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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: April 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.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hitting for the cycle on Saturday

I have been known to overextend myself when it comes to my schedule. Make plans, have story ideas and then life, the car, exhaustion or traffic win over and I'm forced to cut back.

I thought would happen on Saturday, but I am actually amazed that I pulled off hitting for what I would like to call the sports journalism cycle.

I started the day at the Clifton Common to take in Jim Fitzgerald's Sports Are For Everyone baseball opening day. It's an 18 year-old program that invites special needs kids to play America's Pastime. The group swelled over four small diamonds and I had a hard time keeping my composure while the all-stars were all smiles.

Once complete there, I walked across the lot to take in the first game of the 7th annual Christina Massa Memorial Tournament where the Shenendehowa girls varsity softball team shutout Newburgh Free Academy. Danielle Amyot and Morgan Sprague combined on the two-hit masterpiece.

The event is named after Christina Massa who was lost seven years ago in an alcohol related automobile accident. Her parents were on hand and Frank sent a fastball over the plate for the ceremonial first pitch.

I then raced (you'll like this play on words) up to the Ballston Spa Speedway located at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds for the feature races of the Adirondack Karting Association.

There were two repeat winners, some familiar faces and a new rookie to introduce in this week's edition of "Spinning Wheels."

Then, wondering if time permitted in the 85 degree day, I jetted over to Saratoga Lake to take in the last races of day one of the Saratoga Invitational Regatta on Fish Creek.

The weather was hot, but the boats were faster, including the Mercer boys 1V eight covering the 1,500-meter course in four minutes, 59.30 seconds. The heavy hitters, Mount St. Joe's, Maritime, Community Racing Inc. and Mercer had the upper hands in most of the larger eights contests. Saratoga Rowing won 10 medals with strong finishes in the smaller boats.

This was different and news worthy...SRA didn't run away with 80 percent of the races. Good for their racing future, bad for their moods when I pointed it out in Sunday's story. If it makes them faster for states and nationals, I'll take the heat...and the credit.

I guess I can add a plus-one to my sports journalism cycle when I decided to create an HTML table of the Saratoga Invy results on my blog. The regatta software (which will remain nameless if it does work in two weeks at the state meet) failed on Saturday so everything was done by hand and on-line results would not be immediately available. A few hours later, with a spacing glitch to still be worked out (I hope), it was posted.

Then I called it a night.

Not one of my brighter moves, cramming everything into one day, but it was worth it and I hope the stories give all the athletes involved their due.

Until early Monday morning, good night.

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Another Top 10 quote nominee: Saratoga Crew

"Girls, we need to put our oars in the water," ...Kiki Hines

The Saratoga Rowing Association women's 3V coxswain called this during a race at the Saratoga Invitational on Fish Creek with swirling winds causing white caps and waves making it a challenge for all boats.

They still won their race.

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Saratoga Invy Regatta day two results

Obviously I haven't mastered HTML tables since yesterday, so again, scroll down, scroll down again and then once more, then the table is there.

Sunday's times are much slower, swirling winds from the North against the current caused severe white caps, a postponement of the regatta and then a cancellation of some late in the day finals.

SUPRISE! It's fixed. See what that little help button can do when you use it!

2009 Saratoga Invitational Day Two results
Women’s_1x Shen_KnightSRA_SteinQueen_RomanazziRhinebeck_Alber
Women’s_1x NiskayunaSRA_MonroeCRISRA_Lansing
Men’s_1x SRA_SteinNiskayunaARC_TimmonsSRA_Noah
Men’s_2x ARCNiskayunaCRIPoughkeepsie
Women’s_2x NiskayunaCRI
Men’s_Novice_8+ NorwalkWayland_WestinF_MSaratoga
Women’s_Novice_8+ MaritimeNorwalkSaratogaWayland_Westin
Women’s_Novice_8+ ConcordSaratoga_BHenninger
Flight_2 9:02.529:44.109:46.08
Men’s_4x SaratogaSt.Lukes
Women’s_4x SaratogaCRISt.LukesNiskayuna
Men’s_Ltwt_4+ Wayland_WestinPoughkeepsieNew_CanaanNorwalk
Men’s_Ltwt_4+ MercerCRIShenNorthampton
Women’s_Ltwt_4+ MaritimeWayland_WestinSaratogaNorthampton
Women’s_Ltwt_4+ Wayland_WestonPoughkeepsieCRI
Women’s_2V_4+ ShenendehowaBaldwinsvilleNorwalkPoughkeepsie
Men’s_1V_4+ F_MWayland_Westin
Men’s_1V_4+ F_MGreenwich_HSPoughkeepsie_JRPoughkeepsie
Flight_2 7:26.217:30.297:38.088:32.57
Women’s_1V_4+ MaritimeCRILourdesWayland_WestinShenendehowa
Women’s_1V_4+ NorwalkPoughkeepsieGreenwich
Flight_2 7:57.898:16.828:29.02
Women’s_1V_4+ MercerConcordBaldwinsvilleHenninger
Flight_3 8:04.758:06.658:28.328:37.78
Women’s_Frosh_8+ SaratogaShenendehowaF_M_AF_M_B
Men’s_3V/4V_8+ Wayland_WestinGreenwich_3VGreenwich_4VConcord
Men’s_Frosh_8+ SaratogaNorwalkNew_CanaanF_M
Women’s_4V_8+ SaratogaConcord_4VBoston_LatinF_MShenendehowa_4V
Women’s_3V_8+ Saratoga_JRWayland_WestinCRI_3VF_M
Women’s_3V_8+ Concord_3VBoston_Latin_3VNorthampton_3V
Men’s_2V_8+ NorwalkCRI_3VMercer
Men’s_2V_8+ ShakerLourdesGreenwichNorthampton
Men’s_1V_8+ NorwalkShakerSaratogaGreenwichMercer
Women’s_1V_8+ Mt.St._JoesCRISaratogaMaritimeMercer
Men’s_Ltwt_8+ CRIWayland_WestinNorwalkSaratoga
Women’s_Ltwt_8+ CRIMt.St._JoesMaritimeConcord

