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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: November 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.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Saratoga runners qualify for Nike Team Nationals

At-large bid granted to Kinetic Running Club

They just keep running and running and running.

The Saratoga Springs based Kinetic Running Club, made up of local high school-aged runners didn’t want their cross country season to end this weekend. On Sunday they got the confirmation via phone that they would be running one more time.

The Kinetic Running Club received an at-large bid from the Nike Team Nationals event and will travel, all expenses paid to Portland, Oregon and compete at the third annual team event at the Portland Meadows race track Dec. 1.

The club’s runners, Hannah Davidson, Sydney King, Cassie Goutos, Amanda Borroughs, Megan Conway, Brianne Mellon and Katie Treichel finished in third place Saturday at the New York Regional event.

The Stotan (Warwick Valley) and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Track Club finished in the top two spots, automatically qualifying for the national team event. Four additional at-large bids were announced Sunday.

“It wasn’t really a surprise,” Linda Kranick said. “The kids deserve this at-large big. We received an at-large bid before with the boys and proved that it was a good choice.

“I’m very happy,” Kranick said. “The girls have come a long way over the season. This is very exciting.”

Davidson, Goutos and Bellon have experience at the West Coast national event, finishing in second place in 2005. The boys Kinetic squad captured the national title the same year.

In 2006, Kinetic didn’t receive an at-large bid after competing in the Northeast Regional event. This year, New York was granted its own regional, automatically granting entries to the top two girls squads along with the top two boys programs, the Clifton Park Track Club and Purple Wave (Warwick).

“New York deserves its own region,” Kranick said. “It’s been held for three years (NTN) and each year a New York team has won and the past two years they have been the top two finishers.”

Kinetic captured the girls title in the inaugural Nike Team Nationals in 2004.
The squad is expected to leave Wednesday or Thursday, compete on Saturday and return to the Spa City on Sunday.

“The travel takes quite a bit out of you,” Kranick said. “It’s a great experience. It’s not a high school program, it’s a club and a national meet. It’s a good part of the kid’s education to see the West Coast and experience being there.”


Friday, November 23, 2007

Shen drops opener 3-1

Things didn't get any better for the Plainsmen as the Little Red tacked on two goals in the third for a 3-1 loss.
Ithaca's lines were cohesive and effective while the Shen lines have coach Juan de la Rocha scratching his head.
The loss didn't faze the coach who is willing to see if his lines work out before making any changes.
Nate Mellow was strong in goal for Shen, stopping 23 shots.
The Plainsmen have little time to re-group, facing Auburn 4 p.m. Saturday. Auburn fell to CBA in overtime Friday night at the Albany Airport Rink.
Story to post shortly along with pix.
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Shen hockey knotted at one apiece

Ithaca tied it up just two minutes into the second period, taking advantage of an upended goalie to knot the score at one goal apiece.
Shenendehowa goalie Nate Mellow ended up in a prone position, upended by action in front of the net. He was able to regain an upright position, but was moved to the opposite side of the goal, leaving the left side open.
An Ithaca player (sorry no names yet) took a pass from behind the net and deposited it into the open side.
Ithaca will open the third period with 29 seconds left on a power play from a tripping penalty on the Plainsmen.

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Shen icers up 1-0 over Ithaca

The new glass and boards are getting a workout tonight during the home opener for the Shenendehowa varsity ice hockey team.
The visiting Ithaca Little Red, defending New York State champions are in mid-season form Friday night at the Clifton Park Arena.
The action is fast and physical throughout the first period with Shen holding a 1-0 lead.
Kyle Hunter sent a knuckleball from the top of the right circle that flipped over the outstetched glove of the Ithaca goaltender at 12:51 of the first.
Plainsmen goaltender Nate Mellow stopped all eight shots he faced.

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A Thanksgiving wish for wrestlers

Collegiates grapple at HVCC today

Frank Popolizio may not be involved in politics, but he has a platform and a campaign that he wants to share with you and its all about the sport of wrestling.

Popolizio is the catalyst behind the fifth annual Journeyman/Brute Northeast Duals Division I collegiate wrestling event at Hudson Valley Community College beginning at 10 a.m.

“This is the fifth-time we have hosted it and by far it’s the biggest,” Popolizio said. “It’s forced us to change venues to Hudson Valley. We’ve grown from eight teams to 14, four mats to six and seating from 1,500 to 2,700.”

The event has brought together Oklahoma State, Central Michigan, Michigan, Hofstra, American, Bloomsburg, Clarion, Maryland, Virginia, Appalachian State, American International, Bucknell, Lehigh and Binghamton Universities to compete in dual meets in front of a Capital Region crowd.

“I’m passionate about it and relentless about it,” Popolizio said. “I’ve spent months recruiting teams and spectators.”

His persistence has paid off.

“John Smith, the head coach of Oklahoma State said no 50 times,” Popolizio said. “He said yes the 51st time.”

The universities will compete up to four times in front of the Hudson Valley crowd beginning at 10 a.m. with subsequent rounds scheduled for noon, 2 and 4 p.m. All-day admission is $20 with team discounts available at $15 if the team enters together.

“Last year we had 1,500 people and that was successful,” Popolizio said. “To get 1,500 people to see wrestling in the Northeast, that’s a victory, but we’re using it as a stepping stone.”

The magic number for Popolizio is 2,500 fans.

“The Business Review listed their top 10 sporting events and the tenth one was 2,500 spectators,” Popolizio said. “I want wrestling in the top 10.”

For the past year, Popolizio hasn’t left a stone unturned, a phone call not made or a reminder to any wrestler or fan he has been come in contact with.

“I sent out 35,000 post cards, been on television and radio talk shows,” Popolizio said. “We have a billboard, e-mailed thousands and have banners in every high school.”

Popolizio isn’t expecting someone to bypass the mall and holiday shopping to come to HVCC today, his current target market all have something in common, wrestling.

“General fans will go out and watch football, baseball and basketball, but they won’t watch wrestling,” Popolizio said. “The coaches and wrestlers from Section II have shown overwhelming support. The next battle is to bring back the former wrestlers. On the postcards it’s printed, ‘Once a wrestler, always a wrestler, this postcard is for you.’”

While Section II is a hot-bed for wrestling talent, Popolizio has a more far reaching reason for promoting the event as part of his own Journeymen Wrestling program.

“Since 1972, 450 wrestling programs have been dropped. There are currently only 84 programs left,” Popolizio said. “We don’t need letters to save programs after they have been cut; we need to save right now. We need to get everyone together, show the NCAA and colleges that there is something there. Wrestling is a reflection of life, its ups and downs, its challenges and how the support of friends, families and teammates is so important to succeed.”

