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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: February 2009

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.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Shen's Magnificent 7 sign on the dotted line

Left to right: Shenendehowa seniors Mike Danaher, Brian Trainor, Alex Leuchanka, Evan Palmer, Michelle Quimby, Joe Miner and James Curley signed National Letters of Intent Wednesday afternoon inside the Shenendehowa High School East Library. They are supported by track coaches Mark Thompson, Scott Dochat, Athletic Director Chris Culnan, track coach Don Paretta, along with soccer coaches Mike Campisi and Peter Burbank.

It may have been one of the loudest moments ever in the Shenendehowa High School East Library Wednesday afternoon when a round of applause was given to seven Plainsmen athletes who finished signing their respective National Letters of Intent to attend and compete at the Division I level next year.

Shenendehowa seniors Evan Palmer (University of Maryland at Baltimore County), Alex Leuchanka (UAlbany), Michelle Quimby (Kennesaw State University), Brian Trainor (United States Military Academy), and Mike Danaher (Dartmouth) will all compete in track and field programs. Joe Miner (Siena College) and James Curley (Marist College) will both play soccer beginning next fall at their respective New York schools.

The National Letter of Intent officially commits a student-athlete to a college or university, ending their search and the pursuit of an athlete by other college coaches.

Palmer will be throwing weight around next year in the form of the shot put, discus and the hammer for the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
“I was limited by my major and wanted to go to a Division I college,” Palmer said. “I’m taking computer science with game development.”

Shenendehowa pole vaulter Michelle Quimby has already reached heights that haven’t been achieved at Kennesaw State University in Georgia.

“They’re a first-year Division I program and they have two vaulters that have cleared 9-feet, 6-inches,” the Northeast New York champion Quimby said. “My personal best is 12-feet.”

Three members of the Shenendehowa state championship boys cross country squad are all prepared to race at the next level.

Warwick transfer Alex Leuchanka, the New York State Federation champion, penned his name to continue to compete locally at the University at Albany.

“It was between Syracuse and Albany, but the (financial aid package) was better at Albany,” Leuchanka said. “They have had success in the America East. I should be able to go out and compete my first year.”

Plainsmen harriers Trainor and Danaher shared championships and the news about their destinations next year together. Trainor received a call from the Dartmouth coach following up on his plans while he was with Danaher. He informed the coach of his commitment to the United States Military Academy, but offered the coach to talk to Danaher while he had the opportunity. Both had visited Dartmouth together on an official visit.

“When he said he didn’t want to talk to me I wasn’t worried,” Danaher said. “My mom does all my worrying for me. When I got the call the next day, it was all O.K.”

Trainor is following in his parents footsteps. His mother, Eileen, is a 1983 graduate of West Point and Jim, is a 1981 graduate of the academy, despite earlier reservations.

“When I was a freshman and sophomore at CBA I was determined that I wasn’t going to go to West Point because my parents did,” Trainor said. “Then last year when I transferred back to Shen, it was a big change. To see civilian life again like that I felt that the West Point structure really appealed to me.”

Curley will join the Red Foxes on a campus also overlooking the Hudson River at Marist College.

“I just loved the campus,” Curley said. “The team is young, but I see them going places.”

The business marketing major is hoping to take his seasoning under Shenendehowa coach Mike Campisi and experience with his Blackwatch travel program and earn a starting spot.

Miner chose to go to school down the road to the Loudonville Campus at Siena, following several successful Plainsmen players that continued to wear green at the Division I level.

“I knew (Mike) DeSimone and (Brian) Woodfield all liked it and stayed all four years,” Miner said. “I’m probably going to like it too.”

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Youth rugby information meeting Feb. 27 at BH-BL


The Saratoga Mustangs, a U-19 rugby club will host an informational meeting 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School cafeteria for any Saratoga County high school aged student, boy or girl, who is interested in playing rugby this spring.

No experience is necessary to join the squad.

For more information check out their web-site at www.saratogarugy.com and click on youth rugby or e-mail Coach Pete Mody at rugbythrilla@gmail.com.

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Jordan Stevens named Suburban Council Player of the Year


Saratoga Springs senior Jordan Stevens was named the 2008-09 Suburban Council Player of the Year as released earlier today as voted on by the league's coaches. Stevens received a total of 218 points for top honors.