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saratoga Invy Regatta day one results

Below are the results of day one of the 2009 Saratoga Invitational Regatta on Fish Creek. Due to a systems malfunction with the regatta software the event was hand-timed so I posted them here.

(Just keep on scrollling down, it's my first work with a table in html and there are some bugs to work out. I swear they are there.)

They're fixed now..just 24 hours later! Hooray!

2009 SRA Invitational Day One results
W_2x CazenoviaBH_BL
M_1x Shen_FisherSRAShen_CSRAShen_BSRA
W_1x ShenSRAQueensburyRhinebeckSRA
W_Lt_2x SRASRAShenBoston_Latin
M_2x AlbanyRCShenPoughkeepsieShaker_Frosh
W_2x SRA_ASRA_BBoston_Latin
M_Novice_8+ GreenwichHSConcordNewCannanGreen_CrewF_MNiskySRA
W_Novice_8+ MaritimeMt.St.Joe_AEssexConcordBaldwinsvilleHenninger
Flight_1 5:54.486:06.036:07.266:33.956:38.978:17.77
W_Novice_8+ Mt.St.Joe_BLowell_ASRA_ABaldwinsville_BLiverpool
W_Novice_8+ SRA_BF_M_B_1Niskayuna
W_Ltwt_4+ BostonLatinMt.St.JoeLowellLourdesNHamptonSRA
M_Varsity_4+ CRIF_MSRAFDRLowellShenPoughkeepsie
M_2V/Jr.4+ MercerNHampton_JVF_M_JVPoughkeepsie_JV
W_2V_4+ SRAMt.St.Joe_ACRIMt.St.Joe_BShaker_JVFDR_JV
W_Varsity_4+ MaritimeCRILourdesShenBostonLatinMercer
M_Frosh_8+ GreenwichHSBHBLSRAShenGreenwichCrewLiverpoolNisky
W_Frosh_8+ Mt.St.Joe_ASRAShenF_MNiskayunaBaldwinsville
W_Frosh_8+ SRA_BFDRShenLiverpoolF_M
M_3V/4V_8+ Liverpool_3VLourdes_3VBH_BL_3V
W_3V/4V_8+ CRI_3VConcord3VConcord4VBHBL3VNHampton3VBostonLatin3V
M_Jr_8+ MercerLourdesJVLiverpoolJVNiskayunaFDR_JV
W_Jr_8+ Mt.St.Joe_JVMaritimeJVSRAMercerF_MJVNiskyPoughkeepsie_JV
W_2V_8+ Mt.St.Joe_ABostonLatinF_MBaldwinsvilleBH_BL_2VAlbany_2V
M_2V_8+ BH_BL_2VCRI_2VShaker_2VConcord_2VF_M_2VLowell_2V
M_4x HRRCSt._Lukes
W_4x SRASt._LukesBostonLatin
M_Ltwt_8+ CRINewCannanLiverpoolNiskySRANHampton
W_Ltwt_8+ Mt.St.JoeCRIBostonLatinLowell
M_Varsity_8+ CRIBuckvilleNiskayunaConcordPoughkeepsie
Petite_Final 5:12.005:12.985:15.035:25.795:53.23
M_Varsity_8+ MercerShakerEssexLowellBH_BLSRA
W_Varsity_8+ MaritimeShakerBaldwinsvilleBrockvilleF_MNHampton
W_Varsity_8+ MaritimeSRAMt.St.JoeCRIBH_BLMercer

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Friday, April 17, 2009

I'm offensive and sexist (apparently)

No good deed goes unpunished..

