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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: August 2007

Diary of a Mad Sportswriter

Stan Hudy is a sportswriter for The Saratogian and Community News. He covers high school and youth sports in the Saratoga County area as well as writing a weekly book review on sports books. He's not just a "stick and ball" sportswriter, he's willing to take on any sport as well as any subject.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Shen's Matt Jones to coach at U Albany

Former Shenendehowa Athletic Director Matt Jones made a tough decision in April, deciding to resign as AD and return to the classroom all with plans to continue coaching.

His coaching duties have changed slightly, but the bigger change is his locale.

Jones confirmed that he has taken an assistant coaching position at Division I University at Albany.

His new duties will include coaching the Great Danes middle and long distance runners.

The move appears to be a coup by UAlbany head coach, Roberto Vives, who can tap into Jones 30 years of coaching experience in the Capital Region as well as his contacts throughout the state of New York.


Saturday, August 18, 2007

A-S mods, sports and limiteds

After a two-hour delay due to rain, race director Bruce Richards and the entire staff managed to bring the track back to a proper racing surface, the green flag flew for the remaining three features.
In a battle of attrition, Ballston Spa's Dan Older outlasted three different race leaders.
Older battled Kenneth Conway for the final two laps, taking advantage of a bobble by Conway on the final lap, bringing the Hofmann's Concrete and Snow Removal No. 97 into victory lane.
The modifieds returned to the dirt oval after circling the track to remove the excess water.
The handicapped field forced the top drivers deep into the field. Names like Tremont, Hearn and Johnson saw the most cars in front of them than a slow morning down the Northway.
Ronnie Johnson relied on his race team to bring the JRP Motorsports No. 2 up to speed and return him to victory lane.
Johnson moved into the top spot on lap 15 with Brett Hearn close behind.
Johnson continued to hold off Hearn, but admitted that he wasn't sure where he was during the race.
The two made contact coming out of turn four, but continued without losing speed.
The win earned Johnson his second $500 "Beat Brett Hearn Bonus" from Salisbury Chevrolet.
The open wheeled division racing closed out with the sportsman class and first-time winner Chris Johnson from Guilderland earning his first-ever win at Albany-Saratoga.
He was able to best race leader, "Rollin" Mike Tholin on lap 14. Johnson took the hiigh line, getting past a diving Tholin who was tracking a low line.
Stan Hudy

Friday, August 17, 2007

A-S Mini Stock and Pro Stock features

Phil DeFiglio (Guilderlandy finally made it interesting in the mini stock division Friday night at Albany-Saratoga Speedway.
After winning 13 features in a row, he was relegated to the back of the field as the field was handicapped and was tangled up with a group on the first lap.
It didn't effect the A-Z Landscaping No. 26 as DeFiglio moved up to the top spot on lap five on the back stretch.
He led the field around the dirt oval once again followed by 4-cylinder winner, Clifton Park's Brette Osgood.
The Pro Street Stock division didn't get a chance to run qualifiers and it showed.
The yellow caution flag flew on eight different occassions, limiting the 23 car field to its eight finishers.
When the dust settled, Albany-Saratoga's first lady. Lori Cary (Loudonberry, Vt.), won the feature and took over the points lead on lap 24.
Former points leader Kim Duell (Porter Corners) was spun out when the race leaders, Bill Smith IV (Ballston Spa) and Chuck Towslee (Manchester, Vt.) touched coming out of turn four. He would finish in seventh place.
The 45-minute intermission turned into a two hour break as a fast-moving rainstorm came through the area, halting racing action.
As the rain moved out, Richards was able to put his experimental dirt track squeegie unit, pulled by a tractor to use.
As of press time, the remaining three features and the 107.1 lap enduro were scheduled to go off Friday night.

Stan Hudy

Stan Hudy

A-S results mini stock & pro street stock

Phil DeFiglio (Guilderlandy finally made it interesting in the mini stock division Friday night.
After winning 13 features in a row, he was relegated to the back of the field as the field was handicapped and was tangled up with a group on the first lap.
It didn't effect the A-Z Landscaping No. 26 as DeFiglio moved up to the top spot on lap five on the back stretch.
He led the field around the dirt oval once again followed by 4-cylinder winner, Clifton Park's Brette Osgood.
The Pro Street Stock division didn't get a chance to run qualifiers and it showed.
The yellow caution flag flew on eight different occassions, limiting the 23 car field to its eight finishers.
When the dust settled, Albany-Saratoga's first lady. Lori Cary (Loudonberry, Vt.), won the feature and took over the points lead on lap 24.
Former points leader Kim Duell (Porter Corners) was spun out when the race leaders, Bill Smith IV (Ballston Spa) and Chuck Towslee (Manchester, Vt.) touched coming out of turn four. He would finish in seventh place.

Stan Hudy

A-S full card Friday nite

With a full slate of racing scheduled along with kid's night festivities on the racing card CVRA Race Director decided to move things along.
There would be no heats scheduled Friday in any division.
The top 18 cars would be handicapped in the modified, sportsman and limited classes with a B-main held to add the next six racers.
The pro street stock division would be handicapped front to tail along with the mini stocks.
A 45-minute intermission was planned to give time to draw the children's entries for the 25 bikes donated by the area racing teams.

Stan Hudy

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Races and rules heating up at Albany-Saratoga

Expect a late nite due to rule changes

Things are heating up down the stretch for the racers at Albany-Saratoga Speedway as only four weeks remain in the championship points races. Combine the stress of every place counting on the final lap along with new minimum weight requirements issued by CVRA Race Director Bruce Richards, it could be a long night in the pits for several divisions.

All eyes will be on the Pro Street Stock division during both the heat races and the feature as the top three drivers are separated by 17 points. Kim Duell (Porters Corners) is the division leader but Albany-Saratoga’s Queen of Speed, Lori Cary (Londonberry, Vt.) is just two points behind in second. She moved past Bernie Companion (Ballston Spa) last Friday with a third-place finish, Companion finished 16th.

Kenny Tremont Jr. (West Sand Lake) leads the modified division by 40 points, but nothing is guaranteed as Brett Hearn (Sussex, NJ) looms in second place 40 points back. Matt Sheppard (Albany) is in third 80 points back followed by Matt DeLorenzo (Cropseyville) in fourth, 86 points back.

It’s a battle among the young guns in the sportsman division as Dustin Delaney (Mayfield) leads Clifton Park’s Chris Busta by 36 points. A first place win last week by Busta moved him back into second place and pulled him 14 points closer to Delaney. Josh Hohenforst (Gloversville) dropped to third place but there are rumblings from the rest of the field.

“Rollin” Mike Tholin (Ballston Spa) jumped up two places to fourth and Rob Langevin made the most of his second-place finish, jumping up four spots and 12 points to fifth place. One mishap in the heats or the feature could drag a front-runner down the standings and propel an also-ran into a championship spot.

The CVRA issued a new weight directive for the modified and sportsman divisions regarding weight and engines effective tonight. The press release also included a “no new parts” notice on these race vehicles heading into the final weeks of the season. A violation could mean suspension from the track. Expect the two divisions to not be official until well after the checkered flags fly due to post-race inspections.

On a bright note, the enduro division will see one of its biggest and longest events ever held at Albany-Saratoga Speedway tonight. Colortyme Rent to Own and Froggy Country 107.1 are hosting the “Biggest Froggin’ Summer Enduro” tonight with a 107.1 lap enduro race.

The enduro division is open to any 4-, 6- and 8-cylinder car that will run. All headlights and tail lights are removed along with any exterior trim, those are the only requirements to compete. Cars will be inspected prior to the race and is open to amateur racers only. The payoff, a whopping $1,007.10 so stay late and enjoy the amateurs and their racing machines after the main features are complete.

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Southern Saratoga 5k prep for preps

Shen seniors sweep Southern Saratoga Y 5k
CLIFTON PARK — The timing was perfect for the 12th annual Southern Saratoga County YMCA 5k run for Shenendehowa senior cross country runners Jonathan McDonald and Morgan Roche. The pair of Plainsmen captured the top spots Tuesday in Clifton Park as a prep race for their fall season that begins in earnest Monday morning.

