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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, March 15, 2007

Dutchmen want to paint the wall with a championship

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — New decorations for the boys’ lacrosse team locker room at Guilderland High School were not all well received.

"In the locker room, we put up the years we reached the sectional finals," said Guilderland Coach Sean McConaghy. "There is 2000, ’02, ’04, and ’05, ’06. But there are no championships in there. And that ticks some of the seniors off. It definitely ticks the coaches off. The juniors and sophomores will learn that. We want to put a sectional championship up there. There is just one year. We’ve reached the semifinals seven or eight times."

After back-to-back losses in the Section II Class A title game the past two seasons — both to Niskayuna — the Dutchmen are looking to take the next step. But they will have to do it without three of their best players from last season.

Graduated are midfielder Bob McIver, goalie Judd Robinson, and do-everything player Mike Camardo. Camardo — who played long-stick defensive midfielder, short-stick midfielder, and defense, has moved on to Division I University of Maryland-Baltimore County. McIver is playing at Binghamton University, and Robinson is playing at the State University of New York College at Oswego.

Guilderland does have 13 returning players on its 24-man roster. There are 10 seniors, three sophomores — one with experience — and 11 juniors.

"With losing Bob, who was an academic All-American, Mike who was an All-American, and Judd who was second-team All-League," McConaghy said, "who knows."

"It depends on what the young guys do," added Assistant Coach Kris Bremmer.

"It depends on what the seniors do," McConaghy chimed in.

"Too early to tell"

Tuesday’s practice was only the second for the varsity team. Last week was filled with tryouts and McConaghy had just finished completing his roster that day. The team was decided on Friday.

He said that it was too soon to know what is going to happen on the field. On Tuesday, the Dutch were practicing in the parking lot in front of the school.

"It’s too early to tell," McConaghy said. "Off the field, the captains are doing a good job. I’ll be able to tell you more next weekend after we have our scrimmages."

The Dutchmen will have a scrimmage at Queensbury next Wednesday and then travel to Long Island — a traditional hotbed for lacrosse — to take on some tough competition. Guilderland will take on Hauppauge, East Islip, and Smithtown East. The Dutch will also play Fox Lane of Section I.

"It’s a little different," McConaghy said. "We’re not scrimmaging teams that we’ll play all year long. That’s what I like about it. Though next Wednesday, will probably be our first out of the parking lot.

"But look, the parking lot is almost as big as a full field with a couple of obstacles," he added. "We lose a couple of balls in the snow banks."

Strong defense

The strength of the Guilderland team will be found in the defensive end of the field.

Scott Raffensperger, a senior, is one of the team’s captains and has been on varsity since he was a sophomore. He was a league all-star last season and will be playing at the University at Albany next year.

Kip Stillman, was an all-league player last year as a freshman; he was a long-stick midfielder and will play close defense this spring.

Kyle Klapp moved from the midfield to defense late last season and will be a starter in the back this season.

"Defense will be the cornerstone of our team," McConaghy said. "I’m looking for good things from them, being led by Coach Bremmer."

The Dutchmen will have nine defensive players on the roster this season. They also have nine midfielders and five attackmen.

"Defense will be the key," McConaghy reiterated. "Raffy and Kip are first teammers and Klapp as a senior had great success on the soccer field."

Klapp scored the game winning goal in a shootout victory over rival and traditional power Shenendehowa in the Class AA soccer quarterfinals in the fall.

Midfielders and attackmen

In the midfield, McConaghy expects big things from six players this spring.

Jordan Dubose returns for his senior season in the midfield and will take most of the face-offs. He was a tough player at the face-off spot last year and earned his way to the University of Albany, which is currently ranked second in NCAA Division I.
Matt Stillman, Chris Conway, Greg Murphy, and Aaron Cahill all return for the Dutchmen. Cahill, along with Raffensperger, played on the Empire State Games Adirondack Team last summer.

Joining the midfield mix is sophomore Rory Nunamacher.

"He’s a super sophomore," McConaghy said. "We expect big things from the 5 foot, 7 inch, 135-pound kid."

On attack are returners Uriah Myrie and Ron Buck. Both started last season for Guilderland.

"We have guys fighting for the final spot," McConaghy said. "Among them are Brian Linehan and Quinn Connell."

Goalie is the biggest question mark for the Dutchmen. Nick Stefani, a senior, and junior Nick Koss are fighting for the number-one spot.

"We have a senior returner that is six, one and 275 pounds," McConaghy said of Stefani. "And we have a junior varsity mover-upper that is six feet and 200 pounds. Judd was in the middle last year at six, three and 250 pounds.