Northeast Duals schedule
Hudson Valley Community College
10 a.m. Round One

Oklahoma State vs. Binghamton
American vs. Bloomsburg
Michigan vs. Bucknell
Clarion vs. American International
Appalachian State vs. Central Michigan
Virginia vs. Lehigh

Noon Round Two
Oklahoma State vs. Clarion
Michigan vs. Maryland
Binghamton vs. America International
Hofstra vs. Bloomsburg
Appalachian State vs. Bucknell
Central Michigan vs. Lehigh

2 p.m. Round Three
Oklahoma State vs. Hofstra
American vs. Central Michigan
Michigan vs. Bloomsburg
Binghamton vs. Lehigh
Maryland vs. Appalachian State
Clarion vs. Virginia

4 p.m. Round Four
Oklahoma State vs. American
American vs. Oklahoma
Michigan vs. Virginia
Binghamton vs. Appalachian State
Maryland vs. Central Michigan
Hofstra vs. Bucknell
Clarion vs. Lehigh


Black Friday shopping is a contact sport

After spending Thanksgiving Day carbo-loading for an early jaunt through the big box retailers in Wilton, I realized that I may have to add more weight lifting to my pre-Black Friday workout schedule.

I felt that I was a cagey veteran, spending 12 years in retail, including eight as a store manager, so I was ready. During my post-retail years I have become a savvy shopper, including writing a story last year from inside Wilton’s Best Buy location.

This Black Friday, I went civilian.

No photo camera, no notepad and no video camera. I was equipped with some diet soda, sand in my eyes and a short, but important shopping list.

At 3:30 a.m. my wife, Reda and I traveled to Wilton’s Wal-Mart and was pleasantly surprised to see the doors open at the food center entrance and no lines. This location decided to save its customers from potential frostbite, but it came with a price.

Throughout the store wooden pallets were dispersed, filled with the delectable door busters associated with Black Friday’s deep, discounted savings including computers, large screen TVs, DVD players and the like. The contents were secured with plastic wrap and guarded by an employee to prevent any pre-mature unwrapping. The pallets and the employees were then surrounded by growing crowds of consumers.

I was set to grab two 8-inch digital photo frames priced at $49 each that were included in neatly stacked piles of portable DVD players and cases. Included on the pallet were two tall displays of discounted jeans.

As the clock counted down towards the 5 a.m. magic moment, the crowds grew bigger around each pallet, more carts clogged the aisle and more consumers tracked down their counterparts in other areas within the store.

From the overhead speakers we were greeted by the voice of reason, a manager, stating the wrap would be cut shortly and please be aware of others.

That warning went unheeded.

As the plastic wrap started to be cut off, a group of overeager shoppers dove over the jean display and grabbed insanely at the DVD players and photo frames. My position quickly moved from being within an arm’s length of the pile, backwards into the main aisle. I remained calm and found my way back to the diminishing pile of presents as people continued to swarm towards and away from the pallet.

It was great to be warm and inside, but instead of the annual running of the shoppers, this location created 25 or more different shopping scrums throughout the store.

Fortunately, I sent Reda over to the toy department to grab the Mega Blocks, mega-deal, 120 blocks for $10 for our new god daughter, Lilly.

She was fortunate to grab a bag of blocks, but not before being checked into another pile of toys. Her day didn't get any better after we found a special Cabbage Patch doll for Lilly in top stock, in the paint department.

Another female shopper asked her where she found the doll and asked if she could just take my wife's, versus get one herself. Reda's generous, but her god daughter came first on this one.

After grabbing our precious presents, our luck turned, finding out we could check out in the automotive department versus trudging up to the main register banks. Thanks guys!

We decided to do unto others, telling several shoppers who were at the rear of several perspective lines about the automotive check out opening and were greeted with smiles and thank you's.

Once out of the nation’s largest retailer I ducked over to Staples to join their line outside the store for its 6 a.m. opening. I wasn’t disappointed. The store manager and staff walked the line, handing out in-store special advertisements, maps of where the smaller consumer electronics would be staged and even encouraged the singing of some Christmas carols.

We moved inside, outside of the cold, grabbed some discounted photo cards and jumped into the checkout line. My heart skipped a beat when it appeared that the registers appeared to be locked up, but it lasted only a few seconds and it was back to cash or charge.

The Staples manager had the best outlook, joking with the crowd, opening the doors on time and again asking for a few Christmas carols once the crowds filled the store and the masses went from rushing to simply standing in check-out lines.

I zipped over to Target for one present for myself, a new George Foreman grill (insert joke here). Yes, I need a bigger one and I couldn’t pass up the sale price.

Target has the longest lines, but like all the retailers, every register was open and moved us along.

Three retailers, no broken bones, no hypothermia, shopping list completed, breakfast and a well-deserved nap, call it another successful Black Friday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Turkey Bowl not pardoned at Lebanon Valley

It was a good idea when it was announced, the "Turkey Bowl at Lebanon Valley Speedway scheduled for Nov. 24, but Mother Nature doesn't want to cooperate and the bird, as they say, is cooked.

Today, Lebanon Valley announced that the late-year event would not be held due to the extensive rain and cold temperatures arriving in the Northeast.

"There would just not be enough time in the day to get the track dried out from all this rain we've had" Lyle Devore, track General Manager said in a press release. "The track surface conditions were key, but the extremely wet pit area would have a nightmare!"

The event would have been an ideal cap to the area racing scene with a scheduled 25-lap pro stock, 20-lap limited, 20-lap pure stock, 20-lap 4-cylinder and 50-lap endure set for a full afternoon of racing.

Fans are now free to stop by the Saratoga Auto Museum at 1 p.m. to catch the "Lost Speedways II" program.

Ken Gypson, Tom Remington, Vermont's bill Ladabouche, Gary London, Lew Boyd will provide memories of auto speedways that have not survived through the years, but provided great memories for fans for decades.

The Saratoga Automobile Museum is located at the Avenue of the Pines in the Saratoga Spa State Park.

Visit the museum's web-site,

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Burnt Hills boys soccer 2nd in state

Byram Hills utilized a lock down defense, double and triple-teaming any defender that came across midfield in the second half to preserve its 1-0 Class A state championship victory.
The Spartans had several chances in the second half, but never spent an extended amount of time in the later third to create a jaw-dropping offensive threat.
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake's foray into this year's state tournament is the furthest the Spartan boys team has ever advanced.
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20 minutes left in Spartans season, down 1-0

Burnt Hills has been unsuccessful gettin the ball into the final third during the first 20 minutes of the second half.
They just moved it in with 17 minutes left, but gave up the ball on a foul atop the goal box.

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1-0 Bryam Hills at the half

Burnt Hills is leading in the stats column only at the half, but is behind where it counts, the scoreboard.
The Spartans lead in shots, 6-3 and corners 5-2.
The Bobcats will need to try to find a way to keep Burnt Hills from finding a wat to score for a full 40 minutes.
The Spartans have a nack for scoring in the closing minutes so they have a full 40 minutes to finish their season as winners.
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My bad, Bryam Hills up 1-0 @ 16:22

This happened yesterday too.
I was typing in a scoreless update and the non-locals scored.
With 16:22 left in the first half, Bryam failed on an indirect kick from 30 yards out. The ball wasn't cleared by Burnt Hills and fell at the feet of Bryam Hill's top scorer.
It only took a second to send it off his left toe from inside the goal box an the Spartan goaltender. He dove to his right, catching a piece of the prize with his fingertips, but it was too strong a shot. The ball went off his outstetched digits and sailed into the corner for the 1-0 lead.
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BH v. BH 0-0 1st 20 mins in

It's knotted at 0-0 through the first 20 minutes here in Oneonta.
Bryam Hills has been the agressor with Burnt Hills creating opportunities off flurries in its offensive end.

