January 30, 2007


Homer spikers keep dream alive

Puzzling Purple Tigers swept away by Trojans


Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Homer Central’s Katie Wick (3) leaps to block shot by Katie Owens of Cortland High. Wick led visiting Trojans to three-game victory.

Staff Writer

Brian Fox saw it as keeping a secondary dream alive for his Homer Central girls’ volleyball team, and a return to winning ways.
Coaching counterpart Mary Lou Bordwell saw it as another puzzling performance by her Cortland High squad.
The visiting Trojans scored 10 of the next 11 points out of a 9-9 tie in the first game and rolled from there, handing the Purple Tigers a repetitively consistent 25-12, 25-12, 25-12 OHSL Freedom Division loss.
“Our original goal this season was to win nine games, to qualify the old way for the (now-open) sectionals,” Fox said, his team now 9-5 in league play and 10-5 overall. “We reached nine wins, and then wanted to close out the season by winning four of the last six. Since then we’ve lost twice, so we had to win to achieve that next goal. Between the losing streak and playing against Cortland, there was plenty of incentive for the girls.
“I think that our serving separated us from them in the first game after it was close for awhile, and took their crowd out of it. We didn’t know if Katie Wick could play or not; she’s been sick. But we talked before the game and joked about her pulling a Michael Jordan, being sick but playing well. We were lucky to be able to sit her out for a good part of the third game so she wouldn’t get any worse.”
The sophomore outside hitter totaled nine kills, six digs and four aces in roughly two and a half games.
“Everyone was pumped up,” Wick said. “We all pulled together, totally communicated and the sets were great. Everything was perfect.”
The same couldn’t be said for Cortland.
“We played terribly,” Bordwell stated flatly after her team had fallen to 5-10 in league play and overall. “We have these matches — this was the third one this season — and I don’t know why. We were in it for the first nine points of the first game and then, nothing. I tried everything. What are you going to do? We need someone who will step up and say, “Get me the ball.’ Of all days not to show up, especially after we played so well against Chittenango.”
CHS was coming off a four-game home victory over Chittenango last Thursday.
“(Senior outside hitter) Kaitlyn Glover had a couple of digs against Wick,” added Bordwell. “I was thinking of asking her to play libero the third game, but that would have taken her out of the front and everyone was very tentative there. But don’t take anything away from Homer. They came ready to play and we didn’t, so more power to them. My girls didn’t adjust to hits from the middle. The game is 90 percent mental, and Homer stayed in it. They’d miss one or two and get right back into it; we didn’t do that.”
Cortland led only once in the whole match, 8-7 in the first game, and it was 10-9 Trojans when Homer sophomore setter McKenna Riley served for five straight points, including an ace plus a block by junior middle hitter Shannan Keefe. After a kill by CHS senior middle hitter Brittany Babcock ended the run, the Trojans scored the next six points, five with senior outside hitter Jen Warren behind the line, including a pair of aces. A kill by Wick and an ace by freshman outside hitter Ashley Cavellier closed out the game.
The visitors scored 11 of the first 15 points in the second game and never looked back. Wick had three of her kills in that middle game, which ended with a kill by Rachel Perry.
The Trojans rolled to a 18-4 lead in the third game before CHS had its longest run of the night, scoring four points, three (including two aces) with senior setter Kim Natoli serving. The match ended with an ace by Warren.
“(Junior setter) Chelsea Lewis stepped up really nicely for us tonight,” Fox said. “She hasn’t had too much time on the left side, but was a big key. McKenna Riley had a lot of nice sets and Rachel Perry did a good job hitting quick balls in the middle; this was her best match of the year.”
Lewis and Perry had five kills apiece for the winners, while Warren had three kills and three aces, Riley 24 assists, senior libero Mary Phelps six digs and Cavellier five digs.
Glover had seven digs, Babcock seven kills, senior middle hitter Katelyn Anderson four kills and Natoli four kills, two aces and three assists while going 14-for-16 in passing for Cortland. In addition, junior setter Rachel Pisa had five digs and was 6-for-8 passing and junior setter Amanda Cheetham had five assists and 33 sets.
“We weren’t getting the ball to the setters to run the offense,” Bordwell said. “Even on free balls, we weren’t passing well.”  
Fox, in his third year as Homer coach, has now guided the Trojans to 10 wins after winning four matches his first year and five his second. “I’ve been lucky to have been able to bring young girls up and get them playing my system,” he said. I brought it from Cortland State, so it’s kind of hard for high school girls to adjust to. I was only supposed to be here one year, but now it’s been three.”
Bordwell noted this year marks Homer’s first season sweep of Cortland “in 23 or 24 years.” The Purple Tigers won both games in the 2003-04 season, and the last two seasons the teams had split, each winning on the other’s home court in both instances.
CORTLAND JVs scored a tight 19-25, 25-22, 25-23 win to improve to 5-10, Nicole Wageck with six kills and Josie Roberts with four while Taylor Warren had 10 assists. The Purple Tigers won for the second match in a row after having lost the previous six.
Homer, now 4-11, got five kills from Cayla Hartnett and three each from Danielle Reygers, Alexis Brown and Cady Spencer. Reygers also had nine assists, while Brown had four aces and three point blocks.
Homer’s teams visit DeRuyter Wednesday, while Cortland closes out the regular season by hosting Phoenix this Monday.  


