Category Archives: Sports

Homeschool boys win volleyball game

By Abigail J. Winheld

On Tuesday, April 15, the Port City Royals of Oswego County boys’ volleyball team defeated the Cortland Saints.

Played at the Royals’ gym, the game was exciting and full of quick maneuvers and excellent saves.

The Royals beat Cortland soundly earlier this season and anticipated a similar outcome at this game. To the Royals surprise, Cortland came with an unanticipated energy and determination.

In the first set, the Royals served first but quickly found their opponents ready for the ball — a closely matched game ensued.

The first set ended with the score 25-23 Royals.

During the second set the Royals played more intensely and won 25-16.

Royals Mark Winheld made the winning point with a simple tap over.

Set number 3 was close again and ended with the same score as set one — 25-23 Royals.

Although it was harder than they anticipated, it was a great game for the Royals.

Hannibal girls’ track team wants Sectional championship

By Rob Tetro

The Hannibal girls’ varsity track and field team comes into the 2014 season hoping to build off of its third place finish in last season’s Section 3, B-2 Meet.

This season, Hannibal has its sights set on winning the sectional championship. However, that’s not the only goal the Lady Warriors want to accomplish this season.

Coach Dan Pawlewicz said his athletes want to see 95 percent of the Hannibal runners improve on their times. Hannibal team members also are striving to be a team recognized for what they accomplish in the classroom.

It’s also important that the Lady Warriors have solid efforts in each invitational they participate in.

A year ago, the Lady Warriors sent two athletes to the New York State Qualifying Meet. This season, Hannibal also hopes to match or expand on the number of athletes who are invited to the state qualifying meet.

However, it all goes back to being the top team in Section 3, Class B-2 for the Lady Warriors. Pawlewicz said if his team can avoid injuries and maintain its impressive work ethic, sectional supremacy may be in the cards for Hannibal.

The Lady Warriors will feature a handful of both experienced and inexperienced athletes this season. In fact, 21 of the 31 athletes are in 10th grade or younger including four eighth-graders.

However, Hannibal has two juniors and two seniors who are expected to play key roles this season. Many of these athletes have the benefit of taking part in cross country and indoor track with Pawlewicz this year.

Some of the athletes have participated in all three sports for a number of seasons under Pawlewicz and have great familiarity with him. He feels his experienced athletes have a solid understanding of the expectations he has for them.

Yet, the future is now for two of the Lady Warriors eighth-graders.

McKenzie Mattison and Reilly Harris have already completed two seasons on Hannibal’s girls’ varsity cross country team and are embarking on their second season on the schools girls’ varsity track and field team.

Many Lady Warrior athletes who were part of Hannibal’s varsity cross country and/or varsity indoor track teams are also a part of their track and field team.

Pawlewicz said his athletes took part in an active but rather laid back summer program with the hope of peaking towards the end of last fall’s cross country season.

During indoor track season, varsity track and field athletes were prepared throughout the winter. They worked at a steady pace to build momentum throughout the winter.

These athletes have a chance to peak later on in the track and field season. For the athletes that did both varsity cross country and indoor track, they were in decent physical condition.

The athletes who didn’t take part in indoor track weren’t as physically prepared to begin practices. However, Pawlewicz is impressed with how hard these athletes are working to prepare themselves for the season. He is confident the physical conditioning of these athletes will develop as the season goes on.

The Lady Warriors will be led by seniors (Clarkson University bound) Devin Sorell and Gabby Griffin and juniors Micheala Sheldon and Kristen D’Angelo.

Pawlewicz points out the basic traits of a captain is leadership on and off the track and being a great role model for teammates and peers. Taking it a step farther, Pawlewicz feels a captain is someone who dedicates him or herself to working as hard to be a student as he or she does to being an athlete.

Not only does Pawlewicz believe his captains personify the expectations he has for his captains, but he also mentions his captains have so much familiarity with him that they could almost serve as secondary coaches.

The road to a Sectional Championship will be challenging one for the Lady Warriors.

This season, Hannibal takes on the likes of Cazenovia and Skaneateles. Pawlewicz considers those to be among the best teams in the state.

Jordan-Elbridge will also be a challenging meet for the Lady Warriors. Pawlewicz goes on to mention that meets against Westhill and Tully won’t come easily either.

Perhaps Hannibal will be tested the most when they compete in the numerous dual meets that have been scheduled.

First off, the Lady Warriors will host the Hannibal Sports Boosters Invitational April 26. Along with Jordan-Elbridge, Hannibal will face perennial powers Christian Brothers Academy and Holland Patent.