McDonald led the 203 runners Monday across the finish line in 16 minutes, 30 seconds and was followed later by Roche who led the women with her time of 18:41.

“There was a small pack of three guys at the start,” McDonald said. “I was running with (a teammate) for a while at the two mile mark and then he fell off.”

McDonald’s closest competitor was 27-year-old Arthur DeGraw from Watervliet 12 seconds behind him followed by Zack Evans from Clifton Park at 16:56 and Daniel Bruton from Waterford at 17:23.

“The first mile was 5:04 and we were at 10:37 at the second mile,” McDonald said. “I kept running steady, trying to get faster as I went along.”

Roche was the 13th runner to cross the finish line followed by 42-year-old Anne Benson from Clifton Park at 18:54 and Cara Janeczko from Clifton Park at 19:15.
The time was personal best for the soccer player, turned runner, Roche.

“During the outdoor season last year I made the decision to jump to cross country this fall,” Roche said. “Before, I was running outdoors just to keep up my endurance in soccer.”

Road and trail running is a far cry from her previous starts and stops on the pitch.

“It’s a lot different, I wasn’t that good at sprints and stuff,” Roche said. “The course was very flat, another reason to run it and I had a good run, seeing how I won it.”

The local 5k road race continues to be a success in Clifton Park.

“We had 250 runners last year and still had a strong turnout this year,” Southern Saratoga County YMCA Fitness Director Craig Miszewski said. “We had more than 100 kids for the fun run, this is our largest ever. We expected 50, so that was a great thing.”

Both runners are looking to make their mark this fall with their sites set on landing at a Division I school as a harrier.

“Before this year I never ran up on varsity,” McDonald said. “I haven’t had much interest from colleges yet, hopefully I’ll get that in the fall.”

Roche ran the 10,000 at this year’s Empire State Games in Westchester County and now hopes to capitalize on her fall season.

“I think I’m going to struggle trying to find a DI school to run at,” Roche said. “They didn’t see me run yet, so I have to find them more than them finding me.
I’ll get a couple more times in, cross country starts Monday.”

Southern Saratoga County YMCA
5k run and walk
Overall finishers
1. Jonathan McDonald 16:30. 2. Arthur DeGraw 16:42. 3. Zack Evans 16:56. 4. Daniel Bruton 17:02. 5. Brent Parlick 17:23. 6. Michael Zelensky 17:35. 7. Alex Belensz 17:43. 8. Kyle Dunn 18:01. 9. George Stopyak 18:11. 10. Michael Wilbur 18:31. 11. Mathew Fryer 18:32. 12. Walter Boldish 18:35. 13. Morgan Roche 18:41. 14. Mitch Todorov 18:45. 15. Joe Skufca 18:50. 16. Anne Benson 18:54. 17. Cara Janeczko 19:15. 18. Michael Vadney 19:17. 19. Corey Clavet 19:23. 20. Jason Harrell 19:25. 21. Sam Kimmey 19:26. 22. Ryan Jones 19:26. 23. Christine Gonyo 19:27. 24. John Murray 19:30. 25. Micheal Farra 19:41.

26. Chris Benson 19:45. 27. Mathew Blizinski 19:48. Steven Moore 19:48. 29. David Shumpert 19:56. 30. Dominic Weeber 19:58. 31. Tommy Pierson 20:17. 32. Dan McCue 20:20. 33. Raymond Lewis 20:38. 34. Tom Clinton 20:41. 35. Jonny LaVigne 20:50. 36. Chris Varley 21:02. 37. Allison Mueller 21:04. 38. Michael Cicchinelli 21:08. 39. Jeff Waeger 21:11. 40. Jim Lofthouse 21:26. 41. Nicole Irving 21:25. 42. Ted Todorov 21:27. 43. Bob Arnold 21:32. 44. Konrad Weeber 21:37. 45. Henry Bailey 21:42. 46. William Danaher 21:48. 47. Dominic Perters 22:02. 48. Edward Mazicjku 22:05. 49. Paul Kokkinides 22:10. 50. Kaylee Scott 22:11.

51. Sean Crall 22:16. 52. Anant Selleir 22:23. 53. Joyce Goodrich 22:25. 54. John Felio 22:31. 55. Martha DeGrazia 22:34. 56. Maureen Fitzgerald 22:39. 57. Judith Glasier 22:40. 58. Hubert Oing 22:42. 59. Matthew Flannery 22:42. 60. Kelly Virkler 22:49. 61. Mathew Ryan 22:56. 62. Kyle Arnold 22:59. 63. Lindsey Ebr 23:03. 64. Christopher Bartos 23:04. 65. Chelsea Maguire 23:06. 66. Kurt Bedore 23:09. 67. Stu Burton 23:16. 68. Brittany Mangione 23:17. 69. Kevin Siska 23:25. 70. Greg McIntyre 23:30. 71. Larissa Oaks 23:35. 72. Derek Dunbar 23:41. 73. Libbie Craft 23:42. 74. Bob Husted 23:43. 75. Thomas Ryan 23:50.

76. Robbie Benson 23:51. 77. Alexis VanPelt 23:51. 78. Heather Brunell 24:01. 79. Kevin Scott 24:03. 80. Desma DeGraw 24:15. 81. Nathan William 24:19. 82. Nicholas Murray 24:23. 83. Ruth King 24:26. 84. Michael Bowden 24:30. 85. Jessica Mitchell 24:32. 86. Daniel Herrick 24:38. 87. Jennifer Trainor 24:39. 88. Emily Danaher 24:40. 89. Maggie Belensz 24:40. 90. Sarah Flannery 24:43. 91. Eileen Trainor 24:44. 92. Larissa Colontinivc 24:45. 93. James Garofallou 24:46. 94. Linda Bellamore 24:49. 95. Aaron Flaherty 24:50. 96. Tom McManus 24:52.
97. Michael DellaRocco 24:57. 98. Al Aldi 24:59. 99. Irene Valada 25:01. 100. Mary Kate Gagnier 25:05

101. Andrea Keller 25:07. 102. Zak Robinson 25:08. 103. Edward Delehanty 25:10. 104. Jill Koziol 25:13. 105. Stephanie Carpenter 25:21.
106. Erin McMahon 25:24. 107. Micheal Maguire 25:26. 108. Bill Long 25:27. 109. Kathleen Tersigni 25:28. 110. Steve Obeymeyer 25:30. 111. Eileen Lynch 25:35. 112. Donald Joss 25:35. 113. John Lynch 25:36. 114. Russell Irving 25:38. 115. Arthur Sanderson 25:41. 116. Kevin Schanz 25:50. 117. Michael Hosley 26:07. 118. Chris Glover 26:08. 119. Edward Van Alstyne Jr. 26:15. 120. Darryl Wisniewski 26:30. 121. Micheal Spatuzzi 26:34. 122. Eric Hamilton 26:37. 123. David Finlaysa 26:48. 124. Katie Christiansen 26:56. 125. Tom Schweder 27:10

126. Lawrence Seward 27:17. 127. Lorin Speigel 27:19. 128. Amanda Test 27:42. 129. Marilou Bick 27:44. 130. Micheal Tolan 27:44. 131. Michelle Quinn 27:46. 132. Alexandra Berthiaum 27:47. 133. Renee Tolan 27:48. 134. Isabella Corcione 27:52. 135. Elena Bachniak 28:01. 136. Jessica Crall 28:07. 137. Laura Kelly 28:10. 138. Larry Peleggi 28:12. 139. Kyle Landis 28:31. 140. Tim Landis 28:31. 141. Scott Meyo 28:35. 142. Amnat Chittaphong 29:03. 143. Ellie George 29:05. 144. Barbara Fuller 29:05. 145. Melissa Lizzi 29:08 . 146. Frank Murray 29:17. 147. Ena Minnick 29:19. 148. Mark Irvine 29:26. 149. Madeleine Mason 29:28. 150. Pam Sutton-Hyatt 29:29.

