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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, June 15, 2006


Voorheesville weightlifters

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — They have been doing some heavy lifting in Voorheesville.

A group of athletes — mostly football players and wrestlers — competed in the Schuylerville Invitational Weightlifting Championship on June 10.

"I take a group of kids that have been weight training and take them to a couple of competitions a year," said Joseph Sapienza, Voorheesville’s athletic director and football coach. "The competition at Schuylerville had six other Class C football schools."

Dan Flynn was the big winner for Voorheesville at the Schuylerville competition. The 16-year-old swept the Super-Heavyweight Class, winning first-place medals in all the events.

Flynn bench-pressed 310 pounds, squatted 425 pounds, and lifted 225 in the power clean. He also received a first-place trophy for the highest overall ratio of lifted weight to body weight.

"He trained nine months of the year for the event," said Flynn’s father, Tom. "We lifted three days a week, doing power lifting."

Dan Whiteley, who is just 14, won a first-place medal in the squat with a lift of 350 pounds. He finished second in the bench press with 210 pounds in the 175-pound weight class.

Adam Duncan, 16, received a second-place medal for squat, lifting 355 pounds in the 195-pound weight class.

Sean Fitzmaurice, Alex Zvinovski, and Charlie McGrail also competed.

"It’s primarly a football thing," Sapienza said. "It’s done with the football kids. I take a certain number of kids that just play football and lift year-round. It keeps them interested in lifting and to see how they match up with other kids."

Flynn and Whiteley also train at No Limits Fitness in Voorheesville with the owner, Mike Braet, Sapienza said.

A group of lifters also compete at a meet in the winter that is put on by Top Form Strength Training and Physical Therapy group.

The competition on Saturday was sponsored by the Schuylerville Football Booster Club.

"Last year was the first year we did it," Sapienza said. "Last year, we didn’t have the success. This year, we had a significant group of kids that were interested in it. It is an outlet for the kids and they saw what it was all about. They saw the type of numbers that were there and how much they have to lift to have success at the meet."

And it has attracted a small group of athletes who use the training as preparation for football.

"The biggest thing this time of year is that we have guys that do it," Sapienza said of weight lifting. "We have guys in the gym this week. The kids have a lot of other things going on but they are very committed to it."


Duncan and catellier feature

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — Nick Duncan and Andy Catellier.

For the past two years and more, those names have been two of the biggest in Voorheesville sports — baseball, football, and basketball.

On the cusp of graduating and leaving Voorheesville behind for new academic and athletic adventures, they had time to reflect on what they have accomplished in their storied high-school careers, though they did it modestly.

"I think athletics is part of it," said Voorheesville Athletic Director and football coach Joseph Sapienza. "They’ve made a big impact at this school and this community as people and as citizens that will be felt for years to come. I’ve expressed that to both of them. And they kind of said it, that this is a very good athletic class.

"These two gentlemen are always willing to step up athletically and set a tone in this building," Sapienza added. "They went far to be leaders and they didn’t respond to peer pressure and were model students for coaches and teachers."

"Team goals come first," Catellier said ever so modestly. "Everything else is just extra. There are things you want to accomplish as a team."

"Team goals are always ahead. Personal goals are just topping," Duncan added.

The pair has been successful in reaching team and personal goals over the past two years. The Blackbirds reached the state semifinal basketball game with both Catellier and Duncan in the starting line-up. The school also boasts banners for a Colonial Council championship in basketball this past winter and back-to-back league titles in baseball.

Catellier and Duncan also led the Blackbirds football team to the Class C South Division title and a spot in the sectional semifinals last fall.

Their personal accomplishments are just as impressive.

Catellier was named the Class C South Division Player Of The Year after being the Blackbirds quarterback. He has been the starting quarterback since his sophomore year. He replaced his brother, Frank, who graduated when the younger Catellier was a freshman.

Duncan was named to the Class C South Division All-Star Team as a wide receiver and defensive back. He was also named to the Class C All-State Team as a wide receiver. He was named to the third team as a junior and to the second team last fall.

Catellier and Duncan were named Colonial Council all-stars in basketball. They played in the Exceptional Senior All-Star Game in football, basketball, and baseball at the end of each season.

The pair will be staying close to home to play college football. Catellier will be going to Union College in Schenectady in the fall and Duncan will be heading to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy.

"Looking back at the things I did in high school," Duncan said. "I hope in college, I have as much fun as high school in Voorheesville was.

"I’ll concentrate on football," Duncan added. "Basketball, right now, is third on my list — behind academics and football. Down the road, basketball might be an option."

