Category Archives: Sports

Bright future ahead for Fulton softball team

by Rob Tetro

The Fulton varsity softball team is losing oen senior from a team that went 11-7. The team reached the semifinals of the Section III Class A playoffs.

Ashley Cummins is the lone senior that Fulton will bid farewell to, according to coach Derek Lyons. Throughout the season, Cummins displayed an impressive work ethic, said Lyons.

Though she may not have been a vocal leader, Cummins led by example when it came to effort.

Lyons added that Cummins’ teammates learned a lot from her. “I think the girls learned a lot about the way she worked day in and day out,” he said.

Whether its Cummins or any other senior that makes her way through the program, Lyons hopes that seniors come away from the experience with the understanding that having an impressive work ethic can pay off.

It certainly did this season. “We had a nice run this year and it would (not) have been impossible without the effort they put in all year,” said Lyons.

The Lady Raiders improved this season. Despite playing a few perennial powerhouses, Fulton had a pretty successful season.

To read the rest of the article, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.

Local athletes receive Section 3 Scholar Athlete Award

by Rob Tetro

Fourteen athletes from seven local schools have been named recipients of the Section 3 Scholar Athlete Award.

In addition to student-athletes from Fulton, Hannibal and Phoenix, other Oswego County recipients hail from Oswego, Mexico, Central Square and Pulaski.

All 14 of these athletes will be honored at a banquet held at the RSC Arena on the campus of Onondaga Community College June 10.

Scholar Athletes from Fulton are Mary M. West, daughter of Robert and Margaret West, and Kyle Loftus (son of Charles and Tammie Carroll/Robert Loftus).

This Fall, West will be attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute whilee Loftus will be attending Binghamton University.

Hannibal’s Scholar Athletes are Adrienne Shortslef, daughter of Chas and Lisa Shortslef, and Ryan Perry, son of Nancy Perry.

This Fall, Shortslef will be attending Albany College of Pharmacy while Perry will be attending Syracuse University.

Scholar Athletes from Phoenix are Meghan Barry, daughter of Donald and Jennifer Barry, and Girolamo Mammolito,son of Michael and Laurie Mammolito).

Barry will be attending Nazareth College and Mammolito will be attending Syracuse University.

Oswego’s Scholar Athletes are Sarah Mancuso, daughter of Joesph and Marie Mancuso, and Dylan Lavner, son of Michael and Deborah Lavner. Mancuso will be attending SUNY Geneseo while Lavner will be attending the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

To read the rest of the article, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.

Senior athletes honored by Fulton Athletic Boosters Club

by Rob Tetro

The Fulton Athletic Boosters Club honored several senior athletes during a banquet held at the Oasis at Thunder Island in Fulton Tuesday.

There were 12 total acknowledgements given. Seven of those acknowledgements were awards while the remaining five were scholarships.

A new award debuted this year in honor of the late Dave and Judy Trepasso.

Known as the Dave and Judy Trepasso Fan of the Year Award, this is award is given to a local supporter who expresses devotion to Fulton athletics just as The Trepasso’s did.

The inaugural recipient of this award was Bob Weston.

The Dale Tombs Baseball Award went to Cody Dick. Hannah Geitner and Pat Fink were named recipients of the Barney Naioti Leadership Award.

The Joe Castiglia Effort Award went to Mary West and Tim Conners. The Gene Adams Most Improved Athlete Award was given to Allyson Bricker and Mitch Lalik.

To read the rest of the article, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.

Ward overcomes appendectomy to win at Fulton Speedway

Mother nature threw her best punches Saturday night when the skies opened up, causing an over an hour rain delay.

Instead of throwing in the towel, the Fulton Speedway track crew got to work providing a fast track surface for the nights features.

“I can be in pain at home on the couch, or be in pain in the race car, I’ll take the race car,” said Pat Ward after undergoing an appendectomy this past Tuesday after falling ill Monday at the Utica-Rome Speedway.

Ward gave himself the best medicine in the world as he picked up the Tracey Road Equipment Big Block Modified feature win Saturday night at the Fulton Speedway.

Other winners were Justin Crisafulli, SUNY Canton Sportsman; Dale Caswell, NAPA Late Models; Gary Hoppins, E&V Energy Novice Sportsman; Eric M. Zirbel, Four Cylinder Stocks; and Doug Williams, Mod Lites.

Matt Hulsizer would grab the early lead to start the 35-lap Tracey Road Equipment Big Block Modified feature on a tacky and quick racing surface.

