Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Greenwich and Niksy earn Section II titles; Wednesday preview

Greenwich ace Neil Fryer throws a pitch during Tuesday's Section II Class C championship game against Fort Plain. Fryer went seven strong, scattering five hits and adding three RBI and a home run at the plate in a 9-1 victory for the Witches. (Photo courtesy - The Saratogian).

Greenwich earned the first Section II baseball title Tuesday night after a rain delay at Joe Bruno Stadium. For the full story, check out Wednesday's editions of The Record and The Saratogian.

The Witches will play Class CC champion Canajoharie in the Section II Class CC/C playoff Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. at Veterans Field on Geyser Road in Saratoga Springs.

Stan Hudy covered the game for us and uncovered a great story on this Greenwich team. Here is an excerpt from his story:

It was also special for the players who wore a shamrock with M.A.C embroidered on it in memory of former assistant coach and former mayor of Greenwich, Christopher McCormick, who died in May from complications due to Type I diabetes.

It was during the wake and a few conversations about Mac (McCormick’s nickname) and his love of the Boston Red Sox that a secret was revealed to the adults. Just as a construction worker has buried a Red Sox baseball jersey in concrete during the construction of the new Yankee Stadium, the favor was returned to McCormick and his former stomping grounds, near third base.

His friends purchased a New York Yankee jersey and buried it underneath the Witches baseball field, they did it quietly, secretly and left little evidence … all except some of the dirt from Yankee Stadium they also left for him.

It was a joke between friends, a snicker at the expense of their Boston-loving friend, but they never had the time or the heart to tell him of the prank. When word got out, along with the tears, speeches and memories about Mac, Beck vowed to dig it up … when the curse was broken.

It’s official, the curse is broken, but there is still a moratorium on any shovels being put to use around the Greenwich baseball field.

"We’ll just wait until the season is finally over," Greenwich head coach Duke Beck said. "We still have some games to play."

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake's Chase Godfrey attempts to defend a sprawling Matt Sexton in Tuesday's Section II Class B boys lacrosse title game at the University at Albany. Niskayuna won its sixth straight Section II title by a score of 14-4. (Photo by J.S. Carras - The Record).

Guy Waltman scored four goals for Niskayuna in the victory. For more on how Waltman was inspired to win this game for his younger teammates, check out Wednesday's edition of The Record for the full story.

Nisky has won six Section II titles in a row and ten in total. The Silver Warriors showed why they are the class of Capital Region lacrosse Tuesday night in a sharply-played game.

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake goalie Connor Nash prepares to make one of the 17 saves he made in Tuesday's game. He played well considering that the Silver Warriors took 44 shots in the game.

It was also a highly successful season for Burnt Hills, which advanced to a Section II title game for the second time in its four-year varsity history.

First-year head coach Tom Schwan has helped his team improve its lacrosse IQ and he hopes the Spartans can be Suburban Council and Section II competitors again in 2011.

"I can’t speak highly enough about Jason LaPietro, our assistant varsity coach," Schwan said. "He is just a tremendous man in regards to working with young people. He asks them to do things physically they don’t think they can do, and he also got them to mentally do things they’ve never done before.

"We’re really psyched about the future," Schwan continued. "There are a lot of positives, but we understand that they’re better than us and I think 14-4 was exactly how much better they were than us.

Averill Park's Andrew Fasoldt makes a play during a regular season game against Columbia. The Warriors, the No. 7 seed in the Section II Class A playoffs, will face No. 1 Ichabod Crane in Wednesday's title game at Joe Bruno Stadium. (Photo by J.S. Carras - The Record).

For an preview story on how Suburban Council teams Averill Park, Mohonasen and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake compete in the Section II Class A tournament with losing records year-in and year-out, check out Wednesday's edition of The Record.

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