Spartans win first New York state All-Sport championship

The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake athletic department has a couple of more championships to add to its v

The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake athletic department has a couple of more championships to add to its vast collection.

“We continue to put out strong teams. It’s not one program or two,” said the high school’s athletic director, Bob McGuire, after the Spartans were declared the overall winner of the inaugural New York State Sportswriters Association All-Sport Champ­ionship. “There’s a sign down the road that says we’re a community of champions. We are.”

The sportswriters’ association calculated points earned in 14 boys’ and 13 girls’ sports at New York State Public High School Athletic Association tournaments and championship meets during the fall, winter and spring. Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake was both the combined (boys and girls) Class A winner, and combined overall winner among the five classes, with 49.33 points, beating out Honeoye Falls-Lima (45.17) in both categories.

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake picked up 15 points apiece from its state-winning boys’ and girls’ cross country teams, and 10 points from its state runner-up football team. The Spartans also gained points with a third place in girls’ volleyball and a fifth place in girls’ alpine skiing.

“The honor is outstanding. There are a lot of great feelings in the community because of this,” said McGuire, who in 14 years as BH-BL’s athletic director has seen the school accumulate 15 state team championships. “Hard work pays off.”

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake captured 11 Section II team titles this school year, including eight in the fall. Aside from sweeping the boys’ and girls’ cross country titles, the Spartans claimed both volleyball championships in the fall, and in the spring, they won both track and field crowns.

“Our fall has been absolutely tremendous every year, but we’re not too bad in the winter and spring, either. We have a lot of good athletes for each season,” said McGuire. “I believe all but a couple of our teams finished first or second in the section.”

The Spartans secured 12 Section II team championships in 2008-09, and that consistent success, McGuire said, is a by-product of several factors.

“One program sees another doing well, and they want to do well,” he said. “There’s a little competition there, but it’s good competition. They all support each other. If there’s a game going on, you’ll always see athletes from other teams there.”

Those athletes start young.

“I call it an active-based community,” McGuire said. “Our recreation programs are very strong. Eighty percent of our kids have some kind of involvement, and then they take it to the next level, which is high school, where roughly 70 percent of our kids are involved in athletics.”

As a member of the Suburban Council, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake athletes compete against primarily Class AA schools during regular-season play.

“All of the schools in the Suburban Council have very good programs, and when we play the Shenendehowas, Saratogas, Col­onies and Shakers, they’re two or three times our size,” McGuire said. “Our philosophy is to be compet­itive with those schools, which we are, and when we face schools our size [in sectional and state events], it helps us out.”

The school has 32 athletic programs, 21 of which are backed by booster clubs.

“It takes a lot of support to get to this point,” said McGuire. “We have great coaches. Our teachers work closely with the kids. The administration does a good job of backing us, as do the parents. Several of our teams are self-funded, and it takes a strong effort by many to keep things going forward.”

Maple Hill also fared quite well in the All-Sport Championship, winning the Class C combined and Class C boys’ titles with 30 and 27.5 points, respectively. Shenendehowa placed fifth in the Class AA combined group with 26.5 points, and is third on the Class AA boys’ list with 22 points.

Schultz top player

Senior Jaime Schultz of state baseball champion Maple Hill has been selected the Class C Player of the Year by the New York State Sportswriters Association.

Twenty-five Section II players were honored by the NYSSA, including eight Class AA athletes led by first-teamer Nolan Gaige of state semifinalist Columbia. Josh Neth­away of Fonda-Fultonville made the Class B first team, and Nick Papas of Maple Hill joined Schultz on the Class C first team.

Maple Hill’s Rico Frese was named the Class C Coach of the Year after guiding the Wildcats (19-8) to their first sectional title since 2000, and first state banner.

Schultz went 10-3 with a 1.57 earned run average while recording 157 strikeouts in 71 innings. He pitched a pair of no-hitters in the regular season, and also notched wins in the Section II title game and in the state semifinals. The four-year varsity performer batted .560 with 10 home runs and 46 runs batted in.

Among the second-team all-state picks were Bryan Marotta of Shenendehowa and Kyle Charron of LaSalle (Class AA), Robert Tedesco of Section II champ Mohonasen (Class A), Shane Matthews of Section II titlist Saratoga Catholic (Class B) and Mark Han­ifin of Section II kingpin Fort Plain (Class C).