I guess I have to take the good with the bad, that's the advice from one of my editors who told me that I had a comment on the Community News anonymous voice mail system "Sound Off"

It was in regards to my story about the girls U12 ice hockey showcase at the Clifton Park Arena two weeks ago. Entitled Pony tails and hockey pucks, the story was about this group gaining exposure to hockey and the opportunity for playing on an all-girls organization.

Here's what we got on the "Sound Off."

Why the sexist headline?
"Sports writer Stan Hudy, shame on you. "Ponytail and hockey pucks" is the headline on a sports story about girl hockey players? As a woman athlete I find that offensive and sexist!"

I can't even blame a copy editor because I gave Sam Hollingsworth (my Wednesday night compadre for the Community News) that headline to run.

Important note...THEY ARE 12-YEARS OLD!!

This wasn't breaking news, they aren't members of a high school varsity sports team (girls) or a member of a collegiate team (women). This was a positive story about girls youth hockey.

I would like to compare it to what the other local print and television media used instead of my "sexist" headline...Oh, that's right...I was the only one there!!!!

It's not uncommon for me to be the lone media representative at a youth event. I think the young players deserve to be covered and when my schedule allows it, I try to be there.

Oh, well, take the good with the bad I guess.

Jeez, it's a really good thing we didn't use the old field hockey adage, "Chicks with Sticks.." Whew! That would have really been something to Sound Off about.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Shen’s Dolcoure NEAC Student Athlete-of-the-Week

COBLESKILL — The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) announced that SUNY Cobleskill women's tennis team member freshman Bridget Delcoure, (Shenendehowa/Clifton Park), has been named the NEAC Women's Tennis Student-Athlete-of- the- Week for the period ending April 12th.

The NEAC selects Student-Athlete-of-the-Week Award recipients in the sports of men's and women's lacrosse, men's baseball and women's softball, men's golf, and men's and women's tennis.

Delcoure was selected as for her performance for the Fighting Tigers as the talented freshman, won both her singles at the number three flight with a score of 8-1 against Wells College, and scores of 6-2, 6-3 versus Penn State Abington.

The Clifton Park native also won both of her matches in the number two doubles position, beating Wells' second doubles 9-7, and Penn State Abington's second doubles by a score of 8-6. Her performance this week keeps her perfect season in tact with records of 4-0 in both singles and doubles play.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Saratoga's Sutton Patriot League Rookie of the Week

Holy Cross freshman and Saratoga Springs alumni girls lacrosse standout Kat Sutton earned Patriot League Rookie of the Week honors. This is the first career Patriot League weekly honor for Sutton.

On the week, Sutton had four goals and one assist for five points, with two goals versus Yale on April 1, and two goals and one assist in the win over Lehigh on April 4. She is ranked fifth on the team with 13 goals and 17 points.

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Saratoga alum Pescetti NJCAA Player of the Week

Lauren Pescetti, a Saratoga Springs High School graduate and current freshman attack at Herkimer County Community College was named the NJCAA Women's Lacrosse Player of the Week for the week ending March 28.

Pescetti scored 13 goals and recorded four assists over four games last week. She currently ranks second for the Generals with 15 goals and a team leading nine assists on the season.

"Lauren is an outstanding team player, showing her team the unselfish way of Herkimer Lacrosse," commented coach Dianna Ste-Marie, "She plays hard through the middle of the field with great vision, making it easy to feed her teammates."

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Early nominee: 2009 Quote of the Year

"I think lacrosse is like junk food. It’s like French fries, you don’t know why you love it, but you love it right away whether it is good for you or not."

-- Saratoga Springs girls varsity lacrosse coach Sue Hoffman talking about spectators attraction to lacrosse versus her other favorite stick sport, field hockey, when interviewed about the sport she has been a part of for the past 20 years.

- Anytime a coach can incorporate a quuote about a fast-paced, exciting game like lacrosse with a fast food reference, it deserves a nomination!

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Monday, April 06, 2009

Shen's Patricia Seligman new AD at Harrison High

Shenendehowa girls swimming and diving coach Patricia Seligman has always pushed her teams to their limits, challenge them and tell them to spread their wings.

The coach, Section II chairperson and state coordinator is now doing just that, accepting the appointment as the athletic director of physical education and athletics at Harrison Central School.

“I have always preached to my swimmers and divers that they need to take risks – they need to learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable,” Seligman said. “It’s the only way they can learn to grow and be successful. Now it’s my turn to practice what I preach to my teams.

“It is with a mixture of emotions that I am leaving Shen to pursue another career opportunity,” Seligman said. “My moments of sadness at the thought of leaving Shen are balanced by the excitement I feel about the new chapter in my professional career.”

Seligman founded the Section II Girls’ Swimming & Diving program and has subsequently served as the section’s chair and also as the state coordinator.

From the pool deck Seligman guided the boys’ and girls’ varsity swimming and diving programs to a combined record of 238 wins, 18 losses and two. The Plainsmen won nine Section II titles and were ranked No. 1 in New York State three times.