With five laps complete, Hulsizer would hold a narrow lead over Kane, Chuck Bower and Tim Sears Jr. with Ryan Phelps right there in fifth.

The first yellow would fly on lap 7 for Tom Sears Jr., who stopped on the top of turn two. That gave the field a chance to catch their breath, as there were two and three-wide battles around the speedway.

On lap 10, using the cushion, Tim Sears Jr. would be scored the new leader by inches over Hulsizer at the line.

With 15 laps showing on the scoring tower, Sears, Hulsizer and Bower were in a three-car breakaway, as they raced nose to tail and side by side at the front of the field. Coming quick behind the top three was Ward, who would soon make it a four-car fight for the top-spot.

At the halfway point, Sears was still setting the pace, but couldn’t put any distance between himself and Hulsizer and Bower. Ward and Chris Hile showed in the top five.

Rob Bellinger and Larry Wight would be involved in an incident on the back straightaway bringing out the yellow on lap 24.

When the green came back out, Sears appeared to jump the cushion exiting turn four, which allowed Hulsizer, Bower, Ward and Billy Decker to shoot by.

Just before another yellow, Ward, through sure horsepower, went from fourth and into the lead. The caution was for Sears who appeared to be hit hard by debris. Sears luckily would climb from his car under his own power.

Over the closing laps, Ward was a man on a mission, as he was able to outrun Billy Decker who moved into second but could get no closer than a few car lengths at the checkers.

Chuck Bower, Matt Hulsizer and Dan Vauter finished third through fifth.

After slowly exiting his Gypsum Express/Stadium International Trucks/Gypsum Wholesalers/ LJL Kevlar Racing Engines/No.42p/Bicknell, a sore but happy Pat Ward talked about his second win of the year at the Fulton Speedway.

“It’s been a tough week,” he said. “This crew of mine, I couldn’t touch the car all week. Terry came in with me Friday morning and I got to thank Rob (Hile) Scott (Jeffrey) from the other two crews, they stripped the car and washed it for me. I got the best team you could ever have.

“This car the last three weeks has been super,” he added. “I’m pretty much junk everywhere else, but here I’m really good.”

Ward related how a yellow helped him shoot from fourth and into the lead on a restart.

“We were coming on strong,” he said. “We didn’t have enough gear at the start, but we were slowly coming up through. I don’t know what happened to Tim (Sears Jr.) I hope he’s alright; he was running a heck of a race. When he broke the middle groove was pretty much locked down, and that was pretty much the end of the race right there.”

In the 20-lap SUNY Canton Sportsman feature, a new name would grace victory lane for a first time winner. Justin Crisafulli would take the lead at the drop of the green and lead every lap, but the win was anything but easy.

Crisafulli would have to hold off former feature winner Jason Occhino on the last lap for the narrow win. Greg Mrzywka, points leader Beth Schneider and Nick Krause finished third through fifth.

“I only burped the throttle,” was what Dale Caswell said about his dominate win as he was almost wide open around the Fulton Speedway.

At the checkers, Caswell was almost a half a track ahead of the field, ending Alan Fink’s win streak in the NAPA Late Models. Sean Beardsley, Alan Fink, Dustin Hanlon and Shayne Tenace came home second through fifth.

In the 15-lap E&V Energy Novice Sportsman feature, Gary Hoppins went from third to the lead  on lap four and then never looked back picking up another win for the defending champion. Early leader Wade Chrisman, Taylor Lamb, Dan Hoffmann and Jeremy Dygert rounded out the top-five.

The undefeated streak for Skip DeGroff is finally over in the Four Cylinder Stocks. Eric M. Zirbel, who has been strong all season only to have something happen to his No.26, picked up the hard fought win over DeGroff and Mark Johnston.

The Mod Lites made an appearance Saturday night. In the 15-lap feature, Lowell Zehr first held off Justin Williams and then battled with Justin’s father, Doug. In one of the most entertaining passes for the lead, Doug Williams waved at Zehr as he took the lead on the last lap and the win.

Saturday, June 8 will be another night of racing. On the race card will be the Tracey Road Equipment Big Block Modifieds, SUNY Canton Sportsman, NAPA Late Models, E&V Energy Novice Sportsman and Four Cylinder Stocks.

Sportsman crew members will take center stage as they will be involved in a pit-stop competition on the front straightaway.

Gates will open at 5 with racing at 7 p.m.

Five seniors left their mark on Fulton boys tennis team

by Rob Tetro

The Fulton boys varsity tennis team was impacted by this year’s group of seniors.

