July 24, 2007


Familiar faces on Central booters

Staff Writer

The Central Region Scholastic Men’s soccer team at this year’s Empire State Games in Westchester County will have a definite local flavor.
Four of the team’s 16 players, plus one of the four alternates, are from the immediate area. Marathon defender Aubrey Brown is back from last year’s gold medal-winning team, while on the team for the first year are Marathon midfielder Jason Luce, Lansing midfielder Walker Diebolt, who is from Freeville, and Groton goalie Kyle Yunger. All four are seniors, while alternate Dan Hranek, a defender from Lansing, is a junior.
Cincinnatus senior forward Jherrett Maroney also made the team but is spending this week at an Olympic Development Program camp in Western New York.
And of local note, former Cortland High goalie and LeMoyne College junior Steve White will be a member of the Central Region Open Division men’s soccer squad that should be in the medal hunt.
Lansing coach Adam Heck is the Central Scholastic head coach, assisted by Groton coach John D’Antonio, a Homer resident. That same pair led the team to the gold last summer.
“There’s good talent in the region, and to have so many local players as part of it is pretty exciting,” D’Antonio said, as junior defender Tyler Bailey from Spencer-VanEtten and Candor senior midfielder Patrick Thompson from Candor are additional IAC standouts on the squad. “It’s a huge honor to be on the team, and the fact that all of the team members are very good kids makes it better.
“We’re going there to be competitive, and we’re not going to sneak up on anyone,” he added, as the Central squad also won the gold in 2002, when the games were played in Cortland, and 2004. “We’re real happy with the team, and think we have as good a chance as anyone to be in the gold medal game. That’s our goal, to get back to that game.”
D’Antonio noted that there were originally more than 100 players involved in tryouts for the team, with sessions at Hamilton, Syracuse, Ithaca and Binghamton. The field was then culled down to 36 players, and after the final tryout at Cortland the 16-member team, with four alternates, was set.
The Central squad opens play at 9 a.m. Thursday against Western at Blind Brook High School, the site of all of the Scholastic Men’s contests. Central meets New York City at 4 p.m. Friday and Hudson Valley at 4 p.m. Saturday. The bronze medal game takes place at 8 a.m. Sunday, followed by the gold medal contest at 11 a.m.
D’Antonio’s assessments of the local players on the Central Region squad are as follows.
Aubrey Brown: “He played every minute for us last year. He’s a tremendous defender. We put him on every team’s best scorer and he does a tremendous job, just like he does with Marathon. He plays hard, never complains and is a great teammate; the other kids love playing with him. He’s a great defender, a lockdown guy.”
Jason Luce: “He can do a little bit of everything and can play any position. We’ll also use him as a defender, and he’ll see a lot of playing time. He’s versatile, and skilled in all aspects of the game, with great footwork, and can do a little bit of anything. He’ll do a great job wherever we put him.”
Walker Diebolt: “We may use him on the outside or the middle (at midfield); we don’t know yet. He sees the field well and helps get the offense going. He sets plays up and distributes the ball well. In helping other players get the ball, he doesn’t need to score to be effective.”
Kyle Yunger: “He came to us (Groton) from Cortland Christian Academy last year and did some good things in goal. He’s learning, and this will be a great learning experiences. He knows how to set up the defense and be an effective leader, and has made some good saves throughout the tryouts and practices. He’s a welcome addition to the team.”
Dan Hranek: “He’s done some really good things. He’s very solid and doesn’t make mistakes. He has good footwork and marks well.”



Tourney title for Firestyx

WINDSOR — The Cortland Firestyx 16-Under travel softball team went unbeaten while capturing first place honors at the Windsor Tournament this past weekend.
The Firestyx out-scored opponents by a 45-3 margin during a perfect 5-0 weekend that concluded with a 5-1 victory over Endicott in the title game on Sunday.
Ashley Brown won for the third time in the tournament in that championship match-up with Endicott, coming up with a dominating one-hitter while striking out 10 foes. Halee Riley and Vickie Smith both drove in two runs for the Firestyx.
Cortland blanked Horseheads 8-0 in a Sunday semifinal tussle, as Halee Riley allowed just five hits while striking out six. Brown (3x3) and Jamie Gray (2x3) each had two doubles, Gray driving in three teammates. Vickie Smith doubled and drove in two runs in the win.
For the weekend, McKenna Riley drove in five runs and had four triples for the champions. Ashley Crossway scored six times and had four RBI. Alexis Brown stood out with her glove work at second dbase, along with shortstop Jessica Rigg.
Alyssa Morgan, Sarah DiGiovanna and Rachel Perry patrolled the outfield with nary an error, while first baseman Cayla Hartnett was a human vacuum cleaner around the bag. Janae Griffith is also a contributor for the squad.
The team was coached by Henry Brown, with Cris Colasurdo serving as an assistant. The Firestyx travel to Midlakes this weekend for their final tournament of the season.