The Harrison Central School District is located in New York’s Westchester County, 25 miles north of New York City, competing in Class B with 27 sports and 96 coaches.

“Ms. Seligman brings comprehensive expertise and experience in the field of physical education, health and athletics to the Harrison Central School District,” Harrison Superintendent of Schools, Louis Woll, noted in a press release. “We have every confidence that Ms. Seligman has the energy, passion, experience and capacity to lead our comprehensive health, physical education, and inter-scholastic sports programs. Pat brings a unique profile of both elementary and secondary experience, substantive work in curriculum, college placement, advocacy, and an exceptional coaching resume.”

One of her greatest achievements will stand for decades, organizing and leading a successful capital improvement initiative to build the Shenendehowa Aquatic Center.

“I am filled with pride at what we, as a community, have been able to accomplish,” Seligman said. “Working with others in the community, organizing and leading a successful capital improvement initiative to build the Shen Aquatic Center, has been the highlight of my 36 years as a Clifton Park community member.”

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Sunday, April 05, 2009

CP Dynamo national championship - Dallas 7, Clifton Park 1

Tier II U18 Championship Final
Dallas Stars 7, Clifton Park Dynamo 1

Third period
1:20 left Clifton Park gets on the board with a goal by Tyler Lingel (South Glens Falls), Clifton Park avoids shutout, 7-1.

6:07 left Chase Michaels scores his second goal of the period eight seconds later for a 7-0 lead.

5:59 left Chase Michaels scores against Clifton Park's Dan Sacks for a commanding 6-0 lead.

Second period

End of second 5-0 Dallas Stars. Shots on goal Dallas 31, Clifton Park 11.

5:16 in Dallas's Chandler Smith scores on a backhander, 6:02 for a short-handed goal for the 5-0 lead, ending the night for Brendan Wagner (Clifton Park), replaced by Dan Sacks (Clifton Park).

3:36 in Clifton Park coach Brad Shaver calls a time out.

3:36 in Bad to worse, Dallas scores again, just 36 seconds later to take a commanding 4-0 lead in the second period.

3:00 in Dallas scores after puck goes from skate to stick and under Dynamo's goaltender for a 3-0 lead.

End of 1st Dallas ahead 2-0.

12:06 in Dallas Stars' Marc Biggs scored his second goal of the game, a power play tally created off his exit from the penalty box for his own slashing infraction. He left the box, raced in in Brendan Wagner and was tripped up. 16 seconds into the power play he beats a screened goaltender for the 2-0 first period lead.

11:50 in CP unable to convert on power play, hit the cross bar and buzzed Dallas goalie twice wide.

8:36 in Dallas playing heavy in own end, three back in own zone, willing to win 3-0.

1:17 in Dallas Stars up 1-0. Marc Biggs scores from assist by Chase Michaels and M. Garrett Cotroneo. CP Dynamo storming back, pressuring Stars goalie Redmon.

11:11 a.m. Puck drops.

11:08 a.m. Standing for the national anthem.

11:02 a.m. Clifton Park Dynamos take to the ice with support from the local fans in attendance.

It's countdown to the national title game between the CP Dynamo and the Dallas Stars in Pittsburgh, PA.

Both teams come in with 4-1 record and both teams avenging preliminary round losses to advance to the national title game.

The Dynamo have a slight leg up in scoring 26-22, led by Tyler Lingel's (South Glens Falls) five goals followed by Drew Foster (Clifton Park) with four. Tyler Hynes (Slingerlands), Co-captains Anthony Delzotto (South Glens Falls) and Chris Huck (Saratoga Springs) with three.

Hynes and Jordan Bobrow (Clifton Park) lead the team in points with seven each.

Dallas is led by the trio of Chase Michaels, Marc Biggs and Chandler Smith with three goals each. Michaels and Mike Bond lead the team with eight points, Bigss follows with seven.

Both goalies hav been tested with Clifton Park's Brendan Wagner (Clifton Park) posting a .921 save percentage, Dalla Stars netminder T. Luke Redmon sits at .891. Wagner has been busier, turning back 140 shots to Redmon's 98. Both stoppers have given up 12 goals.

The teams sit even in penalty minutes with 66 each. Clifton Park Ted Chrimes (Ballston Lake) leads the Dynamos with 12. The Stars have a pair of double-digit sit-downs in Billy Buskirk with 12 and Mike Bond with 10.

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Saturday, April 04, 2009

Albany-Saratoga opener now just postponed

"The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry."

Albany-Saratoga Speedway race director Bruce Richard did everything in his power to bring an early start to the 2009 racing season.

He looked to the skies above, he looked down to the dirt racing surface he worked into shape last week and he looked deeply into the future through the screen on his computer at the long range weather forcast.

The only thing he couldn't look into was a crystal ball.

The early, pre-season, 50-lap, bigger than life purse, big block/small block race scheduled for Saturday, postponed to Sunday has now been just postponed.

