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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, December 6, 2007

Bulldogs will try to grapple with success

By Tim Matteson

BERNE — The Berne-Knox-Westerlo wrestling team has gotten off to a great start this season.

The Grappling Bulldogs won their own tournament this past weekend and followed that up with a 54-15 thumping of Broadalbin-Perth in their home-opening match.

The Bulldogs lost their first match of the year last week against Colonial Council power Schalmont.

"We’ve had a pretty good start so far," said BKW Coach Jeff Vogel. "Against Schalmont last week, we lost 43-29. And this weekend we had a very good tournament."

BKW won its round-robin tournament by accumulating 289 points. Christian Brothers Academy was second with 280 points and Voorheesville was third with 124 points.

The Bulldogs had five champions and four wrestlers garnered second-place finishes.

Keith Domermuth won the 275-pound weight class after finishing with a 4-0 record. Josh Glick won the 140-pound weight class after winning all five of his matches.

Greg Hannay, at 189 pounds, won after beating all of the five opponents he faced on Saturday.

"Glick and Hannay probably won all their matches in less than 10 minutes," Vogel said.

Steve Yakel won all of his five matches by pin in the 130-pound weight class. David Tiernan won the 125-pound weight class.

Finishing in second for the Bulldogs were Grady Picinich in the 103-pound weight class, Vinnie Pasquini in the 140-pound class, Akeem Stewart in the 160-pound weight class, and Nolan Diamond in the 171-pound weight class.

Picinich won his first varsity match en route to finishing 3-1 on Saturday. Pasquini, Stewart, and Diamond all finished with just one loss in the tournament.

Matt Hoffman, Blake Whitbeck, and Devin Bush had fourth-place finishes for BKW.

"The kids did a great job," Vogel said. "We had a great turnout with seven teams. CBA was second, Voorheesville was third, Cairo-Durham was fourth. Greenville was in its first high-school-level tournament. They had two guys in finals — one winner and one second-place. They had a good day."

But it was a great start for the Bulldogs.

"We were at home so the kids didn’t have to get up until 7:30 or 8 which is much later than if we traveled to a tournament," Vogel said. "And then, after the tournament, we took the food that was left over and had a team meal together. That capped off the day. It was a great day."

"Continue to grow"

On Tuesday, BKW showed off its depth as the team won six matches by forfeit and had one draw due to a double forfeit.

Brandon Kallner, Tom Bushnell, and Josh Glick won their matches by pin, showing how hard the wrestlers worked during the off-season.

"A lot of the guys worked over the summer," Vogel said. "If they were not wrestling, they were weight-lifting or playing other sports, becoming better athletes all the time."

Vogel also has kids that have a lot of experience, though many are still considered underclassmen.

"We have very few first-year kids," Vogel said. "When we were building the program, they started in middle school and worked their way up through the ranks. These wrestlers are a big part of the program we want to establish."

Vogel has seen the interest level rise since the wrestling program started several years ago.

"We have more numbers than we’ve ever had," Vogel said. "But there are only a few kids I’ve never seen before. You can have confidence knowing you have kids that have been with you."

Besides the obvious goal of trying to win every match they enter, Vogel said that he and his wrestlers have some other goals in mind. The coach can see several wrestlers, including Bushnell, Tiernan, Picinich, Hannay, Domermth, and Glick, competing in the Section II meet at the Glens Falls Civic Center in March.

"One of our goals is to continue to grow," Vogel said. "Domermuth finished fifth in the section and he wants to improve on that. Glick was injured last year and couldn’t wrestle late in the season. He wants to do well in the post-season as well. All of our returning varsity guys have expectations of doing well in the post-season."

BKW has another home match today (Thursday) against Galway. This Saturday, the Bulldogs will travel to compete in the Richfield Springs tournament. Next Thursday, BKW travels to take on the combined team from Canajoharie and Fort Plain, before heading to Burnt Hills to take part in the Van Slyke Tournament.

GUILDERLAND — Many of the players on the Guilderland football team received post-season honors after making their first appearance in the Class AA Section II Super Bowl last month.

The Dutchmen were given league honors in the Empire Division of Section II.

Dan Penna was named Coach of the Year in the Empire Division. Penna is in just his second year as head coach of the Dutchmen.

Quarterback Andrew Smith, a senior, was named Empire Division Player of the Year. Linebacker Pete Stanish, also a senior, was named the division’s Defensive Player of the Year.

Guilderland had four players named to the Empire Division first-team all-star defense.

