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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, April 5, 2007

Bulldogs get on the diamond, split two games

By Tim Matteson

BERNE — The Bulldogs will be experienced and athletic this year. The question is whether the players on the Berne-Knox-Westerlo baseball team will meld those traits to form a competitive team.

"Overall, we’ve got a lot of experience," said BKW Coach Jeff Teats. "This is a very athletic group. What they have to do is put it all together. They have to play together as a group. And, if they have a good attitude, they can have a great season. They have to play as hard as they can every day."

Opening-day blues

The Bulldogs opened the season with a game on Saturday at Greenwich. It was the first time the team stepped on the diamond against another team. The BKW team had been practicing outside most of last week, but a scrimmage against Doane Stuart was cancelled.

"We have been on the field since Tuesday," Teats said. "We were fortunate to get out as much as we did this past week."

Against Greenwich, the Bulldogs were victimized by a big first inning.

Greenwich scored seven runs in the opening frame to go on to an 8-3 victory in the non-league game on Saturday.

"You throw out that inning," Teats said, "we beat them the rest of the game. We had a rough start."

Greenwich had some timely hits in the first inning.

"There were well-struck balls," Teats said. "They had a couple of bloopers and it seemed the baseball gods were with them. We had a couple of opportunities but we never seemed to get that timely hit.

Junior Josh Skinner and senior Lenny Coons took the mound for the Bulldogs and both pitched three innings, and threw well, Teats said.

The Bulldogs also got some good hitting from a number of players in the contest.

Senior Bobby Patrick had a single and a double in the contest. Senior Rich Geist had a single, double, and two runs batted in for the Bulldogs.

Skinner added two singles

"The hitting was good," Teats said. "I’m very pleased."

Full roster and full schedule

The Bulldogs have a full roster of juniors and seniors. All the seniors are returning as are most of the juniors.

Joining Patrick, Coons, and Geist in their final high school campaigns are Jayson Villeneuve; Steve Gerard; and Ethan Schager, who was a late-season call-up from the junior varsity last season.

Returning juniors are Ben Burton, Matt Lounsbury, Greg Mulson, Skinner, and Jeremy Springer. New to the varsity are juniors Jon Clark and Lance Durham.

The Bulldogs started league play on Monday against Middleburgh, with an 8-1 victory. BKW was to play Western Athletic Conference North Division team, St. Johnnsville on Wednesday.

BKW was also supposed to play Schenectady Christian today (Thursday).

The days will get sunnier for the Bulldogs next week. They leave for Florida on Sunday to play a week’s worth of games during the school vacation.

"We have six games and we’ll also go to Universal Studios for a day of fun," Teats said. "We’ll be very busy."

The BKW team raised funds to pay for the trip over the past couple of years.

The Bulldogs will have one game that will count on their record during the trip. They play Penn Yan from the Finger Lakes area while in Florida. The game fills out a full season schedule.

"We have a 24-game schedule," Teats said. "We’re in a wood-bat tournament at the end of the season and we have the Cooperstown trip that we look forward to all year.

"And then sectionals," Teats added, "we expect to be there. The league is tough. Duanesburg is always tough and Canajoharie will be tough. It will be an interesting race. But we expect to be in the middle of it."

Lady Bulldogs softball ready to build on the field

By Tim Matteson

BERNE — The Lady Bulldogs are itching to get out of the house and onto the field.

An experienced Berne-Knox-Westerlo softball team is ready to make an appearance on the diamond this spring and looking to do it against some other teams.

BKW was scheduled to play at Middleburgh on Monday but the game was postponed. The Bulldogs are scheduled to play St. Johnsville on Wednesday and Stillwater on Thursday. BKW’s first home game is scheduled for April 13.

"We had some things scheduled," said new BKW Coach Mike Reynolds. "But we’ve not had the opportunity to play. Yesterday [Monday] was our first opportunity outdoors. The team is looking forward to playing out on the field and playing some ball."

Reynolds will be coaching the team this spring with Lori Leonard. Leonard is the cheerleading coach at BKW and will have a co-coaching role with Reynolds.

Experienced players

BKW has eight players returning on its 13-player roster. Seven of the eight returning players are seniors. One is a ninth-grader.

Keri Rossback, Danielle Thielsen, Katie Stanton, Caitlin Osterhout, Amanda Tubbs, Megan Leonard, and Tracy Williams are the returning seniors. Kieva Reynolds, the coach’s daughter, is the ninth-grader and will be the Bulldogs’ starting pitcher.

New to the team are Katrina Yakel and her sister, Lacy. Vicki Lounsbury, Vicki Gerard, and Ashley Fisher are also new additions to the varsity.

"All the girls have played before, whether it was varsity or junior varsity," Reynolds said. ‘Except for Ashley Fisher. She never tried out before. She is a great athlete and, once she learns the basic skills, she will get a lot of playing time. Her senior year, she finally came out for softball."

