December 05, 2007


Bodies sparse as Homer opens up


Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
T.J. Casterline is one of the returning wrestlers for a Homer Central team that opens tonight hosting Phoenix.

Staff Writer

Homer Central will have its lowest numbers in a number of years when the Trojans hit the mat tonight to begin the 2007-2008 OHSL Freedom Division wrestling season.
Head coach Jeff Lewis has just 19 bodies that are ready to face the tough division and tournament schedule ahead.
Entering his ninth season, Lewis has 14 returning wrestlers but only three are seniors. Most of those upperclassmen saw less than 10 varsity matches on a team that went 5-13 overall and winless against the six division foes.
“We are struggling and a little sparse,” said Lewis. “We lost a couple of guys to injuries and a couple more decided that this was not their sport.”
“The guys we have are really working hard,” Lewis added. “We are a young team. We have no real heavyweights, but we should be solid in the middleweight classes. We could have some trouble, but I think we will fill most of the classes for matches.”
The three returning seniors are Ryne Austin, Nick Shanahan and Will Connery.
Austin took his sophomore year off, but returned as a junior and battled in the highly-competitive 152 and 160-pound weight classes and will compete at 160 or 171 this season. Against some of the best competition, Austin went 7-22.
Shanahan will wrestle at 152 or 160 during the season, and though he has been in the Trojan JV-varsity program since his freshman season, he has seen mat time in just 16 varsity matches.
Connery is in just his second season of wrestling after moving over from basketball last year.
Another returnees from the 2006-2007 season are juniors T.J. Casterline (119), Ben Chase (145-152), Shane Davis (152-160), Alex McCoy (103), Kyle Mitchell (160), Jason Rogers (125) and Saxon Sprouse (130), plus sophomores Nate Crawford (135), Ben McBride (119), John McCall (135) and Ryan Murray (171).
McBride, Crawford, Chase and Sprouse were regulars in the varsity line-up one year ago and went through the growing pains of competing at the varsity level. McCoy and Casterline saw some limited action while Davis and Mitchell did not compete in any varsity matches. Rogers was ticketed to be in the mix, but missed most of the season with a dislocated elbow. McCoy is recovering from illness at this time and should be in action soon.
There are five newcomers to the varsity program for the upcoming season. Those five are freshmen David Birchenough (112), Cody Sandy (125-130), Chris Handelman (130-135) and Joe Dunham (189), plus sophomore Kyle Rogers (171).
The Trojans will again face Cortland High, Chittenango, East Syracuse-Minoa, Fowler, Fulton, Mexico and Phoenix in Freedom Division dual-meet action.
“The division is going to be as tough as ever,” said Lewis. “Cortland is going to be one of the frontrunners with Fulton, Mexico and Phoenix. Chittenango is has getting strong and continues to improve. They should be a lot tougher this year.”
Ben Locke is the new JV coach at Homer this season. Locke won a state championship wrestling with Bainbridge-Guilford/Afton during his high school days. Geoff Sorenson will return as the Junior High coach.
Homer will jump right into the fire tonight as the Trojans host the Phoenix Firebirds at 6 p.m. This is the first of 10 dual-meets on the Trojans schedule. Homer will also compete in six tournaments before sectionals roll around.




Cortland women spurt past Ithaca

ITHACA — This undefeated SUNY Cortland women’s basketball team appeared to be headed for a down-to-the-wire struggle on Tuesday night.
That was before the Red Dragons came up with a second half scoring spurt to pull away from host Ithaca College and secure a 67-52 non-conference victory at Ben Light Gymnasium.
Sophomore Jessica Laing and senior Sara Cavanaugh triggered an outburst that turned a slim 34-33 lead with 15:47 left into a 55-37 advantage some seven minutes later. Laing had eight points and Cavanaugh five during that outburst and ended up sharing high scoring honors with 21 points apiece.
Ithaca never got closer than 11 points the rest of the way, as Cortland improved to 5-0. Coach Jeannette Yeoman’s squad is ranked 21st in the latest national poll.
Ithaca, which shot just 30 percent from the floor in the second half, falls to 3-2 overall.
On the other hand, Cortland men suffered some second half woes in losing the nightcap 62-53 at Ithaca College. The Red Dragons (5-2) saw a 10-point halftime lead erased by the Bombers (4-1), Cortland making just 8-of-35 second half shots.
Both teams finish up first semester play on Friday night at Corey Gymnasium, Buffalo State in town for a SUNY Athletic Conference twin bill. The women tip things off at 6 p.m., followed by the men’s contest at 8 o’clock.
CORTLAND WOMEN survived despite 24 turnovers, off-setting that trouble by dominating the backboards. The Red Dragons had a 47-31 edge off the glass, junior forward Ali Canale leading the way with 11 rebounds. Thirteen of those rebounds were grabbed off the offensive glass.
Laing has scored over 20 points in all five contests for Red Dragons, and grabbed eight rebounds in this victory. Cavanaugh was 3-for-5 from 3-point range during her 21-point performance, coming despite playing only 22 minutes due to foul trouble.
Junior guard Maggie Byrne added eight points, seven assists and four steals to the Cortland effort, while freshman Jennifer Polan came off the bench to contribute seven points, three assists and five rebounds.
Two Ithaca guards finished in double figures, Brynn Fessette with 13 points and Katherine Bixby 12. Center Erika Steele had eight points, 10 rebounds and blocked three shots for the Bombers.
Though Cortland scored the first six points and held an early 10-2 lead, Ithaca came back to move in front twice in the first half. Both teams struggled for points over the final five minutes of that opening stanza, the lone points scored a 3-pointer by Red Dragon Byrne with 1:37 left. That gave the visitors a 27-23 lead to take into haltime.
At 34-33 Cortland, Laing scored back-to-back baskets and Byrne swished a 3-pointer and the Red Dragons were on their way.
The Red Dragons shot 50 percent from the floor during that decisive 40-point point second half.




