Category Archives: Sports

Hannibal boys’ basketball wins 3 of 4

By Rob Tetro

The Hannibal boys’ varsity basketball team won 3 out of its last 4 games and now has a record of 3-4.

The Warriors earned their first win of the season when they topped Skaneateles Dec. 17 by a score of 62-49. Hannibal kept it going with a 50-32 win over Cato-Meridian Dec. 20 in the opening round of The Cato Christmas Tournament.

On Dec. 21, The Warriors rallied past county rival, Phoenix, in The Championship Game of The Cato Christmas Tournament by a score of 48-46. Hannibal fell to Jordan-Elbridge Jan. 4 by a score of 65-51.

In the Skaneateles game, the game was tied at 17 after the first quarter. Hannibal built a lead during the second quarter, outscoring Skaneateles by 6 points to take a 34-28 lead into halftime.

The Warriors expanded their lead during the third quarter, outscoring the Lakers by 6 points. The Warriors continued to pile on the points in the fourth quarter to come to the final score of 62-49.

Leading the way for Hannibal was Billy Skipper with 30 points, followed by Trevor Alton with 12 and Austin Mattison and Zane Pointon with 8 points each.

Hannibal got off to a solid start against Cato-Meridian in the Cato Christmas Tourney, outscoring C-M by 9 points during the first quarter. But C-M  got right back into the game during the second quarter, outscoring Hannibal by 9 points. The game was tie at 19 at the half.

The second half belonged to the Warriors. Hannibal outscored Cato-Meridian during the third quarter to build a 10-point lead. The Warriors didn’t let up during the fourth quarter. They outscored Cato-Meridian by 8 points to cap off a 50-32 win.

Hannibal was led by Trevor Alton with 18 points, followed by Austin Mattison with 13, Sam McCraith with 9, Zane Pointon with 6 and Charlie McCraith with 4 points.

Hannibal escaped with a hard fought win over county foe Phoenix in The Championship Game of The Cato Christmas Tournament.

After a competitive first quarter, Phoenix had a 1-point lead over Hannibal. The game remained equally as competitive during the second quarter. After both teams scored 12 points each, the Firebirds took a 26-25 lead into halftime.

Phoenix added to its lead during the third quarter, leading the Warriors by 2 points. But Hannibal got it done down the stretch. They outscored Phoenix by 4 points during the fourth quarter to come away with a close 48-46 win.

Leading the way for Phoenix was Dylan Doupe with 20, followed by Zach Sisera with 10, Walker Connoly with 7 and Bryce Plante added 3.

Hannibal was led by Austin Mattison with 15, followed by Billy Skipper with 13, Sam McCraith with 11 and Trevor Alton added 9 points.

Jordan-Elbridge snapped Hannibal’s 3-game winning streak Jan. 4. The Warriors got off to a decent start, outscoring Jordan-Elbridge by 3 points during the first quarter. But J-E cut into Hannibal’s lead during the second quarter taking a 27-25 lead into the half.

Jordan-Elbridge stormed ahead during the third quarter, outscoring the Warriors by 14 points to take a 12-point lead. Jordan-Elbridge refused to let up during the fourth quarter and cruised to a 65-51 win.

Leading the way for the Warriors was Trevor Alton with 25, followed by Billy Skipper with 14, Sam McCraith scored 7 points and Zane Pointon chipped in 3 points.

Winter sports big business in Oswego County

By Debra J. Groom

When the snowflakes are falling in Oswego County, that also means dollar bills are falling into area cash registers.

Winter activities such as snowmobiling and cross country skiing are big business in Oswego County, bringing out not just the locals looking for some fun but also people from all areas of the Northeast seeking that great winter getaway.

The Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning estimates the total economic impact of snowmobiling alone in the county to be about $30 million during a good winter.

Janet Clerkin, speaking for Oswego County Tourism, said the state Snowmobile Association estimates snowmobilers spend between $106 and $113 per day while snowmobiling in NYS, and they spend about 21 days snowmobiling.

In 2011 there were 10,947 snowmobiles registered in Oswego County: 6,718 non-residents, and 4,229 Oswego County residents.

In addition to snowmobiling, there is cross country skiing, ice fishing and even driftboat fishing in which anglers from all over come to town searching for those huge steelheads.

All of these people are spending money in the area at restaurants, gas stations, parts stores and motels. And sales tax and bed tax money from these visitors goes directly into the coffers of the county and other municipalities to help pay for services for residents.

