September 20, 2007


Homer girls run past CHS, ES-M


Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Homer Central’s Jessica Bramhall leads Deanna Bishop of Cortland High (left) and teammate Heather Wilson at Little York’s Dwyer Park during Wednesday’s OHSL Freedom Division cross country race.  Homer beat both CHS and ES-Minoa.

LITTLE YORK — A strong team effort by Homer Central girls led to an OHSL Freedom Division cross-country sweep Wednesday at Dwyer Park in Little York.
The Trojans placed four runners in the top six to defeat both Cortland (19-36) and East Syracuse-Minoa (22-33). The Spartans were 24-33 winners over the Purple Tigers.
On the boys’ side, ES-M defeated Homer (22-37) and Cortland (15-48) while the Trojans topped the Purple Tigers 22-28.
“What a great cross-country meet between Homer and Cortland,” said Homer coach Jim Baldwin. “Jessica Bramhall has made incredible progress this season and has surprisingly emerged as our number one runner. Heather Wilson looked really good and a strong kick, which allowed her to pass Deanna Bishop down the stretch.”
Bramhall posted a time of 20:20 over the redesigned varsity course, six seconds behind winner Megan Visser from East Syracuse-Minoa.
Wilson (20:49) out-kicked Bishop (20:51) for third place.
“Deanna ran a very good race,” Cortland coach Bob Vidulich said. “She ran with Heather pretty much the whole race; Wilson, Visser and Bramhall are all excellent runners. Georgiana Perelka ran a very nice race as our number two (ninth in 23:30).
“We have to shorten up our pack time (4:40 between Cortland’s first and fifth runners Wednesday). The better teams won, though ES-M is certainly beatable; our kids did a great job, especially for their first outing, getting their feet on the ground and competing. It’s been six weeks since the start of practice; since, due to financial limitations, we’re only allowed to be in three invitationals, I try to get involved in competitions later in the year, closer to sectionals.” 
Trojan seniors Caitlin McMahon and Laura Niederhofer placed fifth and sixth while Megan Harmon battled through the pain of tendonitis in both knees to finish 10th.
“Megan was in a lot of pain,” said Baldwin. “She demonstrated some real guts to finish as well as she did to ensure that we did not run with an incomplete team. Megan, and all the girls, showed a lot of heart.
“Laura is beginning to get back in running form,” Baldwin added. “Caitlin really ran her heart out today.”
Jennifer Merckel (11th), Anna Bitterbaum (13th) and Kristina Endler (18th) rounded the scoring five for the Purple Tigers.
NICK SADLOCHE and Jeff Sweeney led an ES-M 1-2 sweep in the varsity boys race and the visiting Spartans placed five runners in the top eight overall. Sadloche posted a winning time of 17:57, with Sweeney three seconds back.
Andrew Gregg (18:25) and Jackson Randolph (18:32) placed third and fourth to pace the Homer contingent. James McKenna grabbed seventh place with Jacob Weber (15th) and Josh Bergmark (17th) completing the scoring five.
“Andrew Gregg went out there to make a statement against some strong runners from ESM,” said Baldwin. “He stuck with them as long as he could, but faded at the end. Andrew still ran the best he has all year on our home course.
“Jackson Randolph ran very strongly as well in our second position,” Baldwin continued. “James McKenna continues to improve in our number three spot. Jacob Weber surprised a lot of people this afternoon as he ran in our number four spot. As a freshman, Jacob is making a great contribution to our team.  Josh Bergmark came on strongly to finish out our top scorers.”   
Mike O’Donnell was the top Cortland runner as he placed ninth with a time of 19:34.
Rounding out the Purple Tiger scoring five were Geoff Peppel (13th), Jordan Gillespie (14th), Mark Vidulich (16th) and Justin Gogan (20th).
“The boys did a good job,” Vidulich said. “Geoff was our second man because he went out too fast. It wasn’t a good start for him. ES-M ran very well; they’re a fairly good team. Homer is beatable, and we’ll see them again. All we need are a bit better efforts from our fourth, fifth and sixth men; six points would have made the difference in beating them.
“It’s not going to be an easy road for us, having to replace T.J. Rosetti, Sam Narby and Paul Novak, but we’ll hold our own,” he added.
After the races were done, all three schools enjoyed a picnic in the park hosted by the Friends of Homer Runners.
“The food was excellent and the dishes brought to pass by the parents of Cortland, ES-M, and Homer runners were very tasty and greatly appreciated,” said Baldwin. “I did not hear any complaints from anyone, only compliments that we had such a wonderful event planned and the teams we raced against were included as well. It speaks a lot of the importance we try to place on sportsmanship in Section 3 athletics.”  
Homer will return to action Saturday as the Trojans travel to the Auburn Kiwanis Invitational at Auburn Middle School.
Cortland returns to OHSL Freedom Division competition Wednesday against host Chittenango, with Phoenix in attendance as well. The double-dual meet will take place at Jamesville Beach State Park.

