January 21, 2013
I do solemnly swear that.....hold on here. Only one guy is doing that today, except that he had to do it officially yesterday because of that whole Constitution thing. You know, that document that some people only care about when it comes to the fundamental right to have an arsenal. Other rights are optional.
Thank goodness that sports is free of this stuff. All we have to deal with here is demonizing one-time heroes and chastising others who didn't commit any real crime, but hey, we used him as an inspiring story before, so now let's spit him out and treat him like garbage!
Okay, at least with high school sports we mostly avoid this stuff. But there's a whole lot of recent news to digest, even beside the fact that you may have heard that F-M has a new football coach.
Start with the biggest event, wrestling's Section III Dual Meet, which took place Saturday at Cicero-North Syracuse For a long time, this was a glorified Fulton Invitational, but recent years saw some more variety in the results.
This time around, South Jefferson ruled. Having beaten Frontier League rival General Brown in a big Thursday-night meet, the Spartans did so again by an impressive 45-19 margin, this after dismissing the hosts from C-NS, then Cazenovia and Baldwinsville in the earlier rounds. GB knocked off defending champ Phoenix in the semifinals.
On the basketball court, all eyes were on Utica for the Juggler Classic. They got high drama on the boys side, where Liverpool, who had completed a season sweep of C-NS on Friday night, turned around and beat two Brooklyn teams with tremendous clutch play from Hector Oyola, Jeff Edwards, Mike Russo and Caleb Taylor.
To say this spices up Class AA boys hoops is a big understatement. F-M assumed the favorite's role after its tough 69-61 home win over Henninger, all part of a wild Friday that included Liverpool taking out C-NS and sneaky-good Nottingham pulling one out against West Genesee. Not a good week for the Wildcats, when you consider how F-M dropped 13 3-pointers on them last Tuesday, or the Northstars, who squandered a great chance to win at Henninger that same night.
Back to the Juggler Classic, though. Turns out that Utica-Notre Dame's girls had to play in it without much of Emily Durr, who injured her elbow. Without her, the Jugglers had lost to Oneida earlier in the week, and though U-ND fought off Holland Patent in the first round, C-NS was not as sympathetic in the finals.
The Northstars are still the clear Class AA girls favorite, though it hasn't yet faced any of the major challengers, which it will start to do this week when it visits F-M. The Hornets, along with West Genesee, Corcoran, Nottingham and CBA, all have at least partial designs on dethroning C-NS, but it's still a tall order, even if the tall girl that dominated recent years is on the UConn beat now.
Even before the weekend, there was a lot to discuss. Like having no boys hoops unbeaten teams once Clinton had beatne Waterville. Like seeing J-D swept in the regular season by a very happy Cortland side that, with this effort, clearly established itself as the main Class A challenger to Bishop Ludden, though New Hartford and Carthage have something to say about it, too.
Hockey is part of the discussion, too. Many congratulations to C-NS on its first-ever state no. 1 ranking, but even more praise to teaming up with F-M for the Pink the Rink event Thursday night, which could raise $10,000 for the Carol M. Baldwin Foundation and breast cancer research.
As to the game part, the Northstars rallied to pull it out, 4-2, and has its win streak at 14, though the Rome Free Academy rematch still looms Feb. 1 at Kennedy Arena. Then there's Division II, a pure mess with the top four teams - Skaneateles, Oswego, Auburn and New Hartford - separated by just two points in the standings. How big is that Lakers-Bucs game at Allyn Arena later this week?
Going back to girls hoops, there were some amazing individual efforts last week, from Canastota's Shea Foster dropping a school-record 36 points (and needing all of them) to beat Camden to Fabius-Pompey's Kirsten Dodge also getting 36, plus 21 rebounds, to subdue a Weedsport side that saw Abby Marsden earn 25 points.
F-P, Westhill, South Jefferson (who is getting along just fine without injured Austin Stevens) and Oriskany carry on undefeated in girls hoops, as does Morrisville-Eaton in girls volleyball, though Canastota, Tully and ESM are putting up impressive winters, too.
No one seems able to keep up with F-M in indoor track, as the Hornets swept both the boys and girls portions of the Bob Grieve Invitational at SRC Arena. There's still two more cycles of regular-season meets before we hit the league and sectional parts.
We end, though, back at Liverpool, where the boys swimmers took out West Genesee to rise to the top in the CNY Counties League Friday night. Between record-setting diver Dan Roche, Garrett Clarke, Joe Burdo and Dan Hens, the Warriors have quite the quartet, at least too much for the Wildcats to handle, anyway.
All this....and still plenty of regular season left. You'll like it. I swear that, but not solemnly. Someone else, a Mr. Obama, is already doing that today.