Stevens: NY/Pa. invitational scheduled for Saturday

Stevens: NY/Pa. invitational scheduled for Saturday

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Stevens: NY/Pa. invitational scheduled for Saturday

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The unofficial opener to Section 4’s track & field season comes Saturday at Windsor, where a minimum of 24 schools will be represented for the NY/Pa. Invitational. Starting time is 10 a.m.

At least 13 Southern Tier Athletic Conference teams will be joined by competitors from the Midstate Athletic Conference as well as athletes from Solvay, Susquehanna, Pa., and Athens, Pa. The meet has been moved ahead two weekends on the schedule from last year’s event — when conditions were breezy and brisk with intermittent snow in the air.

Advance forecast calls for a high temperature of 54 degrees Saturday with increasing sunshine in the afternoon.

The field includes Elmira, which last year put together a girls’ 3,200-meter relay team that clipped almost six seconds from the meet record. Also in the field is Vestal. As a sophomore a season ago, the Golden Bears’ Kari Stromhaug won the pole vault with a PR of 11 feet, 9 inches, and won the high jump with clearance of 5-2.

Binghamton’s Farrell honored

The late Joseph Farrell, former teacher and administrator in the Binghamton school district, this month was part of the inaugural induction class of the New York State Athletic Administrators Hall of Fame. Ten inductees were recognized at a luncheon during the organization’s annual conference at the Saratoga Hilton.

Mr. Farrell, who retired as athletic director for Binghamton schools in 1984, participated on the organizing committee of the New York State Athletic Administrators’ Association. In 1981, he hosted the meeting at which the NYSAA was formed, in Binghamton. He was one of the original eight who put $10 each on the table to form the first “treasury” for the new association.

He continued to be involved and participate with the association until his retirement in 1984. Mr. Farrell was co-founder of the Binghamton Football Coaches Clinic, which held an annual conference in Binghamton utilizing the talents of high profile football coaches from around the country to present as speakers.

Defense the key

In nine seasons as girls varsity coach, Sonny Spera’s defensive-minded philosophy was the root of success for Maine-Endwell’s program. And so not surprising was his take on the NCAA men’s tournament as it eased into the Round of 16.

“Everybody talks about offense but, look at Dayton,” he said. “Dayton defended Stanford like crazy. Wisconsin shut Baylor down, defensively. They made shots but, defensively, I mean, Baylor didn’t have a clue. And Florida, forget about it. Those guys look like they have eight defenders on the floor.

“Then you’ve got Virginia, and you know how Louisville defends. To me, Louisville kind of flirts with the rules too much, I don’t really care for their style but they’re a pretty good defensive team.

“Michigan State, they’re going to defend you. I mean, the teams left are the teams that play solid defense. Kentucky can play defense.”

Another laudable observation from Spera, who vacated the M-E post after the Spartans made a second consecutive appearance in the final four of Class A state playoffs: He was taken aback by what he heard during an interview with Gonzaga coach Mark Few.

Spera said: “He was talking about how Rick Pitino gets his guys to play hard and how that’s something special. I’m like, shoot man, if my kids don’t play hard that would be a real problem. … That’s, like, praise for a Division I team? That they play hard?”

M-E coach Heads Up

Maine-Endwell coach Matt Gallagher spent the past weekend in Indianapolis as part of USA Football’s Heads Up Football program, which promotes a better and safer game on the youth and high school levels.

USA Football instructed Gallagher and 23 others from 16 states — including high school coaches and former NFL and college players — as USA Football Master Trainers during a workshop.

Heads Up Football is a comprehensive approach to a better and safer game, encompassing USA Football’s accredited Level 1 Coach Certification Course, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concussion recognition and response, Korey Stringer Institute-approved heat and hydration protocols, equipment fitting instruction and Heads Up Tackling techniques.

Nearly 2,800 youth leagues across the United States registered for Heads Up Football in 2013, accounting for more than 25 percent of the youth football community. In addition, 35 high schools in 10 states piloted Heads Up Football during the 2013 season.

CF goalie to Ga. School

Karley Harmon, Chenango Forks senior and three-season starter in goal for the lacrosse team, has accepted a scholarship to attend Reinhardt University, an NAI member program in Waleska, Ga.

A four-season varsity player named co-captain this season, Harmon debuted this spring with a 15-save effort against Maine-Endwell.

The Lady Eagles of Reinhardt are 10-3 this season under first-year coach Christine Hatton, after going 2-10 last season.

Generosity abounds

This from the New York State Sports Writers Association:

West Genesee, the Camillus school known for decades as a state and national lacrosse power, is not only coping with but attacking a difficult situation involving one of its family members.

Modified coach Joe Adams was diagnosed with brain cancer, and is undergoing extensive treatment in Boston that will make for financial hardship for the Adams family. Friends last month established a page on the website GiveForward.com targeting $10,000 in donations. As of Sunday morning, $43,221 had been raised.

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