September 22, 2006


Dryden gals avenge earlier Lansing loss


Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Meghan McGrattan of Dryden wins header and sends the ball downfield in the second half of Thursday’s IAC soccer showdown against Lansing. Host Dryden was a 2-1 winner to avenge its lone loss of the season.

DRYDEN — Dryden High earned a measure of revenge Thursday as the Purple Lions defeated third-ranked Lansing 2-1 in Interscholastic Athlete Conference crossover soccer action.
It was the first loss of the season for Lansing, who defeated Dryden earlier in the season. Both teams are now 7-1 overall.
In other action, Groton and Waverly battled to a 0-0 overtime tie, Elmira Notre Dame defeated Odessa-Montour 4-1 and Candor clipped Newark Valley 5-1.
Dryden 2, Lansing 1: Dryden took a 1-0 in the first half on a breakaway by Brittany Lange with 1:06 left. The Purple Lions got the game-winner six minutes into the second half when Taylor White converted a crossing pass from Brighid Rose.
Lansing scored with 9:38 remaining in the game with a goal by Megan Palladino.
Dryden returns to crossover action Monday as the Purple Lions travel to Groton.
Groton 0, Waverly 0, OT: Brittany Madigan made 16 saves as Groton and host Waverly battled to a draw.







Homecoming games at Homer, CHS

Rival Solvay to test Trojans

Staff Writer

For some former Homer Central football players, the big rival was not the opponent from one week ago, Cortland High.
From 1981-1986, the Trojans and Purple Tigers did not face each other, so Homer fans needed a new rival. Enter Solvay, who put the only blemish on the Mike Norris-led team in 1981 before the Trojans captured the next five match-ups against the Bearcats.
For many of those years, as it is today, the division title was factored into the equation. Homer currently holds an 8-4-1 edge in the series, but the Bearcats have won the last three meetings. That makes tonight’s Homecoming contest big as the Trojans are 2-0 (3-0 overall) in Section 3 B West action while the Bearcats come into the night 1-1 (1-2 overall). Kickoff is 7 p.m. at George W. Butts Field.
“We have started slow,” Solvay head coach Phil Merrill said, who has just 13 seniors on his 33-player roster. “We lost in the Dome (to Ithaca) to start the season. We came back with a win against Jordan-Elbridge, but we suffered a tough loss (7-6) to Marcellus last week. All we are trying to do is get better each week.
“There is a lot of parity in the league this year and Westhill is certainly looking like they will be very tough. Only time will tell what_will happen.”
While Westhill certainly has looked the strongest with three convincing wins, Merrill does not think it will be easy coming into Homer tonight.
“Our kids will have to learn to play in a hostile home environment,” Merrill said. “Homer is a very good team and they are always well coached. Any time you play in Homer, it is tough because Butts Field is a tough place to play in.
“One thing I am excited about is playing on the turf. We were there for the scrimmage and the turf is a lot like ours.”
“One thing about playing Solvay is that they are predictable in some situations,” Homer coach Gary Podsiedlik said. “They continue to be huge on the Counter-Trey towards the tight end side. They still like the sweep, the toss and we mix in some reverses. The like to pull the left guard (Greg Caloia) and left tackle (Jaquan Hines) towards the tight end (John Mossotti. Hines is a big kid (6-foot-3, 282 pounds) with good, quick feet.”
Solvay has senior Peter Albrigo (6-0, 172) calling the signals at quarterback with big fullback Ben Carl (6-2, 186) at fullback.  Carl is the fifth leading rusher in B-West with 253 yards on 37 carries (6.8 yard/carry average). Albrigo has completed 18-of-35 passing attempts for 232 yards.
Senior Victor Young (6-0, 178) is the starting tailback, but sophomore Anthony Liquori (5-10, 162) is the future Michael Grobsmith replacement. Young has rushed for 384 yards on 55 carries, number three on the B-West rushing list behind Trojan senior tailback Mark Brenchley (422 yards, 74 carries, 5 TDs).
The wingback is junior Jesse Dinneen with junior Michael Acchione (6-0, 162) at wide receiver. Acchione is the number-two receiver in the division with 10 receptions for 171 yards.
In addition to the before mentioned tight end and left side of the offensive line, junior Tom Goslowski (6-2, 225) is the center, senior Nick Pucello (6-0, 205) is the right guard with senior Brain McCarthy (5-11, 237) at right tackle.
Defensively, Solvay plays with four lineman and three linebackers, but it is not a true_4-3 look.
“Solvay really has six down men,” Coach Podsiedlik explained. “They will key on the tailback. It is a comfortable defensive look for them. They know what they are doing and they are good at it. They really pressure you at the line of scrimmage.”
Goslowski and Hines are the defensive ends while seniors Darrin Capritti and Matt DeGilio are the gap jumper. They are not true defensive tackles because they will fill any gap, depending on the defensive play called.
Carl in the hard-hitting middle linebacker with Young and Mossotti the outside linebackers. Liquori and Acchione are the cornerbacks while Dinneen at free safety and junior Mike Martinez at strong safety.
Homer senior quarterback Tristan Hartnett has completed 16-of-36 passing attempts for 292 yards and four touchdowns and he leads the team defensively with three interceptions. Brenchley is the team-leader in sacks with four. Trojan senior Mike Carboine is the leading receiver with five catches for 103 yards and one touchdown. Talon Sprouse (83 yards, 2 TDs) and Will Connery (74 yds. 1 TD), both juniors, each have four receptions.
“This is a statement game for us,” Podseidlik said.
“We start a big stretch in division play with Solvay. Every game is important, but we still must take things one game at a time. This really is a cool stretch for us.
 “Controlling the line of scrimmage will be key. This is the first team that we have played that may actually be bigger than us on the line.”
Both coaches are stressed that their respective teams must cut down on penalties and turnovers.
“Homer will put a lot of pressure on us,”Merrill said. “If we handle that, and the environment, I think we have a good chance.”
“The guys are focusing well in practice,” Podsiedlik said. “We have had a good week. The guys are ready physically and mentally, they know their assignments.”
Trojan Tidbits: Tristan Hartnett received A Pizza & More Most Outstanding Player Award honors. Sean McSherry was the Practice Player of the Week for Phoenix. Blue Collar Awards went to Tristan Hartnett (non-line) and Trevor O’Gorman (line).. For the second time this season, WXHC (Oldies 101.5 FM) will broadcast the Trojans live. Tim Guido and Jeff Guido will provide the commentary of the big Homecoming Game..The Trojans got some on-air time this week on MSG (Madison Square Garden Network) during the New Balance High School Weekly presented by MaxPreps show hosted by Mike Quick. New Balance Gear is a big sponsor of the show and there was a crew in town to film Homer alumnus Larry Brady, who works for New Balance, as he was inducted into the Homer Schools Athletic Hall of Fame. The four-minute segment also showed some highlights including Will Connery’s interception return for a touchdown and Mike Carboine’s touchdown catch. Thanks to Larry Brady, New Balance Gear and the MSG folks for shining the spotlight on the local guys.



