Sports Editor’s Playbook, Monday, Nov. 8, 2010

Patrick Newell

– Kudos to Sherburne-Earlville graduate Jason Hodge, who guided Trumansburg’s boys’ soccer team to the Section IV, Class B title last Saturday in Oneonta. I was in Oneonta to cover G-MU’s championship game in the girls’ D division, and Hodge’s Blue Raiders were facing Oneonta on the field adjacent to the field I was on. During the game, Jason called down to me, “Hey Pat.”
The face was one I recognized, but I could not place the face to a name right away. A little while later, another reporter on the scene clued me in as to the name of the T’Burg coach. As soon as he said, “Jason Hodge,” everything fell into place.
Jason was a very good high school soccer player, one of four players on the Marauders his senior year to score double-digit goals for head coach Mike Rodriguez. What I most remember most, though, was Hodge’s excellence on the baseball diamond. He was a standout player and starting shortstop on some really good teams graduating in 2002. Hodge’s high school coach, Rodriguez, has kept an eye open on Hodge’s progress, but wasn’t aware of the most recent results.
“He was the oldest of his brothers, he really had to work hard, and he’s always been a self-made type of guy,” Rodriguez said. “Based on his work ethic, it doesn’t surprise me what he’s been able to do at Trumansburg.”
Rodriguez said he his hoping to bring Trumansburg to Sherburne-Earlville’s annual soccer tournament next year. Travel could be an issue for the Blue Raiders, who would need to travel around two hours to S-E High School.

– I was sorry to see Kristen Bradbury sign off as head coach of G-MU’s girls. Perhaps someone else at the school may have had equivalent success over the past three, but what she accomplished in her tenure has made the Raiders a relevant factor in Section IV, Class D soccer. In the early part of this decade, G-MU was among the better Class D teams winning a sectional championship in 2001, and reaching the finals in 2002. Since that time, the Raiders – overall – have lost more than they have won, and the year prior to Bradbury’s arrival, 2006, G-MU did not win a game. She took over a winless team, and in her third year, led the team to the finals of the section. That is good stuff – really good stuff.
Bradbury is expecting her first child later this month, a boy. Best wishes to her and the baby’s father, Jeff Newton.