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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, May 15, 2008


Faragon packing a strong punch

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — Mike Faragon is coming home to fight.

The Guilderland High School graduate will be in his third professional fight this Friday as part of the “Armageddon at the Armory” card at the Washington Avenue Armory.

It was a homecoming he was not expecting a year ago.

“It’s always great to fight in front of my hometown,” Faragon said. “I fought some here in amateurs. Pro-wise, it’s a different game.”

Liz Mooney of Feura Bush will fight for the Women’s New York State Welterweight title against Mariam Brackache of Georgia. Chris Horne, a native of Berne, will also be on the card.

Faragon, who will turn 21 in July, will fight Khadafi Proctor of California on Friday night in a lightweight (135-pound weight class) bout.

The night of boxing is being put on by Sweeney’s Boxing in Delmar.

Two wins against tough dudes

Faragon won his first two professional fights, both by decision. His first fight was at the famed Madison Square Garden in Manhattan.

“It was a tough fight,” Faragon said. “It’s hard in the first couple of fights. You have to get the right fights. They were a couple of tough dudes. I did what I had to do to come out with wins. I have to continue to progress.”

Faragon said that he was nervous in his first two fights.

“I was pretty nervous,” he said. “That probably contributed to why I didn’t fight the way I can.”

He did not think about fighting in the hallowed Garden.

“At the end of the day, it’s a ring,” he said. “I tried not to think about it. It’s a good thing to look back on. But, in the moment, I tried not to think about it as much.”

Faragon’s second fight was just outside of Chicago where he won another decision.

“That fight, I should’ve stopped him,” Faragon said of trying to get a knockout. “I had a good start. I was hitting him and hurting him. I was looking for the knockout. Me and my dad are working on having me stay in the pocket and wearing them out.”

Golden boy

Last year, Faragon was still fighting as an amateur and had different goals.

Faragon competed in the Olympic Trial box-offs in Colorado.

“If I had won one more fight, I’m in the Olympic trials,” Faragon said. “It was one of the stepping stones I wanted to accomplish. It’s bittersweet.”

Faragon would get a big break.

He got a call from renowned boxing manager Shelly Finkel. Finkel signed Faragon and has him listed on his website as a prospect. Finkel manages heavyweight fighters Vitali and Wladamir Klitschko among others.

The deal with Finkel came with another attraction. Faragon signed with Golden Boy Promotions, the boxing promotion company run by champion boxer Oscar De La Hoya. Golden Boy promotes most of the best fighters in the world.

Faragon recently returned from California to watch De La Hoya win his latest fight.

“My dad did a lot to try and get me signed,” Faragon said. “He sent him [Finkel] a tape and booklet. He sent a DVD of me fighting and that basically sealed the deal. And signing with Shelly, he said, ‘You sign with me, your promoter is going to be Golden Boy.’”

Faragon is thankful for the opportunity, but does not get caught up in the big names.

“I try not to be star-struck,” Faragon said. “This is where I expected to be. This is what I worked for. I want to be in Oscar’s position one day.”

Faragon believes that his hard work as an amateur has prepared him for success in the pro ranks.

“I think any pro fighter that is successful today, were good amateurs,” said Faragon, who fought at 141 pounds as an amateur. “That is where it starts. It’s very important.

“I think I’m strong in that weight,” Faragon said about his new weight class. “It’s a division we can see me doing well in. I’m a strong fighter, so other fighters try and box with me.”

Looking for knockouts

Faragon admits that he does not know a lot about his upcoming opponent, but he is not worried about that.

“I don’t want too much information about him,” Faragon said.

All the recent success has just made Faragon work harder on his boxing. He has been working on his punches.

“Me and my dad have been working on throwing strong punches,” Faragon said. “We want to throw ’em with bad intentions. We have also worked a lot on combinations. We’ll continue to look for knockouts.”

After Friday’s fight, Faragon will continue to work on his game to prepare for a fight on July 25 in Saratoga.

“It’s my first six-round fight,” Faragon said. “ESPN will be there. Maybe I’ll get on TV.”

