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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, November 10, 2005

Guildeland boys' cross-country

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — After having one of its best seasons in recent memory, the Guilderland boys’ cross-country team had a bad day at the Class AA Section II race at Queensbury last Friday.

The Dutchmen finished fourth — behind Saratoga, Shenendehowa, and Shaker — and defending champion Brian Rhodes-Devey finished fifth overall.

However, Rhodes-Devey and teammate Seth Dubois qualified for the Saturday state competition, that will also take place at Queensbury High School.

"It wasn’t the best," said Guilderland Coach Bob Oates. "They fell off a little bit. A few people improved. Greg Masto is usually our seventh, but he moved up to fifth.

"Seth Dubois did not have his best performance," Oates added, "and Brian definitely didn’t. He fell off by 18 seconds. Justin Wager, our third runner, was having problems with allergies. We have a good practice and the next practice we will be tired."

Rhodes-Devey finished fifth overall but was the second non-Saratoga runner to finish the race. Saratoga was the top team and the top five runners who are not on the top team also qualify for the states. Dubois was the last qualifier, coming in eighth overall.

Going into the race, Oates thought that, with the talent and the way his team had been running, it could finish second and even battle with Saratoga for the top spot.

"We were ranked seventh in the state coming into the race," Oates said. "We lost some key spots and lost to Shaker by 11 points. It’s not where we wanted to be. I thought we could make a run at Shen and maybe have a shot at Saratoga."

Oates hasn’t figured out what went wrong on Friday. Rhodes-Devey was near the front of the pack but fell off late in the race.

"We didn’t have the same performance that we’ve had all year," Oates said. "The other teams are extremely strong. We didn’t have a hot day. It was perfect weather. Our ducks just weren’t lined up."

Dubois almost didn’t qualify for the state meet; he held on for the final spot.

"He just made it," Oates said. "He had a kid from Shen breathing down his neck..."

"We compete with the best"

"I’m dumbfounded with what went wrong," Oates added.

Oates thinks that it could be the runner’s weren’t mentally prepared for the race.

"Sometimes the head plays games with a runner’s confidence," Oates said "I’m careful with their workouts but I’m not sure about what they eat and how they sleep. But we’ve not had a bad race all season."

The Dutchmen finished with an 8-3 record to put them third in the Suburban Council.

"We were third in a division of four teams," Oates said, "but we were ranked sixth in the state. We were third overall; that’s not a bad season. We compete with the best in the state."

After the state meet, Oates hopes to receive a Federation bid for his team. The Federation will include schools that are not part of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.

After that, Oates hopes to take the team to the Foot Locker cross-country regionals that will take place in Van Cortlandt Park in New York City.

Rhodes-Devey has a good chance to do well at the state meet and get into the Foot Locker regionals and even the national meet in San Diego.

"The Foot Locker regionals have the best 40 people in the country," Oates said.

Oates feels Rhodes-Devey and Dubois will move on from Friday’s disappointment and be ready for Staturday’s state meet.

However, they are upset with their running last Friday.

"Coming into sectionals, I really believed we could make a run at it," Oates said. "I thought we could make an impact and get into the [sectional] patches. We were shooting for first, felt we had a great shot at second and expected third. But it’s about how five people cross the finish line. We fell off. We simply didn’t do well."

Guilderland football

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland football team wrapped up its season with an impressive win.

The Dutchmen improved their record to 3-6 with a 47-20 win over Queensbury on Oct. 29. Queensbury had just come off a loss in the Class A playoffs, but will move up to join Guilderland and other large schools in Class AA next fall.

"It was a terrific end-of-season win," said Guilderland Coach Dan Penna. "We won our final two games of the season and three out of our last five. The guys got better as the season went along. The kids really began adapting to the systems. We were strong at the end of the season."

Senior running back Kevin Doherty rushed for 123 yards and scored four touchdowns for the Dutchmen against Queensbury.

The game was tied after the first quarter. Queensbury scored first on a pass play, but Guilderland responded with a touchdown pass of its own.

Junior quarterback Greg Barcomb completed a pass to Judd Robinson on a big third down and eight and a couple of plays later, the combination hooked up again for the Dutch’s first touchdown. Barcomb finished the game with six completions in seven attempts for 106 yards.

