Here are 10 noteworthy numbers from the recently concluded Section II spring athletic season. It was the fourth season in the unique 2020-21 school year that was altered by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the first of them in which playoff competitions were sponsored by Section II, although no regional and state events were held afterward.
Career wins for retiring Fort Plain baseball coach Craig Phillips, after his team saw its season end with a 7-2 loss to Stillwater in the first round of the Section II Class C tournament. In a run that began in the spring of 1976, the much-decorated Phillips guided his teams to 26 league titles, 12 Section II titles, six regional championships and a pair of state crowns. Fort Plain’s last losing season was in 1975.
Points Fonda-Fultonville senior Shane Viscosi accounted for with his four victories at the Section II Group 4 track and field championships. Viscosi won the 800, 1,600, 3,200 and 3,000 steeplechase, and closest was a five-second triumph in the 1,600. His dominant performance helped the Braves run away with the team title.
Combined wins for the Bethlehem and Saratoga Springs boys’ tennis teams, both of them finishing at 15-1 after the Eagles topped the Blue Streaks in the Section II Class AA team final 5-4 for their third straight championship. The Bethlehem doubles pair of Joey Mocerine and Connor Darcy won to break a 4-4 tie and complete victory. Saratoga had previously defeated Bethlehem 5-4 in a Suburban Council match. Queensbury (Class A), Ichabod Crane (Class B) and Hadley-Luzerne (Class C/D) also won team tennis titles.
Strikeouts recorded by Tamarac sophomore Moira Collins when her team beat Mechanicville 8-0 in a Wasaren League softball game. Collins hurled a no-hitter, and struck out three batters in every inning but the fifth, when she fanned four after a passed ball allowed a runner to reach first base.
Points accumulated by Johnstown senior Taryn Ringer, who scored 12 goals and assisted on six more, when the Lady Bills beat Catholic Central 24-5 Section II Class D quarterfinal lacrosse game. Niskayuna sophomore Greyson Vorgang had a 16-point outing with 11 goals and five assists when the Silver Warriors topped Bethlehem 19-5 in a Suburban Council boys’ game.
Consecutive seasons that the Niskayuna boys’ lacrosse team had played for a Section II championship before fourth-seeded Shaker upset the top-seeded Silver Warriors 9-7 in a Section II Class A semifinal. The last time Niskayuna did not reach an area title game was in 2002 when Guilderland beat the Silver Warriors 10-7 in a Class A semifinal. There was no spring season in 2020 due to restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Home runs launched by Shaker and CBA when the Blue Bison beat the Brothers 20-16 at the Colonie Cup baseball tournament. Joe Karpierz hit three home runs and Ethan Wright belted two for Shaker, which hosted the slugfest. Ryan Bilka tied the Section II record with four homers for CBA (he had 9 RBIs), Jackson Lilley hit three and Michael O’Shaughnessey added one. The teams would later meet in the Section II Class AA championship game and the Brothers came away with a 7-4 win.
Section II softball championships for Shenendehowa after Kelsey Higgins’ two-out, RBI single in the fifth inning broke a tie and lifted the Plainsmen to a 7-6 Class AA win over Bethlehem. The Shenendehowa girls also reached Section II or Suburban Council title games this school year in lacrosse, basketball, volleyball, soccer and field hockey.
Walk-off hits for Broadalbin-Perth senior Ryan Visco in back-to-back Section II Class B baseball tournament games, including an RBI single in the seventh inning that gave the Patriots a 6-5 title-game win over Ichabod Crane. In the semifinals, his seventh-inning two-run single tied it, and his 11th-inning homer gave the Patriots an 11-10 win over Schalmont.
Gianna Locci’s position on the all-time Section II outdoor list for girls’ long jumpers, after the Stillwater junior covered 20 feet, 2 inches at the Wasaren League Invitational. Locci’s distance is also tops in the state this spring. She went 19-10.5 to win the long jump at the Section II Group 4 meet and also prevailed in the 100, 200 and triple jump to help Stillwater win the team title. Leah Moran of Holy Names went 19-11 in 2015 for what was the previous all-time Section II best in the long jump.