.
I have done my best to reach out to coaches and athletic directors, but there are still a few schools I yet to hear back from. I know some folks change phone numbers and emails over time, so my contacts list may not be up-to-date anymore. If you know these coaches or ADs, please let them know that I need their stats ASAP or I'll be forced to leave them on our honorable mention team.
Baseball: Heatly, Berlin, Mechanicville, Averill Park, Watervliet, Guilderland.
Softball: Troy, Shenendehowa, Berlin, Averill Park.

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'Vliet's 4x100 relay team returns to quiet homecoming in the Arsenal City

Watervliet's 4x100 meter relay team won a New York State Division II championship a few weekends ago at Vestal High School, near Binghamton. (Photo courtesy

I had a brief story on the relay team that ran in Tuesday's paper (read that here) but I've since caught up with a few of the other team members and wanted to add their notes.

The team, seniors Vlad Myschuk, Jamal McPherson, Ahshad Thompson and Melique Garcia, along with junior alternate Chris LaRoche, struggled with two handoffs in the championship race, which was a bit of a shock to them and coach Erick Bernard.

"We struggled with the handoffs," Garcia said. "We always seem to have them down pat in the meets. They were the worst we've ever had. We're usually perfect."

And despite their accomplishment - a track and field state title in any event was a first in school history - the reception at home has been pretty chilly. Part of the problem was that school is just out of session (the seniors graduate Thursday), but it's also that Watervliet's track and field teams have never receiving top billing in the Arsenal City. A long history of dominance in football, basketball and baseball make them the predominant sports at the school.

For the wrestling program, bowling and track and field all seem to be on the way up at Watervliet.

"Nobody pays attention to the track team," Garcia said. "We got hoodies and coach got us a gold baton that will get our names engraved on it. We're also getting a plaque. I mean, we were the first team in school history to ever win the states."

The team's success at the state meet the past two years has done one thing, however. It's made officials in the community give serious consideration to the possibility of building a track around the football field at the high school campus. It be easily done. To build a track at the school, the Cannoneers would have to find a new place for a baseball field, since the outfield and the football field overlap - something that wouldn't work with a track ringing the football field.

Still, not having a track was one of the reasons the team members gave for developing their skills.

"The second time (at the state meet) was a lot easier," Myschuk said. "We don’t have a track at the high school and we all ran indoor. We run in the basement in the winter and that helps with our starts. We also go up and down the hills at school. All of that helps us explode and it pushes us harder."

It will be interesting to see how these athletes fare in college as they pursue sports goals.

Thompson will play football at Mount Ida College in Massachusetts.

Myschuk and Garcia will attend Hudson Valley Community College for their core courses, but both are hoping to run competitively in college in the future, perhaps at UAlbany.

One of Watervliet's few track and field alumnae who continued to run at the college level, Brittany Eveleth, just finished her sophomore year at UAlbany.

You can find more information on

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2010 Colonial Council softball All-Stars

Mechanicville High School junior pitcher and infielder Anna Arceneaux was named the 2010 Colonial Council MVP. (Photo by J.S. Carras - The Record).

MVP - Anna Arceneaux, Jr., Mechanicville, p/3b

First team
Alysa Russell, Soph., Mechanicville, 3b/ss
Sarah Harrison, Sr., Cobleskill-Richmmondville, p
Meg Volz, Jr., Lansingburgh, c
Bianca Bojarczuk, Sr., Schalmont, 2b/p
Courtney Dayter, Soph., Cohoes, p
Shana Cooper, Jr., Cohoes, ss
Kelsey Hines, Jr., Mechanicville, 1b/2b
Sarah Cipperly, Sr., Lansingburgh, ss
Amanda Gatt, Frosh., Voorheesville, p/ss

Second team
Bailei Tetrault, Jr., Cohoes, 2b
Shannon McBride, Sr., Mechanicville, ss/p
Ashley Miley, Sr., Schalmont, ss
Taylor Daniels, 8th, Watervliet, ss
Abby Maiello, Soph., Mechanicville, 2b/cf
Katie Vishneowski, Jr., Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk, cf
Kolbi Smith, Sr., Holy Names, c/3b
Sarah Connolly, Jr., Albany Academy for Girls, c
Kelsey DeZalia, Sr., Voorheesville, 3b/c
Sam Woitkoski, Jr., Lansingburgh, p