"I wasn’t expecting at all to be able to play three sports," Catellier said of his college plans. "Football will take up a lot of time. You have to concentrate on one sport. It is a big commitment. Before I looked at colleges, I knew that."

Catellier will see not just Duncan’s familiar face on the RPI sideline when the two teams continue their fierce rivalry in November; his brother is a member of the RPI team as well.

"Me and my brother are already talking stuff," Catellier said. "It will be weird to see Nick on the other sideline. It’s also going to be weird not throwing to him next year. But it’s nice. There will be a lot of Voorheesville kids in one Division III football game."

Both were recruited mainly for football, which it is their first love.

"The past couple of years," Catellier said, "for me, I’ve always wanted to play college football. My brother plays and my dad coaches. I always wanted to do it."

Both said, though, that they chose their colleges because of academics.

"I felt like both fit academics and football," Catellier said.

"I also like my coaches," Duncan said.

Life-long friends

Duncan and Catellier have known each other since the second grade.

"It’s been a long time," Catellier said. "We had some good times. We’re always hanging out, playing Wiffle Ball or doing something."

"It started because of sports," Duncan said of friendship. "But it didn’t stay because of sports."

They both said that friendly competition drove then to push each other and their teammates.

"We always work hard," Catellier said. "We are just pushing ourselves and we expect good things.

"We push ourselves and that helps the team," Duncan added.

Catellier and Duncan said that, growing up, they were always on pretty successful teams growing up.

"Basketball, we’ve always been successful," Duncan said. "Baseball, we’ve not been so successful. And in football we were building to last year. It was a lot of hard work."

"In football, we had a nice program," Catellier said. "We got it back on track, winning our first sectional game and coming close against Schuylerville."

And, though they have had success in almost everything they’ve done, there are regrets.

"Basketball is the one sport I wish we did a little better in this year," Catellier said. "I wish we had got as far as the year before. The past two years in basketball have been pretty special. I wish we could’ve done more."

"This year was disappointing," Duncan added. "It would have been great to accomplish what we had the year before. It left a sour taste in our mouth."

The Blackbirds reached the state semifinals in Catellier’s and Duncan’s junior season. This past year the team was knocked out of the playoffs in the Section II semifinals.

"The expectations were high," Sapienza said. "They were at a certain level and they had to take it to a higher level."

"I can’t say that I would take anything back in any sport," Duncan said. "Not as far as we’ve gotten in the past couple of years. It’s not really a failure, more disappointment."

Not just them

But the ever-humble pair were quick to say those accomplishments were helped tremendously by their teammates.

"The thing is that we received the credit," Catellier said. "But we wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what we did without the rest of the team. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything."

Catellier and Duncan say that the success is not just limited to their sports. But this year’s senior class is very talented.

"It’s not just us," Catellier said. "This class is very athletic. The Class of 2006 has set a high standard for athletics."

"It’s not just football," Duncan said. "But soccer and volleyball all did well this year and those are not the only two but others as well. We’ve got a lot of new banners and plaques in the new gym from the past two years or so."

But there is something special about these two athletes in an era when it’s rare that high school kids play more than one or two sports.

"It’s kind of rare to see this type of athletic success in three different sports in this era of specialization," Sapienza said. "It’s great not just to be able to play them but at such a high level. And to receive, at a high level, the kind of accolades they have is amazing.

"It’s one thing to play one or two sports and excel in both, but with the time these two gentlemen put in with playing football, baseball, and basketball, and playing at the Empire State Games [basketball] and with a camp schedule is incredible. They’ve made an impact as individuals on this school and it doesn’t surprise me they are modest about it."

Duncan and Catellier understand that they have accomplished a lot of things in their young lives, and that there is more to accomplish. They know that, without strong support from parents and coaches, they wouldn’t get the recognition they have.

"Our parents have definitely made a lot of sacrifices for us," Catellier said. "I just hope I made them proud."

Catellier’s father, Don, is the head basketball coach at Voorheesville.

"It’s tough on my family," Duncan added. "I’m one of four that are in school. My brother Adam plays football and that made it easier on my family and my dad helped coach the baseball team. If one parent was not there, the other one was. They didn’t miss a lot of games"

"We’ve always had excellent coaches all the way through," Duncan added. "Coach Sap we are going to miss. I just hope my future coaches are just like the ones in high school."


State track meet

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — He ran the fastest 800 meters on Saturday at the New York State Track-and-Field Meet at St. Lawrence University in Canton.

Unfortunately for Guilderland High School’s Brian Rhodes-Devey, he was entered in the 1,600-meter event.

