Category Archives: Sports


Phoenix boys basketball team splits first two games of 2013

80380065by Rob Tetro

The Phoenix boys varsity basketball team recently split games against Chittenango and Westhill.

Following a third-quarter rally during its Jan. 3 game, Phoenix held on for a hard fought win over Chittenango.

The Firebirds weren’t as lucky when they took on Westhill Jan. 8. This time around, Westhill pulled away during the third quarter en route to the win.

After a competitive first quarter, the Firebirds led Chittenango by only two points. However, Chittenango tied the game during the second quarter, outscoring Phoenix by two points for a 23-23 halftime tie. The Firebirds went on a pivotal run during the third quarter. By the end of the third quarter, Phoenix had jumped out a six-point lead.

Chittenango wasn’t going to go down quietly. The Bears outscored Phoenix by four points during the third quarter to cut the Firebirds’ lead down to two points.

The deficit the Bears faced proved to be too much to overcome as Phoenix held on for a 46-44 win.

The Firebirds were led by Dylan Doupe, who scored 15 points, and Chris Vaverchak, who scored 13 points.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397

I am no weatherman

Leon Archer
Leon Archer

by Leon Archer

Just when I thought that I was safe in believing that Old Man Winter was going to roar into Upstate New York as he did in days of yore, and establish his reign for three or four months like when I was a boy, I found out why I never became a weatherman.

Maybe I am just cursed to jinx all the skiers, snowmobilers and ice fishermen when I make an innocent observation about how the weather has turned in their favor.

The temperatures this week certainly haven’t been very conducive to winter sports; in fact, they have gotten close to Florida levels. However, take heart all you snow and ice lovers, I am making no more observations or predictions about the weather; you now have a chance.

There were a lot of snow geese hanging around in the Montezuma area before the snow came and I suspect that they probably didn’t head out right off. The problem hunting them is trying to figure out how to be in the right spot at the right time.

Unless a hunter has a huge rig of snow goose decoys or reasonable facsimiles of such out to catch their attention, snow geese will pretty much go where they want to — not where hunters want them.

Some guys have had good luck with them, but a lot more have just gotten frustrated in the attempt. My son, Ben, out in Washington State, went hunting for them with several other regular goose hunters – and they got nada, zip.

I’ve pretty well tied my hunting up for this season, so I don’t have to try to figure out the geese. Once I hit the Indian River and the Florida beaches, I will care less about where the geese are flying. It’s easier to predict where the redfish and sea trout are going to be hitting, but I can get frustrated enough trying to get that equation right, forget the geese.

The Indian River has been changing, mostly for the worse, over the past decade, and some of the bad changes have been accelerating for the last two or three years. The sea grass has been disappearing, and it’s nearly non-existent around Sebastian.

It used to foul our hooks when we were fishing with jigs, but it provided cover for fish and nursery areas for their young. Without it, the area is like a very damp desert.

Fish pass through, but there is little to hold them here, so there are never big schools of good eating fish like there used to be.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397

Hannibal girls basketball team defeats J-E, loses to Skaneateles

by Rob Tetro

The Hannibal girls varsity basketball team went 1-1 last week in games against Jordan-Elbridge and Skaneateles.

An impressive start led Hannibal to victory against Jordan-Elbridge Jan. 3. Unfortunately, the Lady Warriors were not as successful when they took on Skaneateles Jan. 8.

By the numbers, the Lady Warriors were expected to dominate Jordan-Elbridge and they did just that. By the end of the first quarter, Hannibal had jumped out to a 23-0 lead.

The Lady Warriors dominating performance continued into the second quarter. Hannibal outscored Jordan-Elbridge by 15 points to extend its lead to 38 points going into halftime at 39-1.

The Lady Warriors outscored Jordan-Elbridge by 12 points during the third quarter to push their lead to 50 points.

During the fourth quarter, Hannibal put the finishing touches on the 65-11 win.

Devin Sorell led Hannibal with 16 points. Following Sorell were Gabby Griffin with 10 points and Alexis Stephens with eight points. Kaylee Esposito chipped in seven points, Sara Otis added six points, and Trinity Strupp, E.J. Setsaas, Hunter Beckwith, Spencer Kenney, Sara Williams, Erin Sly and Kaitlin Taylor combined to score 18 points.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397

Fulton boys basketball continues development as 2013 begins

by Rob Tetro

A season of growth and development was expected for the Fulton boys varsity basketball team. Despite the team’s 0-8 record, subtle development has been seen, which suggests that brighter days are ahead for the Red Raiders.