The Lady Warriors will also be competing in the Tully Invitational and the Fulton Athletic Boosters Invitational. Perhaps one of the more challenging events Hannibal will be taking part in this season will be the Oswego County Invitational. In this meet, the Lady Warriors will face the likes of Mexico, Fulton, Phoenix and Oswego.

If Hannibal is to achieve its goals this season, it will need to be a team with many strengths. The Lady Warriors are expected to have many.

Pawlewicz said athletes taking part in the shot put event have a lot of potential. Expectations are high for Micheala Sheldon in the 3000-meters and Mckenzie Mattison is expected to be solid in the steeplechase.

Pawlewicz said Reily Harris has what it takes to be a strong contender in the 1,500-meters and Hannibal’s 4×100 meter team could be one of the toughest in Section 3.

Tayler Dence might be in for an impressive season in the 100 meter and hurdles events. Senior Captain Devin Sorell is striving to return to the State Qualifiers in the long jump and fellow senior Gabby Griffin is expected to have a solid season in the 400-meters.

Pawlewicz said freshmen Sydney Alton, Callie Cacchione and Janejira Cooper and others have the potential to provide depth for the 4×100 meters team. He also  expects athletes participating in the pole vault and high jump to improve as the season goes on.

Hannibal girls’ softball ready to tackle tough season

By Rob Tetro

David Meeker inherited a relatively inexperienced team when he was named interim Hannibal girls’ varsity softball coach.

Fully grasping the state of his team, Meeker feels it’s important for his team to have simple goals for the upcoming season.

A key goal the Lady Warriors have this season is to become more of a fundamentally sound team, especially when it comes to base running. It’s also important to Meeker and his team to learn how to play together.

Perhaps most importantly, Hannibal hopes to be a team that benefits from a strong work ethic in 2014.

The Lady Warriors are a young team this season, with only a few players returning from last season’s team. However, Meeker said the younger players on his team have a lot of potential.

Hannibal’s softball team features numerous multi-sport athletes. Given how active his team has been throughout the school year, Meeker feels that his team was in decent physical condition when practices began in early March.

He wanted to dedicate a lot of time developing softball related skills in preparation for the season. Meeker was pleased his players were physically able to handle all the developmental work that was expected of them.

Meeker said his team did a nice job of handling some of the adjustments that come with being an athlete who competes in winter and spring sports. Developing softball fundamentals often involves the development of arm strength and hand-eye coordination for hitting.

Though his team needed to work on each area at the beginning of practices, Meeker credits his team for being able to handle the adjustments that come with going from a sport such as basketball to softball.

Currently, most of the players are physically prepared to begin the season. Meeker does point out that a few of his younger players aren’t as physically prepared for the season as his more experienced players.

Seniors Samantha Bowers, Malana Scott and sophomore Megan Norris will serve as the Lady Warriors team captains this season.

Hannibal softball will have a challenging time of it this season, playing in a league with powerhouse teams from like Westhill and Solvay. Also, Meeker expects to see many weeks throughout the season where his team plays three or four games a week.

The Lady Warriors return an impressive pitcher in junior Hailey Dunsmoor, but Meeker suggests she won’t be able to do it all alone. It will be key for Hannibal to build depth behind Dunsmoor in order to handle such a challenging workload.

It is possible the Lady Warriors could take a few lumps this season, but Meeker feels the experiences they have in 2014 will be good for them in the long run.

Meeker expects to have a team that will have many strengths to build off of. First and foremost, his team is dedicated to developing its fundamental skills. Led by Dunsmoor, Meeker feels his teams’ pitchers and catchers have a lot of potential.

He also said he expects the top of the lineup to do a decent job at getting on base and into scoring position this season.

The Sportsman’s World — A Sign of the Times

By Leon Archer

My father always seemed to know when it was time to do certain outdoor things.

I’m sure he checked the calendar, but more often, he would look for signs that it was time for a certain activity.

For just about every year while I was growing up, my father would gather all the gear and we would go to Black Lake to put out a nightline for catfish. We always got catfish, which my father would clean and bring home to smoke.

Perhaps my very favorite food as a child was smoked catfish.

Black Lake catfish that we caught on the nightline averaged about 6 pounds, but we caught them as large as 26 pounds.

The small ones of a pound or two we would roll in cornmeal and fry up in a big cast iron frying pan on the shore of the lake the day after we ran the line. They tasted pretty much like bullheads, but they had a greater oil content.

That was why they smoked so well. We only set the line two nights before we headed back home, but we still took a cooler full of fillets with us.

A number of years after I graduated Albany State, I decided to put a nightline out on Black Lake. I had everything I needed and I put it out in the same spot off Manley Rocks where we had always taken fish.

