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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, April 06, 2006

Voorheesville track

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — The Voorheesville track-and-field teams will be smaller than they have been the past couple of years, but will be competitive as they move up from Class C in Section II to the larger Class B.

The boys’ team has 29 athletes out this spring and the girls’ team has just 16 competitors.

"Last year, we had more numbers," said Voorheesville Coach Steve Relyea. "But I feel we have higher-quality athletes. They are faster and have much better technique. We might not have the numbers but we have a higher-quality team."

The Colonial Council doesn’t have junior-varsity meets, Relyea said, so the lack of depth won’t be a problem in that aspect either.

"We run exhibition races," Relyea said. "With the numbers we have, everybody will be taking a spot on the varsity side."

Leading the boys will be junior Kyle Jacobs who will do the long jump, and hurdles, and will try to defend his class C title in the pole vault in the Class B meet.

Classmate Matt Miller will be doing the high jump, long jump, and running sprints for the Blackbirds this season.

Pat Jones, a transfer, has been running sprints this spring and has done a good job, said Relyea.

A strong group of distance runners are also returning for the Blackbirds.

Mackey Lloyd, Ryan Allison, and Ian Powell had good cross-country seasons last fall.

Dan Whitely will run the 200- and 400-meter sprints this spring and Patrick Mackey will run the hurdles.

Champs return

The girls’ team is loaded with good distance runners, including many members from the Class C cross-country champions from the fall.

Sophomores Hilary Edmunds and Chantel Little are key members who will lead the track team as they did the cross-country team.

Edmunds will run distance events while Little will run the 400- and 800-meter runs.

Junior Alison Vogelien will do the high jump and triple jump for the Birds and transfer student Kali Voltreaux will do field events as well as the 400 and 800 meters.

Ninth-grader Jessica Brown and sophomore Lizzie Dawson will run distance events.

Ninth-grader Seneca Gray will do the hurdles and has a lot of potential.

"She can be one of the top hurdlers in the council," Relyea said. "Technically she is good enough to be that. She will also high jump and run sprints for us."

Zoe Edmunds, an eighth-grader, will run in the distance races for the Blackbirds this spring.

Voorheesville had its first meet of the season at Broadalbin-Perth postponed due to the weather on Tuesday. They begin the season today (Thursday) at home against Cobleskill.

"It’ll be great to get the meets going," Relyea said. "We had time trials already and I was pretty happy with the results. We have some kids back from last year. I’m looking forward to having a good season."

But unlike most years, the Blackbirds have been able to get outside and do some work.

"Last week was spectacular," Relyea said. "We got a lot of work done on the track. I’m looking forward to the meets. The kids are getting a little itchy for competition."

Guilderland boys track

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — They’ve come out in droves for the Guilderland boys’ track-and-field team.

The team has 114 members ranging from grades eight to 12

"This is the biggest team Guilderland has ever had," said Coach Pete Wachtel. "I thought the 104 we had last year was big. There are so many guys on the team, you can’t believe it."

The team has a no-cut policy and over 120 students came out, but some have dropped out in the first few weeks of the season.

The team has 16 seniors, 23 juniors, 46 sophomores, 23 freshmen, and six eighth-graders.

"It has to do with these four guys in this room, they’re right here in the high school," Wachtel said looking at his assistant coaches — Dave Kosier, Jason Usher, and Matt Wright. "They are all working here and do a nice job recruiting kids. It is also word of mouth by the kids. They will tell their friends that they had a great time. With a 100 kids, doing that you get a lot of new kids. We had some kids from last year that didn’t come back."

With that many kids, Wachtel has become mostly an organizer, doing less hands-on coaching than he would like. But besides getting help from his assistant coaches, he gets help from the upperclassmen who have experience.

"We have a lot of kids that haven’t been on the team," Wachtel said. "They walk in and don’t know how to race. We have kids like that from freshmen to seniors. But the upperclassmen relay things to the underclassmen. We have seventh- and eighth-graders up from the middle school. They stand next to guys that are six foot, two and they look like little midgets. But we have good team camaraderie."

