December 12, 2006


Red Dragons dominate on All-NJAC grid squad


Bob Ellis/staff photographer
SUNY Cortland senior tailback Matt Rickert was one of eight Red Dragons named NJAC all-conference first team.

Eight different SUNY Cortland players were named first team football all-league performers by the New Jersey Athletic Conference, with senior Stef Sair named in_two positions.
Sair earned first team status as a safety on defense as well as a punt return specialist for the Red Dragons, who shared the conference title with Rowan for the second straight year after both teams finished 6-1 in_the NJAC.
Cortland — which finished 9-2 overall — earned 19 spots overall spots on the all-league squad. That was the best representation of any team in the league.
Sair led the first team selections off a staunch Red Dragon Defense, joined by senior defensive tackle Adam Haas and senior inside linebacker Matt Montpetit.
On offense, senir tailback Matt Rickert, senior wide receiver Anthony Morat, senior offensive tackle Matt Ciquera and junior tight end Paul Caughell were first team selections. Senior punter Jimmy Cunneen also made the first team.
The Red Dragons also had a half-dozen second team choices, including senior linebacker Bill Hauser and junior cornerback Jeff Beck on defense. Senior fullback Mike Sveda, senior tackle David Holleran and junior guard Steven Longinott were picked on offense, while junior place kicker Matthew Mintz was the third Red Dragon to be name on_special teams.
The Red Dragons also had four honorable mentions, all on defense — senior defensive tackle Mike Connolly, senior defensive end Rich DeJesus, junior linebacker Dave D’Aurelio and junior defensive end Brad Robison.
l First teamer Sair made 54 tackles, 33 solo, in 11 games. He intercepted one pass, broke up nine others and made 3.5 tackles for losses. He_is Cortland’s career leader with_13 interceptions.
Sair is an All-NJAC first team safety for the third straight year after being honorable mention as a freshman. As a punt returner, Sair averaged 12.2 yards per return on 36 attempts. He was honorable mention all-league_last year.
l Haas led Cortland with 71 tackles, including 40 solo stops. He made a team-high 15.5 tackles for lost yardage, including 7.5 sacks. He was named to the All-NJAC first team for the third straight year after receiving honorable mention recognition as a freshman.
l Montpetit finished with 64 tackles, 12.5 for lost yardage, despite missing one game due to injury. Like Haas, Montpetit was on the All-NJAC first team for the third straight year after being honorable mention as a freshman.
l Rickert rushed for 720 yards and nine touchdowns on 174 carries and caught 16 passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns in 10 games this season. A second team All-NJAC selection as a junior, Rickert finished seventh in career rushing at Cortland with 1,762 yards.
l Morat is an All-NJAC honoree for the first time after making a team-high 38 catches for 487 yards and four touchdowns. He finishes his career ranked ninth in school history with 109 receptions and seventh with 12 touchdown catches.
l Ciquera earned first team honors this season after being an honorable mention choice last fall. He helped lead an offensive line that allowed only 16 sacks on 290 passing plays.
l Caughell caught seven passes for 109 yards (15.6 per catch) and one touchdown in 11 games. He was a second team all-league selection_last year.
l  Cunneen averaged 37.0 yards per punt. An honorable mention all-league choice last year, he pinned opponents inside the 20-yard line 19 times this fall compared to only five touchbacks.
AMONG RED DRAGON second team choices, Beck recorded_28 tackles, 22 solo, along with two pass breakups, a forced fumble and_a team-high four interceptions_this season. His is tied for second_at Cortland with 12 career interceptions, one behind Sair, through_three seasons.
Hauser earned a spot on the All-NJAC second team for the second straight year. He made 69 tackles, 7.5 for lost yardage, in 11 games. He also intercepted three passes, broke up three others and recorded 2.5 sacks.
Holleran and Longinott each earned spots on the All-NJAC team for the first time. They helped Cortland average 123.3 rushing yards per game and outscore its opponents 314-170 in 11 games.
Mintz made 12-of-17 field goal attempts, tying a school single-season record for field goals made. He made all three of his field goal attempts, including the game-winning 40-yarder in overtime, in a 23-20 victory over Ithaca. Mintz was also a perfect 35-of-35 in point-after kicks and has made 44 straight PAT tries dating back to the 2005 season.
Sveda grabbed a spot on the All-NJAC second team for the second consecutive year. Primarily a blocking back, Sveda gained 59 yards on 11 rushes and caught 14 passes for 173 yards and a touchdown.
Kean quarterback A.J. Rogue was named the NJAC Offensive Player of the Year, while Rowan defensive end Keith Heimerl the Defensive Player of the Year.
Dan Garrett of Kean was named the NJAC Coach of the Year, leading the Cougars to a 7-4 season including a 37-0 victory over King’s in the ECAC Southeast Bowl.
First year coach Garrett led a team picked to finish eighth in the NJAC pres-season poll to a solid fourth place showing at that ECAC victory.
Rogue threw for 2,320 yards and 19 touchdowns for Kean. He led the conference in passing yards per game (210.9) and in passing efficiency.
Heimerl had 36 tackles, nine going for quarterback sacks for the co-champions. He also had an intereception and forced a fumble for_the Profs.
Western Connecticut State quarterback James Williams was the Offensive Rookie of the Year. He passed for 1,818 yards and 11 touchdowns. William Paterson defensive back Stephon Anderson was the Defensive Rookie of the Year after coming up with six interceptions.



