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Sports Archives The Altamont Enterprise, September 21, 2006
BKW looks to end season as cross-country top dogs
By Tim Matteson
BERNE The Berne-Knox-Westerlo cross-country teams have had a solid beginning to the season as they prepare for the tough competition they will have to face this fall.
The Bulldogs have competed in two invitationals and one dual meet in the early weeks of the season. BKW competed in the Fonda Invitational two weeks ago and the Guilderland Invitational on Saturday.
"At Fonda, they don’t do team scoring," said BKW Coach Bill Tindale. "But I figured that we would have been second by three points behind Fonda. It’s hard to tell early in the season. Not everybody’s had enough practices.
"We went to Guilderland on Saturday and finished fifth out of 14 in both guys and girls," Tindale added. "It’s high-level competition. The teams that beat us were either sectional champions or ranked very high in the state."
The Bulldogs were also not running at full strength at the Guilderland meet.
"We were missing one kid with a sinus infection," Tindale said. "But I’m very happy. We have a big pack that are kind of interchangeable. We have a lot of guys that are ready to fill in. We have 14 guys that are good athletes and work very hard. We’re certainly going in the right direction."
Jared Finke was the top runner at the Guilderland meet. He finished eighth overall with a time of 15:56.64.
"He put in a lot of miles over the summer," Tindale said.
Josh Glick had a good finish at Fonda fifth and will be a top runner for BKW this season.
Tyler Mesick is nursing a new injury and is working his way back.
"He is off his game a little bit," Tindale said. "We had a great dual meet; he finished third overall. When he’s back to full strength, he’ll help the team."
Tom Dellarocco, a freshman, was the second BKW finisher at the Guilderland Invitational. Sophmore Dave Haverly, Tyler Merrill, and Aaron Giebitz are also in the seven-runner line-up for the Bulldogs.
"Tyler Merrill has been injured and did not get off to a good start," Tindale said. "And Aaron Giebitz was out of the Guilderland meet with a sinus infection."
Lauterbach leads the girls
The girls team is led again by Ada Lauterbach. She finished eighth in the small-school race at the Guilderland Invitational.
"She won at Fonda," Tindale said. "She’s gotten much stronger. She will be going for victories in the smaller invitationals and she can get top-five finishes against large schools."
Katrina Yakel, Christina Bartonichek, and Michelle Raymond fill in the next three slots behind Lauterbach.
"This girls’ team is pretty strong," Tindale said.
Claire Dellarocco is also in the line-up and is one of the teams captains. Yakel is the other captain of the team.
Finke and Mesick are the captains of the boys team.
"Both guys are self made," Tindale said. "They lead by example. They are at practice every day. I enjoy coaching this team. This is a great bunch of kids. They work hard and are great runners. I’m looking forward to the season."
The Bulldogs are also a young team.
"We have one senior," Tindale said. "We’re mostly freshman and sophomores."
Class C will be tough again this season in both the boys and girls divisions. The Bulldogs also have competition in their league, the Western Athletic Conference.
"I believe that Fonda is the team to beat," Tindale said. "If we can get a handful of points early in the season, anything can happen."
Fonda is also a Class C team. BKW will also face competition at sectionals from Voorheesville and Greenwich.
"We want to get near the top in the league meet," Tindale said. "And we want to get one or two guys to the state meet. Hopefully, we’ll be challenging for the section in Class C. The competition is as tough as any in the area. There are seven or eight good teams and 15 to 20 top-notch individuals. It’s is going to be the most hotly contested class. I hope we’ll be one of the teams right there."
Tindale also has high expectations for the girls team.
"They can finish in the top half in the league and top five in the section," Tindale said. "We’re very young. We’re mostly underclassmen. We’re coming along on the injury front. I’m happy with what I’ve seen so far."
Blackbirds have strong showing on home course
By Tim Matteson
VOORHEESVILLE The Voorheesville cross-country teams got a running start on where they want finish at the end of the season.
The Blackbirds girls team took first and the boys team took second at the Blackbird Invitational on Saturday; the meet was held at the New Scotland town park.
The Lady Blackbirds had a final tally of 66 points to lead the field at the event. Hoosic Valley was second with 78 points.
