Kathleen Wylie believes that building from the ground up will some day result in championship girls’ basketball teams at Schenectady High School.
As the coach applies the framework in the form of shooting, passing and dribbling drills, she is sending important messages, as well.
“There’s a world of teaching we can do with these kids. We knew all the benefits these kids would get when we put this together,” Wylie said of two new youth clinics she is currently running at Schenectady High School. “It’s so important. The kids need this.”
One of Wylie’s programs is for kindergartners through fourth-graders, and the other is for fifth through seventh grades. She said there are roughly 50 girls in each, and plans are in the works for travel teams in the future.
Schenectady hasn’t had a youth basketball progran available to girls for several years. This one comes with a positive twist.
“We’re teaching skills, but we’re also teaching life lessons,” said Wylie. “We talk about commitment and persistence. The other day, we stopped everything and talked about fairness.
“There’s so much more than being a champion, although that is a side goal.”
Schenectady captured its only the Big 10 girls’ championship in the 2008-09 season and went 19-4 overall. The varsity has won 19 games since that campaign.
Wylie’s first varsity team this past season was extremely young, consisting mostly of sophomores and freshmen, and did not win a game, though it came close a couple of times.
“The older kids needed practice and game experience. We needed basketball time together,” said Wylie. “My thought was, ‘What can I do for my athletes?’ ”
Wylie was the driving force behind a basketball league where Schenectady’s varsity cast competed against teams from surrounding school districts. The league at the Schenectady YMCA recently ended a six-week run, and another stretch of games will begin in late June.
“We played 12 games in the spring league and won eight of them. We were well over .500, and they gained some confidence. That goes a long way in kids. That’s something they needed,” said Wylie, who played at Holy Names. “Part of winning is getting over the mental hump.”
Schenectady’s varsity players are helping out with the youth clinics.
“The younger kids love the older girls. They’re amazing role models,” said Wylie. “I couldn’t do this without them.”
Wylie has been a basketball builder before as co-founder of the Junior Falcons Youth League in Albany in the late 1990s.
“I want this for the community,” she said. “I think there’s a bright future. This is where we start.”
Wylie has set up a Schenectady Lady Patriots Facebook page that includes youth clinic, spring/summer basketball and contact information.
Brown to Coker
Albany Academy pitcher Ben Brown will sign a letter of intent with Division II Coker College.
Brown won 13 games and saved nine in his first three varsity seasons, and as a junior was named a Colonial Council second-team all-star. The right-hander hurled a three-hitter last season when the Cadets beat Saranac, 11-0, for their first regional championship. Brown also pitched two shutout innings for the save in their 6-3 Section II Class B title-game win over Catskill.
Coker, located in Hartsville, S.C., was 29-13 entering the Conference Carolinas Tournament.
Lane does it again
Colonie senior Kelly Lane, the reigning Suburban Council softball Most Valuable Player, notched her third no-hitter of the season Thursday in a 10-0 win over Columbia.
The right-hander opened the season with her first no-hit gem, in a 5-0 victory over Averill Park, and authored her second against Saratoga Springs in a 15-0 triumph. Lane recorded 12 strikeouts in each of her no-hitters.
Lane also had a pair of one-hitters to her credit. The 2012 all-state second-teamer has committed to the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.
Lake George sophomore Joel Wincowski and Argyle senior Joey Lufkin have earned state basketball player of the year honors in Class C and Class D, respectively, by the New York State Sportswriters
Wincowski and Lufkin anchored state championship runs, as did Class B first-team selection Jordan Gleason of Watervliet.
Mat Yamin of Loudonville Christian made the Class D second team, while third-team honors went to Javion Ogunyemi of Troy in Class AA, Joe Cremo of Scotia-Glenville in Class A and Tyler McLeod of Watervliet.
Javion Ogunyemo, Troy, 12, 6-9, 18.3 (third team); Jamil Hood, Green Tech, 11, 6-2, 19.2 (sixth); Ralph Erickson, LaSalle, 12, 5-10, 21.2 (10th); Jerrell Reid, Troy, 12, 6-7, 15 (11th); Greig Stire, Christian Brothers Academy, 11, 6-7, 17 (12th). Honorable mention: Anthony Mack, Catholic Central; Elijah Burns, LaSalle; Nate Kane, Bethlehem; David Morrison, Shaker.
Joe Cremo, Scotia-Glenville, 10, 6-2, 21 (third); John Moutopoulos, Albany Academy, 11, 6-0, 11.1 (fourth); Jack Morrow, Albany Academy, 12, 6-3, 12.3 (sixth); Cam Girard, Glens Falls, 12, 5-10, 17.1 (12th). Honorable mention: Charlie Peltz, Queensbury; Andrew Tabbert, Scotia-Glenville; Robert Knightes, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.
Jordan Gleason, Watervliet, 12, 6-0, 23.2 (first); Tyler McLeod, Watervliet, 12, 6-3, 20.1 (third); Shane Lyon, Schuylerville, 12, 6-4, 15.4 (fifth); Elijah Newsome, Cohoes, 12, 6-0, 19.1 (eighth); Jordan Brantley, Catskill, 12, 6-0, 17.9 (ninth). Honorable mention: Brendon Halligan, Cairo-Durham; Will Turner, Fonda-Fultonville; Caleb Stewart, Mekeel Christian Academy; Jared Beattie, Granville; Dan Waldron, Schuylerville.
Joel Wincowski, Lake George, 10, 6-2, 27.3 (POY); John Rooney, Hoosic Valley, 12, 6-4, 18 (fifth); Garrett Pitcher, Berne-Knox-Westerlo, 12, 6-4, 22.7 (sixth); Colin Oswald, Greenwich, 12, 6-0, 14 (seventh). Honorable mention: Ethan Wincowski, Lake George; Logan Hotaling, Voorheesville; Ethan Ross-Hixson, Hoosic Calley.
Joey Lufkin, Argyle, 12, 5-10, 33.5 (POY); Mat Yamin, Loudonville Christian, 12, 6-0, 18.7 (second); Tad Jones, Hartford, 11, 6-4, 23.6 (fourth); Del Pryce, Argyle, 11, 6-3, 11.3 (fifth). Honorable mention: Derek Durkee, Fort Ann.