The next morning when I checked the line, I had one eel, one small catfish, two bullheads and several large bluegills and perch. My father and I had never done so poorly.

When I got back from my less than stellar attempt at catching catfish on a nightline, my father told me, “I knew you wouldn’t do much. You went too late. If you want to catch catfish, you need to go when the shad berries are in blossom. They’ve been done for about three weeks.”

Shad berries or service berries grow on a small tree and the whole tree looks white when it is in blossom, so it’s hard to miss, and that was the sign dad always watched for before heading north to fish.

I’ve cataloged a few of nature’s signs over my 70-plus years, but that is the one I remember best. My father also always said, “Ice out for perch and trout.” That is right on for both of them.

The trout in ponds and lakes were right up near shore and hungry, and the perch were in shallow water ready to spawn. They bit like crazy.

Dad didn’t tell me, but I learned the very best stream trout fishing (at least on Little Sandy Creek) was when the willow trees were “eared out.” The new leaves on the willows looked like little squirrel ears.

Of course, I could have been scientific and kept track of air temperatures and water temperatures, but watching willow leaves come out was easier. In addition, right after the trout were in high gear, the sucker run would be starting.

Yogi Berra, who I got to watch play one time at Yankee Stadium, was noted for his quips that have become quotes. The one I like best is, “You can see a lot by looking.”

Dad would have agreed with that. You see, there is book learning, and then there is real learning; honest to God, hands on, eyes and ears open learning.

Nature is full of signs that animals are attuned to, but men are slower to see what is right in front of them. All too many of us have forgotten how to look.

Oswego Taekwondo America students participate in tournament

Students from the Oswego Taekwondo America martial art school on 133 E. Bridge St., traveled to Monroe Community College in Rochester March 22 to participate in the 19th annual Rochester Super Cup Tournament.

More than 500 students from eight central New York Taekwondo schools, all under Grand Master Kim’s direction, attended the annual event to match their skills against one another in forms competition, sparring, board breaking.

The yearly event is organized by the master instructors of the all three Rochester Sam Kim Martial Arts schools.

Black Belt instructors and students from all the schools contribute and assist while Black Belt judges score the students’ efforts and abilities. Good sportsmanship and friendly competition is the focus of Grand Master Kim’s tournaments and all students, young and older, compete with an emphasis on personal growth and development.

Students of similar age and rank compete against one another, demonstrating theirs skills and abilities at the same time as they develop confidence and pride in themselves.

Competitors, as young as age 4 are matched as closely as possible, according to age, weight and belt rank and all students participating received specially designed medals which had been made and shipped from Korea.

In the morning, participants competed in the new Hamadan Style Creative Poomse Division competition. Students performed a Poomse of their choice in groups of two or more, and scoring was based on synchronicity and creativity.

The standard Poomse Competition followed this new event and students were awarded trophies for their individual accomplishments.

Each students’ execution is judged according to their intensity and accuracy of the standard Taekwondo poomses. The Poomses are a specific series of choreographed blocks, punches, kicks and stances, developed by the Taekwondo Masters of Korea centuries ago.

Poomses have been handed down through the generations and are an integral aspect in the study of any martial art. Poomses are practiced over and over again, reinforcing proper technique, enhancing one’s balance, accentuation and intensity each time they are preformed. Poomses are the foundation of any martial art.

Immediately following the Poomse competition, competitors were able to compete in Board Breaking Competition. Taekwondo means “the art of hand and foot,” and in this event performers are able to show off their power, skill and creativity in still another dimension.

Each competitor broke, or attempted to break, two boards. Creativity, intensity and level of difficulty were considered by the judges as well as technique and power. All students participating received trophies for their achievements

This year’s event featured a new event, Demo Team Competition. Three schools from Rochester participated in this event and inspired viewers and visiting participants and each school has been challenged to enter their own Demo Teams in the next tournament.

Taekwondo America in Oswego already plans to enter a Taekwondo America Demo Team for the Watertown Tournament held in August and this year’s Governor’s Cup, held in October in Rochester.

Sparring competition completed the all day event. Sparring, or “Gyoroogi” matches are single elimination fights between two competitors wearing protective sparring gear. A match consists of at least two one-minute rounds, where points are accumulated when a competitor makes proper contact with their opponent with a properly executed punch or kick, in a specifically designated area on their helmet or chest protector (Hogu).

The culminating sparring performances of the advanced Adult Black Belts topped off the day’s activities.