Class AA: Nolan Gaige, Columbia, 12, pitcher/outfield (first team); Kyle Charron, LaSalle, 12, third base/pitcher (second); Bryan Marotta, Shenendehowa, 12, catcher (second); Michael Hughes, Albany, 12, pitcher (third); Mike Fish, Bethlehem, 12, outfield (third); Brandon Cogswell, Shenendehowa, 10, shortstop (fourth); Patrick Puentes, Columbia, 12, outfield (sixth); Chris Sand, CBA, 12, first base (seventh).

Class A: Robert Tedesco, Mohonasen, 12, pitcher (second); Jordan Zareski, Lansingburgh, 12, pitcher/first base (third); Jared Teta, Lansingburgh, 12, outfield (fourth); Kyle McKelvey, Schalmont, 12, shortstop (fifth).

Class B: Josh Nethaway, Fonda-Fultonville, 12, utility (first); Shane Matthews, Saratoga Catholic, 12, outfield (second); Brian Gauthier, Chatham, 12, pitcher/catcher (third); Justin Brantley, Hudson, 12, pitcher/shortstop (third); Joe Boomhower, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk, 12, outfield/pitcher (fifth).

Class C: Jaime Schultz, Maple Hill, 12, pitcher/shortstop/outfield (first, Player of the Year); Nick Papas, Maple Hill, 12, outfield/pitcher (first); Mark Hanifin, Fort Plain, 11, outfield/pitcher (second); Dan Wiecek, Fort Plain, 12, pitcher (third); Jake Nelson, Lake George, 12, catcher (third); Peter Gaibrois, Lake George, 12, utility (fourth).

Class D: Joe Shevy, Fort Ann, 12, shortstop (second); R.J. Gallup, Schenectady Christian, 12, shortstop/pitcher (third).

Flora tops Meade , Lupo

Senior attackman Dan Flora set a Schenectady single-season lacrosse record for goals scored this spring with 64.

Aaron Lupo scored 63 goals for Schenectady as a junior in 2007, and Pat Meade had 63 for the Patriots as both a junior and senior, in 2001 and 2002. Flora was tied with the two All-Americans when he notched a goal in Schenectady’s final game of the season, a 7-5 Section II Class A quarterfinal loss to Christian Brothers Academy.

Flora totaled 167 goals in his four-year career to move past Meade (154) and into second place on Schenectady’s all-time list. Lupo piled up 200 goals, which is also the Section II record.

Flora finished with 74 points as a senior, and had 213 points in his career. The first-team Big 10 all-star will continue his career at Western New England College.

Niskayuna records

Niskayuna’s state Class B runner-up boys’ lacrosse team set several program records this spring, including its most victories with 24, its most goals scored with 325 and its fewest goals allowed with 65.

The 24 wins were the most by any team in the state this season, and a Section II record, as well. Niskayuna also set a program record with its 2.6 goals surrendered per game.

Jared Franze set an individual Niskayuna record with 78 goals, and fellow All-American Dan Mc­Kinney set another with 70 assists.

Niskayuna’s Mike Vorgang increased his Section II record for coaching victories to 248 in 16 seasons. His teams have captured 13 straight Suburban Council div­ision titles, nine Section II championships (five in a row) and three regional crowns while winning two state semifinal games.

Niskayuna beat Sayville in this season’s state semifinals, 15-8, before sustaining its only loss to Canandaigua, 10-5.

Academic All-Americans

Twenty-three girls from Section II have been named Adirondack Region Academic All-Americans by US Lacrosse, the sport’s national governing body.

The group includes Bridget Daley of state Class A runner-up Guilderland and Shaker’s Caroline Rehfuss, who were also selected US Lacrosse All-Americans based on their superb play. That is one factor in the academic award, with the others being excellent sportsmanship, high scholastic achievement and significant school or com­munity service.

