By DAVE SHEA
One of the most inhospitable Springs in many years sent all area high school athletic programs into a scramble mode.
At Madrid-Waddington Central, postponements and cancellations were constant and cabin fever struck in epidemic proportions as practices were confined to the gym and the halls of the schools.
But true to the Blue and Gold tradition, Yellowjacket squads made the most of it and put together a successful season in a host of offerings.
M-W enjoyed solid seasons in baseball, softball, golf, boys and girls track-field and girls lacrosse at Canton.
That spring season was officially entered into the books on Monday night at the 2014 Spring Sports Awards Night.
Justin Richards directed the activities in place of retiring Athletic Director Gary Tischler.
“For personal reasons coach Tischler will not be here tonight. He would like to congratulate all the spring athletes and coaches for a successful season,” said Richards.
“He wishes the seniors good luck in their future academic, athletic and employment careers and the returning athletes a very successful and rewarding 2014-15 sports season. As the outgoing Director of Athletics, he also thanks the board of education, the administration, custodial and secretarial staff and bus drivers for years of dedication in serving our student/athletes. And a final thank you to the parents over the years who supported our programs.”
SPRING SPORTS AWARDS
Golf: Challenge was the theme of the M-W Golf.
Challenges taken and challenges met.
The Yellowjackets took on the challenge of playing in the NAC Division I on courses which many of the team members had never seen. The Jackets also faced up the challenging playing conditions created around the area because of an extended winter and very wet early spring.
Coaches Aaron Jones and Billy Gotsch saw their team meet the challenge on both fronts. The Jackets went 10-2 and hosted OFA in a showdown of 10-1 co-leaders on the final day of the season and seven of the eight returning golfers improved their averages.
“This was a very unique season. The team wanted to play in Division I and did a great job,” said Jones.
“We had four players qualify for the second day of the Section 10 Tournament and that is most we have had in 20 years.”
Leading the way was First Team All-NAC Division I selection Jeff Mott who plans to play collegiately at SUNY Canton in the fall and a Second Team All-Conference selection in Alex Hammond.
Hammond earned an NAC All-Academic Award and also received a team Coaches’ Award along with Preston Dominie.
Austin Delosh received the Rookie of the Year Award and freshman Kaden Pickering, who will attend Northwood Prep next year to better his propects to play collegiate hockey, received the team’s NAC Sportsmanship Award.
Other All-Academic Award recipients were: Liam Miller, Mary Young who placed second in a field of nine at the Section 10 Girls Tournament, Wade Lawrence and T.J. Gagnon.
Jones also thanked Lisbon students Taylor Smith and Connor Hammond for making the commitment to M-W Golf through a merger agreement.
Canton Girls Lacrosse: Canton Girls Lacrosse Coach Melanie Knight was on hand to honor Tess Knight and Kristen Liddell for their contributions to the Golden Bears who lost to Potsdam in the Section 10 Class C title game.
Knight, a first team All-NAC selection and NAC All-Academic Award recipient, led the Canton team in scoring and Liddell also earned an All-Academic Award.
Cited for their efforts at the modified level were: Aubrey Liddell and Cameryn Chester.
Baseball: Coach Justin Richards recognized his team for a gratifying season where the Yellowjackets boasted a .333 team batting average and 3.23 team ERA and went 10-6 and dropped Class D semi-final 6-5 loss to eventual New York State Final Four qualifier Heuvelton.
Richards presented his MVP Award to First Team All-NAC East selection Zach Brock who batted .554 and was 4-2 with a 2.51 ERA on the mound. Tanner Uppstrom, who made only one error all year at secondbase while batting .422, received the Gold Glove Award and Coaches Awards went to First Team All-NAC selection and NAC All-Academic Award recipient Jacob Barney and Brandon Vice.
Collin Peacock was cited as Second Team All-NAC East selection and Luke Miller received the team’s NAC Sportsmanship Award.