Honorable mention team
Joelle DiDomenico, Sr., 1B, Mechanicville
Andrea Mastropietro, Sr. RF, Mechanicville
Aubrey Moore, Sr, DP, Mechanicville
Alex Remillard, Sr., CF, Cohoes
Nicole McOmber, Sr., 3B, Cohoes
Morgan Dunn, Jr., OF/DP, Cohoes
Courtney Gumprecht, Soph, C, Cohoes
Kayla Cole, Sr., 3B, Lansingburgh
Brianna Zadoorian, Sr., 2B, Lansingburgh
Casey Brown, Sr., C, Schalmont
Shelby Taylor, Sr., LF/3B, Schalmont
Katarina Miley, Soph, P, Schalmont
Britney Creed, Sr., SS/CF, Voorheesville
Liz Madden, Sr., CF/LF, Voorheesville
Kelsey Wegener, Soph, 1B, Voorheesville
Meghan Pentak, Soph, 1B, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk
Rebecca Phillips, Soph, OF, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk
Michelle Malin, Soph, P/OF, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk
Katie Reinemann, Sr., SS, Cobleskill Richmondville
Brooke Slater, Sr., 2B/P, Cobleskill Richmondville
Kate Brust, Jr., C, Cobleskill Richmondville
Lauren Walsh, Jr., P/SS, Academy of the Holy Names
Ali Miller, 8th, P/CF, Academy of the Holy Names
Jackie Murphy, Sr. LF, Academy of the Holy Names
Patricia Johnson, Soph, 3B/C, Academy of the Holy Names
Rebecca Smith, Fresh, P, Albany Academy for Girls
Carylann Geddes, Fresh, SS, Albany Academy for Girls
Teagen Ketchum, Fresh, 3B, Albany Academy for Girls
Asley Yoo, Sr., CF, Albany Academy for Girls
Katie Plunkett, Jr., 1B/P, Watervliet
Noelle Gilchrist, Sr., P/1B, Watervliet
Bea Lease, Soph., CF, Watervliet
Jocelyn Brunick, Fresh, 2B, Watervliet

Note: As voted on by the league's head coaches.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Colonial Council divisions for 2011

Cohoes High School softball head coach Frank Ryan tipped me off to the new Colonial Council softball divisions for 2011 when I spoke with him about our All-Area team today.

With the addition of Fonda-Fultonville and Ichabod Crane for the 2010-11 season, the Colonial Council decided to rearrange its divisions for softball.

Patriot Division
Academy of the Holy Names
Ichabod Crane

Liberty Division
Albany Academy for Girls

I'd imagine the divisions will be the same for girls soccer and basketball, but since the boys don't have a match for Holy Names, they may go with just one 11-team division.

Teams will play each other school in their division home and away. Teams will play each team in the opposite division just once during the regular season. Division winners will meet in a season-ending championship game.

The Ichabod Crane/Lansingburgh games should be pretty competitive in most sports, so that will be an interesting new rivalry to track.

What do you think? Was there a better way to organize the teams?

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'Vliet Hall of Fame growing brick by brick

The Watervliet High School Athletic Hall of Fame welcomed its inaugural class in 2008, with plaques commemorating the careers of 20 former athletes and coaches. In 2009, 17 more former Watervliet legends answered the call.

With the construction of a new gymnasium currently ongoing, the Cannoneers are looking to raise a bit of money to pay for the new display cases that will be needed in the lobby.

To that end, the Hall of Fame committee is sponsoring a 300 brick campaign. 4x8 inch bricks will be sold for $100 apiece. Each may be engraved with a custom message and they will be permanently displayed around the lobby entrance.

For an application form, please contact Athletic Director Rick Cowles at 629-3303.

