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Dealer/collector looking to buy groups of pre-1970 paper memorabilia: cards, magazines, posters, programs etc. Call Charlie Haeffner at 742-2772.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watkins boys lose to Horseheads, 55-46

HORSEHEADS, Feb. 27, 2021 -- The Watkins Glen High School boys varsity basketball team sustained its first loss of the season Saturday, dropping a 55-46 decision to Horseheads in a non-league road game.

"Horseheads deserved to win," said Watkins Glen Coach John Fazzary, whose squad slipped to 5-1. "They outhustled us, outscrapped us and outrebounded us. And their press bothered us. We don't see that kind of pressure on a daily basis."

Horseheads built a 15-9 first-quarter edge and was up 28-22 at halftime and 44-33 entering the fourth period.

Owen Scholtisek led the Senecas in scoring with 10 points, while Travon Jones scored 9, Max Evans 9, Cameron Holland 6, Adam Pastore 6, Bryce Kelly 3, and Mitchell Pike 3. The team converted 8 of 16 free throws.

Evans had the most rebounds, 7, while Pastore grabbed 6. Schotisek led in assists with 2, while Jones registered 3 steals.

Andrew McLaughlin led Horseheads with 18 points. The team sank 11 of 17 free throws.

"We'll be shooting lots of free throws at practice this week," said Fazzary. "And we need to do better on rebounds."

The Senecas play at Edison on Tuesday, host the same Edison squad on Thursday, and then play Horseheads again, this time in the WGHS Field House, to close out the abbreviated season.

Watkins Glen's Amanda Wilbur drives through traffic for the Senecas' final basket.

Watkins girls fall to South Seneca, 38-31

WATKINS GLEN, Feb. 27, 2021 -- The Watkins Glen High School girls varsity basketball team dropped a 38-31 non-league basketball decision to unbeaten South Seneca Saturday in a game of wild momentum swings.

The game was close -- 11-9 in favor of South Seneca -- after Watkins Glen's Carly Arnold hit a 3-pointer at 5:52 of the second quarter. But then it was all Falcons, whose lead built and then built some more until it was 32-9 with 5;15 remaining in the game -- a 21-0 run fueled by a pressing defense.

Watkins Glen then mounted a comeback, outscoring a suddenly cold South Seneca squad 22-6 to pull within seven -- gaining its final points on a driving layup by Amanda Wilbur with 1:14 left to play. That closed out the scoring for both teams.

Arnold led the Senecas with 13 points, while Jenna Solomon scored 7, Wilbur 6, Natalie Edmister 4, and Abby Gibson 1. The team converted 1 of 4 free throws.

South Seneca (now 8-0) was led by Emma Fletcher's 16 points, while Logan Shaulis added 11. The Falcons converted 6 of 16 free throws.

Junior Varsity: Watkins Glen lost to Horseheads 49-29 in a non-league contest. Rachel Vickio led the Senecas with 13 points, while Lilly Ameigh scored 9 points, Addy Coolican 4 and Molly Coolican 3.

Photo in text: Watkins Glen's Jenna Solomon eyes the basket as South Seneca's Logan Shaulis defends.

Left: Watkins Glen's Abby Gibson drives to the basket. Right: The Senecas' Bailey Beaumont looks for a shot in traffic.

Left: Watkins Glen's Carly Arnold eyes the hoop as she moves around a South Seneca defender. Right: The Senecas' Mattie Yontz shoots.

And in the JV game:

Left: Watkins Glen Addy Coolican moves past a Horseheads defender. Right: The Senecas' Lilly Ameigh drives toward the basket.

Left: Watkins Glen's Molly Coolican shoots. Right: The Senecas' Rachel Vickio, right, battles for possession of a loose ball.

O-M girls lose to Notre Dame, 53-30

ODESSA, Feb. 27, 2021 -- The Odessa-Montour High School girls varsity basketball team's record slipped to 1-6 Saturday when the Indians dropped a 53-30 decision to Elmira Notre Dame in an Interscholastic Athletic Conference game in the O-M gym.

Notre Dame (6-1) was ahead 20-4 after one quarter and 31-13 at the half.

Mackenzie Cannon led Odessa with a season-high 14 points, while Hannah Nolan scored 6 points (with 7 rebounds and 4 steals), Autumn Garrison 3 points, Taylor Cain 3, Brittany Cain 2, Mallory Rhodes 1, and Jessica Carnes 1. The team registered a season-high five 3-pointers, three of them by Cannon.

"We honored our five seniors today, which I am very happy we were able to do," said O-M Coach Greg Gavich. "They give it their all out there all the time, regardless of the score."

O-M returns to action when it hosts Spencer-Van Etten on Monday. The varsity game starts at 5:30 p.m., with the JV to follow.

Junior Varsity: Odessa-Montour fell to Elmira, 39-21. Tori Brewster scored 8 points for Odessa, while Keyonna Garrison scored 7, Gina Gavich 3, and Reagan Reese 3.

Photo in text: The five seniors on the O-M team were honored in a pre-game ceremony. Standing from left: Emilee Chaffinch, Jessica Carnes and Autumn Garrison. Seated from left: Taylor Cain and Mallory Rhodes. (Photo provided)

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Odessa-Montour girls fall to Notre Dame

SOUTHPORT, Feb. 26, 2021 -- The Odessa-Montour High School girls varsity basketball team's record slipped to 1-5 Thursday when the Indians dropped a 75-31 decision to Elmira Notre Dame in an Interscholastic Athletic Conference game in the ND gym.

Notre Dame (5-1) raced out to a 17-4 first-quarter lead, and was up 39-16 at halftime and 63-21 entering the fourth quarter.

Hannah Nolan led O-M scorers with 9 points while grabbing 5 rebounds and registering 4 steals. Mackenzie Cannon added 8 points and 5 rebounds, Autumn Garrison 7 points and 8 rebounds, Tori Brewster 4 points, Mallory Rhodes 2 points, and Jessica Carnes 1 point. The Indians converted 5 of 12 free throws, while Notre Dame sank 7 of 10.

There was no junior varsity contest.

Left: O-M's Gunner Herrman looks to drive around a Notre Dame defender. Right: O-M's Ben Heichel prepares to put up a shot after grabbing a rebound. He scored on the play.

Odessa JV boys lose to Notre Dame, 45-38

ODESSA, Feb. 26, 2021 -- The Odessa-Montour High School boys junior varsity basketball team fell to Elmira Notre Dame 45-38 Thursday in an Interscholastic Athletic Conference game in the O-M gym.

The score was tied 12-12 after one quarter, but ND pulled ahead 25-20 at halftime and was up 36-26 entering the fourth quarter.

Ben Heichel led O-M in scoring with 11 points, while Kameron Collins and Daniel Lewis scored 6 apiece, Brady Cannon 5, Brad Gillis 4, Drew Parmenter 3, Gunner Herrman 2, and Connor Foggie 1.

The team converted 9 of 22 free throws. Notre Dame sank 2 of 3.

There was no varsity game, since the O-M varsity squad is nearing the end of quarantine after exposure to Covid-19 in a game against Spencer-Van Etten.

Photo in text: O-M's Brad Gillis drives to the hoop. He got the shot off despite the Notre Dame defender's hand on the ball at the moment this photo was snapped. Teammate Kameron Collins is at left.

From left: Odessa-Montour's Daniel Lewis, Brady Cannon and Kameron Collins.

Left: O-M's Jessica Carnes drives to the basket. Right: Watkins Glen's Abby Gibson goes up for a shot in traffic.

O-M girls top Watkins Glen for 1st victory

WATKINS GLEN, Feb. 24, 2021 -- The Odessa-Montour High School girls varsity basketball team -- led by Hannah Nolan's 14 points -- posted its first victory of the season Tuesday night by defeating Watkins Glen 36-29 in an Interscholastic Athletic Conference game in the WGHS Field House.

The Indians, who had lost to Watkins Glen in a game at O-M Saturday, improved to 1-4 heading into a game at Notre Dame on Thursday. With the loss, Watkins slipped to 1-4.

Odessa took the early lead Tuesday, building a 14-11 first-quarter edge and a 22-17 halftime advantage. The Indians led 30-22 entering the fourth quarter.

Joining Nolan in the scoring column for O-M were Autumn Garrison and Jessica Carnes with 6 points each, Mackenzie Cannon (5), Taylor Cain (3) and Mallory Rhodes (2). The team converted 12 of 25 free throws.

Nolan also grabbed 8 rebounds and registered 6 steals. Carnes led the team in rebounds with 9.

"We've been competitive in every game and played hard once again," said O-M Coach Greg Gavich. "The girls deserved to get a W as a reward. Jessica Carnes made some big plays for us and had all 6 points in the second half."

Mattie Yontz led Watkins with 7 points, while Natalie Edmister scored 6, Jenna Solomon 6, Abby Gibson 4, Amanda Wilbur 4, and Bailey Beaumont 2. The team was 6-for-11 from the foul line.

Watkins Glen will return to action Saturday at home against South Seneca.

Photo in text: Odessa-Montour's Hannah Nolan drives to the hoop as Watkins Glen's Bailey Beaumont defends.

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In the JV game, Watkins Glen's Addy Coolican dives to secure a loose ball, allowing her team to call a strategic time-out.

Junior Varsity: Watkins Glen 39, Odessa-Montour 37

Watkins Glen (3-1) built an 11-point fourth-quarter lead and was up by 10 points with 4:03 left to play, but Odessa-Montour surged to within a point, 38-37, with 37.3 seconds left. But the Senecas held on, adding a free throw by Lilly Ameigh in the final second.

Ameigh led her team in scoring with 15 points. Rachel Vickio added 10 points, while Brenna Pierce scored 6, Sarah Jones 4, and Molly Coolican 3. The team converted 5 of 12 free throws.

Keyonna Garrison led O-M (now 3-2) with 21 points, including 9 in the fourth quarter. Tori Brewster added 12 points, while Gina Gavich and Kelsey Bates scored 2 each. The team was 4-for-9 from the foul line.

Photo at right:

Watkins Glen's Rachel Vickio goes airborne as she nears the basket in the JV game. Defending for O-M was Kelsey Bates.

In the Varsity game:

Watkins Glen's four seniors were honored in a pre-game Senior Night ceremony. From left: Natalie Edmister, Amanda Wilbur, Aislinn Klemann and Mattie Yontz.

From left: Watkins Glen's Natalie Edmister, Carly Arnold and Mattie Yontz, receiving a pass from Edmister.