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Live from Oneonta boys Class A state soccer

The manic mileage sports tour makes its final stop for the fall season this morning at the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, New York.
The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake boys soccer squad opens championship Sunday against Section I's Bryam Hills at 11 a.m.
Competition continues throughout the day with Spackenkill taking on Plattsburgh at 11:40 a.m. Section IV's Marathon faces Red Creek at 12:20 p.m. Chazy takes on Poland at 1 a.m. with the day being capped at 1:30 p.m. as Section IV's Vestal battles Webster Thomas.
The morning started out at a brisk 18 degress in Saratoga, but the sun is out with little wind so the playing and viewing should be bearable for all.
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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Dream ends. Lakeland 2, Saratoga 0

Lakeland's Cassandra O'Mera brought the Saratoga field hockey season to an end with her goal with 3:32 left in regulation of the state Class A semifinal.
The second Hornet goal off a penalty corner brought the Blue Streak's "Live the Dream" season to an end at Cicero-North Syracuse High School, 2-0.
Lakeland will face Williamsville North Sunday at 10 a.m.

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Oops, Lakeland up 1-0 on Toga

Just as I hit send, Lakeland's Caitlin Colllins scored off a corner with an assist by Tara McGovern with 19:02 left in the second half.
I blame me and my damn fingers!
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SS field hockey state semi 0-0 still

20 minutes to go and still scoreless.
Two saratoga corners came up empty early.

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Live from C-NS field hockey state semi

The Saratoga Blue Streaks had to wait 21 hours, but the wait hasn't hurt the Section II champions agains Section I's Lakeland in the NYSPHSAA Class AA semifinal.
The two squads are locked in a scoreless tie at the half on the Cicero-North Syracuse Astroturf surface.
The defending state champions, Lakeland, only have one shot on Saratoga's Erin Delancey. The Blue Streaks put a shot on the Hornets in the defensive struggle.
This could be a defensive deadlock and up the the goalies.
Stay tuned.
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Friday, November 16, 2007

NYS GSoccer semifinal Southside 2, BHBL 0

Just warmed up enough to send this.
Mother Nature must have had an appreciation of the SouthSide girls soccer mascot, the Cyclones.
It paid off as the Rockville Centre squad scored both its goals during a with-the-wind first half.
SouthSide went away from soccer and just used a single touch style to move the ball in the Burnt Hills half for the majority of the first half.
SouthSide is now poised to win its 13th state title if it pulls off a win over Pittsford-Mendon Saturday at Homer High School.
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NYS girls soccer BHBL down 2-0

Due to potential frostbite conditions, I'm updating late.
Rockville Centre South Side took advantage of the slick, snowy conditions inside the goal box and hold a 2-0 lead at the half at TCCC.
The first goal came 5 minutes in, bounced around Burnt Hills goaltender Teegan Kelly and tipped in
The Cyclones added another when the ball was bounced around deep inside the box and Kelly was drawn to the inside post. The ball was bounced in front, sent to her left, deflected by a team member and stopped, inches over the goal line.
The ref was standing on the goal line, facing the goal and had the best view of the close call.
SouthSide up 2-0 at the half.
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State girls soccer: Got shovels?

New York State girls soccer championships wouldn't be complete without some snow.
The Class A contest at Tompkins Cortland Community College between Section II's Burnt Hills and SouthSide was delayed for 1 hour so volunteers could shovel the 1/2 inch of snow off the turf.
The volunteers and regional reps shoveled the goal boxes and two sidelines until the struck green. The midfield remains white.
A lake effect squall created a white out along the I-90 corridor in Syracuse this morning.
I made it through early on and reports are that some areas have a lot of police activity with cars off the road.
What this will do to the North Syracuse area remains to be seen if it will impact the NYSPHSAA field hockey semifinals this afternoon and this evening for Saratoga's Blue Streaks.
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Monday, November 12, 2007

Wrestling season opens with local clinics/duals

Fall wrestling clinics Nov. 16 and 17 at Shen
Journeymen Wrestling presents its 2007 Fall Wrestling Clinic to Shenendehowa High School Nov. 16 and 17 for coaches and wrestlers.
A coaches clinic will be held Nov. 16 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the Shenendehowa High School East gymnasium with Blair Academy head coach Jeff Buxton, former OSU assistant coach and NCAA champion Mitch Clark. The weekend will also be highlighted by appearances by the Iowa State University coaches, Cael Sanderson and Tim Hartung.
Nov. 17 is open to student-athletes with two clinics scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. The afternoon clinic will include a 40-minute scrimmage with a photo session from 3 to 3:30 p.m.
Cost for the coaches clinic is $75 which includes the coaches clinic, social and student-athlete clinic. Cost for student-athletes is $45 pre-paid and $55 at the door.

Sprawl and Brawl Nov. 18 at Binghamton University
BINGHAMTON – Journeyman Wrestling presents the Sprawl and Brawl wrestling duals at the University at Binghamton. The event brings together several of wrestling’s top names in dual meet competition, including Iowa State University, Clarion University, Binghamton University, West Virginia and Sacred Heart University. Tickets are $15 at the door at the Binghamton University RAC.
For more information call 374-3901 or e-mail

Northeast Duals Nov. 24 at Hudson Valley CC
TROY – Journeymen Wrestling brings some of the biggest collegiate names in wrestling to the Hudson Valley Community College gymnasium for a four rounds of dual action.
Scheduled to compete are Oklahoma State, Central Michigan, Michigan, Hofstra, American Bloomsburg, Clarion, Maryland, Virginia, Appalachian State, American International, Bucknell, Lehigh and Binghamton Universities beginning at 9:45 a.m.
For the $20 admission fee, spectators will witness four different rounds of dual meet action in one venue. Discounts are available for teams with 10 or more wrestlers at the door.
For more information call 374-3901 or e-mail

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

On the road to the Fall Final Fours

For seven different Saratoga County fall sports teams, they live for another day along with boarding another bus and taking to the highways and byways of New York State as they enter their final weekend of competition.

After this weekend, their fall season is officially complete. Well almost, runners are an odd lot and just keep on running. But that's a post for another day.

Here's a look at where, when and how far some of these teams have to travel this weekend.

  • Section II swim team, Long Island, 404 miles
    The ladies representing Section II in swimming and diving will travel downstate to the Nassau County Aquatic Center for the two-day event.
    Preliminary swimming begins at 10 a.m. Friday with diving preliminary and semifinal diving set to begin at 4 p.m. Finals will begin 10 a.m. Saturday.

  • Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake girls soccer, Cortland, 342 miles
    The Spartan girls squad travels first to Tompkins-Cortland Community College 10 a.m. Friday to take on 13-time state champion South Side Rockville Centre.
    If Burnt Hills is successful, they only have a 9 mile trip 9:30 a.m. Saturday to SUNY Cortland to face the winner of Section V Pittsford Mendon/Section IV Maine-Endwell in the state title contest at Homer High School.