The team continued to take its lumps as it took on Homer to conclude the 2012 portion of their regular season and began 2013 with games against Bishop Ludden and Cortland.

Fulton took on Homer Dec. 21. After three quarters, The Red Raiders found themselves once again in position to secure their first win of the season. Unfortunately for Fulton, Homer erupted during the fourth quarter, outscoring Fulton 17 points to come away with a 56-35 win.

The Red Raiders were led by Mark Pollock, who scored eight points. Cody Green and Steven Henri each scored six points each and Seth Britton and Tanner Gorton each added four points. Cody Dick and Taylor Dudley combined to score five points for Fulton.

Bishop Ludden defeated Fulton by a final score of 76-49.

Leading the way for Fulton was Jordan Baldwin, who scored nine points. Green finished with eight points while Pollock, Britton and Gorton each scored seven points. Taylor Dudley chipped in four points while Jeremy Langdon, Casey Ware, Cody Dick and Austin Haskins combined to score five points for The Red Raiders.

Last Friday, an undefeated Cortland squad outscored the Red Raiders by 23 points during the first and third quarters en route to a 67-36 win.

Fulton was led by Pollock and Austin Haskins, who both scored six points. Britton had five points while Green and Taylor Dudley each scored four points. Dick chipped in three points while Langdon, Ware, Gorton, Henri and Baldwin combined to score eight points.

The Red Raiders will compete against Indian River Jan. 12 and Mexico Jan. 15.


Hannibal High School dedicates basketball court

The Hannibal Booster Club formally dedicated the basketball court at Hannibal High School to former boys basketball coach Ken Sturges (right) and former girls basketball coach Steve Cianfarano Left). The Dec. 28 event honored the two coaches who combined for nearly 900 wins.
The Hannibal Booster Club formally dedicated the basketball court at Hannibal High School to former boys basketball coach Ken Sturges (right) and former girls basketball coach Steve Cianfarano Left). The Dec. 28 event honored the two coaches who combined for nearly 900 wins.

by Rob Tetro

In front of a respectful crowd that featured supporters from three other communities in attendance for the Hannibal Holiday Basketball Tournament, the Hannibal Booster Club formally dedicated the basketball court at Hannibal High School to former boys basketball coach Ken Sturges and former girls basketball coach Steve Cianfarano.

The Dec. 28 event honored the two coaches who combined for nearly 900 wins.

Both coaches began teaching at Hannibal High School in 1973. Sturges was a social studies teacher while Cianfarano was a chemistry and general science teacher.

Sturges was a basketball coach for 40 years. He spent 35 of those years as head coach of Hannibal’s boys team. Sturges also spent five years as an assistant basketball coach at SUNY Oswego.

He also coached modified cross country and track and field teams while at Hannibal.

Cianfarano coached the Hannibal girls team for 27 years.

While at Hannibal, Cianfarano also coached varsity softball for 25 years and varsity girls track and field for two years. He was also an assistant coach for the varsity girls soccer team for five years.

Before moving to the varsity ranks, Cianfarano also coached Hannibal’s girls junior varsity  basketball team for a year and the Warriors modified football team for two years.

As a coach of three sports in Hannibal for 35 years, Sturges coached more than 500 athletes while Cianfarano coached 600 athletes during his tenure at Hannibal with 180 of those athletes were basketball players.

As coach of the Hannibal boys varsity basketball team, Sturges had a record of 462-290. Under Sturges, Hannibal won seven sectional titles, 13 league championships and 14 Holiday Tournament championships.

Hannibal also earned five regional appearances under Sturges, which included one appearance in the state semifinals.

Other accolades under Sturges included winning 51 games in a row at home while having 14 Scholar-Athlete Teams.

As head coach of the Hannibal girls varsity basketball team, Cianfarano won nearly 420 games.

One of those wins came when the Lady Warriors won a sectional title en route to a regional appearance.

Hannibal made at least six appearances in the sectional championship game under Cianfarano.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397

Leon Archer

New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions
Leon Archer

by Leon Archer

Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions? I wasn’t going to because I have a tendency to make resolutions that are more like wishes and they are seldom realistic. This year, however, I do have a couple resolutions I believe I can live up to.