Left: Odessa-Montour's Mackenzie Cannon maneuvers with the ball. Right: O-M's Autumn Garrison shoots.

In the JV game:

From left: Watkins Glen's Lilly Ameigh and Molly Coolican, and O-M's Tori Brewster.

Left: O-M's Gina Gavich moves the ball upcourt. Right: The Indians' Keyonna Garrison.

Watkins Glen boys defeat Candor, 67-45

CANDOR, Feb. 24, 2021 -- The Watkins Glen High School boys varsity basketball team improved to 5-0 Tuesday night with a 67-45 victory over Candor in an Interscholastic Athletic Conference road game.

The Senecas led just 11-10 after one period, but were up 31-16 at halftime and 57-25 entering the fourth quarter.

Dylan Morse led Watkins scorers with 13 points, while Mitchell Pike scored 11, Travon Jones 9, Max Evans 9, Adam Pastore 7, Cameron Holland 6, Bryce Kelly 6, Owen Scholtisek 4, and Joseph Sutterby 2. The team converted just 6 of 18 free throws.

"We will be shooting free throws this week at practice," said Watkins Glen Coach John Fazzary. "That's for sure."

Evans and Morse led the team in rebounds with 4 each, while Pastore, Jones and Pike grabbed 3 apiece. Scholtisek led in assists with 6, while Jones had 4 and Holland 3. Scholtisek and Morse registered 3 steals each.

Nate Thomas led Candor with 18 points. His team sank 3 of 6 free throws.

"We had good balanced scoring," said Fazzary, "and our defense was pretty good for three quarters. We had some good stretches of basketball, but we need to get better in some areas" -- especially heading into a game Saturday at Horseheads, a Class AA school.

Junior Varsity: Watkins Glen 46, Odessa-Montour 31

Watkins Glen defeated Odessa-Montour in an IAC game in the Odessa gym. The Senecas led 12-6 after one period, 23-14 at halftime, and 38-23 entering the fourth quarter.

Jacob Yontz led the Senecas with 18 points, while Ryan Willett scored 14, and David Kelly 7. Watkins Glen is now 5-0. No individual statistics were available from O-M.

In the JV game:

Left: Watkins Glen's Bryce Cady prepares to shoot. Right: O-M's Daniel Lewis (24) maneuvers with the ball.

Left: O-M's Brad Gillis shoots as Watkins Glen's Cadin Knapp defends.
Right: Watkins Glen's Jacob Yontz passes the ball upcourt.

OM/WG's Mark Waterman, right, battles Tioga's Mason Welch at 138 pounds.

Round-robin meet

ODESSA, Feb. 23, 2021 -- The Odessa-Montour/Watkins Glen High School varsity wrestling team hosted two-time defending Division 2 state champion Tioga Monday night in a round-robin meet in O-M's Jack Davis Gym.

The event had no team scores, as agreed to by both schools. Three rounds of bouts were held in the various weight classes, with Tioga dominating throughout -- exceptions being a pin registered by Tristian Harrington in 3:33 at 189 pounds, and a 2-0 decision posted by Joshua Beckley at 285 pounds.

The OM/WG squad returns to action Wednesday night at Newark Valley.

Photo at right: OM/WG's Dominick Fazzary (left) battles Tioga's Donavan Smith at 152 pounds.

Watkins Glen's Liam Smith (green suit) dives at start of the 200 Free, which he won. Flanking him are Giuseppe LaFace (WG, rear) and Ben Campbell (O-M, foreground).

IAC swim meet; Watkins 3rd, O-M 5th

Watkins Glen's Liam Smith wins the 200 Freestyle, places second in the 500 Free

WATKINS GLEN, Feb. 21, 2021 -- The Interscholastic Athletic Conference held its boys championship swim meet Saturday at diverse locales, with times later compared to determine who won and who finished where.

In a break from each team sticking to its home pool -- the norm in virtual meets -- Watkins Glen shared its pool with Odessa-Montour, swimmers from both schools competing in races in adjoining lanes.

Waverly took the team title with 434 points, while Lansing was second with 371. Watkins Glen was third with 295 points, Dryden fourth with 259, and Odessa-Montour fifth in the five-school field with 169.

Among the highlights from the day:

--Liam Smith of Watkins Glen won the 200 Freestyle with a time of 2:01.85, and was second in the 500 Free in 5:35.01.

--O-M placed second behind Waverly in the 200 Medley Relay, with Nick DeLong, Brock Sgrecci, Ben Campbell and Alex Walters posting a time of 2:07.74.

--Nick DeLong of O-M was fourth in the 50 Freestyle in 25.65, and third in the 100 Backstroke in 1:08.66.

--Brock Sgrecci of O-M was fourth in the 100 Freestyle in 58.49, and third in the 100 Breaststroke in 1:10.87.

--Ben Campbell of O-M was fourth in the 500 Freestyle in 6:18.27, and fifth in the 200 Free in 2:22.78.

--Ben Swinnerton of Watkins Glen was fifth in the 200 Individual Medley in 2:36.92, and fifth in the 100 Breaststroke in 1:11.57.

--Daine Butler of Watkins Glen was sixth in the 50 Free in 27.28, and sixth in the 100 Free in 1:01.22.

--Watkins Glen placed third in the 200 Free Relay as Ben Swinnerton, Anthony Cummings, Daine Butler and Liam Smith posted a time of 1:47.08.

--Watkins Glen placed third in the 400 Free Relay as Daine Butler, Owen Bingham, Ben Swinnerton and Liam Smith posted a time of 4:13.66.

*****

Photos in text:

Top: O-M's Alex Walters dives on final leg of the 200 Medley Relay. O-M placed 2nd.
Middle: Odessa-Montour's Brock Sgrecci swims a leg of the 200 Medley Relay.
Bottom: Watkins Glen's Lane Roy swims the butterfly leg of the 200 Medley Relay.

Start of the 200 Medley Relay. In the foreground is Watkins Glen's Anthony Cummings. In the far lane is Odessa-Montour's Nick DeLong. O-M placed second in the race while Watkins placed fourth.

Watkins Glen's Aislinn Klemann moves the ball upcourt against Odessa-Montour.

Glen girls top Odessa-Montour for 1st win

ODESSA, Feb. 21, 2021 -- The Watkins Glen High School girls varsity basketball team posted its first victory of the season Saturday, defeating Odessa-Montour 30-25 in an Interscholastic Athletic Conference game in the O-M gym.

The Senecas (1-3) led 8-4 after one period, 12-11 at halftime, and 17-16 entering the final quarter.

The game see-sawed until the Senecas took the lead for good. 25-24, with a basket by Natalie Edmister at 1:58. A basket by Abby Gibson at 1:16 increased the lead to 27-24, and after O-M's Mackenzie Cannon sank a free throw at 59.2, Watkins' Jenna Solomon scored on a twisting reverse layup with 21 seconds left to make it 29-25. A free throw by Gibson at 7.4 completed the scoring.

Edmister led Watkins Glen in scoring with 11 points, while Amanda Wilbur scored 6, Solomon 5, Gibson 5, Bailey Beaumont 2, and Aislinn Klemann 1. The team converted 5 of 13 free throws.

Odessa-Montour (0-4) was led in scoring by Hannah Nolan (10 points), while Cannon scored 7 points, Autumn Garrison 5, Mallory Rhodes 2 and Brittany Cain 1. The team converted 8 of 16 free throws.

Junior Varsity: Odessa-Montour (3-1) defeated Watkins Glen (2-1) in overtime, 47-45, in a game close throughout. The Indians were led by Keyonna Garrison's 28 points, while Watkins Glen was led by Rachel Vickio's 20 points.

Other scoring for O-M came from Gina Gavich (9 points), Tori Brewster (8) and Reagan Reese (2). The team sank 15 of 24 free throws.

Other scoring for Watkins Glen came from Lilly Ameigh (9 points), Addy Coolican (7), Brenna Pierce (6) and Molly Coolican (3). The team converted 5 of 10 free throws.

Photos in text:

Top: In the varsity game, Watkins Glen's Abby Gibson drives toward the hoop as O-M's Mackenzie Cannon defends.

Bottom: In the junior varsity game, Odessa-Montour's Keyonna Garrison cuts between two Watkins Glen defenders. She scored 28 points.

In the varsity game:

Left: Watkins Glen's Carly Arnold takes aim at the basket. Right: O-M's Autumn Garrison drives toward the hoop.

Left: Watkins Glen's Jenna Solomon prepares to shoot. Right: O-M's Mackenzie Cannon.

Left: Watkins Glen's Natalie Edmister shoots as O-M's Jessica Carnes defends.
Right: Odessa-Montour's Hannah Nolan drives to the basket.

Odessa-Montour's Mallory Rhodes shoots as Watkins' Amanda Wilbur (21) defends.

In the JV game:

Left: Watkins Glen's Addy Coolican drives. Right: O-M's Reagan Reese prepares to shoot.

Left: O-M's Gina Gavich moves the ball upcourt. Right: Watkins Glen's Rachel Vickio.

Left: O-M's Tori Brewster drives to the basket. Right: Watkins' Lilly Ameigh shoots.

Watkins Glen's Bryce Kelly passes the ball as Candor's Nick Thomas defends.

Watkins boys top Candor, move to 4-0

WATKINS GLEN, Feb. 21, 2021 -- The Watkins Glen High School boys varsity basketball team-- led by Owen Scholtisek's 22 points -- improved to 4-0 Saturday by defeating Candor 55-36 in an Interscholastic Athletic Conference game in the WGHS Field House.

The Senecas surged in front early, building a 14-1 lead enroute to a 34-17 halftime advantage. They led 43-27 entering the fourth quarter.

Scoring in addition to Scholtisek -- who registered 17 of his points in the first half -- were Max Evans (10 points), Travon Jones (9), Adam Pastore (7), Bryce Kelly (4), Mitchell Pike (2) and Cameron Holland (1). The team converted 22 of 35 free throws.

Evans led the team in rebounds with 10, while Pastore and Pike grabbed 7 each. Scholtisek led in assists with 3, while Jones, Holland and Scholtisek each notched 3 steals.

Candor was led by Bryce Mills and Cooper Thayer, each with 10 points. The team converted 16 of 24 free throws.

"Owen played very well all around," said Watkins Glen Coach John Fazzary. "Not only did he have a good game on offense, but he defended one of their better players and held him to 4 points.

"We need to do a little better on free throws and on the glass, but we held them to 36, which is not bad."

