Championship end to spring sports season


Patrick Newell

Afton’s softball team doesn’t win a state title every year, it just seems like it. Perhaps 15 straight Section IV titles, a staggering statement of the program’s excellence and consistently, has something to do with that type of thinking.
Last weekend at Waterloo High School, the Crimson Knights, who swallowed bitter pills in four straight state title game defeats, shrugged off those disappointments and beat Batavia Notre Dame, 7-4, for the Class D title.
Afton’s softball program has reigned as the preeminent Class D school in New York State for the better part of 25 years, yet it had been all of seven years, since 2002, that the Knights won a state championship.
After beating Stockbridge Valley 1-0 in its playoff opener over a week ago, all-state shortstop Jessie Winans was quoted by The Daily Star that she believed this was the year Afton would win a state title. Winans’ prediction wasn’t in the mold of Joe Namath’s bold proclamation that the Jets would beat the Colts in Super Bowl III. Namath’s poolside prediction was considered outlandlish and far-fetched at the time.
As for Winans and her prognostication, it’s never a bad idea to place your bet on Afton when a state softball title is on the line, and congratulations to the Knights’ team and coaching staff.
Elsewhere last weekend, local athletes were wrapping up the state track and field championships at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.
Just a few notes to add to the Monday, June 15 story in the sports section: Greene sophomore Chad Noelle lowered his own record in the 1,600 meters when he ran just over 4:21 to place among the top three in the state division two meet. Noelle’s teammate, Mike Hollings, also set a school record in the long jump leaping 21-feet, 7-inches.
B-GA field event competitor, Melissa Reigles, placed fourth in the discus, not sixth as mentioned in the report.