To nominate an athlete, coach or team for the Hall of Fame, click here for a Hall of Fame form.

Construction is coming along on the project, which will make a definite difference in the outer appearance of the school. For the latest, click over to the school district's web site:

Construction of a new softball field is also underway at the elementary school. For more on that, click here.

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Plue named to Outland watch list

Former Rensselaer High School football star Kenny Plue (pictured) has been named one of 63 players named to the watch list for the Outland Trophy, awarded annually to the nation's best interior lineman.

Plue, a junior at Purdue University, has made 18 career starts and will be the Boilermakers' most experienced lineman when the season starts in 2010.

As a sophomore, he was an honorable mention selection by the Big 10 head coaches and was named Purdue's Most Improved Offensive Player. He started all 12 games at right guard.

For the full preseason watch list, click here.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

The Don of CCHS basketball; Faces in the Crowd and Sunday Profile nominees

Former Catholic Central High School boys basketball coach Don Bassett coached the Crusaders from 1968 to 1984. (File photo by J.S. Carras - The Record).

The Record's sports editor, Kevin Moran, wrote a comprehensive story on the legendary career of former Catholic Central basketball coach Don Bassett that appeared in Sunday's edition of The Record.

Bassett won 304 games in 22 seasons as a high school basketball coach — he won more than 250 at CCHS, where he won 80 percent of his games.

Sunday, Bassett will be inducted into the Capital District Basketball Hall of Fame. The ceremony will be held at the Crown Plaza in Albany. The induction is open to the public. Tickets are priced at $70. Two of Bassett’s former players, Tom Bacher and Rod Owens, will also be part of the Hall of Fame Class of 2010.

We'll have more on this year's Hall of Fame class all this week in The Record.

To read the full story on, click here.

During his run, Bassett turned CCHS into a nationally-recognized team that produced boatloads of college talent.

For quips and anecdotes from some of his former players, click here.

We're also featuring two new pieces of our retooled Sunday section.

First is Faces in the Crowd. Click here to see last week's nominees.
Do you know of a local team (at any level) or person that deserves to be recognized as one of our Faces in the Crowd? Please send us your information and a picture. (Follow the directions in the above link).

We're also looking for individuals to describe in our Sunday Profile. Here is one on John Hudson, the head groundskeeper at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium.

Please send us your nominees!

(Update, 12:01 a.m.): Let me throw Monday's local baseball roundup on this post as well.

Local baseball
Sandy Koufax 13-and-under
Lansingburgh 15, Queensbury 14: Connor McDonough went 5-for-5 to lift the Lansingburgh Royals over the Queensbury T’Wolves in a Sandy Koufax game Monday evening.
Greg Howard added a double and a single for Lansingburgh. Jarred Jarose was the Royals’ winning pitcher.
Queensbury’s Kyle Chambers collected three singles.
Mickey Mantle
Hoosick Falls 11, Albany 9: Josh Mulready hit an RBI triple and scored three runs to lead Hoosick Falls to a Mickey Mantle victory over Albany Monday evening.
Randy Tutunjian chipped in with a two-run triple, Steve Colvin hit an RBI double that broke a tie in the sixth inning and Alex Lilac provided three innings of scoreless relief for Hoosick Falls (4-6).
Albany’s Terrell Bickley hit a pair of singles and drove in a run for Albany (6-4).
Albany (6-4) 210 600 0 - 9 5 1
Hoosick Falls (4-6) 102 413 x - 11 8 1
Bickley, Worden (6) and Berghela J.Brogue, Mosso (2), Lilac (4) and L.Brogue.
Twilight League
Athletics win doubleheader: Jim Shook hurled a complete game, 7-hitter and added to his league lead in strikeouts by fanning 11 batters as the Albany Athletics posted a 10-1 victory over the Blue State Bluehawks.
In the nightcap, John Marcella hit a grand slam to lift the A’s to a 14-3 victory over the Albany Senators.
The Athletics, 15-3 overall, took sole control of first place with a 10-2 mark in Twilight League action.