Hilary Edmunds was the first Blackbird to cross the finish line. She came in third with a time of 20:37. Mairin OConnor of Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons won the race in 20:08.
Emma DAmbro of Hoosic Valley was second in 20:24.
Chantal Little followed her teammate in fourth place, clocking 20:46.
The boys team finished a close second to perennial power Fonda-Fultonville. The Braves edged the Blackbirds by a score of 61 to 65.
Macky Lloyd was the top Blackbird. He finished in a time of 17:09 to finish third behind Jeremy McAllister and Joe Geniti. The Fonda duo ran 16:35 and 16:47 respectively for the top two spots.
Conor Cashin, a feshman, was the next Voorheesville finisher. He came in 14th with a time of 18:12.
Ryan Allison was 15th in 18:15 and Nathan Bub was 16th in 18:16.
"That was a little surprising," said Voorheesville Coach Kelly McHale. "Ryan Allison and Nathan Bub were right there. The three of them have been passing around the number-two position."
The boys team will be battling Fonda all season as both teams try to be the top team in Class C. Fonda won the title last year.
"The boys’ team will be competing against Fonda," McHale said. "In Section II in Class C they are the big one. We’re going to go up against them in sectionals. There, instead of seven runners, you get 10. We also have some junior-varsity kids working their way up."
The girls team showed its strength as it tries to defend its Class C title from last fall.
Alison Vogelien finished 17th for the Blackbirds to aid in the teams victory. Grace Giamapaglia was 20th and Kali Votraw was 22nd for the Blackbirds.
"We acquired Grace Giampaglia and it is really working out for the girls’ team," McHale said. "She looked strong. There was a lot of excitement last year after winning sectionals. Both teams have the potential to do well this year."
The race went smoothly on Saturday as the weather stayed dry.
"I’ve been here three years," McHale said, "and this is the first year it didn’t rain. It was awesome; everything was running smoothly. It was a little wet but it was nothing really major. This was the best the course has been in the last three years."
There are about 50 kids running in the program this fall.
"We had 40 after this point last year," McHale said. "We’ve had a lot of success and that has a lot to do with it. A lot of people didn’t know that cross-country existed. People read about it and got excited. It brought out more people."
Out of the major contributors to the varsity team, there is only one senior on the team.
"We should be strong again next year," McHale said.
Younger runners will also be competing this fall.
"This is the first year we’ve had a complete modified team," McHale said. "We had a lot of success last year. We went to states as a team. Siblings in lower grades came out for modified. We had one leave, who was an underclassman. Everyone else stayed, who was a junior and a senior to run. The program is definitely growing."
The teams have set goals that they have the potential to achieve.
"As a coach, one thing I wanted to do was go undefeated in the Colonial Council," McHale said. "The boys this year can win the Colonial Council championship. And I also would like to have a better showing in sectionals. We would like to win, but we want to improve our standing in the section.
"For the girls," McHale added, "We want to improve our standing in the Colonial Council. We want to get second or first, but with Holy Names in our league, it’ll be difficult. And at sectionals we want to win. But Greenwich will be quite the opponent."
The home invitational was the second meet of the season for Voorheesville. The Blackbirds competed in the Fonda Invitational, where there was no team scoring.
This weekend, the Blackbirds will travel to the Queensbury Invitational.
Blackbirds have more firepower than Cannoneers
By Tim Matteson
VOORHEESVILLE With their biggest rivals in town, the Voorheesville football team picked the right time to show off its best game.
The Blackbirds used a good balanced offense and a tough defense to win a testy game, 39-18, over Watervliet at Thomas Buckley Field in Voorheesville on Saturday.
Despite giving up a touchdown on the opening kick-off and playing in a penalty-infested game, the Blackbirds were able to overcome in impressive fashion.
"They are very scrappy," said Voorheesville Coach Joe Sapienza. "We knew they would be."
Referring to the defensive linemen and linebackers, he went on, "They played eight men in the box and we struggled with it offensively. We made adjustments. They are great for a team that came in 0-2. That doesn’t mean anything. It’s always significant when you beat Watervliet."
Things didnt get off to a pleasant start for the Blackbirds when Desean Kittell fielded the ball at the seven-yard line on the opening kick-off and raced through the Voorheesville team for a 93-yard touchdown. But the Blackbirds were able to stop the extra-point attempt after a bad snap; the lead was 6-0.