Carolyn Rees, president of the Winona Forest Recreation Association, said the snowmobiling trails in the Redfield area “are awesome,” considering the area has been socked with more than 200 inches of snow so far this year.

“We got about 9 to 10 feet prior to the rain coming,” she said of the couple of weeks before Christmas. “We’ve probably got another 2 or so feet here now.”

Weather observer Carolyn Yerdon, from Redfield, said the area has seen 202 inches of snow so far this season and the snow banks are huge. She said so far, the area is on tap to set a record for snowfall this year.

Rees said snowmobiling and other sports, like the popular cross country skiing and snowshoeing in the Winona Forest Recreation Area, are “a big deal.”

Just for snowmobiling, she estimates hundreds of thousands of dollars are generated just in the northern part of Oswego County. “Snowmobiling brings in a ton of money statewide and Tug Hill-wide,” she said.

Other areas of the county that haven’t seen the huge snowfall of the Redfield area are grooming their trails after last week’s storm.

Mike Schmid, trail coordinator for the Fulton Area Snow Travelers club, said the Fulton club has one 32-mile trail that links areas to the west in Hannibal and Sterling to the east side of Fulton.

From there, snowmobilers can get to Central Square and head east to Oneida County or head north to the Tug Hill.

“Snowmobilers tend to spend a lot of money,” he said. “They buy fuel, food, drinks.”

In Fulton, up to 4,000 people show up for the Great Eastern Whiteout, a weekend of snowmobile events including an antique snowmobile show. This year, the event is set for Feb. 8.

Schmid said organizers hope for Lake Neatahwanta to freeze enough so the popular snowmobile races on the lake can return to the event.

Oswego County launched a snowmobiling app for smartphones and other electronic devices in the fall of 2012 to make it easier for snowmobilers to find the best places to sled in Oswego County.

“The latest numbers show there were more than 5,000 users who had downloaded the app from all over New York state, 12 other states and Canada,” Clerkin said. “There were 29,000 sessions on the app between October 2012 and October 2013.”

Kevin Davis, who runs Catch the Drift Guide Service in Oswego, said he has people coming in from throughout the east coast — from Maine to the Carolinas — to fish the Oswego River in the winter months.

He even has a group that comes in every April from California to take two driftboat charters with him.

“I work with the Quality Inn for my fishermen — it comes out to about $90 a day for rooms,” he said.

Add to that money for meals in Oswego restaurants, gas to drive here and other expenses and that’s a lot of green going into Oswego-area cash drawers.

The same is true over on the Salmon River. Andrew Bliss, owner of Chasin’ Tail Adventures, said he has poeple coming in from Maine to Maryland looking to driftboat fish for steelhead.

And these anglers are dropping about $300 a day to do so, he estimates.

People from all across  New York and from outside also flock to northern Oswego County each year for the Winona Forest Tourathon cross country ski event. It is scheduled for Feb. 22 and consists of races of 12.5 kilometers, 25K, 37.5K and 50K.

These out-of-town folks are usually in town for a few days, adding to money being spent at area businesses.

And Clerkin said the Sandy Pond Sportsman’s Association conducts ice fishing events “almost every weekend” during the winter.

Awards presented by supermodified group

A number of awards were presented in November at the International SuperModified Association Awards Banquet.

Receiving awards were:

Drivers Point Fund sponsors — Carol D. Haynes, Debbie Lane, Howie Lane,  Brad Lichty and Kathy Harrington.

ISMA Owner and Driver of the Year  — Vic Miller and Lou Cicconi.

Owners Champion — Vic Miller

Drivers Champion — Lou Cicconi

The Shea Concrete ISMA Super Series Steel Palace point fund to the top five point getters —  Ben Seitz, Mark Sammut, Vic Miller, accepting for Chris Perley, Lou Cicconi and Mike Lichty.

