Fordians’ coach Jesmain steps down to spend time with his family

As a baseball, football and wrestling coach, Bob Jesmain has spent many years watching boys particip
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As a baseball, football and wrestling coach, Bob Jesmain has spent many years watching boys participate in athletics. Now, it’s time to watch some girls play ball, he said, and one in particular.

“I’ve been involved in coaching for 16 years. It’s my family time now,” said Jesmain, who has stepped down as the varsity baseball coach at Waterford-Halfmoon after a 12-year run. “It’s important to me. I’ve known a lot of guys who missed out, and I didn’t want to be one of them.”

Jesmain said he’s looking forward to following the athletic exploits of his 5-year-old daughter, Lauren.

“I missed eight of her soccer games this spring because of baseball commitments, and I thought about that a lot,” said the 38-year-old Jesmain. “I’ll be back some day, but my daughter is a priority, and I want to watch her grow up. Whatever route she takes, I’ll be there.”

Jesmain was there in the worst of times for Waterford-Halfmoon baseball, and led the Fordians to their greatest achievements. His 2000 team went 1-18, and the next year, the Fordians won the first of three Section II championships.

“When I first got here, we were at the bottom,” said the Mechanicville High School graduate. “It took us a few years, but we turned it around. I credit it to a combination of hard work and good athletes. The guys bought into what I wanted them to do.”

Jesmain’s 12 teams put together a 178-94 record, won four Central Hudson Valley League titles and those three sectional crowns. The Fordians went 16-5 in 2001 following their one-win campaign, including a 10-0 victory over Heatly in the Class D championship game.

That win by a group Jesmain affectionately called his “Dirty Dozen” gave the school its first Section II baseball banner, and its most unlikely of the three. Waterford-Halfmoon successfully defended its Class D title in 2002 with an 8-4 win against Fort Edward, and prevailed again at that level in 2005.

“I had six kids show up in the gym on our first day of tryouts,” Jesmain told the Daily Gazette in 2001, following a 5-4 regional loss to Parishville-Hopkinton. “I told the kids we had that they’d better go ask their friends if they wanted to play baseball, because otherwise, we weren’t going to have a season.”

The 2005 season was the best in Waterford-Halfmoon’s baseball history, with the Fordians going 26-0 behind Chad McCormick, Matt Nielsen, Kyle Williams, Harry Martel, Dave Bennett, Jeremy Terry and Justin Terry, among others, before an 8-3, 10-inning loss to Edmeston in the state semifinals.

The Fordians spent six weeks as the No. 1-ranked small-school team in the state that year. They edged Fort Edward in the sectional final on McCormick’s two-out, seventh-inning RBI single, 4-3, before beating Chateaugay and Crown Point in the regionals to earn a state final four spot for the first time.

“That was a great ride. We had great kids that year,” said Jesmain. “The only team that beat us was Edmeston, and they were also 26-0 coming into that game and 52-1 over two seasons.”

Each of Jesmain’s last nine teams qual­ified for the playoffs and won at least 12 games. His 2003 (Class D) and 2008 (Class C) teams made it to the sectional semifinals, and his last team finished 19-5 after a 6-1 loss to Fort Plain in the Class C title game.

“I’m going to miss a lot of things, but most of all, the relationships you build with the kids,” Jesmain said. “That’s going to be the hardest part. That’s what it’s all about.”

Red Raiders honored

Sophomore Anna Arceneaux, who helped propel Mechanicville to its sixth state championship this decade with her pitching, hitting and defense, has been selected the Class B co-Player of the Year by the New York State Sportswriters and Coaches Organization for Girls Sports.

Mechanicville’s pitching ace and second baseman shared the award with Poly Prep shortstop Stephanie Caso. Arceneaux was tabbed the state Class C Player of the Year as a freshman.

Arceneaux went 17-1 on the mound with a 1.65 earned run average and 174 strikeouts, and hit .472 with 27 runs batted in. She is joined on the first team by Mechanicville freshman third baseman/shortstop Alysa Russell. Three other Red Raiders made all-state teams, and head coach Don Arceneaux was selected the state Class B co-Coach of the Year with Marlboro’s Jonnah O’Donnell.

Mechanicville (25-5-1), with no seniors on its roster, won its second consecutive state championship and third since 2005.

Troy senior shortstop Shannon Jones was named to the all-state Class AA first team for the second time after batting .543 with 29 RBI and eight home runs.

All-State

Class AA: Shannon Jones, Troy, 12, shortstop (first team); Jena Servidone, Columbia, 11, pitcher (second); Amanda Ferro, Shenendehowa, 12, pitcher/outfield (fourth); Casey Madden, Saratoga Springs, 12, second base (fourth); Caitlyn Schultze, Queensbury, 12, catcher (fourth); Mary Beth Dombrowski, Bethlehem, 10, shortstop (fifth); Shannon Dougherty, Columbia, 12, catcher (sixth).

Class A: Erin Glikes, Lansingburgh, 12, pitcher (second); Leanne Merchant, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, 12, catcher (second); Alexa Toole, South Glens Falls, 10, shortstop (third); Sarah Cipperly, Lansingburgh, 11, shortstop (third); Megan Volz, Lansingburgh, 10, catcher (fourth); Maddy Wheeler, South Glens Falls, 10, pitcher (fourth); Alli Pullen, Ichabod Crane, 12, shortstop (fifth).

Class B: Anna Arceneaux, Mechanicville, 10, pitcher/second base (first, co-Player of the Year); Alysa Russell, Mechanicville, 9, third base/shortstop (first); Shannon McBride, Mechanicville, 11, shortstop/pitcher (second); Kelsey Hines, Mechanicville, 10, third base/second base (third); Aleshia Link, Taconic Hills, 11, pitcher (third); Bridgette Plummer, Schuylerville, 12, first base (fourth); Samantha Harrison, Cobleskill-Richmondville, 11, pitcher (fourth); Abby Maiello, Mechanicville, 9, outfield (fifth).

Class C: Rachel Quackenbush, Hoosic Falls, 9, pitcher (first); Colby Hochmuth, Duanesburg, 12, pitcher (second); Katelyn Callahan, Lake George, 11, pitcher (second); Aly Sanders, Duanesburg, 12, shortstop (third); Jenna Priore, Hoosick Falls, 11, shortstop (third); Samantha Anderson, Hoosic Valley, 12, outfield (fourth); Katie Carenger, Waterford-Halfmoon, 12, pitcher (fourth).

Class D: Carissa Phillips, Germantown, 10, pitcher (first); Suzy Wright, Germantown, 12, second base (second); Jackie Petteys, Hartford, 11, pitcher (second); Taylor Davis, Fort Ann, 12, second base (third).

McKinney scores

Midfielder Dan McKinney of Niskayuna had a goal and an assist in the North’s 19-16 loss to the South at the recent Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Classic at Towson University’s Johnny Unitas Stadium.

McKinney, who was the first Section II male to compete in the 4-year-old event, scored with five minutes left in the fourth quarter to get his team within 18-16.

A two-time US Lacrosse All-American and four-time Section II champion, McKinney will play at Georgetown University.

Defenseman Jack Reilly of Christian Brothers Academy, goalkeeper Amanda Santandrea of Guilderland and midfielder Erin Mossop of Guilderland competed for Upstate New York in the underclassmen games at the Under Armour event. Reilly’s team went 3-0 in pool play before losing to Long Island, 8-5, in the finals.

Categories: High School Sports

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