Junior Varsity: Watkins Glen improved to 4-0 by defeating Odessa-Montour 57-12. Bryce Cady led the Senecas in scoring with 19 points, and dished out 6 assists. Ryan Willett scored 13 points, Jacob Yontz 9 points (with 14 rebounds and 7 assists), Alex Holmes 4 points, Sam Caslin 4 points, Gavin Smith 3 points, John Abidhananthar 3 points, and Cadin Knapp 2 points.

Photo in text: Watkins Glen's Travon Jones drives to the basket.

Left: Watkins Glen's Owen Scholtisek drives through traffic. Right: The Senecas' Cameron Holland shoots.

Left: Watkins Glen's Adam Pastore shoots in traffic. Right: The Senecas' Max Evans drives to the basket.

In the JV game:

Players on the Watkins Glen and Odessa-Montour JV squads battle for a rebound.

OM/WG wrestlers fall to Waverly, 36-24

ODESSA, Feb. 21, 2021 -- The combined Odessa-Montour/Watkins Glen High School varsity wrestling team dropped a 36-24 decision Saturday to Waverly in an Interscholastic Athletic Conference meet in O-M's Jack Davis gym.

Wins for OM/WG were posted by:

--Mark Waterman at 138 pounds, a fall in 41 seconds over Derek Bartlett.
--Gabe Williams at 145 pounds, a fall in 3:43 over Braedon Nichols.
--Dominick Fazzary at 152 pounds, by forfeit.
--Brody Williams at 160 pounds, by forfeit.

Glen boys top Notre Dame, move to 3-0

SOUTHPORT, Feb. 20 2021 -- The Watkins Glen High School boys varsity basketball team -- led by 20 points from Travon Jones -- defeated Elmira Notre Dame 67-40 Friday evening in an Interscholastic Athletic Conference game in the ND gym.

Watkins Glen (3-0) built a 17-7 first-quarter lead, and was up 34-14 at halftime and 54-28 entering the fourth quarter.

Jones, in addition to his 20 points, tied for the team lead in rebounds with 8, and registered 3 steals and 2 assists. Other points came from Cameron Holland (13), Owen Scholtisek (12, with 3 assists and 2 steals), Max Evans (9), Adam Pastore (6, with 8 rebounds), Dylan Morse (5, with 5 assists and 2 steals), and Bryce Kelly (2). The team converted 8 of 13 free throws.

Notre Dame was led by Steven Gough's 15 points. The Crusaders sank of 7 of 12 free throws.

"We got out to a pretty good start," said Watkins Coach John Fazzary. "We had really good defense in the first half, but we didn't in the second half. Overall, though, it was good."

The Senecas return to action today (Saturday) at 11 a.m. against Candor in the WGHS Field House. A junior varsity game pitting Watkins against Odessa-Montour will follow.

Junior Varsity: Watkins Glen defeated Notre Dame 66-42 to improve to 3-0. Bryce Cady led the Senecas with 18 points and 7 rebounds, while Cadin Knapp scored 12 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. Other points came from David Kelly (10), Ryan Willett (9), Alex Holmes (8), Jacob Yontz (7, with 8 rebounds), and Sam Caslin (2).

Watkins Glen's Amanda Wilbur drives toward the basket in traffic.

Glen girls lose to Notre Dame, fall to 0-3

WATKINS GLEN, Feb. 20, 2021 -- The Watkins Glen High School girls varsity basketball team's record slipped to 0-3 Friday evening when the Senecas dropped a 51-24 decision to Elmira Notre Dame in an Interscholastic Athletic Conference game in the WGHS Field House.

Notre Dame trailed only once, at 2-0, on the way to building a 17-3 first-quarter lead and a 29-14 halftime advantage. The Crusaders led 41-21 entering the fourth quarter.

Notre Dame applied an effective press through much of the game, creating numerous turnovers.

Jenna Solomon led the Senecas with 7 points, while Mattie Yontz and Natalie Edmister each scored 5. Aislinn Klemann added 3 points, while Amanda Wilbur scored 2, and Abby Gibson and Carly Arnold scored 1 each. The team converted 12 of 26 free throws.

Shannon Maloney led Notre Dame with 14 points. The team was 3-for-5 from the foul line.

Watkins Glen returns to action today (Saturday) at Odessa-Montour. Game time is 1 p.m., with the junior varsity to follow.

Photo in text: Watkins Glen's Aislinn Klemann maneuvers for a shot.

Left: Watkins Glen's Carly Arnold heads for the floor after tripping over the right foot of a Notre Dame defender. Right: The Senecas' Abby Gibson (11) dishes off a pass.

From left: Watkins Glen's Bailey Beaumont, Jenna Solomon and Natalie Edmister.

Watkins Glen's Brenna Pierce is fouled as she drives to the hoop. She sank the shot and the subsequent free throw.

Glen girls' JV overtakes Dundee, 36-28

WATKINS GLEN, Feb. 19, 2021 -- It was the only game in town.

The Watkins Glen High School girls junior varsity basketball team took center stage Thursday evening in the absence of any other games at Watkins or Odessa-Montour -- where contests were canceled by Covid exposure (O-M) or the weather (the Watkins Glen boys varsity and JV teams, and its girls varsity squad).

With the focus on them, the Watkins JV girls came through, roaring from behind to defeat Dundee 36-28 to improve their season mark to 2-0. The Senecas were down 20-13 in the first half before rallying to take the lead in the third quarter.

They were challenged in the fourth period as Dundee edged within a point, 29-28, but pulled away from there.

Brenna Pierce led the Senecas with 11 points, including the team's final five points. Rachel Vickio added 10 points, and Lilly Ameigh 9. The team was 5-for-8 from the foul line. Dundee converted 5 of 11 free throws.

The Senecas are scheduled to return to action Saturday afternoon at Odessa-Montour before playing next week against O-M and then Horseheads.

The Watkins Glen boys varsity and JV games that had been scheduled Thursday night at Notre Dame will be played instead tonight (Friday). The Watkins Glen girls varsity game at home against Notre Dame, postponed from Thursday, will also be played tonight.

The Watkins Glen's boys varsity had been slated to play Odessa-Montour on Saturday in the Field House, but the O-M team was quarantined after exposure to a Covid case on the Spencer-Van Etten team early in the week. The Senecas will play Candor instead on Saturday, with a Watkins vs. O-M junior varsity game to follow.

The Watkins Glen girls varsity squad is slated to play O-M at Odessa on Saturday, with the junior varsity contest to follow.

Photos in text:

Top: Watkins Glen's Lilly Ameigh shoots in traffic.

Bottom: The Senecas' Addy Coolican slices between two Dundee defenders.

Left: Watkins Glen's Rachel Vickio sends up a shot. Right: The Senecas' Molly Coolican drives to the basket.

OM-WG wrestlers edge S-VE, 42-36

SPENCER, Feb. 17, 2021 -- The Odessa-Montour/Watkins Glen High School varsity wrestling team opened its season with a win Wednesday evening, defeating Spencer-Van Etten 42-36 in an Interscholastic Athletic Conference meet in the S-VE gym.

OM-WG got forfeit victories at 152, 160, 172, 215, 118, 132 and 145 pounds.

It lost by forfeit at 102 and 110 pounds, and by falls at 189, 285, 126 and 138 pounds.

Left: Watkins Glen's Dylan Morse goes up for a shot. Right: The Senecas' Owen Scholtisek is fouled as he attempts to shoot.

Watkins boys roll past Notre Dame

WATKINS GLEN, Feb. 17, 2021-- The Watkins Glen High School boys varsity basketball team improved to 2-0 Tuesday night with a 53-33 victory over Elmira Notre Dame in an Intercholastic Athletic Conference game in the WGHS Field House.

The Senecas opened a 12-4 first-quarter lead, and were up 27-12 at halftime and 35-22 entering the fourth quarter.

The team had balanced scoring, with 10 points each from Owen Scholtisek, Max Evans and Adam Pastore, 9 points from Bryce Kelly, and 7 points each from Dylan Morse and Mitchell Pike. The team converted just 9 of 23 free throws.

Pastore led in rebounds with 9, while Evans grabbed 8, Kelly 5, and Pike 4. Evans led in assists with 3, while Scholtisek led in steals with 3. Kelly and Cameron Holland added 2 steals apiece.

Joe Sheehan led Notre Dame with 14 points. The Crusaders converted 8 of 14 free throws.

"We're still very much a work in progress," said Watkins Glen Coach John Fazzary. "We have work to do on our offense. We need more patience; we're rushing on offense. And we'll be working on our free throws at the next practice.

"I like the balanced scoring, though. And we held Notre Dame to 33 points. That's a pretty good defensive effort. We've just got to get better on offense."

The two teams meet again Thursday at Notre Dame. The varsity game is at 5:30 p.m., with the JV to follow.

Junior Varsity: Watkins Glen defeated Notre Dame 44-42. Jacob Yontz led the Senecas in scoring with 17 points, and registered 11 rebounds and 4 assists. Other points came from Cadin Knapp (7, with 7 rebounds), Ryan Willett (7), Bryce Cady (5), Gavin Smith (3), Alex Holmes (3, with 5 rebounds), and Sam Caslin (2).

Photos in text:

Top: Watkins Glen's Max Evans sends up a shot. He was fouled before going airborne.
Bottom: The Senecas' Mitchell Pike shoots as two Notre Dame defenders move in.

Watkins Glen's Bryce Kelly (left) and Adam Pastore launch shots against Notre Dame.

Glen girls lose to Notre Dame, fall to 0-2

SOUTHPORT, Feb. 17, 2021 -- The Watkins Glen High School girls varsity basketball team saw its record slip to 0-2 Tuesday evening when the Senecas dropped a 66-44 decision to Elmira Notre Dame in an Interscholastic Athletic Conference game in the ND gym.

Watkins Glen led 13-8 after one quarter, but trailed 31-24 at halftime. They were then outscored 16-5 in the third quarter and 19-15 in the fourth.

Carly Arnold led the Senecas in scoring with 10 points, while Amanda Wilbur added 8, Abby Gibson 7, Natalie Edmister 7, Aislinn Klemann 6, Jenna Solomon 5, and Mattie Yontz 1. The team converted 11 of 17 free throws. Notre Dame converted 9 of 14.

Solomon and Gibson led in rebounds with 7 each, while Edmister grabbed 5, and Wilbur, Yontz and Klemann 3 apiece. Gibson led in assists with 3.

The two teams are scheduled to play each other again Thursday at Watkins Glen. The varsity game starts at 5:30 p.m., with the JV to follow.

Left: O-M's Veer Patel takes aim at the basket. Right: The Indians' Phoenix Parmenter is fouled as he drives toward the hoop.