  • Saratoga field hockey, Cicero-North Syracuse, 284 miles
    The Blue Streaks finally get to play on "real turf" the age-old Astrotuf carpet surface that only field hockey teams appreciate 7:30 p.m. Friday night at Cicero-North Syracuse High School. Saratoga faces defending New York State champions, Section I's Lakeland-Panas.
    A win keeps them there overnight to face the winner of Section VI Williamsville North/Section XI Ward Melville 2 p.m. Saturday.

  • Federation cross country meet, Wappingers Falls, 240 miles
    Things are a bit hazy as to what Saratoga County teams will make the trip to Dutchess County Saturday for the New York State Federation Meet at Bowdowin Park. Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake's girls squad is taking the weekend off. The other locals have not yet confirmed. The girls race is set for 12:15 and the boys go off at 1 p.m.

  • Galway boys soccer, Oneonta, 166 miles
    The Section II Class C and regional boys soccer Eagles put their undefeated record on the line 11:15 a.m. Saturday versus Section V Red Creek at the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta.
    If Galway wins, they return at 12:20 p.m. to face the winner of Section I Blind Brook/Section IV Marathon.

  • Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake boys soccer, Oneonta, 152 miles
    The Spartans continue their dream season as the Section II Class A and regional soccer champs. They will take on Section VI champion Iroquois at 9 a.m.
    A win would put them in the state final on Sunday at 11 a.m. against the winner of Section XI Sayville/Section I Bryam Hills.

  • Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake girls volleyball, Glens Falls, 78 miles
    Is this the year for the Spartans?
    That will be answered beginning Saturday morning during pool play of the NYSPHSAA Tournament at the close to home, Glens Falls Civic Center.
    Burnt Hills faces Hendrick Hudson at 10 a.m. followed by a contest versus Victor and then Section XI's Westhampton Beach during the first wave of pool play.
    A positive day on Sunday brings the Spartans back up I-87 for the finals beginning at noon.

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  • Saturday, November 10, 2007

    Wild regional Saturday for Saratoga County hopefuls

    It's been a full day of sports action for Saratoga County teams with several squads punching their tickets for the NYSPHSAA Final Four tournament next weekend.

  • Saratoga Springs field hockey shutout Liverpool, 2-0, on two goals by senior Emily Riley at Skidmore to advance to the Final Four in Syracuse.

  • Burnt Hills girls sophomore Monica Wolf scored the lone goal as the Spartans squeaked by Massena to advance to their Final Four in Cortland.

  • Burnt Hills girls volleyball swept Massena on the road, 25-9, 25-13, 25-6, to advance to next weekend's Final Four at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

  • The Galway boys soccer team remained undefeated with a 3-1 win over Northern Adirondack to advance to its Final Four at Oneonta.

  • The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake boys soccer squad earned a 3-1 win over Massena at SUNY-Canton to advance to the NYSPHSAA Class A Final Four next weekend at the Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta.

  • The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake and Greenwich girls cross country squads captured state titles Saturday afternoon at Norwood High School.

    Senior Caitlin Lane captured the Class C individual title with a run of 18:18.4.
    In large schools, Saratoga Springs, senior Hannah Davidson captured the girls Class AA title with a first-place time of 17:46.2.

    In the boys competition, Shenendehowa finished in second place in Class AA to Warwick, 41-61. Saratoga Springs junior Dimitri Goutos finished in ninth place with a time of 16:05.

  • The Burnt Hills girls squad captured the Class A team title along with the Greenwich girls squad won the Class C trophy. The Saratoga Springs girls team finished second in the Class AA race.

  • The Shenendehowa girls soccer squad fell to Cicero-North Syracuse, 2-1, after an early 1-0 lead.

  • Time ran out for the Burnt Hills field hockey squad, falling to Cazenovia, 1-0, at Skidmore in the Class B regional.

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  • Friday, November 09, 2007

    Add Uni Watch to your list of favorites

    Paul Lukas's blog, is worth an addition to internet browser favs.

    The self-proclaimed watchdog of uniform changes once again got a big lift with addition on ESPN's page 2 today, listing the numerous changes in uniforms throughout the NCAA men's basketball kingdom.

    I picked up the link of who picked it up because of the changes to the Syracuse men's hoops uniforms for this season.

    His preview of this year's apparel changes are informative as well as humorous for the reader.

    If there is any disappointment, some of his links are broken, giving you errors, but enjoy the site.

    Thursday, November 08, 2007

    Bring your passport this weekend

    The New York State Public High School Athletic Association, in an attempt to calm the often lauded complaints from those sections that rarely have an opportunity to host events gave in on three different sports this fall.

    That will now mean, with gas averaging $3.25 a gallon and the temperature almost guaranteed to be below freezing, fans and players will have to guard against hypothermia as well as remembering to bring their passports.

    Cross country got the biggest heave ho, traveling to Norwood-Norfolk Central School near Canton Saturday. More than two months ago, a colleague called to tell me that he had the last room at Bob's Motel 20 miles away. All the chain motels were already booked by the state committee for incoming teams.

    Opening ceremonies go off at 9:30 with the rescue squads already prepping for hypothermia at the finish and awards scheduled at 2:30 p.m.

    For those of you wondering, the trek will be 400 miles round-trip from Saratoga Springs.

    The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake boys soccer team will face Section X's Malone at SUNY Canton at 1:30 p.m.

    I think the only advantage is that they will not be running through the snow over trails in the woods. Instead they will get a full field to play soccer on and hopefully dodge the snowflakes.

    The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake girls volleyball squad will be 166 miles away at Chateaugay, near Malone, but at least these ladies will be inside at 3 p.m.

    For most of the local sportswriters, we're comfortable staying close to home this weekend with our local teams in regional competition.

    The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake field hockey squad will take on Section III's Camden 2 p.m. at Skidmore College. Saratoga will face Liverpool, the Section III A cham at 4 p.m.

    The Galway boys soccer team, remains undefeated and will take on Section VII's Northern Adirondack at Colonie High School at 2 p.m.

    It's a doubleheader of girls soccer action once again at Broadalbin-Perth High School. In Class AA Shen takes on Cicero-North Syracuse at noon and the Class A champs, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake takes on Massena at 4 p.m.

    The closest event for most of us will be the boys volleyball regional tournament which acts as the state championship. The sport lacks enough teams to earn a "state championship" title.

    The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake boys will be at Shenendehowa High School with three rounds of pool play versus Section VI at 9:30 a.m., Section III at 10:30 a.m. and Section V at 11:30 a.m. The Class A finals take place at 4 p.m.

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    Tuesday, November 06, 2007

    Burnt Hills survives Cortland in soccer regional

    Here are my blog updates from Tuesday's New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class A regional girls soccer contest between Burnt Hills and Cortland.

    My captain, my captain!
    Burnt Hills senior captain, Judy Horan, came through once again, extending her senior season with the fourth successful penalty kick past Cortland's Katie Apley to give the Spartans a 4-2 penalty kick victory in the NYSPHSAA Class A regional.

    PK's. Nuff Said
    Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

    Still tied after two overtimes
    Things remain deadlocked at three goals apiece after two 10 minute overtimes. The game now goes into potentially two five minute sudden victory periods.