The weather didn't cooperate with rain falling on the track surface followed by the lower temperatures and high winds made it a bad weekend to sit on aluminum bleachers two weeks before the season was set to begin.

The event could be run as a mid-week event (but I doubt this week, again because of the weather) and plans are being set up for practice next weekend.

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CP Dynamos U18 win USA Hockey national semifinal

Game notes: Second 10-minute overtime

Go crazy everybody! Go crazy! The Clifton Park Dynamos will play Sunday afternoon for a USA Hockey U18 national title.

Drew Foster, a player I've covered since he was a squirt scored the game-winning goal late in the second overtime against Summit Plastics.

Clifton Park has taken out the top two teams from the opposite bracket, both in overtime situations to advance to the national semifinal.

First 10-minute sudden death overtime

Still no answers. Summit opened in the penalty box, Clifton Park couldn't convert. Dynamo's legs may be betraying them after this morning's overtime win and last night's late loss (9 p.m.).

CP Goalie Brendan Wagner came up big again and again as Summit through everything but the kitchen sink at him in overtime.

Doing the ice between overtimes, assume another 10 or 5 minute session, not sure of shoot-out rules.

Third period

With one-tenth of a second on the clock a penalty shot is called against the Dynamo when the puck is smothered in front of the net, its a scrum as time appeared to expire.

Josie (not sure which player, video not that detailed) converted with a top shelf shot, beating Clifton Park goaltender Brendan Wagner to his left side to knot the contest at 2-2.

Now headed to overtime, trying to find out time.

Anthony Delzotto connects with Drew Foster on the right side with 2:37 left in regulation to go ahead for the first time in the semifinal....

5 minutes left, still 1-1 in national semifinal

Tyler Lingel ties up the game at 13:09 of the third period from assists by Jordan Bobrow and Ted Chrimes! Can the Dynamo do it?

They came out aggressive to open the period but failed to convert, now they have, but will it be enough?

Second period 1-0 Summit Plastics.

The story of the second period remains two different power play units. Summit converts quickly on its own 5-on-3 chance and then hands Clifton Park an extended 5-on-3 and continued to come away time and time again as Summit installed a turnstile in the sin bin, but it didn't matter.

The Dynamos have 17 minutes of play to tie and advance to the national semifinal...we'll see.

1:10 remaining in second, still Summit 1-0
Clifton Park unable to convert on a very, very extended 5-on-3.
14:22 wrote too soon. Summit Plastics power play goal...1-0 Summit
14:28 remaining, no score...

End of the first period, scoreless, 0-0 against Summit Plastics.

Clifton Park had the advantage in power play opportunities and shots on goal with two very strong attempts.

The Dynamos need to convert at least one of these opportunities tonight to advance to the national final Sunday afternoon.

Summitt doesn't have a speed advantage on the Clifton Park squad and their goaltender seems to be susceptible to a rebound goal. Several of his saves were strong off the pads, but has had it bounce back into play. Dynamo's netminder, Brendan Wagner has again been solid, but has covered-up several times, corralling the puck.

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Clifton Park Baseball fields coming along on clean-up day

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow showers could keep more than 40 Clifton Park Baseball parents from their volunteer duties Saturday morning at the upper and lower baseball quads.

With rakes, shovels and lots of plastic ties, the fields were whipped right back into shape for the upcoming year.

The biggest challenges and bulk of the man (and women) power was dedicated to re-attatching or replacing the colored fabric on the back of each outfield wall as well as adding new plastic caps (tubing) to the top of the outfield walls.

It's a really tough job, but when it's done it certainly adds to each field.

Miss Shen Softball, with fields just across the street, postponed their day to Sunday, hoping for better weather and with it a higher turnout.

I'll post some pix of the Men at Work tonight.

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Friday, April 03, 2009

Albany-Saratoga opener postponed to Sunday

And on the seventh day he raced!

Rain Friday has postponed the early opening at Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta to Sunday afternoon versus is previously scheduled Saturday afternoon matinee.

Pits will open at 10 a.m. with the grandstands opening for the race ready fans at 11 a.m. Time trials will start exactly at 1 p.m. for the 50-lap big block/small block challenge followed by a sportsman division 25-lap contest to follow.

Once racing is completed the track will be open for practice with the regular season green flag scheduled to drop April 20.

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CP Dynamo back into national quarterfinals

PITTSBURGH - The Clifton Park Dynamo 18U ice hockey team advanced to the Tier II 18-and-under national championship quarterfinals despite a 3-2 loss to the Wellesley Raiders Friday night in Pittsburgh.

The Dynamo finish with a 2-1 record and is the third seed in this morning’s quarterfinal where they will square off against the top-ranked Hollydell Hurricanes 7:45 this morning. The winners will advance to the 4:30 p.m. semifinal.

The Dynamo will have little time to re-group after Friday’s performance.

