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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: September 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.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Saratoga's Minogue out with torn ACL

Blue Monday
Minogue out with torn ACL

SARATOGA SPRINGS – A single misstep by Saratoga Springs football player Jimmy Minogue Thursday night late in the fourth quarter ruined the senior year of the quarterback and made the Blue Streaks remaining contests even more challenging.

Minogue dropped back for a pass with less than three minutes remaining Sept. 20 at Bethlehem. He planted his right foot and then took off scrambling just like he had hundreds of times before, unfortunately his right knee didn’t agree, falling to the ground.

He was helped off the field, iced and was able to put some weight on the leg after the 16-13 loss to the Eagles. On Tuesday he received the worst news of his career, he had completely torn his ACL.

His surgery is scheduled in two weeks and recover is projected at six months.
“He was hoping he just sprained it,” Saratoga coach Terry Jones said. “We pretty much expected not to have him for this week based on how sore he was and how much swelling he had. To get that news today, you feel awful.”

The Blue Streaks not only lose their signal caller, but one of their most potent weapons of offense as a quality passer, a constant running threat along with the squad’s field goal and extra-point kicker.

Minogue spent Monday’s practice standing with his crutches supporting him or sitting dejected in a golf cart observing his teammates preparing for Friday’s rivalry contest game versus Shenendehowa.

To each person he told, they were shocked at the diagnoses and then gave a heartfelt “sorry” to the multi-sport athlete.

“The team aside, he’s a kid, this is his senior year and it’s over,” Jones said. “He’s a skier in the winter, that’s over and he’s a lacrosse player.

“We were looking at possibly gaining some interest from some schools for his kicking ability,” Jones said. “Hopefully, we’ll still be able to do that.”

With Minogue sidelined, junior Colin Mulholland will be under center for the remainder of the season for the Blue Streaks. The replacement threw four passes Thursday night after entering the contest, the first his best, bouncing off the chest of his receiver.

“He had the weekend to think about it,” Jones said. “We knew Friday that we were going with Colin this week before we knew anything about Jimmy. We knew he would be out this week.”

The 6-foot-2 192 pound quarterback will be pressed into action full-time against the school’s biggest rival, Shenendehowa.

“Our game plan is to look at what he does best and give him those opportunities,” Jones said. “With the loss of Jimmy we lose the ability to score from anywhere on the field from that position. We lose a little bit from Jimmy to Colin, but Colin is a little bit bigger, little big stronger. We’ll try to use that to his advantage and he can move some people physically if he has too.”

Saratoga hosts Shenendehowa 7 p.m. Friday the game will also be televised on Time Warner Cable TV3

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

NYS football rankings hits and misses Week 2

The first week’s rankings were released by the New York State Sportswriters and there were some surprises, mainly some of the Saratoga County teams not making the top 20, but at least receiving consideration as honorable mentions.

I liken that to Michigan still getting votes in the AP poll with an embarrassing 0-2 record.

Let’s highlight the positives:
Lansingburgh received the top spot in Class A with a 2-0 record representing the Capital Region, but does a 42-14 win over Mohonasen really impress anyone (sorry Warriors).

In Class AA Colonie, considered one of the teams to beat at the end of the season, dropped Schenectady in a shootout (pun intended), 34-27 and was ranked 21st. Meanwhile, the early battle of Saratoga will take place Friday night, Sept. 14, between unbeaten Ballston Spa and Shenendehowa. My guess is that the pollsters are waiting for a 3-0 team to come out of the Class A Empire Division before they put them on the Top 25 list.

Also in class A, Amsterdam’s 38-7 rout of Burnt Hills brought the Rams a 12th place spot in the polls.

In Class B, Hudson Falls is ranked No. 8 after a 33-14 win over Cairo and Broadalbin-Perth occupies the No. 15 spot after an embarrassing 54-7 rout of Cohoes. Cobleskill is ranked No. 17 folloed by Fonda-Fultonville at No. 19.
In Class C, Cambridge which has had two consecutive dominant victories only earned the No. 7 spot after a 27-6 win over Hoosick Falls. Voorheesville comes in at No. 10 after a 35-0 win over Tamarac and surprisingly Voorheesville took the No. 17 spot after a 26-7 win over Chatham.

In the best of the small schools, Fort Edward is No. 5 with a 2-0 record and Canajoharie enters the rankings at No. 11.