Queensbury scored in the second quarter to take a 13-7 lead after a Guilderland fumble. The Spartans used a 14-play drive that covered about 60 yards to score the touchdown.

Turning point

The turning point of the game came late in the second quarter. The Dutchmen tied the game with a three-yard run.

"There is no quit with this team," Penna said. "We drove down the field in the last two minutes right before halftime."

The Dutchmen took over in the second half.

They took the second-half kick-off and moved the ball down the field for another touchdown to take the lead.

Doherty scored his second touchdown and Nick Zanotta kicked the extra point to make the score 20-13.

The Guilderland kick-off was short and it was fumbled and recovered by Austin Elliot.

Doherty capped the short drive with a touchdown run. He added a two-point conversion run to give the Dutchmen a 28-13 lead.

Queensbury scored to cut the lead to one touchdown but Guilderland scored three more times and shut out the Spartans in the fourth quarter.

Doherty scored his fourth touchdown of the game in the third quarter and Elliot and Parker Wolfe scored on touchdown runs.

A fumble caused by senior Stas Petkevichus and recovered by teammate Tim Montgomery led to one of the scores.

"Off balance"

Penna was happy with the outcome despite some adversity before the contest.

"We had never played a Saturday game before," Penna said. "We had to change our practice schedule. Then, on Saturday, we had some different preparation."

But the preparation was thrown out of wack on the way to the game.

"We take two buses and one of them broke down about half-way up the Northway," Penna said. "It was a huge distraction. But the kids were great. We were able to fit everyone on one bus and had other modes of transportation for our equipment. We were a little late and the game didn’t start until 2 p.m. instead of 1:30."

The Dutch looked slow when they got to the game.

"In pre-game, the kids looked a little bit sluggish," Penna said. "They were focused, they were very focused. But they weren’t as energized as they have been."

The Dutch also had to adjust to playing Queensbury’s unique double-wing offense.

"That was a unique challenge," Penna said. "We practiced hard for it over the week. Then they picked up yardage throwing the ball and scored on their first possession. They had several pass plays and they kept us off balance."

"Great football"

Penna said he doesn’t know the last time the Dutch won both cross-over games to end the season, but he was proud his team did it.

"We were playing great football at the end of the season," Penna said. "They didn’t want the season to end at the end of the game. They wanted to play another game.

"We had a great week of practice," Penna added. "Our white team, the second stringers, helped the defense prepare for Queensbury’s offense. Everyone, sophomores to seniors, contributed."

The Dutch graduate 15 seniors who battled all season. Some of the upperclassmen, like Doherty, Montgomery, Elliot, and Bill Rafferty, took time off from playing football before suiting up for one final season. Others such as John D’Ambrosio, Robinson, Greg Buck, James Ramson, and Chris Wolfe grew up through the program.

"They have been great leaders for the underclassmen," Penna said. "They sacrificed a lot during the season, individually, to help the team and the program. They were just great, and showed really good leadership."

With a large number of players returning and a big group coming up from the junior varsity, there will be battles at each position.

"The future definitely looks bright," Penna said. "We get a lot of athletic players back. The players learned how to be competitive and how to work hard...We have 40 players coming up from the junior varsity and 33 returning. We can’t have 70 kids, so they are going to have an opportunity to really work in the weight room and go to camps and clinics. We want to go a long way in 2006."

Guilderland girls' tennis

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland girls’ tennis team had a successful season this fall.

The Lady Dutch won the Gold Division of the Suburban Council with a 8-3 record in the league. Guilderland finished the season with an 11-5 overall record.

"We get a trophy in the trophy case," said Guilderland Coach Janet Kuzman. "We had an out-of-sight year. We are very talented."

The Guilderland team had two seniors, nine juniors, two sophomores, two ninth-graders, and two seventh-graders on the varsity roster this season.

Kirsten Ackerman was one of those seventh-graders. She played in the number-five singles slot and finished the year with a 13-2 record. She recieved the Rookie Star of the Year Award.

Junior Laura Santacrose played number-six singles for the Lady Dutch. She was also one of the team’s captains. She started the season late — in the middle of September — but finished the year with an 8-2 record.

