Sports Editor’s Playbook, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011

Patrick Newell

– I just received the preliminary information on a football tournament that is scheduled for August this year. It is the 2011 Chenango County Pigskin Classic, a 7-on-7 tournament that hopes to become a “Gus Macker” type of event – only for football. We’ll have further information about the tourney and a story with event organizers Ed Holmquist and Steve Franklin in the near future. Here are a few nuggets of information about the games: Play is on a regulation 45-yard field (160 feet wide) with 10-yard endzones with 15-yard increments for first downs. Game play is passing only with no running plays and no blocking allowed. Of note, the first year of the tournament is limited to the first 12 teams to register. Plans are to expand the tournament in ensuing years. For more details, contact Franklin at 607-316-7724 or Holmquist at 607-316-8745.

– G-MU’s boys suffered loss number one on the season Wednesday night losing to Richfield Springs, a team with a record hovering around the .500 mark. Bill Hartman, coach of the Raiders, said many times during our phone conversations that even though his team was winning games, it still had many areas in which in needed to improve. He was pleasantly surprised and upbeat about the team’s unbeaten record, and wherewithal to making winning plays at crunch time. Now that the unbeaten mark has gone by the wayside, his team is tasked with winning its division and playing for a league title.

– Unadilla Valley’s boys’ basketball team has a modest record (4-8 overall), but this is a team that is much improved over the past couple of seasons. The Storm had one of the premier teams in the Midstate Athletic Conference for much of the last decade, and won back-to-back league championships in 2006 and 2007. The victory totals slumped to six in 2008 and just two last year. A few more wins this year are possible for UV, and four of the five leading scorers this year are underclassmen. With the flip of the calendar, UV has won three of its last four games, and was competitive in that lone defeat.

– The state wrestling championships, scheduled again this year at the Times Union Center in Albany, are about five weeks away. Coming down the pike are league championship tournaments, the class tournaments, and in three weeks, the Section IV large and small school championships. Occasionally we play the prognostication game, and I am throwing out some early picks as contenders for sectional championships. 96-Joe Nelson, Oxford. He has two losses in the last week, but is 24-3 overall, and should place high in the small school division. 112-Tristan Rifanburg, Norwich. He’s a defending state champion, and despite two losses this season, certainly is a threat to win any tournament he enters. 119–Frankie Garcia, Norwich. A sectional finalist last year, also with just two losses. 125–Danny Gormley, B-G/Afton. He is a four-time defending Section IV champion. 130–Tanner Cummings, Norwich. We think he is ready to challenge for a section title. 135–Cory Burnett, B-G/Afton. Fresh off an impressive win over Greene’s Dan Dickman. He may be peaking at the right time. 145-Mike Beckwith, Greene. A defending sectional champion. 152-Greg DuVall, S-E. DuVall has made three appearances at the state tournament, and is the number one ranked wrestler in his weight class in Section III. 160-Paul Parsons, B-G/Afton. A gritty veteran who seems to win or place high in every tournament he enters. 171-Vinnie Buttice, B-G/Afton. Buttice was a number one seed last year in sectionals, but placed second. He should be the favorite this year. 189-Kurt Shear, Greene. Shear lost to Lansing’s Ryan Todd in last year’s finals. He avenged that loss earlier this year, and is the man to beat at this point. 215–Kyle Stanton, Greene. Stanton owns two victories this year over the likely number two seed, Kegan Levesque of Norwich.

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