Purple, Oswego both seek first win

Staff Writer

Oswego High football coach Erwin Dewey hit the nail on the head earlier this week in summing up today’s contest between his Buccaneers and host Cortland High.
This Purple Tigers Homecoming contest, a 7 p.m. start at Moiseichik Field, is a battle of winless squads.
“The thing that concerns me most,” he said, “is that Cortland looks at this game as one they can win. We look at it the same way. Both teams are struggling right now. This league is pretty tough.”
Technically, Oswego is a Class AA squad. Due to a lack of success at that level — the Buccaneers 5-40 over the last five seasons, including a 1-9 record last fall with the lone win over Ithaca — the program voluntarily dropped to the Section 3 Class A American Division for this fall in an effort to rebuild. The Bucs can’t win the league title or qualify for sectionals, though neither scenario is likely to play out anyway.
“We have to stop Cortland’s running game,” said Dewey, who coached Oswego for 17 years before retiring in 1994. He will also start his 45th year of coaching track when the indoor season starts this winter. He came back last fall “when some parents asked me to because no one else would do it.
“Cortland got beat pretty badly (47-20) at Mexico, but they stayed right in there, moving the ball,” he said. “I was impressed with their running attack, and then last week against Homer (in a 25-12 non-league loss) they got things going in the second half. Number 23 (halfback Brian Benford) looks like a good athlete and seems to get the ball quite a bit, and number 42 (fullback Jon Wood) is a good one, too. We have to shut down their running and hope that their passing doesn’t kill us.”
Cortland coach Jim Brown and his staff are planning some personnel changes this week.
A.J. Meldrim will get his first start at quarterback, while Carlos Ferrer will play cornerback and Kaywon Pittman will see more defensive time at strong safety, according to Brown. In addition, Brad Rogers will move to the defensive line from his linebacker slot, with Dan Foster moving to defensive end, in a rotation with Chris Fernandes, Jon Wood and Matt Pitcher (also a defensive tackle) for the two spots. Benford will shift to cornerback from linebacker. Derek Goodwin, Cody Cute and Larry Nemecek, a Homer transfer who just became eligible, will move into the linebacker spots.
“We definitely saw some good individual efforts last week,” Brown said. “Some kids are stepping up to play. We have two quarterbacks (Tim Foster has started the first three games), which is going to make us better; A.J. has engineered some good drives when he’s been in there. We’re moving Rogers to get more size on the defensive line and Foster to get more quickness on the outside.
“Our defense is playing a lot better, and overall it will be nice to start getting some new guys involved in things and give them more confidence.”