151. Jordan Casey 29:36. 152. Jerry Casey 29:36. 153. Dave Brown 29:56. 154. Regina Felio 30:16. 155. Allison Gier 30:23. 156. Kate Patell 30:25. 157. Jennifer Signer 30:28. 158. Debbie Clinton 30:32. 159. Sandra Perdek 30:37. 160. Audra Clarke 30:39. 161. Ralph Feinstein 31:22.
162. Sandra Thornton 31:29. 163. Melissa Graffton 31:29. 164. Ken Orner 31:43. 165. Mark Tally 31:51. 166. Sandra Crall 31:53. 167. Jess Masters 32:25. 168. Karen Lauver 32:45. 169. George Donohue 33:19. 170. Greg Agosti 33:48. 171. Nicole Kruse 34:08. 172. Connie Reynolds 34:13. 173. Bev Skoll 34:30. 174. Sean Cataldo 34:32. 175. Jodi Cataldo 34:33.

176. Christine Pechulis 34:41. 177. Darcie Reed 34:46. 178. Betsy McGeoch 35:16. 179. Bridget Tally 35:37. 180. Robert Rogers 35:37. 181. Bridget Lenane 35:39. 182. Heather Rogers 35:39. 183. Jason Fischer 35:54. 184. Brooke Fischer 36:01. 185. Savannah Gordon 36:19. 186. Lisa Vacanti 36:20. 187. Melissa Champagne 36:23. 188. Bernadette Jefferson 36:34. 189. Valerie Ruskin 36:37. 190. Terry May 36:53. 191. Joe Silva 37:55. 192. Erica Greene 38:26. 193. Nina Nichols 38:27. 194. Stacie Peugh 39:03. 195. Susan Adinolfe 40:10. 196. Kirk Gleason 43:26. 197. Dale Gleason 43:26. 198. Shannon Joy 44:02. 199. Aaron Bubb 44:03. 200. Alanna Bailey 44:41

201. Laurie Bailey 45:10. 202. Carol McGeogh 53:41. 203. Amy McGeogh 53:41

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Harness Track Mile...and they're off

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The numbers may have been down in some of the categories Monday night at the 4th annual Harness Track Mile, but the competition within the divisions carried the event, hosted at Saratoga Gaming and Raceway.

The event had a record turnout in the mile and half-mile kids races that kicked off the evening sprint races and several contests had photo finishes, but the low numbers turned the elite women’s mile event into a Saratoga Special match race.

Saratoga Springs graduate and current Oregon runner Nicole Blood was the lone entry in the elite women’s mile event, open to any female capable of running a sub-6 minute mile. She turned to someone who would keep her company and give her a good race, who else, but her mother, Jill Buff.

“She was going to run with her age group, but I talked her into it,” Blood said. “She wanted to get back into competitive running anyway.”

The duo was all smiles over the two laps on the hard, curved surface, racing in step for the full mile. As they approached the finish line, the crowd roared its approval of the two former Saratoga residents running shoulder to shoulder to the finish line. When the crossed, it was in step, one blue running shoe, one red…a dead heat.

Blood quickly asserted that Buff was the winner of the race, giving the gold horseshoe trophy to her mom and keeping the silver for her for their five minute, 44 second time.

“I expected to see the same group that was here last year,” Blood said. “It makes it an exciting race. It worked out, putting on a show for everyone.”

The two runners have moved to the West Coast, but returned to Saratoga for part of the summer.

“I like this, I enjoy a fast race,” Buff said. “We do this every year as a family. We may live out there (West Coast) but we’re Saratogians at heart.”

The men’s elite mile provided another photo finish as Columbia graduate and University at Albany freshman runner Aaron Lozier beat out James Medeiros by a step, running the track in 4:41.

“I didn’t know the type of level of field showed,” Lozier said. “I figured I would take it out in the first five steps and then I decided to let him (Medeiros) take it out.”

The two battled during their two laps around, with the Great Dane taking the gold painted horseshoe.

“I heard from friends not to wear spikes,” Lozier said. “So I wore my trainers. It wasn’t easy because the track curves in, but it was a fun race.”

Wilton 12-year-old Brian Halligan earned the first gold horseshoe on the night, leading the pack across the finish line.

“It’s harder than I thought,” Halligan said. “In the first turn my heart was beating a lot. I kept the same pace and at the last turn I took a quick look back and saw he (runner) was still close.”

The different surface didn’t faze the young runner.

“I run around my neighborhood every day,” Halligan said. “So I’m used to it.”

Each runner in the kids run received a participation ribbon and an ice cream coupon.
Tommy Mitchell and Laura Clark earned gold horse shoes for their efforts in the men’s and women’s 60-plus races.

“I was second three years ago,” Mitchell said. “I’m a little older (66), a little better but I didn’t slow as much.”

Clark had to adjust for the short, flatter running surface.

“I’m not a miler, this was hard for me,” Clark said. “I like it cantered, I pretended it was a trail race.”

She admitted being intimidated by the crowd on hand enjoying the bar-b-que and the two-legged racers.

“I tried to get out fast and get the women in front of me that I thought might be fast,” Clark said. “It was hard having people watching me.”

The event, presented by the YMCA of Saratoga, fit right in with the charities mission statement.
“Another great Harness Track Mile, another great family evening,” YMCA of Saratoga CEO Jim Letts said. “This is such a great family event. We had runners from the age of three to over 75. That is what the ‘Y’ is all about.”


1. Aaron Lozier 4:41. 2. James Medeiros 4:42. 3. Anthony Giuliano 4:46. 4. Tyler Welsh 4:51. 5. Buddy Nolan 4:58. 6. Kevin Mulcahy 4:59
1. Jill Buff 5:44. 2. Nicole Blood 5:44
MEN 13-17
1. Devin Bennett 5:14. 2. Greg Coleman 5:16. 3. Kyle Wegner 5:23. 4. Matthew Rocco 5:28. 5. Brian Dixon 5:40. 6. Ethan Miller 5:53. 7. John Gamino 6:11. 8. Jonah Williams 6:13. 9. Benjamin Spingarn 6:51. 10. Alger Gavin 7:30. 11. Ryan Cannon 7:55
WOMEN 13-17
1. Moira Hilt 6:02. 2. Chloe Williams 6:34. 3. Kayleigh Lavender 6:48
MEN 18-24
1. Shaun Donegan 5:02. 2. Michael Stabinski 5:08. 3. Michael Campbell 5:14. 4. Michael Winstein 5:28
WOMEN 18-24
1. Justine Mosher 5:49. 2. Ashley Brennan 6:02. 3. Neleigh Olson 6:52.4. Shannon Connors 7:08. 5. Jennifer Hawkes 7:59.
MEN 25-29
1. Jason Hewitt 4:57. 2. Matthew Fryer 5:12. 3. Chris Mancuso 5:17. 4. Matthew VanSlyke 5:39. 5. Matthew Flannery 6:24
WOMEN 25-29
1. Sandy Tatarynw 6:48. 2. Suzanne Johnson 7:23. 3. Sarah Flannery 7:37. 4. Ariel Epstein-Dickson 7:57
MEN 30-34
1. Kenneth Sluti 5:27. 2. Mike Schmidt 5:35. 3. Charles Petraske 5:50. 4. Scott Starr 6:16. 5. Shane Kilburn 6:45. 6. Stephen Cupp 6:54. 7. Ryan Buff 7:39
WOMEN 30-34
1. Shannon Hansen 6:24. 2. Jesse Albert 6:46. 3. Paula canell 7:15. 4. Joanna Adamczak 7:35. 5. Amanda Farrell 8:42
MEN 35-39
1. Walter Boldish 5:22. 2. David Shumpert 5:36. 3. Marc Miller 5:37. 4. Anthony Cavotta 5:45. 5. Gary Damico 5:51. 6. Jerry Buff, Jr. 6:20. 7. David Martin 6:21. 8. Keith O’Brien 6:25. 9. Matt Vaughn 6:29. 10. Chris LaFlamml 7:39
WOMEN 35-39
1. Carla Bengle 6:18. 2. Pamela Delsignore 6:27. 3. Renee Damico 6:37. 4. Kim Scott 6:51. 5. Laura Goodwin 7:57. 6. Leona Valazquez 7:57. 7. Heather Vaughn 8:17. 8. Christine Wright 8:28. 9. Kristen Jensen 9:22
MEN 40-44
1. James North 5:20. 2. Patrick Connors 5:59. 3. Mark Nadolny 6:00. 4. Robert Blunt 6:14. 5. Darrel Rikert 6:17. 6. Alan Blond 6:20. 7. Richard Newman 7:00. 8. Scott Fitchett 7:14
WOMEN 40-44
1. Amy Knoeller 5:52. 2. Jacqueline Schiffer 6:02. 3. Teresa Alger 6:08. 4. Sandra Reulet 6:10. 5. Marilyn Laliberte 6:38. 6. Kathleen O’Connor 7:11. 7. Kim Wegner 7:48
MEN 45-49
1. Derrick Staley 5:07. 2. John Couch 5:21. 3. Adam Newman 5:36. 4. Keith Meyer 6:06. 5. Jeff Tabbert 6:08. 6. James Kilduff 6:20. 7. Ray Gimino 6:30. 8. Ron Metzger 6:34. 9. James McElroy 6:45. 10. Keith Dixon 7:02. 11. Ken Williams 7:10. 12. Robert Mains 7:44
WOMEN 45-49
1. Shirley Geerling 6:20. 2. Linda Dalton 7:15. 3. Lisa Biss 7:30. 4. Linda Metzger 8:01. 5. Donna Charlebois 8:05
MEN 50-54
1. Paul Salerni 5:51. 2. Cole Hickland 5:57. 3. Raymond Lewis 6:11. 4. Ron Pavoldi 6:33. 5. Lee Hilt 6:50. 6. David Spingarn 7:33. 7. Edward Kercado 7:49
WOMEN 50-54
1. Susan Polmateer 8:19. 2. Ginny Statelman 8:41. 3. Rebecca Kercado 10:27
MEN 55-59
1. George McGowan 6:18
2. Frank Wittman 6:55. 3. Brian McGovern 7:20. 4. Lorin Spiegel 8:17
WOMEN 55-59
1. Laney Lutzker 7:11. 2. Linda Plante 10:03. 3. Eileen Hutson 15:03. 4. Joy Yahak 15:04
1. Stephen Mitchell 6:37. 2. Tony Cupaiulol 6:51. 3. Gove Effinger 6:59. 4. Peter Hettrich 7:20. 5. Edward Lamby 7:37. 6. Walt McConnell 8:21. 7. Dennis Brunelle 10:57
1. Laura Clark 8:07. 2. Kathy Hoffman 8:45. 3. Becky Kotler 9:00. 4. Cathy Biss 9:31. 5. Susan Fassett 10:27