Classmate Shahreen Virjee gave up the number-six spot to play number-two doubles and only lost one match with her partner, seventh-grader Rachael Ellenbogen. They lost a three-set match to a doubles team from Shaker.

Junior Toni Gaspary and sophomore Reeya Boolchandani were the number-one doubles team.

The highlight of their season was beating the top Shenendehowa team 6-0, 6-0 in the quarterfinals. They also beat a Niskayuna doubles team after trailing 5-0 in a play-in match.

Boolchandani and Gaspary won the match 7-6 (7-4 in the tie-breaker), 6-2.

"They killed them with their heart and focus...and strength," Kuzman said.

The number-three doubles team was made up of junior Mijung Kim and Megan Ryan. They finished the season with a 15-1-1 record.

"They were huge and solid for us," Kuzman said. "They usually were the last players on the court. We only have eight courts and nine matches count in the line-up. They would pull out the win for us. We could count on them."

Singles ace

Chelsea Bush was the number-one singles player for the Lady Dutch this season.

Bush had a 9-7 record.

"For a number-one singles player in the Suburban Council, that is great," Kuzman said. "Chelsea, in all of her five years as a varsity player, has never had a losing record. As a seventh-grader she played on the junior varsity and then moved to varsity as an eighth-grader and played sixth singles. She went undefeated. As a high-school player, she played number four, three, two, and one singles respectively."

Bush received Most Improved, Coach’s, and Most Valuable Player awards at the team’s season-ending banquet.

"It was not only my vote," Kuzman said of the MVP award, "but the team’s, hands down. She will be sorely missed."

Stacy Mirochinik, Claire Cooper, Ally Sobol, and Elizabeth Metzger got some playing time during the season as four and fifth doubles teams.

Sobol, Cooper, and Metzger are all juniors and Mirochinik is a senior.

Lindsey Reilly, Lizzie Schaeffer, and Meera Chappidi played singles during the year.

Chappidi and Bush formed a doubles team for the sectional tournament last month. They lost in the quarterfinals to a team from Shaker that wound up finishing sixth at the state tournament.

Six girls from Guilderland competed in the sectionals. Two singles players and another doubles team joined Bush and Chappidi.

Virjee competed in the singles tournament and lost in the quarterfinals to the third-place finisher, Rachel Kandath of Albany Academy.

At the team’s award banquet held on Sunday, Reilly and Cooper received the Most Improved Player awards. Sobol was awarded for cloning the team’s motto "Make it happen," Kuzman said.

Reilly received the Sportsmanship Award. Virjee was awarded for her "non-selfish" spirit and was given the Coach’s Award.

Ackerman received the Rookie Star Award, which was new this year.

Coming up

The Lady Dutch should continue to be strong next year, with only two seniors graduating and a strong junior-varsity team sending players to the varsity.

"We are going to miss Chelsea Bush’s leadership," Kuzman said. "She was one of our captains."

The junior-varsity team finished the season with a 9-3 record with its toughest competition coming against Shaker this year.

"Coach (Deb) O’Brien at our banquet announced how her team was the one of the most congenial and gave the whole team the Sportsmanship Award under the leadership of Michele Venenzio and Amanda Shawky," Kuzman said.

Eighth-grader Casey Gerety received the Most Valuable Player Award and Shawky, a sophomore, received the Most Improved player.

"Is our Guilderland Dutchmen girls tennis team in good hands"" Kuzman asked. "Very, very, good — hands down. We have a huge junior class coming up but very, very young players nipping at their heels for starting spots. With only two seniors graduating and the team winning the Gold Division, we can only look up."

Guilderland girls' cross country

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — A great season for the Guilderland girls’ cross-country team had a tough ending at the Class AA Section II meet on Friday in Queensbury.

The Lady Dutch finished eighth at the sectional meet with 179 points; they had finished the season with a 7-4 record in the tough Suburban Council. National powerhouse and league rival Saratoga Springs won the meet with 21 points.

"We didn’t have the best of days," said Guilderland Coach Dave Kosier. "We had a couple of injuries and in a sport like cross-country it takes just one or so and you’re in trouble."

