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Sports Archives The Altamont Enterprise, April 03, 2008
In season’s first outing V’ville takes brace of victories
By Tim Matteson
VOORHEESVILLE Unlike many baseball teams in the area, the Voorheesville baseball team got on the diamond for a pair of games last week.
The Blackbirds won both non-league contests and are looking forward to having a good season.
Voorheesville beat Schoharie, 5-2, last Wednesday and Cairo-Durham, 8-7, last Thursday.
“It’s not a bad start,” said Voorheesville Coach Hank Czerwinski after the Schoharie win. “I’m pleased with the first outing.”
Senior Jay Conde started on the mound for the Blackbirds and pitched three strong innings to earn the win. He struck out six batters while giving up no hits. Nick Blow pitched three innings in relief and after some early struggles settled down and gave up just one run.
Conde hit a home run and Chris Massaroni hit a double that drove in a pair of runs.
Freshman Ryan Duncan had two singles and drove in a run against Cairo-Durham.
“We were rusty,” Czerwinski said. “Both teams were. This was our first time out on the baseball field. And I’m still working on the line-up.”
The two wins were part of the five non-league games the Blackbirds will play before they open Colonial Council play against Watervliet on Friday. Voorheesville is also scheduled to play at home Monday against Schuylerville, at Cairo-Durham on Tuesday, and against Berne-Knox-Westerlo yesterday.
“It’s nice to get outside and play in March,” Czerwinski said.
The Blackbirds will be led by five seniors this spring Tommy Pasquali, Conde, Kevin Klembczyk, Adam Duncan, and Chris Massaroni.
There are 14 players total on the roster.
Czerwinski will have four pitchers to rely on this spring. Conde will be the ace of the staff and Blow, Joe Berschwinger, and Landon Church will also be key on the mound this season.
“Our pitching will be strong,” Czerwinski said. “We have four kids. We should be pretty good if we stay healthy.”
The Blackbirds dropped down to Class C this year and Czerwinski thinks his team will be competitive when sectionals start in May.
“Being in the lower class should help,” Czerwinski said. “We should be competitive in the Colonial Council as well. We should do well come sectional time.”
But as the season has begun, the Blackbirds are still working on getting the kinks out.
“We’re feeling it out for three-and-a-half weeks,” Czerwinski said. “I’m trying to get the line-up set. Defensively, we’ll be good. Pitching will be the key. We also need to get some hitting. Defense I’m not worried about. We want to score more runs than last year.”
The Blackbirds would also like to advance further in the sectional tournament this year. Last year, the Birds lost a heart-breaking 2-1 decision to Hudson.
“Berschwinger as a sophomore pitched great in a losing effort,” Czerwinski said. “It’s hard to lose a game when a kid pitches like that. We had some kids up from the junior varsity.”
Czerwinski feels that his team has the experience to compete in the Colonial Council and the sectionals.
“Pasquali, Massaroni, and Conde have been with me since I started here five years ago,” Czerwinski said. “They know me and they know baseball.
“Nick Blow and Joe Berschwinger have varsity experience,” Czerwinski added. “And Klembczyk played last year and he’ll start in center field. We have a good nucleus. And the JV kids are developing.”
Czerwinski said that the baseball program is set for future success.
“The program is building slowly but steadily,” the coach said. “We were competitive at the B level. There is no doubt that we will be competitive at the C level.”
Bulldogs bare teeth
By Tim Matteson
BERNE The Berne-Knox-Westerlo baseball team is looking to make a lot of noise this season.
With an experienced and athletic group of players returning, the Bulldogs will be tough to beat in the Southern Division of the Western Athletic Conference.
“We have a nice blend,” BKW baseball coach Jeff Teats said. “We have talented young kids that play really hard. Despite being in the gym, we’ve had some quality practices. The kids are anxious to start the schedule and get going.”
Returning seniors for the Bulldogs are Jeremy Springer, Greg Mulson, Ben Burton, Josh Skinner, and Lance Durham.
Springer will be the starting catcher, Mulson will pitch and play second base, Burton will man center field and pitch, Skinner will play at shortstop and will pitch, and Durham will play in the outfield.
“The seniors, because of our youth, need to be leaders,” Teats said. “They have a lot of experience. It’s their time to step up.”
Juniors on the team are Andrew Cortese, Andrew Liddane, and Pat Stanton. Cortese will play in the outfield, Liddane will be at third base, and Stanton will also play in the outfield.
Sophomores Mike Galgay and Korey Mann are also on the team. Galgay will play first base and Mann will play in the outfield and can pitch.
There are two ninth-graders on the team as well.
Brett Flansburg will see some time in the outfield and at third base and can also pitch. Brendan Galgay can play center field, shortstop, and also pitch.
Pitching will be a deep spot for the Bulldogs this spring.
“We have six guys that can throw,” Teats said. “Burton and Skinner are in the one and two spots.”
“Up for grabs”
Teats said that his team will be one of the teams competing for the Southern Division title in the WAC.