Purple Tiger Hartnett, Trojan O’Gorman receive scholarships —

Dragon gridder Haas impressive orator

Sports Editor

So much for thinking the best performances in the career of Adam Haas came on the football field.
The SUNY Cortland All-America defensive tackle showed off his versatility as a speaker on behalf of the Central New York Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame this past Sunday night.
Haas represented the seven collegians honored at the seventh annual Scholar-Athlete Awards Banquet held at the Turning Stone Casino in Vernona, and received rave reviews.
Homer Central two-way lineman Trevor O’Gorman and Cortland High senior defensive back Jay Hartnett were also among those bedecked in tuxedos for this special occasion, being among the 51 high school players sharing the spotlight and receiving scholarships during the four-hour event.
“I had never heard him speak before, but he’s got a future,” said Cortland head coach Dan MacNeill of four-year starter Haas. The senior childhood education major was the backbone of a staunch defense that led the Red Dragons to a share of the New Jersey Athletic Conference regular season title this past fall.
Even Howard Vandersea, a former college coach and the national representative of the National Football Foundation who was among the crowd of 600 on hand, was moved by this Haas moment. Afterwards, he requested a copy of the speech to be posted on the organization’s Web site.
Haas received a postgraduate scholarship awarded by the National Football Foundation. He was honored along with Michael Sklarosky of Syracuse, Mike Gallihugh of Colgate, Anthony Macaluso of Cornell, Justin Brunell of Ithaca, Hank Anderson of St. Lawrence and Jarrett O’Hara of Morrisville.
He was the seventh Red Dragon to be honored, joining former Cortland players Matt Urciuoli (2001), Brian Babst (’02), Todd Goodwin (’03), Mike Stepnick (’04), Ryan DeCamp (’05) and Josh Jablonski (’06).
Haas is a native of East Aurora in Western New York, and was an all-state performer for St. Francis High School. He was a four-year starter for the Red Dragons.
The powerful and cat-quick Haas made 71 tackles and was in on eight sacks for the Red Dragons, who finished a success 9-2 season. The 6-foot, 260-pounder was a first team All-American on both the American Football Coaches Association and squads, and was named to the Associated Press Little All-America third team.
With a career 3.53 overall grade point average, he was a SUNY Athletic Conference Scholar-Athlete Award winner and was named along with teammate Drew Lacsari on the ESPN the Magazine College Division I District All-Academic team. He was also a coach this past summer of a youth softball team that_including Coach MacNeill’s daughter among his players.
“There was a reason he was a runner-up nationally for Division III Player of the Year,” said Coach MacNeill, referring to Haas being a finalist for the prestigious Gagliardi Trophy. “And with all the awards that have come his way, he’s still pretty humble about things.”
Haas is currently student-teaching and looking to be an educator and possibly a coach in the future. “He’s got it figured out, and he had it figured out before he came here,” said Coach MacNeill.
HARTNETT AND O’GORMAN were among the high school players honored, where Westhill’s Joseph Bright was the main speaker for having the highest academic ranking among his peers.
Hartnett was a 5-foot-10, 155-pound safety for the Purple Tigers, who finished 1-8 against Section 3 Class A competition this past fall. He had a touchdown pass reception, picked off a pass and recovered a pair of fumbles.
“He was our defensive leader,” said Coach Jim Brown of the team captain who finished his second season on the varsity.
“He’s a good, hard-working, dependable kid who never missed a practice,” he added, Hartnett also carrying an average of around 90 in the classroom. “What he lacked in talent he made up for in leadership and hard work.”
Hartnett received the $500 Cherundolo, Bottar & Leone PC Scholarship at the dinner. He was the third Purple Tiger to be a guest at the dinner, Nick Reisweber honored last year and Dan Pitcher two years ago.
Also a basketball and lacrosse player at CHS, Hartnett will be looking to possibly being a lacrosse player in college.
O’Gorman was a 6-foot, 205-pound lineman for a Homer squad that reached the Section 3 Class B playoff semifinals this season, losing to eventual champion Cazenovia to conclude a 7-2 season.
“He was an unsung hero, a key kid for us,” said Coach Gary Podsiedlik. “We had great chemistry as a team, and he was one of the reasons we had great chemistry.”
O’Gorman is an active volunteer, including working at a Bible Camp in the summertime. He will be attending SUNY Cortland, to study in the college’s sports management program.
“He had a tremendous season on both sides of the ball for us, just a tremendous overachiever,” said Podsiedlik.
O’Gorman received a $500 Sam Dell-IBEW 47 Scholarship sponsored by Homer Depot. Five Trojans had previously been honored at this dinner, Aaron LeFever (2001), Russ Oechsle (’03), Luke Siwula (’04), Derrick Hartnett (’05) and John Williams (’06).
FORMER SYRACUSE University quarterback Don McPherson was the guest speaker at the dinner.
There were other highlights, with Dave Moskov of Class AA state champion Auburn named Coach of the Year, Liverpool athletic director George Mangicaro named an_Outstanding Contributor to Amateur Football and Frank DeOrio named the Official of_the Year.
E. Douglas Kenna, a former Army quarterback and president of the Carrier Corporation, received the Distinguished American Award.