Mitch Lalik, Joel Monaghan and foreign exchange students Javier Pajaron (Spain), Diogo Lopes (Brazil) and Yann Taddei (France) all made the most of their senior seasons.

In fact, the impact these seniors had on their teammates proved to be undeniable, according to Coach Matt Goodnaugh.

Goodnaugh noted that how the seniors went about their business trickles down to the younger athletes. As it was this season, everyone worked harder while coming away from the season a little more confident than they were when it began.

Goodnaugh said that next year’s group of seniors will want to go about their business the same way with the hopes of exceeding the achievements of this year’s team.

Early on this season, Fulton lost three hard fought matches all with scores of 4-3. When the Red Raiders played two of those teams again during the second half of the season, they turned the tables and won 4-3.

To read the rest of the article, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.

Port City Roller Derby to host Albany All-Stars June 15

Port City Roller Derby will look to avenge an early-season loss when the league hosts the Albany All-Stars on Saturday, June 15 in Crisafulli Rink.

Port City’s Breakwall Bombshells dropped a hard-hitting 184-140 bout to Albany’s A team on the road in early May.

For the Oswego rematch, the teams should take the floor around 7:30 p.m. An intraleague scrimmage for the new juniors team, the Lagoon Squad, will start at 6 p.m. Doors open at 5 p.m.

The Breakwall Bombshells are coming off a wild come-from-behind 137-124 win on the road over Enchanted Mountain Roller Derby’s Hellbilly Heartbreakers.

Tickets can be purchased at the door. Advance tickets are available online at portcityrollerderby.org or from any PCRD league member. Attendees interested in trackside seating are encouraged to bring their own chairs.

A portion of the proceeds will support Oswego County Parents of Special Children.

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Fulton wrestler triumphs over cancer, earns leadership award

G. Ray Bodley High School senior Tim Conners is pictured with his father, Mike, after he received the Ken Julian Award, which the team’s leadership award. Conners lost his sight after he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
G. Ray Bodley High School senior Tim Conners is pictured with his father, Mike, after he received the Ken Julian Award, which the team’s leadership award. Conners lost his sight after he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

by Dan Farfaglia

“Cancer may have taken a lot of things away from me, including my sight, but it will never take my vision.”

That is a phrase that Fulton’s Tim Conners lives by on a daily basis. That also happens to be his yearbook quote.

A little over three years ago, the G. Ray Bodley High School senior was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.  Treatments began immediately and by the fall of 2010, he was given a lifesaving bone marrow transplant from his older brother, Mike P. Conners.

His parents are Betsy Conners, an administrator with the Fulton School City District, and Mike N. Conners; a former gym teacher and long time wrestling and football coach for Fulton, who is now an administrator with the Oswego School District.

After the long hard battle with cancer, Conners had to make some major life adjustments due to the fact that he became blind during the process. He had also missed a large part of life in high school as a result of his treatments and recovery.

“I currently have a TVI (a teacher of the visually impaired), a mobility specialist, a case manager, a one-on-one aide who goes to classes with me, and a counselor through my school now,” he said.

As far as plans after graduation, Conenrs noted, “Over the summer, I plan on attending a program at Le Moyne College sponsored by NYS Commission for the Blind for approximately four weeks. While I am there, I am going to learn what it is like to live on a college campus and learn what I will need to know before I start college on my own. In the fall, I plan on delaying admission to Ithaca College for one semester so I can attend the Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, Mass. for approximately 22 weeks. This program will provide me with all the skills I need to become independent and to be successful in life.”

He continued, “After my time at the Carroll Center is done, I will begin my college career at Ithaca College. I am not 100 percent sure if I know what I want to do yet, but that is part of the reason I chose Ithaca because they have an Exploratory Program that will help me figure that out. Unfortunately, I will lose most of those services (that he currently has in high school), but I think it is important in my journey towards independence. I will still receive supports such as mobility training from New York State and support from the disability office in Ithaca. The disability office offerings is another great reason that I decided to go there.”

In his life after cancer, Conners has now become the guest of honor at many local service oriented functions and fund-raisers such as the United Way, Make a Wish, Lions Club, and Rotary.

As with many teenagers, public speaking was not his cup of tea during his life before cancer.  After going through what he has gone through these past few years, this is no longer a nerve wrecking experience.

During his speeches, he openly discusses his battles and how in the new phase of his life, will do what needs to be done and takes a “no excuses” approach to whatever his goals are in life now.