    Overtime Cortland vs. Burnt Hills
    Score tied at 3-3 and will now go to two 10 minute overtimes with no "golden goals" to determine a winner. We're stuck in the cold for another 20 minutes.

    Tied again, this time 3-3
    Burnt Hills appeared to break through with 6:12 left in regulation when Amber Goodrich headed in a direct kick by sophomore Monica Wolf for a 3-2 lead. The celebration was short-lived when Cortland's Casey marks drilled a goal from 25-yards out under the crossbat less than a minute later, tying the game at three goals each.

    Cortland ties regional at 2-2
    Burnt Hills coach Brian bold says that he doesn't like 2-0 leads and now we know why. Just 17 seconds into the second half, of the start, Cortland senior Natale Muska sent the ball rolling towards the goal. Burnt Hills goalkeeper Teegan Kelly came out and dove at the ball, but missed. The ball just kept on rolling. Burnt Hills came back with two solid attempts at goal, one was just caught by the keeper and another sailed high. Cortland would make them pay, when Muska beat two different Burnt Hills defenders one-on-one and drilled the ball over a leaping Teegan Kelly, tying the regional at two apiece with 30 minutes left in regulation.

    Burnt Hills up 2-0 at the half
    Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake's Chelsea Craig took advantage of a late rush by the Spartans late in the first half. With time winding down, the ball was sent to the final third and was headed into the goal box. Craig was there to settle the ball and send it on to the left corner. The Cortland goalie moved right but slipped on the slick surface, unable to stop the ball, Burnt Hills goes up, 2-0. Freshman Maria Malone took a shot late in the half and was helped off holder her right arm. Could be a broken clavical. Dr. Reda is working the video tonight and may have some good footage of the goals. We'll see once we get to the editing room. :)

    BH girls up 1-0 vs. Cortland
    Burnt Hills senior captain sent her first corner kick of the night out, away from the goal appearing to be a harmless shot.
    Junior Julie Sampson was ready at the 30 and sent the ball deep, up and over the Cortland goalkeeper for a 1-0 lead 20 minutes into the first half of the Class A regional.

    NYSPHSAA girls soccer regional underway
    The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake girls soccer Class A regional against Cortland from Section III is finally underway at 6:50 p.m.
    The game was delayed due to the two overtime Marcella (Section III) 1-0 win over Tamarac in the Class C regional before.
    An apparent downpour came through prior to the first contest, bringing a chill as well as a slick surface to the Broadalbin-Perth FieldTurf surface.
    Tonight's winner will host Section X's Massena later in the week.

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    Monday, November 05, 2007

    Shen hoops starts for boys and girls

    Shen hoops ready to rock and roll the rim

    The hardwood floors in several different gymnasiums at both Shenendehowa High Schools began to take a beating Monday afternoon during the first official day of winter sports practices across Section II.

    Both the Plainsmen girls and boys basketball teams looked impressive on the first day of tryouts.

    While some faces will not be around after Saturday filling roster spots, almost everyone on the floor had talent, but then again, I'm not the one making the cuts.

    The Lady Plainsmen return senior point guard Barb Shea and if I remember the faces, Carey Turner, Serita Holland, Kim Woodard and Meg Goodwin (as soon as soccer is over).

    Coach Ken Strube, recovering from a car accident (he was actually hit by his own car, near his driveway by a lunatic attempting to escape from an earlier hit and run) and is recovering nicely, is excited about this group of prospects.

    He won't brag, but did confirm that he is only nine wins away from career victory number 500.

    As for the boys program, even if the Plainsmen don't win a game, they should be exciting to watch.

    With the excitement and enthusiasm of a football practice, the Plainsmen went through the first hour of drills with precision, energy and almost all of it above the rim.

    Shenendehowa returns seniors Brady Farkas, Kaelin Loose, Ryan Henderson, Joey Yund, and Tom Kukuk (if my guess of faces is close) but coach Tony Dzikas, like football coach Brent Steuerwald, hit the transfer lottery.

    Texas-transfer D.J. Evans was a huge hit on the gridiron during the fall, breaking through the opposing defensive lines for big gains. While that was impressive, his main game is actually basketball!

    On Monday he made the gym look very small, gliding up the court in a few long steps. He could be a terror to opposing defenses, just the way he likes it.

    The returners looked solid, but sophomore Ryan Wilkins stole the show time and time again with his dunks and vertical leap.

    The Plainsmen get right down to business, hosting their Tip-Off Tournament the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving.

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    Dear Diary - Week ending Nov. 11

    Nov. 7 - Five, four, three, gooooaaaalllll!

    Shen's Ashleigh Barone hits Class AA game-winner with three ticks left
    In the first half of the Section II Class AA girls final at Broadalbin the Shenendehowa girls squad didn't look strong and Niskayuna looked like champions.

    But then the snow started to fall and I mean really fall!

    The Plainsmen tied it 16 minutes into the second half on Karly DeSimone's toe-in of the ball inside the right post.

    It was all the 2004 state champions needed. Shenendehowa continued to attempt to create with the help of Barone, but couldn't get past Nisky's Marie Mutryn.

    The Siena-bound senior took matters into her own hands, er, onto her own feet and hooked in a shot as the referee was shouting down the closing seconds of regulation.

    The Plainsmen will face Cicero-North Syracuse at Broadalbin, noon Saturday. There is no forecast for snow.

    Nov. 6 - Lady Spartans survive OT and PKs

    The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake girls soccer team appeared to have it all going for them, a 2-0 lead at the half, just 40 minutes until another NYSPHSAA regional victory.

    Someone should have told Section III's Cortland Tigers.

    The Tigers came back on two separate occassions to tie the contest at 2-2 and again a 3-3 with five minutes left in regulation. The two squads battled for two 10 minute overtimes and two 5 minute "golden goal" overtimes to no avail.

    It came down to penalty kicks and Spartan senior captain Judy Horan put through the fourth shot out of five and junior goalkeeper Teegan Kelly turned back two out of four as Burnt Hills advances in the state tournament.

    The Spartans will host Section X's Massena Saturday.

    Nov. 5 - Another Spartan 3-peat

    This one's for the boys

    It's wasn't one of the prettiest contests ever played, but it was the 'W' that counts for the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake boys soccer squad as they earned their third consecutive Section II Class A title with a 1-0 win over South Glens Falls Monday night at Colonie High School.

    Ethan Chase, formally of Galway High School fame, threaded the needle, firing the ball past three South Glens Falls defenders and into the upper 90. If I could have gotten past my editor I would have called it 'redonkulous.'

    The Spartans will face the Section III (Syracuse-area) winner this week at Colonie High School. I expect it to be a Thursday game, maybe.

    Nov. 5 - Winter practices underway

    It was good to be inside a gym Monday afternoon, listening to the squeaking of sneakers on a hardwood floor versus the wind in my ears and shivering outside near the soccer fields.

    The Shenendehowa girls and boys basketball teams looked really good on their first day. Lots of new faces and a lot of talent for the coaches to pick from.

    Wrestling practice begins Friday, so they still have a few days left to be able to eat a decent meal before having to make weight (that's a joke!)