Strong returners and newcomers to watch

The team returns a strong group of distance runners.

Junior Brian Rhodes-Devey and senior Seth Dubois have gotten headlines for their work on the Dutch cross-country and indoor track teams. Rhodes-Devey is the state champion in cross-country and Dubois also went to the state meet.

"The distance group has been around," Wachtel said. "They are great and set such a good example."

Also returning is sprinter and jumper Jarrell Gatterson.

"He broke his leg and missed the football season," Wachtel said of the junior. "He then struggled during the indoor season but during the outdoor he has been a leader out here."

Also returning is junior Mark Domaracki. He will run the 400 meters again this season.

Senior Jordan Bieber returns to run sprints for the Dutchmen. He was a Section II place finisher in the 55 meters during the indoor season.

Tyler Engelhardt, a junior, came out for the team during the winter season and has made great strides heading into the outdoor season.

Greg Masto, a senior, will high jump for the Dutch this season.

The Dutch have newcomers out this spring in seniors Matt Doherty and Matt Femia.

Paul Booker and Drew Smith are out for the team for the first time as sophomores but have made their mark in other sports at Guilderland — Booker in football and Smith in basketball.

Bill Reed, who set some school freshmen marks, returns this season.

Also returning are strong sophomore runners Dave Slingerland and Jake King.

Corey Leggerio is another returning sophomore who had some impressive runs as a freshman last year.

"We’ve been able to plug him in the varsity lineup," Wachtel said. "Hopefully, that will continue."

Roland Graves is another distance runner who could fill into different spots.

James Terry will throw the discus this season.

"He’ll do all right," Wachtel said. "He can produce some of his best throws if he continues on the same learning curve."

Multi-sport athletes

Something that is a little new to the team is the number of athletes who participate in another sport.

"One of the things that we lacked in the past is we did not have many multiple-sport athletes," Wachtel said. "If you take schools like Burnt Hills and Niskayuna and look at their rosters, they have kids that are multiple-sport athletes. We tell the kids that good athletes can do more than one thing. I know there is a calling to specialize more, but some people are starting to figure it out."

Domaracki, Doherty, and Smith played varsity basketball for the Dutch in the winter. And Booker, thrower Donovan Lloyd, and Gatterson were members of the football team. Booker also played junior-varsity basketball.

"It’s better to do a lot of different things," Wachtel added.

Wachtel is looking forward to the season, which was supposed to begin on Tuesday with a meet at Ballston Spa.

"I’m excited about a lot of things heading into the season," Wachtel said. "When we had 40 kids, we could do the line-up in like an hour. Now it takes three-and-a-half to four hours depending on the meet. We’ve got to find the right spot for everybody."

Wachtel said that everybody comes to work hard every day. It doesn’t matter if they are big-time contributors or newcomers who probably won’t get into a varsity race.

"Different guys work hard," Wachtel said. "The middle-of-the-road guys work just as hard. They know they might not get into a race, but they just want to get better."

The brightest spot of having 114 athletes is the work they do in practice.

"It’s not just working out," Wachtel said. "It’s that they are pushing each other in the workouts. That’s what’s happening. If our practices are competitive, we are going to get better. The kids on j.v. and the freshmen group are part of this.

"A big part of the team is the kid that ran a 4:45 mile last year and wants to cut it down to 4:30," Wachtel added. "Those people are just as important as the ones that are scoring."

BKW track

By Tim Matteson

BERNE — The Berne-Knox-Westerlo track-and-field coach Bill Tindale is waiting for the chance to get his team to a meet.

"This is our fifth week of practice," the coach said. "We have two meet nnnnext week. That’s the frustrating part, trying to figure out how to keep everyone interested for the first part of the season. But the weather’s been good for us and it has given us more of a chance to work outside."

Tindale has 35 athletes out for the boys’ and girls’ teams this year. And on Monday they were cramped into the tiny gym at the elementary school.

"It is about evenly split," Tindale said of the ratio between boys and girls. "It’s a nice mix of upperclassmen and underclassmen. We had some people that didn’t come out that we were expecting to fill in. We’ll do okay this year."

