Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake football standout Eric Dillon isn’t sure if he’ll be running patterns or defending passes for Division III powerhouse Widener University. The three-sport participant confirmed his decision to attend the Pennsylvania school over the weekend.
“It’s going to be an in-camp dec-ision,” said the all-state first-team defensive back. “I’ll play where they want me. I just want to get on the field.”
Dillon’s reputation as a play-maker was only enhanced late last season when he blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown in a 42-0 regional win over Potsdam, intercepted a pass in a 28-13 state semifinal win against Cornwall and caught a scoring pass in the Spartans’ 40-20 state title-game victory over Sweet Home.
Dillon was selected the Section II Class A Northwest Division All-Purpose Player of the Year as a senior, and was awarded a spot on the Daily Gazette All-Area first-team defense for the second time.
When Burnt Hills beat Amsterdam for the 2011 Section II championship, 26-23, Dillon caught two touchdown passes, including the game-winner with 23 seconds left, intercepted a pass afterward and recovered a pair of fumbles.
Widener is a two-time national champion coming off an 11-1 season. Widener won its 19th Middle Atlantic Conference title last season, qualified for the NCAA tournament for the 13th time, and lost to Mount Union in the quarterfinals.
Acker to Northwestern
Two-time Daily Gazette All-Area first-team punter Corey Acker of Shenendehowa is set to sign a football pact with Northwestern University.
Acker played a huge role in Shenendehowa’s 8-2 season not only with his outstanding punts, but also with the ball in his hands and as a defensive back. He racked up 1,061 all-purpose yards including 644 rushing, scored 11 touchdowns, and recorded 40 tackles and two interceptions.
Four of his touchdowns came in a 34-12 win over Columbia in the sectional Class AA semis, two of them on runs of 76 and 64 yards and another on a 45-yard catch.
“That was one of the best performances of the year in Section II,” said Shenendehowa coach Brian Clawson.
Section II champion Adam Bonk and fellow Shenendehowa diver Matthew Lenney have both committed to Canisius College. Shenendehowa swimmer Nicholas Hooper will continue his career at Old
Dominion, soccer standout Kristen Connors is headed to Siena, and Bailey Kowalczyk and Kristen Jordan will run track at Clemson and Boston College, respectively.
State champ to Cornell
State Class D cross country champion Madeline Montague of Greenwich has signed a letter with Cornell University of the Ivy League.
Montague was a top-20 finisher in five state cross country meets, placing fourth (Class C) as a junior and seventh (Class D) as a freshman. She made the all-state first team twice and the second team twice.
Montague has won numerous indoor and outdoor track championships. At the Section II Class CC meet last spring, she placed first in the 3,000, helped the Witches take the 3,200 relay and finished second in the 1,500.
Sgambati steps down
Matt Sgambati, who guided eight of his 13 teams to Section II finals, has resigned as Schuylerville’s varsity boys’ basketball coach in order to devote more time to his family.
The 42-year-old father of two young children spent a season at Mechanicville and the last 12 at Schuylerville, with his teams combining for a 227-71 record. He will continue to teach business at Schuylerville.
Sgambati’s final team, led by Shane Lyon, swept through the Wasaren League, won 19 straight games and closed out at 20-2 after a loss to Watervliet in the Section II Class B final. His Black Horses captured Class B titles in 2006 and 2004, and claimed the Class CC crown in 2003.
Sgambati guided Mechanicville — his alma mater — to the Section II Class CC flag in 2001, and his Red Raiders advanced to the state title game before a loss to Buffalo Traditional left them 23-5. Three of his Schuylerville teams reached 20 victories.
Dupay to BH-BL hall
Swimmer Matt Dupay will be among the inductees into the Burnt Hills-Ballston Athletic Hall of Fame in June as part of the school’s state meet-winning 400-yard freestyle relay.
Dupay, Jud Rudgers, Bryan Brown and Kevin Gatley set a Section II record (3:11.76) when they teamed for the New York champ-ionship in the winter of 2002.
Peter Goody swam with Rudgers, Brown and Gatley when Burnt Hills won the Section II title before the state meet. Goody was incorrectly listed as a member of the state relay foursome in Wednesday’s Gazette.
Swim teams ranked
Section II champion Shenendehowa is No. 3 in the final New York state rankings for large school boys’ swimming and diving teams.
Shenendehowa went 12-0 in duals, won its seventh straight Section II title and placed second (NYSPHSAA) and fourth (Federation), respectively, in the state meet team standings. The Plainsmen scored 5,403 points in the rankings and finished behind Pittsford (5,759) and Fordham Prep (5,832).
Other ranked Section II large school teams are Niskayuna (No. 5, 4,694), Shaker (No. 7, 4,545), Bethlehem (No. 12, 4,977), Ballston Spa (No. 15, 3723) and Schenectady (No. 20, 2,532). Ranked small school teams are Glens Falls (No. 3, 4,175) and Albany Academy (No. 4, 4,125).
Tennis streak ends
The Gloversville tennis team ended Scotia-Glenville’s Foothills Council win streak at 38 matches Friday, 4-3, when second doubles Nicholas Bruce and Josh Daly pulled out a 7-5 tiebreaker.
Bruce and Daly gave Gloversville its fourth three-set victory, 6-4,
4-6, 7-6. Gloversville singles players Scotty Bruce and Mike Marotta were both down a game before taking the next two, and first doubles of Sheldon Billa and Marko Mark-ovic prevailed in three games.
Both teams entered the match 3-0 in the league.
Organizers said well over $3,000 was raised for child cancer survivors at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake’s “Laxin 4 Life” event held Saturday.
Business contributions and funds raised through raffles, consessions and merchandise sales will go toward the Headstrong Foundation and the Stephen T. Marchello Scholarship Foundation. Five girls’ school and youth lacrosse games were played.