Kosier said the biggest loss was because of an injury to senior Amanda Boccio.

"She’s a senior captain and she was running great," Kosier said. "She was setting personal records every time out. Her leadership was missed."

Boccio did run at the sectional meet but her hip injury prevented her from running her best race and she went from being Guilderland’s second or third finisher to sixth or seventh.

Ninth-graders Emily Cure and Jen Madsen paced the Lady Dutch runners. Cure was the top Guilderland finisher and Madsen was second.

Juniors rounded out the top five. Courtney DeLorenzo was the third Guilderland finisher, Laura Aziz was fourth, and Laura Doak was fifth.

Seniors Deanna Wachtel and Katie Rossitini also ran for the Lady Dutch at sectionals.

"The three seniors will obviously be missed," Kosier said.

But the team exceeded Kosier’s expectations during the season. Kosier was hoping his team would finish at .500 in the Suburban Council.

"I’m excited about the accomplishment," the coach said of the 7-4 finish. "It was one of our best seasons. I thought we would be .500 in the Suburban Council. We had an impressive and big win at the Manhattan Invitational. We won our race. We did some great things this season."

After winning at the Manhattan Invitational, the Lady Dutch were ranked 12th in the state. They showed they deserved the rank with a tri-meet win over league foes Shaker, which was ranked seventh, and Columbia, which was ranked 11th. The race was run on Guilderland’s home course at Tawasentha Park.

"That was really nice," Kosier said. "Three weeks ago, we were on cloud nine. We were running as good as anyone. After Amanda Boccio got hurt, we kind of fell apart."

Kosier is also excited about the fact that all top-five finishers will be returning.

"That’s a bright spot," Kosier said. "We have a lot of the team coming back. We should certainly have a lot of improvement. We should be set to finish a little higher next season."

Voorheesville boys' soccer

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — A slow start probably led to a quick ending for the Voorheesville boys’ soccer team.

The Blackbirds let the Chatham Panthers get an early lead and had to battle back the entire game before losing on a quick strike in overtime. The Blackbirds, who were the defending champions, suffered a 3-2 loss in the Class B Section II championship game. The Blackbirds were the defending champions.

"We started off a bit slow," said Voorheesville Coach Mike Young. "We answered when we needed to. They responded."

Tyler VanDyke scored with 4:38 left in the first overtime to end the Blackbirds’ season and give the number-five ranked Panthers an upset win. Voorheesville was the number-two ranked team in the tournament.

The game-ending goal began when Chatham’s Hunter Simmons got the ball on the right flank before finding VanDyke with a pass. He put the ball just over Voorheesville goalie Tom Cavanaugh.

"It’s unfortunate we didn’t have another chance in overtime," Young said. "We did have opportunities, but we didn’t put it in."

Panthers’ early lead

Chatham got out to an early lead on a goal by Ryan Merchant. Merchant got the ball on a throw-in and beat a couple of defenders before shooting the ball into the goal for the score.

Voorheesville tied the game with about 25 minutes left in the opening half.

Greg Klopfer took a corner kick from the right corner and hit a great ball in the air that teammate Greg Jones was able to get his head on and direct into the goal for score.

Both teams had some good opportunities in the first half, but the game remained tied 1-1 at the half.

The Blackbirds found themselves down once again as Chatham scored with 14:25 left in the game.

A great corner kick by VanDyke was directed into the goal, with a header by Jason Franks to give the Panthers a 2-1 lead.

But Voorheesville tied the game about five minutes later.

Jeff Bode took a direct kick just inside the half-field line and blasted the ball toward the goal. The ball went off the head of a leaping Chatham defender and into the goal for the score.

Bode was credited with the score on the Chatham goal.

Lost opportunities

Again both teams had great chances to score but neither could convert.

Chatham had a good opportunity to score late in the game when Cavanaugh got caught out of position. But Voorheesville sweeper Matt Belgiovine cleared the ball from going into the open net and kept the game tied.

"When we tied it at 2-2," Young said, "it might as well have been 0-0. I want to win. I don’t want to play for overtime.

"We were playing for the win," Young added. "We just couldn’t get the ball in. We’ve been doing it all year...This team doesn’t stop. We don’t quit."