DeRusso leads boys

The boys’ team will be led by cross-country standout Travis DeRusso. The senior will run distance events for the Bulldogs.

Senior Peter Primiano will run sprints and holds the school record in the long jump.

Ian Smith and Aaron Moseby return and will be throwers for the Bulldogs.

"I expect Aaron to be very competitive in dual meets and be in the top six spots in invitationals," Tindale said. "He worked out hard in the off-season and has really improved his ability."

Senior Jeremy Francis also returns and brings a wealth of experience.

"He has been on the team since he was a freshman," Tindale said. "He is one of our sprinters and will help in the relays."

Sophomore Jared Fink and junior Tyler Messick will be long-distance runners for the Bulldogs.

Josh Glick will be a versatile athlete for BKW. He will run long distance and pole vault.

Girls have depth

For the girls team, seniors Rachel Viscio, Sarah Furman, and Mariana Bartonicek will be top sprinters. Junior Sarah Hannay returns as the top thrower.

"She is one of the top throwers in the area," Tindale said. "Especially at the small-school level."

Sophomores Ana Kusler and Ada Lauterbach will score lots of points for the Lady Bulldogs.

Lauterbach runs distance races and was the Class C champion in cross-country. Kusler will use her athleticism to fill in many spots during the season.

"They will be two point scorers," Tindale said. "We’ll see where they fit in by mid- to late-season. Ada will run in the 800 and 1,500 and probably the steeple chase again. Ana is versatile. She’ll do the pole vault, where she holds the school record, relays, hurdles, and jumps."

"Solid, good athletes"

Athletes are something that Tindale has a lot of.

"We have a lot of solid, good athletes," the coach said. "They are improving and are dedicated. The challenge is to get them to the first meet prepared and at the same time ease them so they are at full potential by the meets at the end of the year."

Tindale said that he has had bigger teams in the past, but this one is one of the most talented.

"I would say person for person," he said, "this is the most exciting group I’ve had in some time. Everyone that is out here, point-scorer or not, wants to improve themselves. "It’s tough for the first five weeks," Tindale added. "Everyone is here ever day. They’ve shown great appreciation for the sport."

And despite the lower numbers, Tindale won’t have any problems filling in slots.

"We’ve got a really nice group of kids," Tindale said. "We should be well balanced between events. We have hurdlers, sprinters, and distance runners. We should be able to fill in every event and be competitive. We should be very competitive at every meet we go to this year."

New level"

The girls will be looking to defend their Western Athletic Conference title while the boys will have to battle a tough Fonda-Fultonville High School team.

"The girls have won the league two years in a row," Tindale said. "It will be a challenge to defend that. Fonda has good coaching and history to their program. I’ll have to see what they have coming back. Fonda is phenomenal but we can be competitive with them event for event, but we won’t be able to compete with their depth."

BKW has also been very competitive in the sectional meets, but Tindale is hoping his teams will take the next step.

"We have a shot at the top three at sectionals," Tindale said. "We’ve been there the past five years. The girls or the boys have never finished higher. I would like to break through. We just have to see what the other teams can do. I’ve seen what our team can do and I think we’ll be very competitive at the sectional level.

"The team has very good athletes," Tindale added. "We have more balance than before and that could propel us to a new level."

BKW softball

By Tim Matteson

BERNE — Many of the players for the Berne-Knox-Westerlo softball team this season are new to softball but have played other sports.

The Lady Bulldogs only have four seniors and three of them haven’t been on the varsity before. BKW will also rely on an eighth-grader in the pitching circle.

"We are young in some places," said BKW Coach Jim Lemire. "Actually, we’re more inexperienced than young. We have four seniors and only one played last year."

Lindsay Hamel is the lone returning senior. She will continue to be the Bulldogs’ catcher and will be one of the team’s co-captains.

Christine Sikule is another co-captain but is a first-year member of the varsity team.

"She hasn’t played since middle school," Lemire said. "She’ll play shortstop for us. We had a couple of people in mind for the spot but they didn’t pan out."