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2010 Wasaren League baseball All-Stars

Greenwich High School senior Neil Fryer, who will play next year at Siena College, was named the Wasaren League's MVP for the 2010 season in a vote by the league's head coaches. (Photo by Stan Hudy, The Saratogian).

MVP - Neil Fryer, Sr., Greenwich

First team
Jayson Osborne, Granville, Sr.
Connor Hoagland, Granville, Sr.
Cody LaFlamme, Hoosick Falls, Soph.
Ethan Macura, Granville, Sr.
Steve Backus, Schuylerville, Sr.
Tony Giroux, Greenwich, Soph.
Zach Carle, Cambridge, Sr.
Mike Vargus, Schuylerville, Jr.
Mike Resetar, Granville, Jr.

Second team

Tanner Williams, Hoosick Falls, Soph.
Seth Foster, Hoosick Falls, Sr.
Kyle Parmenter, Cambridge, Sr.
Dustin Lasky, Schuylerville, Sr.
Jason Flynn, Greenwich, Soph.
John Harrington, Greenwich, Jr.
Sean Ritter, Stillwater, Jr.
Brady Talbot, Tamarac, Sr.
Austin Bateman, Schuylerville, Sr.

Honorable mention team
Seth Frakes, Cambridge, Jr.
Jared Ford, Hoosic Valley, Jr.
Rylan VanPraag, Hoosic Valley, Jr.
Brian Byer, Stillwater, Sr.
Mike Drescher, Hoosic Valley, Sr.
Chris Braim, Schuylerville, Sr.
Kyle Bestle, Tamarac, So.
Adam Ferrannini, Hoosick Falls, Sr.
Mike Brewster, Hoosick Falls, Sr.
Joe Gravelle, Granville, Sr.
Cori Winch, Granville, Fr.
Chad Niles, Greenwich, Sr.
Ellory Harrington, Greenwich, Sr.
Collin McCormick, Greenwich, Sr.
Ryan Beck, Greenwich, Sr.
Tyler Pruiksma, Greenwich, Jr.

Note: As voted on by the league's head coaches and as submitted by Greenwich head coach Duke Beck.

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Buckeyes baseball a labor of love

The Brunswick Buckeyes (Red) 18-and-under team, a member of the Eastern New York Travel Ball league, might not be drawing college coaches or pro scouts looking for talent. But that's just fine with the Buckeyes, who are playing for a simple love of the game.

Pat O'Byrne (above) and Ryan Paris (below) were teammates on Averill Park's Section II Class A finalist team in 2010. Not all of the Brunswick Buckeyes, however, were high school stars. (Photos by Mike McMahon - The Record).

Jarred Gravelle, who just finished his freshman year at Hudson Valley Community College, did not play high school baseball at Troy High. (Final four pictures taken from video by Will Montgomery - The Record).

"This is only place I've ever played baseball," said Gravelle, Brunswick's shortstop and No. 3 hitter. "I didn't make my high school team. I got cut. I always come here every summer and pick up right where I left off."

Josh Johnson, a former star at Tamarac High who had a wonderful 2010 season in the bullpen for the Hudson Valley Community College team, turned down other offers to come back and play for the Buckeyes. The Brunswick team allows him to catch as well, something he loves to do.
It's pretty unusual to see a player that doubles as a pitcher and a catcher at this stage of the game and Johnson enjoys the uniqueness of being able to play on both ends of the battery.

"I've been playing catcher my whole life," said Johnson. "In my opinion, it's one of the best positions you can have. At Hudson Valley, I know what the catcher is thinking and they know what I'm thinking. We communicate really well off the field, too. It's really easy to understand how they're thinking."

Kyle Keegan will graduate shortly from Averill Park High School and will continue his athletic career in college when he plays basketball for the Sage Colleges. He balances a part-time job, basketball training and his baseball schedule, all while working his way back from an injury.

Keegan's father, Mike Keegan, is the team's head coach and he has seen most of this group together since their Little League days. He drags the infield before the games, chalks the batter's box and foul lines and more or less sacrifices his summer to work with a bunch of teenagers on diamonds across the Capital Region.