    The wrestlers are still in better shape than the alpine skiers, I think they spent the afternoon figuring out how to pay for lift tickets and praying for snow. As for the cross country ski team...good luck!

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    Saturday, November 03, 2007

    Section II Division I swim finals tally

    Here are the top finishers and Saratoga county finishers at Saturday's Section II Division I swimming and diving meet at Robison Pool at RPI.

    Division I team results
    1. Bethlehem 411 2. Shenendehowa 342 3. Saratoga 340 4. Shaker 275.50 5. Guilderville 229 6. Albany 157 7. Ballston Spa 149.50 8. Mohon-Schalmont 146 9. Troy 76 10. Schenectady 58 11. Hudson Falls/South Glens Falls 38.

    Individual results
    # NYS meet qualifier
    200-yard medley relay
    1. Saratoga (Allison Walker, Maggie Callesano, Kathleen Rice, Taylor Slone), 1:55.50. 2. Shaker, 1:55.58. 3. Bethlehem, 1:56.25.
    Local finishers: 7. Ballston Spa (maria Het7, Jennifer Stodgell, Amy Dumary, Gabby Pittochi), 2:00.35. 8. Shenendehowa (Deborah Korzun, Kim Willey, Chloe Sosnowski, Nikki Sauter), 2:02.44. 11. HF/SGF (Rebecca Hudson, Christine Merton, Sarah Lindsey, Amanda Warren), 2:22.33.

    #1. Taylor Slone, SARA, 1:56.90. #2. Bethany Powhida, BC, 1:59.81. #3. Kelsey Barbour, SHEN, 1:59.01.
    Local finishers: 5. Olivia Samson, SHEN, 2:01.34. 7. Caitlin Salerno, SHEN, 2:05.49. 9. Ali Smoak, SARA, 2:05.81. 14. Siobhan Gomer, SARA, 2:09.98. 16. Nikki Sauter, SHEN, 2:10.60.

    200-individual medley
    #1. Kara Zebrowski, SHEN, 2:09.92. #2. Maggie Callesano, SARA, 2:10.82. #3. Katie O'Donnell, BC, 2:11.91.
    Local finishers: 6. Allison Walker, SARA, 2:21.02. 13. Emily Carter, SHEN, 2:28.04. 14. Catherine Carswell, SARA, 2:28.20. 15. Kathleen Rice, SARA, 2:28.61.

    #1. Amanda Vitullo, MO-SHAL, 24.70. #2. MaryAnn Gaffuri, ALB, 24.76. 3. Rachel Garbo, BC, 25.54.
    Local finishers: 7. Christina Grandjacquet, SARA, 26.23. 9. Deborah Korzun, SHEN, 26.57. 13. Gaby Pittochi, BSPa, 27.27.

    #1. Andrea krok, SHEN, 488.65 points. #2. Taber Walkowiak, BSPA, 462.50. #3. Kirstie Russell, BC, 436.10. #4. Elizabeth Rice, SARA, 434.45. #5. Devon Delay, BSPA, 398.25.
    Local finishers: 7. Carly Schneider, SHEN, 378.30. 8. Heather Markus, SARA, 360.30. 10. Jesse Shultz, BSPA, 332.80. 11. Chelsea Matthews, BSPA, 322.85. 14. Sara Hayden, SHEN, 295.70. 16. Devin Sherin, SARA, 292.50.

    1. Lily Powell, BC, 1:01.47. 2. Sara Mion, SHAK, 1:01.54. 3. Chloe Sosnowski, SHEN, 1:03.12.
    Local finishers: 7. Kathleen Rice, SARA, 1:05.59. 9. Alyssa Smith, SARA, 1:08.44. 11. Catherine Carswell, SARA, 1:09.90. 14. Anna Boardman, SARA, 1:10.15. 16. Amy Dumary, BSPA, 1:11.44.

    #1. Taylor Slone, SARA, 54.26. #2. MaryAnn Gaffuri, ALB, 54.51. 3. Olivia Samson, SHEN, 56.19.
    Local finishers: 6. Christina Grandjacquet, SARA, 57.55. 11. Liz Barno, BSPA, 59.33. 14. Mariah Montenegro, SARA, 1:00.26.

    #1. Bethany Powhida, BC, 5:14.93. 2. Alyssa DiFabio, SARA, 5:52.58. 3. Hailey Kopp, SHAK, 5:25.66.
    Local finishers: 4. Caitlin Salerno, SHEN, 5:31.50. 6. Ali Smoak, SARA, 5:37.98. 8. Deborah Korzun, SHEN, 5:48.31. 12. Nikki Sauter, SHEN, 5:51.98. 13. Austin Anderson, SARA, 5:57.10. 15. Kathleen Willey, SHEN, 6:04.16.

    200-freestyle relay
    #1. Shenendehowa (Deborah Korzun, olivia Samson, Kelsey Barbour, Kara Zebrowski), 1:40.97. 2. Shaker, 1:43.10. 3. Bethlehem, 1:44.63.
    Local finishers: 6. Saratoga (Mariah Montenegro, Ali Smoak, Siobhan Gomer, christina Grandjacquet), 1:47.02. 7. Ballston Spa (Liz Barno, Jennifer Stodgell, Jordan Pulling, Gabby Pittohi), 1:48.51. 11. Hudson Falls/South Glens Falls (Amanda Warren, Rebecca Rainville, Lauren Moreau, Lindsay Bacon), 2:03.83.

    #1. Kara Zebrowski, SHEN, 59.10. #2. Amanda Vitullo, MO-SHAL, 59.71. #3. Katie O'Donnell, BC, 59.76. #4. Jenna Bickel, GVIL, 1:00.69.
    Local finishers: 7. Chloe Sosnowski, SHEN, 1:04.03. 11. Allison Walker, SARA, 1:05.67. 12. Maria Hetz, BSPA, 1:06.84. 15. Siobhan Gomer, SARA, 1:08.27.

    #1. Kelsey Barbour, SHEN, 1:07.95. #2. Maggie Callesano, SARA, 1:08.60. 3. Jennifer Stodgell, BSPA, 1:10.77.
    Local finishers: 9. Alyssa DiFabio, SARA, 1:15.19. 10. Kim Willey, SHEN, 1:15.83. 15. Austin Anderson, SARA, 1:19.85.

    400-freestyle relay
    #1. Shenendehowa (Caitlin Salerno, olivia Samson, Kelsey Barbour, Kara Zebrowski), 3:40.43. 2. Bethlehem, 3:43.20. 3. Saratoga (Christina Grandjacquet, Allison Walker, Maggie Callesano, Taylor Slone), 3:45.91.
    Local finishers: 6. Ballston Spa (Liz Barno, Danielle Collins, Melissa Hosek, Maria Hetz), 4:08.51. 10. HF/SGF (Lindsay Bacon, Jennifer Allen, Amanda Warren, Rebecca Hudson), 4:31.91.

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    Section II Division I live blog notes

    Here are the notes I uploaded live to the blog during the Section II Division I girls swimming and diving meet at RPI's Robison Pool Nov. 3.

    Bethlehem Central was expected to run or swim away with the Division I title, but two local schools are making it interesting.
    BC leads with 265 points with Saratoga trailing at 246 and Shen at 203. Shaker is fourth at 187, Guilderland fifth at 138.
    It will once again come down to the last race, the 400-freestyle relay.