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Culnan new AD at Shenendehowa

New CEO of athletics and school spirit ready
CLIFTON PARK — Just as students will be taking a step forward when the new school year begins, a year older, entering a higher grade, using a different locker and facing different teachers, the same is happening for former class assistant principal Christopher Culnan.

Culnan was named as the new Director of Athletics and Physical Education at Shenendehowa on Aug. 1 and on his first day of work he relished the position and the challenges that he faces.

“I’m extremely excited for this opportunity,” Culnan said. “I never thought this opportunity would come along.”

Culnan was a class assistant principal with the school district since 2005. Prior to that he was an assistant principal at Rensselaer City Schools and Christian Brothers Academy. He was also a history department chairperson at CBA along with teaching history at CBA and Guilderland.

“I thought I was more on an administrative path, a principal career path,” Culnan said. “This is a great opportunity. I love the administrative aspect of the job and have a passion for sports. I think I’m combining the best of both worlds.”

Culnan coached varsity basketball at Rensselear and was busy prior to that at CBA, coaching JV basketball, freshman basketball, varsity golf and tennis.

Culnan replaces Matt Jones, who stepped down from the administrative position and returned to the classroom where he would continue to coach track during all three seasons.

“One day someone sent me an e-mail that I should check the board (of education) minutes,” Culnan said. “There was the announcement of Matt’s (Jones) resignation and assignment. I gathered my resume, applied and I was the successful candidate. Now it’s starting to sink in.”

Culnan said he fits the vision of future athletic directors as well as meeting the criteria set forth by Shenendehowa Superintendent Dr. L. Oliver Robinson.

“I think you are seeing more colleges model their AD positions after somewhere like Vanderbilt,” Culnan said. “You are seeing people take the position with more of an administrative facet two them. I felt that was a strong point during my interview after my years here at Shen.”

With Culnan responsible for an athletic budget exceeding $1 million, 67 head coaches for 32 different programs, the position is no longer to be just a sports cheerleader and guide, but to be the school’s CEO of athletics.

On his first day in his new office at Shen’s High School East, Culnan talked about his plans, goals and vision for the Shenendehowa athletic programs.

“Early on I want to acclimate myself to the office here and get a better understanding of the staff,” Culnan said. “We have a great group of coaches at Shen. I am looking to tap into their way of coaching and combine it with my own goals and philosophy.”

Culnan said he has two challenges facing him immediately, the same two voiced by former athletic director, Matt Jones…too many potential athletes and too few fields to compete on.

“We currently have only a handful of modified sports,” Culnan said. “I would like to talk to the program coaches and lay out a plan down the road to put in place modified programs over the next three to five years. We would phase in a few programs each year. It would provide an opportunity for more kids to play at the appropriate level.”

The continuing expansion of the Shenendehowa campus, additional buildings and classrooms creates an emergency for available fields for the Plainsmen programs.

“We are limited on the number of places teams can practice,” Culnan said. “The space we do have, we use as much as possible and it’s a constant balancing and juggling act. That
is something we need to work on in the here and now.”

Culnan is aware that more programs and more fields require more funding.

“We all want more,” Culnan said. “All taxpayers want great programs for our kids, but we all want low taxes. We have to maximize the dollars for our programs.”

With his new position, Culnan will also be an administrator for Shenendehowa’s Athletic Code of Conduct, something he became extremely familiar with this spring as an assistant principal with the 2007 graduating class and the students involved.

“The challenge with that incident was that people don’t recognize the amount of good kids and the number of athletes that were not involved,” Culnan said. “It was a bad decision by those involved and tarnished the schools image.
“We have to educate our students and athletes that attending Shen, the prominence they hold in the community and the area,” Culnan said. “This is a big school with a winning tradition and with that comes responsibility.”

With a full plate on his first day, Culnan reflected on how his life has come in a full circle.

“I’ve been around my dad who was an athletic director for 18 years and a coach for 12 years,” Culnan said. “I always remember as a kid, hanging around after basketball games, shooting hoops while he cleaned up until he turned out the lights and was the last guy to leave the gym. I guess it’s my turn now to turn out the lights and be the last guy to leave.”


Spinning Wheels - A/S Aug. 10

All Smiles on night night at Albany-Saratoga Speedway brought a slew of smiles into victory lane at The Great Race Place.

Young gun Alex Bell found his way into victory lane for the first time in the budget sportsman division and Mechanicville’s D.J. Brundige was almost speechless after his first-ever limited division victory.

Clifton Park’s Chris Busta found his way back to victory lane, closing the gap in the points race and after a four-week absence, Brett Hearn returned as part of stellar week of racing and not a lot has changed in the mini stock division late in the Albany-Saratoga season.

Danny Johnson returned to the great race place, getting ready for a big payday on Sunday, attempting to chase down Kenny Tremont Jr. at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Vermont. Tremont has five straight wins and a $2,000 bounty on him to the racer who can beat him at the Green Mountain racetrack.

On Friday, Tremont was outraced by Hearn who earned his fifth victory in August and fifth at the Malta track. He started in 13th position Friday night and surgically moved his way though the pack in just 11 laps.

"The last two races we were off a little bit and I think we got it pretty good tonight," Hearn said. "I was surprised by Marc Johnson, he really stepped it up. I thought that if he got to the front, he may be tough to beat."

Hearn was followed across the finish line by Tremont, Marc Johnson, Jeff Trombley and Danny Johnson.

Clifton Park young gun Chris Busta missed an opportunity to gain ground on Dustin Delaney (Mayfield) in the sportsman division during last week’s double features. On Friday, Busta started in 11th place and raced to the front of his grouping and followed the smoke to the front.

