Hannibal boys’ basketball searches for first win

By Rob Tetro

After three games, Hannibal’s boys’  varsity basketball team is still searching for its first win of the season.

On Dec. 4, Hannibal came up short against Bishop Grimes 57-53. County foe Phoenix stormed past the Warriors 51-40 on Dec. 6. On Dec. 12, Syracuse-ITC rolled past Hannibal on December 12th.

In the Bishop Grimes game, Grimes ha an 11-point lead over Hannibal after an impressive first quarter. They added to their lead during the second quarter, outscoring Hannibal by 3 points to take a 32-18 lead into halftime.

The second half proved to be a much different story. Hannibal outscroed Grimes  to cut into their lead and they continued to cut into the deficit during the fourth quarter.

Hannibal outscored Bishop Grimes by 9 points down the stretch to cut their lead to 4 points. But time ran out on the Warriors as they lost the close contest.

Hannibal was led by Billy Skipper and Trevor Alton who scored 18 points each against Grimes. Following Skipper and Alton was Sam McCraith with 10 points.

Phoenix and Hannibal fought a competitive first quarter, with the Warriors posting a 3-point lead over Phoenix. Hannibal expanded its lead during the second quarter, outscoring the Firebirds by 2 points to take a 23-18 lead into halftime.

But Phoenix came back in the second half, outscoring Hannibal by 14 points during the third quarter to take a 9-point lead. The Firebirds capped off a solid win  by outscoring the Warriors 33-17 during the second half.

Leading the way for Phoenix was Dylan Doupe with 17 points, followed by Walker Connoly with 10, Bryce Plante with 8 points and Zach Sisera and Connor Haney with 5 points each. Austin Furco added 4 points.

Hannibal was led by Trevor Alton with 18 point, followed by Austin Mattison and Sam McCraith with 8 points each. Corey Cardinali chipped in 4 points.

Syracuse-ITC outscored Hannibal by 14 points during the first quarter of its game with the Warriors. Syracuse-ITC added to its lead during the second quarter and led 35-20 at the half.

The Warriors proved to be far more competitive during the second half. They outscored Syracuse-ITC during the third quarter to cut into the lead, but the lead Syracuse-ITC had built was too much.

Leading the way for Hannibal Trevor Alton with 26 points, followed by Billy Skipper with 12 and Austin Mattison with 11.

A Sportsman’s World, by Leon Archer

By Leon Archer

Just as most outdoorsmen are getting their ice fishing gear in order and enjoying the new snowmobiling season, a cadre of diehard water fowlers are preparing for the late duck and goose season.

In the western zone of the state, ducks and geese become legal game again from Dec. 28 until Jan.12.

Lake Ontario and the largest Finger Lakes provide hot hunting on very cold days. Open streams can be great producers of puddle ducks, but the lakes will host considerable numbers of diving ducks. Those hunters who love to hunt divers are willing to put up with rotten weather, bitter cold and iced up decoys, just to bring home a few bluebills, canvasbacks, and redheads.

The Niagara River is another diving duck magnet, and so has an equally strong attraction for the cold weather hunters who pursue those hardy birds. The Niagara gets a big influx of canvasbacks, and there are hunters who wait all year for this short opportunity to match wits and skills with the reputed king of waterfowl. All the other divers are represented there, but it really is the cans that lure the hunters.

Other hunters will still be looking for Canada geese and snow geese, and a stubble field with a light dusting of snow is attractive to both hunters and geese. Mallards may also swing into a big corn field to feed. Hunters drag their layout blinds and decoys far away from roads to set up early before the birds have started to fly.

Geese usually keep a safe distance between themselves and roads. The goose hunters can get up a little later than their open water brethren, because very few geese get into the air before the sun is well up. Flights of geese may move only for a few hours in the morning, but many days they will trade from field to field most of the day.

I have hunted hunkered down in snow covered fields, and I have hunted from ice covered blinds overlooking the dark gunmetal waters of big lakes. There is a thrill and a challenge to such activity that is hard to describe or understand. I have asked myself on more than one occasion, “What the heck am I doing here?”