Faragon trains in his own gym in Schenectady and sometimes works out at Sweeney’s Gym in Delmar or Andrew Schott’s Boxing Gym on Central Avenue.

“I’ll go anywhere I can get in some good sparring,” Faragon said.

“My gym in Schenectady is sponsored by John Roth,” Faragon added. “I’m thankful that he gave us a gym for free and supported me. He’s supported me since I was 16. He’s part of the reason that I’m successful today.”

“Moving and growing”

Faragon’s immediate goals are continuing to improve each day in the gym and getting better in each match he fights. Moving up to longer matches will help.

“Going to more rounds as we go along goes into the rankings,” Faragon said. “I want to get my rank built up to fight for a small title. I want to be part of a main event of an ESPN fight then progress to bigger titles. I’m still moving and growing.”

His long-term goals are even more ambitious.

“I want to win multiple titles in multiple weight classes,” Faragon said. “That would be nice.”

Faragon sees the local fights coming up as doing a wonderful job of promoting the sport in the area.

“So far, I guess, local boxers have been pretty successful,” he said. “But this is not even the beginning of what I’m planning on doing. Hopefully, one day I’ll have a title fight in the Times Union Center. I want to help bring boxing back to the Capital District.”


BKW athletes setting new standards on the track

By Tim Matteson

BERNE —The Berne-Knox-Westerlo track-and-field team is on a record-breaking spree.

A pack of Bulldog athletes have set school records, led by senior Ada Lauterbach who has set three marks.

The BKW boys’ and girls’ teams both finished in second place at the Western Athletic Conference meet at Fonda-Fultonville High School last Tuesday, May 6.

“The girls’ team came in second and that was a close race,” said BKW Coach Scott Hannay. “We were very competitive going into the meet. We did everything we could do. We had won it the past three out of four years.”

Both BKW teams finished behind the host team, Fonda.

“Fonda is a tough school in our league,” Hannay said. “They were right on it. They were a hair deeper. The guys haven’t contended in the past few years, but they did that this year. It came down to the last field events. We were neck and neck with Fonda. But they ended up beating us by 18 points.”

Hannay is just as proud of the school records some of his athletes have broken this season.

“It’s good to get a handful of records,” the coach said. “Now we are trying to get everyone headed towards the final weeks. The girls were undefeated in the league and the Southern Division. The guys were undefeated in the South. The girls also won all their invitationals.”

Lauterbach set three school records this spring. She beat the top mark in the 800-meter race with a time of 2:21.7. Lauterbach also set the record in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 10:32.7 and the 2,000-meter steeple chase with a time of 7:30.1.

Junior Greg Hannay set a record in the discus with a top throw of 147 feet, 2 inches.

Josh Glick set the school record in the pole vault, clearing the bar at 13 feet.

Tim David set the record in the pentathlon, accumulating 2,575 points in the 10-discipline event.

Winners

At the WAC meet, both the boys’ and girls’ team had some first-place finishers.

Eighth-grader Connor Devine won the 800-meter run with a time of 2:09.6.

“That was probably our most surprising result,” Hannay said. “We targeted him to run against older guys that were tired from doing other events. He came through with a great effort.”

Senior Jared Finke won the WAC championship in the 1,600-meter race. He ran the event in 4:52.

Jeff Moller continued the Bulldogs dominance in distance events. He won the 3,200-meter run in 10:39.6.

“We won all the distance races,” Hannay said.

The 4x100-meter relay team finished in first place. The team of Keith Cunningham, Pat Whitney, Matt Von Haugg, and Tim David finished the race in 46.9 seconds.

The 4x400-meter relay team also won their race at the league meet. David, Cunningham, Josh Glick, and Justin Shager finished the race in a season-best time of 3:38.6.

Glick won the league title in the pole vault, clearing the bar at 12 feet, 6 inches.

Hannay finished second in both the discus and shot put. Cunningham was second in the long jump and Whitney was third in the 200-meter sprint.

On the girls’ side, Lauterbach won the 3,000-meter run with a time of 11:11.2. She also won the 2,000-meter steeplechase in 7:30.1.