Shenendehowa head coach Anthony Dzikas was named the Suburban Council Coach of the Year after the Plainsmen posted a 15-1 league record and a current 19-1 overall mark.

The Niskayuna Warriors were announced as the 2008-09 team sportsmanship award winners.

Here is a complete list of award winners:

First team All-Suburban Council

  • Jordan Stevens, Senior, Saratoga Springs
  • Matt Miner, Junior, Shenendehowa
  • Kevin Wenth, Senior, Bethlehem
  • Jordan Macejka, Senior, Mohonasen
  • Kyle Mafrici, Senior, Colonie

    Second team All-Suburban Council

  • Kevin Kost, Senior, Guilderland
  • Doug Milvaney, Senior, Shenendehowa
  • Jon Terry, Senior, Guilderland
  • Janique Lanier, Senior, Shaker
  • Steven King, Senior, Columbia

  • Third team All-Suburban Council

  • Sean Peer, Senior, Colonie
  • Anthony Robustiano, Senior, Mohonasen
  • Zachary Morton, Junior, Burnt Hills
  • Alex King, Senior, Saratoga
  • Guy Waltman, Junior, Niskayuna
  • Cody Robinson, Senior, Ballston Spa
  • Mark Seager, Junior, Ballston Spa

    2008-09 Exceptional Senior All-Stars

  • Jordan Stevens, Saratoga Springs
  • Kyle Mafrici, Colonie
  • Jordan Macejka, Mohonasen
  • Kevin Wenth, Bethlehem
  • Doug Milvaney, Shenendehowa
  • Kevin Kost, Guilderland
  • Steven King, Columbia
  • Janique Lanier, Shaker
  • Jon Terry, Guilderland
  • Sean Peer, Colonie

    2008-09 Suburban Council Coach of the Year

  • Anthony Dzikas, Shenendehowa
  • Labels: ,

    Monday, February 16, 2009

    Capital District High School Ice Hockey All-Stars announced

    2008-09 CDHSHL All-Stars
    Player of the Year
    Cody Nizolek F Saratoga
    2008-09 All-CDHSHL team
    Evan Greenwald G South Glens Falls
    Mike Casey D Niskayuna/Schenectady
    Andrew Sellner D CBA
    Kevin Corbett F Queensbury
    Matt Vetrone F Shaker/Colonie
    Colin Burg F Guilderland
    2008-09 Division I
    First team
    Jim Lanne G Shaker/Colonie
    Kevin Syrotynski D LaSalle
    Tyler Hubert D Shaker/Colonie
    Mike Dougherty F CBA
    Greg Warnken F Guilderland
    Corey Brustle F Shaker/Colonie
    2009-09 Division I
    Second team
    Peter Rakowsky G Shenendehowa
    T.J. Lane D CBA
    Tom Asterino D Shenendehowa
    Dan Dickinson F Guilderland
    Ryan Phillips F Shaker/Colonie
    Vincent Planz F LaSalle
    2008-09 Division II
    First team
    Dylan Hafner G Queensbury
    Anthony Soprano D Queensbury
    Greg Dwyer D Burnt Hills/Scotia-Glenville
    Kevin Valenti F Queensbury
    Jack Bulmer F Glens Falls
    Kyle McKelvey F Mohonasen
    2008-09 Division II
    Second team

    Travis Marlow G Queensbury
    Lucas Hay D Queensbury
    Petter Lundgren D Mohonasen
    Kenny Hand F Queensbury
    Ryan Brown F Glens Falls
    Max Munsey F Burnt Hills/Scotia-Glenville

    2008-09 Honorable Mention
    Stephen Russo F BC
    Mike Tennenboym F Niskayuna/Schenectady
    Greg Ducharme F Niskayuna/Schenectady
    Steve Basile F CBA
    Nick Rainville F Shenendehowa
    Patrick Raike F CBA
    Mike Cronin F Glens Falls
    Alex Verchereau F LaSalle
    Dan Lanior D Glens Falls
    Adam Snyder D Queensbury
    Scott Brayden D Shenendehowa
    Stephen O’Sick D Glens Falls
    Ryan Lee D Saratoga
    Jarod Bugbee D Bethlehem Central
    Shawn Buzzard D Guilderland
    Will Kiley D LaSalle
    Kris Hildenbrandt D Shaker/Colonie
    Andrew Blood G CBA
    Graeme Bulmer G Saratoga
    Alex Cooper G Bethlehem Central
    T.J. Delaney G Saratoga
    Ben Phillips G Niskayuna/Schenectady

