Author Archives: Chuck Walley

Outside the Box by Chuck Walley

Katie Connell scores 13, Mercedes Rice grabs 10 boards against Little Falls

Before we get into our recent doings in high school sports, I’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year.

As is the case with many of you, our kids are home from college, meaning that National Grid and the grocery store will be seeing a lot more of our cash.

No worries, though. There’s nothing like having the family together. It truly is life’s greatest blessing.

I hope that, despite the season’s hectic and occasionally frustrating nature, each of you will take the time to count your blessings. I know that I will! Continue reading

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Pro sports slip to new low this week in NBA

There are a lot of good reasons to follow amateur sports. And, by amateur, I’m referring to everything from Tee-ball to High School Varsity. You know… those who play for the love of the game.

At the collegiate level, the only ones not getting paid the big bucks are the athletes themselves.

And, in the major programs, even they receive a cost-free education, often worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

It seems that purity in sport has all but disappeared in the pros.

At the risk of dating myself, I can remember when you drafted a guy like Roger Staubach and, more often than not, he would be a fixture for your franchise until the day he retired.

Believe it or not, some guys actually felt a sense of loyalty to their team.

Today it’s all about me, myself, and I. Where can I draw the largest paycheck? How do I maneuver myself into a larger market, thereby maximizing my endorsement potential? Continue reading

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Outside the Box by Chuck Walley

Varsity volleyball squad hangs tough in South Lewis Invitational

The Town of Webb Varsity Volleyball Team played a tournament at South Lewis last Saturday, where they showed themselves to be competitive and well positioned for a nice season. Pictured in the front row, from left, are Morgan Payne, Sarah Branch, Daria Orekhov, and Alex Levi. In the back are, Chelsea Balcom, Jordan Levi, Hallie Christodaro, Mallory Kleps, Jessica Menges and Coach Jessica Brownsell. Photo by Kent H. Menges

I, for one, greatly look forward to seeing how our local kids make out during the winter sports season—a lot less dunking than what you would find in the pros and at the college level, but a whole lot more of what really matters. [See sidebar for my thoughts on the current state of professional sports.]

Girls JV & Varsity Volleyball

It was a full slate for the girls over the last week and it would be fair to say that they seem to be headed in the right direction.

It all started on Monday, December 5 with a road trip to Westmoreland to take on one of the more solid clubs they’ll see.

The Jayvees dropped a 2-1 decision before their Varsity counterparts took Westmoreland to the limit.

After losing the opening game, the ladies threw a scare into their opponents by snatching the next two. Continue reading

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Outside the Box by Chuck Walley

Hoops: Varsity squad starts season with impressive tourney win Basketball… basketball… EVERYWHERE! Well, not exactly everywhere. Not yet, anyways. But college hoops are well under way, with Syracuse, currently ranked third in the nation, poised for a great run.

Meanwhile, the NBA owners and players finally figured out how to divvy up approximately four billion in revenue. Must be rough.

While most of us are trying to stay afloat, these guys took their sweet time splitting up a king’s ransom, making sure to hit the airwaves with a full slate of games on Christmas Day. Ho-Ho-Ho.

And, locally, our high school hardwood enthusiasts are heating things up, starting with an appearance in the holiday weekend Remsen Tip-Off Tournament. How did they fare? Read on, and see for yourself. Continue reading

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Old Forge, whose fans showed up in ful force, re-takes the field as champions to the roar of the crowd.

Outside The Box by Chuck Walley

Boys varsity team rises to post season challenge

Coach Louie Ehrensbeck prepares the team just before taking the field.

It’s been a historic week for the Old Forge Boys Varsity Soccer squad and, while the results weren’t thoroughly positive, hindsight will undoubtedly prove that there’s little to complain about.

It’s kind of like the old joke that starts out with a doctor telling his patient that he’s got some good news and some bad news, then asking which one he should deliver first.

Invariably, the answer is, “Gimme’ the good news.” Of course, the bad news always negates the good, leading to a hearty chuckle for all.

Well, Sectional games are no laughing matter and, in this case, the “bummer” part isn’t really so horrible, while the uplifting part is truly over the top.

So, let’s get the not-so-much-fun element out of the way, and save the best for last.

Trevor Godemann outpaces a Ram to the ball.

On Tuesday, November 8, the guys boarded a bus headed for Sauquoit to take on the mighty Hamilton Emerald Knights for the Section III Class D Championship.

That’s the same team that had defeated Old Forge twice during the regular season, by scores of 3-0 and 3-1.

They’re also a team that has been State-ranked all season.

And, finally, they’re the same team that has played in New York State’s Final Four the last three seasons. Pretty heady stuff. Continue reading

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Webb's Sam Waterbury goes on the attack during the boys varsity team's quarter-final win against Madison. The October 28th game was played on the team's home turf at Al Stripp Field in Old Forge. Photo by Chuck Walley

Outside the box by Chuck Walley

Webb Varsity Boys roll on with quarter-final win over Madison

Webb's Sam Waterbury goes on the attack during the boys varsity team's quarter-final win against Madison. The October 28th game was played on the team's home turf at Al Stripp Field in Old Forge. Photo by Chuck Walley

Well… it’s here!

Sectionals are officially underway. And while the regular season grind may be like a long work-year on the farm, the playoffs are a bit more like harvesting season.

That is, time to reap the rewards for all of your tireless efforts. If that’s the case, the boy’s varsity soccer team just brought in a bumper crop, at least in their quarterfinal matchup against Madison.

Thanks to a winning season, the guys earned a bye, followed by a home game on Friday, October 28 against the Blue Devils, whose 4-8 record suggested that Old Forge might have an easy time of it. Continue reading

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Outside The Box by Chuck Walley

Girls Varsity team finishes season in solid form; Phaneuf posts another nice run in championship

The trees are almost completely bare and Halloween decorations have been sprouting all over, which can only mean one thing… the Fall sports schedule is winding down.

Still, there are Sectional outings for two of the three Varsity teams and, while the girls soccer squad didn’t quite make the playoffs, they did close their season with a bang.

That said, let’s see what’s happened since we last visited.

Boys & Girls Varsity X-Country

A huge contingent of schools was on hand for the Center State Conference Championships held on Saturday, October 22 at Ilion.

To be honest, this has been one of the strangest years on record for our runners. Continue reading

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