But when a big flock of geese swing into the wind with their feet down, talking to the decoys below, and loom huge with their wide wingspread, it all seems to become worthwhile.

At that moment, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world. The cold that had been creeping into my body disappears as I sit up and swing the barrel of my shotgun out in front of a goose clawing for altitude.

I have set decoys from a boat being rocked by waves on water that could bring on hypothermia in short order. Wearing a life jacket was a necessity on water like that, but it also helped to be just a little crazy. It also helps to be putting out decoys while it is still dark out; you don’t get a full picture of just how foolish you are being.

On the other side of the equation, late season water gunning can be some of the fastest, most challenging shooting there is. Passing shots are the rule rather than decoying birds, and unless the duck drops dead at the shot, a wounded bird can give a hunter a merry chase, out on those waves where he would rather not be.

Fortunate is the man who has a retriever he can depend on to do the job for him. But for all the discomfort and potential danger, such days will probably remain fresh and fond in a hunter’s memory as long as he lives – mine have.

For those guys who just can’t get enough, snow goose season is open until April 15. I have never shot a snow goose, and spending much of my winter in Florida does not make it likely that I ever will, but I’d sure like to have the chance at least once. You diehards will have to take a few for me.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Host families needed for foreign exchange program

The Greenheart of Cultural Exchange, a locally-run organization which promotes cultural understanding, academic development, environmental consciousness and world peace, is in need of good host families for students in January.

LindaJo Germain is the director of the program. Germain also is looking to expand the number schools which host foreign exchange students as well. For more information, contact Germain at 561-1068.

Views from the Assembly, by Will Barclay

On any given week, tens of thousands of unsolicited checks end up in New York residents’ mailboxes — making these checks easy targets for criminals looking to capitalize on someone else’s line of credit.

Last month, the governor signed a bill into law that will put the onus on those issuing checks if they are lost or get into the wrong hands.

I was pleased to support this in the Assembly. Hopefully, this measure will reduce the volume of checks like this and better protect consumers from fraud.

The bill, A3601, which became effective last month, aims to protect consumers from liability for unauthorized use of unsolicited convenience checks. These checks are mailed by credit card companies to account holders in the hopes that consumers take out more credit.

Many of people throw them out. It’s best to shred or destroy them somehow if you do not intend to use them.

The problem with the checks is consumers do not know when they are mailed. A few things can happen and do: the mail gets into the wrong hands and then, the check is cashed, or they are stolen if consumers simply place them in the recycle bin.

In the past, unless a consumer acted quickly and was able to convince the credit card company the checks were not cashed by the cardholder, the consumer is held liable.

With this new law, companies would be held responsible, not the consumer. It amends the general business law and adds a section, clearly stating that consumers sent such convenience checks by credit or debit card issuers shall not be liable for the use of such checks unless the consumer has accepted the check.

Hopefully those convenience checks will be reduced with this measure.

There are a number of ways scammers can infiltrate our finances. It’s important to remain vigilant and help loved ones to do the same.

Good guidance and tips, as well as scam alerts can be found on the State’s Division of Consumer Affair’s website at https://www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection/.

The site also contains good information on preventing identity theft. Unfortunately, seniors are unwitting targets of many types of scams.

A good number to keep handy is the Division of Consumer Affair’s phone number, (518) 474-8583 for guidance or assistance on consumer matters. Residents may also file a complaint there as well, and be placed on the Do Not Call list.

If you have any questions, comments or would like to be added to my mailing list, please sent a letter to 200 N. Second St., Fulton, 13069, or an e-mail to barclaw@assembly.state.ny.us or call 598-5185.  You can also friend me, Assembly Barclay, on Facebook.

Hodgepodge, by Roy Hodge

Dear Dad

First there was a note on my dresser with a message – Dear Dad, see page 242 in the Christmas catalog.

That subtle missive led me to a check mark in the Christmas catalog next to something called “Radio Controlled Fat Wheels.”

A couple of days later copies of an intricately prepared 15-item Christmas list began appearing around the house. Lest prospective readers of that list be discouraged by its length, asterisks led to a supplemental listing whereby each item was given a yes, no or maybe, denoting its importance.