Odessa-Montour boys fall to S-VE, 77-41

ODESSA, Feb. 17, 2021 -- The Odessa-Montour High School boys varsity basketball team sustained its first loss of the season Tuesday when it dropped a 77-41 decision to Spencer-Van Etten in an Interscholastic Athletic Conference game in the O-M gym.

S-VE raced to a 31-12 first-quarter lead, led by James Sutherlin, who scored 18 of his 27 points in the opening frame.

The Spencer lead was 48-22 at halftime, and 61-32 entering the fourth quarter.

Jared Rumsey led Odessa (now 2-1) with 14 points, while Cameron Elliott added 11, Phoenix Parmenter 10, and Jonathan Gillis 6. The team converted 3 of 9 free throws.

S-VE's Sutherlin was joined in double figures by Markus Brock, who scored 10 points. The team converted 7 of 17 free throws.

The two teams are scheduled to meet again Thursday at Spencer-Van Etten. The varsity game starts at 5:30 p.m., with the JV to follow.

Junior Varsity: Odessa-Montour defeated S-VE 38-35, coming back from a 28-23 deficit in the fourth quarter. Brad Gillis led O-M with 10 points, while Tyler Malnoske scored 8, Daniel Lewis 8, and Ben Heichel 6.

Photo in text: O-M's Cameron Elliott drives to the basket.

Left: Odessa-Montour's Jonathan Gillis shoots. Right: The Indians' Jared Rumsey moves past a Spencer-Van Etten defender.

Odessa-Montour girls fall to S-VE, 41-30

SPENCER, Feb. 17, 2021 -- The Odessa-Montour High School girls varsity basketball team fell to 0-3 Tuesday when it dropped a 41-30 decision to Spencer-Van Etten in an Interscholastic Athletic Conference game in the S-VE gym.

The Indians trailed 8-1 after one quarter, 16-12 at halftime, and 34-29 after three periods.

Mackenzie Cannon led Odessa scorers with 11 points, including three 3-pointers, while Hannah Nolan scored 9 points and registered 8 rebounds and 5 steals. Autumn Garrison added 5 points, Mallory Rhodes 3 points, and Taylor Cain 2 points. The team was 7-for-12 from the foul line.

"S-VE made eight 3-pointers, which was the difference in the game," said O-M Coach Greg Gavich. "We made a nice run in the third quarter and had a few great chances early in the fourth, but couldn't get them to fall. We play hard, but continue to struggle to put it in the basket."

The two teams meet again on Thursday at Odessa-Montour. The varsity game starts at 5:30 p.m., with the JV to follow.

Junior Varsity: S-VE defeated Odessa-Montour, 44-32. Tori Brewster led the Indians with 11 points, while Gina Gavich and Reagan Reese scored 8 each, and Keyonna Garrison scored 5.

Glen girls JV team wins basketball opener

DUNDEE, Feb. 16, 2021-- The Watkins Glen High School girls junior varsity basketball team opened its season with a victory Monday, defeating Dundee 32-24 on the road.

The game was tied 18-18 at halftime.

Lilly Ameigh led the Senecas with 17 points, while Rachel Vickio scored 6, Addy Coolican 5, Brenna Pierce 2, and Sarah Jones 2.

Odessa-Montour's Taylor Cain (24) drives toward the basket late in the game.

O-M girls fall to TAE in overtime, 46-41

ODESSA, Feb. 14, 2021 -- The Odessa-Montour High School girls varsity basketball team fell to 0-2 Saturday, dropping a 46-41 overtime decision to Edison in an Interscholastic Athletic Conference game in the O-M gym.

The Indians, who had dropped their season opener Friday at Edison, led by nine points this time, 33-24, with 5:31 left in regulation, but a series of turnovers and missed shots opened the door for Edison, which stormed back to tie the game 36-36 with 10.5 seconds left on the clock.

Odessa took the lead again, 39-36, early in the four-minute overtime period on a field goal and free throw, but Edison rallied again, scoring baskets with 2:11 and 1:37 remaining to go ahead 40-39. The Spartans then converted six free throws down the stretch, interrupted only by two O-M free throws by Autumn Garrison.

Garrison led Odessa with 21 points. Hannah Nolan added 9 points, while Jessica Carnes scored 6, Mackenzie Cannon 3, and Mallory Rhodes 2. The Indians converted 9 of 21 free throws.

Payton Littlefield led Edison with 21 points, including those six overtime free throws. Overall, the Spartans converted 13 of 20 foul shots.

Junior Varsity: Odessa-Montour improved to 2-0 by defeating Edison 49-19. Keyonna Garrison led the Indians with 18 points, while Gina Gavich scored 10 points (with 6 assists), Tori Brewster 10 points, and Reagan Reese 9 points.

Photo in text: Odessa-Montour's Autumn Garrison drives to the basket.

Left: O-M's Hannah Nolan sends a shot on its way. Right: Odessa's Jessica Carnes.

Left: O-M's Mallory Rhodes (20) prepares to pass the ball. Right: Odessa-Montour's Mackenzie Cannon shoots.

And in the JV game:

:

Left: O-M's Keyonna Garrison, left, blocks an Edison shot attempt. Right: Odessa's Tori Brewster drives to the basket for two of her 10 points.

From left: Odessa-Montour's Gina Gavich, Reagan Reese and Sarah Strobel.

O-M boys defeat Edison again, 43-40

ELMIRA HEIGHTS, Feb. 14, 2021 -- The Odessa-Montour High School boys varsity basketball team -- behind Cayden Confer's 20 points -- defeated Edison in come-from-behind fashion Saturday, 43-40, in an Interscholastic Athletic Conference game in the Edison gym.

Odessa, now 2-0 after defeating Edison twice, trailed 26-16 at halftime and 38-32 after three periods before outscoring the Spartans 11-2 in the fourth quarter.

Joining Confer in double-digit scoring were Jared Rumsey and Phoenix Parmenter, who each registered 10 points. Cameron Elliott added 3 points. The team was 0-for-4 from the foul line.

Edison was led by Jeremiah Parker's 14 points. His team converted 2 of 4 free throws.

Junior Varsity: Odessa-Montour defeated Edison 49-30 to improve to 2-0.

IAC bowling: Odessa girls finish 4th

WATKINS GLEN, Feb. 14 ,2021 -- The Odessa-Montour High School girls varsity bowling team placed fourth Saturday in the Interscholastic Athletic Conference Championships, held virtually around the league.

The O-M and Watkins Glen bowlers rolled their games at Harborside Lanes in Watkins Glen, while other competing teams bowled at their home alleys.

Waverly won the girls team title with a 2479 total for three games, with Candor second, Notre Dame third, and O-M 4th with a 1983 total. Watkins Glen was sixth among 10 schools with 1429.

Tioga won the boys championship with a 3187 total. Odessa-Montour was seventh at 2106, while Watkins Glen was eighth among 11 teams with a 1900.

Awards were presented to the top 20 male and top 20 female bowlers.

Rachel Houseknecht of Waverly rolled the day's top score among the girls, a 571. O-M's Jana Arias placed fourth with a 494, while Watkins Glen's Alyiah Clink-Bentley was eighth with a 446. O-M's Sarah Barr was 15th with a 412.

Waverly's Zach Vanderpool rolled an IAC recod 834 series on games of 279-276-279. Tioga had the second, third and fourth spots with series ranging from 696 down to 674. Watkins was led by RJ Bannon's 545, good for 16th place overall. O-M's Dominic Elliott was 20th with a 518 series.

O-M boys open with victory over Edison

ODESSA, Feb. 13, 2021 -- The Odessa-Montour High School boys varsity basketball team -- led by Phoenix Parmenter's 15 points -- defeated Thomas A. Edison High School 44-26 Friday evening in an Interscholastic Athletic Conference season-opener in the O-M gym.

The long awaited return to the hardwood saw Odessa build a 13-9 first-quarter lead and a 27-17 advantage at halftime. Edison pulled within seven points in the third period, but the Indians outscored the Spartans 14-5 in the fourth quarter to secure the win.

Scoring in addition to Parmenter were Cameron Elliott with 11 points, Cayden Confer with 6, Jared Rumsey with 6, Jacob Menzi with 3, Arden Heichel with 2, and Veer Patel with 1. The team converted 3 of 8 free throws.

Edison was led by Jere Parker's 12 points. The team converted 7 of 11 free throws.

Odessa returns to action Saturday at Edison. Game time is 1 p.m., with the junior varsity to follow.

Junior Varsity: Odessa-Montour won 46-25. Tyler Malnoske and Bradley Gillis led the Indians with 12 points apiece.

Photo in text: O-M's Cameron Elliott scores two of his 11 points.

Left: O-M's Jonathan Gillis drives toward the basket. Right: The Indians' Cayden Confer goes high to take a shot in traffic.

Left: O-M's Jared Rumsey launches a shot. Right: The Indians' Phoenix Parmenter shoots.

O-M girls fall to Edison in opener, 42-31

ELMIRA HEIGHTS, Feb. 13, 2021 -- The Odessa-Montour High School girls varsity basketball team opened its season with a loss Friday evening, dropping a 42-31 decision to Edison in an Interscholastic Athletic Conference road game.

The Indians led 14-12 after one period and 21-19 at halftime, but fell behind 29-28 entering the fourth quarter. They were outscored 13-3 down the stretch.

"We struggled to put the ball in the hole," said O-M Coach Greg Gavich. "We played with a lot of energy and intensity all night. It was fun to be back at it, that's for sure!"

Hannah Nolan, Autumn Garrison and Mackenzie Cannon led O-M in scoring with 9 points apiece.

The Indians return to action at home Saturday against the same Edison team. Game time is 1 p.m., with the JV to follow.

Junior Varsity: Odessa-Montour defeated Edison 46-26. Keyonna Garrison led the Indians with 29 points, while Tori Brewster scored 9..

Watkins Glen's Adam Pastore drives toward the hoop in traffic.

Watkins boys race past Addison, 54-28

WATKINS GLEN, Feb. 13, 2021 -- The Watkins Glen High School boys varsity basketball team -- led by 15 points from Max Evans -- defeated Addison 54-29 Friday evening in a season-opening non-league game in the WGHS Field House.

The Senecas built an 18-4 first-quarter lead, and were up 34-12 at halftime and 41-24 after three periods.

In addition to Evans' 15 points, the Senecas got 10 points from Owen Scholtisek, 8 each from Adam Pastore and Dylan Morse, 7 from Cameron Holland, and 6 from Bryce Kelly.

