Kayla Greco | Democrat
Sullivan West’s resurgent girls’ cross country team is led by the trio of Courtney Vanwagner, Corinne Meyerer and Kelsey Dutton, the top three finishers in this year’s divisional meet. They are all returning next year.
Fall Sports Wrap: Sullivan West Bulldogs
LAKE HUNTINGTON December 17, 2013
BOYS’ CROSS COUNTRY
Coach: April Ackerman
Season’s highlights: Won home invitational as a team; placed second in the OCIAA division meet in Liberty. “The boys had an outstanding performance at Liberty in the division meet. No one gave them a chance to win and they almost did it. With one of our top five out with an injury, they fell just six points short of the title.
Top runners: Ethan Seidl won at Windsor, Binghamton and SW home meet; he placed second at the Suffern Invitational and Tully and third at the division meet.
Coach’s comment: “Overall, the season was good. We struggled with some injuries, but the team worked really hard to be successful.”i
Looking ahead: “I’m looking forward to next season. We are losing three seniors, but the returning runners have worked very hard and will continue to improve. Hopefully, we will stay injury free and take another shot at the division and sectional titles.”
Coach: Debbie Owen
Record: 0-14, 0-8 league
Season's highlights: “Our 1-0 loss to Liberty awesome game. Guys had to dig deep because we were down two starters, and a new field set-up against a fast, talented, deep, undefeated team (Gavin Owen had 31 saves in that game).
Top players: Gavin Owen (MVP); Owen Andrews (Coach’s Award); also junior sweeper Noah Bauer.
Coach’s comment: “We had a strong team last year, (.500 record that went to sectionals with seven seniors. Therefore, we knew this year would be tough because many of this year's juniors had limited playing time as sophomores. However, besides our five starting seniors, four other 2012 season starters (from grades 9, 10, 11) also did not return. Thus, we had two returning starters Gavin Owen in goal and Noah Bauer in defense (not the anticipated six).
“We brought two players up from modified which skill/game wise is a big jump (didn’t have enough players to field a JV team). During the season two starters experienced several long injuries.
“Still, these guys played their hearts out every game, not stopping until the final whistle blew. Because of this determination, they kept themselves in most every game, surprising and outlasting many opponents, even those teams with a dozen more players than SW.
So, when I look at this group of players, I am very proud. I see young men who improved and grew immensely. I see teammates, who, despite a tough season, never gave up, held their heads high, demonstrated character, responsibility, perseverance, heart and class, attributes that will make them winners in life, and not just for a season. I thank them for a wonderful season.”
Looking ahead: “We spent a lot of time this season working on basics and the team improved immensely. Hopefully we can arrange some playing through the off-season to help maintain these improvements. This group of guys were wonderful to work with, they have a great attitude and work ethic who are all excited about next season.”
Coach: Ron Bauer
Record: 3-4, 1-2 league
Season's highlights: “Coming very close to beating Highland, a Class B. playoff team...We defeated O’Neill, a Class C playoff team and former Class C champion... Over 500 yards offense in the final game.
Top players: Zach O’Connor and Cody Franskevicz were named to the Exceptional Senior All-Star team and helped the Americans defeat the Nationals... Andrew Stabbert and O’Connor were named to the All-League first team... Franskevicz, Sean Hart and Brian Stauch were given Honorable Mention, All-League... Stabbert was named to the All Section IX Nine Class C/D team.
Coach’s comment: “Very strong finish at the end of the season... The team showed great improvement.”
Looking ahead: “We have nine out of 11 starters returning. We should be competitive next year.”
GIRLS’ CROSS COUNTRY
Coach: Joe Seidl
Record: 8-3 (finished second (30-33) to O'Neill in the OCIAA Division 4 Championship, despite being outnumbered 15-7 runners.
Season’s highlights: Defeating Tri-Valley (29-30) for the first time ever on their home XC course. Courtney Vanwagner, Kelsey Dutton and Corinne Meyerer swept the first three places...Sweeping the first three positions at the Division 4 championship...finished third out of 8 teams in Class C sectionals.
Top runners: Vanwagner prevailing as the overall Division 4 champion...Dutton and Meyerer (alternate) qualified for the state championship in Queensbury.
Looking ahead: “We have our top three runners returning and with a couple of promising runners moving up to varsity next season, we should make a run at both the division and sectional titles.
“I am very proud of the effort and resolve that our entire team displayed throughout the season.”
Coach: Mike Ellmauer
Record: 5-10-2, 0-5-1 league.
Season’s highlights: “We were known as being a hard playing team, but good sportsmen...What was real good about the group was that there was no complaining, little cliques or turmoil during the entire season... For the fifth year in a row, a state scholar-athlete team
Top players: Carly Grishaber and Marianne Durkin were named to the Section IX Class B Honorable Mention team.
Coach’s comment: “We played close games but do to a continuous string of injuries, we were a bit inexperienced in key positions, which cost us some more scoring threats and goals.
“We were young experience wise even though we carried 21 ladies on the team. The girls just work hard, got along and got better and more confident as the season went along.
“We played a real tough schedule, one that had four sectional finalists and two state tournament participants. The younger players who were forced into positions that required on-the-job-training did a great job.”
Looking ahead: Our future is bright. The JV team had another real good year, and with the returning players coming back, (hopefully), we should be very respectable next season. We are already making plans to improve our playing skills, our team concept, and our strength and endurance in preparation for next season.”
Coach: Dan Parisi
Record: 1-13, 1-11 league.
Coach’s comment: “Overall, the girls did make individual improvements throughout the season. The seniors showed their true grit and some of the younger player stepped up their games as the season marched on. Good luck to this year's seniors and I look forward to next year.”