They said it: Top sports quotes from May 2021
From each month this year, The Daily Gazette sports department is compiling the 10 quotes from our interview subjects that stuck out the most for us, based on how they either made us think or laugh — or some combination of both.
Selected quotes come both from reporting for stories that appeared in The Daily Gazette and interviews associated with episodes of “The Parting Schotts Podcast.” Not all quotes used were previously published.
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“Sometimes, it would be boring, because we’d go up five goals in the first five minutes. Then, we’d just mess around the rest of the game. Still pass the ball and all that stuff.”
— Mechanicville boys’ soccer player Tyler Tesoriero, on May 1, after his team beat Waterford-Halfmoon 8-0 for the Wasaren League championship to complete an undefeated season in which Mechanicville outscored its opposition 130-5.
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“I told ‘Hogger’ [sophomore attack Graydon Hogg] and I told [Corey] Yunker to watch that celebration because that’s what’s going to push you next fall, next spring. That’s going to push you to be better. I have the utmost confidence in our team coming up that they’re going to get redemption next year. I can’t wait to watch.”
— UAlbany men’s lacrosse graduate student attack Jakob Patterson, on May 8, describing the Great Danes’ motivation heading into next season after their America East Conference tournament championship game loss to Vermont.
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“I’m not trying to be Tony Dzikas; I’ve got to be my own person. Kids are perceptive. They’re intelligent. They’ll read right through me if I’m . . . trying to be Tony and not be the person that I am. I’ve got to be true to myself. I’ve got to be me. I’m a hard worker, I’ve got a lot of energy and I plan on focusing on that and being prepared. As Tony said, I’m going to check my boxes and just do everything in my power to give these kids an opportunity to perform at the highest level.”
— Paul Yattaw on May 12, regarding taking over from Tony Dzikas as head coach of the Shenendehowa boys’ basketball program. Dzikas won four Section II championships and a state title during his tenure leading the Plainsmen.
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“I don’t want to say it was weird, because we fight in practice. It’s just different, because we have to be serious in that situation, because it is a tournament. You’re not at practice. You can’t be friends right then and there.”
— Taekwondo fighter Makayla Greenwood, on May 13, describing her match against teammate Faith Dillon in the finals of a fight-off tournament that earned Greenwood, a 17-year-old Schenectady native and former Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons High School student, a spot as Team USA’s alternate in the women’s 57-kilogram division for the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
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“It was overwhelming. A lot of my close friends were there. I got to pick my crew that I wanted to work with. Those were my closer friends on the staff. It was just overwhelming, all the messages from coaches and players, and mostly my colleagues who I’ve been on the ice with for 23 years. It’s a lonely job, but we have a pretty good camaraderie. We support each other. That was pretty evident when I was retiring.”
— Guilderland resident Tony Sericolo on working his 1,500th, and final, game as an NHL linesman, on the May 13 edition of “The Parting Schotts Podcast.”
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“There’s a lot of people that remember him, but these guys more than anybody. I think people think that if you say his name, it’s going to hurt us, but it hurts us more if they don’t say it.”
— Debbie Lansburg, on May 18, after the Amsterdam/Broadalbin-Perth boys’ lacrosse team paid tribute to her late son, former Amsterdam lacrosse player Pete Lansburg, 20 years after his death following a snowmobile accident.
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“It was definitely tough, so it’s been great this year because we added a lot of pieces, but there’s still a good core of guys that have been here and it’s nice to see all the hard work we’ve been putting in pay off [after] everything we’ve talked about the last couple years in building this thing up, and trying to create something that’s going to last and become a team that’s going to win for a long time. To finally see those results, and probably a bit sooner than we thought, has been great all year, and made it a lot more enjoyable.”
— Former Shenendehowa star Kevin Huerter, on May 21, on the Atlanta Hawks making the NBA playoffs this year after they had lost more than twice as many games as they won in his first two seasons with the franchise.
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“It’s so common in athletics, especially at a young age, so my goal is to make my players aware of it. I think, at a young age, if we can show them the signs of it, we can let them know it’s OK to not be OK, and let them know how to get help. Hopefully, eventually, put an end to this. But the main reason is to let them know that those who suffer are not alone. It starts with organization like this, spreading the word, spreading awareness.”
— Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake girls’ lacrosse head coach Katie Kerner, on May 21, regarding her team’s decision to use one of its games to support “Morgan’s Message,” a program that “amplifies stories, resources, and expertise to confront student-athlete mental health, builds a community by and for athletes, and provides a platform for advocacy.”
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“I try not to keep track of it, honestly, at all. We just have to go forth with the belief that everything will happen. It’s tough to see all that come out knowing how much we’re putting into it at this point. At the same time, in the last year, we’ve seen disappointment after disappointment. So there’s a little part of me, in the back of my head, wondering if it will go on. But we are full speed ahead in training as if it’ll all go on and [we] try not to think about the worst possible outcome.”
— Duanesburg cyclist Emma White, on May 27, on preparing for the Toyko Olympics amid continued uncertainty related to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
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“It just seemed like the right thing to do to stay. It was certainly a different year than any other I had coaching, but it was probably a more meaningful year, in some ways, with trying to help the kids through it. It was no longer about trying to get wins or build your resume or move onto that next job. It was just about trying to help those kids. I felt so bad for those kids for what they were missing out on.”
— Mary Ellen Burt on May 28, regarding her decision to postpone her retirement as Union College women’s basketball head coach a year to stay with the team during the 2020-21 season, which included no games because of restrictions related to the novel coronavirus pandemic.