The loss ends the title reign for the Blackbirds. They won the Class B last year, beating Chatham in the semifinals and Taconic Hills in the final.

This year Voorheesville won the Colonial Council with a 12-1-3 record. The Birds finished with a 13-2-3 overall record during the regular season.

"Heart and soul"

Seven seniors will graduate including Jones, Cavanaugh, Bode, Belgiovine, and Klopfer. Also graduating are starting defender Kyle Hatch and Lee Dudek who was a starter but was injured for the last part of the season.

"The seniors are a part of teams that went to back-to-back Class B championships," Young said. "The seniors are the heart and soul of the team. But, if you look at the playing time, we had a lot of young players that got to play. They’ll help us next year."

But Young said the loss will be hard on the seniors.

"It’s never good to end your career on a loss," Young said. "Especially one in overtime. But the seniors have nothing to hold their head down about. A lot of these guys in the senior class have been on the varsity for three years. They have worked for moments like this. To me, they are good kids and great winners as well as gracious losers."

Young wants to build on the past two years and consistently have his players fighting for a Class B championship.

"When I took over, I talked about having a winning program," Young said.

Using examples of powerhouse programs, he concluded, "We want to be like Shenendehowa and Maple Hill and teams that are competitive every year. I don’t want to have just a good year or two."

Voorheesville cross-country

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — A great, but surprising section ending was in store Friday for the Voorheesville girls’ cross-country team.

The Lady Blackbirds reached their peak with a win in the Class C Section II race at Queensbury High School.

"I don’t know the last time it happened," said Voorheesville’s first-year coach Kelly McHale. "I’ve been asking around. I don’t think the girls’ team has won it. I think the boys have."

The Lady Blackbirds will be competing in the state championship that will also take place in Queensbury on Saturday.

"It was great," McHale said. "I didn’t know we won until they put up the results. The girls were ecstatic. They did it as a team."

Macky Lloyd of the boys’ team at Voorheesville will be joining the girls’ team in Queensbury on Saturday. He finished fifth overall and was the second finisher not from the winning team — Fonda-Fultonville. The top five runners who are not on the winning team advance to the state meet.

"We’ve run at Queensbury three times this year," McHale said. "The fourth time will be states. That should help our finish."

Voorheesville finished fifth as a team in the sectional meet.

The top finishers for the girls’ team was Hillary Edmunds, who came in sixth, and Chantel Little, who finished eighth.

Though the pair paced the Blackbirds, other runners were key to the victory, too.

Allison Vogelien, Lizzie Dawson, Zoe Edmunds, and Kali Votrow all came up with big performances to aid in securing the sectional title, McHale said.

"They were the key to our success," the coach said. "Our top two did well, but, if we were going to win, the last few had to come in well. And they did very well and were very successful."

The Lady Blackbirds had performed well at the Troy meet a week before the sectionals, so they had confidence and were on a roll.

Little and Edmunds have been the top runners on the team all season.

"Chantel and Hillary have done well all year," McHale said. "They pulled through for us."

There were 10 runners on the varsity this fall. Theresa McTague, Stacy Mosher-Glenski, and Courtney Bourque contributed to the team this year.

"They had some good times this year," McHale said. "I’ve never seen any team as cohesive. They really pull through as a team."

McHale said that she sensed the team could make a run at the title.

"I was coming into sectionals hoping for the best," she said. "The team got together and saw they had great potential. We were ranked number-one at one time during the season. At a couple of races, we had some people missing and we lost that ranking. A lot of people did not expect us to win. But deep down, as we prepared, we said, ‘We can do it.’"

Boys are champs, too

The boys’ team accomplished something the girls’ team could not not do. They won the Colonial Council championship. Though it doesn’t lead to the state meet, it was still a big accomplishment. The boys won the regular season title, but finished third at the league meet.

They also finished fifth in the sectional meet at Queensbury.

"It was a very difficult race," McHale said. "Fonda was very quick. We did well. A lot of our guys got personal records over past years."

Lloyd was the top runner for the Blackbirds all season but Ryan Allison was also a top contributor.

"He had a great year," McHale said. "He was very instrumental in our winning the Colonial Council."

The boys’ team had 10 varsity runners.

