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May 14, 2007

 

Homer Little League holds special 10th birthday bash

Little League

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Chris Sweeney of the Homer Little League is helped by players holding up banner for the newly named
C. David Vosburgh Memorial Field Saturday. The league celebrated its 10th anniversary honoring the late Vosburgh and Shawn Falter by naming the fields in their honor.

By TOM VARTANIAN
Staff Writer

Under perfect conditions and bright, sunny sky, the Homer Little League opened its baseball season with a big 10th anniversary celebration.
The league has been around a lot longer, originally the David Harum League, but this celebration bridged the past with the current — the Little League having been in existence since 1997.
The day began at with a parade from Homer Intermediate School to Griggs Field, which houses both new little league fields and now as two large rock monuments with plaques on them. One was for long-time youth league founder and supporter C. David Vosburgh and the other for former Homer Central athlete Shawn Falter, who gave us life for his country recently in Iraq.
Nearly 300 players between the ages of five and 12, including the Challenger Division for those children with disabilities, traveled the parade route to the ball fields. The players and coaches sat in foul territory from first base to third base as parents watched from outside the fenced-in fields. Some parents even stood in the new dugouts to watch the ceremonies.
Most of the players enjoyed the three special guests that were on-hand. Those guest were Buddy Bee (mascot for the Binghamton Mets Double A team), Abner Doubleday (mascot for the Auburn Doubledays New York-Penn League Single A team) and local favorite Blaze (SUNY Cortland’s mascot), who did not seem to like the cannon firings as he kept dropping to the ground before finally deciding to run towards the outside field where the cannons were being fired by members of the Homer Central School’s Living History Club. All the kids and players enjoyed the antics of all three mascots, who signed numerous autographs when the ceremonies where complete.
League president Lyn Lake led much of the on-field activities and thanked the many sponsors who were a part of the construction process for the new fields. Lake also thanked the many sponsors who have billboards on the outfield fences and are sponsoring the teams this season.
Lake also announced that Homer Little League will be hosting the District 7 Tournament in June and will be the site of the Upstate New York Sectional Championships.
“This is a great way to kick off the season,” Lake said. “The kids are excited about playing baseball this season. We wanted to go way beyond anything we had done before because it was the 10th anniversary and I think we did that.”
“There are so many people to thank, but I want to start with the Village of Homer,” Lake added. “They village started this project. The league put money into this project, but it was the village that had this land and started the ball rolling on this project. That thank you includes Jeff Lewis, the village’s recreation director. It was him and all the village employees did a lot of work to get these fields ready, plus many volunteers.”
Among the highlights were all the oldest players (12-year-olds) being introduced and given a rose to present to their mothers, a trumpet rendition of “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” by three players (accompanied by mascots swaying arm in arm), and the youngest member of the league uttering the most famous words in baseball, “Play Ball!”
While everything was run very smoothly, the most emotional part of the ceremonies came when Lake announced that both fields would be carrying two special names.
The field off to the right will now be known as C. David Vosburgh Memorial Field with a banner to be hung on the backstop of that field. Vosburgh family members, including his widow Vivian Garvey, took part in the dedication. Garvey threw the ceremonial first pitch to grandson John Vosburgh.
It was then time for the announcement that the field everyone was at would be named Shawn Falter Memorial Field. The banner was unfurled with ceremonial first pitches being thrown out by both Linda Falter, his step-mother, and his mother, Patty Greenwood. Former Homer Little League player and current SUNY Cortland junior outfielder Sean Caughey caught both pitches.
“It was a way to honor people who have affected the kids and families in the community,” Lake explained. “David Vosburgh, who originally started the little league program here, and Shawn Falter, for what his has done for our country. We wanted to recognize them and honor their memories.”
While the fields are ready, there is still more work to be done, including the building of the concession stands, building the on-deck and bullpen areas and putting up another batting cage. While there is much more to be done, it was obvious that only one thing really mattered. It was time for the kids to take center stage and have fun for another season of Homer Little League baseball.

 

 

Strong start for Red Dragons

CANTON — With senior attackman Mike Felice showing the way, SUNY Cortland men began their defense of the NCAA Division III lacrosse title with a big road victory Saturday.
Felice netted five goals and added an assist as the Red Dragons avenged a regular season loss to St. Lawrence with a 13-8 second round victory at North Country Field.
Cortland, now 13-5 and ranked 12th nationally, advances to play at undefeated Western New England College (17-0) in the national quarterfinals Wednesday at a time to be_announced.
St. Lawrence, ranked fifth nationally, finishes the season 14-2 while suffering its first home loss since April 16, 2005.
Senior Ryan Simensky finished with two goals and three assists and junior Ryan Heath scored once and assisted on four goals for Cortland. Junior Billy Fuchs added two goals and one assist and sophomore Michael Robinson made seven saves in goal.
Will McKee led the host Saints with two goals and Kevin Russell finished with a goal and an assist. Peter Carroll chipped in with three assists and goalie Justin Demuth stopped 10 shots on goal.
St. Lawrence entered NCAA play on a 12-game winning streak and had opened the season with a 7-5 home field win over Cortland.
In this rematch, Cortland took a 2-1 lead on a Simensky goal with 21 seconds left in the first quarter, but St. Lawrence tied the game on McKee’s extra-man goal 25 seconds into the second quarter. The Red Dragons, however, rattled off the next four goals and never trailed.

 

 

 

Tourney task too tough for Cortland

By ALAN BUTLER
Sports Editor

This would prove to be too steep of a softball hill to climb for SUNY Cortland.
The Red Dragons faced the weekend challenge of needing four consecutive victories to emerge as champions in this NCAA Division III Regional and advance to the upcoming World Series. Coach Julie Lenhart’s veteran club did get halfway towards that gallant quest before the season came_to a somber conclusion Sunday afternoon.
After eliminating top seed Rochester 3-0 on Saturday afternoon and knocking out third seed archrival Ithaca 7-4 to get play started yesterday, the surging Red Dragons still had to defeat conference rival Plattsburgh twice to win this double elimination tournament.
But no one would beat Plattsburgh (35-12) in this post-season gathering of six schools. That included a confident Cortland (38-10) club that had topped the Cardinals twice in a regular season twin bill in Plattsburgh and twice again a week ago in the championship round of the SUNY Athletic Conference playoffs at this same Dragon Field locale.
This rematch would be no contest, as Cardinals made the most of their fifth chance by thumping the Red Dragons 10-1.
The first three batters in the Plattsburgh line-up would score to get this game underway, and the Cardinals eventually wore out Red Dragon pitching. The fourth seeds would bash out a dozen hits and win going away, six of their runs coming over the final two frames including a two-run homer bashed by first baseman Rachael Stupp.
“I could not believe, as good as Cortland is, that they could win five or six straight games against us,” said Plattsburgh coach Scott Cotter. That was an accurate assessment, as his Cardinals proved to be the best team over these four days.