COOPERSTOWN – Led by Ryan Lansing’s 22 points, the Cooperstown Hawkeye Varsity boys basketball team held on to win a tense 63-56 battle against Herkimer in a packed Bursey Gym this evening in the first round of the Section III, Class C playoffs.
John Kennedy had 15 points and 19 rebounds. Kaishaun Jefferson has 18 points. Joseph Senchyshyn had a career high 14 rebounds.
The Cooperstown girls’ varsity team used stellar defense to fight off a scrappy Little Falls team, 55-52.
Cooperstown’s John Kennedy, above, tries to pull in a rebound among teammates Joe Senchyshyn, Ryan Lansing and Kendall Haney in the Hawkeyes’ 71-62 win over Waterville at Bursey gymnasium last evening. Kennedy had 33 points to lead the Hawkeyes in the opening round sectional win. Cooperstown moves on to play Herkimer in the quarter finals at home on Tuesday. Cooperstown senior Kate Donnelly, right, shoots a foul shot in the Hawkeyes 66-39 win over Westmoreland in the opening round win of sectionals over Westmoreland. Donnelly scored 13 points in the win. Cooperstown will host Little Falls on Tuesday in the quarter finals. (Cheryl Clough/AllOTSEGO.com)
More than 700 people have signed a Change.org petition in support of the Cooperstown Hawkeyes’ JV and Varsity football team after discussions arose that the team may be cut in the 2020-21 budget.
“If we don’t join together and peacefully let the board know how we feel: We will lose football,” wrote Kimberly Burkhart, who started the petition. She is a Milford Elementary School teacher and mother of a CCS football player.
“We are asking everyone that has been positively affected by the sport of football,” she wrote, “to sign this petition and come full strength to the board of education meeting at 5 p.m. Feb. 12.”
For his part, Superintendent Dr. William Crankshaw emphasized the school board is simply exploring options: No decisions have been made about cutting programs.
“We are looking broadly across the budget to make the most informed decision,” he said. “At our last meeting, we presented some ideas of programs and services, including classroom and extra-curricular activities, that have the potential for discussion.”
Both the football and swimming programs came up in that discussion.
“The question is, could we modify or discontinue those, and what would that be like for students,” he said. “We’re not talking about cutting as much as we’re talking about what is valuable to our community and our students and find the right balance of opportunities.”
The 2019 varsity roster had 13 players. According to Athletic Director David Bertram, the school reduced the size of the football team from an 11-player team to an eight-player team, with two of those students coming from Milford Central School to play.
“There’s a number of schools across the state that had switched to an 8-player game,” said Bertram. “We can’t play against those 11-player teams, but there is a playoff system within Section III, and they’re looking to have an 8-man state championship.”
“We have to look at participation numbers,” said Crankshaw. “We want to make sure we have the right balance of all opportunities.”
He said he was encouraged by the response to the discussion, but cautioned against jumping to conclusions. “This shows the quality of our community,” he said. “It’s a pre-determination that those programs are going to be cut, but right now, it’s all just an idea.”
Crankshaw plans to make a presentation on the budget at the Feb. 12 board meeting. “I encourage people to come to the budget meetings,” he said. “You can only learn more, and then raise questions that we can answer. The best thing is for people to come with creative solutions to partner with other schools and community resources.”
The final budget won’t be put before the Board of Education until April, following the announcement of the state budget. “State aid is not increasing,” he lamented. “The responsibility of tax payers is heavy to bear, and enrollment is declining.”
Burkhart encourages people to wear their football gear to the meeting to show support for the team.
“Panic isn’t what we’re looking for,” said Crankshaw. “We’re looking to build a budget that serves the kids’ needs and mirrors the values our community has.”
COOPERSTOWN – Following 5-2 win against the Pierson Whalers this evening, the Cooperstown Hawkeyes baseball team are headed to the state championship tomorrow afternoon, where they will take on Ticonderoga Sentinels at 4 p.m. at Binghamton University.
Pierson started with a 2-0 lead until the top of the second, when Cooperstown’s bats and aggressive base running propelled the Hawkeyes to a 3-2 lead. With Erik Dysenroth brought in as middle relief pitcher, Pierson didn’t score another run for the remainder of the game. Catcher Sam Bonderoff hit a sacrifice fly and later an infield single – both times bringing Chris Ubner home to seize the win.
For Coach Matt Hazzard, the Cooperstown Hawkeyes hard-won 8-7 victory over the Tioga
Tigers was “surreal.”
“You can’t make that stuff up,” he said. “It was just incredible.”
The win – it came after a 4-7 deficit into the seventh inning – puts Cooperstown in the Class C Final Four for the second time in three years.
At 5 p.m. Friday, June 14, the Hawkeyes play at Maine-Endwell in the Final Four. The state championship game will be at 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon at SUNY Binghamton.
“Our strategy is that we always feel confident,” said Hazzard, Head Coach Frank Miosek’s assistant. “We know the only team who can beat us is ourselves.”
That confidence is also bolstered by five team members who were also on the Cooperstown Hawkeyes basketball team that took home its own state championship in March.
“They carry a lot of the team’s leadership,” said Hazzard. “But you can’t beat this team’s camaraderie.”