Senior Joe Cardillo made the first team at defensive end. Junior Jason Lawrence made the first team at nose guard; senior Paul Malamood made the team at linebacker; and senior Nick Ranalli made the team at defensive back.

Senior Jesse Lutz was given an honorable mention at defensive back. Junior kicker Emilio Genzano was also an honorable mention all-star.

Guilderland also had several players earn honors on offense.

Senior Paul Booker was named to the first-team at running back. Junior Devan Van Auken was named to the first-team at tackle.

Senior Parker Wolff was named to the second team at wide receiver and senior guard Mike Ward was given an honorable mention on offense.

Dutchmen open season with tough split

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — It was a tough way to open the season, but the Guilderland boys’ basketball team came out of it okay.

The Dutchmen split two games at the Bishop Maginn Tip-off Tourney held at the Washington Avenue Armory in downtown Albany this past weekend.

Guilderland beat Spring Valley of Section I in Rockland County, 77-54, but lost to the host and the Section II-favorite Griffins, 74-59.

"I believe we got what we needed to get out of it," Guilderland Coach Ron Osinski said after Saturday’s game. "It was a good way to judge where we are at. It’s a barometer to see how we’d do and go from there."

The Dutchmen played well against the Griffins in Saturday’s championship game. One bad stretch put the Dutch behind and they could not catch up to the athletic and talented Maginn team.

"Tough team"

The Dutch came out strong and took an early lead on a three-pointer by Dan Gejay, and a drive to the basket and a three-point basket by Andrew Smith.

But the Griffins came back by using a quick pressing defense that forced the Dutch into turnovers and led to some easy baskets. Maginn scored 18 unanswered points in the opening frame to lead 20-8.

"About four or five minutes into it," Osinski said, "their press was something that we couldn’t break. It’ll be the best we’ll see all year. We had some guys come in as part of the rotation that weren’t ready for it. We had no room for error. They are a tough team and score from any place — inside or outside."

Guilderland could not catch up with Maginn as the Griffins outscored the Dutchmen, 17-11, in the second quarter to take a 37-19 halftime lead.

The second half was more competitive as the third period ended in a 20-18 advantage for Bishop Maginn and the Dutch outscored the Griffins, 22-17, in the fourth quarter, though the game was long decided.

"We talked at halftime that it would be good to win the second half," Osinski said. "We didn’t want to get beaten by double the score."

There were some other highlights for the Dutchmen during the game.

Smith scored 21 points to lead the Dutch and Brett Marfurt scored 14 points. Junior Jon Terry added nine points and classmate Andrew Oteng-Baah scored seven.

Oteng-Baah, who moved to Guilderland from Toronto, impressed Osinski in his second game with the Dutchmen.

"He’s gotten better and better," the coach said. "He’s going to be a major contributor. They all are."


Osinski had 10 players sub in and out of the contest on Saturday night, showing some of the depth the Dutchmen will have this season.

Sophomore Taran Buie led the Dutchmen with 21 points. Antonio Davis scored 12 and Khaliq Gross, Terron Victoria, and Shimeek Johnson each scored 11 points for Bishop Maginn.

"We’ll not face anyone with their quickness the rest of the year," Osinski said. "They are a good team. They got good shots and played tough defense. They were swarming Brett in the first half. In the second half, we were able to open up the offense and he was able to score here and there. It’s early in the season...

"We don’t face that speed and quickness in practice," the coach added. "They have a lot of athletes on their team. And they bring Gross off the bench. He beat us with LaSalle last year. They have a lot of weapons. I think for somebody to beat them, they have to play a flawless game and get them off their game."

Defeating Spring Valley

In Friday’s game, the Dutchmen fell behind, 21-11, at the end of the first quarter but came back by outscoring Spring Valley, 19-8, in the second quarter and led, 30-29, at halftime.

A big third quarter by Guilderland put the game away. The Dutchmen outscored the Tigers, 23-10, and led, 53-39, at the end of the third stanza.

Marfurt, who was named to the all-tournament team, scored 29 points to lead the Dutchmen. Smith added 19 points, Gejay scored 10, and Terry chipped in with eight points for the Dutchmen.

"It was a gut-check," Osinski said on Friday. "We were down by double digits and were able to fight back to be ahead at halftime. I was not expecting that. We were down and in a little bit of foul trouble. They came fast out of the box, but we got back into it. In a game like this, you don’t know how the opponent is going to adjust early in the game. I had no knowledge of them. I knew a little, but not of their personnel."