Not surprisingly, the yes column held a healthy lead at last look, strengthened by number 13 – money, with its yes in capital letters.

Another sure sign of the approaching season – a few days ago we were asked for Grandma’s address. No doubt, in a few days Grandma will be receiving one of her annual letters reading something like this: “Dear Grandma, how are you and Grandpa? I am fine. Here are some things I would like for Christmas this year.”

Then will follow Grandma’s own copy of the hallowed list. And, if she’s lucky, it won’t even be a carbon copy. But the crayons will be getting dull by then.

I think I may have found something useful in all of those catalogs and TV commercials, though. Someone is advertising a durable 42-key toy typewriter. Could that lead to a much improved, neater Christmas list next year? Maybe even double-spacing.

-Hodgepodge, Nov. 20, 1979

Other Christmases

I started writing “Hodgepodge” in 1979. In December I wrote my very first “Christmas column.”

That year I wrote about people watching at airports, about letters kids wrote to Santa, and about one special letter I was given to mail that year: On the outside of the envelope was the following note: “Dear Santa (or Dad) please send a copy of this list to Grandma.”

The following year 1980, I wrote this column:

It’s a well-known fact that television watching is down this week before Christmas. I also read somewhere that people, this week when they are deeply involved with last minute holiday preparations, will just browse at the ads and the headlines in the newspapers.

That’s okay with me. If the readers are too busy to read, the writers won’t have to write. And it couldn’t come at a better time. Since I’m not going to write a column this week I won’t have to interrupt watching the 54th television special of the Christmas season.

I’m glad I’m not going to write a column this week. Instead of laughing at and cleverly detailing this last hectic week before Christmas, I can just ignore it and relax.

If I were to write an article this week I’d probably have to think of something cute to say about that last Christmas shopping expedition; the one you make a couple of days before Christmas – long after you have vowed not to spend another cent. That’s when you find yourself face to face with a sweet old grandmother who could probably go eight rounds with Ali and you’re having a tug-of-war over the last pair of stockings in your wife’s size.

Since I’m not doing a column this week I won’t have to go into detail about those Christmas letters we receive from our friends every year. The ones that go on and on about the many accomplishments of themselves and their kids and make you ashamed to look at your kids or into a mirror for a week.

Another good thing about not writing this week: I won’t have to agonize any further by telling readers about my annual five-hour bout during which I transform a beautiful tree growing freely in the great outdoors into a poor bedraggled heap of needles standing in the corner of my living room.

And best of all, if I don’t write a column this week, I won’t have to re-live in type those horrible hours spent every Christmas Eve assembling this year’s new toys.

It’s a real load off my mind now that I decided to take a vacation from writing this week.

If I were writing this week (but I’m not) there is one positive thing I would say:

Have a Merry Christmas.

No “Christmas column”

So for the next several years I didn’t write a “Christmas column” — my column the week before Christmas was about my pledge not to write a Christmas column. But I did and that week I wrote my last “I’m not going to write a column this week” column.

From December 22, 1986:

Some traditions aren’t all that easy to get established, but then again, they don’t die off without a fight either.

A few years ago I started what I thought would be a long standing tradition during the week before Christmas. I decided to write my Christmas week column about how I wouldn’t be writing a Christmas week column.

The problem is that some opposition seems to have grown up around that concept.

“Don’t tell me that you’re going to write that same old column about not writing a column.”

So, it’s time for a change in strategy. This year I’m not only not going to write a column; but I’m certainly not going to take the time to write a column about not writing a column. And that’s final.

Good advice from Dickens

Several years since then I have ended my Christmas week column with this:

Charles Dickens, who wrote and said a lot about Christmas said, “It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas when its mighty founder was a child Himself.”

Merry Christmas.

 

 

 

. . . Roy Hodge

 

Hannibal girls’ basketball loses a close one

By Rob Tetro

The Hannibal girls’ varsity basketball team suffered a heartbreaking season opening loss to Bishop Grimes Dec. 2 by score of 59-51.