Boys Varsity Race
   Team scores: Homer 22, Cortland 28; East Syracuse-Minoa 15, Cortland 48; East Syracuse-Minoa 22, Homer 37.
   Individuals (Top 10, plus other Cortland, Homer finishers): 1. Nick Sadloche (ES-M) 17:57; 2. Jeff Sweeney (ES-M) 18:00; 3. Andrew Gregg (Hom) 18:25; 4. Jackson Randolph (Hom) 18:32; 5. Pete Ferseler (ES-M) 18:38; 6. Nat Lapierre (ES-M) 18:45; 7. James McKenna (Hom) 18:35; 8. Matt Lyons (ES-M) 19:20; 9. Mike O’Donnell (Cort) 19:34; 10. Michael Dee (ES-M) 19:40
   13. Geoff Pepple (Cort) 19:49; 14. Jordan Gillespie (Cort) 19:52; 15. Jacob Weber (Hom) 20:02; 16. Mark Vidulich (Cort) 20:23; 17. Josh Bergmark (Hom) 20:24; 18. Ross Pouliot (Hom) 20:30; 20. Justin Gogan (Cort) 20:49; 22. Tyler Pierson (Cort) 21:05; 25. Evan Henkel (Cort) 21:58); 26. Micah Brown (Hom) 22:08; 27. Gerrit Wissink (Cort) 22:10; 30. Adam Brevetti (Cort) 22:27; 31. Alex Brevetti (Cort) 22:32; 33. Alex Boyland (Cort) 23:21; 38. Caleb Pierson (Cort) 24:06.

Girls Varsity Race
   Team scores: Homer 19, Cortland 36; Homer 22, East Syracuse-Minoa 33; East Syracuse-Minoa 24, Cortland 33
   Individuals (Top 10, plus other Cortland, Homer finishers): 1. Megan Visser (ES-M) 20:14; 2. Jessica Bramhall (Hom) 20:20; 3. Heather Wilson (Hom) 20:49; 4. Deanna Bishop (Cort) 20:51; 5. Caitlin McMahon (Hom) 21:44; 6. Laura Niederhofer (Hom) 22:05; 7. Emily Stewart (ES-M) 22:14; 8. Erika Heidelberger (ES-M) 22:58; 9. GeorgianaPerelka (Cort) 23:30; 10. Megan Harmon (H) 23:59
   11. Jennifer Merckel (Cort) 24:11; 13. Anna Bitterbaum (Cort) 24:52; 18. Kristina Endler (Cort) 25:31; 22. Roz Hesse (Cort) 26:03; 23. Monica Moore (Cort) 26:06; 26. Kaitlyn Bishop (Cort) 28:54.