“They scored early in the third and we took a lot of undisciplined and uninspired penalties,” Clifton Park coach Brad Shaver said. “We had a very, very uninspired effort tonight.

“Part of that was that this game meant nothing in the standings,” Shaver said. “We thought we were going to finish second no matter what. As a coach I don’t take that very lightly. The effort was very poor and I was very disappointed.”

Shaver’s squad had to deal with a 90 minute delay before hitting the ice due to overtimes in previous contests and the rare one game per day schedule.

“There was a lot of laying around the hotel no one was prepared mentally and physically,” Shaver said. “Our best players were our worse players.”

After a scoreless first period Wellesley took an early lead on William Gray’s goal past CP Dynamo goalie Brendan Wagner. The Raiders went ahead, 2-0, on Bryan Doherty’s power play goal six minutes into the third period.

“The first goal came off a poor decision, but we were all over them,” Shaver said. “Every time we built momentum, we took a poor penalty or gave it up.”

Clifton Park rebounded with two unanswered goals by Anthony Delzotto on a power play goal seven minutes in and Tyler Hynes followed with his game-tying tally 13 minutes in.
Wellesley’s Donato ended it with 19 seconds left in regulation with an unassisted goal.

Shaver was disturbed by his squad’s performance on the sports biggest stage.

“These guys are at the national tournament and I ran into college coaches and assistant coaches that are saying good things about these kids down the road,” Shaver said. “They are saying ‘You have some good young players,’ but they need to have effort and inspiration.

“There is no excuse for one bad game,” Shaver said. “You are here for yourself and the team.”
The straight-talking coach expects his team to put their best foot forward.

“We have another game tomorrow to regroup, change things and I think they will,” Shaver said. “My expectation is that they’ll be ready to go.”

Wellesley Raiders 3, CP Dynamo 2
First period

No scoring.
Second period
1. Wellesley, William Gray (Michael Cox), :26.
Third period
2. Wellesley, Bryan Doherty (Paul Donato), 6:37, ppg. 3. CP, Anthony Delzotto (Drew Foster, Tyler Hynes), 6:57, ppg. 4. CP, Hynes (Tyler Lingel, Dillon Frinton), 13:04. 5. Wellesley, Donato (unassisted), 16:41, ppg.
Wellesley Raiders 0 1 2 – 3
CP Dynamo 0 0 2 – 2
Goalie saves:
Wellesley, Sam Gifford, 26 saves. CP, Brendan Wagner, 23 saves.

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Ready, fire, firestorm could prove costly

There is the infamous saying in journalism, print and broadcast, "If it bleeds, it leads."

As events continue to unfold about the suspension and expected dismissal of a Shenendehowa track coach all media outlets and potentially the school itself could find out not only how messy this event has become, but also how costly.

I was following reports on all the local web-sites and news broadcasts at 5, 6 and 11 p.m.

I also was in contact with my fellow news reporter Glen Griffith and maybe it is his years of experience or just the fact that he has this nasty habit of always trying to be accurate, but throughout our conversations he mentioned "we have to be careful", "we have to make sure we are right."

Isn't amazing that a reporter for a weekly newspaper is saying to take it easy versus looking to get it first which is the mantra in our hyper-instant news world.

PDF's of the coach's certification revocation letter became available, one newspaper outlet somehow obtained his driving abstract to note his driving infractions, links to a New York Times article about the initial charges written by the New York Times was linked, along with a Facebook page about him linked, but the highlight of rushes to judgement came when WNYT Channel 13 the NBC affiliate issued an on-air apology for stating Wednesday night that the coach was "A level 1 sex offender".

Guess what, they were wrong.

An on-air correction after it ran the story about the story, the coach's suspension and expected dismissal....Ooops, sorry. We didn't have a chance to check the New York State sex offender database, but went with it anyway.

Not only has the coach obtained legal counsel regarding the way the school district has explained the dismissal and subsequent firestorm, including referring parents to the state police if they feel any infraction has occurred by this coach (although he has never been convicted of a crime, even from alleged events that took place in 1989 and 1990).

One local newspaper had three bylines on its story about this event, or actually a non-event, because the coach could be terminated for coaching without proper certification. When he was hired his teaching certificate was valid, it was only revoked after he was on the job.

There has been no charges of impropriety during his 15 years at Shenendehowa as a part-time coach and he was re-appointed not 15 times, but potentially than 45 times by the school district, all with board of education approval as coaches work on a one-year appointment to their sport. The coach was involved in all three seasons, three different sports since 1995.

Also, according to another institution, a college, where he works as a part-time coach, he is still on staff and no action is expected to be taken.

I'm not a fan of litigation, but on this one, I have to side with the coach's attorney if he chooses to pursue it.

Corrections aren't fun, they are part of the media business and I'm not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. Thank god we don't have to print corrections for typos or else I may have a page to fill each week. I have made innocent mistakes regarding names and my most egregious and heartfelt apologies continue to go out when I mistakenly identified a parent incorrectly in a photo caption.