Scholtisek, Evans and Mitchell Pike each grabbed 5 rebounds, while Evans and Kelly registered 5 steals apiece. Scholtisek led the squad with 6 assists. The Senecas converted 8 of 13 free throws.

Luke Pepper led Addison with 10 points. His team was 1-for-4 from the foul line.

"We'll be practicing layups tomorrow," said Watkins Glen Coach John Fazzary. "It was good to get out there playing, but we're a work in progress. We're still trying to get our basketball legs under us."

Watkins Glen returns to action Tuesday at home against Elmira Notre Dame. Game time is 5:30 p.m., with the JV to follow.

Junior Varsity: Watkins Glen defeated Addison 65-23. Ryan Willett led the Senecas with 25 points, while Jacob Yontz scored 11 points (with 9 rebounds and 8 assists), Sam Caslin 10, Alex Holmes 8 (with 11 rebounds), Cadin Knapp 6, and David Kelly 5.

Photo in text: Watkins Glen's Max Evans drives to the basket.

Left: Watkins Glen's Owen Scholtisek shoots. Right: The Senecas' Bryce Kelly moves past an Addison defender.

Seniors honored

The three seniors on the Watkins Glen High School boys varsity bowling team were honored Friday afternoon in a ceremony at Harborside Lanes in Watkins Glen. The seniors, from left, are R.J. Bannon, Michael Cook and Matt Irwin. Coach Ward Brower is holding a pin painted for the occasion with the words: WS: Class of 2021: RJ Bannon, Michael Cook, Matt Irwin. Thank You. Coach Brower.

O-M swimmers fall to Dryden, 72-67

ODESSA, Feb. 12, 2021 -- The Odessa-Montour High Schoool boys varsity swim team dropped a close 72-67 decision Thursday to Dryden in an Interscholastic Athletic Conference virtual meet. Each team swam in its home pool, and compared race times.

"Since the meet was designated 'at Dryden,'" said O-M Coach Terri Brace, "it was scored as a six-lane meet, which put our small team of six swimmers at a disadvantage. Regardless, I am very happy with the way the team swam. They posted many personal bests or season bests.

"We honored our two seniors, Brock Sgrecci, a two-year veteran on the team, and Jared Rumsey, a senior rookie who made an impact in this short, unusual season. Brock’s breaststroke and wry sense of humor will be missed by all, and Jared demonstrated an excellent work ethic and desire to learn and improve."

First-place finishes were posted for O-M by Ben Campbell in the 200 Freestyle (2:23.26), Caleb Reynolds in the 200 Individual Medley (2:40.10) and the 500 Freestyle (a personal best of 6:17.33), Nick DeLong in the 50 Freestyle (26.21), Sgrecci in the 100 Breaststroke (1:11.75), and the 400 Freestyle Relay team of DeLong, Reynolds, Campbell and Sgrecci (4:09.90).

"Overall," said Coach Brace, "there were many successes tonight at the O-M pool. Coach Matt Walters and I are very proud!"

Photos in text:

The two O-M boys swim team seniors were honored at Thursday's meet: Brock Sgrecci (top) and Jared Rumsey (bottom), shown here in photos snapped at an earlier competition.

Swimming: Glen boys fall to S. Cayuga

WATKINS GLEN, Feb. 10, 2021 -- The Watkins Glen High School boys varsity swim team dropped a 93-64 decision Tuesday to Southern Cayuga in a virtual Interscholastic Athletic Conference meet. Each team swam in its home pool, and then compared race times.

The Senecas got first-place finishes from Liam Smith in the 200 Individual Medley (2:25.38), from Ben Swinnerton in the 100 Breaststroke (1:13.43), and from the 400 Freestyle Relay team of Smith, Anthony Ricauter-Minelli, Daine Butler and Swinnerton (4:18.46).

Second-places were posted by Watkins in the two other relays and in the 100 Fly (Smith), 100 Free (Butler), and 100 Back (Lane Roy).

O-M boys varsity basketball coach Sparky Gardner addresses players in the main gym.

Practices begin for hoops, wrestling at O-M

ODESSA, Feb. 4, 2021 -- Practices for so-called high-risk sports finally began Thursday at Odessa-Montour High School after a three-day delay due to heavy snowstorms.

The boys varsity and JV squads gathered at 3 p.m. in the O-M gym, where they met their coaches -- Kristine "Sparky" Gardner for the varsity and Jack McCauley for the JV.

The varsity had 13 players, and the JV 12 players, with the first game scheduled Friday of next week.

The girls were scheduled to practice later in the day under the guidance of varsity coach Greg Gavich aand JV Coach Joe Leonard.

The girls varsity and JV squads were each expecting eight players.

A couple of hallways away, in the Jack Davis Gym, the O-M/Watkins Glen varsity wrestiing team gathered to exercise and work on various skill moves. There were 15 wrestlers present.

Down a winding hallway from there, virtual competition was under way as the O-M boys varsity swim team was establishing times in the O-M pool that would be compared to an opponent swimming elsewhere in its own pool. Boys swimming and bowling have been holding so-called virtual competitions for the past month.

Results of the meet were not immediately available.

Photos in text:

Top: Action was fast and furious during the boys basketball drills in the O-M gym.

Bottom: O-M's Ben Campbell competes in the 200 Medley Relay.

Members of the O-M/Watkins Glen wrestling team were put through various exercises Thursday in Odessa's Jack Davis Gym.

Odessa-Montour's Alex Walters swims the backstroke leg of the 200 Medley Relay.

Ithaca, Owego temporarily join the IAC as pandemic rules impact upcoming schedules

SCHUYLER COUNTY, Jan. 31, 2021 -- Scheduling is under way in what amounts to a tricky, shifting Interscholastic Athletic Conference landscape, a situation compliments of the pandemic.

With only bowling and boys swimming -- both held virtually -- to show for high school sports since the pandemic shut down schools last March for the duration of that school year, Athletic Directors around the Southern Tier are scrambling to set up schedules now that the go-ahead for high-risk sports like basketball and wrestling have been given clearance. That clearance comes with retrictions: the wearing of masks, and the absence of spectators (the events will be live-streamed).

The IAC has a new wrinkle in its basketball lineup for the upcoming, 10- or 12-game abbreviated season, one without championship tournaments on the drawing board. Ithaca High School and Owego Free Academy are joining the Conference for the season -- in what is anticipated as a temporary fix to counter differing county rules regarding schools playing in neighboring counties. Ithaca and Owego are normally part of the Southern Tier Athletic Conference (STAC).

Under the new basketball lineup, Odessa-Montour and Watkins Glen will be in a division with Elmira Heights Edison, Spencer-Van Etten and Elmira Notre Dame. Each school will play the four others in the division twice apiece, back-to-back (home and away) to satisfy requirements of pandemic-related contact tracing. Beyond those eight games, says O-M Athletic Manager Greg Gavich, there will likely be two or possibly four other, non-divisional games.

(Ithaca will be in a division with other Tompkins County schools: Groton, Trumansburg, Newfield and Dryden. Owego will be in a division with Waverly, Newark Valley, Candor and Tioga. The fourth division has Whitney Point, Southern Cayuga, Union Springs, Moravia and Marathon.)

Barring any delaying snowstorms, the first games of the basketball season will be played Feb. 10 -- nine days after the opening of practice. Each player, Gavich said, needs six separate days of practice. The schedule goes into March, when the "Fall 2" season begins (March 6) -- although Gavich said it's possible the two seasons might overlap a little if basketball teams look to play an extra game or two.

The schedule for wrestling, also given clearance to start Feb. 1, is "to be determined," Gavich said. That sport has tentative division alignments, and will see only dual meets. There will be no tournaments. Two or three wrestlers from Watkins Glen are expected to be joining the O-M squad, as was the case last winter before the pandemic struck.

Bowling and boys swimming, both of which started in January -- with each team bowling at its home alley or swimming in its home pool, and comparing scores and times against those posted by scheduled competing schools at their own alleys or pools (hence "virtual" competitions) -- may or may not add travel to their itinerary, Gavich said. But there is one IAC bowling tournament scheduled, he noted -- at the Valley Bowling Center in Waverly, with three teams bowling at any one time.

The basketball practices, weather permitting, begin Feb. 1. At O-M, Gavich will be back as girls varsity coach, with Joe Leonard returning as JV coach. On the boys' side, Kristine Gardner, once a standout player on O-M's girls team, takes over the reins as boys varsity coach. Jack McCauley will be the JV boys coach.

Superintendent Chris Wood reported to the School Board this past week that there are 16 girls and 19 boys ready to play basketball. Gavich said eight players each will be playing on the girls varsity and JV squads.

Watkins swimmers edge Odessa, 80-67

SCHUYLER COUNTY, Jan. 29, 2021 -- The Watkins Glen High School boys varsity swim team posted an 80-67 victory over Odessa-Montour Friday in a virtual Interscholastic Athletic Conference swim meet.

Each team swam in its respective home pool, comparing times.

First places were posted as follows:

200 Freestyle: Owen Bingham (WG), 2:26.98.
200 Individual Medley: Liam Smith (WG), 2:24.23.
50 Freestyle: Nick DeLong (OM), 26.07.
100 Butterfly: Owen Bingham (WG), 1:23.81.
100 Freestyle: Daine Butler (WG), 1:00.99.
500 Freestyle: Liam Smith (WG), 5:39.27.
100 Backstroke: Nick DeLong (OM), 1:10.27.
100 Breaststroke: Ben Swinnerton (WG), 1:14.13.
200 Medley Relay: (OM) DeLong, Sgrecci, Reynolds, Campbell (2:09.40)
200 Freestyle Relay: (WG) Butler, Bingham, Swinnerton, Smith (1:48.95)
400 Freestyle Relay: (OM) Walters, Rumsey, Campbell, Reynolds (4:43.11)

O-M Coach Terri Brace said personal records were set by her team as follows:

--Jared Rumsey in the 200 Free
--Alex Walters in the 200 Free
--Ben Campbell in the 50 Free
--Caleb Reynolds in the 100 Fly
--Nick DeLong in the 50 Free
--Brock Sgrecci in the 200 IM

Public Health authorizes high-risk sports in Schuyler County, starting February 1st

Special to The Odessa File

SCHUYLER COUNTY, Jan. 28, 2021 -- Schuyler County Public Health is authorizing High-Risk Sports and Recreation to begin starting February 1st in Schuyler County.

This decision, Public Health said, "was reached based on New York State Department of Health Guidelines and in consultation with our school districts and county health officials in the Southern Tier and Western Regions.

