Sports Editor’s Playbook, Friday, June 1, 2012

Patrick Newell

* Could the third time be the charm for the Greene Trojans? Saturday afternoon we’ll be at the BAGSAI Softball Complex, located near Broome Community College, to cover the Trojans’ bid for a Section IV Class C softball title. Two years ago, a flash rainstorm at the most inopportune time led to a Seton Catholic Central bottom-of-the-seventh victory in the title game. A year before that, Tioga masterfully outplayed Greene for the title. Seniors Rebecca Hanrahan, Caitlin Willis, and Natalie Greene have seen just about all of the highs and lows the past four seasons at Greene. The highs being the trifecta of league championship victories; the lows, the disappointing sectional playoff losses. More so than the previous three seasons, this year’s group of Greene players, coached by Rick Smith, are a mix of young and old, but it is the veteran leadership of the longtime seniors – and even second-year player Taylor Ellis, also a senior – who have guided Greene to the cusp of that elusive championship. “(To win), it would be picture perfect for those girls, and no one deserves it more,” Smith said. “They’ve been great leaders and they are great kids.”

* Norwich sophomore Matt Murray won a Section IV title for the Tornado track and field team winning the 400-meter dash Thursday. A number one seed in the 400- and 200-meter races, Murray won his semifinals race in the 200, but was clearly worn down from the heavy workload Thursday evening running to a sixth in the 200 finals. Still, Murray is heading to the state meet for the first time, and he will be joined by teammates Nate Ashton, Nuri Harper, and Jaime Zieno as part of the 3,200-meter relay. The record-breaking foursome met the state meet qualifying standard at last week’s Class B sectional meet, so they were moving on regardless of their performance at yesterday’s qualifier. By the way, the NHS relay team placed fifth in 8:09, a time that is still 17 seconds faster than the established school-record time at the beginning of the 2012 season. Norwich sophomore Brooke Bonney will also make an appearance at the state meet winning the Division II shot put title and placing second overall.

* B-G/Afton freshman Julia Knapp qualified for the state meet in three events. She was second overall in the 100-meter hurdles and long jump, and was third in the 400-meter hurdles, while placing first in Division II in all three events. B-GA’s Connor Fuller (steeplechase), and G-MU’s Eddie Ray Cotton (200-meter dash) and Christina Hawkins (discus) also qualified for the state meet.

*Ten years into its new home in Section III, Sherburne-Earlville’s baseball team played for its first Section III title Thursday evening. The Marauders, who became one of the best teams on the diamond in the Susquenango Association its final years in Section IV, have continued to produce consistent winning teams under the direction of head coach Brian Hicks. The Marauders finished their regular season with an 8-2 record in division play, and that included a pair of victories over state-ranked teams. After two successful outcomes in postseason play, S-E’s season came to close last night at Alliance Bank Stadium losing to Cazenovia. Congratualations to the Marauders on an outstanding season.

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