The experienced players the Bulldogs have will bode well for this season. But next year they will have to be replaced.

"We did leave some good players at the j.v. level," Reynolds said. "To develop a good program, you have to do that. We’ll have a number of younger players that will make up our team next year. But we have a good core in place. We are always looking toward the future. We have quite a few seniors and a lot of experienced players and that will help us a lot."

"Building on a good foundation"

Reynolds is just getting the feel for this team as they venture outdoors into the nice weather and prepare to take the diamond against competition

"We have some returning starters and a returning pitcher," Reynolds said. "We’ll go out and try some things. We want to better our record from last year. That’s our goal. We want to build on what other coaches have done. Coach [Jim] Lemire layed a good foundation for the future and we’re building on it."

Danielle Depeaux will be coaching the junior varsity team this spring. She has deep roots in the BKW program.

"She was a player for Cathy Allen," Reynolds said. "Cathy was instrumental in getting the field and putting the pieces in place. We are building upon it."

And Reynolds wants to continue to build interest in the program that Allen, who is a teacher and volleyball coach at BKW, made successful.

"Softball is the All-American game," he said. "It has been taking off in the last few years. Professional leagues are taking off. And they can be a part of that. When they have children of their own, they can come back and see that they played a role in moving the program along."

But the Bulldogs want to take the first step of stepping on the field this season.

"The girls are enthusiastic," Reynolds said. "They want to get out on the field. There is a lot of camaraderie and this is a tight-knit group. That’s a tribute to the girls, the school, and the parents. There is no in-fighting.

"They work regularly and help the coaches," Reynolds added. "They help with organizing practices and even picking up equipment after practice."

Duanesburg has been the class of the Western Athletic Conference for the last few years, but Reynolds sees that his team can compete with the top teams.

"Duanesburg is always the team to beat," he said. "I’m looking forward to playing them. We want to prove ourselves."

Reynolds is encouraging his players to compete in softball all year long instead of just playing during the school season.

"We want them to take part in local programs," the coach said. "We want them to play in the winter and summer and take advantage of the local softball leagues and have more opportunities to play.

"A lot of the successful teams have good feeder programs," Reynolds added. "Our modified coach, Maria North, has initiated softball into the Little League but, when they are 13, they can’t play. They have to play in other leagues and we are encouraging that."

Dutch laxmen in search of an identity

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — Guilderland lacrosse coach Sean McConaghy was at a loss for words on Tuesday afternoon.

His team had just been manhandled, 14-2, by Suburban Council rival Niskayuna at John Fallon Field on the campus of the University at Albany. McConaghy didn’t know what to say about the debacle, but knew things have to change soon if the Dutchmen want to be one of the top teams in May and the sectional playoffs.

The Dutchmen got off to a slow start in Tuesday’s game, something McConaghy couldn’t explain.

"This is the second time in a row," the coach said, referring to a 9-8 season-opening loss to Bethlehem. "I have no explanation of why we were not ready for the game. In practice, we looked ready. We put the game jerseys on and we’re a different team."

Niskayuna came out ready to play and it showed as the Silver Warriors dominated the first quarter.

Led by face-off man Chris Hall, the Warriors went on a tear that sucked the life out of the Dutchmen and handed Niskayuna a big lead.

Niskayuna scored five goals before Guilderland even got possession of the ball.

Steve Lefebvre scored the first goal for the Silver Warriors and that was followed by back-to-back tallies by Jack Leary and a goal each from Ben Romer and Nick DiSarro.

Hall kept getting the ball for Niskayuna and the Silver Warriors took advantage.

"They won every face-off," McConaghy said. "The two face-offs we got on the draw, they got the loose ball. They are good, and we were not today."

Niskayuna led, 7-0, at the end of the first quarter. DiSarro and Hall scored for the Silver Warriors in the stanza.

Niskayuna had an 18-0 edge in shots after the first frame.

Scored at last

Guilderland finally got on the scoreboard with 10:07 left in the second quarter. Junior attackman Aaron Cahill scored on an extra-man opportunity after a Niskayuna penalty.

But Niskayuna got three goals from Dan McKinney and one from Steve D’Amario to take an 11-2 lead at halftime.

Guilderland got a goal from Jordan Dubose with 6:25 left in the second quarter. Sophomore Rory Nunamacher, as he did on the Dutch’s first goal, assisted on Dubose’s goal.

Niskayuna got two goals in the third quarter — both by DiSarro — and one in the fourth quarter — by McKinney — to round out the scoring.

Guilderland goalies were busy all day as Nick Koss made nine saves and Nick Stefani made three. Niskayuna netminders James Manchester and Gary Chrys combined for five saves.

Niskayuna won the face-off battle, 14-4.

"Time to get better"

"It’s going to be a long season if we don’t change things," McConaghy said. "But it is a long season, so we have a lot of time to get better. Sectional time is when we want to be playing our best lacrosse. Not what we did out there today."