"As responsible parties, school districts and other sport and recreation entities must implement a safety plan which adheres to the Interim Guidance for Sports and Recreation During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency which was amended on January 22, 2021. These revisions allow local health departments to authorize non-professional and non-collegiate sports, such as wrestling, ice hockey, basketball, contact lacrosse, and volleyball, to proceed with individual and group training, competitions, and tournaments, effective February 1, 2021."

In order to best ensure that student athletes can continue to recreate safely, Schuyler County Public Health and local school district administration have unanimously agreed to the following additional guidelines:

--Athletes must wear an acceptable face covering (as detailed in NYSDOH guidance), unless a medical exemption is obtained from a medical provider and approved by the school’s physician.

--Spectators will not be permitted to attend indoor sporting events.

"Please note," Public Health added, "that school districts may implement more restrictive measures should they choose."

Participating in higher-risk sports "presents significant risks," Public Health added. "The level of risk presented by a return to sports is influenced by the particular sport and setting, local disease activity, and individual circumstances including underlying health conditions that may place the athlete or their household members at increased risk of severe disease should they contract COVID-19. Individual schools and businesses, student and adult athletes, and parents/guardians must carefully consider a variety of factors before making an individual decision to participate. Athletes and coaches should also be mindful of their activity outside of sports to minimize risk and reduce community spread."

The New York State summary guidelines are posted on the NYForward website. "All responsible parties must read and affirm the State’s detailed guidelines and develop a safety plan to ensure that our youth and adults have the opportunity to participate in athletics safely," said Public Health, adding: "Safety plans should be submitted to Schuyler County Public Health by emailing scph@co.schuyler.ny.us or sent by mail."

O'Mara: Extend bar curfew for Bills game

Special to The Odessa File

ELMIRA, Jan. 23, 2021 -- State Senator Tom O’Mara is calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to extend his 10 p.m. curfew on Sunday to ensure that New York’s restaurants, taverns, pubs, bars and other establishments are allowed to stay open for fans of the Buffalo Bills.

Buffalo faces the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship in Kansas City. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. Consequently, O’Mara said, the game will be ending very close to Cuomo’s 10 p.m. curfew, so establishments should be allowed to stay open for at least an extra half-hour after it ends.

Said O’Mara: “Fans cheering on the Bills at their favorite establishment Sunday night shouldn’t have to worry about the doors closing in the final minutes or if the game goes into overtime. It’s a big night for the fans and the venues alike, and Governor Cuomo should let it play out. This is not too much to ask for fans who have waited 27 years for another AFC Championship game.”

Under current COVID-19 restrictions, establishments offering indoor services can only operate under strict protocols, including capacity restrictions and a 10 p.m. curfew.

Area state legislators cheer NY's decision to start up high school sports on Feb. 1

Decisions on previously suspended sports to come from health officials

ELMIRA, Jan. 22, 2021 -- State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats), Assemblyman Chris Friend (R,C,I-Big Flats) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning) cheered the state’s decision Friday to allow local health officials to make the call on starting up high school sports seasons beginning February 1.

The sports include the previously suspended basketball, wrestling, volleyball and competitive cheerleading. Athletes in the those sports had been allowed to train individually but not practice as a team or play.

The new guidelines say "participants in higher risk sports and recreation activities may partake in individual or distanced group training and, further, may partake in other types of play, including competitions and tournaments, only as permitted by the respective local health authorities (i.e., county health departments)."

Local health authorities, the guidelines add, should -- in determining whether to authorize or prohibit such activities -- weigh these factors: "whether there has been a more transmissible variant of COVID-19 identified in the area; local rates of COVID-19 transmission or rate of positivity, and local ability to monitor and enforce compliance."

Travel for practice or play is currently prohibited "outside of the region or contiguous counties/regions."

In a joint statement, O’Mara, Friend, and Palmesano said, “We recently said that we were confident that the Cuomo administration, working in partnership with local education and health officials, has the capacity to ensure a safe return of high school sports.¬†We welcome the state’s decision to allow local health officials to make the call and get our student-athletes back in their games. It’s an important step for athletes and their families, coaches, and entire school communities and we join them in looking forward to the return of high school sports.”

O’Mara, Friend, and Palmesano last week sent a letter to the governor and other top Cuomo administration officials urging them to give the go-ahead, a move which has also been strongly backed by student-athletes throughout New York State

Last week’s letter read, in part, “These students have invested many years of discipline and training to maintain their physical fitness and to compete on behalf of their school districts and communities ... The Southern Tier has proven to be a leader in the state by having one of the lowest positivity rates by exercising the policies and procedures established by the Health Department. Our student-athletes ask for guidance from the state to allow all winter, fall and spring sports to start in the Southern Tier and throughout New York State. We know that doing so will provide an outlet and great enrichment to student-athletes patiently waiting for their turn to play.”

In early December, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSA), following guidance from the Cuomo administration, indefinitely postponed high school basketball, hockey, wrestling, and competitive cheerleading. All state winter sports tournaments were also cancelled.

The activities were considered high-risk for the spread of COVID-19. The NYSPHSA has been awaiting further guidance from the Cuomo administration, which the governor said would be provided by December 31.

Fall sports previously deemed high-risk by the state and postponed, including football and volleyball, are scheduled to resume on March 1 as part of a “Fall II” season.

Photo in text: State Senator Tom O'Mara (File photo)

Watkins Glen's Daine Butler waits to dive in the 400 Free Relay race. (Photo provided)

Watkins Glen swimmers defeat Dryden

WATKINS GLEN, Jan. 23, 2021 -- The Watkins Glen High School boys varsity swim team opened its season this week with a 93-34 victory over Dryden in an Interscholastic Athletic Conference virtual meet.

Each team swam in its respective home pool, but on different days. There was a resulting lag in reporting the results.

"It is great to see the kids back in action and getting into a routine again," said Watkins Coach Jason Westervelt, who pointed out that "Liam Smith had three personal best times (200 Free, 500 Free and lead-off leg of the 400 Free Relay), while Ben Swinnerton had a great swim in the 100 Breaststroke. And all our young swimmers performed well for the first time competing in more than eight months."

Photo in text: Watkins Glen's Liam Smith, who set three personal bests. (Photo provided)

Bowling: O-M girls top Tioga; boys fall

WATKINS GLEN, Jan. 22, 2021 -- The Odessa-Montour High School girls varsity bowling team posted a 3-1 victory Thursday over Tioga in an Interscholastic Athletic Conference virtual meet. The O-M boys lost 4-0.

O-M bowled at its home alley, Harborside Lanes in Watkins Glen, while Tioga bowled at its home alley.

Girls: Odessa won the first and third games and total pinfall, 1871-1756. Sarah Barr led the Indians with a 428 series, while Courtney Davis posted a 395, Jana Arias 388, and Hannah Barr 379.

Boys: Odessa-Montour lost all three games by a combined 2537-2138. Dom Elliott led the Indians with a 512 series, while Austin Hoyt rolled a 464, Wesley Wade 403, and Zachary Rounds 402.

Odessa swim team loses to Waverly

ODESSA, Jan. 22, 2021 -- The Odessa-Montour High School boys varsity swim team dropped a 103-37 decision Thursday to Waverly in an Interscholastic Athletic Conference virtual meet.

O-M -- swimming in its home pool while Waverly swam in its own pool -- failed to win an event. Second-place finishers were posted by Jared Rumsey in the 50 Free, Nick DeLong in the 100 Back, and Brock Sgrecci in the 100 Breaststroke.

The Indians got season-best times from Ben Campbell in the 500 Free and 100 Breast, and personal records from Rumsey and Alex Walters in the 50 Free, and from Caleb Reynolds in the 100 Free.

Bowling: O-M boys, girls fall to Waverly

WATKINS GLEN, Jan. 20, 2021 -- The Odessa-Montour boys and girls varsity bowling teams registered losses Tuesday to Waverly in an Interscholastic Athletic Conference virtual meet.

The Indians -- bowling at Harborside Lanes in Watkins Glen while Waverly competed from its home base, the Valley Bowling Center -- dropped 4-0 decisions.

Boys: The Indians lost all three games by a combined 2678-2123. Austin Hoyt led the Indians with a 538 series, whle Dom Elliott posted a 507.

Girls: Odessa lost all three games by a combined 2483-1991. Jana Arias led the Indians with a 466 series.

O-M swimmers open with loss to Lansing

ODESSA, Jan. 20, 2021 -- The Odessa-Montour High School boys varsity swim team dropped a 117-47 decision to Lansing Tuesday as it opened its virtual season.

The Indians -- swimming at home while Lansing swam at its home pool -- did not take first place in any event.

Second-place finishes:

200 Medley Relay: Nick DeLong, Brock Sgrecci, Caleb Reynolds and Ben Campbell (2:04.23)
200 Free: Brock Sgrecci (2:22.60)
50 Free: Nick DeLong (26.26)
500 Free: Caleb Reynolds (6:51.32)
200 Free Relay: Brock Sgrecci, Nick DeLong, Jared Rumsey and Caleb Reynolds (1:54.30)
100 Back: Nick DeLong (1:14.05)
100 Breast: Brock Sgrecci (1:15.93)

"We have a small roster this year of only seven swimmers, and have only been practicing for two weeks," said O-M Coach Terri Brace. "In light of this, we had some really good swims last night. It will be a very different season with virtual meets and no invitationals, but I am really looking forward to seeing how the team progresses together and as individuals."

The team has four returning swimmers from last year: senior Brock Sgrecci, and sophomores Nick DeLong, Caleb Reynolds and Ben Campbell. The three newcomers are seniors Jared Rumsey and Autumn Garrison, and 7th grader Alex Walters.

Watkins Glen's Alyiah Clink-Bentley takes aim on a 5-7 split. She didn't convert it.

Watkins Glen bowlers fall to Waverly

WATKINS GLEN, Jan. 15, 2021 -- The Watkins Glen High School boys and girls varsity bowling teams dropped 4-0 decisions Thursday to Waverly in Interscholastic Athletic Conference virtual matches.

Each school bowled at its home alley, the Senecas at Harborside Lanes in Watkins Glen, and Waverly at the Valley Bwling Center.

Boys: Waverly won all three games by a combined 2800-2503. Matt Irwin led Watkins Glen with a 550 series that included a 219 game, while R.J. Bannon posted a 536 (with a 200), Mykal Cody a 526, Caleb Smith 503, and Michael Cook 388. Zach Vanderpool led Waverly with a 289-180-225=694 series.

