January 25, 2008


Fond farewell —

Large crowd attends Bordwell’s last home match


Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
With a tear in her eye, Cortland High head coach Mary Lou Bordwell waves to Purple Tiger fans as her players wait to say goodbye before Boadwell’s last home match Thursday.

Staff Writer

There was a larger crowd than usual on hand Thursday night as the Cortland High volleyball team hosted Chittenango.
It was, after all, a special occasion.
The Purple Tigers’ 25-21, 25-11, 25-19 Senior Night loss to Chittenango was the final home match for coach Mary Lou Bordwell, who is retiring at the end of the school year after having coached the team for 25 seasons.
The attendance was swelled by a campaign, led by former players Amy (Stark) Johnson (who coached the JV team for five seasons ending in 2006), Sherri (Call) Timmons and Cheri Drake (the current junior high coach), as well as Bordwell’s fellow CHS physical education teacher and coach Jamie Brown, to have as many members of Bordwell’s CHS teams as possible attend the finale.
Making it more special was the fact that the Bears are coached by Amy (Ricottilli) Simmons, a former Cortland player herself.
“You really kind of always remember the kids,” said Bordwell, who has 336 wins, nine league championships and a Class B sectional crown to her credit, and has served as the sectional volleyball chairperson. “I was surprised to see all the people; I was really happy to see the (18) former players walk out before our match, as well as Mason Morenus, my first AD, and Don King, who became the director pf physical education. My great aunt and uncle, Florence and Nelson Blanchard, came, as did my brother Steve and next-door neighbor Sylvia Mace.
“I’m not sad about leaving; I’m ready to go on. It’s time. Scores and records pale compared to the friendships made and kept from teaching and coaching. “
Brown MC’ed the pre-match festivities, which included the presentation of a plaque of appreciation by CHS athletic director Jeff Johnson and a purple T-shirt with “I survived 25 years of Purple Tiger volleyball” on the front and “Bordwell” on the back, which the honoree wore during the match itself. Bordwell’s CHS coach, June Clancy Paser, was also in attendance and was recognized, and Brown read a poem she wrote incorporating titles and phrases from songs by Barry Manilow, Bordwell’s favorite entertainer.
In post-game festivities, a slide show honoring Bordwell was shown, and in honor of her many years of buying raffle tickets for all types of causes she was presented with a quilt identical to one raffled off recently as a fundraiser for the team.
“We decided that Mary Lou’s last home match shouldn’t go unnoticed,” said Amy Johnson, who graduated in 1995. “She always thinks of other people like that, so we wanted her to be thought of, too. Some of my fondest memories are of the teamwork; we were in the era of championships, and there were high expectations.
“We always knew that Mary Lou would give us the support we needed to be successful, and she always did. She’d joke with us, and I remember that one time we dyed our hair purple before sectional finals. She always looked out for the underdog, and wanted everybody to be happy and successful.”
Simmons, who graduated from Cortland High in 1988, had mixed emotions about beating her former coach on such a momentous occasion.
“I was in tears when it ended; I felt terrible,” she said, her team now 10-5 in the OHSL Freedom Division and overall. “I told Mary Lou that I was sorry, and also that I’d learned from the best. She’s been a huge help to me as a coach; she always answers my questions and helps me out.   
“Mary Lou’s a great role model, always positive; in terms of volleyball, she always stressed passing and serving before hitting. All the people from the different eras that were here shows how highly regarded she is. She’s really going to be missed by high school volleyball, and I’m personally going to miss her.”
Senior setter Amanda Cheetham, the captain of this year’s Purple Tiger squad, said that “The first word that comes to mind when I think of coach Bordwell is ‘dedication.’ She hasn’t had a Christmas or winter break in years; she’s always there for her team. We practiced the day after Christmas. And as much as we don’t like to admit it, she knows what she’s talking about. She’ll tell us something, and the next play we’ll need to do exactly what she told us.
“It’d definitely special to be a part of her last team; we’ve heard about all the girls that were here, and to finally meet them is cool.”
As for the match itself, the Purple Tigers (now 2-13 in the league and overall) started strong, scoring eight of the first nine points in the opening game before the Bears took over, scoring 11 of the next 12 and going on from there.
“I think the girls were nervous with all the fanfare, but then they took control,” Simmons said. “This was the best hitting and passing game we’ve had in a long time.”
“I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen before the game, but I told the girls beforehand that they had to focus and stay strong no matter what happened,” Bordwell said. “The ceremonies (which also included presentation of flowers by the CHS seniors to their parents) got to both teams a little, but they settled down and we didn’t.”
Cortland’s top players in the match were Sarah Curtis with five kills and an ace (“She was the one who stepped up and played aggressively,” Bordwell said), Cheetham a kill, an ace, 8-for-9 hitting and 85-for-85 setting, Lisa Frare 23-for-36 passing, Kate Owens two kills and an ace, Julie Bush two kills, Lisa Dovi one kill and one ace, Hannah Dovi one kill and Caila Clayton one ace.
Kelsey Brady had five kills, to aces and a block for Chittenango, while Theresa Myers had three kills, five aces and a block, Clare Bolen two kills, two aces and five assists and Lizz Yemma four kills and a block.
The Cortland JVs lost to Chittenango 16-25, 25-20, 25-14 to fall to 5-10 on the season. Josie Roberts had three kills and four aces for the Purple Tigers, while Keri Brownrigg had seven digs and Alexa Barber four digs. Brownrigg was also cited for her leadership by coach Stacy Steingrabe.
Both Cortland High teams close out the regular season at Phoenix a week from today. The varsity will then take part in the Class A sectionals.