The Dutch lost their composure after falling behind quickly in the contest.

"They dominated us," McConaghy said. "After three goals, we had our tails between our legs. They were way better than us today, that’s for sure."

McConaghy said that his players have to mesh together and work better on team defense and team offense.

"On offense, we haven’t done anything," McConaghy said. "Defense we put together a few series. We’ve got to come along, but it’s going to be a long season.

"I thought defense was one of our strong points," McConaghy added. "We lost a lot on offense, but I thought we improved on defense. So far, we haven’t."

McConaghy really isn’t sure what his team has after the first two games.

"We need to find some kind of identity," he said. "We have no team identity right now. I don’t know who they are and they don’t know who they are."

The Dutch will have a short time to find themselves as they return to the field today (Thursday) to take on Rome Free Academy. The Dutchmen will be traveling to Central New York and then return to league play on Monday at Colonie. McConaghy hopes his players get it together on the field for that contest. He feels they have the tools to be a good team.

"I think they’re pretty good," McConaghy said. "They haven’t showed it to us yet. They know how to play lacrosse. But I don’t know what they are doing out there."

Not a lax start for Lady Dutch lacrosse

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — Three games, three impressive wins for the Guilerland girls’ lacrosse team to open the season.

The Lady Dutch beat Niskayuna to open the season last week and followed up that vicotry with a huge win over Fayetteville-Manlius High School and then beat Shaker High School.

The win on Saturday could prove to be the biggest of the young season. The Lady Dutch beat the Section III powerhouse 9-8. Fayetteville-Manlius was the runner up in the state tournament last year and won the state title the previous two years.

"What a game," said Guilderland Coach Gary Chatnick. "They are one of the best teams in the country, but we played with the same intensity as they came out with. There were several times we could have folded, but our team kept battling."

"Heck of a night"

Guilderland led Saturday’s game, 6-4, at halftime but later fell behind, 8-7, late in the game.

Sophomore Bridget Daley tied the score with 3:28 left in the game and Danielle Tetreault scored the winner with 2:07 left in the game.

Guilderland then stopped a fast break and ran out the clock for the win.

"I am not sure if we ever played anyone with that intensity," Chatnick said. "They were all over us, but our players responded. We also got stronger as the game went on. We have been conditioning well and it showed.

"Our defense, once again, played excellent," Chatnick added. "Nikki Branchini, Julie Malkowski, and Lynn Tran again had an outstanding game. Our midfield and attack were all over the ball, causing numerous turnovers."

Tetreault led the Lady Dutch with three goals. Branchini, Chelsey Newman, Daley, Amanda Best, Courtney Davis, and Abbey Fashouer each added a goal. Best, Newman, Davis, and Tetreault each had an assist.

Jen Kaye made six saves in goal for Guilderland.

"Kaye made several key saves," Chatnick said. "Lauren Cagino had a heck of a night, causing turnovers and clearing the ball. Laura Decker, Amy Branchini, and Corinne Chatnick also gave us key minutes; they had an excellent game."

Wacking the Warriors

Against Niskayuna last Wednesday, was the first contest of the season for the Lady Dutch.

Davis and Newman, a ninth-grader, each scored two goals to lead Guilderland to a 7-4 win over the Silver Warriors.

Sophomores Jen Madsen and Tetreault each added a goal as did senior captain Branchini. Best had two assists and Tetreault had one for the Lady Dutch.

Kaye, a senior, made five saves in net for Guilderland.

"This was a great way to open the season," said Chatnick. "Niskayuna is an excellent team and one of the top teams in the area. Holding them to four goals is quite a feat. Our defense played great, causing many turnovers.

"Seniors Julie Malkowski and Lynn Tran led the defense," Chatnick added. "I cannot say enough about the leadership of Julie and Lynn which, along with their outstanding play, really solidifies our defense. Junior Lauren Cagino was an integral part of the defense and the rotation of Amy Branchini, Corrine Chatnick, and Laura Decker was very successful in holding Niskayuna to four goals. All of our underclassman played older than they are. It was a great team effort."

Shunning Shaker

Guilderland beat Shaker, 15-8, on Tuesday night at the University at Albany’s John Fallon Field.

Branchini scored five goals to lead the Lady Dutch. Madsen, Fashouer, and Newman each tallied two scores. Best and Cagino each had a goal for Guilderland.

Madsen, Tetreault, Best, and Daley had assists in the contest for the Lady Dutch.

Kaye made six saves in goal and Amanda Santandrea made three for the Lady Dutch.

"They are playing very well together," Chatnick said of his team. "Everyone stepped up and we continue to build our confidence with efforts like this. It is a long season, but this is a very good start for us."

The Lady Dutch play Lakeland of Section I today (Thursday) at the University at Albany and then travel to Herkimer Community College to take on Liverpool. The Dutch return to Section II play on Monday at Averill Park and Wednesday at Saratoga.

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