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News of Otsego County

sports

My mad map to March Madness madness

My mad map to March Madness madness

You say you want some sports? I got your sports right here!

It’s March Madness, that time of year when I set aside my utter ignorance for all things college basketball and plunge face-first into filling out a tournament bracket. I pinpoint the data, poring carefully over each school’s win-loss record, coaching strategies, recruitment violations, and other important calculations.

Here’s one that I used to win a pool back in the 1990s: I had just finished reading a biography of Bing Crosby, wherein I learned Bing was graduated from Gonzaga University. That was all the reason I needed to choose the ‘Zags – at the time an upstart team on the margins – and that year, they stunned the basketball world and made it to the Elite Eight. I won a few bucks and they became a perennial powerhouse.

Perhaps you’re having trouble finalizing the perfect bracket to send in to whichever sportsbook has come crashing through your television to demand you parlay your bets and become a champion and rake in the dough they promise every 90 seconds or so. I am happy to share some of my can’t-miss bracketeering tips with you:

This Week – 03-10-22

THIS WEEK’S NEWSPAPERS

The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

March 10, 2022

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Spot the local luminaries! Nearly the full cast and crew of “A Roadhouse Coup” pose after shooting the cocktail party scene at Oneonta’s Masonic Lodge. Filmmaker Lori Bailey told a Cooperstown gathering on March 8 she hopes to have the feature-length film complete in time for a September premier. See story on page 6.

FRONT PAGE

Cooperstown Central enlists MMA champ, Iraq war vet in anti-bullying strategy

Inside The Paper

Rep. Delgado brings SBA head to Cooperstown for tour, talks

Richfield Springs ready to build youth sports complex

Otego geologist shares his views on an Interstate sign’s misnomer

‘Eva Coo’ feature on track for fall release

Sonny Landreth, Cindy Cashdollar set Otesaga Concert Date

Green Cow still open, but moooooves to Hartwick

Perspectives

Editorial

Taking on Bullies

COLUMNS

Wabbit season

Youth mental health needs in Otsego County

History Column

Bound Volumes

LETTERS

Editors Policy

OBITUARIES

David W. Brenner

Thomas M. Hughson

CALENDAR

Happenin’ Otsego

2021 Cooperstown Boys Soccer Team
In the front row, from left, are: Creighton Williams, Conrad Erway, Ben Agostino, Declan White, Dillon Burns, Riley Diamond, Cooper Bradley and Reisen Sheldon. In the back row, from left, are: Liam Spencer, Max Porto, Gavin Lesko, Wyatt Montana, P.J. Kiuber, Ollie Wasson, Colby Diamond, Finn Holohan, Aidan Spencer, Ethan Kukenberger, Charlie Lambert and Aidan Klein.

2021 Cooperstown Boys Soccer Team

Editor’s note: Hot off their exciting state championship win on Sunday, we invited CCS Boys’ Varsity Soccer Coach Frank Miosek to reflect on his team’s brilliant 2021 performance. Here’s what he wrote.

By COACH FRANK MIOSEK

I have been the CCS boys’ soccer coach since 1988. Every summer I start to plan for the coming fall season. Before this dream job, I had another — I spent thirteen years at Cherry Valley as their first girls’ varsity soccer coach. Starting in 1971, I was a coach of youth soccer in Oneonta. So you can see I have a passion for the sport; as a coach and as a player: high school; college (Oneonta State 68-71), men’s travel Oneonta United, National Soccer Hall of Fame Team and numerous teams in the area until 2014.

Cooperstown Boys Ride Golden Goal to State Final
Cooperstown’s Colby Diamond plays the ball forward with Greene defender Ben Kehl. Luca Gardner-Olsen scored the game-winning goal in OT sending the Hawkeyes to the Class C state final 4. (Cheryl Clough)

Cooperstown Boys Ride
Golden Goal to State Final

By Cheryl Clough • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

The Section 3 champ Cooperstown Hawkeyes boys soccer team traveled to Oneonta Saturday to take on Section 4 champion Greene in a Class C regional game.

The undefeated Hawkeyes got into the scoring column first. Regulation ended with the teams tied at 1-1. In sudden death OT Colby Diamond sent a pass to Luca Gardner-Olsen who got in behind the Trojan defense and slid a shot past charging Greene goalie Jesse Ledford giving the Hawkeyes a spot in the Class C state final 4 next weekend in Middletown.