Coach Richards also presented his seniors with special momentos: Kyle Pickering, Collin Peacock, Zach Brock and Jacob Barney and honored scorekeeper Samantha Hall.
“Seniors, I appreciate all your hard work and great leadership. I don’t know baseball or school without you and I wish you the best of luck. You will be missed.”
Girls Track-Field: Coach Larry LaMere cited his 12-performer squad for earning a New York State Scholar-Athlete team award with a 93.5 average. A squad which featured three juniors in Cassidy Scott, Dia Richards and Kaleigh Field; eight eight graders in Susan Clarke, Sara Evans, Taylor Harris, Margaret Kent, Kerry Mayette, Megan McCall, Olivia Rubin and Gabby Scott and one seventh grader in Kellsie Tiernan.
Leading the team was Cassidy Scott who placed second in the steeplechase at the sectionals in school record time and then lowered that record at the state meet.
“We had a very short season, we basically had one month on the track,” said Coach Larry LaMere.
“We were extremely young but we have a great deal of promise.”
First-year Boys Track-Field Coach Shane Sudol cited his team for a fifth place finish in the Section 10 Championships where they Jackets took fourth in the 4x800 and 4x400 relays and third in the 4x100 relay.
In individual placings Ian Hawkins won the discus throw and Connor Maskel took fifth in the pentathlon. Also cited for strong seasons at the banquet were: Thomas McLaughlin, Nick Zeledon, Brendan O’Neil and seventh graders Tim Allen and Jesse LaMere.
Varsity Softball: Eleven of 16 players on Coach Tim Dashnaw’s 7-7 team formed a New York State Scholar-Athlete Team contingent with a 92.273 average: Mariana Bush, Paige Moulton, Sadie Newcombe, Brooke Nichols, Olivia Parmeter, Cheryl Squires, Amelia Bailey, Emily Murphy, Mariah Patenaude, Brittani Dawley and Allison Fobare.
Desiree Pryce, a First Team NAC East selection who batted .564, was honored as Team MVP, Mariah Patenaude received the Slugger Award and Emily Murphy and Brittani Dawley received Coaches’ Award from Dashaw and his assistants Millard Rogers and Steve Newcombe.
Blake Orosz was recognized for earning All-NAC East Second Team selection.
Modified Baseball: Coach Dave Bailey cited the total commitment of his 22-player team which posted a 5-5-2 record after starting the season with a game before an outside practice.
Pitchers Shane Tiernan, Owen Uppstrom, Charlie Pryce, Braydon Bush, Nate Plumley, Evan Ruddy and Shay Putney combined for 126 strikeouts against 63 walks.
“To atheltics is all about achieving personal bests. I believe these guys did that,” said Bailey.
Other members of the team are: Patrick Tallion, Kyle Field, Dan Dominy, Ryan VanBuren, Caleb Lawrence, Joish Mikolay, Cody Fobare, Sam Kingston, Nathan Moulton and Peyton Chambers.
Modified Girls Softball: Coach Buffy Gabri spoke of the potential of her squad which went 10-2 which included the program’s first win over Chateaugay in several years.
“These girls are a very special group. They worked extremely hard on learning the fundamentals, during the preseason, which was done in the gym and hallways because of the weather,” said Gabri.
“Once we made it outside the mental aspect of the game into play. If they keep improving I know that they will put a banner in the gym someday.”
Pitchers Danielle Hough, Allie Stoner and Morgan Burns combined for 124 strikeouts and Jenna Marcellus hit four homeruns in one game.
The team also attended a SUNY Potsdam game and one week later the Potsdam Ladies came to M-W and held a two-hour clinic.
Other members of the team are: Kelsey Thisse, Hannah Mott, Hope Kingston, Beth Sochia, Ashley Curran, Breanne Bouchey, Camryn Paige, Kathryn Harper, Ari Ramsey, Kassy Sharlow, Mallory Fraker, Emily Sochia, Sydney Hosmer, Stephanie Curran, Alyssa Mayette-Oshier and Sadie Conger.