Academic All-Americans

Amanda Best, Amy Branchini, Corinne Chatnik, Bridget Daley, Courtney Davis (Guilderland); Rachel Burek (Columbia); Hannah Busman, Hannah Carroll (Scotia-Glenville); Lisa Cassidy, Samantha Gorman, Kayla Lawrence, Colleen Sweeney (Ballston Spa); Lexi Dalcol, Caroline Rehfuss (Shaker); Kim Elsworth (Shenendehowa); Teegan Kelley (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake); Lauren Kros (Colonie); Noelle Ohanesian, Sarah Ohanesian, Jenny Porter (Emma Willard); Alexandra Radcliff (Niskayuna); Kristyn Powell, Morgan Powell (Saratoga Springs).

Knights tab McNall

Al McNall, the defensive coordinator during Lansingburgh’s greatest run of football success, has been selected the high school’s new varsity coach.

McNall replaces Pete Porcelli, who last month stepped down at Lansingburgh after eight seasons to take the head coaching position at Albany. Behind Porcelli’s double-wing offense and McNall’s defensive schemes, the Knights went 67-19 in those eight years, won three division championships and four Section II titles (Class A and Class B) in six opportunities.

Lansingburgh reached the state Class B semifinals in 2002 and 2005, and in 2007, made it to the state Class A final before losing to Aquinas. That team, and the school’s 2002 squad, both won 11 games.

Lansingburgh posted a 4-5 record in 2008.


St. Johnsville will combine with Section III’s Oppenheim-Ephratah for the upcoming soccer season.

The boys will be coached by Travis Heiser, and Zale Benton will coach the girls.

The boys’ combined team will play home games at O-E and wear St. Johnsville uniforms. The girls’ combined team will play home game at St. Johnsville, wearing O-E uniforms.

The two schools will also combine for baseball and softball, at all levels, and for modified boys and girls’ basketball.

The Adirondack League has also voted to accept Bolton as a member of the boys’ and girls’ soccer leagues, beginning in the fall. The Eagles move from Section VII’s Mountain Valley Athletic Conference.


Several members of the Beth­lehem Knights 1991 Premier soccer team, coached by Union College men’s coach Jeff Guinn, have announced their college decisions.

Class C all-state goalkeeper Lee Fenner of Voorheesville will be attending Hartwick. Fenner is a member of the Region 1 Olympic Development Program.

Other players and their choices include: Drew Altieri, Voorheesville, Mount St. Mary’s; Jovan Carpino, CBA, St. Lawrence; Zach Fane, Lansingburgh, RPI; Adam Gray, Schalmont, SUNY-Oswego; Ryan Kelly, Ballston Spa, RPI; Jeremy Kelsey, Saratoga Springs, RPI; Tommy Klim, Bethlehem, Union; Cody Kessler, Binghamton, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy; Harrison Lane, Bethlehem, SUNY-New Paltz; Joey Miner, Shenendehowa, Siena; Brett Moore, Ballston Spa, Cazenovia; and Kevin Wendth, Bethlehem, Stonehill.

Charron to Iona

Charron will continue his baseball career at Iona College, opting to play for the Gaels of the Metro Athlantic Athletic Conference and coach Pat Carey after considering offers from several Division I programs.

A pitcher, outfielder and third baseman, Charron batted .476 this season with 18 RBI. Due to an inj­ury suffered before the season, the all-state second teamer worked just 24 innings on the mound and went 2-1 with 27 strikeouts while putting together a 1.17 ERA. Charron went 7-1 as a junior and batted .505 for LaSalle’s 27-1 state semifinal team.

here and there

Shaker pitcher Mike Petilli has committed to Division I High Point University in North Carolina, where he’ll be joined by two other Section II baseball standouts, Schultz and Tim Murdick of Averill Park. Petilli participated at the recent Perfect Game Tournament in Georgia, and his fastball was clocked at 88 miles per hour. . . .

Long Island defeated New York City, 31-14, at the recent Empire Challenge senior football game at Hofstra Stadium. Terrell Williams of Hempstead and Miguel Maysonet of Riverhead combined for 234 rushing yards and produced the game’s first and last touchdowns for Long Island. Williams raced 87 yards for a score two plays into the all-star game. .  . .

Section II scholar-athletes honored over the last 17 years by The Sports Foundation have been invited to a pre-game picnic, and will receive on-field recognition at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium on Wednesday. The Tri-City ValleyCats host State College.

Categories: High School Sports

Leave a Reply