They said it: Top sports quotes from February 2022

Clockwise from top left: UAlbany women's basketball coach Colleen Mullen, Canajoharie/Fort Plain wrestler Reed Douglass, Saratoga Springs High School gymnast Carly Rushack, and Union College President David Harris.

Clockwise from top left: UAlbany women's basketball coach Colleen Mullen, Canajoharie/Fort Plain wrestler Reed Douglass, Saratoga Springs High School gymnast Carly Rushack, and Union College President David Harris.

From each month in 2022, The Daily Gazette sports department is compiling 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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“This is a great group of kids. I wish Matt Turner was here with these guys. We have a guardian angel.”

— Burnt Hills/Scotia boys’ swimming and diving coach Sean Headwell, on Feb. 1, referencing former Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake coach Matt Turner who died in Feb. 2021. This year’s merged Burnt Hills/Scotia team was undefeated in the regular season and won a Section II title.

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“We kind of made a coaching boo-boo.”

— UAlbany women’s basketball head coach Colleen Mullen describing on Feb. 4 why she’d made a change to her team’s starting lineup earlier that week. Before the game, the coaching staff had filled out the starting lineup with the wrong number, and had to stick with the lineup or take a technical foul. UAlbany won the game 51-41 against UMBC.

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“He’s a very good, very good coach, someone that really understood the fundamentals and details of the offensive line position. And he obviously had tremendous experience having been at the Miami Dolphins, having been at Texas A&M and a bunch of other stops before that, and just put a lot of innovation to what we were looking to do.I thought he was the best guy for the position to help us get the program back on track.”

— Union College football coach Jeff Behrman, on Feb. 7, discussing former Dutchmen offensive coordinator Ben Martin, who completed his third season as an assistant offensive line coach for the Cincinnati Bengals with a trip to Super Bowl LVI, where Cincinnati lost 23-20 to the Los Angeles Rams

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“I want to be able to say that what I’m doing is of value to others around me and I still feel that that’s the case, but I also know that I’ve been in sport mode long enough to see that some people stay in it until they’re a little too long in the tooth — and what’s the justification? Is it just because you’re supposed to be? I don’t personally feel like that.”

— Shenendehowa wrestling coach Rob Weeks, on Feb. 8, explaining why this season would be his last as the Plainsmen’s head coach.

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“I love the kid. I would not be where I am without him. He makes me a much better athlete.”

— Canajoharie/Fort Plain wrestler Reed Douglass discussing his opponent in the Section II Division 2 172-pound final, La Salle Institute’s Ray Hutton, after Douglass beat Hutton 6-4 in overtime on Feb. 13. Douglass and Hutton are close friends and club training partners. They later faced off for the state championship, with Douglass winning that match, too.

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“It’s wild to think about. It’s not just the month — think of the years that he’s put in to show up and run that kind of short, short distance. It takes a lot of patience.”

— Shenendehowa boys’ indoor track coach Jason Burlingame, on Feb. 11, discussing star sprinter Carter Cukerstein’s one-month wait between qualifying for the NYSPHSAA championships in the 55-meter dash and running in the state meet in an event that Cukerstein can run in less than 6.3 seconds. Cukerstein won the state championship on Saturday in a NYSPHSAA-record 6.28 seconds.

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“It’s longer than I’ve been alive.”

— Carly Rushack, a 17-year-old senior, on the streak of Section II championships for the Saratoga Springs gymnastics team. Rushack was the all-around champion at the Feb. 16 event and led the Blue Streaks in securing their 20th consecutive team title.

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“If our worst fears were to come true and we were to see it be that much more difficult to recruit top players who are also what we are looking for in Union students, and if it turned out that it was hard to retain them even if we could recruit them because they could transfer — of course — we talked about the fact of ‘Would it make more sense in the future to be the doormat of the ECAC perpetually [and] structurally, or would it make more sense to go D-III?’ That was not something we wanted to contemplate. There was no firm, detailed planning, but certainly you have to think about that. I’m really happy that we were able to get this done with [Union athletic director] Jim’s [McLaughlin] leadership. I don’t have to worry about that option.”

— Union College president David Harris, on the possibility that Union men’s hockey would have dropped from NCAA Division I to Division III had the NCAA not approved athletic scholarships for the program.

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“I just haven’t [applied] just because we’re trying to build something here [at Dartmouth], and our seniors have been invested in our team and invested in what we’re trying to build, and I didn’t think it was fair. I certainly do have interest and obviously would love the opportunity to interview for the job, but I didn’t think it was fair to our group, for all they sacrificed, and it’s been a challenging year for us. To be half in, half out while [Dartmouth’s] season is going on and with everything that [the Big Green players] have done for us and for our group [that wouldn’t be OK with me]. That might put me behind the eight ball for the Union job, and I’m OK with that.”

— Dartmouth men’s hockey associate head coach and former Union men’s hockey associate head coach Jason Tapp, on Feb. 22, regarding his interest in the Union men’s hockey coaching position.

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“They told him they want him to keep playing until the wheels fall off.”

— Former Shenendehowa hockey coach Bill MacArthur, on Feb. 21, regarding his son Peter, who is still playing pro hockey, for the ECHL Adirondack Thunder, at almost 37 years old.

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Categories: Clifton Park and Halfmoon, College Sports, High School Sports, Sports, UAlbany, Union College

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