Red Dragons to begin defense of NJAC title

Sports Editor

This is somewhat of a historic moment for the SUNY Cortland football team.
For the first time ever in the New Jersey Athletic Conference, two teams from New York State will be going head-to-head on the gridiron when the Red Dragons visit Buffalo State in a 1 p.m. kickoff Saturday.
Buffalo State is a newcomer to the league. Like Cortland, the Bengals are a football-only participant.
“We’ve always said to be the best you’ve got to play the best, and with this league we’ll be among the elite in Division III football,” said third-year Bengals head coach Paul Shaffner of joining the NJAC. His team played in the Atlantic Central Football Conference before making the move.
The Red Dragons (2-0) believe they are among the nation’s elite squads and recent national polls seem to agree. Cortland is ranked 12th in the American Football Coaches Association national poll, 16th by Don Hanson’s Football Gazette and 22nd by
The Red Dragons also remember a year ago when they opened the season with three impressive victories, only to stumble at home 27-20 to an underdog Buffalo State squad. That should provide some additional inspiration heading into this NJAC opener, as Cortland begins to defend a conference title it shared last year with perennial power Rowan.
“The kids certainly get juiced up, with a little revenge in the back of their minds, but we have to go there and show good composure,” said Red Dragons head coach Dan MacNeill. “We’re more concerned with being poised and going out there to do the things we know we can do.”
Buffalo State (1-1), coming off a bye week following a 45-7 loss at Ithaca College, knows it is capable — but Shaffner does not dwell on last year’s upset victory that was a highlight of a 3-6 campaign. “We can’t put emphasis on what we did last year, just what we’re going to do,” he said.
Cortland is looking to improve what Coach MacNeill labeled a ‘sloppy’ performance last week, when six turnovers almost cost the Red Dragons in a 17-10 victory over Brockport. “Certainly there were a lot of positives, but as far as being the kind of team we know we can be we had far too many turnovers,” he said.
Overcoming a 10-7 second half deficit, when a safety and a 42-yard touchdown run by Dustin Bowser brought the Red Dragons back, was a good sign. And a defense that came up with 10 quarterback sacks, had 17-tackle outings from active inside linebackers Matt Montpetit and Bill Hauser and earned three turnovers of their own also excelled.
That staunch defense will be tested by a Buffalo State offense directed by new quarterback Dan Aquillo. The junior from Depew takes over for last year’s starter and one-time Red Dragon Mike Mikolaichik, who is now a volunteer coach on the Bengals’ staff.
Shaffner feels Aquillo is doing all the things he’s being asked to do, including completing 20-of-38 passes for 238 yards and a touchdown in the loss to Ithaca. And Cortland’s MacNeill is impressed with other weapons the Bengals have, especially running back James Perkins.
“They’re going to be a pretty good challenge for us, the biggest challenge for us from a defensive standpoint,” said MacNeill wary of Buffalo State’s option attack.
Cortland gotten good production from running backs Matt Rickert (36 carries-173 yards) and Bowser (19-108), while junior quarterback Alex Smith has completed 20-of-36 throws for 285 yards and two touchdowns. Veteran receivers Drew Lascari and Anthony Morat each have six receptions.