Cherry Valley-Springfield’s boys’ varsity soccer wraps up at Sectional IV Class D Finals
Cherry Valley-Springfield’s Will Heinrich and Allan Parker celebrate victory of Margaretville with teammates Dylan Huff, Oskar Webster, Kris Cade and Bryden Houk in background
(Photo credit: Shannon Rockwell)

Cherry Valley-Springfield’s boys’ varsity soccer wraps up at Sectional IV Class D Finals

By LISA HERSHEY • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Cherry Valley-Springfield’s boys’ varsity soccer season ended Saturday after a string of upsets took them to the Section IV Class D Finals.

The team started the season with some inconsistent play which included an overtime loss to the combined team Milford/Laurens in the Tri-Valley Semifinals. Lead by Coach Jennifer Moore, Cherry Valley-Springfield rallied in sectionals, upsetting fifth-seed Margaretville 4-3 on October 22, in Cherry Valley.

Editorial: Don’t bet on it

Editorial
Don’t bet on it

We love Major League Baseball’s World Series, even when it’s not “our” team playing in the Fall Classic. It always is a joy to see visitors traveling to and walking around Cooperstown just for the opportunity to watch the game on television in a restaurant in The Home of Baseball.

This year’s television and radio broadcasts, though, border on the unwatchable. Not because the quality of play is any less intense or expert. Not because it’s the Houston Astros once again vying for the title — Manager Dusty Baker has single-handedly restored dignity to a franchise that just a year ago was almost shamed out of existence thanks to its bang-on-a-can, signal-stealing controversy.

It’s not even because Joe Buck sometimes rattles on a little too much about statistics that sound like some of the most arcane trivia one could ever imagine.

Opinion by Charlie Vascellaro: Is Cooperstown calling for Dusty?

Opinion by Charlie Vascellaro
Is Cooperstown calling for Dusty?

Houston Astros veteran manager Dusty Baker is on the brink of winning his first World Series which should assure him a spot in the Hall of Fame.

In the wake of the sign-stealing scandal that tarnished the Houston Astros 2017 World Series victory and three-year run of success, veteran manager Dusty Baker was hired in 2020 to right the ship and restore the team’s reputation.

During the Astros fan-less season of 2020 the team managed to elude the scrutiny and jeering associated with its indiscretions over the course of the abbreviated 60-game season.

Baker guided the team to a respectable second-place finish in the American League’s West division, the Astros fell one game shy of reaching the World Series, losing the seventh game of the American League Championship Series to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Baker’s 24-year managerial career has been largely defined by such devastating losses: In his rookie season as manager of the San Francisco Giants in 1993, Baker’s Giants finished one game behind the Atlanta Braves in the National League West division despite winning a franchise record 103 games.
In 2002 powered by the historic performance of slugger Barry Bonds, Baker’s Giants captured the National League pennant but lost the World Series to the Los Angeles Angels in seven games after having a 3-2 lead in the Series. Baker’s contract was not renewed after the season, and he was immediately signed by the Chicago Cubs taking the 2003 team all the way to the seventh game of the National League Championship Series again losing games six and seven after holding a 3-2 lead.
After four seasons with the Cubs Baker moved on to his third managerial position with the Cincinnati Reds in 2008 and delivered the Reds first NL Central title in 15 years in 2010. The Reds were swept by the Philadelphia Phillies in three straight games in the National League Division Series.

Under Baker the Reds won the NL Central again in 2012 and lost a closely contested NLDS three-games-to-two after holding a 2-0 lead. In 2013 the third -place Reds captured the second Wild Card playoff spot but lost the one-game pay-in to the Pittsburgh Pirates and Baker was fired at the conclusion of the season.

After a two-year hiatus from managing Baker won back-to-back NL East division titles with the Washington Nationals in 2016 and 2017, falling in the first round to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2016 and to the Chicago Cubs in 2017.

Now in his first full season in Houston Baker is back on the brink of capturing his first managerial World Series ring which would almost certainly punch his Hall of Fame ticket.

The Astros opened the World Series at home against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday, October 26.

Baker’s 1,987 managerial wins ranks him 12th in major league history and 10 of the 11 managers in front of him on the list have been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame (Bruce Bochy, 2,003, is 16 wins in front of Baker over 25 seasons).

More than two dozen managers who have won many less games than Baker have also been inducted to the Hall including such luminary legends as: Casey Stengel (1,905), Tommy Lasorda (1,599), Dick Williams (1,571), and Earl Weaver (1,480).

“That guy is going to be a Hall of Famer soon,” said Astros catcher Martin Maldonado, after Houston’s AL pennant-clinching victory over the Boston Red Sox last week.

Baker was an accomplished major league player during his 19-year career playing with four different teams. He broke into the big leagues with the Atlanta Braves in 1968 where he was mentored by Henry Aaron batting in the clean-up (fourth) spot behind Aaron in the Braves batting order. It was Baker who famously greeted Aaron at home plate when he broke Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record with number 715 in Atlanta on April 8, 1974.