Girls: Waverly won each of the three games by a combined 2434-1398. Watkins Glen, with four bowlers instead of the requisite five, was led by Ava Cowan's 392, while Alyiah Clink-Bentley registered a 373, Aubrey Kellogg 355, and Maisie Robertson 278.

Photo in text: Watkins Glen's Caleb Smith reacts to a spare.

Odessa-Montour's Taryn Hoyt turns away after leaving a split on her first ball.

Bowling: O-M girls win, boys fall to NV

WATKINS GLEN, Jan. 15, 2021 -- The Odessa-Montour girls varsity bowling team won 4-0 while the boys lost 3-1 Thursday to Newark Valley in Interscholastic Athletic Conference virtual matches.

Each school bowled at its home alley, the Senecas at Harborside Lanes in Watkins Glen.

Girls: O-M, with a full contingent of five bowlers, easily outscored the understaffed Newark Valley, which had just two bowlers. Odessa posted a 1945 score to NV's 832. Jana Arias led O-M with a 455 series, while Courtney Davis posted a 395, Hanna Barr 387, Sarah Barr 386, and Taryn Hoyt 322.

Boys: O-M won the first game 746-690, but lost the next two and total pinfall, 2159-2108. Dom Elliott led the Indians with a 549 series, while Chris Seewald registered a 403, Austin Hoyt 391, Zach Rounds 385, and Wes Wade 365.

Photo in text: O-M's Austin Hoyt watches his ball near the pins.

State legislators: Start high school sports

O'Mara, Palmesano, Friend call on Cuomo to give go-ahead to all sports

ELMIRA, Jan. 14, 2021 -- State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats), Assemblyman Chris Friend (R,C,I-Big Flats) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning) Thursday called on Governor Andrew Cuomo to give the go-ahead to all high school sports seasons, including the winter seasons of basketball and wrestling.

In a joint statement, O’Mara, Friend, and Palmesano said, “Governor Cuomo focused his State of the State message this week on the need for reopening our local economies and to start getting the lives of New Yorkers as back to normal as possible now. For New York State’s high school student-athletes and their families, coaches, and entire school communities, that means to let sports seasons get started. We are confident that the Cuomo administration, working in close partnership with local education and health officials, have the capacity to ensure this safe return of these student-athletes, the sooner the better.”

In early December, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSA), following guidance from the Cuomo administration, indefinitely postponed high school basketball, hockey, wrestling, and competitive cheerleading. All state winter sports tournaments were also cancelled.

The activities were considered high-risk for the spread of COVID-19. The NYSPHSAA has been awaiting further guidance from the Cuomo administration, which the governor had said would be provided by December 31.

Fall sports previously deemed high-risk by the state and postponed, including football and volleyball, are scheduled to resume on March 1 as part of a “Fall II” season.

O’Mara, Friend, and Palmesano sent a letter to the governor and other top Cuomo administration officials Thursday that reads, in part: “These students have invested many years of discipline and training to maintain their physical fitness and to compete on behalf of their school districts and communities. For many, their involvement in sports is a critical part of what has made them attractive candidates for future colleges and scholarships. The continued hiatus puts all of this at risk.”

The letter, which notes that New York is one of only seven states prohibiting high school sports, continues: “Given the fact that a number of sections and leagues moved and delayed the start of their sports seasons to January 2021, we highly encourage you to adopt a realistic, comprehensive and evidence-based model which would allow all student-athletes to safely resume their sport NOW.

"At this point, New York is stand-out for the wrong reasons, as it is one of only seven states prohibiting sports such as basketball at the high school level, despite it being played safely with proper protocols throughout the country. The Southern Tier has proven to be a leader in the state by having one of the lowest positivity rates by exercising the policies and procedures established by the Health Department. Our student-athletes ask for guidance from the state to allow all winter, fall and spring sports to start in the Southern Tier and throughout New York State. We know that doing so will provide an outlet and great enrichment to student athletes patiently waiting for their turn to play.”

Photos in text: State Senator Tom O'Mara (top) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano.

Watkins Glen's Maisie Robertson's attempt to convert a 5-7-9 split falls short. She clipped the 5 pin, knocking it over, but missed the other two.

Bowling starts: O-M, Watkins split

Watkins Glen boys top Indians, 3-1; Odessa girls defeat the Senecas, 4-0

WATKINS GLEN, Jan. 12, 2021 -- Finally.

For the first time since March, high school students from Watkins Glen and Odessa-Montour participated in an interscholastic sports event.

It was bowling, and actually pitted the two schools against each other -- so instead of a virtual match that would see one team bowling in one community and an opponent bowling in its own home community, both squads were on hand at Harborside Lanes in Watkins Glen, the home alley for both schools.

The O-M bowlers were set up on alleys 1-4, and the Watkins bowlers on lanes 9-12, so they were in fact bowling separately, divided by four lanes and by the clear plastic dividers hanging down between each lane's approach as part of the batttle against Covid-19.

Each athlete wore a mask, and Harborside was devoid of spectators, who in normal times fill the alley's viewing area with parents or other relatives encouraging the bowlers.

This time there were the school athletic directors, the coaches, the superintendent of the Watkins school district, the bowling proprietor, and a member of the media.

It was mostly quiet, save for the rolling balls and their collisions with the pins. Keeping the schools separate felt odd, but there was one thing for sure: "We are just glad to be bowling in whatever form that takes," said Watkins Glen Coach Ward Brower, who has helmed bowling teams at WGHS since 2006.

The end result of the day was this: the Watkins Glen boys defeated O-M, 3-1, while the Odessa-Montour girls defeated Watkins, 4-0, in their Interscholastic Athletic Conference matches.

Girls Match: Odessa-Montour 4, Watkins Glen 0

Odessa-Montour, which had a 5-4 player advantage, won the three games by scores of 630-531, 679-494 and 654-472, and total pinfall by a 1963-1497 margin.

Jana Arias led O-M with a 449 series, while Sarah Barr posted a 443, Hannah Barr 417, Courtney Davis 366, and Taryn Hoyt 272.

Aubrey Kellogg led Watkins Glen with a 395 series, while Ava Cowan rolled a 391, Alyiah Clink-Bentley 388, and Maisie Robertson 323.

Boys Match:
Watkins Glen 3, Odessa-Montour 1

Watkins Glen won the first two games, 768-680 and 792-697, and total pinfall, 2240-2131. O-M took the third game, 754-680.

R.J. Bannon led the Senecas with a 542 series that included a 225 game. Other Watkins scores included Mykal Cody 481, Caleb Smith 448, Matt Irwin 443, and Michael Cook 326.

O-M was led by Dominic Elliott's 493. Other scores included Austin Hoyt 470, Wes Wade 414, Zach Rounds 374, and Chris Sewald 320.

Photos in text: From top: O-M's Dominic Elliott, Watkins Glen's R.J. Bannon, and O-M's Courtney Davis, facing camera, congratulated by teammate Jana Arias after posting a strike.

Watkins Glen's Matt Irwin, left, and Ava Cowan react after barely missing spares.

Left: Odessa-Montour's Jana Arias, left, leaves a single pin on her first ball.
Right: Watkins Glen's Aliyah Clink-Bentley turns away after failing to convert a spare.

Odessa-Montour's Zach Rounds, left, and Hannah Barr react upon registering strikes.

WGHS boys swimming: Senecas have young team, and 'the future looks bright'

WATKINS GLEN, Jan. 8, 2021 -- As the new, abbreviated, virtual sports season nears for area high schools, Watkins Glen's boys varsity swim team is looking toward its first meet, on Jan. 19th.

It will, as all meets will this season, be conducted "virtually," meaning the boys from the Glen will be swimming in their own pool while their opponent swims in its home pool, with each race winner to be determined by comparing the two, distantly disparate times. And those wins and losses, added up, will determine the meet victor.

"We have a young team this season," says WGHS swim coach Jason Westervelt. "We have 14 total athletes -- zero seniors -- with 10 who are freshmen or younger. We have a strong core of club swimmers mixed with a very strong 8th grade diver. The future looks bright for this group.

"Our veteran leaders," he added, "are juniors Ben Swinnerton, Daine Butler and Owen Bingham. Their presence in and out of the pool will be great for the newcomers to the team."

Photo in text: Members of the WGHS boys varsity swim team at practice. (Provided)

High school sports will return. Well, at least some of them, and in virtual fashion

WATKINS GLEN, Jan. 4, 2021 -- High school sports -- of a kind -- appear to be coming very soon.

We're talking about bowling and boys swimming for Odessa-Montour High School, and those two sports plus indoor track for Watkins Glen High School. But we're also talking virtual.

Virtual as in there will be no travel to another school's bowling alley or swimming pool. Each competing team will bowl at its home alley or swim in its home pool, recording scores or race times that it will then compare to the opponent's.

No head-to-head competition, no crowded-with-parents bowling alleys, no pool spectators. Just times to be compared from different locales, maybe even at different times.

"We are going to try and have (competing events) on the same day," said WGHS Athletic Director Rod Weeden, "but we may need to be flexible and allow a school to do their swim meet on an alternate day and then we would compare times. Competition will look much different, but just having the opportunity to even practice and develop a personal best may be something we can hold on to during this time. I'm sure the practice itself is going to help kids mentally, as we get through this strange era."

O-M is looking at the same plan for bowling and swimming, although Superintendent Chris Wood said the school will not, as it has not in the past, embrace indoor track. But it's nothing philosophical, but rather of a budgetary origin.

"We won't even know until the end of January," he said, "what to expect" in terms of aid from the state, which is facing its own significant monetary challenges that could result in the takeback of a percentage of state aid funds, leaving school districts scrambling. So expanding to another sport is "too risky" from a budgetary standpoint, Wood said.

He did note that both the bowling and swim teams had an organizational meeting Monday, the first day back in school after the holiday break and the first day designated as part of an abbreviated winter season by the state. It does not at this time include what in a pandemic are considered "high risk" sports like basketball or wrestling, although O-M basketball players have been participating in informal conditioning and skills sessions.

"It's something to see the players wiping down the ball" with disinfectant wipes during the workouts, Wood said. "It's also nice to hear the ball bouncing. Gives me a little sense of normalcy."

When the virtual competitions get underway, Weeden said, "we will do our best to live stream when we can and get images out for publication, as there will be no spectators allowed."

As of Monday, he said, "we have 11 boys on Swim, and it looks like Ward (Brower, the bowling coach) may have to cut on the boys bowling team." As for the girls bowling team, "it looks like five at this point." Indoor track was planning to hold a meeting the next day.