"I like the fact that we were able to overcome our mistakes," Sapienza said. "We were able to overcome the kick-off return. We didn’t hang our heads; we got back to business and executed. It’s always a good sign when they returned the kick they don’t get the extra point. You know your team is still willing to get the job done."
On the run
The Birds didnt hang their heads, either, when they got the ball for their first possession.
Voorheesville moved the ball down the field, using big runs from running back Pat Jones and overcoming some penalties.
A long third-down run by quarterback Jay Conde moved the ball from the Voorheesville 49-yard line to the Watervliet 15-yard line. A penalty for a block in the back brought the ball back, but still gave the Birds a third-down opportunity. Jones picked up the first down and then some on the next play with a run that moved the ball to the 35-yard line.
Conde capped the drive a couple of plays later with a 17-yard run, following a great block by receiver Chris Massaroni.
The extra-point kick was no good, so the game was tied, 6-6, with 7:23 left in the opening quarter.
The Voorheesville defense forced Watervliet after a tackle for a loss by defensive lineman Jeff Connors to punt and scored again when the Birds got the ball back.
The Blackbirds used six plays on this drive as Jones finished it off with a nine-yard run for a touchdown.
A fake kick on the extra-point attempt worked to perfection as Tim Robinson ran the ball into the end zone after taking the snap.
The score was 14-6 with 3:19 left in the first quarter.
Watervliet had a drive stall at the Voorheesville 25-yard line after two incomplete passes.
Voorheesville took over and scored in two plays. Conde hit Jordan Murphy with a pass and Murphy ran down the home teams sideline and into the end zone for a touchdown.
The extra-point was blocked, but the Birds had a 20-6 lead early in the second stanza.
Murphy played the hero on defense on Watervliets ensuing drive. He intercepted a pass at the Cannoneers 40-yard line and ran it to the 22.
Alex Zvinosky scored on the Birds play from scrimmage and Matt Miller kicked the extra point to make the score 27-6 with 9:30 left in the second quarter.
Watervliet finally got some offensive points, scoring on its next possession. A big pass play from Mike Cooney to Dan Bolt gave the Cannoneers six points.
Jones broke up the two-point conversion pass and the score was 27-12 with 6:38 to go until halftime.
Both teams fumbled on their next possessions. The Watervliet fumble was recovered by Sean Fitzmaurice and the Birds ran out the clock in the first half.
The Birds offense bogged down in the third quarter and they were forced to punt for the first time on their first possession of the second half.
But the Voorheesville defense was stout as they stopped Watervliet deep in its territory, forcing three incomplete passes one broken up by Cameron Taylor.
The defense overcame some mistakes by the offense to keep the Cannoneers from adding any more points in the third quarter.
Watervliet did score with 8:12 left in the fourth quarter.
On fourth down and goal from the six-yard line, Bryan Bruce took the hand-off and was stopped by the Voorheesville defense. But he pitched the ball to Caleb Gleason who ran the ball into the end zone for the score; giving the Birds a nine-point edge, 27-18.
Just when Watervliet appeared to have life, Voorheesville put together a drive that essentially ended the game.
The Blackbirds used nine plays and over seven minutes of the clock.
Voorheesville scored on a nine-yard run by Conde and got the extra point from Miller to make the score 33-18 with 2:49 left in the game.
A fumble on Watervliets next possession gave the Birds the ball on the 41-yard line. The ball was knocked loose by Adam Duncan and recovered by Sam Pelham.
Jones scored two plays later to cap the scoring.
Matt Henry made an interception in the next possession and almost ran it back for a touchdown but was stopped at the five-yard line.
The Birds took a knee and the game was over and the victory was theirs.
"I feel we got a little better offense," Sapienza said. "We spread the ball around. We were pretty balanced and we made adjustments. They took some things away. We couldn’t run the option so we’d go with something else. The third quarter, we were too conservative but we did well when we got the ball back in the fourth. We can’t let our defense continue to be on the field."
The Blackbirds are now 3-0 and 1-0 in the Southern Division of Class C. The Birds have a showdown today (Thursday) with Chatham, which is also unbeaten this season. The winner will be in the drivers seat for the division championship.
