January 29, 2007


Bowa warms up baseball crowd

Larry Bowa

Staff Writer

The weather may not feel like baseball, but the atmosphere Saturday night was all about America’s Pastime as New York Yankees third-base coach Larry Bowa was the guest speaker at the Homer Little League Sports Dinner at the Cortland Holiday Inn.
The crowd included players and parents from Homer Little League, plus SUNY Cortland baseball coach Joe Brown, his staff and several players, and special guests.
After a VIP reception at 4 p.m. and the general reception for all in attendance, emcee Phil Connery welcomed everyone and the children recited the Little League Pledge before the buffet meal was served.
After that, it was all baseball.
Homer Little League president Lyn Lake updated those in attendance. Lake said that pre-season is just three months away and, while it may not look like it with all the renovation work going on, the fields will be ready and the scoreboards will be in place for the season.
Coach Brown then made a presentation to Homer Little League by announcing that the proceeds from the recent clinic his team held will be donated to the Homer Little League program.
Coach Brown presented Bowa with a Red Dragons’ baseball cap to help the Yankee coach to remember his trip to Cortland.
It was then time for Bowa to step to the microphone and he delivered a strong message to those in attendance. Bowa admitted that he was pumped up for the season after talking to the kids, who had a endless stream of questions before to the dinner. Among those kids was 12-year-old Jonathan Surine, who came up with more questions about players and teams than a dozen sportswriters could. Bowa chuckled that the kids knew more about what was happening with Yankees right now than he did, but he is certainly ready for spring training.
The biggest message the five-time all-star who played 16 seasons, was manager with San Diego and Philadelphia, plus has been a coach with the Phillies, Angels and Mariners before joining the Yankees’ staff in the 2006 season, had was what a great game baseball is.
“It is a great sport and I wouldn’t change a thing,” said Bowa. “I set out to do everything I wanted to do. I took the negatives (comments) and turned them into positives. It made me work harder. Baseball is the only sport where you can go 0-for-4 one day and play a great game the next.”
He told the kids to respect the game of baseball.
“It’s great to see Joe (Coach Brown) and his college players here and it is great to see all the kids and the adults here,” said Bowa. “Kids, the more you can learn from your peers and older people is important. Baseball is a great game when you learn to play the game the right way. Learn all the fundamentals. You will have failure, but learn to deal with it. Give me 25 players with heart and I will take that over the guys who want to play once in a while.
“Parents are very important,” he continued. “Parents have a lot to do with discipline. They should set rules, structure and teach respect. Some parents don’t do that now. Parents have been around longer than you and they do know more than you. They make a lot of sacrifices just trying to help you become better as a player and a person. Make some sacrifices yourself and take advantage of opportunities when they come because they might only come once.”
After his speech, Bowa opened the floor to audience and spend over 30 minutes answering various questions.
Bowa made one cold winter night very warm for everyone in attendance and the big winner was the Homer Little League.