"We got together and Scott (Duell from Ballston Spa) told me that his car was fast but something was wrong, he’s smoking," Busta said. "As soon as I caught up to that second pack I saw that smoke, knew it was Scott. I had a heads up to what was in front of me."

Once Busta broke through the lead pack, he was off the races, putting distance between himself and the field for his four win of the year. He led Rob Langevin, Andy Boniewski, Scott Duell and Chris Johnson across the finish line. The win pulled him within 36 points of points leader Delaney.

"We’re gaining and over the next few weeks, we’re locked and loaded," Busta said. "We worked every day, every night on this and if that’s what it takes, we do it. We want a points title."

In the rookie open wheel division, the budget sportsman class, Alex Bell from Cambridge held off older rookie Paul Dunham Jr., (Indian Lake) for his first win in the new division.

"I knew Paul Dunham was com¬ing up behind me and I was a little nervous," Bell said. "I really wanted to win and I thought he was going to get me, but I held him off."

Bell followed the inside barrier around the Albany-Saratoga dirt oval, taking advantage of the low traction line.

"Everyone was going up the race track," Bell said. "I was able to keep it down on the bottom, everyone else was sliding up the track."

Bell was followed across the finish line by Dunham, Angela Hoard, Mike Visconti and John Russo.

The pro street stock division saw its front runners get a little too aggressive for CVRA Race Director Bruce Richards, sending Cale Kneer (Troy) to the pits. After further review under the caution flag, Kneer was able to return to his position behind Jimmy Eaton (Ravena) for the final two laps.

"I learned to drive certain people a certain way and I gave him break after break after break," Eaton said. "I just put it in there a little bit tighter than he wanted to, I can only give so much."

He was prepared for Kneer’s return and followed his race plan.

"I knew he wouldn’t race on the top, so I just stayed to the bottom," Eaton said. "I figured that was the place to be. On a restart you want to get to the bottom to protect that bottom to begin with, get your momentum and go back to the top."

The win was Eaton’s first this year and he is already prepared to move up, if the price is right for his current ride.

"We want to go up to the budget sportsman division," Eaton said. "We can use this motor and we have a World Head Motor so we can run in that class. If we don’t get what we want for this car, we’ll be back in this car."

Mechanicville’s D.J. Brundige overcame some early season heartache to earn his first win at Albany-Saratoga in the limited division.

"I gave it my all," Brundige said. "I actually bounced off the wall coming off of four and I though the car was going to be done, but it held up."

It was a long year for Brundige prior to Friday.

"In the beginning of the year, everything was breaking and we finally got it together," Brundige said. "Hopefully we’ll keep it that way."

In the mini stock division, Brette Osgood returned to victory lane for the 11th time this year as the four-cylinder winner and Phil DeFiglio may run the table at Albany-Saratoga with his 14th consecutive checkered flag finish in the six-cylinder class.

"I wonder sometimes if I can go a whole season without a loss," DeFiglio said. "It’s still fun, I have a blast driving it. This car is so much fun to drive."
DeFiglio has already purchased a pro street stock racer and will be moving up next year.

Aug. 10 results

Modified feature
Brett Hearn, Ken Tremont Jr., Marc Johnson, Jeff Trombley, Danny Johnson, Matt DeLorenzo, Jack Johnson, Mike Ronca, A.J. Romano, Tim Hartman, Ronnie Johnson, Tony Kawalchuk, Todd Stone, Matt Sheppard, Mike Perrotte, Don Ronca, Keith Flach, John Proctor, Jimmy Cottrell, Jimmy Davis, Rich Davis III, Frank Hoard Sr., Don Ackner, Ron Proctor.

Sportsman feature

Chris Busta, Rob Langevin, Andy Boniewski, Scott Duell, Chris Johnson, Mike Tholin, Dick Bisson, Dustin Delaney, Whitey Slavin, Pep Corradi, Ken Anatriello, Tyler Curtis, Mike Ketchum, David Peek, Kory Sandstedt, Dave Baranowski, Matt Depew, Josh Hohenforst, Dave DePaulo, Rich Ronca, Jack Gentile, Brian Holbritter, Mark Kislowski, Adam Tranka, Joe Santoro.

Budget Sportsman feature
Alex Bell, Paul Dunham Sr., Angela Hoard, Mike Visconti, John Russo, Jared McMahon, Fred Proctor, John Turco, Mike Burto, Ralph Denison, Bryan Davis, Chuck Allen, Todd Clark, Brandon Jacobsen.

Pro Street Stock feature

Jimmy Eaton, Cale Kneer, Lori Cary, Vince Santoro, Kim Duell, Darryl Carl, Pete Broderson, Kevin Van Chance, Gregg McGill, Jim Monroe Sr., Jesse Edwards Jr., Josh Joseph, Dan Madigan, Tom Stack, Matt Anatriello, Bernie Companion, Jake Losaw, Chuck Towslee, Randy Miller, Jeff Eashburn, Bill Smith IV.

Limited feature

D.J. Brundige, Paul Mulrain, Brian Ashline, Brandon Emigh, Dan Older, John Filarecki, Ken Conroy, Jim Monroe Jr., Nick Lussier, Dan Patronis, Amanda Clemens, Steve Burch, Rick Howe, Rich Burke, Tony Condon, Rich Holmes, Mark Dwyer, Curtis Condon, Mike Minick, Anthony Marro, Mike Ostrander, Lucas MacIsaac, Andy Durie, Tommy Primeau Jr.

Mini Stock feature

Phil DeFiglio (6), Brette Osgood (4), Jason Dickson, Mike Cranston (4), Shane Marks (4), Erin Older (4), Dan Older Jr. (4), Jason Rheome (4), Ray Galusha (6), Charlie Stoddard (4), Travis Tromans (4), Michelle Catone (4), Car No. 069, Chris McCarthy, Andy Hickok (4), Dan Lorenc (6), John Baldwin (4), Jamie McCarthy, Ted Fitzgerald (4), No. 91.

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Phillies looking to reload successful program in off season

Even though the majority of the Saratoga Phillies staff has packed their bags and returned to their home towns prior to going back to college for fall baseball, the ownership duo is already looking to next season.

Co-owner Keith Rogers said that he has made more than a dozen phone calls to college baseball coaches looking to sign talent for the 2008 season.

With a roster of 25 players allowed, Rogers knows now that six names will not be back for another season of wood bat baseball in the Spa City.

Jason Downey (Rutgers), Mike Fiers (U of Cumberlands), Joe Zongol (RPI), Jon Nicolla (Duke), Jake Willis (Siena) and Tyler Zeronda (LaFayette) are all entering seniors and are draft eligible next June for the 2008 MLB Entry Draft.

One player also not returning will be 6-foot-4 right-hander Mark Lamm.
The Vanderbilt hurler is headed to the prestigious Cape Cod Collegiate Baseball League.

One face that Rogers and Scaring hope to see on the bench next season is its second-year skipper Garett Baron.

According to Rogers, the job is Baron’s as long as he is interested in it. The challenge for Baron is balancing the summer coaching job along with the recruiting responsibilities he has with the Great Danes.

Rogers is anxious for the NYCBL to finalize its 2008 player agreements so that he can begin getting players to sign on the dotted line. The agreement secures a player to compete for the NYCBL club, confirming his commitment and eliminating the player from playing with another collegiate team.

Some things have become easier for Rogers and Scaring, capturing an NYCBL title in only their second year of existence in 2007, playing summer baseball in Saratoga Springs and making it an enjoyable experience.

Word has gotten out about the quality of host families, work opportunities during the summer with the Phillies and the investment the owners make each season in equipment, uniforms and travel accommodations for the college baseball players. Summer in the Spa City is not a bad gig for any college student, even better for a baseball player.

NYCBL commissioner Dave Chamberlain has requested that two additional light poles be added to East Side Rec for the outfield and Rogers said Scaring was meeting with the city to discuss potential improvements to the baseball facility.

Changes could be on the horizon for the NYCBL, all on the positive side.

The NYCBL could be adding an Eastern Division team in the Saugerties area. The last team located nearby was the Kingston Dodgers Class C franchise that left in 1950. With expansion, the NYCBL could return to a three-division format along with more contests out of the division.

