News of Otsego County


Clark gym becomes summer basketball gathering spot

Clark gym becomes summer
basketball gathering spot

By GREG KLEIN • Special to

Clark Sports Center Assistant Athletic Director Scott Whiteman, center, watches as Meghan Niles, left, and Piper Seamon do a basketball drill Thursday, July 8. Watching in the background are Cooperstown girls basketball coach Mike Niles and Gabby Woeppel. (Greg Klein/

MIDDLEFIELD — As summer began and COVID regulations eased, Clark Sports Center Assistant Athletic Director Scott Whiteman started getting more activity on his phone. It was the basketball athletes checking on open gym status.

“We couldn’t practice the last week of school, because it was finals,” said Piper Seamon, a 2020 Cooperstown Central School graduate and college basketball player at Hamilton College in Clinton.

“So, I was texting Scott a week before I got home, ‘Are you open? Can I work out?’”

In the off seasons of many sports, athletes go back to their college campuses to work with old trainers or scrimmage with young recruits. Around Otsego County, elite basketball players congregate at the Clark.

From state title to college hoops, Lambert looks for his shot
Jack Lambert defends an opponent’s guard during a Landmark Conference game in his sophomore year at University of Scranton. (Scranton University Sports Information)

From state title to college hoops, Lambert looks for his shot

By CHAD WELCH • Special to

When Jack Lambert graduated from Cooperstown Central School, he was second on the boys’ basketball program’s career scoring list and as a senior had led his team to the school’s first-ever Class C state championship in boys basketball, while earning Most Outstanding Player honors after setting several state tournament scoring records. He was also named the NYSPHAA Class C Player of the Year in 2019.

However, when he arrived to play for the men’s basketball team at the University of Scranton, he was just another freshman player trying to earn some playing time for a perennial Division III powerhouse.
“It’s definitely a transition. I mean, I am proud of all the things I accomplished in high school, and that was awesome,” Lambert said. “But when you get to college, especially at a very competitive Division III level, it’s a whole new ballgame.”

After Transfer, Bertram Finds Hoops Home At Binghamton University

After Transfer,

Bertram Finds Hoops Home

At Binghamton University

By CHAD G. WELCH • Special to

Contributed/Binghamton University Sports Information Department
Cooperstown’s Tyler Bertram said he is happy in a Binghamton uniform this season.

When Cooperstown Central School’s all-time leading scorer in basketball, Tyler Bertram, decided to transfer from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, he said he was looking for a better fit, a bigger role and an opportunity to play closer to home.

He found all three with Binghamton University men’s basketball team during the 2020-2021 season.

After finishing his high school career at Vermont Academy in Saxtons River, Vermont, Bertram spent two years in Charlotte; the first a redshirt season during which he said he added 20 pounds to bulk up his slender 6-foot 3-inch frame. In the second, as a redshirt freshman, he appeared in 12 games for the 49ers averaging 9.3 minutes per game.

“Coming back close to home was important, but finding the right fit was very important,” Bertram said. “The previous situation just didn’t really feel like it was the right spot and then knowing that Binghamton played really fast and like to shoot a lot of threes, I knew that I could kind of be myself here.”

“I made the mistake of not fully understanding what kind of style it was going to be (in Charlotte),” Bertram said. “I thought the change went really well. It was a fun year. The team was great. I just had a lot of fun playing fast and playing with some confidence again.”

Kennedy, Martin, Wooden Make State All-State Team

Kennedy, Martin, Wooden

Make State All-State Team

Cooperstown’s John Kennedy pulls down a rebound in a sectional game against Waterville. (Cheryl Clough/

COOPERSTOWN – CCS junior John Kennedy landed on the Class C 2nd team  NYSSWA all-state boys basketball team. Kennedy averaged 17.3 points a game and led the Hawkeyes to the Section 3 Class C championship game this season.

Edmeston’s Josh Martin was also a 2nd team selection for Class D. Martin, a junior. averaged 22 points a game and helped the Panthers win their second consecutive Tri-Valley League title this season.

Oneonta’s Graham Wooden was selected third team in Class B. Wooden, a senior, was the ‘Jackets team leader averaging 21.2 points a game. He will play basketball next season for D2 Mansfield University.

CCS Boys, Girls Going To States


CCS Boys,

Girls Going

To States

Cooperstown’s Jillian Lifgren, Colby Diamond, Josie Furnari and Lucy Hayes cheer in elation at the Hawkeyes’ Sunday, March 3, victory against Utica Academy of Science in the Carrier Dome
Ian Austin/The Freeman’s Journal – Hawkeyes rush into a group hug with their hard-fought Section III victory Sunday, March 3, at the Carrier Dome From left are Kyle Meyer, Calvin Sandler, Spencer Lewis, Jack Lambert, Ryan Lansing, Kyle Santello and John Kennedy.
Jack Lambert, Cooperstown Hawkeyes’ captain, embraces his father and Coach John Lambert.