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    Saturday, February 14, 2009

    Shen owns SII swimming & diving

    The Shenendehowa boys varsity squad could only lose Saturday if they drained the water out of the pool.
    The Plainsmen set a new school record, earning 497 points cruising to its third straight Section II title.
    In a battle of the best of the rest, upstart Mohonasen-Schalmont edged out Bethlehem Central, Shaker, Saratoga and Ballston Spa for second place.
    Team results
    1. Shenendehowa 497. 2. Mohonasen-Schalmont 266.5. 3. Bethlehem 251. 4. Shaker 233. 5. Saratoga 230. 6. Ballston Spa 215. 7. Guilderville 164.5. 8. Schenectady 161. 9. Niskayuna 115. 10. Albany 52.

    NYSPHSAA qualifiers
    200-medley relay - Shenendehowa (Taylor Nichols, Michael Bidwell, Shayne Buckley, Jacob Johnson), 1:38.83. Mohonasen-Schalmont (Devin Hallam, Nate Resila, Michael Dugan, Robbie Briskie), 1:39.35.
    200-freestyle - Frankie Dyer (SHAK), 1:39.942. Michael Barno (SHEN), 1:4509. Troy Nichols (SHEN) 1:45.21. Devon Byrt (SS), 1:47.59. Sean Parnett (SHEN), 1:47.98.
    200-individual medley - Shayne Buckley (SHEN), 1:56.58. Michael Bidwell (SHEN), 2:02.30.
    50-freestyle - Jacob Johnson (SHEN), 21.55. Michael Dugan (MS), 21.93. David Rowley (SHAK), 22.24. Nate Resila (MS), 22.42. Zachary Kundel (BC), 22.47.
    Diving - Ian Hogan (BSPA), 581.95. Grant Fecteau (BC), 494.75. Sean Molloy (GV), 440.40. Josh Koppel (SHAK), 413.10. Ben Conti (BC), 406.60. Chris Clemens (SHAK), 396.85.
    100-butterfly - Michael Dugan (MS), 51.11. Shayne Buckley (SHEN), 54.19. Taylor Vancott (BC), 54.33.
    100-freestyle - Jacob Johnson (SHEN), 46.76. Michael Barno (BSPA), 48.15. Devon Byrt (SS), 48.90. David Rowley (SHAK), 48.98.
    500-freestyle - Frankie Dyer (SHAK), 4:34.70. Troy Nichols (SHEN), 4:53.22.
    200-freestyle relay - Mohonasen-Schalmont (Devin Hallam, Robbie Briskie, Nate Resilia, Michael Dugan), 1:29.14. Shenendehowa (Sean Parnett, Travis Bueno, Michael Bidwell, Troy Nichols), 1:29.91.
    100-backstroke - Kevin Murphy (SS), 55.43. Steve Maxwell (SHAK), 55.70. Taylor Vancott (BC), 55.83. Taylor Nichols (SHEN), 55.95. Will Dobson (SCHEN), 56.19.
    100-breaststroke - Nate Resila (MS), 1:01.37. Michael Bidwell (SHEN), 1:01.87.
    400-freestyle relay - Shenendehowa (Taylor Nichols, Michael Bidwell, shayne Buckley, Jacob Johnson), 1:38.83.

    Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

    Friday, February 13, 2009

    CDHSHL Division I playoff picture set

    No. 1 seeded Shaker/Colonie earned first place in Division I with the Suburban Council title earlier this month and with it a bye in the quarterfinal round of the Capital District High School Hockey League playoffs.

    No. 2 Christian Brothers Academy will host No. 7 Niskayuna/Schenectady at the Albany County Recreational Facility 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

    No. 3 Saratoga Springs will host rival No. 5 Shenendehowa 6:45 p.m. at the Weibel Avenue Rink.

    No. 4 Guilderland will host No. 5 LaSalle Institute 7:30 p.m.at Union College.

    Shaker/Colonie will host the winner of the Guilderland/LaSalle meeting 8 p.m. February 20 at the Albany County Recreational Facility.

