Monday, February 27, 2017

Full Speed Ahead!

I hope that all of you had a great winter break. If you stayed home, there was no shortage of excitement.

Hockey Team Wins Section III Championship: First up was the Section III Championship hockey game featuring West Genesee versus Syracuse at the War Memorial. West Genesee was smaller sized but very skilled and determined and Syracuse was very big, fast, and physical. It was a game for the ages. There was a HUGE crowd on hand and the action went back and forth all the way to overtime.

With a few minutes left in the overtime, tied at 1, Syracuse took a penalty and West Genesee went on the powerplay. Coach Colabufo called a timeout and drew up some plays. West Genesee won the faceoff and absolutely peppered a superb Syracuse goalie until one rebound got out just a little too far and Jay Considine scooped it up and hit the back of the net. I thought I pulled something jumping so much; and the place went crazy!

Congratulations to the boys. They will now play in the New York State Quarterfinal on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. right at Shove Park versus the winner of Section VI.

As that game finished, I snuck over to Pavones Pizza to grab a quick slice and spoke to some parents about how lucky we are to have such talented students!

Academic Decathlon Competes at States: From there, I waited by the phone as Principal Shannon Coholan relayed scores back to me from our Academic Decathlon Team, who competed for the New York State Championship. The greatest thing about Academic Decathlon is that students from all ability and performance levels compete.

After two days of tests and essays, they finished second by the equivalent of one question on one test. Competitors did bring home some medals though and are already planning for next year. Our list of medal winners will be published on the website and social media very soon, so check back.

Boys Varsity Basketball in Sectional Semi-Final: After a quick break it was up to Onondaga Community College to watch our Boys Varsity Basketball team take on Henninger in the Section III Sectional Semi-Final game. Again, another great crowd on hand, and the Wildcats fought hard but came up just short to a Henninger team that is on the rise. As a basketball fan, I am looking very forward to the Section III Championship game between Liverpool and Henninger.

Looking back at the boys season, they brought life back to our gym. We had two games that filled the gym (well over one thousand seats) so full, that our Athletic Director had to bring in folding chairs. Add a pep band (thank you!) to the crowd, and we are the place to play. I am hoping that we can keep up the energy next year and thank you to our seniors.

Girls Varsity Basketball Team Moves on to Sectional Final: Where I am a little perplexed is with our Girls Varsity Basketball team. They are VERY, VERY good and they have been rock solid all season. On Sunday, they played a feisty Utica-Proctor team. What makes this team, and their coach, the most admirable is that they are able to find a way to get to the next level of effort. At halftime, the girls were up 22-21. They came out of halftime and found a way to elevate their play and were able to get the win.

They will now play against Liverpool next Saturday, March 4, at 12:00 p.m. at Onondaga Community College for the Section III Championship; something we have rarely played for in the history of West Genesee.

What is perplexing is how few people have come out to watch these athletes. We have used social media, announcements, and plain old word of mouth, and while we have had crowds that have been larger than previous years, these girls deserve to have more fans at their games; bottom line. If you can find a way to come out and support them I would personally appreciate it, and I know that the girls would REALLY appreciate it. Hats off to them and best of luck on Saturday!

Other NYS Championship Updates: Also, competing in NYS Championships this weekend are Boys Swim/Dive on March 3-4 at the Nassau County Aquatics Center on Long Island and Indoor Track at the Ocean Breeze Track and Field Center on Staten Island.

Trivia: To cap off my weekend, my trivia team (teams are made up of seven people) made it to the Syracuse Winterfest Finals, where we finished second to the top trivia teams in the Syracuse area. My wife got the MVP for going head to head against a member of the other second place team in a lightning round that allowed us to take second all alone. Why didn't we take first place? Well, let's just say that I shouldn't quit my day job.

A Busy Week: This week is very busy. I hope to see many of you at our Substance Abuse Community Resource Night from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.tonight at the high school. The event will begin in the Auditorium and will feature keynote speeches by award winning news anchors Christie Casciano and Tammy Palmer. Attendees will then be escorted to our upper gym where they can speak to resource providers in our area, and can also turn in unused medication. We will have breakout sessions lasting fifteen minutes each featuring Beth Hurney from the Prevention Network, Dr. Dr. Ross Sullivan from Upstate University Hospital, as well as a person who is in recovery after being a drug addict. After their breakout sessions, they will answer questions. It will be a very worthwhile evening.

Saturday, in addition to the hockey game (6:30 p.m.), and girls Section III Championship game (12:00 p.m.), we will be hosting the District Culture Fair. This event is always very well attended and features all of the cultures that our community has to offer. The event takes place from noon to 3:00 p.m., and I hope to see you there!

Thanks for reading.  That was a lot of information; but isn't it great to be a Wildcat?

Thanks and enjoy the week-