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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, December 7, 2006

New digs but typical Voorheesville wrestlers

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — The Voorheesville wrestling team will be short on numbers this season but not short on talent.

The Blackbirds, who have just 12 wrestlers on the squad, showed their talent by finishing third at the Berne-Knox-Westerlo Tournament held on Saturday. Blackbird wrestlers won 22 of the 33 matches in which they competed, 21 by pin.

"He had eight guys wrestle and four guys won it," said Voorheesville’s senior captain, Charlie McGrail. "We should have two or three more guys return this week, so we will have 11 out of 15 spots, and we’ll be looking good."

McGrail won the 189-pound weight class and was named the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler.

Eighth-grader Colton Parrott won the 96-pound weight class; ninth-grader Taylor Treadgold won the 112-pound weight class; and sophomore Andrew Clark won the 135-pound weight class.

Tenth-grader Frank Kaus finished third in the 145-pound weight class. Freshman Jim Sheedy was third in the 152-pound class and senior Jason Pincheon was second in the 140-pound weight class. Eighth-grader Dylan Foster was third in the 119-pound weight class.

Chris Dollard, a sophomore, wrestled tough in his first career matches, though he came away from the tournament winless.

"He’s our super heavyweight and he’s in his first year," said Voorheesville Coach Dennis Robinson. "He didn’t win any matches but it took a lot of backbone to go out there. And he wrestled hard."

"Everybody has improved," McGrail said. "Saturday, we had four guys take first place at the Berne tournament."

The Blackbirds were missing senior Alex Zvinosky who is out with an injury.

"We’re expecting him back from an injury he suffered during football," Robinson said. "He should be back this week. A lot of coaches are looking for him. He got hurt in the Class C tournament last year. We probably could have gone to Glens Falls."

The Glens Falls Civic Center is where the Section II state qualifier tournament is held each year.

Sophomore Jake Marks will also be returning after having an appendectomy a few weeks ago.

"Individual goals"

"We have individual goals we’ll be working on during the year," McGrail said. "We can have a lot of guys do well at the Class D and Section II tournaments. We have a lot of guys that want to go out and do their best and win. But realistically, when it comes to dual matches, with the number of guys we have, to have success is far-fetched."

McGrail finished third in the Class C tournament last year — the Birds move down a class this year — and fifth in the Section II meet.

"A lot of people graduated and I moved down to 189 from 215 pounds last year," McGrail said for potential success this year. "I would like to win Class D and it would be great to win the Section II tournament. It’s now or never. I worked hard to get here and I’m going to go out with no regrets."

McGrail said that Pincheon should have a good season in his final campaign and that underclassmen Treadgold, Parrott, and Clark will be good for a few years.

The young Blackbird team will be thrown into the fire for its first two Colonial Council matches.

"We are a very young team," Robinson said. "We have no juniors. We wrestled tough against Lansingburgh. They will be number one or number two in the conference. We start off the year against the number-one and number-two teams in the league in Lansingburgh and Ravena. But I hope to have 10 kids on the mat this weekend at the Glens Falls Tournament."

With such a small team, Robinson’s expectations have changed.

"We’re looking to have a successful year," he said. "We’ll win a lot of individual matches. But we’re giving up 24 points right off the bat with forfeits. But the kids on the mat are your typical tough Voorheesville kids. They scrap. We had a great pre-season. We’re solid and in shape.

"A space of our own"

"This is a great group of kids," Robinson added. "And again, just like every year, the administration supports us. [Athletic Director] Joe Sapienza has been great with giving us what we need to get on the mat. And we got a new wrestling room and that’s been great."

The Birds have a new nest to call their own. A room just for wresting practice was set up this year in the basement of the high school’s addition. The room is decorated in the school colors with purple mats on the floor and purple and yellow mats on the walls.

"It definitely makes us feel like there is somebody behind us," McGrail said. "It’s out of the way, but it gives us our own place with mats and padded walls. I’m grateful for it; it’s definitely cool.

"We don’t have to set up mats every day like we used to in the cafeteria," McGrail added. "We don’t have to get all the tables out of the way. We can go down and go to work."

"It adds a lot," Robinson said. "We’re not done decorating it yet. But it helps us focus and gets us out of the cafeteria"

"It gives us a space of our own and gives the team an identity," Robinson added. "The basketball team has the gym and we have the room. I’m thankful for the administration to set aside this space for us. We had open mats here and three or four new kids showed up and wrestled over the summer. We want to expand on that."