“The Southern Division is up for grabs,” Teats said. “We should compete for Southern Division championship. The North is always strong.
“Canajoharie graduated its entire team,” Teats added. “Schoharie, Middleburgh, and Duanesburg are always competitive and in the hunt. Sharon Springs is back to having a varsity team after three seasons. I have no idea what to expect.”
Teats feels that his team has enough talented athletes to compete for the league title.
“We have decent team speed,” the coach said. “The kids are understanding roles. They know what to do on a day-to-day basis.”
The Bulldogs practiced outdoors a couple of days last week but were forced to go back inside as snow covered the ground on Friday. The Bulldogs are scheduled to play their first game on April 3 at home against Canajoharie.
Before the snow came, Teats was confident that this team will be able to take the field for that game.
“The weather is always interesting,” Teats said last Wednesday. “We’ll deal with it. Our field is ready to go. We could play today if we had to.”
New BKW track coaches intend to live up to triumphant tradition
By Tim Matteson
BERNE The Berne-Knox-Westerlo track team is continuing to expand in both participants and athletic quality, even with changes at the top of the program.
Seventy-five athletes have come out for the team this spring, which exceeds last year’s high-water mark.
The BKW team has the challenge of welcoming two new head coaches. Scott Hannay takes over the boys’ team and Bill Dergosits will take on the girls’ team responsibilities.
Bill Tindale, the previous head coach, has stepped down for this season, as has girls’ coach Sean O’Brien.
Tindale led the track team for the past 12 years, and established the Bulldogs as one of the top programs in the Western Athletic Conference. Tindale plans on continuing his duties as head coach of the cross-country team.
Tindale said that he wanted to spend more time with his family. He has two young sons, ages 4 and 7.
“I feel this is the right time,” Tindale said. “We have a great staff that knows track and is great with kids. I feel confident in them, and that is another reason, I felt like it was a good time to step aside.”
Erin Wilbur and Tim Service will be assistant coaches while David Funk and Amber Lape will coach the modified teams.
The girls’ team is the defending Western Athletic Conference champion, and looks to challenge for the league title again. BKW’s mid and long-distance group will be led by senior Ada Lauterbach. “Ada is dominant in the distance races, and will score big wins in our large invites this year,” said Hannay.
Joining her will be Christina Bartonicek, and new athletes to the varsity team.
In the sprints, BKW has lost a few athletes. Returning veterans Alyssa Wetterau, Anna Kusler, and Kristine Skinner will form the nucleus of the sprinter-jumper core.
“Alyssa is versatile, and can compete in the pentathlon, jumps, sprints, and relays,” said Hannay. “Anna and Kristine are both accomplished long jumpers, and hurdlers.”
In the throws, seniors Allyson Bates and Ruby Moseby will be joined by sophomore Faith Carney. “This group will dominate in the WAC dual meets, and will place well in our invitationals,” said Hannay. The real unknown factor for the girls’ team is the large contingent of new freshmen and sophomores running track for the first time.
“The key to the season’s success will be determining their strength and developing a few new scorers that will contribute towards winning close meets. With a few good surprises, the girls’ team should continue their successful ways on the road to sectionals.”
The boys’ team is poised to assert itself on the WAC league in 2008.
“There is a core group of boys who started in the modified team in 2004 who have stayed together, and now they are ready to make some noise in Section II,” said Hannay. The team’s other strength is the strong cross-country team that won the WAC last fall. All of the members of this team will continue with the track team this spring.
Distance specialist, Jared Finke, returning from mononucleosis last fall, will look to close out his senior year in good fashion. Dave Haverly, WAC cross-country champion, will continue to improve his running, and should compete well in the 1500 and steeplechase events. said Hannay. Connor Devine is a new contender for the BKW distance crew, coming off a strong cross-country season. Tom Dellarocco, Jeff Moller, and Aaron Giebitz will round out the returning distance runners.
In the throws, BKW returns junior Greg Hannay, along with several new boys who will join the throwers’ group. “Hannay will threaten school records in the shot and discus, and possibly other events’” said Coach Hannay, who is Greg’s father. “ He has trained off-season and is ready to put up top marks in the section.”
In the sprints, BKW has a herd of guys all vying for spots in the 100, 200, and 400m races. With 40-plus boys, many are looking to be sprinters, and find spots in the relays. This will create a lot of intra-squad competition, and will be good for practice and dual meets, said Hannay.
Senior Pat Whitney specializes in the 100-meter and 200-meter races, and will find support from Matt Von Haugg, and Curtis Clark among others.
Josh Glick will handle pole-vault duties for the team. “He should be pushing the school record up a few more notches,” said Hannay. Zach Krimsky will be a triple jumper for the team, and he has made good improvements in his speed and strength, the coach said.
Keith Cunningham will return as the team’s best long jumper, and will assist in the sprints and relays. Tim David competes in several events, and specializes in the pentathlon.
Overall, BKW’s coaching staff are excited about both teams this year. “With good efforts, BKW should be a top sectional contender,” said Hannay, “and should place a good-sized group of athletes at the State Qualifier in June.”