Friday, June 28, 2013

A Color-Coded Microsoft Excel Chart of Section II Excellence!

Guys, I made a thing.

As an adult (although that's an entirely different blog post) I should really have some sort of basic understanding of how Microsoft Excel works aside from being able to make fun 3D graphs. And I don't really even know how to do that.

Buttttt I can use Excel to make a chart. I have made you all a COLOR-CODED MICROSOFT EXCEL CHART OF SECTION II EXCELLENCE.

Take a moment to let that all sink in.

Long story short, a few days ago I got a tweet from @TheRealMr_Espn asking if I knew how many Section II teams had made it to, at least, the state semis. This started a bit of a quest for me. Not that it was overly difficult, but I tracked down EVERY Section II championship team for 21 different sports from this past athletic year. I didn't include things like swimming and skiing - mainly because those were tough to track down - so if you guys know those champions, send 'em my way. 

So what did I find out from all of this? Well, a handful of Section II schools had a pretty awesome year. Leading the pack was Burnt Hills, which clinched eight local titles including five in just the fall alone. Slightly behind the Spartans was Hoosick Falls. The Panthers, who recorded five Section II championships this year, were the most successful on the state-scene though, bringing back three NYS championships this past season. They called it #TitleTown for a reason, folks. 

Rounding out the top four were Shenendehowa (five Section II and one NYS title) and Troy (four Section II and one NYS title).  

If you want to see my color-code chart of Section II excellence, simply check it out under the cut. Again, I know I don't have all the sports - so if you have information to share, go for it. 

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Troy's Reid & 'Vliet's McLeod Heading to Texas CC

Two of the top players in the Capital District will be heading to college together in the fall - and it might make for some of the most exciting basketball around.

Jerrell Reid and Tyler McLeod - who were both Record all-stars this past winter - will be packing up for Texas and joining the Collin County Community College squad.

Both Reid and McLeod helped propel their respective teams to Section II titles this past season and both were dominant shooting threats from just about anywhere on the court. Reid, an inside-outside nightmare for opposing defenders, and McLeod, an emotional leader for the Cannoneers, earned a handful of accolades in 2012-2013.

The two 518 standouts - both of whom play for the City Rocks AAU team - join a Collin County squad 71.9 points per game and finished 17-6 overall.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

2013 Colonail Council Girls Soccer Schedule

As promised, here's the Colonial Council girls soccer schedule for the upcoming - and still slightly far away - 2013 fall sports season.

It's all typed up and organized for your viewing convenience. If you're interested in the boys schedule; there's a link for that.

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2013 Colonail Council Boys Soccer Schedule

And you thought we were done with high school sports for the summer.

The Colonial Council sent out their schedules for all fall sports earlier this week but right now we're just going to take a moment and focus on soccer. It deserves some attention.

Since I want all of you to be as mentally prepared and informed as possible before the upcoming (and slightly far away) high school sports season, I've typed up BOTH the boys and girls schedules for your viewing pleasure. That's right, boys AND girls. You're welcome. The link for the girls schedule is here so as to not to overwhelm y'all in one blog post.

Check it all out under the cut.

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HVCC Academic-All Region Honors For Twelve Local Athletes

Twelve student-athletes at Hudson Valley Community College earned Academic All-Region Honors on Tuesday afternoon.

What exactly is an Academic All-Region Honor? It means that these student-athletes not only stood out on the field or the court but also completed 45 credit hours this semester and wrapped up their classes with a GPA of 3.5 or better. Pretty impressive when you've got practice every day too.

Now, keep in mind that HVCC does have athletes from outside of the Capital District so the fact that every single one of these kids graduated from a high school in the 518 is a real testament to the kind of student-athletes coming out of the area.

Check out the entire listing below and congratulations to everyone on the awesome accomplishment!

Rich Acheson (Columbia) - Men's Soccer
William McMahon (Burnt Hills) - Men's Soccer
Steve Nevins (Greenville) - Men's Soccer
Alena Putney (Mekeel Christian) - Women's Soccer
Hannah Koehn (Mekeel Christian) - Women's Soccer
Vanessa Addo (Troy) - Volleyball
Nicole Cassidy (Maple Hill) - Tennis
Haley Knight (Chatham) - Tennis/Golf
Joseph Fey (Ichabod Crane) - Men's Basketball
Matt Callup (CBA) - Baseball
Andrew Kramer (Shenendehowa) - Baseball
Charles Parslow (Fonda) - Baseball

Friday, June 21, 2013

Former Emma Willard Standout Libby Hughes Heading to U23 World Championship Trials

Libby Hughes, a rising senior at William Smith College and former Emma Willard standout, will compete in the Under 23 World Championship Trials in the lightweight women's single sculls on Mercer Lake in Princeton Junction, NJ next week.

The competition will be held from June 24-26 and the winners will head to the World Championships in Linz, Austria.

Twelve women will compete in three heats on Monday morning with the top two finishers advancing to Tuesday's semis. In addition the top two finishers in each semi will progress to Wednesday's finals and will be live streamed on USRowing beginning at 7:20 a.m.