He is currently ranked eighth in his class, is a member of the National Honor Society, received numerous academic awards and has an overall grade point average of 98. He also played football last fall and just finished track and field.

He also has the distinction of being both prom king and homecoming king.

He also had a strong desire to return to the wrestling mat for his senior year. “Wrestling had always been a part of my life,” he said. “I wasn’t going to let cancer and blindness interfere with that.”

This sport has been a major feature of his family’s life since his father and uncle were standouts for Baldwinsville High School during the 1970s and 1980s.  The older Mike Conners ended his Fulton Wrestling coaching career in 2012 and his brother Pat has just finished his time as the head wrestling coach at South Jefferson High School.  The younger Mike Conners graduated a few years ago.

For competitors in wrestling with limited or no vision, there is an alternative style that is used where the two wrestlers for the most part, have to remain in close physical contact.

For example, whenever they are in the neutral position, they stand facing each other and have to have one palm up and one palm down with the opponents’ hands connecting before the whistle blows.

When asked if this took some getting used to, Conners replied, “Yes, because not only did I have to deal with wrestling without vision, but my body was still very weak, so I was unable to do some of the stuff I had done before.”

His most memorable wrestling moments this past season?

His first match at the Blindmen’s Tournament at Cicero-North Syracuse High School and when he received the team leadership award at the Fulton Wrestling Banquet.

“It felt great to win the Ken Julian Award, to be recognized for all the hard work I put in,” he said. “Not only do my brother and I share some the same bone marrow now, but we were both recipients of this prestigious honor.”

To read the rest of the article, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.

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Fulton Bowling Hall of Fame to induct three members next week

by Rob Tetro

The Fulton Bowling Hall Of Fame will induct three new members next week. This year’s inductees are Mike Jodway, Michelle Simpson and Earl “Bummer” Sixberry.

They will be honored at an induction ceremony to be held at Lakeview Lanes June 9.

Mike Jodway

Jodway has been involved in the sport of bowling for 41 years. Bowling found its way into Jodway’s life when he was 12 years old. When he was 14 years old, his uncle helped to manage The Bowl-Inn in Phoenix. In his first job, Jodway was allowed to bowl for free after he finished his dish washing duties. He bowled whenever he could while his uncle helped to develop his skills.

Jodway joined his first league when he was 16 and has been bowling ever since.

In the 1970s, bowling in a men’s league at 16 was practically unheard of. However, not only did Jodway take part in the league, he faired pretty well. One of his earliest accomplishments was being able to compete with some of the more experienced bowlers in the league.

Along the way, Jodway has held a few league positions as well. He was the president of the Summer Mixed League at Bowlarama. For the last 10 years, he’s been the president of the Saturday Night Mixed League at the Recreation Club in Fulton.

Some of Jodway’s most recent accomplishments include earning his first 300 game in 2011. He has also bowled three 299 games, two 290 games and numerous 279 games.

Jodway’s highest series is 787 but he has also bowled many 700 series as well.

Most of his most notable scores were bowled at the Recreation Club against many renowned bowlers. Two years ago, he had a 219 average, which is the highest average ever at the Recreation Club.

Outside of bowling, Jodway has been married to his wife for 34 years. They have a daughter and two sons who also enjoy bowling. He’s been an employee of Black Clawson/Davis Standard for 37 years.

Michelle Simpson

Simpson first began bowling in the late 1960s. She got the itch to bowl by watching both of her parents take part in the sport.

Some of her earliest achievements in bowling include winning eight to 10 No Tap Tournaments with her father. Just after finishing high school, Simpson bowled her first 600 series while taking part in a Monday Night Classic League with her mother at Bowlerama.

She’s held a few local positions as well. Simpson was the president of the 600 Club and secretary and treasurer of the Lucky 7 League.

Some of her more recent accomplishments include a high score of 279 while also bowling numerous 700 series.

Simpson considers bowling to be a very enjoyable sport. She said she is grateful to have had the experiences that she’s had, especially the moments bowling with her mother, father and brother. She also cited the friends she’s made through bowling. A lot of the friends she’s made through bowling over the years still bowl with her to this day.

Earl Sixberry

Sixberry first began bowling in 1966. Bowling became a part of Sixberry’s life after watching his parents bowl as a child. He began bowling in a Junior High League at the Bowl-Inn in Phoenix.

Some of Sixberry’s earliest achievements include bowling his first 300 game at The Bowl-Inn at age 16. He also won a Non-Sanctioned Sunday Tournament while throwing many 250 to 279 games as a teenager.

To read the rest of the article, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.