It still continues to boggle my mind that despite not even having played a contest two weeks into the regular season, teams are ranked. How can a team that hasn’t taken the field, deserve a spot in a ranking system. Class AA No. 3 William Floyd XI, No. 13 East Islip XI, No. 15 Farmingdale VIII, No. 19 Freeport VIII, Class A No. 9 Lawrence VIII, No. 20 Roosevelt VIII and Class B No. 10 Babylon XI were all ranked, despite not playing a single snap.

I would rather see a “untested” list of these “quality” schools versus taking a spot away from squads who have two contests under their belts.

On a personal note, unfortunately, my Wildcats from Hancock Central in Section IV were unranked, facing a tough season, but there is good news for Paul Gangarossa who will be leaving for greener pastures, The Norwich Bulletin in Conn., his Aquinas squad holds the No. 5 position in Class B after wins over McQuaid and Timon.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my bride’s alma mater, Union-Endicott who grace the No. 8 spot in Class AA. The Tigers contest versus Cochran was delayed, postponed and then cancelled due to lightning Saturday night in the Southern Tier. Sunday’s forecast was for more thunderstorms and other dates were available for both teams.

Here’s a full run down of the Week 1 rankings:
Class AA
1. St. Anthony CHSFL 1-0 2. Monroe Woodbury IX 2-0 3. William Floyd XI 0-0 4. New Rochelle I 1-0 5. Churchville-Chili V 2-0

6. St. Francis CHSFL 2-0 7. John Jay I 1-0 8. Union-Endicott IV 1-0 9.Fayetteville-Manlius III 2-0 10. Curtis NYC 1-0

11. Rush-Henrietta V 2-0 12. Iona Prep CHSFL 1-0 13. East Islip XI 0-0 14. Utica Proctor III 2-0 15. Farmingdale VIII 0-0

16. Fort Hamilton NYC 1-0 17. Chaminade CHSFL 1-0 1-0 18. Minisink Valley IX 2-0 19. Freeport VIII 0-0 20. West Genesee III 2-0

21. Colonie II 2-0 22. Gates Chili V 2-0 23. Orchard Park VI 2-0 24. Lehman NYC 1-0 25. Clarence VI 2-0

Class A
1. Lansingburgh II 2-0 2. Harrison I 1-0 3. Corning East IV 2-0 4. Cornwall IX 2-0 5. Aquinas V 2-0

6. Minoa III 2-0 7. Indian River X 2-0 8. Fordham Prep NYC 1-0 9. Lawrence VIII 0-0 10. Iroquois VI 2-0

11. Ossining I 1-0 12. Amsterdam II 2-0 13. Sweet Home VI 2-0 14. Somers I 1-0 15. Albion VI 2-0

16. Wilson V 2-0 17. McKinley VI 2-0 18. Garden City VIII 0-0 19. Fox Lane I 1-0 20. Roosevelt VIII 0-0

Class B
1. Rye I 1-0 2. Chenango Forks IV 2-0 3. Cazenovia III 2-0 4. Geneva V 2-0 5. Sleepy Hollow I 1-0

6. Hornell V 2-0 7. Westhill III 2-0 8. Hudson Falls II 2-0 9. Chenango Valley IV 2-0 10. Babylon XI 0-0

11. Nanuet I 1-0 12. Holland Patent III 2-0 13. Medina VI 2-0 14. East Rochester 2-0 15. Broadalbin-Perth II 2-0

16. Highland IX 2-0 17. Cobleskill II 2-0 18. Peru VII 2-0 19. Fonda-Fultonville II 2-0 20. Lackawanna VI 1-1

Class C
1. Dobbs Ferry I 1-0 2. Cardinal O’Hara CHS 2-0 3. LeRoy V 2-0 4. Caledonia-Mumford V 2-0 5. Cheektowaga VI 2-0

6. Croton-Harmon I 1-0 7. Cambridge II 2-0 8. Oakfield-Alabama V 2-0 9. Mount Markham III 2-0 10. Voorheesville II 2-0

11. Adirondack III 2-0 12. Lansing IV 2-0 13. Pembroke V 2-0 14. Bishop Ludden III 1-1 15. Trumansburg IV 2-0

16. Cassadaga Valley VI 2-0 17. Watervliet II 2-0 18. Unatego IV 2-0 19. Albertus Magnus I 1-0 20. Tri-Valley IX 2-0

Class D
1. Tuckahoe I 1-0 2. Onondaga III 2-0 3. Maple Grove VI 2-0 4. Walton IV 2-0 5. Fort Edward II 2-0