After eight seasons in Atlanta Baker was traded by the Braves to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1975.
Baker was the MVP of the 1977 NLCS hitting tow home runs with eight RBI and a .357 batting average in the Dodgers three games to one victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. He played on three NL pennant winning teams for the Dodgers (1977, 1978, 1981) capturing his only World Series ring as a player in 1981.

He spent the final three seasons with the San Francisco Giants (1984) and Oakland A’s (1985 and 1986) finishing his career with 242 home runs, 1,013 RBI and a .278 batting average. He was named to tow NL all-star teams with the Dodgers in 1981 and 1982, batting .320 and .300 respectively. Baler was one of four Los Angeles Dodgers to eclipse 30 home runs in 1977 the others being, Steve Garvey, Ron Cey and Reggie Smith.

For his cumulative accomplishments in the game Baker certainly merits Hall of Fame consideration but if he should capture a World Series championship with the Astros this year, Cooperstown will most likely come calling.

Cooperstown junior reaches goal of marathon finish before 16th birthday

Cooperstown junior Fred Hodgson runs in the Syracuse Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 17. (contributed)

Cooperstown junior
reaches goal of
marathon finish
before 16th birthday

By GREG KLEIN  • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

A Cooperstown Central School junior achieved his goal of running a marathon before his 16th birthday.

Fred Hodgson, who turns 16 Friday, Oct. 22, finished the Syracuse Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 17, in 3 hours, 55 minutes and 13 seconds. His time placed Hodgson 58th out of 178 runners. He placed first in his age bracket, but that was expected, he said.

I was the youngest person in the race by about four years,” he said Monday.

Opinion by Greg Klein: Is it a successful soccer season? Ask me again in November

Opinion by Greg Klein
Is it a successful soccer season?
Ask me again in November

Years ago, when I began covering high school sports here, I coined a truism about New York State Public High School Athletic Association seasons.

If you are playing in the spring season, you need to be playing in June to have a successful season.

If you are playing in the winter season, you need to be playing in March to have a successful season.

If you are playing in the fall season, you need to be playing in November to have a successful season.

I mention this because I have been trailing around the Cooperstown’s boys soccer team this fall. My son is a reserve on the team and I had a small hand in training these boys — specifically for this season — and perhaps a larger hand as their cheerleader.

High School sports by Nate Lull: Tri-Valley League soccer gets exciting as playoffs approach

High School sports by Nate Lull
Tri-Valley League soccer
gets exciting as playoffs approach

It’s hard to believe but Oct. 16, is right around the corner. It’s a day I like to call “Soccer Saturday” as the Tri-Valley, Delaware and MAC leagues all hold their conference championship games at the Wright National Soccer Campus fields in Oneonta.

It is a great way to see some of the top teams from our area all in one location. Let’s take a look at how things are shaping up in the TVL as I am writing this Oct. 4.

High School Sports by Nate Lull: Now more than ever, September holds a year’s worth of promises

High School Sports by Nate Lull
Now more than ever, September holds a year’s worth of promises

The last 18 months have been hard for all of us, but it has been especially difficult for high school athletes. The coronavirus pandemic ended playing careers early, dashed championship dreams and changed local record books forever. However, as this fall season begins, it feels like maybe we are getting a fresh start.

Sure, we know it could all come to a crashing halt at any moment, but with the return of certain rituals like the first day of practice and getting in shape for pre-season, we can only hope that this fall will bring back a bit of normalcy.

With the new season now upon us, here are a few things I am looking forward to:

• While some Otsego County fall teams didn’t get to play last school year, one of the teams that did was the Schenevus girls soccer team. With an undefeated spring season under its belt, this team will be the one to watch. Led by junior scoring phenom Angelina Competiello, the Dragons appear to be one of the favorites in the Tri-Valley League and in Section IV, Class D. Competiello has 81 career goals and is already the all-time leading goal scorer in school history with two seasons left to play. She is surrounded by a very solid supporting cast, including Taylor Knapp and Lily Competiello, who are two of the best-kept secrets. If you are looking to watch small school soccer of the highest quality, make sure you make the trip to Schenevus.

• Staying on the theme of must-see soccer, I am also excited to check out the Oneonta boys and the Cooperstown boys teams. Oneonta lost a lot of talent to graduation, but they return with one of the best goal scorers in Finlay Oliver. There is no doubt that Oliver is ready to put on a show for local fans. His work with high level off-season travel ball should propel him to be arguably the best player in the area.
On the flip side, the word out of Cooperstown is the Hawkeyes will have one of the most balanced teams in recent memory. A group that has been coming up together since grade school, CCS could be ready to make Coop a soccer town for a few months this fall.