Rhodes-Devey ran a phenomenal 2:01 for the first 800 meters in the race but was passed by Fayetville-Manlius’s Owen Kimple in the third lap. Kimple won the race in a time of 4:07.1. Rhodes-Devey finished in 4:11.40 to take home the silver medal.

"The plan was to run a 2:04 for the first 800," Rhodes-Devey said. "It is a comfortable pace for me and I’d been working on pacing in workouts. I was getting used to it.

"At states, I went out hard right away," Rhodes-Devey said. "The first 400 was like 59 seconds, which is way too fast. Then I saw Owen Kimple behind my shoulder and I tried to shake him. It threw me off my race.

"I tried to push it and that probably wasn’t the best idea"On the third lap, he lined me up and just annihilated me. I tried to hold on. But what can you do" You can’t go back and change. I’m looking ahead."

"Brian ran a blazing 800," Guilderland Coach Pete Wachtel said. "But the kid from Fayetville-Manlius, in the third lap, ran a 59 or 60-and-a-quarter and finished at 4:07. Brian was disappointed but he said that the kid ran a better race and that second in the state is not bad either."

Rhodes-Devey gained some knowledge looking back on his race.

"I learned a lot from states," he said on Tuesday. "I had the race plan worked out in my head and everything was going great. Once the race began, the plans went to hell. I was going out too hard and I did not adjust, though I should of.

"I ran 2:01 through the first 800 and, after that, I didn’t run a smart race," Rhodes-Devey added. "But I finished second at states and came close to a personal record."

"Not too shabby"

Mark Domaracki also represented Guilderland at the state meet. The Section II large-school champion in the 400, had a disappointing season finale at the state meet.

Domaracki ran 50.03 to finish fifth in the large-school meet and 11th overall.

"Mark was disappointed in his time," Wachtel said. "He ended up fifth but he could’ve finished third if he ran his time. He finished 11th overall so he didn’t qualify for the Federation Meet. You have to be in the top nine. But he finished fifth in the state among large schools and got to race out of the section. I’m proud of Mark this season. He had a wonderful season."

Seth Dubois competed in the 3,200 and had to deal with rainy nasty conditions.

"He ran a 9:20," Wachtel said. "That is the third fastest time. His last three races have been his best three times."

Dubois finished the race with a time of 9:28.67 to finish 20th overall but was the best among Section II runners in the event.

"That’s not too shabby," Wachtel said. "It’s not where he wanted to be. But there is no doubt that he has come along. This race was just not in the cards."

Guilderland’s Krystal Myers competed in the pole vault at the state meet. Her best vault was 9 feet, 20 inches to place 17th overall but was the best among Section II athletes.

Kyle Jacobs of Voorheesville also competed at the state meet. His time of 59.35 in the 400-meter hurdles placed him seventh overall in the small-school division, but made him the best from Section II.

On to Raleigh

It’s not the last race for the three Guilderland runners. They are working their way to Raleigh, N.C. for the national track-and-field meet this weekend.

Domaracki, Dubois, and Rhodes-Devey will be joined by Justin Wager to run in the distance medley relay at the event. Rhodes-Devey is also considering running the mile.

"They are going to nationals," Wachtel said "I’m not going with them. They are going with their folks. They are planning to run the DMR, but they are still trying to get down there."

Co-champs

The season came to an end for Wachtel on Tuesday at the team’s end-of-year picnic at Tawasentha Park.

"We had a great group of kids and parents," Wachtel said. "We had great support from the parents. You can’t have a track-and-field team without the parents."

Wachtel is also pleased with what the team accomplished this season and what is ahead.

"When we stepped up to the Blue Division," Wachtel said of moving up to a higher division in the Suburban Council, "We were Gold Division champs but we were looking to go up against Saratoga, Shen, and Shaker, and it was ‘Oh, my God.’

"But then we beat Saratoga, and then we beat Shaker," Wachtel added. "We then thought we had a chance to win the Blue Division. It was just that there was a bomb scare at Shen the day we were supposed to meet them. We couldn’t find time to make it up so we ended up co-champions."

The Dutchmen finished with a 9-1 dual meet record and as co-champs with Shenendehowa. The junior-varsity Dutch also ended the season with a 9-1 record.

"We were giving out awards at the banquet," Wachtel said. "And, after we did the junior varsity awards and then we called up the juniors, we realized that there were just 12 seniors out of 170 kids. It looks good for next year. Usually we are wondering at the beginning of the season how we are going to do things. We won’t have to worry about that next year."


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