The key play actually came in the second inning, when the Tigers had a chance to cement their lead.
With the bases loaded, Hawkeye Eric Deysenroth made a critical catch – the critical out that kept Cooperstown in the game.
In the seventh inning with a three-run deficit, Cooperstown was at the top of the order. The bases started to fill up, then sophomore Alex Hascup’s single brought in two runs. And senior Jesse Furnari’s single down the left field line brought in two runners to give the Hawkeyes the 8-7 lead.
“For a senior to be able to come through like that is really special,” said Hazzard. “These kids have a unique willingness to not be defeated.”
The formidable obstacle throughout was Pierce Hendershot, Tioga’s pitcher who is headed to St. Bonaventure, a baseball powerhouse, this fall. He also hit a home run.
But the Hawkeyes continued to grind away at him – by game’s end, he had been forced to throw over 100 pitches.
“We knew what was coming,” said Hazzard. “Our research told us that 75 percent of his pitches were strikes. We’re a very offensive team, and with all his pitches in the strike zone, we were able to capitalize on this and pick the pitches that we wanted.”
For Cooperstown pitching, Chris Ubner started and ended the game, with Kendall Haney, who also slammed three doubles, and Deysenroth pitching in relief.
“Haney’s third double was in the seventh inning, tying a school record for 13 doubles in a season.” said Hazzard. “That record was set by Frank Petrosky in 2007, and that team only reached the regionals!”
Early on, Tioga was ahead 3-1. The Cooperstown boys tied it at 3-3. Tioga moved ahead 4-3. Cooperstown tied it at 4-4. Then Tioga gained the lead which it lost at the end.
“We knew we could beat them,” said Hazzard. “We talked to other coaches who had beaten them, and studied what they did.”
The last time the baseball team went to the Final Four was 2017, when they were knocked out in the quarterfinals.
“We are the only team in the world who could bring home a championship to the home of baseball,” said Hazzard.
COOPERSTOWN – The Hawkeyes avenged an early season loss to Oriskany last night in an extra-inning 2-1 battle that saw both teams bring their best pitching and defense to the game. The Hawkeyes emerged the winner after Kendall Haney got a one-out single in the eighth inning that scored Jackson Martz.
Chris Ubner pitched a one-hitter into the seventh inning and controlled the high-powered Oriskany offense for much of the game. He was relieved in the seventh by Haney who finished the game for the Hawkeyes and who made a great fielding play from the pitchers position to secure the third out in the bottom of the eighth inning and the win.
BINGHAMTON – Hot on the heels of yesterday’s triple-overtime win against Greenport, the Hawkeyes made their 71-61 championship game against the Middle Early College Kats look easy, seizing a 10-point lead early on and never letting up.
“A game like yesterday can drain you emotionally, but when I got on the bus this morning and saw them I knew they were ready,” said Coach John Lambert.
“The energy from winning yesterday really carried over to today,” said sophomore John Kennedy. The 6-foot-8 team newcomer, who brought out plenty of cheers from the packed stands.
CCS’ center, 6-foot-8 John Kennedy, towers over Unatego’s 6-foot Shea Barber in the final boys’ varsity game of the annual Dick White Christmas Tournament at Cooperstown’s Bursey gym. Unatego, which lost 77-33, was at a disadvantage as four players and the head coach were unable to make the tournament. Inset, Hawkeye Coach John Lambert outlines strategy for his team. In the last game of the tournament, which followed, the Unatego girls beat the Lady Hawkeyes, 48-44. In 2007, the Cooperstown Booster Club renamed the Christmas Tournament, now in its 36th year, for Dick White, who succumbed to cancer earlier that year after more than two decades walking the sidelines. The Hawkeyes and Spartans fielded boys and girls varsity and JV teams in today’s action. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
BINGHAMTON – The Cooperstown Hawkeyes’ baseball team bowed to Potsdam Central, 6-2, a few minutes ago in the state semi-finals at NYSEG Arena here a few minutes ago. Nonetheless, the team made history, advancing farther than any varsity baseball team in CCS history.
BINGHAMTON – The Cooperstown Hawkeyes’ dream of a state championship ended this afternoon at the hands of the Moravia Blue Devils at the Floyd L. Maines Memorial Arena in NYSPHSAA Regionals Championship game.
The Hawkeyes came out strong in the first quarter, with a 9 point lead, but the Blue Devils caught up in the second quarter. The teams were neck and neck for the third quarter which ended with Moravia pulling ahead.
Despite strong efforts by lead scoreres Tyler Bertram, right, and Jack Lambert, the Hawkeyes were unable to overcome Moravia in the 4th, resulting in a 59-66 loss.
SYRACUSE – The CCS Hawkeyes Boys’ Basketball Team defeated the Tully Black Knights, 73-62, to claim the Class C, Section III title and compete for the regional title next weekend at the Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghmton.
The action was this afternoon at Onondaga Community College.
The first quarter CCS was up 19-11; halftime brought at 27-27 tie. The last quarter, Coop maintained a 10-point lead that Tully was unable to overcome.
Tyler Bertram scored 39 points and was named the Class C Tournament MVP.
The Hawkeyes face Section IV champ Moravia next weekend. The winner will go on to the state tournament the weekend of March 17-18 in Binghamton.