Plenty of contributors to Trojans triumph

JORDAN — Homer Central boys could have made things easier on themselves with a little more accuracy from the free throw line.
But the Trojans got contributions from a bunch of different players while coming away with a 67-61 basketball victory at Jordan-Elbridge Monday night.
Despite being unable to take advantage of numerous trips to the free throw line, where Coach Jim Luchsinger’s squad was 21-for-49, the Trojans were able to improve to 3-4 on the season while duplicating a Dec. 1 home court victory over the Eagles.
“Offensively, we really rebounded well,” said Luchsinger, Homer doing a lot of damage off the offensive glass. “There’s no mystery why we took so many free throws. When we got the ball inside we took it to the rack. We were aggressive going to the basket.”
Luchsinger was especially pleased to see 6-foot-5 junior center Mike Carboine and 6-foot-2 senior forward Joe May asserting themselves driving to the basket. Carboine finished with 16 points and May added 10. “It opens everything up for the other guys,” said Luchsinger, as 10 different Trojans contributed points including 13 from senior Tristan Hartnett.
Jake Andrews and Derrick McCall added eight points apiece, Luchsinger was really pleased with the performance of McCall, Jon Morrison and Steve Schillo off the bench. And Homer enthusiasm has never been a problem, Luchsinger saying: “These kids_really give an effort and it really shows up_on defense.”
Homer used a 23-point second quarter scoring spurt to take a 35-30 lead into halftime, a margin that held up through the second half.
Jordan-Elbridge (0-5) was led by Nick Chartrand with 18 points, including a trio of 3-point connections. Neil Recckio tossed in 12 points, while Tyler Williams and Jason Coleman finished with 10 apiece.
Homer hosts Mexico on Friday, the junior varsity game getting things underway at_5:30 p.m.
HOMER JVs overcame some foul trouble and defeated Jordan-Elbridge for the second time this season, coming up with a 48-42_victory.
Coach Chip Stewart did lament a slow start in this road outing, though the Trojans (4-1) were able to improve on a 19-17 halftime lead and came up with 17 fourth quarter points against the Eagles.
Aaron Darr did the most damage for Homer, scoring 19 points and pulling down a bunch of rebounds in the victory. Christian Berlound topped J-E with 10 points.



Trojans have six named first team West all-stars

Staff Writer

Using the team approach helped Homer Central post another solid 5-1 record against fellow Section 3 Football B-West football foes in 2006 and a strong 7-2 record capped by another Section 3 semifinal playoff appearance.
This success did not go unnoticed as the Trojans placed a total of 15 players in the B-West All-Star roster. Six players were named to the first-team, a handful more were second-team selections and four additional Trojans earned honorable mention status.
Only B-West champion Westhill matched the same total of first and second team selections. The Warriors had eight honorable mentions. Jordan-Elbridge and Marcellus each spread 14 players through the all-star first-team, second-team and honorable mention rosters.
Mark Brenchley led the Homer contingent of B-West First-Team_Offensive All-Stars as the senior tailback capped an outstanding  eason with one 400-yard game and two 300-yard rushing efforts against_division foes.
Other Trojan first-team offensive all-stars were senior linemen Mike DiOrio and Zach Morgan, plus junior tight end Mike Carboine.
Rounding out the B-West First-Team Offensive All-Stars were senior quarterback Dan Fetter, senior receiver Jim Ross, junior running back Dale Ross and junior receiver Jake Burgess from Westhill; senior quarterback Pat Keegan, senior placekicker Ryan Novak and junior receiver Jeff Watson of Marcellus; Jordan-Elbridge senior receiver Matt Willsey and junior running back Joe Poppe; Solvay senior quarterback P.J. Albrigo and junior receiver Michael Acchione; Phoenix junior running back Paul Raymond and Skaneateles senior receiver Linus Walton.
Two Homer seniors head the B-West First-Team Defensive All-Star line-up. Trojan linebacker Jon Morrison and defensive back Tristan Hartnett were the honorees.
Other B-West First-Team Defensive All-Stars were senior linebackers Joe Bright and Joe Epstein, senior lineman Lee Meyers and junior lineman Tom Trendowski of Westhill; senior defensive back David Canfield and senior linebacker Mike McSweeney from Marcellus; senior lineman Jonathan Deacy and junior lineman Thane Green from Skaneateles; senior linebackers John Mossotti and Victory Young, Jr. of Solvay; and Phoenix senior lineman Chris Willett.
Gary Griffo from Westhill is named the B-West Coach of the Year.
Homer junior trio of lineman Chris Crossway, lineman Kyle Sandy and running back Will Connery topped the B-West Second-Team Offense. Connery was slated to be a second-team defensive back, but the spots were filled and the coaches asked for Connery to still be considered as a second-teamer by moving him to an offensive position.
Other offensive second-team picks included the Jordan-Elbridge trio of senior running back Jake Bandera, senior receiver James Simmons and junior offensive lineman Cameron Hempler; Marcellus senior running back Joe Manitta and senior receiver Alex Skvarch; Skaneateles junior lineman Ken Dean and junior running back Matt Wood; senior running back Travis Hughes and sophomore lineman Adam Smith of Phoenix; Solvay junior running back Ben Carl and junior lineman Tom Goslowski; plus Westhill senior lineman_Brett Leonard.
Trojan senior linemen Trevor O’Gorman and Elijah Vaber topped the B-West Second-Team Defensive All-Star list.
Joining the Homer duo were Jordan-Elbridge senior linebackers Tom Guadagnolo and R.J. Metz; junior linebacker Andy Caster and junior defensive back Dan Knickerbocker from Marcellus; senior linebacker Win Wickwire, senior linebacker Josh Sherman and sophomore defensive back Matt Wild of Skaneateles; Phoenix senior linebacker Alex Hayes; senior linemen Darrin Carriotti and Jaquan Hines, plus junior defensive back Jesse Dineen from Solvay; along with sophomore defensive back Mike DeCarr and junior defensive back Matt Noonan of Westhill.
Among the honorable mentions from Homer were senior Dylan Calale, junior Franco Girodano, junior Jake Smith and sophomore_K.J. Reese.


