By Rob Potter and Jeanne Sager
SULLIVAN COUNTY September 7, 2004 Thousands of Sullivan County students will head back to school this week to begin the 2004-2005 academic year.
For many of those students, this week marks a return to the athletic fields as well.
While a few high school football games were scheduled to be held over the Labor Day Weekend, the scholastic sports season kicks into full gear this week. Local cross country, soccer, tennis and volleyball teams begin their seasons in the next few days.
The following is a short preview of the fall sports seasons for the countys eight school districts as well as The Family School in neighboring Delaware County.
The Eldred football team kicked off its season last Friday night in a non-league game against Section IV Class D foe Hancock. The Yellowjackets, who are coached by Frank Kean, take the field again at 1:30 p.m. this Saturday (September 11) when they travel to Livingston Manor for a non-league game.
The Yellowjacket soccer team begins its season by hosting a tournament Thursday and Saturday. Eldred is scheduled to meet Liberty in Thursdays first round.
The Lady Yellowjackets are slated to begin their soccer season today in a tournament at Tri-Valley.
Eldreds boys and girls cross country teams start their 2004 season next Tuesday (September 14) in an Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) meet at the Town of Thompson Park.
All of the Fallsburg varsity fall sports teams begin their seasons this week.
The boys soccer team, which qualified for the Section IX Class C Tournament last season, starts its new season Thursday by hosting The Family School in a non-league contest.
The girls soccer team begins its 2004 schedule on Friday. At 4:30 that afternoon, the Lady Comets will host Roscoe in a non-league game.
On the tennis court, Fallsburg will host Port Jervis at 4 p.m. tomorrow in a non-league match.
THE FAMILY SCHOOL
For the eighth consecutive year, Bill Musgrove will coach the boys soccer team.
He noted that there are 18 players on the Falcon squad, four of whom return from last season.
The Falcons had a very successful 2003 season as the team reached the Section IX Class D championship game. S.S. Seward defeated The Family School 2-1 in double overtime in that title contest.
Even though we lost, that was probably the best soccer game Ive ever been involved with, Musgrove said. Seward beat us, but our kids played great. They stayed right with Seward for 100 minutes of soccer.
Musgrove, who also serves as the athletic director at The Family School, added that he was very proud of that Falcon squad, which had lost to Seward earlier in the season by a final score of 8-1.
Looking ahead to this season, Musgrove noted that the Falcons will be competing in a three-team division with Eldred and S. S. Seward. Chapel Field and Livingston Manor were originally part of the division as well, but those schools recently cancelled their varsity seasons due to a lack of players.
The boys are working hard, Musgrove said of his players.
The Falcons were scheduled to begin their season last Friday with a non-league match versus Honesdale, Pa. The team was also slated to participate in a multi-team scrimmage last Saturday at Pine Bush High School.
The Lady Falcons will begin their season this afternoon when they travel to Andes for a non-league match.
Husband and wife team Joe and Shelly Lichty will coach the Lady Falcons. This marks their first year leading the team.
For the second consecutive year, Liberty was forced to drop its varsity football program because of a lack of players.
LCS Athletic Director Tim Bult noted that he and the football coaches spoke to kids during their physical education classes at the end of last season about coming out for the varsity team. But those efforts were not too successful.
We only had about 16 kids, Bult said. You just cant field a varsity football team with only 16 players.
On the positive side, the Liberty junior varsity and modified football teams are faring better in terms of the number of eligible players. Bult noted that after the first two weeks of practice, the JV team, which is coached by Jim OConnor and Adam Ramirez, had about 20-25 players on the roster. Bult was hoping that a few more boys might sign-up for the squad when school starts this week.
The modified team doesnt begin its season for a few weeks, but Bult said that 40 youngsters had signed up to play for the squad. Todd Cook and Phil Fanning will coach the modified team.
The varsity soccer team, coached by Hazel Yaun, begins its season this afternoon. The Indians will host Fallsburg in a non-league contest.
Ashlee Prouty, who has coached the Lady Indian junior varsity soccer team the past few seasons, will coach the Lady Indian varsity squad this year. The team begins its season tomorrow by hosting The Family School in a non-league game.
The girls tennis team, which is coached by Steve Colman, starts its 2004 season tomorrow with a non-league match at Monroe-Woodbury.