Bearcats down Trojans

It was the one that got away. Homer Central boys played hard on their home court, but were deserted by their shooting touch in the fourth quarter and lost a tough 56-41 OHSL Liberty Division basketball contest to visiting Solvay. Homer falls to 2-14 overall, while Solvay improves to 4-11.
“We did not adjust to their adjustment in the fourth quarter,” said Homer coach Jim Luchsinger. “We got the shots...we just could not make them. We really handled everything until that point. We just don’t play four full quarters and we always have that one bump.”
The Trojans trailed 43-40 heading into the fourth quarter and trailed 44-41 before going ice cold. The Bearcats closed out the game with a 13-0 run.
Solvay led 18-14 after a very competitive first quarter and the Bearcats enjoyed a 33-26 advantage at halftime.
Mike Carboine paced Homer with 13 points with Paul Armideo hitting a couple of 3-pointers to post 10 points for the contest.
Andrew Lucio and Cameron Stanek shared high-scoring honors for Solvay with 19 points each to account for most of the Bearcat points.
Homer boys return to Liberty Division basketball action when the Trojans host Marcellus Tuesday. JV tip-off is slated for 5:30 p.m.
IN JV ACTION, Homer boys slipped to 3-11 after a 53-46 loss to Solvay Thursday.
“We played well, but we had trouble containing Kearse and Surreyin the first quarter,” said Homer coach Doug Pasquerella. “Jeff Eves was hurt late in first quarter which hurt, but Hugh Kiernan came on and ran the offense well.”
Kearse scored nine of his 14 points during an 18-point first-quarter with Surrey chipping in six points as Solvay took a five-point lead. Surrey finished the game with 11 points. Lostumbo led Solvay with 15 points.
The Bearcats increased their advantage to 26-20 by halftime and pulled away during third-quarter play thanks to a 17-7 scoring edge.
Zach Hatfield and Luke Pedersen netted 13 points each to top the Trojan scoring list.





Rockets swept, Cincy sweeps

The DeRuyter volleyball team lost a non-league home match for the second time in two nights Thursday, falling to Faith Heritage 25-12, 25-22, 25-22.
In another non-league match, Cincinnatus beat host Unadilla Valley 25-16, 25-12, 25-5.
Faith Heritage over DeRuyter: “They surprised me,” Rockets coach Gary Burdick said of the Saints, now 11-6 overall. “I didn’t think they had that much. They’re a good team. Liz Mancuso hurt us pretty bad; she served 12 aces, is a good hitter and made excellent saves and passes. We scored the first point of the opening game, and then she served for the next 12, which set us back on our heels.
“We were up 13-2 in the second game and lost; we had our opportunities, and just have to dig in a little bit deeper and think about finishing. We play them again Monday, at home, and want to make up for this one. We have the team that can do that.”
Kate Vosburg had six kills and two aces for DeRuyter, now 10-4 overall, while Polly Gallerani had five kills and an ace, Megan Stevens four kills and three aces, Jen Cizenski two kills, six assists and two blocks, Weslee Eckler a kill, an ace and seven assists and Sam Moade five aces.
Cincinnatus over Unadilla Valley: “Strong serving was the story of the night, as we had only three missed serves and a total of 24 aces,” Red Lions coach Macy Cobb said. “Kortni Wright led the way with 12 aces, while Jolene Eaton had four. The girls worked well on defense, and Unadilla Valley was unable to get any offense going.
“Our offense was pretty well spread out, with JaLynne Smith and Dusty Fisk getting three kills each and four other players with two each.”
Cincy hosts Harpursville this evening.