    The lower half of the bracket, Shen/Saratoga and Niskayuna/CBA will be hosted by the higher seeded team with a date and time to be announced.

    The finals are slated for 7 p.m. Feb. 26 at Union College.

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    Wednesday, February 11, 2009

    NYSAHA pre-sectional division contests set

    It's a full weekend of action on the ice for the youngsters throughout New York State as the NYSAHA pre-sectional tournaments get underway.

    The top four teams from each division will advance to the sectional tournament with only the top two advancing to the state-level tournament.

    Bethlehem Youth Hockey will host the squirt state tournament at the former BIG Arena with Bethlehem, Schenectady, Clifton Park, Saratoga, Adirondack and Plattsburgh battling.

    Saratoga Youth Hockey will host the pee wee event with Clifton Park, Adirondack, Schenectady, Bethlehem and Lake Placid skating for seeding positions at the next level.

    Adirondack will host the bantam level pre-sectional with invitees including Saratoga, Bethlehem, Clifton Park and Schenectady competing.

    Here's the 2009 Pee Wee Pre-Sectional schedule:

    Friday, Feb. 13

  • 3 p.m. Saratoga vs. Clifton Park

  • 4:50 p.m.Adirondack vs. Bethlehem

  • 6:40 p.m. Lake Placid vs. Schenectady

    Saturday, Feb. 14

  • 7 a.m. Bethlehem vs. Saratoga

  • 8:50 a.m. Clifton Park vs. Lake Placid

  • 10:40 a.m. Schenectady vs. Adirondack

  • 3 p.m.Bethlehem vs. Clifton Park

  • 4:40 p.m. Saratoga vs. Schenectady

  • 6:40 p.m. Adirondack vs. Lake Placid

    Sunday, Feb. 15

  • 7 a.m. Schenectady vs. Bethlehem

  • 8:50 a.m.Lake Placid vs. Saratoga

  • 10:40 a.m. Clifton Park vs. Adirondack

  • 3 p.m. Bethlehem vs. Lake Placid

  • 4:50 p.m. Schenectady vs. Clifton Park

  • 6:40 p.m. Saratoga vs. Adirondack

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  • Wrestling seeds in...well, sort of

    It's a common occurrence for me and the staff at The Saratogian, forgotten, left for dead, waiting by the phone and computer for someone who either forgot or never intended to call.

    Tonight was one of those nights.

    The wrestling sectional meetings were held Wednesday night in five different locations so we had five opportunities to not get the top seeds sent to us.

    We were four for five to the negative side. The only seeds we received were from the CC gang where the Section II chairperson ran the meeting.

    When in doubt, go to the source. I called the chairperson, told him my dilemma and then went to Plan B...or actually plan P-Star.

    Pete Tobey, on the second-best wrestling beat writer in the Capital Region to Schenectady Gazette's Bill Palmer, was updating his blog as he was getting the seeds.

    Now I have the seeds and will file from his information. Usually a no-no in our industry, but I trust Pete and it's not proprietary information.

    The one humorous point of the process was trying to get the Class C results, they were faxed, twice, but came across as blank pages. The funny thing was that they were being faxed from a "restaurant" that serves adult beverages in downtown Mechanicville.

    I guess that's one way to get the meeting over with quickly.

    The Section II committee will get another chance next week for the Section II large school and small school meet at the Glens Falls Civic Center. Let's see if they can hit 1.000 for me that night.

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    It's sectional and pre-sectional time

    Several sectional events are over, bowling along with alpine and nordic skiing are in the books.

    Unfortunately I wasn't at any of them.

    The schedule has become much tougher to manage with me splitting time between two positions among to careers, so I apologize to those who expected me to make my annual appearances on the lanes and the slopes over the past week.

    I am dedicated to see the ladies on Thursday at Shaker for gymnastics sectionals followed by a warm afternoon on the Niskayuna pool deck for the large school Section II boys swimming championships.

    The sectional committees still haven't learned how to schedule, stacking the small school championships at Amsterdam beginning at 11 a.m. and then large school at Niskayuna at noon. Pile on the Section II indoor track and field championships at the University at Albany from noon to four and you can spread the media think quickly.

    I continue to credit SII gymnastics chairperson Marbury Gansele for always looking ahead and giving her girls the best chance to be seen and covered by the local media by choosing the Thursday afternoon time slot.

