Category Archives: Sports

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.

Fly-fishing event for women coming to Altmar

Submitted by Joe Mannino

The Steelhead Lodge will hosting a Women’s Fly-fishing Weekend May 2 through May 4 on the Salmon River.

The event consists of riverside lodging, home-cooked meals, a seminar led by Vicky Lane, renowned fly fisherwoman, and plenty of time spent fishing the Salmon River.

This is a “hands on” learning experience for women of all ages. More and more women have discovered the joys of fly-fishing.

For more information about the event , visit http://steelheadlodge.com/womensflyfishweekend.html or call 298-4371 or email lodgekeeper@steelheadlodge.com

Fulton Storm girls’ hoops finish season with 107 wins

Mallori Kitts goes up for a layup in a Fulton Storm game. the other Fulton girls in the photo are No. 24, Mackenzie Smith, and the girl on the left with her number blocked is Madison Gilmore.
Mallori Kitts goes up for a layup in a Fulton Storm game. the other Fulton girls in the photo are No. 24, Mackenzie Smith, and the girl on the left with her number blocked is Madison Gilmore.

Submitted by Dan Gilmore

The Fulton Storm girls’ basketball teams officially started practice in September after a lot of summer work preparing for the long season ahead.

There was great interest in the program this year. There were two fifth-sixth grade teams, three seventh-eighth grade teams and even one third-fourth-grade team that played in games and tournaments.

All the Fulton teams focused on the basic fundamentals of basketball, such as shooting, ball-handling, passing and defense. These along with basic offensive and defensive concepts will give the student athlete the skills and knowledge necessary to be competitive at the high school level.

All the Fulton teams combined earned a record of 107-38. Fulton won 13 tournaments and had good showings at all of the tournaments the teams entered.

The girls showed steady improvement as the travel season went on, even though the girls had to balance school, school basketball and other activities. The Fulton Storm is proud of all the girls for working hard, being dedicated and being team players.

A special thanks to all the coaches, parents, sponsors, and Jerry Schremp for making this season and the Fulton Tournament a success.

Fulton’s home tournament had 15 teams participate this year, up from last year. It hopes to grow again next year.

Fulton took home first place in the fifth-sixth and seventh-eighth divisions.

The Fulton Storm always is looking to grow and is focused on the development of each individual player.

Once again some talented eighth-graders will be moving on next year. Those players are Mckenna Chesbro, Mallori Kitts, Alexandra Mosquesda, Erin Nicholson, Cara Smith and Brianna Squier.

Fallen DEC officer honored

The state Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Law Enforcement this week hosted a graveside memorial ceremony in honor of Samuel S. Taylor, the first environmental officer killed in the line of duty in New York state.

Taylor, a game protector (now called environmental conservation officers), was fatally shot at the age of 38 on April 5, 1914, after attempting to apprehend a duck hunter while patrolling the banks of the Mohawk River.

In recognition of Game Protector Taylor’s unwavering sacrifice, DEC created an award in his honor. Started in the 1990s, DEC awards environmental conservation officers who, by a conspicuous act of valor, courage, integrity, resourcefulness and bravery in the protection of natural resource or public safety, have clearly set themselves apart in performing their duties.

In addition to this honor, Game Protector Taylor’s name will finally be added to the fallen officer’s memorial wall in Albany during the Police Officers Remembrance Ceremony May 6, 100 years after his passing.

This distinction was previously denied, however DEC’s Division of Law Enforcement fought persistently for this well-deserved tribute.

Attending the graveside service for Taylor were Maj. D. Scott Florence, DEC Division of Law Enforcement Acting Director; DEC Deputy Commissioner Chris Walsh; DEC regional law enforcement captains; state Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida; state  Assemblyman Bill Magee, D-Nelson, past  Samuel Taylor award recipients; and local DEC officers.

The service was April 9 in Woodlawn Cemetery, Hamilton, Madison County.

Bowling scores

The following are the results/standings of the 59th Annual Fulton USBC Women’s Bowling Association City Tournament   April 5 and 6 at the Recreation Club in Fulton.

  • We Need A Name 2411
  • Mid-Crisis 2408
  • The Go-Getters 2404
  • APFW Law 2353
  • Up Your Ace 2344
  • Wild Wine-O’s 2311
  • Brown Clowns 2263
  • Alley Cats 2247
  • Lupien’s Girls 2226
  • Slick Chicks 2221
  • A-Tom-Mik 2216
  • Pin Pals 2201
  • UnPredictables 2164
  • Splits & Giggles 2131
  • Kayden’s Krew 2129
  • Distin’s 2 + 2 2123
  • Four Muskateers 2052

 

Winning Edge Women’s League
Bowled at Lakeview Lanes, Wednesday April 9, 2014

  • Paula Distin          615- 185, 245, 185
  • Kathy  Pipher        563- 189, 187, 187
  • Jackie Coon        515- 174, 158, 183
  • Chrissy Morrison  513- 170, 167, 176
  • Sherry Timm         511- 164, 168, 179
  • Della Daniels        498- 177, 161, 160
  • Kathy Barkley       494- 170, 163, 161
  • Linda Yager          494- 179, 161, 154
  • Sharon Kells         492- 162, 145, 185
  • Kelly Guernsey     483- 168, 151, 174
  • Ginny Ostness      478- 162, 139, 177
  • Anne Candee        469- 147, 137, 185
  • Tricia Hines           456- 152, 148, 156
  • Dawne Hartranft    451- 152, 152, 147
  • Christine Kingsley 451- 168, 171, 112

The Sportsman’s World: Time for Turkeys Near

By Leon Archer

We are only 18 days away from the opening of turkey season, and for many hunters, this is the most popular hunting season of the year.

