High school notes: Sabres ready for a new challenge

Repetition is a big part of Schalmont’s baseball success. Christopher Teta went through the drills a
Matt Capovani had an 8-1 record for the Schalmont baseball team last spring.
Matt Capovani had an 8-1 record for the Schalmont baseball team last spring.

Repetition is a big part of Schalmont’s baseball success.

Christopher Teta went through the drills as a second baseman when he played varsity ball for Sabres coach Bob Anderson, and over the last 13 years, he had the high school’s junior varsity team members doing the same things.

Over and over. Again and again. Hit, catch, throw, run.

“When we practice in the gym and on the field, we bust it. When it comes to live competition, it should come naturally. I learned that from Bob. It’s been an instrumental part of our program,” said the Sabres’ new varsity coach. “We always practice that way. We’ve always been on the same page from the bottom level up.”

Teta said he will start the drilling today when he assembles his first varsity squad. The 1997 Schalmont graduate and his staff spent the beginning of the week making decisions about the 43 varsity and junior varsity canditates who came out.

“Ever since day one of winter workouts, they’ve been ready to go,” said Teta. “It’s nice to have a group that wants to work hard. They’re itching to go.”

Teta is, too. He’s inherited a state championship team that has some key parts back, including Matt Capovani, Nick Bird and Anthony Yezzo, But the team suffered big losses through graduation, including New York Class B Player of the Year Greg Musk, Dom Toma, John Pascarella and Joe Wignot.

Musk helped Anderson go out on top when he got the win in relief against Clinton and went the distance in a victory over Rye in the state final four. Anderson concluded his 20-year run with a school-record 325 victories. His last team set two more school records for most wins (26-1) and consecutive wins (22).

“There are big shoes to fill as a whole, coaches and players,” said Teta. “There’s always turnover. Making it twice as hard is the bull’s-eye on our back. It’s going to be a challenge, but we’ll be ready for it.

“As soon as the last pitch was thrown, we were already thinking about this season.”

Schalmont is the three-time defending Colonial Council Patriot Division champion and claimed its second straight Section II title last spring.

“Our goals every year are the same. We take it in steps. Colonial Council, sectionals, states,” said Teta. “Last year, it ended up coming true. They were fun to watch. They did everything from A to Z good.”

Teta worked with most of the players that made up Schalmont’s state championship team.

“We may not have had sectionals, but we always wanted to be on top,” said the 35-year-old Teta, who led 12 of his 13 JV teams to winning seasons. “We let the guys know about the tradition. We wanted them to have that winning thirst from day one.”

Teta’s first varsity group will include players from the school’s state runner-up football team and those from its Section II runner-up soccer and basketball teams.

Capovani, who went 8-1 on the mound last spring, earned all-state first-team honors as an offensive guard this past football season.

“I think that’s important, to have kids who have been in pressure situations and know how to handle it,” said Teta, a Hudson Valley Community College graduate who works security at Schalmont. “Kids who haven’t played in big games tend to tense up a bit.”

Schalmont’s non-league schedule includes games with Schenectady, Niskayuna, Amsterdam and Queensbury. The Sabres will also host their Bruce Bouck Memorial Tournament (April 18) with Mohonasen, Scotia-Glenville and Cairo-Durham.

Teta’s staff will include varsity assistant holdover Ken Lancto and his brother, Chris, who has moved from JV assistant to JV head coach.

Moving up

Lake George senior Joel Wincowski moved into an eighth-place tie for the most points in New York state boys’ basketball history with 14 Wednesday in a 48-34 Class C regional win over Northern Adirondack.

Wincowski upped his five-year varsity total to 2,516 points, the same as Desmond Harad (FDR, Adelphi Academy) scored from 1994-98.

Mr. 2,000

The Guilderland gym was neary empty when Scotia-Glenville senior Joe Cremo inquired for the first time about his 2,000th career point.

“I don’t even know when it happened,” Cremo said after scoring 25 points Saturday in the Tartans’ 54-43 Section II Class A title-game win over Troy. “I was pretty locked in on the game. Any time you have a rematch, they’re going to want it bad. They may have wanted it even more than we did.”

Cremo became the 10th Section II boy to reach 2,000 points when he sank a free throw with 2:03 left in the second quarter. He sank another afterward for his 15th point of the first half, and delivered his last 10 points in the final quarter to help seal the fourth straight championship for Scotia-Glenville.

Cremo was a part of each one of those titles and took home three most valuable player awards. The last Section II boy to play on four title teams was Joe Krong (2009-12) of Christian Brothers Academy.

Categories: High School Sports

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