    The same credit should be given to the nordic and alpine chairs. The days were great, my schedule just wasn't planned out well enough, but at least they did a great job of e-mailing the results in.

    This Saturday also gives way to five different sectional wrestling championships scattered throughout the Capital Region. Thanks to the Troy Record for covering the 'A' tournament for me.

    Sunday won't be a day of rest as the New York State Amateur Hockey Association pre-sectionals get underway throughout the Northern Zone for the squirt, pee wee and bantam 'A' level squads.

    The top four teams (or three) advance out of two divisions to the Northern Zone sectional tournament. That contest then cuts it down to two squads that advance to the New York State tournament.

    Saratoga Youth Hockey is hosting the pee wee Division II tournament with six local squads, Saratoga, Clifton Park, Adirondack, Schenectady, Bethlehem and Lake Placid competing.

    The plan is to catch them Sunday morning to determine who advances and try to find out how the other locals fare.

    The basketball seeding meetings are next Wednesday afternoon and ice hockey gets underway next week. Hockey utilizes a mathematical formula for seeds and the dates are set.

    Now the challenge is covering as much as we can with what we have and relying on the kindness of coaches and coordinators to get us the results.

    I wouldn't have it any other way.

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    Wednesday, February 04, 2009

    St. Patrick's Day pro boxing at The Armory

    Pugnacious Promotions opens up its 2009 boxing card locally at the Washington Avenue Armory with the return of Shannon Miller and a host of other boxers on its March 20 card.

    The night will feature the NABA US Light Welterweight Championship bout.

    National prospect Adrian Mora (20-1, 12 KOs) takes on veteran title challenger Shamir Reyes (18-6-2, 7 KOs) for the NABA US 140-lb title in the 12-round main event. Mora, hailing from Denver, was undefeated in 20 fights before coming up short against former Mexican lightweight champion Javier Jauregui for the IBA 140-lb title last year. Reyes, out of Brooklyn, is a four-time title challenger looking to steal Mora’s opportunity.

    Also appearing on the card are Troy heavyweight Shannon Miller (15-4, 9 KOs), Guilderland lightweight Mike Faragon (4-0) and junior welterweights Brian Miller (2-0-3) and Bryan Abraham (0-0-1), both of Schenectady.

    “We wanted to focus on local fighters with this year’s spring pro boxing card and we’re so happy to feature Shannon Miller, Mike Faragon and the other boxers who have started pro careers in the past few years,” promoter Lisa Elovich said in a press release. “We’re also thrilled to have the regional championship fight between Mora and Reyes for our main event. The winner of that fight earns a ranking in the WBA’s top 15.”
    Pugnacious Promotions also is working with is the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for the March 20th event, helping to raise awareness about the organization which supports leading-edge research to find new therapies and cures for blood cancers.
    Tickets will be available February15th at the Armory box office, 518-694-7160, or through Ticketmaster by phone, 518-476-1000, any outlet or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Ringside tickets are $75 and Reserved are $40, both on the floor. General Admission open seating in the bleachers is $30. Golden Ringside VIP tables also are available for groups of six, with light fare and table service throughout the evening. Contact Pugnacious Promotions, 518-527-0160 or info@pugnaciouspromotions.com for more information.

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    Happy National Girls and Women in Sports Day, Feb. 4

    Happy National Girls and Women in Sports Day, Feb. 4 ladies.

    I admit the date wasn't circled on my calender, but a press release from Skidmore College noted the day and an event at Skidmore on Feb. 6 and 7 where Olympic swimmer Kristy Kowal will be the keynote speaker for their weekend celebration.

    National Girls and Women in Sports Day is annually celebrated in all 50 states with community-based events honoring the achievements and encouraging the participation of girls and women in sports. The observance was launched in 1987 as a day to remember Olympic volleyball player Flo Hyman for her athletic achievements and her work to assure equality for women’s sports.

    Hyman died in 1986 of Marfan’s Syndrome while competing in a volleyball tournament in Japan. Since that time, NGWSD has evolved into a day to acknowledge the past and recognize current sports achievements, the positive influence of sports participation, and the continuing struggle for equality and access for women in sports.

    For more information on the Skidmore celebration this weekend click here.

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