"It’s a championship game," Sapienza said. "We have a short week. The kids were concerned about the short week, but we both played today. I told the kids at midseason they don’t need to come out and have big contact practices. It’s about making adjustments and getting healthy."
Rhodes-Devey leads record-breaking day for Dutch
By Tim Matteson
GUILDERLAND For the first time in a long time, rain did not fall at the Guilderland Cross-Country Invitational. In fact, the course at Tawasentha Park could not have been much better.
"There was soft ground," Guilderland boys’ coach and race coordinator Bob Oates said. "The low light was helping cars get out of the mud. The soft course didn’t affect any times. Thirty-two out of my 45 runners had their best times ever."
Rain during most of the week softened the course, but the skies remained blue on Saturday.
"I was hoping for a drying day," Oates said. "Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning it rained. We got about seven hours of drying time but it rained again that night. I had to go out the next morning and put down some wood chips that prevented it from being slick. There was a little bit of mud."
The large-school varsity boys race was won by Danbury High School of Connecticut. Burnt Hills won the girls varsity team event.
"It was great," Oates said. "Danbury came from Connecticut and it made the boys’ side strong. The Burnt Hills girls won and did a great job. Cooperstown came for the first time and won the small-school race. It was very competitive. Berne-Knox was right up there. We had a lot of schools come out for the first time."
Rhodes-Devey shatters record
The individual race was won by Guilderlands Brian Rhodes-Devey. The senior running sensation broke his own course record at Tawasentha Park.
"He set a phenomenal course record," Oates said. "It was off the charts."
Rhodes-Devey ran the race in 13:58 last year to set the course record. He shattered that record this year with a time of 13:35.
"He took 23 seconds off," Oates said. "That is good if you are a 16 minute runner. At this end, it’s mind-boggling. And at the end of race, it was like he wasn’t even breathing [heavily]. He walked down and got his score card and his medal. He had another 15 seconds in the tank.
"To see where he was last year, he was spent after this race last year," Oates added. "It’s going to be interesting to see what he does at more established courses. Saratoga’s record goes back to 1983. And at Cortlandt Park, where they have had Olympic-caliber runners and records since 1952."
Oates expects Rhodes-Devey to have a great fall, mostly because of the work he put in during the summer.
"He upped his mileage during the past summer," Oates said. "He went 40 to 50 miles last year. I’m not a big believer in over-training. You run into problems especially with kids that are still growing. But Brian’s stopped growing so we upped him to 70 to 75 miles per week. He’s extremely disciplined in his nutritional and sleep habits."
Rhodes-Devey also went to Arizona and did some high-altitude training.
"He was excited to do some training at altitude," Oates said. "He also seeks out other runners. He is finding out what preparations other people are doing. He is a real student of the sport, as are all my kids. They are reading books, talking to people, and the Internet helps with that a lot."
32 teams compete
The girls large-school varsity race was won by Meaghan Gregory of Burnt Hills. She finished in a time of 16:24.7 and also led her team to the overall title.
The small-school girls race was won by Mary Kate Champagne of Seton Chatholic in Plattsburgh. She ran 17:04.11 to complete the course.
Hopinkton won the team title in the small-school division.
Cooperstown was the top small-school team and was led by Stephen Scraffords first-place finish. He covered the course in 14:51.24.
Oates said that 10 teams joined in the competition this year to bring the total to 32 teams.
"People like to try things," Oates said. "Word basically got around that Guilderland gives a good meet and we give out a lot of awards. We spend a lot of money on awards. Teams get awards and we give shirts to the top three teams."
Another reason for the boost in participants is that the course is similar to the Federation Meet course in Wappingers Falls.
"I put in the application that it’s a good introduction to the Federation Meet," Oates said. "Tawasentha is a good warm-up. The hills in Wappingers Falls are very similar in steepness and the trails are narrow like Tawasentha. The teams come down early and bring crowds and we have a good showing. One time we had a down year, and that was last year, and that’s probably because it rained the year before."
The Guilderland boys team was not expected to do much in the pre-season, especially with the graduation of top runners Justin Wager and Seth Dubois. But some younger kids are filling in the spots they left open.
Junior Roland Graves has put himself in the spot behind Rhodes-Devey.