2013 ISMA Locke Crane Services Mechanic of the Year — Ryan Klingelhofer of the Lichty-Reed team.

2013 ISMA Randy Witkum Memorial Rookie of the Year — Alison Cumens

2013 Slice n Go Deli ISMA Most Improved Driver honors — Alison Cumens.

2013 ISMA Support Award — Carol D. Haynes

2013 Gater Racing News Fans Choice Driver Award — Mike Lichty

2013 ISMA Achievement Award — Alison Cumens.

2013 Race Threads ISMA Crew of the Year — Lichty-Reed race team

2013 ISMA Lois Matczak Memorial Award — Delores Murphy

2013 ISMA Jim Soule Dedication award — Presented posthumously to Jack Murphy, past president, head tech person and long time supporter of ISMA.  2013 Jim Shampine Memorial Award — Ed Shea

Taekwondo America in Oswego hosts Black Belt testing

Oswego’s Taekwondo America recently hosted the 2013 Winter Black Belt Test at the Oswego Middle School.

Heading up the testing board were Rochester’s Master Sung C. Kim and Watertown’s Master Blaine Harding.

Rounding out the testing board were a number of visiting senior Black Belts from the Taekwondo sister schools: Grand Master Kim’s Penfield school, Abbott’s Oh-Do Kwon Taekwondo in Mexico, and from Watertown, Sunset Taekwondo and Weist’s Taekwondo Training Center.

Every six months, Black Belts from the Central and Northern New York Taekwondo schools gather and are provided the opportunity to further their advancement and training as Black Belts.

Once a student obtains his or her Black Belt, continued advancement as a Black Belt is accomplished by “Tip Testing”; each Black Belt student tests their skills and knowledge of the Taekwondo curriculum and in turn earns a corresponding “colored tip” (a colored band affixed to a student’s belt indicating their level of achievement).

The colored bands, in order, are yellow, green, blue, red and brown. A black belt student “Tip Tests” every six months, and after three years, and six “Tip Tests” later, a student is eligible to “Dan Test.”

Fifth Dan is considered “Master” level.

In order to be eligible to test for First Degree Black (First Dan), a student must study and train for a minimum of three years and demonstrate a proficiency in and knowledge of several Poomses (or forms), and numerous self defense, sparring and board breaking techniques.

To be eligible to test for Second or Third Degree Black Belt, a student must continue to study and train for a minimum of three years at each Dan, and demonstrate an even higher level of proficiency in skill and also demonstrate additional knowledge of the philosophy and history of Taekwondo.

At the recent Black Belt Test in Oswego, Taekwondo America’s Brandon Beshures and Cody Vincent tested for their First Degree Black Belt and assistant instructors Desiree Muller and Paul Esdan, Jr. tested for their Second Degree Black Belt.

New First Dans

Brandon Beshures, 11, is a sixth-grader at Fitzhugh Park Elementary School. Brandon is the son of Theresa Gibson and Eric Beshures and he has a brother, Eric, and a sister, Chelsea; his grandparents are Rhea Beshures and John and Marcella Gibson.

Brandon has been studying Taekwondo for 2 ½ years and he says his Taekwondo experience has been fun, and it also involved hard work, but it was all worth it.

Cody Vincent,12, is a sixth-grader and has five brothers and sisters. Cody says he started his Taekwondo experience in 2010 and his family has supported his efforts.

He says it was his mother who pushed for him to enter tournaments and to “find his limits.”

Cody says he has met some really great people during his Taekwondo experience and Taekwondo means a lot to him because it has taught him about perseverance, integrity, self control, respect and spirit and has helped him be a good example to his younger siblings

New Second Dans

Desiree Mullen, 14, is the daughter of Cherie and Dan Mullen. Desiree is a ninth-grader at Mexico High School where she is also a varsity swimmer on the Oswego Laker Swim Club — this year she earned the Rookie of the Year Award.

Desiree says she has been a Taekwondo student for more than four years and is an assistant instructor at Taekwondo America. Mullen says she has made many friends throughout her Taekwondo career and her friends and family have helped her reach the level she is at today.

While training for her 2nd Dan, she says she’s realized just how hard she’s worked to reach her goal and finds her accomplishment an amazing and very rewarding experience.

Paul Esden, Jr., is a freshman at SUNY Oswego and is the son of Michelle and Paul Esden, Sr.; his sister Kali also has a Black Belt in Taekwondo.

Esden says he began his Taekwondo training in 2008, and really didn’t know how far his training would take him. He said he was going to try the best he could to get his 2nd degree black belt and the experience has been was “way beyond (his) wildest dreams.”

Esden thanks Master and Mrs. Pryor for all their work and support, because “without them, I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing today”!

Taekwondo training places a strong emphasis on respect, personal development and achievement, both physically and emotionally. Both adults and children immediately benefit from the structure and energy Taekwondo offers, challenging each and every student to be their best and always demonstrate respect towards others.