McConaghy added that whoever wins the battle in the preseason will be the starter for the season.

"Both are fighting and working for that spot," he said. "But this is not a quarterback controversy."

"Good athletes that are learning"

When the season begins, the Dutchmen will be in for another tough year in the Suburban Council. Niskayuna looses some key players but does return a lot of players. So do a lot of other teams.

"Nisky had 10 players from the Empires," McConaghy said of the statewide games. "Obviously, they are amongst the top of the class. Shen, I don’t think they lost a single player from last year. I’m sure they did, but the nucleus of that group is back. And Saratoga, could be the best in the section."

Add newcomer Burnt Hills to that list.

"Burnt Hills is in so that makes it more competitive," McConaghy said. "They dominate every sport they play."

McConaghy said that the preseason is too young for him to know where teams will fall. But he said that he thinks his team can be one of the top when May approaches and the Section II playoffs are underway.

Until then, McConaghy and his players will work to put themselves in a good position for the post-season.

"This is a good bunch," McConaghy said of his team. "These are the best athletes the team has ever had. But we’re not the best lacrosse team, yet. They are good athletes that are learning to play lacrosse."

Voorheesville bowling interest in the gutter

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — It was a tough season for the Voorheesville bowling team this winter, but Coach Jim Duncan said that it doesn’t quell interest in the team.

The Blackbirds had just three seniors on the team, but its top scorers were underclassmen. One returned to the team after pursuing interests elsewhere.

Voorheesville finished the season with a 3-13 record and in eighth place in the Colonial Council. Lansingburgh, the league winner, had a 15-0-1 record.

"We didn’t have a lot of experience," Duncan said. "Lansingburgh had nine bowlers that had an average of 200 or better."

The Blackbirds also had nine bowlers from last year’s team graduate.

"We lost the whole team," Duncan said. "That made it tough."

The top Voorheesville bowler this winter was sophomore Dan Healey. He returned to bowling after playing basketball last season. He had an average season after missing half of it because he had his tonsils taken out.

Rebecca Duncan had the second highest average with a 181. She is the coach’s daughter.

Both Healey and Duncan were honorable mentions for the Colonial Council all-stars.

The Blackbirds were hurt by a defection. Kevin Tesch who had a 200-plus average quit the team and went to play volleyball, Duncan said.

"He was one of our better bowlers last year," Duncan said. "He wanted to try volleyball."

Senior Nick Baks had the third highest average among the Blackbirds who competed for the whole season. He bowled to a 178.

Anthony Scaccia, a seventh-grader, had a 168 average this season. Ninth-grader Alexa Dillenbeck had a 156 average. Senior Andy Downe bowled a 153 average and sophomore Brian Farley, in his first year of bowling, had a 152 average.

John Springer, a seventh-grader, and senior Sam Mussella also bowled this winter. Springer had a 150 average and Mussella had a 148 average.

Brittany Fahd, an eighth-grader, was also a member of the team, but did not get to bowl in a lot of matches this season.

"She was not in the top eight," Duncan said. "She can’t bowl in varsity matches. We don’t have a junior varsity; she didn’t have anyone to bowl against."

The Blackbirds competed at the Class C sectional meet but didn’t do as well as the team has done in the past.

"This is my eighth year doing this and this was the worst finish," Duncan said. "We finished 16 out of 28 teams."

Healey did well at sectionals, Duncan said. Healey bowled to a total of 1,321 pins and a 220 average in six games. Rebecca Duncan bowled 1,149 pins and a 191 average at sectionals.

Looking ahead

Coach Duncan will be relying on his youthful bowlers to get even better for next season. He also hopes they will continue to be interested in the sport and come out for the team in November.

"We have lots of youth," Duncan said. "Next season, we’ll have young kids and three or four girls. We don’t have a girls’ team. But that never stopped us in the past. We’ve had girls on the league first team. And my daughter, Katie, was the MVP of the league."

Duncan said more needs to be done to get younger kids interested in bowling.

"Voorheesville is not involved with youth bowling leagues," the coach said. "In places like Lansingburgh, Cohoes, and Schalmont, it’s a sport the kids are involved with."

Duncan said it is hard to compete in a small school that is dominated by the popularity of basketball.

"Bowling is not an exciting sport," he said. "A lot of people are not involved with it any more. At Guilderland, there is still some interest and it’s a bigger school so they have more to draw from."

Though Voorheesville doesn’t have younger kids bowling, the varsity team gets support.