Dylan Perrillo, Ian Powell, Tommy Pasquali, Kyle Jacobs, Josh O’Brien, Anthony Maddaloni, Billy Corbett, and Nathan Bub all had great years, McHale said.

"I’m so proud of them, the whole team," the coach said. "The modified was great, also. They went undefeated."

Only Corbett and O’Brien are seniors. All the top runners will return for the girls’ team as well.

Runner for life

McHale was an assistant with the Voorheesville team last year. She had help this year from Joseph Sullivan, who will also be coaching track at The College of Saint Rose in the spring. Steve Relyea, who coaches track at Voorheesville, also helped out during the season.

"They have a lot of experience," McHale said. "This year, the team has been wonderful to coach. I helped out a lot last year. It was my first year here. I’ve learned a lot the past year, especially with workouts. We want them to get more out of it."

McHale is a runner herself. She also competes in triathlons.

McHale did not run cross-country in high school but did run track. She is a biology teacher at the high school and a graduate of Binghamton University, where she was an athletic trainer.

The Voorheesville program had 43 runners come out — which is one of the biggest teams the school has had — and McHale hopes that they appreciate the sport for a long time.

"For me, it would be great to teach them to be runners for life and not just for high school," she said. "I want them to become life-long runners. That’s the ultimate goal."

Winning a sectional title makes for a great moment in her first year of coaching.

"It was exciting," McHale said. "I didn’t expect it with this team just because it was my first year."

B-K-W cross-country

By Tim Matteson

BERNE — This year’s state cross-country meet will be a little different for Berne-Knox-Westerlo’s coach, Bill Tindale.

Tindale has coached the Class D Section II champion in the boys’ race for the past four years and led the team to a state title last year. But this year, BKW was moved up to Class C, a more competitive class, and went up against a talented and strong Fonda-Fultonville team. BKW finished second in the sectional meet behind the Braves.

"It was a very strong Fonda team," Tindale said. "They may be the best team in the state. I’m pleased with our performance. When you win for so many years, you are concerned that there might be a little bit of a letdown. But in my mind, we won this year."

BKW will be represented at the state meet. Ada Lauterbach won the Class C girls’ race and Travis DeRusso finished second in the boys’ race behind Fonda’s Jeremy McAllister. Jared Finke also qualified for the Bulldogs after finishing eighth. The top five finishers that were not on the winning team qualify for the state meet. Fonda had three finishers in the top eight.

Tindale was excited to see Lauterbach win the sectional title and he guesses she was too.

"I think she was," Tindale said. "It’s hard to tell, she’s pretty even-keeled. I’m thrilled for her. There were five or six runners that could’ve won. It came down to just who had the best day.

"She ran a very intelligent race," Tindale added. "A lot of runners came out strong and she held back and slowly and steadily waited to make her move. At about two-and-a-half miles, the leaders began struggling and Ada was able to pick it up."

Lauterbach won the race in 20:03 and the BKW girls’ team finished fifth overall.

"It’s very competitive in Class C," Tindale said. "We’ve been ranked in the state, 12th or 13th. All the teams ranked ahead of us in the state beat us as well. That will help us get better."

DeRusso ran a tight race against McAllister and ran with the winner for most of the race before finishing five seconds behind McAllister.

DeRusso had a strong season.

"He won quite a few invitationals," Tindale said. "He won at Burnt Hills, Guilderland, and Fonda earlier in the season. He was first or second in every race except for the Albany County and he was fifth there."

Both BKW teams have young runners.

Sarah Furman and Katie Schoiniere are the only seniors on the girls’ team. DeRusso will graduate from the boys’ team, but the rest of the top runners will return.

Looking ahead

"The kids are excited about the future," Tindale said. "We get almost everyone back.

Tindale is happy with strides his teams made this season.

"They achieved far more than what was reasonable," Tindale said. "That is attributed to their work ethic. I very much enjoyed coaching this team."

And, with a lot of young runners returning to an established program, the future looks bright for the Bulldogs.

"Eighty percent of the team is freshmen, sophomores, and eighth-graders," Tindale said. "I except us to challenge for sectional titles for years. And, if we get a couple more girls, we can bring that program up to the level of the boys."

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