BH-BL seeking amendment to volleyball bylaws

A couple of months, ago the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s executive commi
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A couple of months, ago the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s executive committee approved a state tournament for boys’ volleyball, beginning in the fall of 2010.

Right now, Section II is on the outside looking in.

“We worked on getting a state tournament for several years. Now we have it, and we have this come up,” Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake coach and Suburban Council rep­resentative Paul Sander said. “In the constitution of Section II, it says you need to have 10 teams and two leagues [in order to participate in a state tournament]. We’re hoping to can change the wording to ‘or’ instead of ‘and.’ ”

Section II has enough fall teams, with the Suburban Council consisting of 10. That’s the only league, however, that plays in the first third of the school year. Section II’s only other boys’ volleyball league, the Patroon Conference, competes in the winter months.

“We’ve tried to convince them to do that. The state coordinator has tried to convince them, too,” Sander said of the Patroon Conference’s possible move to the fall season. “They’re very well established. They’re very committed to the winter season.”

Sander said the situation will be addressed at a meeting of the Section II executive committee in late September.

“I’m somewhat optimistic it’s going to work out,” said Sander, Section II’s fall representative to the NYSPHSAA boys’ volleyball committee. “If there’s no positive response, I’ll try to do whatever I can.”

The state tournament is scheduled to take place at Cicero-North Syracuse in November 2010. The tournament format has yet to be determined.

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake represented Section II in regional competition in each of the last five years, and won the unofficial state Class A title in 2007, while placing second in 2006 and 2008.

Solid lineup

Sander has nine lettermen returning from his 2008 team, which went 30-4 overall and extended both its Suburban Council regular season and tournament championship streaks to five. The Spartans went 18-0 in league, and are two wins away from 100 straight.

“We may not be as strong as the last three years, but we’re going to be good,” Sander said. “The nucleus of the team has played varsity volleyball.”

Burnt Hills’ veteran cast includes seniors Mike Fischer, Matt Bynon, Mike Coniglione, Eric Sandman and Derek Britton, and juniors Jordan Armstrong, Ketryk Wilder, Jimmy Keyes and Ryan Cullen. Fischer (outside hitter), Bynon (libero) and Armstrong (setter) were selected SC first-team all-stars last season.

Casey Ross, Alex Houghtalen and Mike Pelletier, the SC regular season and tourney most valuable player, have graduated.

“We’re OK,” Sander said. “We’ll miss our graduates, especially Pelletier because he made such an impact, but we’re solid across the board.

“The difference in the last couple of years is our bench won’t be as experienced,” he added. “Injuries could have a much bigger impact.”

Burnt Hills opens its season with three straight road matches starting Sept. 3 at Guilderland. Matches against Shenendehowa and Niskayuna will follow.

Double duty

Chuck Dunham will be doing double duty this school year at Shenendehowa, coaching both the boys’ and girls’ swimming and diving teams.

Dunham has led the Shenendehowa boys for the last three seasons, in which the Plainsmen won Suburban Council and Section II championships each time. His last two editions capped their seasons by winning state titles.

Dunham has taken over for Pat Seligman as the girls’ coach, with Seligman leaving the district to take the athletic director pos­ition at Harrison Central School in West­chester County. Seligman led Shenendehowa’s boys’ and girls’ teams to a combined 238-18-2 record and nine Section II championships.

Categories: High School Sports, Sports

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