For more information call Oswego Taekwondo America, call Master Leo Pryor at 342 2470 or visit the website at masterpryorstkda.com

Phoenix track ready to begin season

By Rob Tetro
The Phoenix boys’ varsity track and field team is ready to participate in what is expected to be another competitive year in the OHSL Liberty League.
The Firebirds main goal is to have another competitive season in league play. Coach Keith Walberger said the OSHL Liberty League could be wide open this season and he expects Solvay to be the team to beat.
However, like Phoenix, Westhill and Marcellus are also expected to have solid teams and 2014 will be Cazenovia’s first year in the league. Walberger said nothing will be handed to the Firebirds this season. Phoenix expects to be challenged in every event of every meet they take part in.
The Firebirds’ seniors will play pivotal roles for the team this season. However, Walberger mentions his team also consists of many freshmen and sophomores with a lot of potential.
He credits his younger athletes for the attention and respect they have given to their experienced teammates. In fact, the desire and enthusiasm they have displayed already appears to be paying off. Walberger is encouraged by how quickly his younger athletes have been showing signs of development.
Many of Walberger’s athletes were members of the Phoenix varsity indoor track team this winter. His other athletes took part in other fall and/or winter sports. For the most part, the Firebirds were in decent physical condition when practices began in early March. However, nearly every athlete faced the challenge of redeveloping their event related skills and endurance levels to prepare for the upcoming season. Walberger said the adjustment was much easier for his experienced athletes. As anticipated, newer athletes had a harder time grasping what needed to be done to be physically prepared for the their events.
Seniors Dylan Switzer, Eric Hillpot, Mike Leach, Mike Girard and Anthony Brienza will serve as team captains for Phoenix this season. Walberger said he has never named this many captains in his tenure at the helm of the Firebirds track and field program and said athletes he selects to be captains have to be influential people both in competition and in the classroom.
Walberger said a captain is someone who sets an example other athletes want to duplicate. He mentions a captain is someone who leads by example in terms of work ethic on the track and in the classroom. Walberger also suggests someone who proudly represents Phoenix at local social functions will also be given leadership consideration.
Walberger said his five captains personify these qualities.
Phoenix enters the season with an abundance of strengths. Andy Padula is striving to remain among the best in Section 3 in the pole vault. After a solid performance in the Sectional Meet last season, Padula has put in a lot of hard work with a pole vault coach and is ready to make the most of his senior season. Walberger said expectations are high for high jumpers Eric Hillpot and Shaun Turner this season. They will be expected to be strong leadership figures for their event as well. The Firebirds will feature many talented new high jumpers in 2014.
In addition to being a premier pole vaulter, Andy Padula should have another solid season in the long jump and triple jump.

Boys’ tennis returns to Phoenix

By Rob Tetro

For the first time in many years, Phoenix will have a boys’ varsity tennis team.
Led by former Hannibal varsity tennis coach Chris Gould, the Firebirds have a couple of goals for the upcoming season. On the court, Phoenix wants to develop into a fundamentally sound team throughout the season. Off the court, the Firebirds hope to generate interest in the sport within the community.
As the start of practice neared, Phoenix actively participated in preseason activates that prepared them for short distance sprints they would be doing when practices began in early March. Gould said many of his players also took part in fall or winter sports and were in decent physical condition when practices began.
Currently, the Firebirds physical conditioning is on par with where Gould them expects them to be as competition begins. During the final days leading up to its first event of the season, Phoenix was able to focus on physically preparing to hit balls. Gould suggests it’s a positive sign if his team has the ability to handle an increasing amount of repetitions.
The Firebirds have not named captains as of yet.

Looking ahead to the schedule that awaits Phoenix, Gould has highlighted the opponents from rural school districts. He feels his team has an opportunity to be competitive against teams who have programs and budget support similar to Phoenix. But in addition to rural schools, the Firebirds also will have to face teams from suburban school districts well.

Gould said he expects Manlius Pebble Hill to have another strong season, while Christian Brothers Academy and Westhill are in for solid seasons as well.

Returning to varsity competition after an extended hiatus could be a tall order for Phoenix or any other scholastic varsity team in its shoes. The Firebirds take the court as an inexperienced team. For the most part, the team lacks experience at the varsity level. They also have a limited understanding of the fundamentals of the game, which includes proper stroke mechanics.

Phoenix is striving to create interest in its tennis program within the community but sometimes the only way to do so is to show signs of life. However, Gould points out that his team doesn’t take the court without a few notable strengths.

He feels that his team is very enthusiastic, determined to improve and displays a willingness to both listen and learn. The Firebirds are expected to take the lumps that come with being a program returning to the scholastic sports scene. Inexperience aside, Gould strongly feels the strengths his team brings to the table will help them show the potential needed to set the foundation for a solid future.