Games against Albany Academy, Kingston and Niskayuna, and a rematch with either state champion Scotia-Glenville or Columbia will be part of Schenectady’s varsity boys’ basketball schedule for the 2014-15 season.
“I got on the ball very quickly,” said Schenectady head coach Eric Loudis. “I’m the kind of guy who wants things done. I’m not a procrastinator.”
Schenectady and the rest of the Big 10 schools are in the process of arranging their 2014-15 athletic schedules for all sports. The league, which began operation in 1977, officially dissolved last month for several reasons including a lack of girls’ programs and a growing shift in the balance of power.
The Big 10 schools will be competing in non-league contests starting in the fall season.
“I still need to find two more games. We have 16 right now,” said Loudis. “I was hoping to find games in the local region, but it looks more and more like we’ll have to travel. All of the other conferences are locked in.
“Hopefully in the next couple of weeks, we’ll find something.”
Loudis said Schenectady will not be playing Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons or new Foothills Council member Amsterdam in the winter season. The Patriots will play longtime Big 10 rivals Albany, Bishop Maginn, Catholic Central, Christian Brothers Academy, LaSalle and Troy twice while also going to Troy’s showcase tournament in early January after hosting their own holiday event in late December.
“We’re not in too bad shape,” said Loudis. “The year after is what concerns me. Will Section II place us or will we have to find games again?”
Schenectady will meet Albany Academy and Kingston at Troy’s round-robin showcase. A meeting with Niskayuna in the opening round of its Arthur Hilliard Memorial Basketball Tournament has also been scheduled, while Scotia-Glenville and Columbia are matched in the other. Niskayuna has taken the place of Newburgh Free Academy.
“Newburgh opted to play in a three-day showcase. If they stayed with us, I would have played Niskayuna twice [in non-league games],” said Loudis. “Our schedule would have been all set.”
Schenectady beat Columbia and Scotia-Glenville beat Newburgh in the opening round of the Hilliard last season. Scotia-Glenville then beat Schenectady in the title game as part of its perfect season which ended with New York State Public High School Athletic Association and Federation Tournament of Champions titles.
Schenectady defeated Scotia-Glenville in a recent summer league game.
“We’re not tall, but we have athletes who are putting in a lot of work,” said Loudis.
Schenectady placed fourth (10-6) in the Big 10 last season and finished 11-8 overall, while its junior varsity won the league championship (15-1) and went 17-1 overall.
Monson to Cortland
Record-setter Katie Monson will break new ground again as Cohoes High School’s first collegiate lacrosse player.
Monson will be taking her scoring skills to Division III SUNY-Cortland. With the Red Dragons she’ll be looking to add a few more lines to her athletic resume that includes Cohoes records for goals and points in a game, season and career.
The Capital District Women’s Lacrosse League all-star joined Section II’s elite double-digit club back in May with 10 goals against South Glens Falls. Monson also had four assists in that game, and her 14 points are tied for third on the all-time area list according to Gazette records.
Monson served as a team captain as a sophomore, junior and senior, and scored 51 goals in her final season. Monson also excelled in volleyball and basketball at Cohoes.
Ballston Spa High School catcher P.J. Lacijan will be spending part of his Christmas break in Florida after a strong performance last week at the Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium.
“The things they were looking for, he did well,” said Patrick Lacijan, the 16-year-old’s dad. “What really stood out was his receiving and time throwing to second. The scouts felt he was at a college level.”
P.J. Lacijan was among those at the tryout selected to participate in the Dec. 27-30 Baseball Factory Christmas Camp and Tournament at Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla., the spring training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The tryout at Bruno Stadium was for high school players ages 14-18.
Lacijan worked out defensively at catcher and shortstop.
“They liked his catching. That’s where he shined,” said the player’s dad. “They liked they way he hit, too. He went to all parts of the field.”
P.J. Lacijan spent his sophomore season with the Ballston Spa junior varsity. He is currently playing with the Ballston Spa Bearcats under-17 travel team.
Law enforcement isn’t the only tie that binds Nick Ottati and James Plowden, who were sworn in Monday as two of the Schenectady Police Department’s new recruits.
Both of them were two-sport athletes at Schenectady High School and helped the Patriots reach great heights.
Ottati quarterbacked the football team to its first winning season (5-4) in 2007, and led the Pats to their first division championship and only Super Bowl appearance in 2008. That edition set a Schenectady record for wins (8-2). Ottati also played baseball.
Plowden was a key reserve for Schenectady’s 28-1 state championship basketball team in 1998 and a starter the following season. He quarterbacked the football team as a junior and senior.