• Another team I want to watch as the leaves turn is the Unatego girls soccer squad. The Spartans are a team that made the Class C state final in 2019 and are led by legendary local coach, Sue Herodes. Have they graduated a lot of talent? Yes. But can the Spartans reload? They have done it so many times in the past and I think they can do it again. As Delhi Coach Matt Albright recently told me, “the road to the MAC championship game always goes through Unatego.” I couldn’t agree more. With key players like Alexa Lucia, Kylie Mussaw and Anabel Rommer back, I wouldn’t count out UCS just yet.

So, as our local athletes prepare to get back to competition, make sure you get out and cheer them on. Nothing goes faster than the career of a high school athlete. As many kids have said to me over the years, “you think you have all this time then you blink and it is all over.” That is true now more than ever. These student athletes never know when their seasons might get cut short again, but for now it seems like our old rituals are back and we can focus on the promise of the season ahead.

Nate Lull is the sports director for WCDO in Sidney.

Mebust hopes to close swim career with NCAA run

Mebust hopes to close
swim career with NCAA run

By GREG KLEIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Mebust

One of the top swimmers in the region has been training for his college senior season with a goal in mind, the NCAA Division III championship.

Ted Mebust, a 2018 Cooperstown Central School graduate, missed almost a year of swimming at Bowdoin College because of the coronavirus pandemic, but he and his fellow 2021-22 captains have been planning to make up for it their senior year.

“We’re all living together. We’re all close as a team. So, we have been talking about how to establish or reestablish a team camaraderie, so to speak,” Mebust said in the phone interview with The Freeman’s Journal on Monday, Aug. 2.

When he was last in a competitive meet — Bowdoin, in Brunswick, Maine, had students on campus in the spring and the Polar Bears had a short training season, but no regulation competitions — Mebust had the best meet for his team at its conference tournament, the New England Small College Athletic Conference Championship, Feb. 20 to 23, 2020, in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Mebust placed second in the 50 backstroke, third in the 100 back and seventh in the 50 freestyle.

Oneonta’s Green Wave ends state run in final four

Oneonta’s Green Wave
ends state run in final four

The Oneonta Green Wave won the District 6 championship Monday, July 19, in Binghamton. Pictured are, front row from left, Carter Neer, Jordan Goble, Kendall Haney, Coach Mike Jester, Aidan Breakey, Kaden Halstead and David Morse. In the back row are, Tanner Russin, Dakoda Buzzy, Cam Horth, Aidan Gelbsman, Seamus Catella, Louis Bonnici, Cole Platt, an unidentified Legion official and Owen Burnsworth.

STAFF REPORT • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Oneonta’s run at a state title in Legion baseball ended Tuesday, July 27, in Saugerties.

The Green Wave lost to Smith Post of Rome, 6-1, Tuesday, to end its tournament.

After losing its first game of the day Monday, in the double-elimination, eight-team tournament, Oneonta rallied to defeat Schenectady, 7-6, to make it to the final four.

Tanner Russin had a walk-off double to keep the Green Wave alive in the tournament.

Oneonta lost to Hamburg, 16-6, in Monday’s opener. It beat Clinton County in the opening game of the tournament, Sunday, July 25, 8-0, Jordan Goble got the win Sunday, pitching six innings. Cole Platt had an RBI double and Aidan Breakey had a triple and two RBI.

The Green Wave went 2-1 in the opening days of the state tournament, a week after winning a District 6 title last week.

The Green Wave swept two games from Harpursville-1596 on Monday, July 19, at Conlon Field in Binghamton to win its third District 6 championship.

Oneonta won, 1-0, and, 19-1, in a mercy-rule win in the finale to secure the title.

Schenevus, Cooperstown players make All-State softball teams

Schenevus, Cooperstown players
make All-State softball teams

Cooperstown sophomore Dani Seamon was named third team All-State in Class C. (Greg Klein/AllOTSEGO.com)

The 2021 All-State team for softball honored a trio of Schenevus players, two players from Worcester and one player from Cooperstown and Morris.

The Dragons won the Section IV Class D title for the second time in school history, and first time since 1978. It was also the first time since 1995 that a team other than Afton or Deposit won the Section IV Class D softball title. The Dragons beat Marathon, 7-1, in the title game Friday, June 11, in Schenevus.

Schenevus senior shortstop Hannah Osborne led all area players, making the first team in Class D. Osborne plans to play college softball at Cobleskill.

Her fellow senior, Cassie Snyder, made the second team, and sister Sam Osborne made the third team for Schenevus. Snyder, the Dragons’ pitcher, plans to play college softball at Wells College.

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