    DI swimming rules state team
    The larger school not only have larger teams, but also have depths of talent with speed also.
    During Saturday's two-division meet, individuals advance to the state meet by hitting "magic times" or qualifiers for the state meet.
    During the early Division II meet, only seven individuals qualified for the state meet. Through three events of the Division I (large school) meet, eight have qualified in the first three events and several more spots are expected to be added during the 1-meter diving competition going on now.

    SII Division I meet underway
    It:s 5:10 p..m and the Section II Division I girls swimming meet is finally underway.
    With the DII meet taking a full 4 1/2 hours, I'm looking at a late night at the RPI pool today.
    The place is packed, but not over code Mr. Fire Marshall. That led to this year's separate meets. Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake's Courtney Schwarting was named this year's Section II scholar athlete award winner during the pre-meet festivities.
    Ballston Spa's Jillian Ferron did a fantastic job with the National Anthem.

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    Section II Division II swim results

    Here's a list of winners along with times from Saratoga County finishers at the Section II Division II swimming and diving meet at RPI's Robison Pool Nov. 3.

    RPI Robison Pool
    # NYS meet qualifier
    Division II team results
    1. Burnt Hills 388 2. Queensbury 387 3. Niskayuna 273 4. Glens Falls 237 5. Gloversville-Mayfield 191 6. Scotia-Glenville 164 7. Emma Willard 127 8. Albany Academy 118 9. Ravena 99 10. Amsterdam 81 11. Fonda-Johnstown 76 12. Watervliet 24 13. Tamarac 9.

    Individual results
    200-yard medley relay
    #1. Queensbury (Elizabeth Ringer, Rachel McMahon, Hillary Chocko, Katie Miele), 1:55.29 2. Burnt Hills (Emily Hoskinson, Amanda Gibson, Sara McFadden, Courtney Duchesne), 1:57.30. 3. Scotia-Glenville, 2:02.74.

    #1. Emily Whitaker, NISK, 1:58.37. 2. Courtney Schwarting, BHBL, 2:01.49. 3. Emma Bonan, GF, 2:02.61.
    Local finishers: 5. Sara McFadden, BHBL, 2:04.80. 6. Sara Swett, BHBL, 2:06.45. 15. Sara Merchant, BHBL, 2:20.03.

    200-individual medley
    1. Nicki Parker, QUEEN, 2:17.77. 2. Hillary Chocko, QUEEN, 2:20.00. 3. Courtney Duchesne, BHBL, 2:21.75.
    Local finishers: 4. Erin Ludeke, BHBL, 2:24.20. 8. Kelly Ludeke, BHBL, 2:26.42. 9. Amanda Gibson, BHBL, 2:27.66.

    #1. Karoline Hart, NISK, 25.09. #2. McKenna Murphy, NISK, 25.16. #3. Brooke Barber, QUEEN, 25.20.
    Local finishers: 4. Kaleigh Ahern, BHBL, 25.44. 12. Emily Dreisbach, 27.29.

    1-meter diving
    1. Ariel Graham, EMMA, 365.70 points. 2. Whitney Salamone, SG, 339.45. 3. Christine Renzi, AA, 333.00.

    #1. McKenna Murphy, NISK, 1:00.33. 2. Hillary Chocko, QUEEN, 1:01,21. 3. Sara McFadden, BHBL, 1:02.37.
    Local finishers: 8. Emily Dreisbach, BHBL, 1:08.07. 13. Brooke Adams, BHBL, 1:08.75. 16. Cary Anderson, BHBL, 1:11.72.

    1. Brooke Barber, QUEEN, 55.77. 2. Emily Whitaker, NISKY, 55.80. 3. Ashley Burns, RCS, 56.25.
    Local finishers: 7. Erin Ludeke, BHBL, 58.59. 8. Emily Hoskinson, BHBL, 57.78. 10. Kelly Ludeke, BHBL, 58.99. 13. Mackenzie Wilcox, BHBL, 1:00.31.

    1. Shahd Mostafa, EMMA, 5:21.34. 2. Courtney Schwarting, BHBL, 5:24.15. 3. Ashley Palmer, QUEEN, 5:35.04
    Local finshers: 4. Sara Swett, BHBL, 5:35.92. 9. Cary Anderson, BHBL, 5:53.80. 10. Brooke Adams, BHBL, 5:57.12.

    200-freestyle relay
    1. Niskayuna (Emily Whitaker, Kerry Archer, Karoline Hart, McKenna Murphy), 1:42.40. 2. Queensbury, 1:43.63. 3. Burnt Hills (Erin Ludeke, Courtney Duchense, Courtney Schwarting, Kaleigh Ahern), 1:43.92.

    1. Nicki Parker, QUEEN, 1:02.10. 2. Emily Hoskinson, BHBL, 1:03.07. 3. Ashley Burns, RCS, 1:03.49.
    Local finishers: 12. Mackenzie Wilcox, BHBL, 1:10.95.

    #1. Karoline Hart, NISK, 1:09.81 #2. Kaleigh Ahern, BHBL, 1:09.43. 3. Rachel McMahon, QUEEN, 1:09.75.
    Local finishers: 7. Courtney Duchesne, BHBL, 1:14.13. 10. Amanda Gibson, BHBL, 1:14.81. 16. Shelby Van Etten, BHBL, 1:20.21.

    400-freestyle relay
    1. Niskayuna (Emily Whitaker, Rachele Marra, McKenna Murphy, Karoline Hart), 3:44.89. 2. Queensbury, 3:47.42. 3. Burnt Hills (Erin Ludeke, Emily Hoskinson, Kaleigh Ahern, Courtney Schwarting), 3:48.09.

    MVP - Niskayuna's Karoline Hart.

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    Section II Division II live blog notes

    Here are the live blog notes from the Section II Division II (small schools) girls swimming and diving meet Nov. 3 from RPI's Robison Pool.

    It's down to the last relay..and the winner is...
    Niskayuna never made it interesting, pulling out to an early lead and winning by two full lengths..
    The Section II championship came down to second and third as Queensbury and Burnt Hills duked it out stroke by stroke. Burnt Hills took a lead between the two contenders by a hand on the second leg Queensbury took back second during the third leg, but both touched the pad at the same time, setting up a 100-yard duel. Queensbury's Nicki Parker out touched Burnt Hills' Courtney Schwarting for second place by 68/100ths of a second.
    With the scoring official, Burnt Hills wins the DII final by a single point, 388-387!

    Its a photo finish in the pool Heading into the final DII event, Queensbury is only three points behind Burnt Hills going into the 400-yard free relay.
    A win for either squad gives them the SII title....

    BHBL swimmers still ahead
    Through 9 out of 12 events Saturday, Burnt Hills still holds a lead over Queensbury, stretching it out to 45 points after the 200-yard freestyle relay.
    1. Burnt Hills 297
    2. Queensbury 252
    3. Niskayuna 207
    4. Glens Falls
    Note: So far only one racing casualty. The Ravena-Coyemans-Selkirk 200-free relay squad was disqualified agter its lead-off swimmer fell into the water from the starting block prior to the start.
    The place got pretty quiet when it happened.