Taekwondo America students train under Grand Master Sam Kim and Master Sung C. Kim of Rochester.

For more information, call Leo Pryor, head instructor at Taekwondo America, 135 E. Bridge St., Oswego 342-2470. Visit our website

A Sportman’s World, by Leon Archer

By Leon Archer

This has been a great winter so far for Florida.

The Sunshine State has been getting big numbers of people trying to escape the cold and snow of the frozen north; In fact, they have been getting record numbers.

Motels, hotels and resorts have been putting out ‘no vacancy’ signs on a regular basis. The number of people getting out of the cold on a permanent basis is on the rise as well. Florida’s population has inched closer to that of New York’s.

A lot of us northerners like to take our fishing tackle with us and spend some time trying to come up with the makings of a fresh fish fry. Party boats and charter boats do a brisk business, but not like they would have been doing if Florida’s fishing regulations were a little more tourist friendly.

Party boat captains are able to find plenty of fish for their customers, but many of those fish, especially the most desired species, are off limits during the winter tourist season and have to be released.

The state regulations provide the wonderful gag grouper (don’t let the name put you off, you’ll never gag when you catch one or when you eat one) and the red snapper with full protection along the Florida Atlantic Coast between December and May. That takes the two major targets off the table right through the party boat’s best season.

I haven’t been out on a Florida party boat in the last six or seven years, and I’ve only been out on one charter boat during that time. I used to go several times a year.

I enjoyed fishing for bottom fish, but I also liked to bring a few fish in with me even if their fillets ended up being pretty expensive after paying my fare on the boat.

The odds of bringing a dinner in these days have gotten a lot longer. The only bright spot is the state has decided to allow fishermen to take black sea bass this year even though the limit is a lot smaller than it used to be.

Personally, I prefer to just fish on the Indian River or off some of the ocean piers. The chance of catching large fish in the river isn’t great, and in the section near Sebastian, the odds of catching anything isn’t great either.

But from Vero Beach south, the river is still fairly decent fishing. That’s where I’ll put my efforts when I’m in Florida.

If you are thinking of visiting Florida this winter and want to do some fishing, don’t despair. Check with the local bait shops and get some advice about where to fish and what to use.

Those shop owners are probably the best source you can find, unless you have a native to show you the ropes. If you see people fishing from a bridge or a pier, stop for a bit. Watch what they are doing, what they are using for bait, and what they are catching.

Then you can visit with some of them if they are willing to share, and most are. Those are two ways that I have learned a lot of what I know about Florida fishing.  Watch and learn.

Awards presented at speedway banquet

A number of awards were presented at the Oswego Speedway Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet.

They are:

2013 Ed Clark Spirit Award: John Byrnes.

2013 Oswego Speedway Recognition Award: Butch and Lorraine Kisselstein.

2013 Oswego Speedway Lois Matczak Women of the Year award went to Debbie Bond.

2013 Oswego Speedway Hall of Fame inductees are Mike Ordway, Dean Hoag, Soule Racing, Robert “Bud” Young and Bill Hartwell.

2013 Jake’s Automotive Oswego Speedway SBS Car Owner of the Year went to Jason Simmons.

2013 Jake’s Automotive Oswego Speedway Supermodified Car Owner of the Year went to John Nicotra. Presenting are track owners Eric and John Torrese.

2013 Jake’s Automotive Oswego Speedway SBS Crew of the Year went to the Four Sevens Motorsports.

2013 Jake’s Automotive Oswego Speedway Supermodified Crew of the Year went to Gosselin Racing.

2013 Turning Stone Oswego Speedway Favorite Driver Award went to Joe Gosek.

2013 Eagle’s Fan Club Tony White Memorial Award went to a father and son team of Dennis Rupert Sr and Jr.

2013 Eagle’s Fan Club Jim Shampine Memorial Award went to Gosek Racing.

2013 Butler Disposal Oswego Speedway SBS Rookie of the Year went to Jeremy Pitcher.

2013 PathFinder Bank SBS track champion Russ Brown.

Top 10 in 2013 Oswego Speedway SBS points: Kreig Heroth, Mike Bond, Jason Simmons, Rob Pullen, Jack Patrick, JJ Andrews, Russ Brown, Dalton Doyle, Ron Tascarella and Jon Tesoriero.