Shiny batch of CHS gridders

Staff Writer

Four Cortland High players are on the Section Class A American football all-star first team, as determined in voting by the league’s coaches.
The honored Purple Tigers are senior defensive back Nate Thomas, senior offensive lineman Matt Pitcher, junior fullback Josh Morehouse and junior linebacker Garrett Wyatt.
Representing league co-champion East Syracuse-Minoa on the first team are seniors Matt Cushing (running back), Mick Letcher (quarterback), Corey Gerace (linebacker), Emmett Baggett (tight end), Jeff Lamphier (Offensive line) and Kyle Johnson (receiver). Co-champion Fulton’s first-teamers are senior offensive lineman Conan Ingham, senior quarterback Mike Clark, junior tight end Jake Osborne, senior offensive lineman Pat Cochrane, senior receiver Jeff Landers and sophomore running back D.J. Ingham.
ES-M’s Kevin DeParde and Fulton’s Mike Connors share the Terry Coffman Coach of the Year Award.
Mexico first-teamers are seniors Andrew Fisher (defensive end), Ron Majerus (running back), Phil Hayden (offensive line), James Williamson (defensive back) and Tyler Peter (running back). Fowler junior defensive backs Keyron Rhodes and Teondre Johnson and junior receiver Ron Pugh are on the first team, as are Chittenango juniors Jon Stevens (quarterback) and Andy Moth (receiver), Jamesville-DeWitt junior quarterback Joe Daddario and senior linebacker Travis Suppe and, from Oswego (playing down from Class AA and ineligible for the league championship and sectionals), senior quarterback Jeremy Linn and junior offensive lineman Adam McPherson.
Cortland’s second-teamers are junior defensive lineman Dan Foster, senior offensive lineman Brad Rogers, junior defensive back Corby Reynolds and senior defensive lineman Coty Cute.
ES-M has senior offensive lineman Eric Bartoszek, junior offensive linemen Andy Wowelko and Eric Waltz, junior linebacker Ben Kreischer, senior linebacker Bryan LaShomb and sophomore defensive lineman Eric Cushing. Fulton’s second-teamers are senior linebacker Mike Fortier, junior running back Ed Marsh and seniors Rich Walberger (offensive line), David Williams (defensive back), Ryan Barton (defensive line) and Derek Shue (offensive line).
Representing Mexico on the second team are seniors David Kinney (kicker), Troy Gioro (offensive line), Dan Krzyiewski (defensive line), Jed Smith (offensive line) and Matt Wilson (defensive line). Fowler second-teamers are senior defensive lineman Eston Adams, junior linebacker Brian Doyle and senior defensive lineman Phillip Moore. Chittenango has seniors Mike Benderski (offensive line) and Jeff Hayes (running back) on the second team, while J-D has junior running back Dexter Green, senior offensive lineman Alex Jorgensen and offensive lineman/long snapper Steven Brown. Oswego’s second-teamers are sophomore running back Darnian Williams and junior linebacker Andrew Henderson.
Accorded honorable mention from Cortland were junior linebacker Jake Bryson, senior kicker-punter Levi Walrath, junior running back Brandon Fitzgerald, junior defensive end Justin Guerin, sophomore two-way lineman Cameron Edgar and senior receiver-defensive back-return specialist Stephen Wright.