6. Weedsport III 2-0 7. Finney V 2-0 8. Bolivar-Richburg V 2-0 9. Portville VI 2-0 10. Moriah VII 2-0

11. Canajoharie II 2-0 12. Clyde-Savannah V 2-0 13. Frankfort-Schuyler III 2-0 14. Candor IV 2-0 15. Hinsdale VI 2-0

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Garriock scores for Australia in 4-1 World Cup win

Two-year Adirondack Lynx midfielder Heather Garriock scored a goal and had an assist against Ghana in a 4-1 FIFA World Cup victory earlier today in Hanzhou, China. The contest was a Group C contest.

The 24-year-old Australian scored in the 69th minute of play to put the Aussies ahead 3-0.

Garriock scored on a header in the 69th minute of play to make it 3-0.
After Ghana scored its lone goal, Lisa DeVanna took a pass from Garriock and after the goalkeeper ran up to cut down the angle, DeVanna was able to send the ball in for the 4-1 finale.

Garriock played in her second year with the Adirondack Lynx, competing in the Women’s Premier Soccer League.

Garriock scored five goals and had three assists this summer with the Lynx. The squad captured the division title and advanced to the Eastern Conference finals this summer.

The next contest for Garriock and the Australian squad will be 7:55 a.m. Saturday versus Norway on ESPN 2. The Aussies close out pool play against Canada Sept. 19 at 4:55 a.m. on ESPN.

The associated press contributed to this report.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Field Hockey: Shen's Gunner shuts out Spartans

Earns third field hockey shutout for Plainsmen

BURNT HILLS – To win in any athletic contest you only have to score once more than your opposition.

The Shenendehowa field hockey squad kept that in mind for the full 60 minutes of play against Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake as Clair O’Brien’s goal with 11:47 left in the second half and Emily Gunner’s 17 saves gave the Plainsmen a 1-0 Suburban Council victory.

The Spartans (1-3 overall) spent the bulk of the contest in the Shenendehowa end, pressuring Gunner with 19 attempts, including 16 penalty corner opportunities.

“We dominated so it’s disappointing not to come out with a win,” Burnt Hills forward Erin McNally said. “We need to be cutting more in front in the crease and have to do more talking.”

Both squads had to adjust to the grass surface that enjoyed rain over the weekend, growing just enough to hold Monday’s showers and slow down play.

“They planned to mow it today, but said they wouldn’t if it rained,” Burnt Hills coach Melissa Thomas said. “We’ve had a short, fast field before. It was a clear disadvantage because we have some girls that can hit and sprint through the field. We had some girls that were waiting for the pass with the slow field.”

The Spartans pelted Gunner with 11 shots in the first half, maintaining pressure again for the second half with eight more shots and nine more penalty corners.

“If you face just a few shots and a goal or two goes in it’s frustrating,” Gunner said. “When its like today, I get intense and we cheer on each other.”

Shenendehowa (3-1 Suburban Council, 5-1 overall) broke through late in the second on O’Brien’s eighth goal of the year.

“Mandy Ferro shot it initially and the save came right out to me,” O’Brien said. “I thought to myself ‘I better put this one in high.’”

The strike was her eighth tally of the year for the Plainsmen.

Facing a deficit, the Spartans continued to apply the pressure and Gunner needed some help from her friends to ensure the win and the shutout.

Burnt Hills came off a penalty corner and a defender fired the ball towards the right side of the goal. Alysssa Tattersall gave her all, diving in the way and deflecting the ball away from the cage. It was a save, but also earned the Spartans a penalty stroke.

“I love that kid,” Gunner said of Tattersall. “I would rather have a penalty stroke than a goal.”

McNally lined up in front of Gunner and fired towards the left side of the cage, missing the box and a solid scoring opportunity with 5:22 left.

“I thought she would go to my strong side,” Gunner said. “We she practiced against me at the Empire State Games she would go stick side. I got down before the ball got there.”

The close score put even more emphasis on the re-match at the Shenendehowa campus where the field has been mowed to perfection and the liking of Plainsmen coach Jeanne Fravola.

“We play a fast give and go game but on this the ball couldn’t move,” Fravola said. “You can’t get the ball up field and get into transition. It may have helped us here because (Erika Swits) and (Courtney Gardner) are a lethal combination.”

