Schenectady football players are giving the high school’s newly installed synthetic turf at Larry Mulvaney Field a thumbs-up.
“It feels real good,” senior two-way lineman Shawn Ford said late last week, after working out on the TurfField surface with some of his teammates. “I can’t wait to play on it.”
“It’s beautiful,” added Amre Osman, another senior lineman. “Just beautiful.”
Schenectady’s defending Class AA Liberty Division championship team will be playing three of its seven regular-season games at home, starting Friday night, Sept. 4, against Albany. Home games are also scheduled for Sept. 25 against Bethlehem and Oct. 2 against Colonie.
“The whole team appreciates it,” said senior Johnathon Ramirez, who will be vying for playing time at offensive tackle and defensive end. “It’s something to look at and be proud of.”
Schenectady’s red, white and blue colors are prominent on the field, with a large “S” emblazoned at the center, and the end zones marked with “Schenectady” at one end and “Patriots” at the other.
“Last year, we didn’t have a logo on the field,” said Dylan Bates, a junior lineman. “When we win, people will know who we are. I like that.”
The addition of artificial turf and a new surface for the surrounding track is part of a capital project school district voters approved in 2007. Installation of the track is expected to begin in the next few weeks.
“The field is all set,” said Steve Boynton, Schenectady’s assistant athletic director. “It’s playable, and ready to go.”
The only missing pieces are the goalposts. Boynton said they are on school grounds and will be installed soon, along with new energy- efficient lights, and plans for rest room facilities near the field are in the works.
“There’s a buzz going around,” Boynton said. “A lot of people are talking about the upgrades taking place.”
Schenectady will play five regular-season games on turf fields this season. The Patriots, under first-year head coach Jim Kramer, travel to Shenendehowa Sept. 11 for the first game on the new turf at Brent Steuerwald Stadium. They will also play Oct. 9 on Columbia’s turf, which was first put to use last year.
Stillwater will host the first football game on its new turf field Sept. 4 against Cambridge.
Football practice for New York’s varsity and junior varsity football teams begins today. Schenectady teams will be working out at Mont Pleasant Middle School.
Kehn among inductees
Don Kehn, who quarterbacked Section II’s only 13-0 football team in 1996, and Kevin Yanni, Pete Torncello and Andre Cook, each a 1,000-point scorer in basketball, will be among 17 inductees into the Watervliet High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
Fourteen athletes, three coaches and contributor George Roe will be honored Saturday, Oct. 17, during Watervliet’s homecoming football game, and again the following day at the formal induction ceremony at Michael’s Banquet House in Latham. Ticket information can be obtained by contacting the Watervliet athletic department.
Kehn led Watervliet to a 24-1 mark in his two seasons as a varsity starter, and holds school records for touchdown passes (52), passing yards (3,299) and completions (229). After the Cannoneers’ state title run in 1996, he led them to the state semifinals the following year.
Watervliet HOF Inductees
Coaches: *Donald Hill, 1946-1966, soccer; *Thomas Jones, 1938-1975, football, soccer, basketball, baseball, athletic director; *Walt Nash, 1950-1970, football, track, Girl’s Athletic Association. Contributor: *George Roe, 1954. Athletes: Kim Bonesteel, 1987, soccer, basketball, softball; *Jerry Connors, 1976, football, wrestling, baseball; Andre Cook, 1990, basketball, baseball; Jeff DiNuzzo, 1986, soccer, baseball; *Dick Foglia, 1956, football, track; Brian Fruscio, 1986, football, basketball, baseball; Rich Fruscio, 1969, football, track, tennis, baseball; *Bob Harris, 1947, football, baseball, track; Keith Heid, 1994, football, basketball, baseball; Don Kehn, 1998, football, baseball; John Kennedy, 1949, football, soccer, basketball, baseball, track; Peter Torncello, 1980, soccer, basketball, baseball; Kevin Yanni, 1999, soccer, basketball, tennis. *Posthumously.
Niskayuna among elite
Inside Lacrosse magazine put out its list of the nation’s top 25 boys’ high school lacrosse programs for 2009 this week, with Niskayuna taking the No. 8 position, and seven teams from the state of New York among the first 13.
Niskayuna went 24-1, losing only to No. 7 Canandaigua (22-2) in the state Class B title game. State Class A champ West Islip (22-1) is No. 1 on the list, and state Class C champ Manhassett (20-1) is No. 3. The complete list can be found on the magazine’s Web site (see LacrosseForums.com).