Seven-year-old P.J. Strand wanted to toss the baseball around with his dad, who was coaching a baseball game at Cobleskill-Richmondville.
“You can never get that time back,” Pete Strand said Monday, after relaying that story. “That’s where my time needs to go, to my family.”
Strand will get that time with P.J. and his young daughter, Peyton, now that he’s relinquished his varsity baseball coaching position at Watervliet High School.
The former Cannoneers’ three-sport star will continue to coach boys’ junior varsity basketball and girls’ JV volleyball at his alma mater.
“That’s where my life is now, to my family,” said Strand. “I’ve been thinking about it for years. I’m still a big supporter of Watervliet baseball.”
Strand’s 19 Watervliet teams prevailed in over 200 games, while his 2001 and 2002 squads captured Colonial Council titles, and his 2006 group won the Section II Class CC championship and CC-C playoff that followed.
Strand served as the special teams’ coordinator for Watervliet’s varsity football team for nine seasons ending in 2000. That era of excellence was capped by a 13-0 run and state Class C title in 1996.
“That run was unbelievable,” said Strand, who teaches physical education at Watervliet. “What a memorable season.”
Strand competed in football, basketball and baseball at Watervliet, and, as a sophomore in 1985, played on the baseball team that brought the high school its first state championship in any sport. Strand was inducted into the Watervliet Hall of Fame in 2010, joining the three men who coached him — Dan Reinfurt (football), George Mardigan (basketball) and Tony Curro (baseball).
Strand began his coaching career with lower-level baseball and basketball sints at Cohoes.
“I enjoy coaching the younger kids,” said Strand. “That’s where a lot of the learning takes place.”
Leah Moran added to her spring hardware collection with a winning 37-3 in the triple jump at Saturday’s William F. Eddy Jr. Memorial Track and Field Meet.
The Stillwater sophomore was best in the triple jump and long jump in each of the Warriors’ Wasaren League meets, at the league championship meet, and also at the Hudson Falls Invitational and Stillwater Relays.
Moran covered a personal-best 38-2 1⁄4 in placing fourth at the talent-rich Glenn D. Loucks Games in White Plains, and that triple jump effort is sixth on the all-time area list. She cleared a personal-best 18-3 in the long jump at a league meet, which moved her to 10th on the all-time area list.
Moran’s outdoor bests as a freshman were 36-6 and 17-1, respectively.
She has qualified for the Championship Division triple jump and Emerging Elite long jump at the June 13-15 New Balance Nationals in North Carolina.
BY THE NUMBERS
Albany Academy will extend its own record for Section II title-game appearances to 22 when the Bears play Emma Willard in today’s Class C girls’ lacrosse final at the University at Albany.
The Bears also own Section II records with 15 straight title-game appearances (1992-2006), and 11 championships, including the last six in Class C.
Saratoga Springs appeared in 13 consecutive large-school finals (1992-2004), and Bethlehem appeared in nine straight large-school finals (1998-2006). Guilderland will go to its eighth straight Class A final tonight against Shaker.
As for total championships behind Academy’s 11, Bethlehem and Scotia-Glenville both have eight, followed by Saratoga (seven), Guilderland (five) and Niskayuna (five). Bethlehem won a Section II record eight in a row from 1999-2006.
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake is in its fourth straight Class B final at 5:30 today opposite Niskayuna.