Red Dragons have to settle for tie

CORTLAND — When senior Buddy Anderson converted a penalty shot scoring chance with 1:41 left in the third period, SUNY Cortland men seemed on the verge of a conference hockey victory Saturday night.
But visiting Brockport took advantage of a late Red Dragon penalty and the two teams skated to a 4-4 overtime tie at Alumni Arena.
The Red Dragons are now 1-6-2 in SUNY Athletic Conference play, with a 6-11-2 overall record. Brockport is 2-3-4 in the conference, 6-8-6 overall.
Both teams had spent most of the third period trying to snap a 3-3 tie when Anderson was awarded a penalty shot when hooked on a short-handed breakaway. He converted the penalty shot, beating Brockport goalie Todd Sheridan inside the left post.
The Red Dragons, however, were whistled for a slashing penalty with 1:09 left and, following a timeout, Brockport pulled Sheridan with 57 seconds remaining to set up a two-skater edge.
Gordon Pritchard scored the tying goal 18 seconds later, assisted by Chris Koras and Aaron Boyer.
Anderson, junior Barry McLaughlin and freshman Frank Rizzo each recorded a goal and an assist for the Red Dragons. Freshman goalie Ben Binga made 33 saves, including four in overtime.
Koras led the visitors with a goal and two assists.
The teams were scoreless for more than 13 minutes to start the game before Cortland found the net twice in just over a one-minute span.
Sophomore Nick Catanzaro opened the scoring with 6:27 left in the first and each team down a skater. Rizzo and sophomore Casey Hubbard assisted on the goal.
The lead grew to 2-0 with 5:25 remaining on a power play goal by McLaughlin, his team-high 18th of the season. Anderson and freshman Gerard Heinz notched assists on the play.
Brockport responded exactly one minute later when Sean O’Malley converted on an assist from Greg Schwind. The Golden Eagles tied the game 10:41 into the second when Koras scored his first goal of the season during a delayed penalty.
The guests took their only lead of the game at 3-2 with 4:49 left in the second on a power play goal by Steve Seedhouse. The Red Dragons knotted the game at 3-3 with just six seconds left in the period when Rizzo scored on a two-man advantage, assisted by McLaughlin and Heinz. The goal was Rizzo’s fifth of the season, all coming over Cortland’s last three games.
Neither team scored in the third until Anderson’s penalty shot goal, his fourth of the season.
Cortland travels to Hamilton Tuesday night in a non-conference contest.
Cortland Women Win Again
HENNIKER, N.H. — Cortland women scored four goals in an eight-minute stretch in the first period and went on to beat New England College 5-1 Saturday afternoon.
With a second straight win, the  Red Dragons improved to 3-13-1 on the season. The host Pilgrims fell to 8-10.
Junior Erin Fleury and sophomore Kalee Stoever each registered a goal and an assist for the Red Dragons. Senior Judy Ellis, sophomore Nicole Ruddy and freshman Jeanna Dippel also scored, while junior goalie Olivia Nuzzo stopped 36 shots. Nuzzo turned back 20 while keeping New England scoreless in the final period.
Jennifer Gonzales recorded New England’s lone goal in the second period.


Cortland teams finish up 12-1 in duals

NEW PALTZ — SUNY Cortland swimmers completed a successful meet season with a pair of victories over host New Paltz on Saturday.
Both Red Dragon squads capped stellar 12-1 seasons with victories, the men trimming New Paltz 109-94 while the women were victorious 115.5-89.5.
Sophomore Drew Hilker won two individual events for the men, capturing the 50-yard freestyle (22.15) and 100-yard freestyle (48.28). Freshman Daniel Evans won the 200-yard freestyle (1:50.95), sophomore Jim Roeser won the 200-yard butterfly (2:06.28) and sophomore Brett Poffenbarger finished first in the 200-yard breaststroke.
Cortland opened with a win by freshman Ryan Brooks, junior Brett Humphreys, Evans and junior Jeremy Cuebas in the 400-yard medley relay (3:44.14).
The Red Dragons swam the final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay, as exhibition entries since they had already clinched the team scoring victory, but still took the top two spots in the event. Evans, senior Andrew Chevalier, senior Pat Connolly and Hilker won in 3:20.45.
In the women’s meet, freshman Samantha Buckley and sophomore Lauren Friedlander both were individual double-winners. Buckley captured the 1,000-yard freestyle (11:05.81) and 500-yard freestyle (5:27.01) and Friedlander won the 200-yard freestyle (2:02.84) and 200-yard backstroke (2:17.87).
Senior Nikki LaBarge won the 200-yard individual medley (2:15.37) and was second in the 200-yard butterfly (2:15.16). The 400-yard medley relay team of freshman Krista Bergquist, freshman Taylor Houseman, LaBarge and freshman Katie Molzan won in 4:04.43.
Cortland claimed the top two spots in the 400-yard freestyle relay to end the meet. Freshman Megan Donlevy, freshman Kristin Barnoski, Friedlander and senior Marissa Bechtold won in 3:49.04.