Hughes is coming off an incredible season on the water with the Herons, where she competes as a member of the varsity eight. The team finished third in the grand final at the NCAA Championships, won a bronze at the ECAC NIRC. She is also a two-time New York State Champion and won the 2009 SRAA National Championship as a pair at Emma Willard.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

3rd Annual Troy-Columbia Alumni Hockey Game

They're baaaaack.

For the third straight year, alumni from Troy and Columbia High's hockey squads will take to the ice on Saturday June 22nd in the annual hockey faceoff.

This year 20 alumni from the former joint program are expected to participate in the game, which is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. at Knickerbocker Arena.

Troy High's hockey team first began in the 1950s and won the first-ever Capital District High School Hockey League championship in 1979. The team expanded in the 90's to include Columbia High student-athletes. The program officially dissolved after the 2002-03 season.

The event allows fans to come out and show their support for hockey in the Capital District, a sport that's always taken a back seat to the more "popular" athletics.

Saturday's alumni game is open to the public with tickets at $5 per person. All proceeds will be donated to the athletic programs at Troy and Columbia High School.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Troy High's Nobles Leaving Baseball Program

            Troy High baseball coach Curtis Nobles has announced he will be leaving the program after eight years.
            Nobles, who led the Flying Horses to an appearance in this year’s Section II Class AA semi-finals, has accepted a position as the pitching coach and head assistant with RPI baseball.
            The last few days while struggling with the decision to move on from the high school program into a collegiate program, I just followed my heart and what I taught your boys everyday, which is to always move forward in life,” Nobles said in an e-mail.
            The Flying Horses finished the 2013 season 16-6 after losing to eventual Section II champion Queensbury.
            “For me it isn’t always about the W and L's it’s about watching your son grow into confident student athletes,” Nobles said. “I have had the privilege of watching many of your children grow from little league players to the confident young men that stood before me day after day.”
            During his time at Troy High, Nobles was instrumental in helping to bring the Coaches vs. Cancer program to Section II Baseball. This season, in the program’s third year, it was brought back to Joe Bruno Stadium in a double-header event that saw Troy top CBA in the nightcap.
            For Nobles, coaching baseball has always been about events like Coaches vs. Cancer. The coach frequently talked about preparing his players for the “real” world and making sure they were well-rounded individuals as well as athletes.
            I believe I've led the athletes to perform at the highest level of their ability on the field and in the classroom,” he said. “I am appreciative of the opportunity you all have extended to me, which has allowed me to learn and grow as Coach and mentor.”
            Nobles will continue to work in the school district next year.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

This is Why We're Awesome - Section II Sports

We're done with high school sports this year. Yikes. What a sad sentence to write. It's been a lot of fun, guys and that is all because of you. So take a second to pat yourselves on the back for that.

But as finals and regents and tests wind down and everyone starts to clean out their locker (throw away those empty water bottles pleaseeee), it seems like a good time to look back at the year that we've had and how, frankly, it's been pretty awesome.

Just off the top of my head, I can think of 11 different Section II teams that won state championships this year. That's an incredible number when you stop and think about it and it doesn't even include the handful of teams that competed in state semi-finals and regional games as well.

I'm currently combing through some of the NYSPHSAA archives to see if that's some kind of record, but I've got to imagine that it's pretty high up there on the list of accomplishments. So, where is this all going?

I want to know what you guys think when you think of the 2012-2013 sports year. What was it about this year, this group of student-athletes that propelled Section II to such an incredible level of success? What has this year meant to you as an athlete, what did you put into your personal season and what did you get out of it? Where do you see Section II going from here and how do we relate to the other teams in the state?

I'm hoping this is going to run in Monday's paper so share your thoughts as soon as you can. You know how to get in contact with me - comment here, tweet me (@LauraAmato) or e-mail me (

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Watervliet to Hire New Football Coach

Pending a Board of Education approval next week, Brian Hoefer will step in as the varsity football coach for the Cannoneers in 2013. 

Hoefer, who has previously coached at the JV level for 'Vliet, also played center for the Cannoneers in the late '90s and was part of the squad that took home a New York State Championship in 1996. 

Hoefer takes over for Erick Beranrd, who also had his own resume on the 'Vliet gridiron. Bernard took over as varsity coach in 2007 and saw his squad finish 4-4 in Section II competition last season. 

Wasaren League Baseball All-Stars

The league all-star machine just keeps on rolling here at the Schools of Thought blog and the latest group to take the stage is (drum rolllllll) Wasaren League Baseball.

Greenwich ace John Barnes was named league MVP, while Hoosic Valley saw three first-teamers and Hoosick Falls' Billy Pine continues to be awesome at sports.

All the teams are under the cut AND remember (!) The Record's all-area baseball team will run THIS SUNDAY. We've got large schools and small schools and MVPs and videos. It's all very exciting, so make sure to check back this weekend.

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Wasaren League Softball All-Stars

We're just a few days away from The Record's all-area softball team being announced (and baseball too) but in the meantime, keep your softball interest high with the Wasaren League all-stars.

