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City honors SUNY Cortland lacrosse champs

lacrosse

Bob Ellis/staff photographer
SUNY Cortland Lacrosse team captains, from left, Mike Felice, Brian Atkins, Kyle Lambert and Cheney Raymond, hold the Division III National Championship trophy after beating Salisbury 13-12 in overtime on May 28. Dozens of fans draped in Red Dragon red packed the Cortland Common Council chamber Tuesday to support the team.

By COREY PRESTON
Staff Reporter

Dozens of fans draped in Red Dragon red packed the Common Council chamber at Tuesday’s meeting to support SUNY Cortland’s national champion lacrosse team.
“If I had known we were gonna have this many people, I would’ve rented the (Syracuse University) dome,” said Mayor Tom Gallagher, who welcomed a dozen team members who were also on hand, and declared the month of June to be Red Dragon Lacrosse Month in Cortland.
“This community is extremely proud of what you guys have done,” Gallagher said.
Gallagher presented the team with a plaque proclaiming Red Dragon Lacrosse Month, and each council member presented city pins to the players on hand, who each stood up to introduce themselves amid cheers from friends and family.
Coach Rich Barnes, who had been an interim coach during the title run, and who has decided not to return to SUNY Cortland as head coach, received a blown-up portrait of himself hoisting the championship trophy after the Red Dragons’ 13-12 win in the national championship game over favored Salisbury University.
“My feet have not touched the ground yet,” Barnes said. “For me, this was a dream-come-true season.”
Barnes graduated from Cortland High School in 1985 and from SUNY Cortland in 1989. He lives in Cortland with his family.
“I’m sorry it has to end,” he said, noting that his decision not to return as head coach was a family decision. “But the No. 1 Dragon fan will still be in the stands, cheering you guys on.”
Decked out in a Red Dragon visor she’d made and a Cortland T-shirt that was signed by the entire team, Ann Gleason of Camillus has already staked a claim to the title of No. 1 fan, but she had nothing but good things to say about Barnes.
“These boys were inspired by a very caring and patient coach who let them be themselves,” said Gleason, whose grandson Bill is a member of the team. “I think it’s wonderful that the city recognized these boys and what they’ve done for this community.”
With many fans like Gleason creating a buzz in the council chamber, the team members on hand were simply letting it all sink in.
“This is the main reason I came here,” said Pasquali Praino, a sophomore defenseman. “This has been the most unbelievable lacrosse experience, maybe the best experience of my life, and this is all a part of it.”
“It’s something to be recognized for — all the hard work we did — especially at City Hall like this,” said team co-captain Mike Fulice, who scored the game-winning goal in the championship game.
“It’s a great, great honor,” he said.
The council also received a request Tuesday to rezone a parcel on River Street from residential to general business, although the developer did not know what type of business the land would attract.
The parcel, which measures just over 1 acre, according to city Zoning Officer Amy Bertini, lies adjacent to the Hampton Inn on River Street. James and Robert Lucas own it.
The parcel on the other side at 32 River St. is going through the rezoning process at the request of Seven Valley Realty.
The real estate firm would like both properties to be general business to allow continuity along River Street and the properties to be better marketed to businesses, Steve Terwilliger of Seven Valley said at the meeting.
The two properties together measure approximately 4 acres, Bertini said.
The council forwarded the request to the county Planning Board and once that board and the city Planning Commission make recommendations, the council will hold a public hearing on the change, Bertini said.
Alderman Jim Partigianoni (D-7th Ward) wondered whether the Planning Board would accept the application without knowing the planned use for the plots.
“The meetings that I’ve been to, you have to say what the use is going to be,” Partigianoni said.
Marketing the property is difficult without a zone change, Terwilliger said.
“Do I try to market it as a commercial property when it’s not?” he asked.
The property would make the most sense as either another hotel or a restaurant, he said.
“A restaurant would fit real good down there,” Terwilliger said.

 

Heat finish off Mavericks

By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer

DALLAS — The Miami Heat stretched their arms across each other’s shoulders in a jubilant group hug. Dwyane Wade, Shaquille O’Neal and their frenzied teammates joined to form one jumping organism — 15 strong, as their motivational slogan goes.
The Heat won their first championship with teamwork that went beyond the floor. While the Dallas Mavericks struggled to stay together during tough times in the NBA finals, the Heat stuck to each other through the trophy presentation — when 15 hands went up together to touch a piece of history.
Wade led Miami’s sizzling comeback from a two-game deficit in the finals, and he had 36 points and 10 rebounds in the Heat’s clinching 95-92 victory on Tuesday night. But the unanimous finals MVP said Miami’s fourth straight win was a wonder of tenacity and teamwork for a roster that seized one big opportunity to make history.
“This team was built for the playoffs, and we understood that,” Wade said. “That’s what makes it sweet, because not at one moment did one of us not believe in each other. No matter what, in the locker room, it was always 15 strong.”
Wade’s brilliance and just enough help from his teammates allowed O’Neal and coach Pat Riley to make good on their promises of a championship for South Florida. The parade should go down Biscayne Boulevard, just as Riley promised 11 years ago.

 

Howard's huge night gets spoiled by Rivera

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Ryan Howard’s spectacular night ended the same way it has for many hitters before him — against Mariano Rivera.
Johnny Damon hit a go-ahead, two-run triple in the eighth inning and Rivera pitched the final two innings for his 14th save in 16 chances, helping New York overcome Howard’s two homers and seven RBIs in the Yankees’ 9-7 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night.
With runners on first and second in the ninth, Rivera retired Howard on a bouncer to second base to end the game.
“That’s what it’s all about. As a closer, you have to face those guys, you have to face the best hitters,” said Rivera, who recorded his first six-out save of the season. “I want to face the best.”
Jason Giambi and Jorge Posada homered and Bernie Williams went 5-for-5 for the Yankees, who ended a three-game losing skid despite another subpar outing from Mike Mussina.