Alyssa Wetterau was the WAC champion in the high jump, clearing five feet to win the title.

The Bulldogs had a strong showing in the 1,500-meter race. Lauterbach finished second, Christina Bartonicek was third, and eighth-grader Courtney Tedeschi came in fourth place.

“We did it with fourths, fifths, and sixths,” Hannay said of the girls’ team coming in second. “With the boys, we got a lot of firsts, but with girls, we came in second with our depth.”

Finish line

Hannay feels that both teams will continue to be strong in the final weeks of the season. The sectional meet will be later this month at Greenwich. Both teams will prepare for sectionals by competing at the Mayfield Invitational on Saturday.

“We’re looking for strong sectional runs,” Hannay said. “We’ll be away at Mayfield and that is a larger invitational. We want a first- or second-place finish there.”

Both teams have avoided injury this season.

“The wole team has been healthy,” Hannay said. “We have no injuries. We should do well at sectionals. The girls’ will vie for a top three-spot and the guys should as well.

“With the guys,” Hannay added, “we have the potential to get three guys to states, in the discus, pole vault, and long jump. They should make it to the state meet. Ada on the girls’ team should also make it as long as she continues to run the times she has.”


Still unbeaten, Lady Dutch ready for sectionals

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team wrapped up its regular season with a 19-3 win over Shenendehowa on Senior Night last Thursday under the lights at Guilderland High School.

Guilderland finishes with an overall record of 17-0 and a 15-0 mark in the Suburban Council. The Lady Dutch are ranked fourth in New York State.

Seniors Lauren Cagino, Meera Chappidi, and Abbey Fashouer were all honored by teammates, friends, and family. All three started and scored in the game.

“It was a wonderful evening for three special young ladies,” Guilderland Coach Gary Chatnik said. “Their teammates adore them and they have contributed so much on and off the field. They have continued the trend of terrific seniors in our lacrosse program.”

Fashouer will be attending the University of Delaware, Cagino will be attending Boston University, and Chappidi will be attending Brown University.

The season showed that Guilderland is a well-balanced team in scoring and on defense.

The high-powered offense includes Fashouer; juniors Courtney Davis, Jen Madsen, Danielle Tetreault, Bridget Daley, and Amanda Best, and sophomore Chelsey Newman all of whom have 30 or more goals and double-digit assists.

Adding to the scoring column are sophomores Kristen Cagino with 10 goals, and Jenna Crupi, Ali DeRizzo, Juli Stefani, and Chappidi.

“Everyone can score and it does not seem to matter which player scores,” Chatnik said. “Every game, it is a new player who lead us in scoring. You will also see that seven or eight players score in every game – they share the ball well. It makes it tough to defend us.”

As potent as the offense is, the defense has not allowed any team to score more than eight goals this season.

Senior Cagino leads the defense, but has plenty of help with juniors Corinne Chatnik, Amy Branchini, and Molly Barker, as well as sophomores Marissa Page, Casey Gerety, and Hannah Scott.

Sophomore Amanda Santandrea has anchored the goal.

“The defense has grown and gotten better as the season has progressed,” Chatnik said. “They are aggressive and have played confident. We all read about our offense and they deserve all the credit they get, but our defense has carved their own niche in this season.”

Guilderland now awaits the sectionals, as the number-one seed, which begin on May 19.

“We now have to play our best lacrosse,” Chatnik said. “Last year, we were the cute little team that everyone was cheering for when we won the section. This year, everyone would rather beat us and they seem to play their best against us.

“We will need to be at our best because the section is so good,” Chatnik added. “If we play our game, play our best, and keep working hard, we can do it. This team works so hard all year round that another championship would be a wonderful reward.”


Blow’s left wing leads Blackbirds to victory

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — The regular season is coming to an end soon for the Voorheesville baseball team, and Coach Hank Czerwinski would like to see his team fix some things before competing in the playoffs.

The Blackbirds put together a good performance on Friday, beating Cobleskill, 12-1, to improve their record to 11-8 overall and, more importantly 8-6 in the league. The win guaranteed the Blackbirds a .500 mark in the Colonial Council and a berth in the Class C Section II playoffs.