This year the Phillies were scheduled to play eight games against their East Division counterparts, enough to wear on any team’s nerves. The expanded schedule would put more financial strain on the club’s ownership, but Rogers is all for it.

Fund raising for the 2008 Saratoga Phillies has already begun and look for an announcement for the Hot Stove Silent Auction to benefit the team in January along with a golf outing.

Most importantly, stay tuned for the next crop of Phillies to sign for next year.

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Albany-Saratoga Point Movers

DOUBLE FEATURE RACES MEAN POINT MOVES UP AND DOWNThe double feature races Friday at Albany-Saratoga Speedway led to some moves, in the positive and negative directions for several drivers in the sportsman, pro street stock and limited divisions.

Modified driver Matt Sheppard made the right decision Friday at Albany-Saratoga Speedway, utilizing the track’s substitute driver rule to not only stay in the points race, but make a move while competing at a DIRT Modified event.
Sheppard turned the keys over to former CVRA regular Dave Camara who raced to a second place finish, earning 48 valuable driver points. Sheppard remains in third place, but instead of being 46 points behind second place driver Brett Hearn he is now only 20 behind.

Hearn also used the substitute driver provision, but Bobby Varin didn’t have the same type of night for his primary driver. Varin lasted only 34 laps, finishing in 22nd position, earning Hearn 22 points to remain in second place, but his No. 4 Four-Star Transmission racer may need work after engine trouble sidelined Varin in the feature.Don Ronca made the biggest move of the week, moving up three spots to 12th place after his sixth place finish in the 100-lap feature.

The sportsman double feature courtesy of the July 27 rainouts allowed Mike Ketchum to jump from his 13th spot in the points race into seventh place with a third and first place finish. Matt DePew moved up from sixth to fourth place while the top three leaders remained the same with Dustin Delaney, Josh Hohenforst and Chris Busta in the lead. Delaney can thank Tim Hartman for retaining his lead, utilizing the substitute driver provision to run in two races and add 71 points to his points total with a 21st and second place finish in the double features.

Ken Conroy moved up two spots this weekend, from 10th to 8th in the limited division, courtesy of a second place finish in Friday’s second feature. He was able to leapfrog over John Morris who fell to 10th spot after finishing 13th in the rain out feature, but didn’t put his car on the track in the second.

Cale Kneer had the toughest night Friday, finishing in 14th and then 22nd, respectively, in the pro street stock double features. The bad luck dropped him three places, out of the top 10 into 11th place in the points race. Jimmy Eaton moved up two spots to sixth with a sixth and second place finish. Lori Cary moved into the third spot, moving ahead of Jeff Washburn who occupied the position through last week.

In the mini-stock division, does anything really change. In the six-sylinders, Phil DeFiglio could run the table, capturing 13 straight and holding a 62-point edge and already surviving one impound inspection. Brette Osgood has more competition in the four-cylinder class, but friend and competitor Travis Tromans is still 64 points behind with five weeks left.

Points through Aug. 3


1. Kenny Tremont Jr. 663
2. Brett Hearn 621
3. Matt Sheppard 601
4. Matt DeLorenzo 585
5. Ronnie Johnson 546
6. Jack Johnson 531
7. Marc Johnson 523
8. Vince Quenneville 500
9. Jeff Trombley 496
10. A.J. Romano 481
11. Todd Stone 456
12. Don Ronca 450
13. Mike Ronca 449
15. Keith Flach 447
15. Jim Davis 413
16. Tony Kawalchuk 405
17. Tim Hartman 390
18. Frank Hoard 380
19. Jim Cottrell 362
20. Don Reckner 359

1. Dustin Delaney 564
2. Josh Hohenforst 522
3. Chris Busta 514
4. Matt Depew 497
5. Rich Ronca 495
6. Mike Tholin 494
7. Mike Ketchum 490
8. Kory Sandstedt 483
9. Rob Langevin 482
10. Neal Erickson 475
11. Richard Bisson 475
12. Mark Kislowski 474
13 14. Jack Gentile 464
14. Joe Santoro 445
15. Stan Lemiesz 437
16. Ken Anatriello 420
17. Chris Johnson 404
18. Dave Peek 382
19. Keith Slavin 367
20. Dave DePaulo 363

1. Paul Dunham Sr. 329
2. Mike Visconti 314
3. Bryan Davis 301
4. Angela Hoard 294
5. Fred Proctor 283
6. Ralph Denison 267
7. Jared McMahon 236
8. Kale Groff 228
9. Brandon Jacobsen 194
10. Chuck Allen 193

1. Kim Duell 628
2. Bernie Companion 625
3. Lori Cary 622
4. Jeff Washburn 609
5. Jim Monroe Jr. 569
6. Jimmy Eaton 568
7. Vince Santoro 567
8. Cale Kneer 561
9. Darryl Carl 505
10. Kevin VanChance 496
11. Chuck Towslee 489
12. Greg McGill 478
13. William Smith IV 471
14. Dan Madigan 465
15. Josh Joseph 395

1. Jim Monroe III 722
2. John Filarecki 649
3. Mike Ostrander 603
4. D.J. Brundige 581
5. Dan Petronis II 580
6. Curtis Condon 561
7. John Morris 546
8. Kenneth Conroy 542
9. Jeff Monroe 533
10. Richard Burke 532
11. Brandon Emigh 505
12. Mike Minick 503
13. Bill Burlingame 438
14. Anthony Marro 429
15. Brian Ashline 411

1. Brette Osgood 722
2. Travis Tromans 658
3. Jason Dickson 627
4. Shane Marks 614
5. Mike Cranston 593
6. Dan Older Jr. 515
7. John Baldwin 462
8. Ted Fitzgerald 435
9. Andy Hickok 414
10. Charles Stoddard 413

1. Phil DeFiglio 750
2. Ray Galusha 688
3. Dan Lorenc 552
4. Tim Anagnos 456
5. Rennie Noradiki 258

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Phils post season ends, 4-2

Brian Harris reached after being hit by a pitch.
Bryan Rose flied out to right field.
With Jake Willis coming up, Glens Falls manager John Mayotte pulls starter Brian Moran (North Carolina) for Scott DeNault (San Diego).
DeNault gave up the tying run last night at East Side Rec.
Willis lines out to third and Harris is doubled off at first to end the game, win the East Division and eliminate the Saratoga Phillies from the post-season.

This is it
The Phillies will send Brian Harris, Bryan Rose and Jake Willis to battle back in the top of the ninth if they have any chance of extending their season.

Harvel in for Fiers in 7th
With the Phillies playing for today against Glens Falls, Bret Harvel (NW Missouri State) come on in relief of Mike Fiers.
Fiers, a winner of game one Monday versus Watertown went six innings, allowed four runs, three of them earned. He gave up eight hits, walked two and struck out eight.

Glens Falls up, 4-2 through 6
The contest remains unchanged through six innings with the Golden Eagles up 4-2.
Brett Harvel has warmed up in the Phillies bullpen.
Glens Falls owner Darin Williams is helping the crowd beat the heat, handing out free freeze pops to everyone in attendance.

Mahoney goes long, Phils down, 4-2
The hitting twins, Jake Shaffer and Kevin Mahoney are up to their old tricks again for Glens Falls in the third.
Shaffer led off with a single and Mahoney followed with a two-run home run over the eight-foot high fence in right, putting the Golden Eagles ahead, 4-2, for the first time on the afternoon.

Errors cost Phillies, tied 2-2
It could have been a positive, motivational bottom of the first inning, but final game stress may be effecting the Phillies.
Dan DeGeorge (Princeton) singled to right and made it over to third on what should have been a force at second.
The grounder to Bryan Cook (Nova Southeastern) was thrown into left field on the attempted force and Shaffer was safe at first.
Kevin Mahoney (Canisius) followed with a single to right, scoring DeGeorge. The miscues continued when rightfielder Donnie Webb (Oklahoma State) sailed his throw to third, in an attempt to catch Shaffer was also high. Shaffer was able to score, beating a late throw to Phillies catcher Eric Walker (Oklahoma State), knotting the score at two apiece.

