As the Mechanicville boys’ basketball team was making its impressive run toward the state Class C championship game, veteran Red Raiders coach Joe Loudis was keeping a secret from them.
“I didn’t want to tell the kids. I didn’t want to detract from what they were doing,” Loudis said Friday. “I talked to my wife [Nancy] about it, and she also thought that was for the best. I’m glad they got all that they deserved.”
On Feb. 27, two days after
Mechanicville had beaten Cambridge in a Section II Class CC semifinal game and three days before its title-game win over Voorheesville, Loudis was told that he had bladder cancer.
“It was a shock,” said Loudis, a Schenectady native and Cohoes resident who recently turned 66. “I’ve had some medical issues before, but when they say the ‘C’ word, it’s really scary.
“They think they got it in the early stages,” added the coach of 30 varsity basketball seasons with Cohoes and Mechanicville. “I’ve got some things I still have to do, but I do plan to come back and coach. Right now, I don’t feel a thing.”
Loudis missed Mechanicville’s 2004-05 season due to heart bypass surgery, and his availability for this season was in jeopardy due to an October bout with pneumonia, in which he suffered lung and kidney failure.
“Since October, they kept following up and doing tests, and they found something,” he said. “Right after the Cambridge game, I was told for sure [about the bladder cancer].”
Loudis had a tumor removed in an operation performed March 19 by Dr. Barry Shuman at Memorial Hospital in Albany. Four days before that, his Mechanicville team had lost to Maple Grove in the state championship game.
“Starting April 21, I go for six Mondays in a row for a flushing to kill the cancer cells. They’ll operate again after that, do a biopsy, to see if it’s all out,” Loudis said.
Loudis led Mechanicville to a
21-6 record this season, after the Red Raiders had gone 6-16 in 2006-07. Mechanicville matched those six wins in this year’s playoffs, which included a Class CC-C playoff win over Rensselaer, a regional win over Ticonderoga and a state semifinal triumph over Friends Academy.
Loudis was inducted into the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame on March 29 at the Glens Falls Civic Center, the same place he took three of his Mechaniville teams to state final fours. His 1996 edition also lost in the title game while his 1995 squad bowed out in the state semifinals.
Loudis won the first of his four Section II championships with
Cohoes in 1973, and also guided the Tigers to seven Colonial Council titles in a 21-season stretch that began in 1967. Cohoes won 293 games under Loudis, whose 422 overall victories rank 10th all-time on the Section II list. No active area boys coach has more victories.
Loudis will be inducted into the Schenectady City School District Athletic Hall of Fame Sept. 8, based on his superb coaching resume and athletic achievements as a four-sport standout at Mont Pleasant High School. He is already enshrined in the hall as a member of the 1954 Schenectady Little League World Championship team.
Katie Duma of Averill Park,
Kayla Ryan of state Class B runner-up Hoosic Valley and Kelly Murphy of Mechanicville have been named to all-state first teams for girls’ basketball.
Duma was honored in Class A after leading the Warriors to the Section II championship, and Murphy was honored in Class C after sparking the Red Raiders’ run to the Section II Class CC title game. Twenty one Section II players in all were honored on the five all-state teams, which were selected by the New York State Sportswriters
Association and the New York State Sportswriters and Coaches Organization for Girls Sports.
Second team honors went to Jessica Walton of Holy Names in Class A and Chanessa Blakemore of Watervliet in Class C. Big 10 most valuable player Brittany Stahura of Amsterdam and Suburban Council Player of the Year Barb Shea of Section II champ Shenendehowa made the Class AA fourth and fifth team, respectively.
Brittany Stahura, Sr., C/F, Amsterdam (fourth team); Barb Shea, Sr., G/F, Shenendehowa (fifth); Megan Gaugler, Sr., G, Amsterdam (seventh); Sheila Dixon, Jr., G, Schenectady (eighth); Meg Olsen, Jr., G, Bethlehem (eighth). Player of Year: Shenise Johnson, Sr., F, Rush-Henrietta.
Katie Duma, Soph., G/F, Averill Park (first); Jessica Walton, Sr., F, Holy Names (second); Georgina Farrow, Jr., F, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (sixth). Player of the Year: Alyson Johnson, 12, G/F, Franklin Academy.
Kayla Ryan, 12, F, Hoosic Valley (first); Sarah Proper, 12, G, Coxsackie-Athens (third); Katie Kollar, 12, G, Johnstown (fifth); Carolyn Houston, 11, F, Hoosic Valley (sixth); Courtney Galuski, 12, G, Cohoes (seventh). Player of the Year: Kaitlin Donohue, 11, G, Nichols.
Kelly Murphy, 12, G, Mechanicville (first); Chanessa Blakemore, 12, F, Watervliet (second); Paige Colfer, 12, F, Watervliet (third); Sarah Child, 12, C/F, Schenectady Christian (fifth); Sarah Timmons, 12, C, Maple Hill (sixth). Player of the Year: Brittany Shields, 12, G, Haldane.
Heather Salerno, 12, G, Argyle (third); Olivia Tomaszewski, Fr., F, Sharon Springs (fourth); Chelsea Paul, 11, G, Northville (seventh). Player of the Year: Brittany Kenyon, 12, G, Hammond.
cba duo on mark
Christian Brothers Academy lacrosse players Andrew Vivian and Dan Sipperly turned in record-setting perfomances in Monday’s 15-9 non-league lacrosse win over Bethlehem.
Vivian, a junior, scored a school-record eight goals, while Sipperly, a Greenwich transfer, established a CBA sophomore record with 11 points on six goals and five assists.
no-no for mIneau
Hoosic Valley senior pitcher Jen Mineau authored her third career opening day no-hitter Thursday, striking out 20, as the 2007 state Class C champs beat Tamarac, 1-0, in a Wasaren League game.
The Fordham-bound Mineau went 22-0 with 390 strikeouts in leading Hoosic Valley to the state title last year (Hoosic Valley is playing in Class B this year). She started that season with a no-hitter, and also began her freshman year with a no-hit performance.