The Blackbirds played Albany Academy, and won, 7-0, in a league contest on Monday. Voorheesville plays its last league game against Lansingburgh on Friday.

“We are preparing ourselves for sectionals,” Czerwinski said. “Today’s game was not too mistake-filled. We had more walks than strikeouts. We have four or five more games before sectionals.

“We want to be over .500 in the Colonial and this helps us,” Czerwinski said. “With sectionals coming up, we want to cut down on the little mistakes.”

“Our bats came alive”

In Friday’s contest, the Blackbirds broke open a scoreless game in their second turn at bat.

The Blackbirds flew around the bases and put up seven runs in the bottom half of the second inning to take a commanding lead.

Voorheesville sent 12 batters to the plate in the inning and pounded out five hits. The big hit was a bases-loaded triple by Nick Blow.

With one out, Ryan Gatt reached first base on an error by the Cobleskill third baseman. Colin McVee reached first base on an infield single and Josh Meilak loaded the bases with a perfectly placed bunt down the third-base foul line.

Then Blow came up and blasted a pitch deep to left field. Blow motored around the bases, scoring on a throwing error by the Cobleskill third baseman.

Tom Pasquali singled and Jay Conde walked to put runners on first and second with still just one out.

A double by Chris Massaroni drove in Pasquali, and Conde and made the score, 6-0.

Joe Berschwinger’s single to center field allowed Massaroni to score and gave Voorheesville a seven-run lead.

Cobleskill scored its lone run in the third inning.

Blow struggled with his control and walked the first three batters he faced in the frame. He battled back to strike out the next two hitters but then walked Scott Noxon, which drove in the run.

Voorheesville added one run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Conde singled, stole second base, and scored on Kevin Klembczyk’s RBI single.

The Blackbirds scored four more runs in the sixth inning.

Massaroni, Berschwinger, Klembczyk, and Gatt all crossed home plate in the stanza.

Blow pitched well for the Blackbirds. He gave up just one hit in the contest but did walk eight batters. Blow, though, struck out seven Cobleskill hitters.

“Our pitchers have to step up,” Czerwinski said. “Berschwinger, Conde, and Blow have been doing a good job. Our bats came alive. If we keep getting those two things, we’ll win ball games.”

Looking for aggressiveness

The Blackbirds have not strung a bunch of wins together since early in the season.

Voorheesville beat Lansingburgh on April 24, but then lost two in a row to Schalmont and Cohoes. The Blackbirds came back with back-to-back wins over Mechanicville, 7-6, and Watervliet, 8-7, last Monday and Tuesday.

But the Blackbirds lost to Ravena last Wednesday by one run, 6-5, before beating Cobleskill on Friday.

“I’m looking for this team to be aggressive,” Czerwinski said. “We lost quite a few games by one run — some of them because we lacked aggressiveness. We have to turn it around for the next three weeks.”

Czerwinski pointed to a game against Cohoes where Conde pitched brilliantly but lost, 2-1.

“We couldn’t capitalize on that,” the coach said. “We made some mistakes running the bases.”

Voorheesville has a lot of young players on the roster this spring and that could be a contributing factor to the up-and-down season.

“We have a lot of young kids playing,” Czerwinski said. “I’ve had an eighth-grader catching.”

Czerwinski has also been scraping for pitchers. He has used Massaroni, the starting catcher who had never pitched before this spring, as a relief pitcher.

“Chris closed the Watervliet game,” Czerwinski said of the senior who also closed the Mechanicville game, earning saves in both games.

In addition to the final two league games, Czerwinski was trying to schedule a couple of non-league games before sectionals start later this month. Voorheesville will play Berne-Knox-Westerlo on Thursday. The Blackbirds could also have games with Schuylerville and Cairo-Durham.

Czerwinski wants the games because there will be about two weeks before the sectional playoffs will begin.

“We need to patch up the little things,” he said. “We won three out of four games this week. I’ll take that. It’s tough. We put a lot of games on the schedule and we’ve played a lot of four-game weeks. But that is what I’d rather do, play the games.”


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