Sikule played volleyball in the fall and basketball in the winter for BKW.

Nicole Shultes is another senior co-captain and will play centerfield for the Bulldogs. She played soccer in the fall and was a co-captain of the cheerleading team in the winter.

The final senior is Katrina Fisher.

"She has never played before," Lemire said.

Beyond seniors

The team has nine juniors with four of them returning from last year’s team.

Amanda Tubbs returns to play in left field. She could also play some at third base.

"She is a very capable hitter," Lemire said. "She can drive the ball."

Kari Rossback will patrol centerfield and is the Bulldogs’ fourth co-captain.

"She’s a cheerleader and a volleyball player," Lemire said. "She got injured last week, but she should be back soon. She is the fastest player on the team. She’ll lead off for us and will steal bases."

Megan Leonard also returns. She will platoon at first base with classmate Katie Stanton.

Leonard plays volleyball and was a co-captain of the cheerleading team.

"Both first basemen field well and hit the ball very well," Lemire said.

Tracy Williams is a newcomer to the varsity team, moving up from junior varsity.

"She will mostly play second base," Lemire said. "But we’re having her learn how to catch. She has a great attitude and great hustle."

Danielle Thielsen is new to the varsity at BKW. She transferred from a school in Wisconsin and played volleyball in the fall.

"She will play second and outfield for us," Lemire said. "She is a very good hitter. She had a couple good swings so far that she got robbed on. That’s part of the game. They’ll fall at some point."

Kayla Squires is new to the varsity and has not played school softball in a couple of years but did play club softball.

"She is our number-two pitcher and will also play third base," Lemire said. "She’ll be a big help. She has not played in school for two years but played for Pine Bush in Guilderland."

Caitlyn Osterhout will play the outfield for the Bulldogs.

"She played soccer and is one of the hardest workers we have," Lemire said. "She is also learning to play the infield."

Kristi Dunigan will play in the outfield for the Bulldogs.

"She is a cheerleader and is very fleet a foot," Lemire said.

Sophomore Vicki Lounsbury is a varsity returner. She played soccer and basketball.

"She can play a whole lot of different positions," Lemire said. "She’ll be a back-up catcher and is learning to pitch."

Kieva Reynolds is an eighth-grader and will be the team’s number-one pitcher.

"She is not our most experienced player," Lemire said. "But she’s up there. She’ll also play third base. She’s hitting lead-off for us for the first two games, but when Kari returns she’ll bat second."

"Strong pitcher"

Reynolds pitched well in the Bulldogs first game of the season. She gave up just four hits in a 5-2 loss to Greenville. She also had five strikeouts and no walks in the contest.

In the Bulldogs’ second game, a loss to Stillwater, she pitched one inning and gave up just one run and had one strikeout.

"She’s pitched eight innings and gave up just one earned run," Lemire said of Reynolds work in the first two games of the season.

Reynolds played on the junior-varsity as a seventh-grader and had a good season.

"She was a strong pitcher last year," Lemire said. "She is right there with our pitcher from last year, Liz Leonard. She can throw strikes over the plate.

"But my conscience wouldn’t let me put her on varsity and not working on pitching," Lemire added. "She was by far the number-one on the j.v. but we had a good pitcher last year and we didn’t want her sitting and not getting the innings. She has good instincts for the game. She has a fastball, a riser, a drop ball, and a change-up."

Reynolds also plays for the Pine Bush club team in Guilderland and also works with other coaches.

Lemire said more and more kids are just starting to play softball outside the school season at BKW.

"We have four kids on this team that play on the volleyball club I run in the offseason," Lemire said. "And a lot of the girls play club soccer or basketball during the year but not many play softball. That is something I would like to see happen. That would put the program in the right direction."

Despite the two losses to start the season, Lemire likes the make-up of this team.

"This is a good group of girls," the coach said. "They worked hard in the preseason. We got more days outside than in the past. What will make it a little harder is that we’ll be on the road a lot for the first part of the season. It’ll be good for the team. We have a good group of leaders and I’m looking forward to working with them."

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