Andy Kavleski serves as the coach of the boys and girls cross country teams. The teams open their season next Tuesday (September 14) in an OCIAA meet at Town of Thompson Park.
Hopefully, the players and coaches will have great seasons, Bult said.
Low numbers forced Manor to drop its varsity boys soccer team a few weeks ago.
However, the school will still field varsity football and girls varsity soccer teams this autumn.
The Wildcat gridiron squad began its season last Saturday by hosting Unatego, a Section IV school, in a non-league game.
On Friday, the Lady Wildcat soccer team will travel to Chester for a non-league match. The contest is slated to begin at 4:30 p.m.
The schools varsity cross country team was slated to kick off its season this past Saturday at the Tri-Valley Invitational.
The Panther soccer team is slated to start its 2004 campaign this afternoon. Monticello will host Port Jervis in a non-league game.
The Lady Panther soccer squad is also scheduled to begin its season today. The team will play in a soccer tournament at Tri-Valley.
At 4 p.m. tomorrow, the Lady Panther tennis team is scheduled to host Middletown in a non-league match.
The Blue Devil football team was scheduled to begin its season last Saturday in a non-league game against Pawling at Dietz Stadium in Kingston.
As it has in the past two seasons, Roscoe will bring in temporary lights to host two football games on Friday nights. In the first night game, slated to kickoff at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, September 24, the Blue Devils will host Eldred in a non-league contest. The lights for that game will donated by the Tony Brzytwa Memorial Fund.
In addition, Coach Fred Ahart, Assistant Coach Bill Hendrickson, Modified Coach Adam Palm and the Roscoe players will honor Derek Haas that evening. Haas, a freshman fullback and linebacker for the 2003 Blue Devil varsity squad, passed away unexpectedly this past January at the age of 14.
Dereks parents, Bill and Debbie, will be presented with his number 51 jersey and a plaque honoring his play.
The second Roscoe night game is slated for 7 p.m. on Friday, October 15. The Blue Devils will host traditional rival Livingston Manor that evening. Lights for the game will be donated by the Roscoe Kiwanis Club.
The Lady Blue Devil soccer team will begin the 2004 season tomorrow when it travels to Tri-Valley for a non-league contest. Cliff Anderson will be the teams head coach and Kevin Sanford will serve as assistant coach.
Were looking forward to all of the games this fall, said Ahart, who is also the RCS Athletic Director. Were looking forward to an exciting year.
Little has changed in the Sullivan West sports program. Three years after finally merging all of its sports teams, the district is slowly building a true program.
Athletic Director Dave Franskevicz said the squad to watch this autumn is the girls volleyball team. Although volleyball is a relatively new sport for many western Sullivan County players, its already become a source of spectacular athleticism in Bulldog country.
Its coming up and doing very well, Franskevicz noted.
He said the girls will play home games at the Lake Huntington campus this year for the first time under the silver and blue colors of the combined district.
The varsity football team will also be coming home this year. For the first time ever, boys from the original Delaware Valley, Jeffersonville-Youngsville and Narrowsburg school districts should get a chance to play Friday nights on the gridiron.
Lights added to the field in Lake Huntington will shine on three home games (a fourth, against Liberty, was cancelled when the Indians dropped their varsity football program).
The Bulldog soccer team will begin its season on Thursday when it hosts Monticello in a non-league game.
The Lady Bulldog soccer team starts its season at 4:30 p.m. Friday. The squad will host Port Jervis in a non-league contest.
Next Tuesday, September 14, the SW boys and girls cross country squads begin the season by competing in an OCIAA meet at the Town of Thompson Park.
All of the coaches who guided the Tri-Valley fall sports teams in 2003 will return this autumn.
Dave Viglione will coach the Bears varsity football team. Viglione and his players began the 2004 campaign last Saturday by hosting Section IVs Walton in a non-league game.
Dave Moore returns as the boys soccer coach. The team begins its new season today by playing host to Sullivan West in a non-league contest.
Mary Feusner will coach the girls soccer team. The Lady Bears begin their 2004 season by hosting the Tri-Valley Tournament. The team plays Monticello in a first round game today at 3 p.m.
Husband and wife team Joe and Missy Iatauro return as coaches for the T-V cross country teams. The Bear and Lady Bear squads began their season at last Saturdays Tri-Valley Invitational.