Dutchmen overcome Scotties bite

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland boys’ basketball team has to make adjustments on the fly and was able to make just enough of them on Tuesday night.

The Dutchmen — missing one of their top players — held off a pesky Ballston Spa team by a score of 65-62 at Guilderland High School.

"They shot the ball unbelievably," said Guilderland Coach Ron Osinski after the game. "There was no stop for that. We kept the ball outside, which I’m happy with, but they made the shots and that is what kept it close."

Guilderland controlled the game from the outset. The Dutchmen led, 19-10, at the end of the first quarter and 38-27 at halftime.

The Scotties fought back in the third quarter, outscoring the Dutch by five points, 18-13, and cutting into the lead.

The score at the end of the third frame was 51-45.

Hot fourth

The fourth quarter was much more hotly contested.

Jimmy Munsie gave the Dutch an eight-point lead on an inside basket. But Ballston Spa’s Domninic Monaco made a three-point basket to keep his team close.

The teams traded three-point baskets: Guilderland’s Dan Gejay made a shot behind the arc and Ballston Spa’s Jakob Davis made a basket off a rebound and a foul shot.

Steve Doak scored an inside basket for the Dutchmen but that was quickly answered on a three-point basket by the Scotties. The basket made the Dutch’s lead four points, 58-54, with just over five minutes left.

The teams failed to score for the next minute-and-a-half before Guilderland’s Brett Marfurt scored on an inside basket. But Ballston Spa continued to keep the game close on a floater in the lane by Chris Schaefer.

Marfurt answered with a lay-up only to be matched by two free throws by Monaco. The margin remained four points with just over two minutes to go.

Schaefer cut the lead to two with a jump shot with 21 seconds left in the game. But Munsie hit the two biggest free throws of his varsity career to give the Dutch a four-point lead with 12 seconds left, which basically sealed the win.

Marfurt added a free throw with four seconds left but Ballston Spa hit a three-pointer with one second left to make up the final margin.

"Late in the game, we hit some shots that kept us ahead," Osinski said. "We got some good play off the bench. Dan Gejay played well and Jimmy Munsie had like 12 or 13 points in really his first big action because he’s been injured."

Marfurt led the way for the Dutchmen with 29 points. Munsie added 13 and Steven Doak chipped in with 11.

"Good game effort"

"Brett had a good night," Osinski said. "He missed a couple of assignments, but he was good. Taylor Walden and Mark Domaracki, we need to get more out of them. We need to get some points out of them to help Brett.

"Mark had been playing good basketball in the three scrimmages and two games. But he’d be the first one to tell you that this was his worst of the six games. He’ll come back on Friday and have a good game."

The Dutchmen were missing starter Drew Smith. Smith is out with a broken hand and won’t be back for a few weeks.

"This was our first game without Drew," Osinski said. "I guess it shows that Drew does a lot for us, especially in the open court on offense and defense."

It wasn’t a lack of effort that kept the game close.

"We had a good game effort," Osinski said. "Guys were down on the basketball and getting on the floor. You can’t ask for anything more. We just have to play a little better basketball. Get a little better at that end."

Osinski said that Ballston Spa was a different team than when he scouted them.

"I saw them play Tamarac and Watervliet," the coach said. "And they’ve gotten better. I don’t know if we did. We lost a player, a starter, for a few more weeks. But we have to play the games. Good teams have to make up for that and other guys have to play up a notch. And to be a good team we have to do that."

Next up for the Dutchmen will be a home contest against Mohonasen on Friday. Then, on Tuesday, the Dutch travel to take on Colonie.

Dutch wrestlers look for late-season success

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland wrestling team got off to a strong start this season but Head Coach Regan Johnson knows it’ll be a long road to the Pepsi Arena.

The Dutchmen won their first dual meet of the season last Wednesday, but the Guilderland wrestlers will have until March to see if they will be heading to downtown Albany for the state wrestling meet.

"It’s a long season," Johnson said at practice last Friday. "To compare it to a marathon would be appropriate. Some teams feel like they have to go out and sprint. We kind of take a different approach.

"Our goal is even if they don’t place very high, we want to get the younger guys to the civic center," he said of the Glens Falls Civic Center where the Section II State Qualifier meet is held in March. "We want to get them on the floor in front of the crowd, and, the following year, they’ve had already been there and not as intimidated."

Johnson is happy to get the 51-21 win over Mohonasen last week to start the season but is more impressed with the way his athletes competed.