Trojans battle M-PH to draw

Staff Writer

The battle lasted 100 minutes and nothing was decided Wednesday as vastly-improved Homer Central boys battled soccer power Manlius-Pebble Hill to a 1-1 double overtime draw in OHSL Liberty Division action on George Butts Field.
The Trojans stand at 4-1-2 overall (3-1-1 in division) and run their unbeaten streak to six matches. The other Trojans are also 3-1-1 in the division after moving up from Class C and 4-1-1 overall.
“M-PH is a very good team,” said Homer coach Dave Shiffman. “There are a defending (sectional) champion. They have a lot of pride. It does not matter if you were Class C or now Class B, when you are at that level in state tournament play, you are good.
“I am very proud of our kids,” Shiffman continued. “I think we are tied with M-PH for second, or wherever. We are now getting ties in games where we may not have done that a year or two ago. These guys have really worked hard to get where we are right now and it shows in their play on the field and in practice.”
“It was a great game,” said veteran M-PH coach Don Ridall. “It was very evenly played. I am pleased with what our kids have done so far this season. We are 4-1-1 and you cannot ask for much more.
“We lost a ton of kids to graduation, including an All-American goalkeeper,” Ridall added, referring to keeper Dimitri Telonis. “We now have a freshman in goal and a lot of people did not think we would win a game. The kids are really playing the best they can. It has been a total team effort. Because of our reputation, the kids expect to win and that helps. Moving up in class has certainly not helped. It is not easy, but we enjoy the challenge.”
THE FIRST HALF saw Homer get three shots off and M-PH had just two shots. Bennett Quinlan delivered a soft, low shot that M-PH goalkeeper Jason Gentile grabbed in the seventh minute and another harder shot in the 26th minute.
The third shot was perfect by Brett Capps. The senior midfielder ripped a hard shot from 35 yards out that nestled into the upper left corner of the goal with 58 seconds left in the half.
“That was a great shot by Brett,” said Shiffman. “You certainly cannot fault the goalie. It was a hard shot. It had a lot of pace on it and it nestled into the top of the goal. Brett really stepped up and did something a little extraordinary skill-wise.
“With two good teams playing,” Shiffman continued. “The intensity is a little higher and you need someone to do something a little extraordinary. Brett did that and that was why we had a one goal lead.”
The best M-PH chance of the first half came with 12:43 on the clock on a quick counterattack. Dennis Smalley broke free and ripped a low blast that goalie Derrick McCall smothered for his only save.
The second half saw M-PH turned up the heat and keeper Jack Kissel responded for the home team. Kissel made four saves to keep his team in the hunt for the victory.
Homer nearly had a two-goal lead with 26 minutes left in regulation time as Quinlan got a great look at the goal and rifled a shot. Gentile (six saves) made the initial save, but the ball rolled away. Sam Watrous and Gentile reached the ball at the same time and the keeper forced Watrous to push the ball wide of the goal.
With 10:09 left in regulation time, M-PH got a free kick from the far side. While the crossing attempt found no one on the receiving end, the loose ball was settled and a mis-timed slide tackle from behind caused the M-PH player to go down in the box. The officials awarded a penalty kick and senior Dennis Smalley converted the opportunity with a low shot towards the right post that Kissel just missed.
Two minutes later, M-PH got a chance to break the tie, but Jon Mangram’s shot was grabbed by Kissel and the threat was over. Neither team really threatened the rest of the second half.
“Our guys got a little more intense after the penalty kick,” said Shiffman. “We played a very good last 30 minutes of the game (10 minutes regulation time, 20 minutes overtime).
“WE NEED TO find a way to hold the lead,” Shiffman continued. “We have led every match this year. It is not that we are really doing anything wrong. There isn’t anything you can really do about a penalty kick and Central Square scored a good goal in our previous 1-1 game. We just need a way to find that little extra intensity to prevent that from happening again.”
In overtime, L’Hommedieu fired a long shot on goal that Gentile grabbed with 10 seconds left in the first 10-minute segment.
With 7:35 left in the second overtime, M-PH sent one long free kick that Kissel corralled.
“I thought we were going to hold them,” Shiffman said. “Our defense was stout. All the defenders did a good job. Sean Cleary, Vic Marchetti, Brendan L’Hommedieu and Dan DiGiovanna played well. Dan and Vic really marked up their guys well who were very skilled and very quick. The strikers were dangerous, they were good in the middle and their sweeper was outstanding.”
“We have been a second-half team all year,” Ridall said. “We did come after Homer better in the second half. The penalty call was the right call and we were able to take advantage of that. We are giving up too many goals in the last two minutes of the half and that is something that we do need to correct.”
Homer boys will return to action Friday as the Trojans travel to Skaneateles for an OHSL Liberty Division match at 4:30 p.m.
HOMER JVs won an exciting double overtime contest as Carl Zimmerman chipped in a rebound over the head of the Manlius-Pebble Hill goalkeeper to post the 2-1 decision with 2:40 left in the second 10-minute segment.
After a scoreless first half, Homer took a 1-0 lead. M-PH tied the game less than five minutes later and the match remained deadlocked until Zimmerman’s goal.
Homer (5-1 overall) will travel to Skaneateles Friday at 4:30 p.m.




Purple Tigers’ best tops Trojans

A little extra motivation went a long way for the undefeated Cortland High golf team Wednesday afternoon.
“The kids always have some extra motivation when they play Homer,” Purple Tigers coach Kevin Cafararo said after his squad shot its lowest score of the year to defeat the Trojans 188-213 at Cortland Country Club. “Plus, the weather conditions were excellent, and with 10 matches under their belts now they’re playing extremely well.”
The Purple Tigers are a perfect 10-0 in those matches.
“We played all the JVs too, so that was exciting for everybody,” added Cafararo, his Purple Tigers with 14 players and the Trojans 13 players on their respective rosters. “It gave kids who may not play another match this season an opportunity for competition, and our seventh through 10th men are looking to crack into the first six, shooting good numbers to get another match.”
Matt Porter and Mike Congdon led Cortland with one-under 35s, while Nick Decker was one-over at 37. Steve Stowell shot a season-best 39 and Jeff Brown a 42 to round out the scoring, and Chris Pace came in at 46.
Dan Miller led Homer (5-5) with a two-over 38, including an eagle on the fourth hole, while Andy Saraceno had 40, Lane Hopkins 43, Brad Mitchell 44 and Alex Guy 48. Molly Nulty was the sixth player at 49.
Cafararo noted that the Cortland JVs totaled 211, and that along with their only other team score this season, a 218 at Jamesville-DeWitt, they would qualify for the varsity sectionals. Trevor Williamson led CHS with a 39, while Greg Eves carded a 43 to pace Homer.
Both teams next see action on Tuesday, Cortland at Phoenix (Beaver Meadows) and Homer at Syracuse CBA (Drumlins).