"He is our second man right now," Oates said. "He has come a long way. Last year, he was running around a high 15. Now he runs a 14:42."
Jared Moriarty is coming off an injury from last year.
"He is back in the game," Oates said. "He set a personal record by 13 seconds. He is still feeling out his knee."
Justin Veldhuis was the fourth Guilderland runner to cross the line on Saturday.
"He’s a sophomore and he’s gotten a lot better," Oates said. "He put in a lot of miles over the summer."
Fabio Ritmo has opened some eyes this fall season.
"He was back in the pack last year," Oates said. "He was in the 40’s and 50’s and now he is on my seven-man varsity."
Jacob King moved up from the junior varsity and has been impressive on the varsity so far this season.
Kevin Sheehan also put in a good summer of work and will be a part of the varsity when he returns from injury.
"He put in 500 miles over this summer," Oates said. "Moving up from the junior varsity to varsity is tough but these guys worked at it. We were not expected to re-load. We were picked to be fifth or sixth in the Suburban Council. But we can do better than that."
Dutchmen too flat for fired up Blue Devils
By Tim Matteson
GUILDERLAND The Guilderland football team came out flat for Friday nights game against a fired-up Columbia squad and it paid the price.
Columbia overcame a 7-3 deficit by scoring 21 unanswered points to blast the Dutchmen, 24-7, in East Greenbush.
"We had a lack of focus, a lack of intensity," said Guilderland Coach Dan Penna. "We had silly penalties and we were undisciplined. We were out of synch and I give a lot of credit to Columbia for that."
The game was a defensive battle for most of the first half. The first quarter ended in a 0-0 draw.
Columbia got a field goal from Jon Kebea to take a 3-0 lead earlier in the second quarter.
The score capped a long drive by the Blue Devils that took 17 plays; the drive began at the end of the first quarter and ended in the first minute of the second.
Guilderland came back with its only offensive highlight of the game.
On second down, after getting the ball back on the kick-off, Paul Booker took a hand off from quarterback Greg Barcomb and busted through the line.
Once Booker got through the line, he out-sprinted the Columbia defenders for a 68-yard run into the end zone.
Nick Zanotta kicked the extra point to make the score 7-3.
Shift to the Devils
But then Columbia started to make big plays.
Guilderland was forced to punt on its next possession but Zanottas attempt was blocked and the ball was downed at the Guilderland 27-yard line.
It took three plays for the Blue Devils to cash in on their opportunity.
Elusive Blue Devil quarterback Chris Shaver ran an option play and kept the ball for a 15-yard touchdown run. The extra point was good, and Columbia led, 10-7, with 4:12 left in the first half.
Columbia got another big play on a punt. This time, Guilderland was able to get the punt off, but Columbias Jose George returned the ball to the Guilderland three-yard line.
Shaver scored two plays later and the extra point gave the Blue Devils a 17-7 lead with 1:35 left until the intermission.
The Guilderland defense was solid in the second half, but Columbia scored late in the third quarter. The score had nothing to do with the defense.
Jeff McCormick intercepted a pass at the Guilderland 40-yard line and returned it for a touchdown. The extra point gave the Blue Devils a 24-7 lead with 2:45 left in the third frame.
"We knew it would be a defensive struggle," Penna said. "They got us off balance and we gave up some big plays. They got the interception and the punt return. They made plays, they came out fired up. And, as the coach, it is my responsibility to have the team better prepared before we get on the field. Next week, we’ll certainly be ready."
The Guilderland defense was stout, but Guilderlands offense struggled for the entire game. Besides Bookers touchdown run, the Dutch couldnt get anything going on the offensive side of the ball.
Guilderland struggled against a quick Columbia defensive front.
"My hats off to Columbia," Penna said. "We knew they were a good football team. They executed and played better."
Both teams came into the game with 2-0 records and at the top of Class AA. Its a big accomplishment for teams that have been mediocre at best.
"It was a great atmosphere," Penna said. "We were very excited to be playing in this game."
Preparing for Nisky
The Dutch will re-group as they have a short week to get ready for Class AA Division I foe Niskayuna on Thursday. The game in Niskayuna is a day earlier because the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah begins on Friday night. Niskayuna is winless in its first three games.