After a back and forth first half, Hannibal built a lead during the third quarter, taking a 41-33 lead into the fourth quarter. But Bishop Grimes got right back in it down the stretch.

They stepped up its defense to trigger the rally. When regulation ended, the game was headed to overtime tied at 45.

Bishop Grimes carried its momentum into the overtime period. In the end, Bishop Grimes outscored Hannibal 26-10 during the fourth quarter and overtime to come away with the win.

Bishop Grimes struck first. They built a 5-point lead over the Lady Warriors during the first quarter. However, Hannibal fought back during the second quarter, outscoring  Grimes by 5 points to even the game at 23 headed into halftime.

The Lady Warriors kept it going into the third quarter. They pulled ahead to take an 8-point lead. Bishop Grimes began to put it together during the fourth quarter, storming back to force overtime with the game tied at 45. With momentum on its side, Bishop Grimes took care of business during overtime, outscoring the Lady Warriors by 8 points.

Hannibal was led by Devin Sorell and Gabby Griffin, who each scored 14 points against Bishop Grimes. Following Sorell and Griffin was Spencer Kenney with 13 points and Sydney Alton with 5 points.

Girls’ softball clinics begin Jan. 5

A girls’ fastpitch softball hitting/pitching clinic will be held Sunday mornings from Jan. 5 through Feb. 23 at the Oswego YMCA Armory.

The clinic is open to all girls in grades 5-12 who are interested in softball, and would like to develop their skills before the school or summer ball seasons begin.

Both beginners and advanced players are encouraged to attend.

Hitting will be from 8:45 to 9:45 a.m. each week in the Armory gym and batting cage. Each session will consist of a 20-minute presentation by a coach or guest clinician, and then the remainder of the hour will be hands-on hitting drills and/or practice in the batting cage.

Pitchers will also receive brief instruction weekly, then use the 10 to 11 a.m.  hour to throw under the supervision of the coaches.

Videotaping will be used as a teaching tool in later sessions for both the pitchers and hitters.

The cost of the clinic is $10 per hour for either pitching or hitting. For players who want to stay for both sessions, the fee is $15. Eight-session packages are $80 for hitting or pitching, $140 for both.

Pitchers must bring a parent or friend as a catcher. Hitters can bring their own bats. Sneakers are recommended. All other equipment will be provided.

The clinic is sponsored by the Amateur Softball Association, and local ASA youth commissioner Mike McCrobie. The clinic will be staffed by the OHS softball coaches, the Pride travel softball coaching staff, and alumni of the Oswego High School softball program.

No pre-registration is required, but for more information, you can contact McCrobie by phone at 343-8749 or via e-mail at coachmccrobie@gmail.com.

J.C. Birdlebough students show community leadership

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

With the holiday season in full swing, members of the Leadership Program in the Phoenix Central School District are doing their part to make spirits bright.

The program, spearheaded by community member and volunteer service coordinator Cathy Lee, sponsors several initiatives throughout the year to aid local residents in need and help beautify the village.

Activities include summer beautification efforts to spruce up the community, a ball for senior citizens, a trip to the mall with senior citizens, and a homeless night to raise money for the Rescue Mission.

With two decades under her belt as the leadership program’s volunteer service coordinator, Lee said that there is nothing more satisfying than watching students giving back to their community.

“Seeing kids caring and sharing is rewarding,” she said. “Our formula is motivation and caring and sharing equals a leader, and I see that happen to all of the students who are in leadership group. Once they have that experience of caring or sharing, it causes them to be motivated to do more.”

During the holiday season, the leadership group is especially active as students ring the bell for the Salvation Army every day in November and December. They help out at the tree lighting ceremony and also collect winter hats, mittens and scarves for the homeless, and pack food boxes for 200 needy Phoenix residents.

“Pay it forward,” Lee said.

That sentiment is not lost on the recipients of the donated goods, nor is it lost on the student leadership group members.

“It’s fun to help out the community and make it a better place,” said John C. Birdlebough sophomore Tyler Gabriele while ringing the Salvation Army bell recently.

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