About 100,000 hunters take to the woods in search of the big toms during the month of May, and I’m one of them.

Next spring, my grandson, Nathaniel, will be 12 and a legal hunter; I’m going to try to infect him with the bug as well.

Now that the weather has warmed up, I’m sure hunters are starting to check the fields and woods to see where they may want to be when the sun comes up May 1.

Last year, hunters in Oswego County harvested 532 turkeys during the spring season, but the harvest was greater in a number of other counties.

The largest recorded number of turkeys taken in Oswego County came in 2008. Hunters bagged 995 of the big gobblers that spring. That may sound like a lot, but hunters in Steuben County took home 1,543 birds in the 2008 season while Chautauqua County took the crown with a total of 2,016 bearded turkeys.

The year 2008 was also a big year for total spring harvest statewide. A total of 32,936 turkeys were taken in the spring of that year, compared with 21,515 taken in 2013.

While recent numbers have been lower than in the peak years, they appear to be edging back up from the low of 18,738 in 2011.

It remains to be seen what this spring will bring after our snowy winter and bitter cold. Turkeys fare pretty well during the winters as long as they can locate food enough to sustain them.

I would be very interested in hearing from turkey hunters on their observations and the results of their time in the field. I would especially like to know the relative number of turkeys you heard and saw as compared to other years.

If you have a good story, share it with me. My email address is lfarcher@yahoo.com and I really like to hear from readers. I got several responses to my request for information from trappers. They have been cruising the last two years. I envy them.

If you have a youngster who wants to hunt, I can’t think of a better way to start them out than on a spring turkey hunt; although a fall squirrel hunt after the leaves have fallen is pretty high on my list of beginning hunter activities.

Take a youngster with you, even if they aren’t old enough to actually hunt yet. As Yogi Berra once said, “you can learn a lot by watching.”

Keep me posted, and if you have a picture you would like me to use, send it with your email.

I heard from a fishing buddy a few days ago. He said the small streams in Oswego County were pretty much unfishable on the opener, but that the streams in Onondaga were reachable and water levels were fishable, but cold.

The trout weren’t biting all that well, but if one kept at it long enough it was possible to catch a fish or two. I guess it would probably have been better to just fish Salmon River for the steelhead.

I like catching fish, but I am exhilarated by just being out on the stream. It may be cold and the fish may be reluctant, but what a beautiful, vibrant scene greets one’s eyes.

Anyone who comes home disappointed by their day if they caught no fish, doesn’t understand fishing. Have a great spring, and think turkeys.

Fulton girls’ young lacrosse team faces tough schedule

By Rob Tetro

The Fulton girls’ varsity lacrosse team has the tough task of developing newer players after losing several players to graduation over the last couple of seasons.

With this in mind, coach Drew White said allowing players to gain quality experience on this field this season will be a key goal for his team.

If The Lady Raiders are to succeed in 2014, their younger players will have to grow and develop into contributors throughout the course of the season.

Fulton will have six seniors on the team this season, all of which are returning players. Seniors Casey Shannon, Julia Ludington, Julia Lee, Isabela Gonzalez, Jenna Hudson and Alexis Lastra will be relied upon to be key contributors this season.

When practices began in early March, White expected his players to be physically prepared to handle the work ahead of them. Players were encouraged to take part in off-season weight lifting programs. To White’s approval, most of his players were able to actively participate in these workouts and had the physical conditioning to show for it.

Unfortunately, the Lady Raiders have had limited time preparing outdoors for the season. White said in their quest to continue developing their conditioning, his players will benefit from the challenges they face while adjusting to outdoor preparation and competition.

White said his newer players still continue to adjust to the speed of varsity lacrosse. However, not only does he expect his younger players to make the necessary adjustments, White also believes they will be physically able to play more and more as the season goes on.

Amelia Coakley, Casey Shannon and Julia Ludington will serve as team captains for the Lady Raiders this season.

The schedule Fulton will face this season is a tough one. White said the league they play in is challenging and gets stronger every year.

He expects perennial power Christian Brothers Academy to be just as impressive as they have been in the past. Rival East Syracuse Minoa is expected to have a solid season as well.

The Lady Raiders tough league schedule aside, White also expects the non-league opponents his team will face this season will be equally as challenging.

Despite trying to fill many voids due to graduation, Fulton expects to have numerous strengths this season. One of the most notable strengths is in the middle of the field.

Captains Coakley, Shannon and Ludington all return for their fourth season starting at Midfield. Led by them, Fulton expects to be able to successfully control the middle of the field on the offensive end.

White also points out that expectations are high for sophomore Goalie Kaylin Pafumi headed into the season.