"We’re talented"

The grappling Dutchmen got wins from the usual suspects — Matt Cubillos, Ian DeSol, and Kyle Hussey. All had successful seasons last year and are the key returnees for Guilderland. Each of the three won his first match of the season by pin.

But sophomore Tyler Quilia got a big upset win over Mohon’s Sean Magrum in the 215-pound weight class. Quilia won by a 3-2 score.

"It’s a good win for him," Johnson said. "Last year, he was in the varsity line-up once or twice. It’s his first match of the season and it was against a senior who placed in the section, last year. He did a nice job and I’m happy with that."

The Dutch will have a full line-up this year, though some of the smaller weights will be filled by underclassmen.

"We have a lot of young guys that we don’t want to throw to the wolves," Johnson said. "At the start of practices, we had 15 freshmen. We still have 15 freshmen, and that is unusual. So far they’ve been great and, if they stick with it, two or three years from now they’ll be solid. The great thing is that they are spread out; they’re not all at the same weight."

The Guilderland team will also have some experienced grapplers in the line-up.

"We’re talented," Johnson said. "We have some guys that have been around for a long time. Ian’s been here for five years, Kyle has wrestled for four years, Josh Sawyer has been on the varsity for four years, and Matt Cubillos seems like he’s been here forever and he is only a sophomore."

Hussey, last year, was the Class A champion in the 275-pound weight class. He finished third at the Section II meet but did not make it to states.

"He finished third in the section after basically missing the whole season," Johnson said. "Matt was second in the section, Ian was third, and Josh was fifth. Those are four guys we can count on."

"Two other coaches"

DeSol and Hussey are the captains of the team and provide an extra set of eyes on the mat.

"They are real good," Johnson said. "It’s like having two other coaches out there."

Johnson said that the two captains are looked up to.

"They are good for the young kids to learn from for a couple of reasons," Johnson said. "Number one: The kids have been there before. And number two, the kids are successful and it shows that hard work pays off. It shows that you have to go hard every night and that, if you stick it out here for four years, you can get what you want."

Freshmen Eugene Sellie and Evan Spenzario are two underclassmen for whom Johnson sees a good future. Sellie wrestled at 103 pounds last year and moves up to 119 this year. Spenzario fills the 152-pound slot.

Guilderland will also have ninth-graders in the 96-pound, 103-pound, and 112-pound positions.

"They are all freshmen," Johnson said. "But they all have guys behind them, pushing them."

Johnson understands, though, that the young wrestlers will need time before they will have varsity success.

"Any time you put freshmen in the line-up," the coach said, "they are going to take some beatings. But, in the end, it can’t take away the experience it’s going to give them.

"Ian is a good example of that," Johnson added. "He wrestled his eighth-grade year and he won maybe five matches. He lost a lot, but he stuck around, and now things are going his way."

Tough council

Again this year, Johnson expects the Suburban Council to be tough. He sees Shenendehowa, Burnt Hills, Saratoga, Niskayuna, and Columbia as having really good teams.

"It’s the usual suspects," Johnson said. "But you never know how the dual-meet season will go. Kids either get sick or injured. But with us, at the end of the season, the kids we have on the mat are ready to wrestle."

The Dutchmen always seem to be stronger at the end of the season, and that is the way Johnson likes it.

"We beat five or six teams in sectionals or the Section II tourney that beat us during the season," he said.

Last year, Guilderland had just one wrestler, John D’Ambrosio, qualify for the state meet; he placed sixth after having won the Section II tournament in the 189-pound weight class. Two Guilderland wrestlers went to the state meet two years ago when it was held at the Pepsi Arena.

There are a few Guilderland wrestlers who will have a shot this season at the meet, which will be held again at the Pepsi Arena in March — by then, it will be known as the Times Union Center.

In the past, only the winners in each weight class advanced to the state meet. That is changing this year.

"Up until this year," Johnson said, "there have been four byes in each weight class. What they are doing this year is adding a wild-card like system and filling those byes. It’s a possibility that Section II can send two kids in a weight class to the states to wrestle for a state championship."

It will also increase the chances for Guilderland athletes to go to the state competition.

"Hopefully, we can get a couple of guys to the Times Union Center," Johnson said. "One thing that I’ve learned from coaching, is that with high-school kids you have to prepare for anything. It’s such a long season".

"We’ve had seven or eight guys finish second in the section," Johnson added. "Runner ups will now have a real good chance at going to the state tourney. We had some guys a couple of years ago that would’ve gone."

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