Johnstown volleyball standout Annie Stock will participate in the Phenom College Prepatory Showcase Dec. 13-16 in Louisville, Ky.
The event for select freshmen, sophomores and juniors at the KFC Yum! Center will coincide with the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s annual convention and the NCAA women’s semifinals and championship.
“She will be performing in front of the best coaches in the country,” said Johnstown coach Heather McGuire. “It’s a great opportunity to impress them and get her name out there.”
Stock was the driving force in Johnstown’s back-to-back Section II Class B and regional championships. For the second year in a row, the sophomore outside hitter was selected to the Foothills Council all-star first team, and landed a spot on the state all-tournament team.
Stock most recently was named to the all-state Class B first team after earning second-team honors as a freshman.
“She assumed the leadership role,” McGuire said of the 5-foot-8 athletic and academic star. “She was great not only in games, but also in practice, on the bus and in the locker room. She’s always so positive and lifts everyone up.”
All of Stock’s numbers were up from a year ago as she amassed 391 kills, 98 aces and 308 defensive digs. She led Section II in hitting percentage and kills.
“There’s not just one category where she excels,” said McGuire. “She’ a great defensive player. She’s great at the net. She’s an all-around great player.”
Stock had 20 kills when Johns-town swept Schalmont for the Section II title and totaled 35 kills in regional victories over Beekmantown and Massena. She finished the season with 21 kills in state semifinal setbacks against John Glenn, Skaneateles and Pelham.
“She was more powerful this year, and more accurate,” said McGuire. “There were times I’d sit back and just say, ‘Wow.’ ”
Bethlehem had one of the Suburban Council’s best boys’ basketball teams last season. Coach A.G. Irons believes even bigger things are ahead.
“We had a good year. We have higher expectations this year,” he said. “We’re very excited about what we have.”
The Eagles have seven returning players from last season’s 13-7 squad led by senior guard Nate Kane and emerging 6-foot-7 soph-omore forward John Sica. The two recently helped Bethlehem’s volleyball team reach the state final four.
“We’re running into a nice patch of kids,” said Irons. “Five years ago, I kept guys who wouldn’t make our team.”
Connor Morelli, Matt McKenna, Anthony Umina, Alex Singer and Myles Bergere also return from a team that last season shared the league’s South Division title with Guilderland (at 12-4) and reached the Section II Class AA quarterfinals before losing to Troy.
“The things that we’re usually getting in at this time, right now we’re perfecting,” said Irons. “As a team, we’re ahead of where we were last year.”
Shaker adds talent
The Shaker boys’ basketball team will look to defend its Suburban Council North Division title and make playoff waves with a lineup that includes returning starters Dave Morrison, Chris Landers and Zach Yakel, and newcomer Malik Dare.
“He’s a big, strong lefty with a lot of skill. He’ll give us another threat in the post,” coach Jeff Holmes said of Dare, a 6-foot-5 junior transfer from Christian Brothers Academy. “He has played very well in scrimmages, and we’re optimistic about his prospects.”
Shaker also brings back Justin Carmello and Tyler Radzmynski from last season’s 16-5 team that made it to the Section II Class AA semifinals before losing to Troy.
“We can go big. We can go quick,” said Holmes. “We have a lot of guys who can do different things.”
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake and Lawrence ended up in a tie for first in the final set of Class A football rankings released this week by the New York State Sportswriters Association.
Burnt Hills (12-1) defeated Sweet Home for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship, 40-20, while Lawrence (12-0) completed its perfect season with a 21-20 win over Sayville in the Long Island Class III title game.
Hoosick Falls (13-0) is No. 1 in Class C, Glens Falls (11-2) is No. 2 in Class B, Shaker (10-1) is No. 3 in Class AA, and Rensselaer (8-2) is No. 4 in Class D.
Hoosick Falls became just the second Section II team to win 13 games when it bounced Hornell in the NYSPHSAA Class C final, 34-21. Glens Falls lost to Maine Endwell in the NYSPHSAA Class B final, 42-12, with Maine-Endwell (13-0) getting the No. 1 state ranking.
Shaker and Rensselaer were beaten in NYSPHSAA semifinal games by New Rochelle, 28-21, and Tuckahoe, 14-12, respectively.
New Rochelle (11-1), which went on to win the NYSPHSAA title, and Canisius (11-0), the Monsignor Martin Association champion, share the Class AA state ranking.
Section II’s other ranked teams are Shenendehowa (No. 14, 8-2) in Class AA; Troy (No. 25, 6-3) in Class A; Schalmont (No. 10, 8-2) and Lansingburgh (No. 16, 8-1) in Class B; Chatham (No. 13, 9-1) in Class C; and Cambridge (No. 9, 8-1) and Greenwich (No. 16, 6-2) in Class D.
Christian Brothers Academy (7-2), Schenectady (6-3), Amsterdam (6-4), Broadalbin-Perth (5-3), Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk (7-2), Mechanicville (6-3) and Canajo-harie (5-3) received honorable mention accolades.
Cross country rankings
Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons is No. 1 among Class B teams on the state sportswriter’s final set of boys’ cross country rankings.
Saratoga Springs is No. 1 in Class A, and Fonda-Fultonville is No. 3 in Class C.
Led by seniors Jordan Pantalone, Matt Lange, Jason Lange, Nick Przekurat and eighth-grader Jonah Allard, Bishop Gibbons claimed its first state championship after winning its first Section II title in 29 years. The Golden Knights also went undefeated in the Big 10 at 8-0, and won the league meet afterward.
Saratoga’s season was highlighted by victories at the state and Federation meets.
In the final girls’ rankings, Saratoga (Class A), Holy Names (Class B) and Greenwich (Class D) are No. 2. Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake is one spot behind Holy Names.
Baldwinsville senior running back Tyler Rouse has been chosen the Gatorade New York Football Player of the Year after leading the Bees to the Section III Class AA title game.
Rouse rushed for 2,977 yards and 45 touchdowns on 333 carries for the 8-2 Bees. He ran for over 350 yards three times and had over 200 yards in every other game. His 6,841 career yards are the fourth-highest total in state history.
Here and there
Leanne Lofink has been named Saratoga Springs’ new varsity girls’ lacrosse coach. Lofink has been involved in the program for several years, and last spring served as its modified coach. She will be the school’s second head coach following Sue Hoffman, who led the Blue Streaks to 13 straight Section II title-game appearances from 1992-2004 and seven championships. . . .
Big 10 baseball champion Christian Brothers Academy has a new coach in Nick Davey. Davey pitched for Catholic Central and The
College of Saint Rose. He has served as pitching and recruiting coordinator at Saint Rose, a pitching coach at Guilderland and instructor at All Stars Academy in Latham. Davey is the head coach of the Albany Dutchmen of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. CBA coach Tom Reinish stepped down to pursue his School Leadership Certificate. . . .
Columbia lacrosse standout Haley Childrose and Blue Devils softball star Caitlin Cooper have both signed national letters to attend the University at Albany. Columbia baskeball player Kevin Smith has given Maryland a verbal commitment. Saratoga Springs senior Brianna Sirianni will sign a lacrosse pact today with Siena College.