But a rush to judgement correction that impacts someone at this level could prove costly, we may just have to wait to see how much.

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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Tough day in Sportsworld

The day started out swimmingly, the CP Dynamos 18U hockey team won Wednesday night, 10-0 and again this morning, 7-4 to go 2-0 in pool play. I had the day off and Sam's Chinese Buffett was on the schedule for me and the bride.

Then it all basically went to hell.

It officially came down that the Empire State Games would be postponed for this year. Not a big shot since the Games were already gutted by the proposed budget and the host area, Poughkeepsie/Hudson Valley pulled themselves out as a host site, Thursday's news was more a formality.

Life goes on...for some.

Then after picking up a copy of the latest edition of Spirit of Saratoga I learn that Shenendehowa High School had suspended a track coach based on the revokation of his teaching credentials in 1996, after he had been hired as a part-time coach and never as a teacher.

The credential removal was based on alleged events that occurred in 1989 and 1990 in New York City regarding a then-student. Charges were levied, no conviction occurred and information is now coming out that the prosecution dropped the charges giving the then-coach his picture as well as fingerprint card from the event.

15 years later a person, an apparent "crime victim advocate" brought it to the attention of the State Police who verified the charges and credential removal.

After a parade to the Shenendehowa District Office it took the school superintendent less than 90 minutes to make a decision and suspend the coach.

I may be the only person who hasn't mentioned the coach by name, unlike all three other newspaper sites and five television stations.

Bad news at Shen is fodder for all. e.g. Hockey House, Hockey Pot, Christopher Culver...

The reason is the alleged events occured almost 20 years ago, the charges dismissed 17 years ago and no one has clarified on what grounds the coach was removed for.

News is all over this but on this one the facts are too muddy for me to start slinging anything.

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Dynamos strong at USA Hockey nationals, 2-0

The Clifton Park Dynamo 18U ice hockey team isn’t taking any chances during the first two days of the 2009 18U Youth Nationals in Pittsburgh, PA with two decisive wins heading into today’s preliminary round finale.

The Dynamo routed tournament host, Arctic Foxes, 10-0 in Wednesday night’s opener and a earned 7-4 win over Team Michiana Thursday afternoon.

Tyler Lingel and Anthony Delzotto scoring two goals each. David Ferris, Ted Chrimes and Drazen Zack each had two assists in the opening contest rout.

“We had a pretty weak team in the opener and we played pretty good today,” CP Dynamo head coach Brad Shaver said. “We should have done them in a little sooner, we outplayed them the whole game.”

The Dynamo scored four goals in each of the first two periods, putting 36 shots on the Arctic Foxes goalie. Clifton Park’s Brendan Wagner turned back all 13 shots he faced.

The long drive from Clifton Park to Pittsburgh didn’t hurt the legs of the Dynamo squad.

“We got in at midnight Tuesday night and had a pre-game skate at 11:30 a.m. a mile from the hotel,” Shaver said. “We had a 45-minute skate and then followed a strict itinerary. We faced the host team; they didn’t earn their way in. We were just ready to go.”

After their opening round win, the Dynamo had little chance to celebrate, hustling over to another rink for opening ceremonies.

“The Stanley Cup was there, the Conn Smythe Trophy was there on display,” Shaver said. “Dave Hanson spoke, his son played in this tournament. It was nice to see all the teams, and then it was back to the locker room.”

On Thursday the Dynamo were challenged by Team Michiana, falling behind twice before reeling off four consecutive goals in the third period to put the contest away, 7-4, including two goals by Lingel.

“Today and yesterday we had a game plan going into the first period and today went even worse,” Shaver said. “They scored on us two minutes in and we had a ton of chances early in the game.

“We let them hang around,” Shaver said. “It could have been over sooner had we finished our chances.”

Drew Foster added two goals in the win over Team Michiana with Jordan Bobrow, Niell Cahill and Tyler Hynes adding two assists each.

The Dynamos will face their biggest challenge in the Wellesley Raiders at 4:45 p.m. this afternoon.

“They’re a team loaded with prep school kids,” Shaver said. “They’re talented and will be a tough game for us.”

A win will put the Dynamo in the top spot for the playoffs, facing the No. 4 team from the opposite bracket in the quarterfinal.

“We have to finish in the top two,” Shaver said. “It puts you in a good situation to play a No. 3 or No. 4. You want to make it to the semis and go from there.”

