Rushing and scoring sensation Kenny Youngs of Lansingburgh High School has been named the state Class A football Player of the Year by the New York State Sportswriters Association.
Youngs is joined on the Class A first team by a pair of superb defensive players in Lansingburgh linebacker Chris Sawyer and Amsterdam safety Vinnie Nicosia. Guilderland’s versatile Andrew Smith landed a spot on the Class AA second-team defense.
Fifteen Section II large-school athletes were honored by the state sportswriters association, with Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake defensive end Alex Palkovic and Amsterdam kicker Joe Ellis Flint gaining second-team Class A honors. The Class B, Class C and Class D all-state teams were released last week.
Youngs produced over 1,000 rushing yards for the fourth straight season, finishing with 1,991 yards and 28 touchdowns for the first-time state finalists. The senior wingback, a Daily Gazette first-team all-star, also caught two touchdown passes and returned a fumble for another.
The 5-10, 190-pound Youngs rushed for over 100 yards nine times, and gained over 200 on three occasions, including a 233-yard, five-touchdown effort in a state semifinal win over Ossining.
“I gave him the ball, and he produced,” said Lansingburgh coach Pete Porcelli. “He’s an unbelievable mixture of speed, power and elusiveness.”
Youngs rushed for 5,404 yards in his career, ranking second in the Section II record book to former Lansingburgh star and 2003 state Class B Player of the Year Kareem Jones (6,092 yards). With Youngs in its lineup, Lansingburgh reached four sectional title games, won two of them, and put together a 38-7
Youngs is Section II’s second player of the year in three seasons, with Amsterdam quarterback T.J. Czeski (Class A) gaining the award following the Rugged Rams’ state-championship run in 2005.
Sawyer anchored the Lansingburgh defense, and totaled 97 solo tackles, 78 assists and two interceptions, including a last-second clincher in a regional win over Indian River. The 6-1, 225-pound senior was twice tabbed the Section II Class A Division II Outstanding Defensive Player, and is a two-time Gazette first-team All-Area performer.
“I can’t put it in words how much he meant to our team. He’s every coaches’ dream,” Porcelli said. “He works hard in and out of season. He’s a leader, and a great football player. Smart and hard-hitting. Just a tough cookie.”
Nicosia was superb in his third season as a two-way starter and special team’s ace, and along with Youngs, was previously selected the Section II Class A Division II co-Player of the Year. Nicosia
recorded 78 tackles, intercepted five passes and forced three fumbles from his defensive safety position.
“He has a great feel for the game. He was our defensive quarterback. He made all of our adjustments, and he made plays,” Amsterdam coach Pat Liverio said of the 6-foot-1
senior. “He anticipates well from his centerfield position, and be brings it. He’s a hitter.”
A two-time Daily Gazette first-team pick, Nicosia caught 41 passes for 604 yards and four touchdowns, returned a pair of kickoffs 85 and 80 yards for touchdowns, and also returned a punt 64 yards for a score. As a punter, he averaged 42 yards per attempt.
“On offense, we tried to get the ball in his hands as much as possible,” Liverio said. “When he got going, we got going.”
Nicosia was among the key performers at the Section II
Senior All-Star game with a 99-yard touchdown return after a missed field goal, and a 26-yard scoring reception.
Smith stood out at quarterback and in the defensive secondary during Guilderland’s run to the Section II Class AA championship game. The senior was selected the Gazette’s Offensive Player of the Year, and the Section II Empire
Division Player of the Year. Bound for the University at Albany, he tied a school record with six interceptions, and rushed for 940 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Offense — Gary Chrys, Niskayuna,
senior, line (third); Devin Van Auken, Guilderland, junior, line (third); Marquis Terrell, LaSalle, junior, running back (fourth).
Defense — Andrew Smith, Guilderland, senior, halfback (second team); Jim Schwendtner, Shenendehowa, senior, linebacker (third); Pete Stanish, Guilderland, senior, linebacker (fourth).
Offense — Kenny Youngs, Lansingburgh, senior, running back (first, Player of the Year); Jeremy Jordan, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, senior, line (third); Paul Layton, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, junior, quarterback (third); NyQuan McGirt, Lansingburgh,
senior, running back (third).
Defense — Chris Sawyer, Lansingburgh, senior, linebacker (first); Vinnie Nicosia, Amsterdam, senior, halfback (first); Alex Palkovic, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, senior, line (second); Joe Ellis Flint, Amsterdam, senor, kicker (second); Bunduka Kargbo, Bishop Maginn, junior, halfback (third).
Freshman guard Derrick Millinghaus has been taking advantage of his increased minutes with the Schenectady boys’ basketball team.
Coming off the bench Tuesday night, the 5-foot-9 Millinghaus scored a season-high 14 points to go along with six rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals in a
48-38 loss to Christian Brothers Academy.
“He’s very quick. He can really go,” CBA coach Dave Doemel said afterward. “I liked the way he penetrated and kicked it off. He was getting shots for his teammates.”
Millinghaus has scored in
double digits four times, including a
13-point effort in a win over LaSalle and a 10-point showing in a win over Shenendehowa.
“He gives us energy off the bench,” said Schenectady coach Mark Sausville. “Every team needs that.”
Cohoes senior Courtney Galuski set a state record and tied a national record with 15 three-point baskets last week in a 91-36 Colonial Council win over Schalmont.
Galuski scored 45 points in the game, sinking five threes in the opening quarter, three in each of the next two quarters, and four more in the final period. Galuski was 8-for-10 from long range in the first half, and finished 15-for-25.
Maureen O’Malley (Taylor Light and Life, Michigan) set the national three-point record with 15 in 1998, according to the National High School Sports Record Book. Ashley Hutchcraft (Guy-Perkins, Ark., 1999) and Meganlyn Mosger (Farmington, N.H, 2004) also fired in 15 threes.
The Scotia-Glenville girls’ basketball team surpassed its victory total from last season with a 46-45 Foothills Council triumph over Johnstown Tuesday night.
Senior Gina Cappuccitti sank the game-winning free throw, and came up with a clutch steal in the final seconds as second-year coach Regan Burns’ Tartans improved to 5-7 overall, after an 0-4 start. The Tartans went 4-16 last season, and 6-15 in 2005-06. Their last winning season was in 2002-03, at 11-10.
Scotia-Glenville has won three of its last four league games to climb to 5-2, and has a key home game with Foothills leader Hudson Falls (5-1, 7-3) Saturday. Hudson Falls already owns a 49-37 win over Scotia-Glenville.
The Niskayuna boys’ bowling team set a school record by knocking down 4,112 pins in a 27-5 Suburban Council win over Ballston Spa Tuesday. Matt Adamec (747), Ryan Harper (710) and Brian Loudermilk (704) paced the Silver Warriors.
raiders excel at relays
Colonie’s Steve Crouse remained unbeaten in the triple jump at
major meets this winter, winning the event with an effort of 47-71⁄4 at last weekend’s Dartmouth Relays.
Crouse also placed first in the long jump (21-111⁄2), while teammate Nick Santos set a school record and placed second in the 600-meter run (1:22.36). Santos’ time is fifth all-time in Section II.
Colonie won the 4×200 in 1:34.67 with Jim Kehrer, Matt June, Drew Rivera and Ryan Nolan, and also won the 4×800 with Joe Emory, Tyler Stewart, Derrick Ingleston and Santos. Stewart placed second in the 1,000 (2:36.19), and Kehrer placed third in the 55 hurdles (7.65).
Shenendehowa edged Colonie for the team title, 70-69, and Shaker was third.
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