Tamarac's Briana Matazinksy was, unsurprisingly, named MVP while Sarah Heimbach (Greenwich), Nicole Matthews (Tamarac) and Cassidy Chapko (Hoosic Valley) were additionally named as Section II all-stars.

Under the cut check out the entire list of the team and don't forget to check out the paper and the website on Saturday for our very own all-area softball squad. Congrats to everyone on the great season!
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Monday, June 10, 2013

Suburban Council Girls Lacrosse All-Stars

Since we've become an all-star updating machine, here's the latest update on the awesome athletes of Section II - girl's Suburban lax.

Under the cut, we've got all the teams and honorable mentions. Also there were four Section II athletes (all from the Suburban Council) who were named Girls Lacrosse All Americans. Nicole Beardsley (Burnt Hills, Midfield), Julia Lennon (Shaker, Midfield), Morgan Hardt (Guilderland, Attack) and Jenna Walsh (Guilderland, Defense). Congratulations to everyone!

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Colonie's Samantha Blum Committs to Keuka

Colonie multi-sport standout Samantha Blum has committed to Keuka College in Keuka Park, New York.

The Storm compete at the Division III level in the North East Athletic Conference. The basketball team made it to the league championship game before dropping to Lancaster Bible College. On the softball side of things, the Storm fell to Penn State-Berks just two games from a berth in the NCAA DIII tournament.

Blum, who played both basketball and softball for the Lady Garnet Raiders, was also offered a full ride to Division 1 Alcorn State for softball. She received interest from over 50 DII and DII schools - most of which were hoping to sign here for just softball. But Keuka offered the chance to continue dominating in more than one uniform.

Blum was a part of the 2010 Section II softball championship and this year's Section II basketball championship team. She was named a first-team Suburban Council all-star in softball this past spring and will be majoring in political science.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Big 10 Council Baseball All-Stars

As promised to those handful of kids asking me about it on Twitter, here is the Big 10 baseball all-star list. I hope it's been worth your wait.

Starting us off as co-players of the year are Troy's Christian Maldonado and La Salle's Dominic Razzano. Both had incredible seasons (in my humble opinion) and were dominant both on the mound and in the field as well as solid hitters at the plate.

Under the cut, check out the rest of the honorees with complete first, second and honorable mention teams. See, you guys could totally count on me to type this all out.

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The Other Side of the Bracket...Class A Softball

We all know who Troy High is facing. It's Sayville, in case you hadn't heard. They're the reigning state champs and current Section XI champions.

Buuuuut what about the other two teams that make up the NYS Class A softball final four? What's their deal? How did they get to Queensbury? And, perhaps most importantly, what kind of competition do they bring to the metaphorical table or field?

I have the answers! And I've put them together in this easy-to-read blog post! Huzzah. Under the cut, check out exactly who we're dealing with on the other side of the bracket - their strengths, their weaknesses, all that jazz. It's all about knowing your enemy, folks.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Colonial Council Softball All-Stars

I have become an all-star update machine in the last few days. The latest update comes courtesy of Colonial Council softball which has - unsurprisingly - named Voorheesville's Amanda Gatt MVP of the league.

Pause here for my obligatory congratulations to a fellow Voorheesvillian.

Alright, now that we've done all of that, check out the complete all-star listing under the cut. Congratulations to everyone on their awesome performances this spring!

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2013 Suburban Council Wrestling All-Stars

It's a little late - but the Suburban Council has released its 2013 wrestling all-stars this afternoon.

As you'd expect from two dominant programs, both Shenendehowa and Columbia fared pretty well in the accolades department. Between the two of them, the schools combined for 20 all-stars. That's pretty good.

Under the cut, check out the entire list.

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Central Hudson Valley League Baseball All-Stars

Naming Will Brooking the CHVL baseball all-star was not much of a incredible notion after the Rensselaer sophomore's performance this spring.

The Rams standout was perfect during the regular season, notching 142 total strikeouts while giving up just 27 hits.

Now, under the cut check out the rest of the league all-stars and congratulations to everyone on a fantastic spring!

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Suburban Council Baseball All-Stars

After a dominant season for the Plainsmen, Shen junior Justin Yurchak has been named Suburban Council MVP. The Shen shortstop batted an incredible .540 during the regular season, going 35-for-66 at the plate.

Columbia's Travis Sowards was named pitcher of the year while the Devils' Chris Dedrick earned Coach of the Year Honors.

Under the cut, check out the entire Suburban Council all-star list and congratulations to everyone on a spectacular season!

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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Suburban Council Softball All-Stars

After one of the most successful careers in the circle, Colonie's Kelly Lane was just named 2013 Suburban Council MVP.

Lane pitched a handful of no-hitters this season and even tossed a five-inning perfect game earlier in the year. In addition to Lane, the top three vote-getters for MVP were Colonie catcher Kassidy Ogren, Shen pitcher Erika Daigle and Averill Park shortstop Kelly Donnelly.

Under the cut check, out the complete all-star list for the past spring season. Congratulations to everyone on a great year!

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