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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, March 31, 2011

Voorheesville baseball team stacked with depth, experience and desire

By Jordan J. Michael

VOORHEESVILLE –– The Blackbirds’ baseball players are so eager for the 2011 season that most of them wore their uniforms to a scrimmage that they already knew had been postponed on Tuesday. Despite the postponement, the team took its home field and went through its first outdoor practice in two weeks.

The 14 players, 12 of whom are returning from last season, fielded balls off the bat of Head Coach Kyle Turski for an hour, rarely missing a play. Voorheesville looked much better than your normal high school baseball team.

“My players always come down during the day to ask if we’re going to be outside,” said Turski, who is a technology teacher at Voorheesville. “They’re disappointed about no scrimmage, but thrilled to be playing outside.”

The Blackbirds were supposed to scrimmage Broadalbin-Perth, but the field wasn’t in the greatest shape, so it was moved to today. “We’re waiting for the ground to thaw out,” Turski said on Tuesday.

At least one asset Voorheesville should have over most of its Colonial Council opponents this year is experience. Seniors Ryan Duncan, Jake Nussbaum, Colin McVee, and Mickey McDonald; juniors Mike Cheseri and Kevin Connolly; and sophomore Nico Church have been with the team for two or more seasons.

Those seven players were new, or already on the team when Turski started coaching three years ago. “They really make a huge difference,” said Turski. “They know how to win and keep the team up.”

The Birds bowed out a little earlier in sectionals than they would have liked the last two seasons, but Turski thinks this could be the year. “They’ve all grown up and have the talent and skill,” he said. “As long as they keep their heads on straight.”

“We’ve been together for so long now,” said Duncan, a starting pitcher. “We can adjust at any moment and bring it to another level.”

Nussbaum, who starts at second base, told The Enterprise that Voorheesville is “here to win” and “make something happen.”

Joining Duncan in the starting rotation will be junior Anthony Scaccia and Connolly. Senior Rob Davies, newcomer Everett Hart, and sophomore Mike Young will pitch in relief, but Turski said that those three could also start games if needed.

“They provide a little bit of everything,” Turski said of the pitching, the prime strength of the team. “They’ve all been throwing for a long time. It’s a confident, intangible thing –– we’re a team.”

On March 18, Voorheesville traveled down to Long Island, a four-hour trip via school bus, to play three scrimmages in two days. “Taking a school bus for that long is rough,” said Turski. “But they laughed the whole way down.”

Turski gets help from assistant coaches Jon Glisson and Tim Selby, who signed on for this season. “It’s nice having three sets of hands and two other sets of eyes,” Turski said.

The Birds have been working on hitting and throwing since last fall, said Turski, who’s waiting for Mother Nature to finally cooperate. “We’re excited.”

“We have solid depth,” Nussbaum said. “It’s going to be good.”

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