Phoenix boys’ hoops loses heartbreaker in Cato Tourney

By Rob Tetro

The Phoenix boys’ varsity basketball team went 2-1 in its last 3 games and now has a 5-3 overall record.

On Dec. 20, the Firebirds topped Jordan-Elbridge in the opening round of The Cato Christmas Tournament 57-50.

On Dec. 21, Phoenix fell to county foe Hannibal in The Championship Game of The Cato Christmas Tournament 48-46. Phoenix escaped with a hard fought win over Bishop Grimes on Jan. 4.

In the Jordan-Elbridge game, the Eagles had a 2-point lead over Phoenix after the first quarter and added to its lead in the second quarter, taking a 28-22 lead into halftime.

In the third quarter, Phoenix outscored Jordan-Elbridge by 9 points to take a 3-point lead and then secured the win during the fourth quarter

Leading the way for Phoenix was Dylan Doupe with 14 points, followed by Connor Haney and Zach Sisera with 12 points each. Shaun Turner scored 8 points and Bryce Plante chipped in 5 points.

Hannibal escaped with a hard fought 48-46 win over Phoenix on Dec. 21 in The Championship Game of The Cato Christmas Tournament (see Hannibal basketball story).

Phoenix the came back with an impressive win over Bishop Grimes Jan. 4. After a competitive first quarter, Phoenix had a 1-point lead over Bishop Grimes. The second quarter also was competitive and the game went into the half with the teams tied at 26.

Phoenix built a 3-point lead during the third quarter and then maintained it down the stretch, holding on for the 55-52 win.

The Firebirds were led by Brian Sawyer with 14 points, followed by Connor Haney with 12 points, Dylan Doupe scored 10 points, Walker Connoly added 7 points and Bryce Plante and Zach Sisera scored 5 points each.

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.

Nelson Law Firm launches new website

Nelson Law Firm, 89 E. First St., Oswego, recently launched a new web site, said law firm owner Allison Nelson.

“We are delighted to have our new site,, in place to assist both current clients and prospective ones,” Nelson said.

“The site gives a detailed background on our firm history, areas of practice, profiles of me and my associate attorney, Lesley Germanow.

“It also has detailed contact information for Lesley, our office and myself,” Nelson said.

“Nelson Law Firm practices in the areas of Municipal Law, Real Estate, Business and Corporate Law, Estates, Trusts, and Vehicle and Traffic matters,” Nelson said.

“We have more than 75 combined years of experience in these areas and new clients are always welcome,” she said

The site was created and produced by Steve Chirello Advertising,, Fulton.

Nelson can be contacted at 312-0318 or

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.

Poetry Corner, by Jim Farfaglia

This Year, by Jim Farfaglia


Every new year is a bridge that’s crossed,

it’s a wishing well where dreams are tossed;

it’s excitement, like the first day of spring,

or the tender joy a newborn brings.


A new year fills you like a sky so blue

or the welcome smile of a friend to you;

it’s the first snowfall gracing the ground,

it’s the sun rising on our little town.


A new year can be like a first bite of fruit,

or a remembered melody played on a flute;

yes, this year is the gift of life anew,

and it was made especially for you.

Oswego Children’s Theater sets auditions for teen play

The Oswego Children’s Theater will host auditions for an upcoming teen theater production from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday Jan. 12 and Monday Jan. 13.

The auditions will be held at the home of the Mosher Family located at 151 E. Seneca St., Oswego.

The auditions for the production are open to any area youth who will be at least 13 years of age on or before April 12, 2014 on up to the age of 19

Lyndsie Lee Jones will direct the production. The show will be presented locally and will also be performed April 12 at the Michael J. Harms Theater Festival, in Auburn.

The Michael J. Harms Theater Festival is an annual event that features performances from area high school aged groups. The performances are judged by a panel of judges.

The judges award individual and group commendations. The festival also features workshops where each participant is given the chance to work on various theater projects.

Those auditioning for the production may bring along a monologue and will be asked to read from a script.

For more information, call 342-5265 or 529-1009.

SUNY Oswego, Chinese college OK agreement to expand international study

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

SUNY Oswego and a well-known communications university in Beijing recently signed an agreement that could send as many as 20 Chinese students a year to Oswego to complete their undergraduate degrees in broadcasting and mass communications, journalism and public relations.

While students from Communication University of China will apply to come here for degree completion, the door also is open for SUNY Oswego students to study at the university known as “a cradle of China’s radio and television talents.”

Lorrie Clemo, provost and vice president for academic affairs; Fritz Messere, dean of the School of Communication, Media and the Arts; and Joshua McKeown, director of international education and programs, signed the memorandum of understanding during a November visit to China.

“The CUC agreement is an important part of our overall strategy to become more internationally connected and to develop partnerships that offer reciprocal benefits for students and faculty across institutions,” Clemo said.

“We are purposefully seeking university partners like CUC that are inviting to international students and are able to offer more international research opportunities to our faculty,” she said.

Agreements in Asia

The five-year renewable pact with CUC represents the latest in a growing number of links with universities in Asia, particularly in Korea and China, as well as a new exchange agreement in India.

Oswego’s chemistry program has a degree-completion agreement with Zhejiang Gongshang University in Hangzhou.

Another pact offers students of Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, also in Hangzhou, and Oswego the opportunity to complete degrees at each others’ institutions in business administration, human resource management and marketing.

A similar agreement with Nanjing University of Science and Technology also exists.

“Through CUC and our other Asian university partners, Oswego students and faculty will have deeper engagement with issues in a part of the world that is currently the most populated and dynamic in shaping the global environment that we all share,” Clemo said.

As many as 50 Chinese students a year attend SUNY Oswego among the more than 200 international students, McKeown said, and their focus largely has been in business and the sciences.

“We have so many academic strengths in other areas, we consciously have sought out other types of programs for articulations,” he said.

This spring, two exchange students from CUC will enroll in Oswego for a semester in communications disciplines, preceding the first round of degree-completion candidates later in 2014.

Messere and McKeown said the college hopes to expand the agreement with CUC to include more opportunities for each other’s students.

“This (articulation) agreement will facilitate the transfer of high-quality students — the best communications students China has to offer — to come to SUNY Oswego to complete their degrees,” McKeown said.

“This agreement has the potential to open up a wealth of opportunities for their students and ours,” McKeown said.

Messere agreed, noting CUC also has programs in graphic design and music.

“I’m hopeful this is the beginning of a number of relationships,” Messere said. “I would like to see relationships such as this one extended throughout the School of Communication, Media and the Arts.”

Exploring potential

McKeown said an attractive option in the future for Oswego students could be completing a master’s degree in international communications at CUC.

It is a one-year program whose courses are taught in English.

Messere is excited about the possibilities of the new relationship. For example, the school is exploring a two-week course in New York City to enable Chinese students to meet and talk with business executives in communications industries headquartered there.

Top students also will have a chance to participate in the Hollywood P.O.V. program that visits the entertainment capital, he said.

“We would invite qualified Chinese students to join the Hollywood program, just as we invite qualified American students who have the necessary interests in large-budget entertainment and film,” Messere said.

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