Busy Squirts end up 2-for-3

The Stafford Chevrolet-Economy Paving-Homer Logging Squirt Travel youth hockey squad won two of its three weekend contests, beating Steamtown 8-0 on Saturday and Binghamton 5-3 on Sunday, both at home, before losing to host Oswego 3-1 later on Sunday.
Goalie Gage Eldred was called on to make only four saves in recording the shutout win over Steamtown, while Nate Walker led the offense with three goals and an assist. Sydney Sherman had two goals and an assist, Joel Potter two goals and Danny Turck a goal and an assist for the winners.
Walker also had three goals and an assist and Turck a goal and an assist against Binghamton, while Potter had one goal. Eldred made 11 saves and Colden Kimber stopped six more shots in the Cortland nets. Walker had the only goal and Eldred made 15 saves against Oswego.
Chris Broyles three-goal hat trick carried the Homer Men and Boys/Goldwyn & Boyland Physical Therapy team to a 6-1 victory  at Valley.
Cassie Garrison had four assists, while Carl Zimmerman had a goal and two assists, in the victory. Nick Potter and Garrett Ordway also scored, with Connor Ferrito adding a pair of assists.
Cortland played twice on Sunday, beating visiting Fulton 3-2 before losing 5-1 at Binghamton. Lucas Williams had a goal and an assist while Ben Gravel and Mike Turck had a goal apiece against Fulton, goalie Ryan Gabriel stopping 19 shots. Gravel had the lone goal against Binghamton, while Gabriel made 25 more saves.
The Barden Homes team won one of three games over the weekend, beating host Fulton 7-0 and losing to visiting Binghamton 4-3 on Saturday before losing 5-1 at Binghamton on Sunday.
Dylan Riker stopped 18 shots for the shutout against Fulton while Alex Rosato had two goals and an assist, Miles Robbins, Drew Wojcinski and Matt Sovocool a goal and an assist apiece and Kayla Welshman and Chris Howland one goal each.
Wojcinski, Owen Barden and Nate Walker scored once each in the home loss to Binghamton, while Riker made 11 saves. Alex Fisher had the lone goal in the Sunday loss at Binghamton, in which Riker made 14 saves.
The Wallace Construction/Verizon squad lost to host Ithaca II by a 5-3 score on Saturday as Matt May scored all three goals and goalie Tyler Wallace stopped 17 shots. Jake Karpovage scored the only goal in a 1-1 tie with visiting Onondaga Sunday, Colden Kimber stopping 15 shots.
The Darl Zehr Photography-Waste Management team lost to Center State 4-3 Saturday at Morrisville as Leo Riley scored twice and Zach Daniels once, while goalies Cory Broyles and Zack Randall made 10 and seven saves, respectively. Casey Bergeron had a goal and an assist and Aaron Zimmerman a goal in a 6-2 loss at Camillus as Randall made 10 saves and Broyles turned aside 32 shots.