    Magic Time!
    It's all about the "magic time" at the Section II Division II girls swimming and diving competition at RPI's Robison Pool.
    For the first time the meet was physically split into two, with smaller schools swimming first, than the larger schools swimming later in the day due to capacity restrictions at RPI.
    The afternoon's swimmers could only guarantee a spot on the New York State meet team if they swam under the pre-determined NYS qualifing time during the regular season or Saturday.
    The disappointment comes if you are the fastest swimmer in the afternoon, that would normally guarantee you a spot on the squad. Now swimmers have to wait to see if a Division I swimmer was faster, if no one met the "magic time."
    Now when you add that to the humidity inside the building along with the shrieks of a few hundred teenage girls, you can see why an Excedrine headache is not far off.
    After the first four events, Burnt Hills holds a 14-point lead over Queensburt, 151-137. Niskayuna is third at 103.

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    Friday, November 02, 2007

    Dear Diary - Week ending Nov. 4

    Locals advance and fall during sectional week

    It was a long week as the schedule was full of Saratoga County schools battling for Section II titles in a variety of sports.

    A pair of field hockey titles earned at Skidmore College

    Saratoga back on top of Class A

    The Saratoga Springs field hockey team had Emily Riley and Niskayuna didn't.

    The Blue Streak captain had a hat trick as Saratoga dropped Niskayuna, 4-0.

    Saratoga's last Section II title came in 2004 when the squad went on to earn a state title.

    Swits assists Spartans to Class B title

    Burnt Hills senior Erika Swits knows how to find her teammates.

    She provided both crossing passes to her teammates as the Spartans dropped Glens Falls, 2-1, earning a title after four consecutive final appearances.

    She found Megan Usher for the opening goal in the second half,but saw the lead evaporate shortly after. Swits saved the ball from going out near the goal line and then fed Jullia Loria for the game-winner with seven minutes left in the game.

    Nov. 3 Things heat up in girls swimming sectional showdown

    Spartans take Division II title by a point

    It was a long day at RPI's Robison Pool as the Section II girls swimming and diving meet was split up into two separate meets over an entire day.

    During the Division II (small school) meet, the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake girls squad edged out Queensbury by a single point to claim its second straight Class B title.

    The Spartan 400-yard relay team didn't know the score heading into the final event and for a few moments thought that their third-place finish cost them the title. It didn't.

    Burnt Hills senior Courtney Schwarting also earned the Section II scholar-athlete award, capping a stellar day for the Spartans.

    BC swims away with DI title

    Bethlehem Central powered its way to the Division I swimming title, but still left some Saratoga County drama for the 400-freestyle relay.

    With the meet decided, the battle was for second between Saratoga and Shenendehowa. The Plainsmen finished first with a state qualifying time, edging out the rival Blue Streaks for second place.

    Saratoga County placed 12 swimmers and divers on the Section II squad that will compete in two weeks at the New York State meet on Long Island.

    Nov. 2 It's a three-peat for Spartan girls soccer

    Despite suffering a slew of injuries, the Burnt Hills girls soccer team still knew how to win.

    Senior captain Judy Horan knew who to find on the pitch Friday night, hitting Georgina Farrow and then Chelsea Craig for goals as the Spartans earned its third straight Section II Class B soccer title.

    Horan was out for several games due to a badly sprained ankle, the squad lost top scorer, Christina Boni to a torn ACL in the second game of the year and lost another player to the same injury later in the year.

    "This year was difficult," Horan said. "We had a lot of league losses and injuries, but what doesn't kill us makes us stronger."

    Nov. 1 South Glens Falls leaves no doubt

    The Bulldogs didn't leave any questions about their second goal of the Section II Class B semifinal against Scotia-Glenville.

    South High's Jonathan Bouchard was awarded a penalty kick 32 minutes into the first half after being taken down inside the goal box.

    Scotia tied the contest with five minutes to go in the half when Joe Hlat scored after a slew of bodies battled for the ball inside the box and Bulldog goalie Evan Smith was unable to make the save.

    Just four minutes into the overtime, Bouchard connected from a crossing pass by Chris Mack in front of the goal and popped it over the goalie for the win.

    South Glens Falls will meet Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake in the Nov. 5 final at Colonie. The Spartans upset No. 1 Albany Academy, 3-0.

    Oct. 31 Tenacious 'O' propels Spartans to another soccer final

    The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake girls soccer team allowed only three shots on its own goal by South Glens Falls on its way to a 2-0 Section II Class B semifinal win.

    Sophomore Elise McAllister put the Spartans up 1-0 during the opening minutes of the second half and senior Judy Horan put the game away with five minutes to go on a corner kick.

    From the left corner she sent in the ball up and over the defense, hitting nothing but the opposite corner of the goal. Her first-ever successful corner kick goal.

    Oct. 31 Saratoga field hockey too much for Shen

    The Saratoga Springs field hockey team was all about the offense Wednesday afternoon, putting 31 shots on Shenendehowa goalie Emily Gunner in the Section II Class A semifinal.

    It just proved to be too much as the Plainsmen fell, 3-1, and the Blue Streaks advanced to the Section II Class A final for the first time since 2004 when the squad.

    Oct. 30 Saratoga girls soccer falls to Shaker

    The Blue Streaks season came to an end, 4-2, at the hands of Shaker High School on the road.

    Caitlin Cahalan had a great birthday starting the Bison off with the go-ahead goal early in the first half and Kat Thomas added a goal and two assists in the quarterfinal win over Saratoga.

    It ended a great run by the Blue Streaks with 13 wins and coach Skip Dawson only loses three starters to graduation.

    Oct. 30 DeSimone doubles her output against Queensbury

    Shenendehowa senior Dana DeSimone admitted she was in a scoring slump since early in the season. She busted out, scoring four goals against Queensbury in girls soccer Class AA quarterfinal.

    She capped her night with a hat trick, three goals, in five minutes early in the second half to earn her a seat on the bench.

    The Plainsmen put 36 shots on frame with Queensbury goalie Theresa Ellis turning back 21 shots.

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    Hoe Down - Row Down this Saturday

    Boot stomping for boat housin'
    So if you aren't part of the Saratoga Rowing Association's e-mail and mailing list, haven't looked at any of the weekly calenders in our publications or maybe just oblivious to everything, here is one final update...

    Put on your jeans, your cowboy boots and pony-up the $75 and get over to the Saratoga Rowing Association's Hoe Down-Row Down at the Saratoga Boathouse 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3.

    The event includes live music by the Stony Creek Band with some great grub by Jake's Round-Up and the night includes a live auction, cash bar, a true-to-life Western shooting gallery and a lot more.

    Valet parking will be available and the attendees are asked to be over 21.

    The night is a celebration of completion of Phase III of the boathouse project. It's big, it's beautiful and Saturday night is designed to help pay off the balance of the project.

    The group is very close to it's goal, so come out, put your your blue jeans, cowboy boots and have a rip-roaring, good time.

    I know I'm disappointing a few cow pokes by not attending, I'm committed to sectional finals all day.

    To make your reservations, call 587-6697.

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