Griggs hosts LL sectionals

Homer’s Griggs Field will be the site this weekend of the New York Section 1 Little League 10 & 11-Year-Old Championships.
District 7 champion Homer will open the event by taking on the District 8 champion at 6 p.m. Friday. On Saturday, the District 5 and 6 champs will meet at 10 a.m., with Districts 1 and 28 colliding at 12:30 p.m. The District 2 champ will take on Friday’s winner at 3 p.m., and at 5:30 p.m. Districts 3 and 4 meet to close out the day.
The semifinal games will take place at 1 and 3:30 p.m. Sunday, with the championship game set for 6 p.m. this Monday.
CORTLAND COUNTY Babe Ruth semifinals games in the Junior Division are slated for this evening, weather permitting. Groton visits the Homer White Sox at Homer High School at 5:45 p.m., with the Cortland Eagles taking on the Homer Rangers at Casey Field in Homer.
The winners advanced to Thursday’s title game being played at 7:30 p.m. at Beaudry Park in Cortland.



Senior Open call goes out

The fifth annual Senior Open Golf Tournament for players age 50 and over will take place Aug. 16 at Walden Oaks Country Club.
The scratch event will be contest in six age brackets — 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74 and 75-over. Registration, with a fee involved, will start at 8:30 p.m., with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. Golfers can register as foursomes or individually. The fees, with all profits donated to the J.M. McDonald Sports Complex, include greens fees and a cart, a lunch buffet, age-bracket prizes and awards for both the two longest drives and two closest-to-the-pin.
Those wishing to register can call the Walden Oaks pro shop at 753-9452 or Bill Swisher at 756-7075. Additional information is available from Sue Covington at the Sports Complex, 753-8100.
Merchants or individuals wishing to sponsor a hole or provide a prize can call the numbers listed above.



Local talent eager for Games to open

The local area will be well-represented at the 30th annual Empire State Summer games in Westchester County. The event begins with opening ceremonies on Wednesday, with competition slated to take place from Thursday through Sunday.
The largest competition of its kind in the nation, the Empire State Games is a multi-sport event for amateur athletes, patterned after the Olympic program. Athletes must be residents of New York State.
Following trial competition in each of six regions of New York State, winners numbering some 6,000 participate in finals competition.
The ESG is a program of the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and is a partner of the New York Lottery.
The list of local participants is as follows.
Track and Field: Josh Henry (Truxton), Men’s Open 10,000 meters; James Miner (Dryden), Men’s Open 10K race walk; Tim Walker (Cortland), Men’s Open 800 and 1500; Ken Tillapaugh (Groton), Scholastic Men’s javelin; Heather Wilson (Homer), Scholastic Women’s 800.
Basketball: Shannon Finucane (Cortland), guard, Scholastic Women’s; Stuart Dean (Freeville; Lansing coach), coach, Scholastic Women’s.
Cycling: Joseph Bailey (Cortland), Open Men’s All-Around; Glenn Swan (Freeville), Open Men’s All-Around.
Field Hockey: Hannah Griep (Marathon), attack, Scholastic Women’s; Tessa Knapp (Marathon), attack, Scholastic Women’s. A third Marathon player, midfielder Marta Malmberg, made the team but is a member of the U.S. Under-16 national team currently competing in the Can-Am Challenge in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Ice Hockey: Jesse Brown (Cortland), forward, Scholastic Men’s; Danielle Compagni (Homer), forward, Scholastic Women’s; Brittney Krebs (Marathon), defense, Scholastic Women’s.
Lacrosse: Mike Carboine (Homer), defense, Scholastic Men’s; Janelle Stegeland (Cortland), defense, Scholastic Women’s.
Softball: Gabrielle Luety (Cortland), catcher, Open Women’s.
Shooting: Aaron Shippey (Marathon), Open Men’s Trap; Kirsten Hammond (Marathon) Open Women’s Trap; Darlene Watrous (McGraw), Open Women’s Three-Position Rifle.
Soccer: Steve White (Cortland), goalie, Open Men’s; Kiley Hadzicki (Cortland), midfielder, Open Women’s; Aubrey Brown (Marathon), defense, Scholastic Mens; Walker Diebolt (Freeville), midfielder, Scholastic Men’s; Jason Luce (East Freetown), midfielder, Scholastic Men’s; Kyle Yunger (Groton), goalie, Scholastic Men’s; John DAntonio (Homer), assistant coach, Scholastic Men’s.
Note: Cincinnatus senior forward Jherrett Maroney also made the team but is currently taking part in an Olympic Development Program camp in Western New York.
Swimming: Greg Wissink (Cortland), Open Men’s 100-meter butterfly and 400 IM; Mike Falls (Cortland), coach, Open Men’s; Taeho Ryu (Cortland), 100 butterfly and 200 butterfly, Scholastic Men’s; Gerrit Wissink (Cortland), 100 breaststroke, 800 freestyle, 100 backstroke, Scholastic Men’s; Brian Tobin (Cortland), coach, Scholastic Men’s.
Volleyball: Karl Caputo (Cortland), hitter, Open Men’s; Brian Fox (Homer), setter, Open Men’s; Cheri Drake (Cortland), hitter, Open Women’s; Katrina Fox (Homer), hitter, Open Women’s; Katie Wick (Cortland), hitter, Scholastic Women’s.
Wrestling: Coty Cute (McGraw), 178 pounds (80 kg), Scholastic Men’s Greco-Roman.