Players pony up $225 to get a 22-game schedule - more are possible depending on how many tournaments the Buckeyes qualify for - but that's a tax they're willing to pay to get a chance to play the game they love.

"Aside from Brunswick, I’ve had this group since Little League," Mike Keegan said. "We’ve all been together and there’s not a one I wouldn’t go to war for. We were always taught up here that it goes: kids, family, baseball. That’s kind of like the policy up here. The parents I have, I wouldn’t trade them for the world. They’re fantastic."

Cory Budesheim smacks a single in the fourth inning of the first game of a doubleheader against the Schenectady/Schoharie County Volunteers Saturday afternoon.

"They’re a tight, tight group," Mike Keegan said. "When they’re in the dugout, it’s just baseball. There is nothing else on these kid’s minds."

The team is hoping to finally get one of those elusive bids to a World Series in some far-off locale. In the meantime, they're taking it one game at a time, enjoying the game and celebrating the team chemistry that has taken years to develop.

"Pretty much just keep playing," Johnson said. "If you're playing summer ball, obviously, you want to play. So we just want to keep playing and go as far as we can. At the same time, we just have to have fun and not be too uptight or anything."

For the full story, check out Tuesday's edition of The Record. For more on the Buckeyes, check out their web site at

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Shannon Miller decides to hang up the gloves

I know this is the high school sports blog, but I have covered a number of boxing events over the years and have come to know Shannon Miller. After losing a fight this weekend in Niagara Falls, Miller has decided to call it a career inside the ring, but you can expect him - and his younger brother, Shawn - to remain a major part of the Capital Region's boxing scene for years to come.

Below is the retirement letter Miller submitted to us this afternoon.

(Photo by J.S. Carras - The Record).


Dear family, friends, and supporters:

I wanted to take a few moments to thank you for your many years of support in my boxing career. As many of you know, I started going to the gym with my father when I was just six years old. I had my first amateur match at eight years old. I won a bronze medal in the Junior Olympics Nationals in Davenport, Iowa and got to travel around the country many times as a young kid thanks to the support of the Adirondack Boxing Association and the many local clubs who financed many of these trips (my father a big part of it).

At the age of 18 I entered into a toughman contest, and surprising to some, won the contest. By winning the contest and accepting the $1,000 prize money, I had in effect ended my amateur status. At the age of eighteen I turned pro. I fought only sparingly for many years as my father was doing the most important job as a father and protecting his child from danger. He knew the danger of the sport from seeing it for many years in the business. I at the time was angry at my father for not getting me more fights. Only recently did I understand the pain that he was trying to protect me from. In seven years I fought eight times. My record stood at 8-0 with 5 ko's.

I had no fights from 1999 to 2004 as I concentrated on my first child, Devan. I 2004 I returned to the ring to have 2 more fights, winning both. In early 2005 I met a lady by the named of Lisa Elovich who was interested in running shows under her company Pugnacious Promotions. After my first fight under her company with a win, I signed to fight Vinny Maddalone. This fight was the 2005 ESPN fight of the year and a fight many still talk about today. After that fight I signed on with Pugnacious Promotions as my lone promoter. My contract with them expired many years ago, yet I continue to work with Pugnacious because I believe Lisa Elovich is a sincere caring person and a lady of her word. Although we have had some disagreements in our relationship, I believe she was always looking out for what she thought was the best for me. I value her friendship and encourage fighters all over the country to enter into business with her.

After the fight with Maddalone, I had garnered some national attention and people knew who I was. That fight propelled me into many bigger fights including a NYS Title Fight at Madison Square Garden vs. Derric Rossy (13-0) and a fight for the WBC USNBC Heavyweight Title versus Joe Messi (34-0).

I Just completed my last fight versus former two-time world heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman (45-7). I lost this fight in the forth round as my corner stopped the fight. I was done once in each of the four rounds, I got up each time to fight again. I had a big moment in the fight when I landed a giant right hand which buckled the legs of Rahman and had people thinking there may be a giant upset in the making. I could not finish the job. As I sit here writing
this letter I have had to take many breaks to catch my breath and wipe my eyes as this is a tough thing to realize and do.