Holy cow Phils up 2-0 on Willis shot
The Golden Eagles got on the board quick Friday night and rode it out to a 4-3 13 inning victory at Saratoga's East Side Rec.
On Saturday, the Phillies stole a page from the Golden Eagles playbook.
Donnie Webb (Oklahoma State) led off with a single up the middle and found his way home on Siena captain Jake Willis's two-out home run to dead center over the CSEA sign at East Field for a 2-0 lead.
Glens Falls starter, Brian Moran (North Carolina) equaled his season total earned runs against the Phillies in the first inning with two.
It is the third time that the Golden Eagles have given up runs in the leadoff inning.

NYCBL table set for GF v SS final
We're just minutes out from the championship rubber match between the Saratoga Phillies and the Glens Falls Golden Eagles in the final game of the NYCBL East Division championship series at East Field.

The Phillies send out righthanded all-star Mike Fiers (U of Cumberlands) who carries a 0.74 ERA against the Golden Eagles. Glens Falls answers with Brian Moran (North Carolina) who owns a 1.00 ERA versus the Phillies during the regular season.

After a three-hour 13 inning contest last night the teams have had little time for rest, nutrition and decompression from the last two contests.

Glens Falls has the momentum, winning last night's game and playing at home. With the temperature in the 80s with low humidity, the sun at high noon could be a great equalizer.

While this has become quite the rivalry, there are some things that transend the foul lines.

Visiting Saratoga Phillies radio personality Andy Santillo came up yo catch the game and is pinch-hitting in the broadcast booth due to schedule conflicts with the noon start.

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Phillies fall in 13 innings to Glens Falls 4-3

Despite a home run by Bryan Cook in the bottom of the 13th to cut the lead, 4-3, Glens Falls handed Saratoga its first loss in the post-season Friday night.

Game three moves to Glens Falls Saturday at high noon.

Big man goes boom! Phils down 4-3
6-foot 5-inch big man Bryan Cook made it interesting, sending Zac Farry's first pitch of the bottom half of the 13th over the right field wall, cutting the Glens Falls lead, 4-3.

Glens Falls up 4-2 in 13th
Jake Shaffer drilled a shot to left field and forced Jake Willis to run, run and re-locate the ball on the run. He slipped and the ball fell in for a double.
Kevin Mahoney folowed with a drive to deep right, forcing Donnie Webb to turn and chase. The ball bounced off his outstretched glove, allowing Shaffer to score and put Mahoney on second.
Mike Konstanty followed with an RBI single up the middle giving the Golden Eagles a 4-2 lead.
Saratoga's Matt Willis was lifted for Cory Kuzmik.
He allowed only a single and a sac bunt, but the Phils head into another last-chance inning down, 4-2.

Willis key to 11th. Phils up next.
Matt Willis wasn't shaken after Rick Seltzer drilled a two-out double to the left centerfield wall. He struck out Casey Larson to end the inning.

Playoff game tied 2-2 through 10
Glens Falls found life, with Jake Owens hitting a single to center and Dan DeGeorge reaching on an error putting runners on the corners. Matt Willis got out of the jam with a strikeout of Jake Shaffer.

The Phils went 1-2-3 and Matt Willis out for the 11th.

Phils....tie it in bottom of ninth.
Drama at East Side Rec in the Phillies final at bat.

Ryan Powers ropes a one-out double and pinch-hitter Aaron Fields (Wright State) reaches on a hard shot to short that is corraled with a diving stop, but not thrown.
Corey Hunt takes one for the team, hit with a pitch to load the bases for Donnie Webb.
A walk was good enough for an RBI and a run, knotting the score at two apiece.
After a pop-up to the pitcher with the bases loaded, that ended the night for reliever Scott DeNault.
Lefty Zac Farry was called in with the bases jammed and Bryan Rose at the plate.
A strikeout sends the contest to extra innings, tied 2-2.
Welcome to playoff baseball.

Big K for Vernon, now what?
Glens Falls threatened in the top of the eighth, but Saratoga left Pete Vernon escaped unscathed.

Jake Owen (Northwestern) sent a shot to right field, 306-feet deep and Donnie Webb gave chase. The Oklahoma State right fielder hauled in the ball with an over the shoulder catch catch and hit the 307-foot mark in the process, allowing the ball to fall out of his glove. Owens raced to third on the drive.

After enticing Dan DeGeorge to pop out to short, Vernon walked Jake Shaffer (Northern Kentucky) adding drama to the contest.

With a full count on Kevin Mahoney (Canisius), Vernon put it all on the line, striking out the batter to escape the eighth, down, 2-1.
The Phillies want to keep the crowd in tact for all nine innings, going down 1-2-3.

Oklahoma State right-hander Matt Willis will pitch the ninth for Saratoga versus the Golden Eagles 5,6 and 7 batters.

Vernon goes eight, giving up two runs, both earned. He allowed three hits, walked four and struck out two.

2-1 Glens Falls through seven
The Phillies have stranded seven runners through seven innings, nable to scratch out that tying run.

Jon Nicolla (Duke) and Ryan Powers (Mississippi State) were left at first and second in the second inning.
Donnie Webb (Oklahoma State) roped a one-out double to left in the third and was sacrificed over by Brian Harris (Vanderbilt) but was stranded.
After Bryan Cook (Nova Southeastern) scored, Powers walked, stole second and stayed there.

Corey Hunt (Virginia) led off the fifth with an infield single, moved on a bad pick off attempt and went to third on a passed ball, only to be wasted.
Cook reached on an error in the sixth and was followed by a walk to Powers, but neither one made it around the horn.

Glens Falls up 2-0 in top of 1st
Saratoga starter Pete Vernon (William and Mary) didn't start his first post-season contest the way he wanted.
The lefthander took a Jake Owen (Northwestern) drive off his leg to start the contest and gave up a single to Dan DeGeorge (Princeton). When Jake Shaffer (Northern Kentucky) bunted to move the runners over, Vernon mishandled the ball on the infield grass, allowing Glens Falls to load the bases.
Kevin Mahoney (Canisius) grounded into a double play to second scoring Owens.
Vernon then gave up a double to Mike Konstanty (UAlbany), ripped down the left field line, scoring DeGeorge for the 2-0 lead.

Phils ready for sweep tonight
The Saratoga Phillies are setting up for a hopeful sweep of the Glens Falls Golden Eagles at home tonight.
Saratoga is wearing its gold tops with a blue "S" on their left breast. Glens Falls is wearing its road grays for the contest.
Left-hander Pete Vernon (William and Mary) gets the start for Saratoga. His only regular season loss was to the Golden Eagles.
Glens Falls sends up Alex Pepe (Florida Atlantic), hoping to break the Phillies post-season 9-game winning streak.

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The best baseball you haven't seen...yet!

Time is running out for catching some of the best baseball in the Capital Region.

The Saratoga Phillies collegiate baseball team defends it's New York Collegiate Baseball League title 7:30 p.m. tonight in second round playoff action at East Side Rec against Eastern Division rival Glens Falls.

For those of you that haven't taken in a Phillies contest yet, here's a quick history lesson: The NYCBL was founded in 1978 and is a developmental league for professional baseball. All of the players have not yet been drafted by the major leagues and are spending their summers competing in the wood bat league, honing their skills and raising their personal draft stock.

To date, 17 former NYCBL players have played in the majors with 26 NYCBL players drafted in June of this year alone, including two former Phillies players.

Saratoga finished in second-place in the East Division with a 25-14 record and swept the Watertown Wizards in its opening best-of-three series, 15-2, and 5-0.

The Spa City came out in droves last week when the Phillies hosted the Russian Olympic team and saw Saratoga win convincingly, 10-4. The packed grandstands at East Side Rec thrilled players from both countries.

For each and every Little League, Cal Ripken, Babe Ruth or modified, junior varsity and varsity baseball player, Friday night is a can't miss clinic on how to make it to the major leagues as well as how high-level collegiate baseball is played.

Each one of the Saratoga Phillies was an all-star and superstar during their youth baseball days along with being all-district and all-state in their hometowns. Now they are shining on a bigger stage and you can see it all for free!