CP Dynamo 10, Arctic Foxes 0
First period
1. CP, Niell Cahill (unassisted), 6:19. 2. CP, Jordan Bobrow (David Ferris), 9:33, ppg. 3. CP, Conrad Bernard (Michael Kenny), 13:31. 4. CP, Tyler Lingel (Ted Chrimes, David Ferris), 15:57.
Second period
5. CP, Lingel (Bobrow, Chrimes), 5:28. 6. CP, Tyler Hynes (Erik Ausburger), 5:59. 7. Drew Foster (Drazen Zack), 9:34. 8. CP, Anthony Delzotto (Cahill, Zack), 14:13, ppg.
Third period
9. CP, Delzotto (Foster), 3:13. 10. CP, Jake Hendrickson (Rylee Merrill), 5:27.
Arctic Foxes 0 0 0 – 0
CP Dynamo 4 4 2 – 10
Goalie saves: Arctic Foxes, 26 saves. CP Dynamo, Brendan Wagner, 13 saves.

CP Dynamo 7, Team Michiana 4
First period
1. TM, Ryan Barry (Michael Potter, Tyler Joy), 6:21. 2. CP, Ted Chrimes (unassisted), 11:57.
Second period
3. CP, Erik Augspurger (Jordan Bobrow), 1:11. 4. TM, Alexander Banashak (Brandon Nowak, Barry), 10:45. 5. CP, Drew Foster (Drazen Zack, Niell Cahill), 12:49, ppg. 6. TM, Potter (unassisted), 15:05, ppg.
Third period
7. TM, Potter (unassisted), 1:20. 8. CP, Tyler Lingel (Tyler Hynes), 1:30. 9. CP, Chris Huck (Augspurger, Conrad Bernard), 1:49. 10. CP, Lingel (Hynes, Bobrow), 11:57, ppg. 11. CP, Foster (Cahill), 16:09, empty net.
Team Michiana 1 2 1 – 4
CP Dynamo 1 2 4 – 7
Goalie saves: Team Michiana, Christian Sandroni, 36 saves. Clifton Park, Brendan Wagner, 19 saves.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

CP Dynamos off to hockey nationals in Pittsburgh

The Clifton Park Dynamos midget hockey team open up their quest for a national title tonight in Pittsburgh, PA with a first-round match-up against the Arctic Foxes.

The Dynamos captured the New York State Amateur Hockey Association U18 title in dramatic fashion.

Clifton Park (35-18-4) went 4-0 in pool play with four consecutive decisive victories before defeating the Buffalo Bisons, 3-2, in overtime before needing two extra sessions to turn back the Hudson Valley Polar Bears, 4-3, to advance to the national tournament.

The Dynamos will play three pool play contests over three days with the top four teams moving into the single-elimination playoffs.

“One game a day will be very comfortable for us,” Shaver said. “It gives us time to focus on eating right and resting. We’ll be ready for every game.”

While the CP Dynamos qualified for the state tournament in November, the squad had to wait until March to compete for the title. The layoff allowed the squad to heal and Shaver finally brings a full compliment of players into the national tournament.

“We have had a ton of injuries which is rare for my teams,” Shaver said. “We’ve never had all four lines and five defensemen.”

Shaver will be able to roll all four lines this week, giving the Dynamos an advantage.

“Our top scorers (South Glens Falls’ Anthony Delzotto and Saratoga’s Chris Huck) have 54 points, our fourth line guys have 30 points,” Shaver said. “I fell confident that all four lines can go out there and play and at least nine or ten of our forwards can score.”

South Glens Falls skater Tyler Lingel has moved back on defense to allow Shaver to roll three lines in front of his Clifton Park goaltenders, Brendan Wagner and Dan Sacks.

“National will be a new test for them,” Shaver said. “10 of the 12 teams there will be tough at nationals, including us.”

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Farrow picks U of Tampa, sports may wait

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake two-sport standout Georgina Farrow has always had a full schedule between soccer practices, basketball practices and school work.

Now she has time to focus on her academics, at least for one season.

The Spartan senior has decided to attend the University of Tampa in the warm-weather state of Florida, turning down the opportunity to play basketball at SUNY-Oneonta and taking a chance to potential walk on with the women’s basketball squad.

“I liked Oneonta and I really liked the coach,” Farrow said. “When I went to Tampa I fell in love with the campus. I might try to walk on; they’re Division II, probably going to be basketball.

“I think I could have played soccer there too,” Farrow said. “The only thing about basketball is that they only have a week off for Christmas break so I may not make it back home for Christmas.”

Farrow also picked the best possible time to visit the Sunshine State Conference school, the day after the Spartans were eliminated from the Section II tournament in March.

“I was lying out at the pool,” Farrow said. “They have a pool in the middle of their campus. It was a Monday and a friend sent me a picture text message of the parking lot at school. All the cars were covered in snow and I’m laying out there in 80 degree weather.”

Oneonta was a popular choice with her parents, but her desire to spread her own wings won out.

“When I first thought about Florida my mom said ‘No, it was too far away,’” Farrow said. “Then she started to be more understanding.

“She moved to the US when she was 20 years old from England and didn’t want to stop me,” Farrow said. “She said it would be good for me to show me how everyone else lives. My dad, he’s really happy. He’ll have a nice, warm place to visit.”

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