2013 Novelis Supermodified track champion is Otto Sitterly

Top 10 in 2013 Oswego Speedway Supermodified points: Joe Gosek, Pat Lavery, Dave Gruel, Michael Muldoon, Shaun Gosselin, Chris Smith, Dan Connors, Otto Sitterly, Dave Danzer and Michael Barnes.

Roller derby junior league featured at bout

Port City Roller Derby’s junior league will get 2014 rolling with their “Snow Ball” bout on Saturday, Jan. 11, in the Oswego YMCA Armory.

For the bout featuring two teams of Port City Roller Derby junior skaters, ages 10 to 17, doors will open at 5 p.m. with action beginning at 6 p.m. in the armory, corner of West First and Utica streets in Oswego.

It is the second event of the juniors first full competitive season, a prelude to a Feb. 8 home bout versus a juniors team from Buffalo’s Queen City league.

A portion of proceeds of the January bout will support the Children’s Museum of Oswego.

Advance tickets, available from league members, cost $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 5 to 12, with children 4 and under admitted free.

Tickets can be purchased at the door, but will cost $12 for adults. Attendees interested in trackside seating are encouraged to bring their own chairs.

Port City Roller Derby is produced by Oz Roller Girls Inc., a member-run nonprofit organization dedicated to athletic competition, empowerment and supporting its community.

Port City Roller Derby always seeks skaters, refs and other volunteers for its adult (18 and over) and juniors (ages 10 to 17) teams, and will provide training.

For more information, visit or email

Phoenix girls’ basketball takes its lumps

By Rob Tetro

The Phoenix girls’ varsity basketball team is taking its lumps as it faces some of the toughest teams Section 3 has to offer.

On Dec. 19, the Lady Firebirds fell to Solvay 54-46. Arch rival and county foe Mexico cruised past Phoenix Dec. 26 by a score of 53-34. On Dec. 27, Carthage rolled past Phoenix 50-22 and Westhill topped the Lady Firebirds 69-40 Dec. 30.

In the Solvay game, Phoenix got off to a decent start, outscoring Solvay by 3 points during the first quarter.

Solvay then stormed ahead during the second quarter, outscoring the Lady Firebirds by 11 points to take a 30-22 lead into halftime. Solvay expanded its lead to 12 points in the third quarter.

But the Lady Firebirds weren’t about to back down and poured it on in the fourth, cutting into Solvay’s lead. But the deficit they faced proved to be too much to overcome.

Leading the way for the Lady Firebirds was Samantha Doupe with 17 points, followed by Brianna Squier with 11 and Shannon Dolan with 9.

At the Mexico Christmas Tournament, Mexico got off to an impressive start, outscoring Phoenix by 13 points during the first quarter. Mexico extended its lead during the second quarter to lead 33-14 lead at the half.

Phoenix came out swinging during the third quarter, outscoring Mexico by 6 points to cut the deficit down to 13 points. But Mexico capped off a solid effort during the fourth quarter for the win.

Mexico was led by Bailey Groves and Kendra Harter who scored 16 points each.  Following Groves and Harter was Amylyn Holland with 8 and Lydia Becker scored 4 points.

Leading the way for Phoenix were Kimberly Holbrook and Alexandra Wilson with 10 points each. They were followed by rianna Squier and Samantha Doupe with 5 points each.

In the second round of the Mexico Christmas Tournament, Carthage pulled out all the stops and was leading by 18 points in the first quarter.

Carthage expanded its lead during the second quarter to take a 33-10 lead into halftime.

Phoenix stepped up its defensive play during the second half, holding Carthage to only 17 points during the third and fourth quarters. But Phoenix still was outscored down the stretch and came up on the losing side of the contest.

The Lady Firebirds were led by Samantha Doupe with 10 points, followed by  Kimberly Holbrook with 6.

In its game against Phoenix, Westhill wasted little time putting the game out of reach, outscoring the Lady Firebirds by  17 points during the first quarter.

Westhill kept it going during the second quarter and led 37-14 at the half.

In the third, Westhill capped off an impressive performance outscoring PHoenix by 14. Phoenix cut into the Westhill lead some in the fourth quarter, but ran out of time to go for the win.

Leading the way for Phoenix was Brianna Squier with 11 points, followed by Samantha Doupe and Alexandra Wilson with 8 points each. Kimberly Holbrook scored 5 points while Shannon Dolan chipped in 3 points.