"Things to work on"

The Dutchmen played a home game against Ballston Spa on Wednesday. The game was moved from Ballston Spa to Guilderland because Ballston Spa has problems with its gym. The game was part of a double-header with the varsity girls’ teams.

The Dutchmen then play at Mohonasen on Friday night and host Colonie on Tuesday, where Guilderland will start its pursuit of a Suburban Council championship and prepare for a run in the sectional playoffs, and a possible re-match with Bishop Maginn.

"My first year here," Osinski said, "we lost to Albany at home. Then, in the first round of the sectionals, we ended up beating them. We have things to work on. We have more room to get better."

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — There will be new coaches but the same old expectations for the Guilderland wrestlers this season.

What new Head Coach Korey Rogotzke wants to see changed is the school and community embracing the sport more. And he has the enthusiasm to make that happen.

"I’ve been coaching wrestling for 15 years," Rogotzke said. "I have a passion for it. The goal is to continue the excellence of Coach [Herman] Wyld and Coach [Regan] Johnson before me...I want the community to come out and learn about the sport."

Rogotzke, who had coached the modified team at Guilderland for the past four years, takes over for Johnson who took a position as Assistant Director of Health, Physical Education, and Athletics last February. Rogotzke was the varsity assistant last year.

Smooth transition

Don Favro is now the assistant varsity coach, after coaching the junior varsity team for the past few years. Ryan Johnson, Regan’s brother, is now the junior varsity coach. He had been coaching the modified team.

Casey Bardin and Matt Ronca are the modified coaches and also have much experience in the sport.

Kevin Mahan is a varsity assistant who, Rogotzke says, has been a big help.

"He volunteers in the program," Rogotzke said. "He was a sectional finalist at Guilderland and wrestled at Drexel. He’s invaluable and donates his time. He bleeds Guilderland colors. He has rich Division I experience. At the varsity level, we have a lot of experience."

Rogotzke called his staff the best in Section II and that has helped him ease into the role as the head coach and take control of the program.

"The transition has been real smooth," Rogotzke said. "Coach Johnson is the assistant athletic director and we started the transition last March. We had kids that did some camps. Everybody went to at least one or two camps during the summer and did clubs during the off-season. And we held our first annual camp.

"I’m happy with the transition," Rogotzke added. "It shows how hard the kids are working. I’ve been wrestling or coaching wrestling since I was 6 years old. I’m 37 now."

"An excellent mix"

Helping the coaches make the transition is a group of six seniors who have experience on the mat and off.

Josh Sawyer is returning after finishing third in the Section II meet last year as a junior. Sawyer is closing in on 100 career wins and should get that soon, Rogotzke said.

Robert Romeo finished fifth in the section last year as a junior. This past summer, he traveled to Italy and trained at that country’s Olympic Center.

Also returning is junior Matt Cubillos. Cubillos was one of three Guilderland wrestlers who qualified for the state meet last year, but he is the only one returning. He is a two-time runner-up at the Section II meet and earned a slot on the state team last year as a wild card.

Cubillos also wrestled at nationals in Fargo, N.D. this past summer and went 4-2 at the tournament.

Kyle Hussey, the Section II champion in the 275-pound weight class, and Ian DeSol qualified for the state meet. They both graduated last year.

Sawyer, Cubillos, and Romeo have earned a distinction with this year’s Guilderland team.

"Those three are our captains," Rogotzke said. "They are the leaders of the team."

Travis Wolanski is the other Section II place-finisher to return this year. The sophomore wrestled in the 112-pound weight class last year.

Also coming back for the Dutchmen this season are Greg Reinhart (who went by the name Serafin last year) and Devan Van Auken.

"Greg Reinhart was a sectional qualifier for us last year," Rogotzke said. "Devan Van Auken was behind Hussey last year. But he is the number-one in the section for heavyweights. He will have a very good season this year."

Matt Hart, Eugene Sellie, David Taylor, and Brendan Ruddy also return for the Dutchmen this season.

Freshmen Kevin Bates, Dan Bennison, and Matt Miller have done well in the off-season and the pre-season.

"Right now, we have an excellent mix," Rogotzke said. "Sawyer has been on varsity for five years and Cubillos has four years on varsity. That’s a long time."

The Dutchmen opened the season with a match at Colonie High School on Wednesday. Guilderland will compete in the Niskayuna duals on Saturday before hosting Saratoga on Wednesday for its first home match.

"I am hoping for a packed house in the East Gym when we wrestle against Saratoga," Rogotzke said. "People understand the tradition that we have here. I encourage them to come and support the wrestling team."

VOORHEESVILLE — The Voorheesville football team had a number of its players named Class C South Division All-stars this post-season.