COOPERSTOWN – With their victory over Utica Academy of Science Atoms on Sunday, March 3, Hawkeyes’ basketball team Captain Jack Lambert has his dad beat.
“My team won sectional championship in 1985 and ’86,” the elder Lambert said. “But now Jack has one more on me!”
The boys will play Section IV champions Unadilla Valley in the state Class C quarterfinals on Sunday, March 10, at the Broome County Memorial Arena. “We beat them in December 48-45,” he said. “It was a low-scoring, close game, so we think this will be another tough contest.”
In Sunday’s nail-biter, the Hawkeyes beat the Atoms 61-57, taking the lead in the fourth quarter after dogging at the Atoms’ heels.
“Those first two baskets threw us off,”  said Coach Lambert. “I gathered the team around and said, ‘This is going to be a grind.’”
At halftime, the Utica Academy of Science was up 34-27 in Utica’s favor. By the end of the third quarter, it was 46-40. With four minutes left, Jack Lambert tied the score.

Joe Harmer/The Freeman’s JournalPiper Seamon, Kate Donnelly and Meagan Schuermann let out a victory yell as the Lady Hawkeyes beat the Little Falls Lady Mounties Thursday, March 1.

Then it rose to 50 points. 52. 57 for Cooperstown with 30 seconds remaining. With eight seconds on the clock, Utica brought the score to 57.
Then Jesse Furnari sank the final two baskets to bring the Cooperstown boys to 61 points and win their 11th Section III championship, their third in four years.
“I’ve got goosebumps,” said Jack. “My voice is weak from screaming like crazy.”
The younger Lambert credited the long drills his dad made him run with their endurance out on the court. “We knew we had it,” he said. “We knew we could come back with that energy.”
“And when you had a kid like Ryan Lansing, his energy is limitless,” said John.
Following the game, Ryan was named to the all-tournament team, while Jack was named Most Valuable Player.
And dad John, in his first-year as head coach, was named Coach of the Year. “I didn’t know they would announce it there,” he said. “When I heard my name, I couldn’t believe it. I was so flattered.”
But they weren’t the only ones returning to Cooperstown with a championship.




The Cooperstown Lady Hawkeyes took down the Little Falls Mounties 54-45 to claim the Section III title this evening at Carrier Dome in Syracuse. The Lady Hawkeyes move onto the state championships, facing off the winner of Saturday’s matchup between Unatego and Watkins Glen, while their counterparts on the Cooperstown boys basketball team play for their own Section III title at 1:45 p.m. Sunday, March 3, also at the Carrier Dome. (Joe Harmer/
Oneonta Yellowjackets Fall To Seton Saints

Oneonta Yellowjackets

Fall To Seton Saints

Oneonta’s Matt Shultz, right, dribbles past Tyler Rumpel of the Seton Saints(19-3) during their game at the Seton campus in Binghamton this evening. Despite a strong first quarter by both teams, by halftime the Saints had a 13 point lead from which Oneonta could not recover, eventually losing 58-79. (Ian Austin/
Dad John Coaches, Son Jack Plays, As Hawkeyes Look Toward Finals

Dad John Coaches,

Son Jack Plays,

As Hawkeyes Look Toward Finals

Father and son were all smiles after a victory takes them once againto the semi-finals.
Kate Trossett lets out a big cheer as the CCS boys score against Weedsport Saturday, Feb. 23. The Hawk- eyes won, 63-60.


Hawkeyes team captain Jack Lambert dodges Weedsport Warrior Matt Powers at Onondaga CC



Growing up, John Lambert always had a ball in his hand.
“My dad, Paul Lambert, coached Cooperstown basketball, 1958-64,” he said. “And I want to do the same thing for my son.”
The CCS Redskins are now the Hawkeyes, but some things stay the same.
Like his father, John Lambert is coaching the CCS team.

OHS Senior Tops 3-Point Record

OHS Senior Tops 3-Point Record

OHS Girls Basketball coach Matt Miller hugs senior Taylor Microni after she scores her last three-pointer to break Mariah Ruffs record of 205 career three pointers. But despite Microni’s prowess – 206 three-pointers in all – the Lady Yellowjackets fell to Norwich earlier this evening, 67-40, ending their playoff bid for the state championship. (Joe Harmer/
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