At the age of 36, I have had enough. My body just wont allow me to do the things that my
mind still thinks it can. I have stepped up to every challenge that has been offered me but i wont allow myself to become a punching bag like many fighters do by sticking around too long. Boxing is something I do, not who I am. I can look back on my career with pride as I was never the
most talented or gifted fighter out there but I don't think you will find many who tried harder or never gave up. Please take this as my official announcement of my retirement from the boxing ring.

I would like to thank a few people who have made a impact on my life or influenced my boxing career. First, I would like to thank my wife. She has made the ultimate sacrifice for a boxer by basically being a single parent during all these years of training. She has stood by me always
with her support and love. Secondly, I would like to my mother, the strongest person I have ever met and the biggest inspiration in my life. Third, I want to thank my father for always being a dad first and a manager second. I understand now! I also want to thank my brother Shawn and my trainer Billy Growick. They stuck with me an pushed me when others walked away. My sisters, who always were my biggest fans. Thank you Lisa Elovich for giving me a chance. You're a class act. To all my fans for showing up at the shows and cheering me on. Last but not least,
I want to thank my Children, Devan and Olivia, for loving me and telling me "just get up" if knocked down.

Thank You all!


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Collar City trio shines at New Balance National High School Track and Field Championships

Three Troy athletes qualified and competed in the New Balance National High School Track and Field Championships this past weekend in Greensboro, North Carolina.

James Doran of La Salle Institute finished 14th in the full one mile, running 4:24.0, which is equivalent to 4:22.2 1600m. A full mile is actually 1609 meters. Doran also finished 11th in the 800m in 1:56.99.

Lansingburgh's Alney Tobias (pictured below) ran a 4:30.61 in the mile run good for 19th place. That time is equivalent to a 4:28.81 1600m run.

La Salle's Tyler Washington (pictured below) finished 37th in the 400m intermediate hurdles, running 57.94.

All three will compete on the college level this fall.

Tobais will run cross country and track at the University of Nebraska, while Doran will run cross country at track and Fordham University. Washington, also a tough-nosed football player, will compete in football and track at the United States Merchant Marine Academy.

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Locals shine in GymRat Challenge finals

The championship round of the sixth annual GymRat Challenge was held Sunday at Siena College and the University. Here are some of the highlights courtesy of GymRat Director of Communications Steve Amedio.

Saratoga Sparks Wins GymRat Title;
Albany Capitals Fall in Championship Game

LOUDONVILLE -- The Saratoga Sparks AAU basketball team captured the championship of the 14-under age division of the prestigious GymRat Challenge Tournament held this weekend at Siena College, while a second local team, the Albany Capitals advanced to the 15-under age bracket's title game before having its tournament run come to an end.

The event featured 156 teams from 11 states and Canada and over 1,750 players competing in three age brackets.

The Saratoga Sparks won the 14-under age bracket's championship game with a 56-40 victory over the New York Gauchos Sunday night at Siena's Alumni Recreation Center.

Sydnie Rosales, who will be a sophomore at Colonie High School next year, was the age division's MVG (Most Valuable GymRat). Rosales, a 5-foot-8 guard, played a strong overall game and scored five of her team's final nine points as the Gaunchos pulled to within seven with 3:30 left to play.

The Saratoga Sparks team was coached by Serita Holland, a graduate of Shenedehowa High School, and finished the tournament with a perfect 7-0 record.

Other players on the team were Kelsey Colwell of Mohanasen, Jackie Welch of Colonie, Katherine Small of Holy Names, Madison Rowland of Shaker, Brittany Lefevbre and Allyssia Marsal of Shenendehowa, Ailayia Demand of Watervliet, Sidney Hansen of Ballston Spa, Cassie Broadhead of Scotia, Alyx Gleason of Shenendehowa and Lashana Tolliver of Watervliet.