Pat Jones was named to the first team as a running back on offense for the Blackbirds. Jordan Murphy was named at wide receiver. Sean Fitzmaurice was named a first-team all-star at tackle and Dan Flynn is an all-star at guard.

Adam Duncan was named to the second team on offense at running back. Duncan was joined on the second team by quarterback Jason Conde, wide receiver Chris Massaroni, tight end Evan Christner and place kicker Lee Fenner.

Conde was also named to the second team as a punter and Murphy was named as a kick returner.

Duncan was named to the first team Class C South Division defense at linebacker. Flynn and Fitzmaurice were named to the second team as defensive tackles.

Brendan O’Keefe was named to the second-team defense at linebacker. Christner was named to the second team at defensive tackle for the Blackbirds.

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — The new coach is 1-0.

Making his debut as head coach of the Voorheesville girls’ basketball team, Robert Baron earned his first win. He led the Blackbirds to a come-from-behind 53-44 win over Cobleskill.

The game was played on an odd night, Monday, in front of a good, supportive crowd.

"It gets the kids to buy into the new system," Baron said. "Getting the first win is important. I have to credit the girls. They gave a full effort and played hard the whole game. They made adjustments to the changes. It was great."

The Lady Blackbirds trailed for most of the game, but kept it close enough to be able to mount a fourth-quarter comeback.

The Blackbirds who trailed, 36-32, at the end of the third quarter, came back quickly.

Jump shots by junior Casey Becerra and Brittany Vogel tied the game, 36-36, early in the final frame.

A basket by Cobleskill’s Ali Brayton put the Bulldogs back on top, but Becerra tied the score again with two free throws.

Elizabeth Madden gave Voorheesville the lead with an inside basket at the six minute mark of the period, but that was answered 20 seconds later on two foul shots from Cobleskill’s Chelsea Jordan.

Cobleskill scored two more baskets to go back up by four points, 44-40, with 2:50 left in the contest.

The Bulldogs would not score again.

The Blackbirds’ defense tightened and did not allow Cobleskill to get any more good looks at the basket.

In the meantime, Voorheesville scored 13 unanswered points to earn the victory.

Kelly Glath scored on a drive to the basket to cut the lead to two points. Madden tied the game with two free throws with 2:17 left in the game.

Madden scored inside and was fouled. She converted the foul shot and the Birds had their first lead of the game, 47-44, with 1:40 left.

Sarah Goss made a hook shot and Madden added two more inside baskets to round out the scoring.

"Great team effort"

"I told the girls many times that, on offense and defense, we’ll turn up the burner in the game and win late," Baron said. "We won this one late. It’s great team effort."

Voorheesville trailed, 13-9, at the end of the first quarter and 24-19 at halftime. The Blackbirds outscored Cobleskill, 13-12, in the third frame and 21-8 in the fourth stanza.

The Blackbirds got an all-around effort as all the players on the team got into the game. Courtney Bourque missed the game because she was sick.

Eight players reached the scoring column with Madden leading the way with 15 points. Becerra added 10 points and Vogel scored eight for Voorheesville. Kate Prendergast scored six points, Glath scored five, Goss and Heather Bates each scored four points, and Emily Norris had one point.

"After the game in the locker room," Baron said. "I told them I didn’t know any of the statistics but the only one that matters is the ‘W’ or the loss."

The Voorheesville players competed hard enough to earn the W, the first for Baron as the varsity coach at Voorheesville.

"They believe in one another and what they are doing," Baron said. "The effort, I thought, was there the entire game. Cobleskill has played three games and this was our first. We had to shake off first-game jitters and, once we got used to game speed, we were OK."

And, because of the forecast for an ice and snow storm, the players were worried about getting the game in. Baron was worried how it would affect his team for games later in the week.

"The kids were excited, but nervous because of the storm," Baron said after Monday’s game. "They wanted to play tonight. We wanted to have a game in because we have tough games this week. We have Holy Names on Friday, Albany on Saturday, and the second game of that tournament on Sunday."

And getting a game under their belt is important.

"Now we’ve seen game speed," Baron said. "You can’t simulate that in practice. We need a game to be up to game speed. We used the entire bench and we got a great effort. We were missing one of our seniors — Courtney Bourque. Casey Becerra did a great job with the team in that situation. Overall, is was a great team effort."

Winning the first game will bode well for the players and help Baron establish what he wants his players to do.

"They have confidence in the system," Baron said. "We made some mistakes when we were under pressure. We’ll work on that in practice this week."

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