At the plate, Bryan Rose (University of Kentucky) is batting .307 with 35 hits and 22 RBi. Siena captain Jake Willis is batting a solid .270 with a .410 slugging percentage and owned a 15-game hitting streak to start the year.

The Phillies aren't shy, so get a photo with Donnie Webb (Oklahoma State) before the game starts, his uniform won't be clean for long. Donnie is an instant highlight reel, running down balls in left field, stealing bases and showing young fans what hustle is in a baseball player.

From the mound, right-hander Mark Lamm (Vanderbilt) leads the team with a 1.05 ERA and 32 strikeouts. Lefty Pete Vernon (William and Mary) is the perfect example of a "crafty" pitcher, sporting a 4-1 record this season as a late addition to the Phillies.

When it comes to closing, just wait for lefty Cory Kuzmik (NJIT), right-hander Matt Willis (Oklahoma State) and the ultimate reliever Josh Simmons to shut the door on the opposition.

Phillies co-owners Keith Rogers and Dan Scaring met during their time playing in a col-legiate baseball league and became fast friends. Now, years later, their passion for the game continued and their careers have allowed them to promote the game in Saratoga. They continue to keep the Saratoga Phillies experience as close to the historic Cape Cod Baseball League as possible.

You cannot go wrong, your pocketbook and your young baseball fan will thank you.

See you at the game!


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Phils take division opener vs GF 5-2

The pride of NJIT Cory Kuzmik came on to close out the ninth for the Saratoga Phillies.
He would strike out Rick Seltzer (Siena), hit Casey Larson (Kansas) and struck out Riann Stanja-Furstenburg (Florida Atlantic).
Number nine batter, Joe Mecurio roped a single to left, putting runners at first and second. Jake Owens (Northwestern) was the final batter, getting rung up by plate umpire George Cox for the final out.
With the 5-2 win, Saratoga hosts the potential series clincher Friday 7:30 p.m.

Glens Falls hands over another run, 5-2
After Saratoga's Ryan Powers (Mississippi State) and Tyler Scruggs (West Virginia) were plunked by Justin Latta, the Glens Falls reliever paid the price. Brian Harris (Vanderbilt) singled to center as two outfielders converged on the drive. They collided and the ball fell in, allowing Powers to score for a 5-2 lead.
Phillies left-hander Cory Kuzmik comes on in relief for the ninth.

Glens Falls cuts lead 4-2
Saratoga's Mark Lamm pitched to one batter in the eighth, giving up an infield single to Jake Owens (Northwestern) before turning over the ball to Brad Grove (Virginia).
Dan Degeorge (Princeton) welcomed the reliever with a single to right, moving Owens to third. Jake Shaffer (Northern Kentucky) laced a fly ball to right that Saratoga's Donnie Webb ran down with his back to the plate, scoring Owens and cutting the Phillies lead, 4-2.
Lamm went seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits. He struck out 12 and walking two.

Aggressive Phils up 4-1
Leadoff batter and pinch hitter Aaron Fields (Wright State) reached on a four-pitch walk and Donnie Webb (Oklahoma State) reached on an infield single that failed to force Fields at second base. Brian Harris (Vanderbilt) moved the duo into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt setting the stage for Kentucky's Brian Rose.

The Saratoga shortstop, batting .222 against Glens Falls this season, dropped a single into centerfield to easily score Fields and allow Webb to score with a head first slide onto home plate for a 3-1 lead.

That would close the book on Golden Eagles starter Tommy Meagher and bring in Justin Latta.

Latta gave up an infield single to Siena's Jake Willis. The runners would move up 90 feet on a dropped third strike to Bryan Cook (Nova Southeastern) that would prove advantageous.

Latta would drop a breaking ball into the dirt in front of Glens Falls catcher Joe Mercurio and the ball skidded behind him towards the backstop. Fields raced towards home and was called safe after the tag by Latta for the 4-1 lead.

Cook'in at Glens Falls
Saratoga's Bryan Cook (Nova Southeastern) was batting a paltry .052 versus Glens Falls in eight meetings knew when to come up big.
Siena's Jake Willis reached on a one-out walk and Cook took the count to 3-2, fouling off pitch after pitch until he found one to his liking.
The 6-5 lefty drove a Tommy Meagher pitch to left center, driving in Willis and knotting the contest at one apiece.
Willis would be stranded at third to end the top of the seventh.
Phillies starter Mark Lamm (Vanderbilt) remains strong with one run allowed with 11 strikeouts on the night.
Glens Falls starter Tommy Meagher is equally sharp with nine Ks and one run on two hits.

Golden Eagles up, 1-0 in 4th
Glens Falls took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning utilizing small ball.
Jake Shaffer (Northern Kentucky) led off with a walk and was moved over when Kevin Mahoney (Canisius) singled through the left side. A passed ball by Saratoga catcher Eric Walker (oklahoma State) allowed both runners to move up a base. Rick Seltzer (Siena) drove in Shaffer with a ground out to short.

Friend of The Saratogian, Post Star sports editor Greg Brownell just stopped in to say hello.
He's making plans for his newspaper's coverage starting Sunday of the championship series. I guess he's betting on the Golden Eagles....hmmm...

Saratoga/Glens Falls 0-0 through 3
It's setting up as a pitcher's duel tonight as the contest is scoreless through three innings.
Saratoga starter Mark Lamm (Vanderbilt) has allowed a hit and struck out six, including the Glens Falls side in the second.
Glens Falls right Tom Meagher (St. Petersburg) has also allowed just one hit and struck out five through three innings.

Phils vs. Golden Eagles underway
The Saratoga Phillies headed North to face rival Glens Falls in the first game of the NCVBL Eastern Division championship series.
Saratoga players are wearing their Navy tops with the gold 'S' on the left chest with gray pants. Glens Falls is wearing its home white tops with white pants with Golden Eagles across the chest.
Glens Falls sends out right-hander Tom Meagher (St. Petersburg) and Saratoga will answer with it own righty, Mark Lamm (Vanderbilt).

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NYCBL showdown tonight...are you ready!?!

The gloves come off, well actually do go on tonight at 7 p.m. when the Saratoga Phillies (25-14) travel to Glens Falls (34-6) to take on the Golden Eagles in the second round of the NYCBL East Division Playoffs.
Glens Falls holds a 5-3 record over Saratoga and that's not the only reason the two squads aren't fond of each other. The Phillies have handed the Golden Eagles three of the teams six losses this year.

The Golden Eagles lead the rivals in several categories, giving them the edge in the series, on the field and on paper.

Glens Falls is batting .225 versus Saratoga and it's pitchers carry a 3.11 ERA.
Saratoga is batting .206 versus Glens Falls and it's staff holds a 3.96 ERA.

The Phillies have two batters with consistant success versus the Golden Eagles.
Donnie Webb (Oklahoma State) is batting .375 with 12 hits, two RBI, three walks and five strikeouts.
Jake Willis (Siena) is batting .333 with 11 hits, four RBI, six walks and seven Ks.
Unfortunately for Saratoga, Mark Riffee is out for the rest of the year, returning home after an injury. He was hitting .313 against Glens Falls.

The Golden Eagles counter with Luis Feliz (Rutgers) and his .308 average, four runs scored, thre RBI, four walks and eight Ks.
Right behind him is Kevin Mahoney (Canisius) at .303 with 10 hits, six runs scored and eight RBIs. He has walked once and struck out 12 times.
Also a threat is Rick Seltzer (Siena) batting .292 and Dan DeGeorge (Princeton) batting .281.

Saratoga coach Garret Baron will go with either righty Mark Lamm (Vanderbilt) who sports a 0.98 ERA versus Glens Falls in three appearances and 8.2 innings worked or lefty Pete Vernon (William and Mary) with his 5.40 ERA. Vernon faced the Golden Eagles once, gave up three earned runs in six innings right after joining the Phillies after the season started. It was his only loss in the regular season.

Saratoga will return home on Friday for game two at 7:30 p.m. with the "if necessary" third game of the best-of-three series set for 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon at East Side Field in Glens Falls.

(The 1 p.m. start time has yet to be confirmed...stay tuned)

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