The other local team to advance through pool play and, then, the championship bracket, the Albany Capitals, didn't fare quite as well in the 15-under championship game, suffering a 51-19 loss to a team from the high-powered New York Gauchos program.

The Albany team is coached by Audra DiBacco, the head coach of the varsity girls' team at Catholic Central High School and a former standout player at Siena College.

DiBacco's Albany Capitals' team was 6-0 in the 15-under bracket with strong overall team play to advance to the championship contest before its tournament run ended.

Team members of the Capitals are Brooke O'Shea and Bridget Carney of Averill Park, Jenniffer Cillis of Voorheesville, Hannah Kutny of CCHS, Sarah Madden of Voorheesville, Geena Gallo of Ballston Spa, Cristal Benton of Guilderland, Molly Lauver of Cambridge, Allie Olsen of Bethlehem, Sarah Janson of Scotia, Bernie Jordan of Holy Names and Ashley Loggins of Colonie H.S.

This was the 6th annual GymRat Challenge tournament for girls and it marked the first time two local teams advanced to championship-game play in the same year.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Local baseball roundup: Saturday, June 19

The home plate umpire rings up Brunswick Buckeyes (Red) catcher John Sodorsky during the first game of Saturday's doubleheader against the Schenectady/Schoharie Volunteers in Clums Corners. Schenectady/Schoharie won, 5-3. (Vidcaps by Will Montgomery).

I caught the first game of an 18-and-under Eastern New York Travel Ball doubleheader between the Brunswick Buckeyes (Red) and the Schenectady/Schoharie County Volunteers Saturday afternoon in Clums Corners.

Former Tamarac High and current Hudson Valley Community College pitcher Josh Johnson threw 151 gritty pitches over seven innings, but allowed two unearned runs and lost, 5-3 to the Vols.

For a full box score, click on the image below.

I will have a feature story on the team in Tuesday's newspaper. For more on the Buckeyes, including stats and schedules, click over to their website at

The Buckeyes won the nightcap, 6-5.

Brunswick Buckeyes pitcher Josh Johnson throws a pitch during the first game of Saturday's doubleheader. (Click on the pictures for full-size images).

There were also plenty of other games played Saturday. Unfortunately we did not have any room to get the results in the paper, so here they are.

The Troy Renegades' 15-and-under team swept a doubleheader against the Syracuse Storm.

Game One:

Syracuse 000 022 - 4 1 1
Troy 200 062 - 10 7 4
Whitmeyer and Laguzza; McGrath and Gallacchi.

Ryan McGrath struck out 11 and allowed just one hit in the win on the mound, and he added a triple, a single and five RBI at the plate.

Jason Gallacchi chipped in with a triple.

Game Two:

Troy 003 024 4 - 13 15 0
Syracuse 400 200 0 - 6 10 1
Scott and Muller; Laguzza and Cousin.

Kris Muller and Ryan McGrath both hit two-run home runs and singled.

Greg Hotaling tripled and singled and Ian Bennett added a triple and two singles.

The Renegades, who were known as the Spring Renegades in previous seasons, will also be playing in the NABF World Series Classic in Nashville in mid-July. They also hope to qualify for a World Series in Oklahoma later in the summer.

In Eastern New York Connie Mack action, Sorensco topped Coxsackie, 9-6.

SOR (5-3)- 002 311 2- 9 8 0
COX (4-2)- 000 006 0 - 6 8 3
Vooris, Rebhun (6), Bethoney (7) and Quenneville; Whiting, DeVinney (4), Barbour (6), DeLuca (7) and DeLuca, Morehouse (7)

SOR Hightlights:
James Vooris- WP, 6 K's, 3 ER; 2-4, 2B
Justin Rebhun- 2-3, 2B, R
John Stanley- 2B, RBI
Ryan Clarke- 2B, RBI

COX Highlights:
Phil Morehouse- 2-3, 2B, 2 RBI

Anything we're missing out there on the summer baseball front? Please let us know by sending us an email at troyrecordsports AT gmail DOT com.

