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Shen's Magnificent 7 sign on the dotted line

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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: Shen's Magnificent 7 sign on the dotted line

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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