"We’ll come in first thing tomorrow and watch the film then put this behind us," Penna said after Friday’s game. "Then we’ll start preparing for Niskayuna. Coach [John] Furey always has good football teams. But we’ll be ready for them."
Guilderville gets off to fast start, wins first meet
By Tim Matteson
The season got off to a great start for the Guilderville swim team and its new coach, Breanna Autrey.
The combined team of swimmers from Guilderland and Voorheesville high schools won its first meet of the season and had a number of athletes qualify for the sectional meet. But winning the first meet wasnt easy and came down to the final event.
"It was an intense 400 freestyle relay," said senior captain Stephenie Bintz. "But I wasn’t really worried."
"We were up by two points," said Brittany Phillips, another of the team’s captains.
"We were winning," Bintz added. "But if they had won the relay, we would have lost the meet."
Guilderville teams took the top two spots in the relay to clinch the win.
Reynalyn Canchela, Stevie Church, Moriah Knight, and Katrina Nakao won the relay with a time of 4:08.80. The team of Alyssa Calomeni, Erin Dewey, Tara Dougherty, and Brittney Ginsburg finished second in 4:14.39.
"I was on the blocks," Calomeni said, "and Coach came up to me and said, ‘We need this one.’"
Calomeni is also a captain of the Guilderville team.
"Second was close," Bintz said. "I knew we had a strong relay, but I couldn’t watch."
The Guilderville team got good performances throughout the whole meet.
Knight and Dougherty finished second and third respectively in the 200-meter freestyle. Knight swam 2:11.25 and Dougherty finished in 2:16.98.
Dewey, Bintz, and Church finished in the top three spots in the 200-meter individual medley. Dewey won the race in 2:21.95. Bintz swam in 2:28.25 and Church finished in 2:30.71.
Victoria Stuto won the 50-meter freestyle in 27.10 seconds.
Toni Marie Whitbeck and Erika Pesta finished second and fifth respectively in the diving competition. Whitbeck had 215.95 points and Pesta amassed 177.70 points.
Dewey won the 100-meter butterfly in 1:06.84. Ginsburg was second in 1:07 and Canchela was fourth in 1:12.33.
Ginsburg won the 500-meter freestyle in 5:50.35. Knight was second in 5:59.79.
Bintz won the 100-meter backstroke with a time of 1:04.94. Katrina Nakao was second in 1:07.82 and Anna Kaufman was fourth with a time of 1:16.10.
Phillips won the 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 1:17.06 and Church was third with a time of 1:19.71.
Those swimmers and divers had good enough times and points to qualify for the Section II meet that will be held in November at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute.
"We had 11 girls qualify for section," Bintz said. "It was a great first meet."
Autrey, has been a teacher at Guilderland High School for five years; she is taking on the program from Walt Lane who retired.
Autrey swam in college at the University of Massachusetts and has also been involved with club swimming and is a lifeguard at the YMCA.
"It’s exciting to get to know the girls," Autrey said. "We have a young group that is coming up that is fun to be around. We have done a lot of team bonding and the kids have gelled early. You don’t expect that."
"It’s great to have a coach at school," Bintz said. "It’s easier to talk to her and we can talk to her about different things."
Lane was not a teacher at Voorheesville or Guilderland.
"We all like her," Calomeni said.
"She has different ways of coaching," Bintz added.
"She’s like one of us," Phillips said. "It’s different having a girl coach than a guy."
Autrey has brought a sense of sportsmanship to the team.
"When we finished a race, we would shake hands," Calomeni said of respecting their opponents.
She has also brought a new training regimen to the team this year.
"We are working hard," Autrey said. "We are running on dry land and it’s paid off. I’m not super surprised. I knew what we can do. It’s a nice finish."
Autrey is getting help from Brenda Goodknight, who is working with the divers.
"She is the gymnastics coach at Guilderland," Autrey said. "She knows what’s going on."
Autrey said she is excited to see what the Guilderville team can accomplish this season.
"I’m looking forward to the season," she said. "We have quite a few new girls that have never been on a swim team before. They are really learning a lot."
The swimmers are equally ready to see what will happen this season.
"I’m excited for the rest of the season," Bintz said.
"It’s a lot of fun," Phillips added. "Most of us seniors are in our fifth year."
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