Wood, Pitcher shine for CHS

Staff Writer

Two Cortland High players, senior fullback Jon Wood and junior offensive tackle Matt Pitcher, were recently named to the Section 3 Class A American Division football all-star first team in voting by league coaches.
League champion East Syracuse-Minoa placed seven players, all seniors, on the first team, including receiver Sean Halligan, defensive back Zachery Moss, offensive lineman Corey Marko, defensive end Adam Walsh, offensive lineman Keith Norton, linebacker Nick Kolod and defensive back Jon Kravetz. Spartans coach Kevin DeParde won the Terry Coffman Coach of the Year Award.
Representing runner-up Fulton on the first team are senior offensive lineman Adam Kinney and his brother, junior linebacker Drew, as well as seniors Collin France (defensive end), Mitch Smith (linebacker), Cameron Cotton (running back) and Matt Draper (defensive back).
Mexico’s first-teamers are senior linebacker Travis Ladd, junior defensive back Ron Majerus, senior offensive lineman Steve Deland, senior running back Derrick Allen and senior linebacker Greg Casbeer. Seniors Chris Daddario (defensive back), Vinny Graham (receiver), tight end George Kingma (tight end), junior linebacker Travis Suppes and senior kicker Mike Centra are Jamesville-DeWitt’s first-team honorees, with Chittenango represented by senior running back Scott Corp, senior defensive back T.J. Atkins and junior offensive lineman Mike Benderski.
Oswego, a provisional member of the league which came down from AA in an effort to improve its program, has two seniors — running back Rick Pritchard and linebacker Will Falgherile — on the first team.
Second-team honors went to Purple Tiger seniors Kaywon Pittman (receiver) and Codi Clayton (kicker). ES-M’s second-teamers are senior defensive end Mike Gavenda, junior quarterback Mick Letcher, junior running back Matt Cushing, senior linebacker Paul Lepkowski and junior offensive lineman Jeff Lamphier.
Fulton placed senior defensive back Dan Johnson, junior quarterback Mike Clark, junior defensive lineman Ryan Barton, junior offensive lineman Rich Walberger, senior linebacker Andy Chapman and junior offensive lineman Conan Ingham on the second team.
Also on that squad are, from Mexico, junior defensive end Andrew Fisher, senior receiver Josh Matteson, junior offensive lineman Phil Hayden, junior running back Tyler Peter and senior defensive lineman Justin Timbello and, from J-D, senior linebacker Matt Fiacco, junior defensive lineman Jared Nies, senior defensive lineman Joe Jocko and senior defensive back Jake Valentino.
Rounding out the second team are junior linebacker Jeff Hayes and senior defensive backs Chris Galli and Jeff Richardson from Chittenango and Oswego’s Mike Burger, a senior defensive lineman, and Jeremy Linn, a junior quarterback.
Cortland’s honorable mentions were senior safety Jay Hartnett, senior running back-linebacker Derek Goodwin, junior offensive lineman-linebacker Brad Rodgers, junior two-way lineman Keith Sherman and sophomore end-linebacker Will Fickenscher.