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Recruiting season heating up: sixth annual GymRat Challenge at Siena

The parking lot behind Siena College's Alumni Recreation Center told the story of the sixth annual GymRat Challenge girls AAU basketball tournament Saturday afternoon. Cars with license plates from around the country packed the spaces, as some of the best players in the country hoped to catch the eye of the many coaches on hand.

Women's college basketball coaches were out in force at the first day of competition in the sixth annual GymRat Challenge held at Siena College and the University at Albany Saturday afternoon. Action continues Sunday at both locations. (First three photos by Mike McMahon - The Record).

It was a beautiful day to be outside Saturday, but 1,750 girls decided to spend the day indoors, competing against each other in the sixth annual GymRat Challenge at Siena College and the University at Albany.

Pool play wraps up Sunday morning and championship round action begins early Sunday afternoon. Tickets are still available. Admission is $10 at the door.

Greenwich native Dani DeGregory, of the Albany City Rocks, looks to make a pass during Saturday's game against the Central Jersey Cardinals. Albany won, 60-41.

A number of local teams were in action Saturday, including the Albany Capitals and the Saratoga Sparks. I decided, however, to catch up with two local small-school stars, Dani DeGregory and Katie Roth, who play for the Albany City Rocks.

Playing in the Wasaren League and Patroon Conference, respectively, they don't get the caliber of competition day-in and day-out during their high school regular seasons that they need to prove their worth to Division I college coaches.

AAU tournaments provide them that opportunity.

"It’s good to play here (with the City Rocks) because it’s really where you’re going to get better over the summer and take things back to high school," Roth said. "I wouldn’t say one is more important than the other, though. Here, you’re getting looked at by college coaches. But high school is representing where you go to school and where you come from. I enjoy playing with both and I like everyone on both teams."

Spectators were scattered among the seven courts seeing action Saturday at Siena College, but unlike most high school basketball games, the atmosphere was subdued.

"The Wasaren League is really competitive and the game Katie and I played against each other in was really intense," DeGregory said. "Everything we play here is equally intense. I like playing with both teams. Both teams are awesome to play with. Getting looks from college is great, but high school is really important, too."

The Saratoga Sparks' 16-and-under team, featuring Cohoes High School star Bailei Tetrault (right, with ball) was among the 156 squads in action Saturday. 1,750 players are involved in the event.

Although DeGregory and Roth both list basketball as their favorite sport, they're both three-sport athletes in high school.

Roth plays volleyball and throws the shot put and discus for the Maple Hill track and field team.

DeGregory plays field hockey and softball for the Witches.

We'll have more on the supposed decline of the three-sport athlete ( I think these two athletes are a great example of how that trend is not going out of style, even with their basketball specialization) when our Ben Franklin Project is published on July 4th.

Greenwich High School sophomore Dani DeGregory is hoping that a stint with the Albany City Rocks this summer will increase her exposure among college coaches.

DeGergory and Roth squared off when their teams met on March 8 in the Section II Class CC/C playoff. (Click here to read about that game in the archive).

The gym at Adirondack Community College was packed that day with fans and fellow students, who carried signs and banners and screamed at the top of their lungs. The action at Siena on Saturday was much more subdued...a bit of polite applause here and there...but the intensity on the court was just the same for the players.

"I guess the intensity is always pretty high," DeGregory said. "Out here, you’re looking for college coaches, but in high school, it’s the same thing. Here, you get more exposed so you definitely want to play as hard as you can every day."

And for small-school players like Roth and DeGregory, AAU basketball offers them an opportunity they just could not get playing for their high school teams.

Maple Hill High School junior Katie Roth recently made a verbal commitment to the University of Hartford, an opportunity she attributed to her time with the City Rocks the past two years.

For some video highlights and more quotes, click on the video below.

The Albany Capitals' 16-and-under team, featuring Holy Names' Sarah Agan (right, with ball), won the 15-and-under title a season ago. Over 100 local players will be competing in the two-day event.

For the full story, be sure to check out Sunday's edition of The Record.

We'll also have a big story on former Catholic Central High School boys basketball coach Don Bassett and more on this year's class in the Capital District Basketball Hall of Fame.

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