"Parents have always been supportive," Duncan said. "And Jack Scaccia at Town ’N’ Country has been great. He’s a big help to the kids, and we bowl there. That’s great for bowling, and that helps."

BKW bowlers roll to success

By Tim Matteson

BERNE — The Berne-Knox-Westlerlo bowling teams were rolling in success this winter.

The girls’ team continue to show that it is still one of the top small-school teams in the area by winning the Western Athletic Conference league and tournament. The Lady Bulldogs were trying to "three-peat" as Class C-D champions but finished second at the sectional tournament last month.

The boys’ team finished fifth in the league and improved one spot at the league tournament. At sectionals, the team finished sixth out of 26 teams.

"We won sectionals the past two years," said Coach Don Dennis of the girls’ team. "We finished second by 22 pins."

Queens of the WAC

The BKW girls were led by junior Sammy Moak. She made the league all-star team and had high triples of 624 and 614 at the league tournament. She had a 206 average and a high game of 225.

The Bulldogs needed all those points as they were in third place at the tournament heading toward the final frames.

"We needed seven out of eight points," Dennis said. "And we did it. We passed both Middleburgh and Mayfield to win the league championship that day."

Moak rolled a 201 at sectionals and missed qualifying for the state team by 50 pins.

Senior Ashley Overbaugh was also named to the Western Athletic Conference all-star team. She bowled an average of 181 at sectionals and had high games of 203 and 211 in the last team games of the day.

"She helped move us into second place," Dennis said. "She really came on. She had eight strong strikes. She had a 254 for a personal high."

Emily Meduna, a senior, had a high game of 207 this winter.

"We’ll miss her next year," Dennis said.

Junior Emily Pierce had a strong season finish.

"Both Emilys came on at the end of the season," Dennis said. "We really needed it. They helped us win the league."

Amber Moak, Sammy’s sister, had good success as an eighth-grader.

"She made a big improvement," Dennis said. "She had a high game of 204 this season."

Junior Athena Kelly was a big contributor at the Western Athletic Tournament and at sectionals, Dennis said.

"We’ll really miss the two seniors," Dennis said of Meduna and Overbaugh. "But the future is really exciting. We have some young bowlers coming up. There are three that I feel are ready to step up."

Those three bowlers are sophomores Rebecca Villeneuve, Caitlyn Overbaugh, also a sophomore, and Brittany Larghe.

Dennis also said that juniors Sarah Hallennbeck, Liz Hallenbeck, and Aurora Becker, along with Sonisha Robinson, an eighth-grader, had a good year bowling on the junior-varsity level.

"The girls had a terrific season," Dennis said. "Every season, we are hoping to win the league and tournament and do well at sectionals. We got two out of three and second place at sectional is nothing to be ashamed of."


The boys’ team was led by senior Ethan Schager. He was named a WAC league all-star and had a 197 average.

Schager rolled a 1,290 in six games at sectionals. He had an average of 215 and a high game of 257.

Classmate Drew Swint also had a good day at the sectional meet. Swint had an average of 182 during the season but rolled a six-game score of 1,336 pins. He had an average of 223 at sectionals.

"He really came on," Dennis said. "He had a high game of 267 and bowled the first nine strikes of the third game. During the season, he had a 709 triple and a 269 game."

Junior Dave White had a 197 game at sectionals. Freshman Tim McIntyre bowled a 182 at sectionals.

Mark Bryan, a senior, had a 176 at the sectional meet.

"They battled hard and competed in every match," Dennis said. "We’ll miss the three seniors next year. They came together and had great chemistry. They are a pleasure to coach.

"Next year, we have four boys that do not have a lot of varsity experience," Dennis added. "But they made strong improvements during the year and should be good next year."

Those four bowlers are ninth-graders Chet Ferriero and Keith Newcomb, junior Luke LeGedais, and eighth-grader Josh DeNyse.

There are four more kids who bowled like a junior-varsity team, Dennis said.

Those four are Anthony Martin, a freshman, eighth-grader Chris White, and seventh-graders Mike Field and Jon King.

Dennis, again, got help from Assistant Coach Matt Decker.

"He does a good job with the junior varsity and the modified," Dennis said. "He continues to learn more each year and is really helping us."

Also helping out the BKW bowlers is Marty Van Buren.

"He donates his time and comes to every match," Dennis said. "He’s been a great help to us with the young and older kids."

Dennis is happy with another fine year of bowling at BKW. His teams really improved and showed that the sport is alive and well on the Hill.

"It was a great year," the coach said. "These are nice kids to work with. Even if he finished dead last, we still would have had a great time. They are fun to work with, and I look forward to working with them next year."

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