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NYSCCA announces saftey award winners

The New York State Stock Car Association announced its safety award winners at the local tracks in Upstate New York.

Each NYSSCA participating track has at least one night every season that the association puts up cash awards for the first NYSSCA race car across the line in each division. The race car must display the NYSSCA sticker and the driver must be a NYSSCA member in good standing. Make sure you see the NYSSCA track representative to sign up and be eligible for the cash bonus.

Albany Saratoga Speedway
Modified - Jack Johnson Sportsman - Dick Bisson Pro Street - Lori Cary Limited - Curtis Condon
6 Cylinder - Phil DeFiglio 4 Cylinder - Brette Osgood Budget Sportsman - Bryan Davis
Wild Card - Pep Corradi

Devil's Bowl Speedway
Modified - Ken Tremont, Jr. Pro Street - Lori Cary Limited - DJ Brundige Budget Sportsman - Fred Proctor
Six Cylinder - Ron Zagata Four Cylinder - Travis Tromans Wild Card - Dan Eastman

Fonda Speedway
Modified - Bobby Varin Sportsman - David Towns Pro Stock - Rob Yetman
IMCA - Dan Ballard Street Stock - Luke Horning Wild Card - Elmo Reckner

Glen Ridge Motorsports Park
Modified - Pat Dabiere Budget Sportsman - Shaun Pangman Street Stock - Dave Horning, Sr.
Cruiser - Jamie Warner Wild Card - Pete Sister

Lebanon Valley Speedway
Modified - Eddie Marshall 358 Modified - Ken Tremont ,Jr. Sportsman - Kory Sandstedt
Pro Stock - Robbie Speed Limited Pro Stock - Nick Hilt Wild Card - Rich Salisbury
Pure Stock - Pete Wiegand, Al Relyea, Ryan Hotaling

Utica Rome Speedway
Modified - Stewart Friesen Sportsman - Brad Alger Pro Stock - Jerry Holmes Pure Stock - Matt Ball
IMCA - Jim Roberts Wild Card - Gus Schmidt

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Dear Anonymous, don't write, don't call...

Just one full week into the fall high school sports season and I've already gotten a wonderful, insightful and of course, anonymous e-mail from a disgruntled parent.

Please Ms. Anonymous, don't call, don't write, just please go away.

This latest note is one for the ages, it came over our e-mail system as a comment on a story about the Shenendehowa girls varsity soccer story I covered on Thursday.

This parent had an issue with the inclusion of the story focusing on a Plainsmen varsity player who scored three goals in a 4-0 season opening win.

I'm sorry, my bad.

Apparently this parent would have been much happier that I ignored the future Division I athlete's performance during the first league game of the year.

Maybe I should have credited the defense more for negating the attempts of Niskayuna, or maybe focused more on the goalies great play in a shutout. The coolness in the air, the attendence, the way the grass bent beneath their soccer shoes.

Maybe if I had limitless space I could have listed all 26 players on the Shenendehowa bench (ya, 26 players on a varsity squad) who contributed as the writer pointed out that not one person makes a team.

I'm going to chalk this one up to a new reader, as those who have read my work in the past as the season progresses on the teams I have the opportunity to cover a number of times, I like to spread the wealth. I don't want to talk to the same kids every time, even I get bored of their accolades. They'll get mentioned in the story, but I make every attempt to find a new voice for the next contest.

She was correct, one players does not make a team, but when I looked to pass along a kind, courteous, and always short note about her e-mail, I was rebuffed.

You see, Cathy Taylor who sent me the e-mail, gave me an incorrect phone number. No one seemed to know her at the number I called. I also wasn't surprised when the e-mail address came back as undeliverable.

It's frustrating for me because I make every attempt to be available to the readers of our publications, via e-mail and phone. My voice mail at the office includes my cell phone number (I'm a glutton for punishment).

I've gotten the usual "I'm a parent of a player" calls with only harsh words for some players who have been forgotten. Then after a few moments one can derive who the players being slighted are. In each case I apologize for any oversight, thank them for their time and move on.

I know some may not believe this, but I do consider all calls and complaints valid. My first inclination is if I can do a better job, sometimes I can.

So Cathy Taylor, or whoever you are, stay tuned, maybe in the future I will mention your soccer star. There could be a great story behind her rise to the varsity level at one of the largest schools in Section II, but because you are so hellbent on correcting an oversight, and refusing to identify yourself, you failed to provide an answer.

If you're not part of the solution...