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Thoughts, news and notes from the sports staff of The Saratogian newspaper, located in historic Saratoga Springs, New York. The gang in the corner office on Lake Avenue give you the post-game wrap-ups, news and notes from the games we cover and opinions about the sports we read about every day.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Saratoga grad, MLB pitcher Tim Stauffer supports Act With Respect Always

Staffer pitches for his former team in 2014.
Retired Saratoga Springs tennis coach Rich Johns, founder of the Act With Respect Always program has been given a message of support from Minnesota Twins pitcher and Saratoga Springs native Tim Stauffer. Stauffer played high school baseball for coach Phonsey Lambert at Saratoga Central Catholic.
"Tim Stauffer represents everything that Act With Respect Always strives to be," Johns said. "I cannot thank him enough in his endorsement and belief that everyone can make a difference every day."
Staffer made his big-league debut with the San Diego Padres in 2005 and has compiled a 32-34 with a 3.87 ERA in 183 appearances (73 starts) over parts of nine seasons. The right-hander battled injuries for many years with the Padres before signing with the Minnesota Twins in December.
"In life both on and off the field I believe that respect is one of the most important things that we can give and receive," Stauffer said in a statement. "I believe that the Golden Rule 'Always treat others as you would like them to treat you,' best sums up how I was raised and how I strive to act each and every day. The Act with Respect Always program is a great tool for our young people to implement in their lives. Coach Johns’ message can and should be implemented in every walk of life. Thank you Rich for all you do."

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Section 2 releases 2014-15 Girls Basketball brackets

Selection Wednesday in the Capital Region produced the brackets for all five girls basketball classes. 
In Class AA, state-ranked Shen took the No. 1 overall seed and will await the winner of Suburban Council rivals No. 9 Ballston Spa at No. 8 Guilderland.

In Class A, independent Troy grabbed the top seed while Averill Park was seeded No.2 thanks to its tough Suburban Council schedule.

In Class B No. 1 Hoosick Falls edged No. 2 Watervliet for the top seed in the tournament. Cohoes is No. 3 while Tamarac clinched the No. 4 seed on the strength of its Wasaren League schedule.

Hoosic Valley's big win over Greenwich in the regular season finale for both schools may have been the thing that clinched the top seed for Hoosic Valley. Greenwich is No. 2 followed by No. 3 Maple Hill and No. 4 Greenville.

The Flying Forts earned the No. 1 seed in Class D ahead of No. 2 Warrensburg and Adirondack League rival No. 3 Argyle.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Suburban Council announces new Blue, Gray divisions for 2015-16

As reported last month, the Suburban Council will grow by four teams (Troy, CBA, Schenectady and Albany) at the start of the 2015-16 school year because of the dissolution of the Big 10.
Friday we learned the council will eliminate the North and South divisions and replace them with realigned Blue and Gray divisions.

Here's how the new-look Suburban Council will be divided:

Blue Division                                   Gray Division
Bethlehem                                                        Albany
Colonie                                                             Averill Park
Columbia                                                          Ballston Spa
Guilderland                                                      Burnt Hills
Niskayuna                                                         CBA - Albany
Saratoga                                                          Mohonasen
Shaker                                                             Schenectady
Shenendehowa                                                 Troy                 

 According to the press release sent by Suburban Council President John W. Rickert of Niskayuna High School, preserving rivalries, enrollment, geography and strength of the overall programs went into deciding which division schools were placed in.

The press release also announced the creation of a Competition Committee chaired by Niskayuna athletic director Larry Gillooley in charge of reviewing the divisions annually to determine if changes are needed. 

“We have spent considerable time as a Council planning for this expansion and we have worked closely with the administrators from the new districts," Rickert said in the release. "The principals and athletic directors have done a great job of working collaboratively to bring this together in time to create a league schedule for the 2015-2016 school year. We look forward to having one of the most organized and competitive leagues for inter-scholastic athletics in all of New York State."

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Shen boys basketball ranked No. 11 in the state poll

The undefeated Shen boys basketball team moved up to No. 11 in the latest rankings released by the New York State Sportswriters Association. For the complete poll, including all classes, click here.
Fellow unbeaten Green Tech (12-0) remained the top-ranked Class AA team in the section with a 12-0 record while Shen (15-0) moved up one spot from last week to No. 11. Suburban Council South Leaders Guilderland (11-2), whose only league loss came at Shen, is No. 23.

Shen is now one of four unbeaten Class AA squads along with Green Tech, Aquinas (Section V) and Arlington (Section I). Here are notable teams and their spot in the rankings.

Class AA
1. Cardozo (20-1)-PSAL
2. Thomas Jefferson (20-2)-PSAL
3. Abraham Lincoln (20-2)-PSAL
4. Green Tech (12-0)-Section II
5. Iona Prep (16-3)-CHSAA
11. Shenendehowa (15-0)-Section II
23. Guilderland (11-2)-Section II

Honorable Mention: CBA (12-5)-Section II, Bethlehem (12-3)-Section II.  

Class A
1. Scotia-Glenville (14-0)-Section II
2. Greece Athena (13-0)-Section V
3. Spring Valley (14-1)-Section I
4. Kennedy Catholic (17-0)-CHSAA
5. Albany Academy (11-2)-AIS
25. Troy (9-5)-Section II

Honorable Mention: Amsterdam (11-4)-Section II, Averill Park (12-3)-Section II.

Class B
1. Westhill (15-2)-Section III
2. Buffalo Park School (11-1)-MMA
3. Babylon (15-1)-Section XI
4. Southhampton (15-1)-Section XI
5. Hoosick Falls (14-0)-Section II
19. Broadalbin-Perth (10-4)-Section II
20. Schalmont (12-2)-Section II
21. Cohoes (11-4)-Section II
25. Mekeel Christian (11-1)-Section II

Honorable Mentions: Schuylerville (10-4)-Section II, Voorheesville (11-5)-Section II.

Class C
1. Waterville (15-0)-Section III
2. Napbles (12-0)-Section V
3. Caledonia-Mumford (13-1)-Section V
4. Alexander Hamilton (14-1)-Section I
5. Lake George (15-1)-Section II
11. Greenwich (13-2)-Section II

Honorable Mentions: Hoosic Valley (10-5)-Section II, Stillwater (10-5)-Section II, Waterford-Halfmoon (12-3)-Section II.

Class D
1. Bridgehampton (13-1)-Section XI
2. New York Mills (12-2)-Section III
3. Sherman (14-0)-Section VI
4. Chateaugay (13-1)-Section X
5. Moriah (13-0)-Section VII
7. Germantown (13-1)-Section II
12. North Warren (12-3)-Section II
13. Fort Ann (12-2)-Section II

Honorable Mentions: Argyle (10-5)-Section II,