My first resolution is: I will not bow to the tyranny of the urgent, but I will give a higher priority to the things I want to do, not those I think I have to do.

Or simply put, I am going to enjoy myself more.

I have spent way too much time trying to live up to the expectations of others, ignoring the fact that I have some needs of my own that only I can fill. I am going to put some balance back into my life.

My second resolution is: I am going to write at least 20 hours a week. This resolution does not contradict or conflict with my first resolution. I started several writing projects that I very much want to get back to, but I have let each one of them languish. That has to cease. I really enjoy getting off by myself with my thoughts and a full pot of coffee.

I enjoy writing this column, but there is so much more that is struggling to get out of my head that has nothing to do with outdoor sports; all I need is time.

There, I’ve gotten that off my chest, now what’s happening out and around? I know the skiers and snowmobilers are in their glory. This winter looks like it is on track to be all that last winter was not for them.  I’m happy for them, but I am no longer a snow person. I used to be, but somewhere along the way I lost that part of me that thrilled to see the first flakes of early winter snow, looking forward to the cold blanket that would wrap my world for the next three or four months.

Even though I now see snow as mostly an inconvenience that needs to be removed from driveway and sidewalk, deep down inside I can’t help but envy those who delight in its presence.

I have fond memories of winters past, sledding as a boy, ice fishing with my father and brother, and hunting small game that usually had better sense than I did when it came to wandering around in deep snow.

We often came home with a pack basket full of jack perch from Sandy Pond and a warm sense of accomplishment that somehow counteracted the stiff aching fingers and chilblains.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397

Phoenix wins Hannibal tournament

by Rob Tetro

The Phoenix boys varsity basketball team won both of its games to win the Hannibal Holiday Tournament Championship that was held Dec. 29-30.

Phoenix erupted during the second and third quarters en route to an impressive win against Cato-Meridian Dec. 29.

The next day, a solid third quarter proved to be key as the Firebirds came away with a solid win over Jordan-Elbridge to capture the championship.

In the Cato-Meridian game, Phoenix was led by Dylan Doupe and his 14 points.

Following Doupe were Zach Sisera with nine points and Chris Vaverchak with eight points. Bryce Plante and Kyle Huniford each chipped in six points while Richard Howington, Brian Sawyer, Gino Mammoito and Corey Bowman combined to score 14 points for Phoenix.

In the title game, Phoenix was led by Sisera, who scored 13 points. Sawyer finished with 10 points and Chris Vaverchak chipped in nine points.

Richard Howington added seven points while Huniford, Doupe, Plante and Mammoito combined to score 12 points for the Firebirds.

Following the tournament, Phoenix now has an overall record of 6-2. The Firebirds have upcoming games against Westhill Jan. 8 and Jordan-Elbridge Jan. 11.

Hannibal boys basketball

The Hannibal boys varsity basketball team went 1-1 while hosting the Hannibal Holiday Tournament.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397


Fulton girls basketball team tops Central Square

AA038144-2by Rob Tetro

The Fulton girls varsity basketball team earned a hard fought win over county rival Central Square Dec. 28.

After a nearly even first half, solid second half helps Fulton pull away for a 57-49 win over Central Square.

After a competitive first quarter, the Lady Raiders led Central Square by only three points. Central Square displayed its toughness and evened the playing field during the second quarter. They outscored Fulton by three points, which sent the game into halftime tied at 29. Unfortunately for Central Square, the Lady Raiders proved to be tougher down the stretch. During the third quarter, Fulton outscored Central Square by five points and didn’t let up during the fourth quarter. Fulton outscored Central Square by five points to cap off the eight-point win.

Leading the way for Central Square was Claudia Stirpe, who scored 14 points. Katie Griffin finished with 12 points and Desdie Pledger chipped in 10 points. Schyler Laux, Lakin Mueller, Taylor Dewispelare and Sammi Loveless combined to score 13 points for Central Sqaure.

The Lady Raiders were led by Michaela Whiteman and her 16 points. Following Whiteman was Jessica Hudson with 14 points. Nichole Hansen added 10 points and Christina Pensabene chipped in six points.

Sydney Gilmore, Michelle Gorea and Cheyenne Brien combined to score 11 points for Fulton.

The Lady Raiders overall record improves to 4-3 overall with the win. Fulton has an upcoming game against Jamesville-DeWitt Jan. 8.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397