Scheduling has begun. "We may have a bowling match next week," Weeden said. "I will let you know. The first swim meet will not be until January 19th at 3:30 p.m."

Any sports event on the schedule is good news at this point.

Even virtual, as Weeden and Wood will tell you.

Then, with any luck, we will see low and moderate risk fall sports starting March 1st, and low and moderate risk spring sports starting April 19. Sections, however, have the option of determinng a later start date.

NYSPHSAA cancels all winter sports state championships, postpones high-risk sports

Special to The Odessa File

LATHAM, NY, Dec. 12, 2020 -- The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) has announced the cancellation of all 2021 Winter State Championships and the postponement of all high-risk sports until authorization is granted by state officials.

The NYSPHSAA Officers rendered these decisions with input from the NYSPHSAA membership and the 11 Section Executive Directors.

“When examining the feasibility of Winter State Championships, it became apparent that travel and overnight accommodations would create a unique challenge for our member schools,” said Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA Executive Director. “At this time, we must prioritize maximizing student participation without a focus on championship events.”

The Association’s decision to postpone all high-risk sports until authorization is granted was reinforced by the increase in infection and hospitalization rates across the State. The New York State Department of Health has determined the following NYSPHSAA-endorsed sports to be high risk: basketball, boys lacrosse, competitive cheerleading, football, ice hockey, volleyball, and wrestling.

The cancellation of the Winter State Championships (bowling, basketball, boys swimming & diving, competitive cheerleading, gymnastics, indoor track & field, ice hockey, skiing, and wrestling) addresses membership concerns associated with increased travel, hotel accommodations, transportation logistics and the planning for meals. Furthermore, venue capacity limitations and social distancing restrictions make it increasingly difficult to ensure the safety of student-athletes, coaches, and families.

“As an educator, I am witnessing first-hand the challenges our member schools are facing each day in addressing this pandemic,” said Julie Bergman, NYSPHSAA President. “It is important we continue listening to the concerns being expressed by our membership when making decisions impacting interscholastic athletics.”

Low- and moderate-risk regular season sports continue to be permitted. The 2021 NYSPHSAA Spring State Championships remain scheduled at this time.

About the NYSPHSAA:
The New York State Public High School Athletic Association Inc. is a non-profit, voluntary, educational service organization composed of public, parochial, and private schools dedicated to providing equitable and safe competition for the students of its member schools. The organization conducts 32 championship events and governs the rules and regulations of high school athletics in New York State. Membership is open to secondary schools providing interschool athletic activities for students in grades 7-12.

WGI announces its 2021 activity schedule

Season includes loaded NASCAR weekend, 25th anniversary of Finger Lakes Wine Fest

Special to The Odessa Fil

WATKINS GLEN, Dec. 2, 2020 -- Watkins Glen International has unveiled its schedule for the 2021 season, which includes the recently announced ARCA Menards Series race on Friday, August 6, which highlights an already historic weekend. In addition to the ARCA Menards Series race, for first time ever all three NASCAR national series races will be run on the same weekend, August 6-8.

That historic schedule will consist of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Cup Series Go Bowling at The Glen. For just the second time and the first since 2001, the ARCA Menards Series will race at The Glen. John Finger won the only ARCA race there on July 7, 2001.

The 2021 calendar will begin with Opening Weekend, providing fans with the opportunity to drive their own street-legal vehicle on the track to benefit Watkins Glen International’s Racing and Community Enrichment (R.A.C.E.) Foundation.

One of the most prestigious sportscar races in North America, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, returns in late June with the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. The second leg of the Michelin Endurance Challenge features world-class drivers and a diverse range of premier Prototype and GT manufacturers. The weekend of nearly 24 hours of on-track activity also includes the Michelin Pilot Challenge Tioga Downs 240, Porsche GT3 Cup, and Lamborghini Super Trofeo.

History and prestige return to the birthplace of North American road racing with the Hilliard U.S. Vintage Grand Prix, one of the largest vintage racing events in the country. Paired with Friday’s Grand Prix Festival in downtown Watkins Glen, the Grand Prix weekend is a true celebration of the motorsport’s past, along with the cars and people who have made it what it is today.

The Glen will also host a pair of festivals in 2021, including the Finger Lakes Wine Festival, celebrating its 25th anniversary, as well as the Finger Lakes Beer Festival in October. The Wine Festival, voted “Best Wine Festival” by readers of USA Today, continues to be a fan favorite, featuring more than 90 New York State wineries. The nostalgic sights and sounds of historic Formula One cars will return to the birthplace of North American Road Racing, as the Masters Historic Formula One USA championship will be featured at the Finger Lakes Wine Festival.

Watkins Glen International 2021 Schedule:

-- Opening Weekend benefiting the R.A.C.E. Foundation -- April 10-11
-- Ferrari Challenge North America -- May 21-23
-- SCCA Super Majors Tour -- June 18-20
-- IMSA Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen -- June 24-27
-- Finger Lakes Wine Festival -- July 9-11
-- NASCAR Go Bowling at The Glen Weekend -- August 6-8
-- SVRA Hilliard U.S. Vintage Grand Prix -- September 9-12
-- GT World Challenge America -- September 16-19
-- Finger Lakes Beer Festival -- October 29-30

Tickets for all events will be on sale to the general public starting on December 17. Additionally, for more information on the events at Watkins Glen International, visit TheGlen.com or call 866-461-RACE.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
to race at Glen for 1st time since 2000

Special to The Odessa File

WATKINS GLEN, Nov. 19, 2020 -- For the first time in more than 20 years, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will race at Watkins Glen International. The sanctioning body announced the 2021 Truck Series schedule Thursday, and it will include New York’s Home for NASCAR on Saturday, August 7.

The race will be part of a doubleheader with the previously announced NASCAR Xfinity Series event. The weekend will be capped off by the NASCAR Cup Series Go Bowling at The Glen race, Sunday, August 8. This is the first time that all three NASCAR national series will compete on a single weekend at The Glen.

“We are thrilled to have the Camping World Truck Series return to WGI,” Watkins Glen International President Michael Printup said. “Some of the most exciting and iconic finishes in the Truck Series have been on the road courses. To have all the stars of NASCAR race at our historic road course will be an amazing treat for our fans and a great way to showcase the diverse racing of the sport.”

The Glen will also welcome two local drivers of the Camping World Truck Series to the circuit for their home race. Christian Eckes, 2019 ARCA Menards Series champion, is from Middletown, NY, and Stewart Friesen hails from Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario. As a rookie in the Truck Series in 2020, Eckes earned a spot in the 10-driver Playoff field.

From 1996-2000, Watkins Glen International hosted the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series each year. The inaugural race in 1996 was won by four-time series champion and NASCAR Hall of Famer Ron Hornaday Jr. Canadian-native Ron Fellows’ two Truck Series wins both came at The Glen (1997, 1999). He is the only driver to win more than one Truck Series race in the five events at WGI. The last winner of a Truck Series race at The Glen was Greg Biffle, on June 24, 2000.

The schedule for the ARCA Menards Series 2021 season will be announced in the near future. In addition, start times and television network information for all NASCAR sanctioned series races will also be announced at a later date.

The full 2021 NASCAR Cup, Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series schedules can be found at NASCAR.com. Additionally, for more information on Go Bowling at The Glen event weekend, visit TheGlen.com.

About Watkins Glen International

Located within five (5) hours (~300 miles) of 25% of the US population, Watkins Glen International is the premier road racing facility in North America, four-times voted “Best NASCAR Track” by readers of USA Today. Keep up with The Glen on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For tickets, camping, and additional information, call 1-866-461-RACE or visit www.TheGlen.com.

NASCAR Xfinity Series sets Glen return

Special to The Odessa File

WATKINS GLEN, Oct. 31, 2020 -- The rising stars of NASCAR will return to Watkins Glen International and New York State for the NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday, August 7 as part of the sanctioning body's 2021 schedule announced Friday.

The Saturday race will join the Go Bowling at The Glen Cup Series event, previously announced for August 8, that weekend.

Schedules for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and ARCA Menards Series 2021 seasons will be announced in the near future. In addition, start times and television network information for all NASCAR sanctioned series races will be also announced at a later date.

Austin Cindric will look to defend his title at The Glen after winning his first Xfinity Series race in 2019, out-dueling 2014 Cup Series winner A.J. Allmendinger. Cindric has won the last four Xfinity Series road course races as Team Penske has captured four out of the last five contests at WGI.

With the exception of 2020 and 2002-04, Watkins Glen International has hosted a NASCAR Xfinity Series race each year since 1991. Only two drivers have won the 200-mile event four times, Terry Labonte and Marcos Ambrose. Joey Logano is the only driver to sweep the weekend at The Glen (2015).

The full 2021 NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series schedules can be found at NASCAR.com. For more information on Go Bowling at The Glen event weekend, visit TheGlen.com.

Seventh and eighth graders at Watkins Glen High School take a lap around the soccer field.

With sports out, informal activities take hold

ODESSA, Oct. 15, 2020 -- At Watkins Glen High School, dozens of students are taking part in after-school conditioning programs that involve sports -- soccer, swimming and cross country -- whose organized, competitive schedules were put on hold this fall by the Interscholastic Athletic Conference and Section 4.

At Odessa-Montour High School, an informal after-school gathering twice a week on the athletic field offers a chance for interested students to exercise while playing soccer.

In both cases, safety regulations are part of the operation, with masks mandatory.

At Odessa, the activity is overseen by O-M teacher and coach Burton Brewster, who said at this past Wednesday's gathering that it is open to soccer and non-soccer players seeking exercise, but that just seven to 10 students have been there for each of the first five sessions.

At WGHS, nearly two dozen seventh and eighth graders were running, doing calisthenics and learning soccer techniques Thursday under the eye of instructor and coach Ralph Diliberto. They meet twice a week, with a third day being considered. Older athletes participate in soccer some days, as well, in separate sessions under the guidance of teacher/coach Scott Morse. Beyond that, 10 swimmers were in the school pool Thursday, while eight runners were up on the State Park's cross country trails.

Photo in text: Five of the 10 students at O-M's sports activity Wednesday posed. From left: Gina Gavich, Hannah Nolan, Autumn Garrison, Lillian Betts and Tori Brewster.

WGI is back on NASCAR schedule in 2021

Special to The Odessa File

WATKINS GLEN, Sept. 30, 2020 -- NASCAR will return to Watkins Glen International and New York State for the Go Bowling at The Glen on August 8, the sanctioning body announced as it released the schedule for the 2021 Cup Series today.

WGI's schedule for 2020 was upended by the coronavirus pandemic, with the Go Bowling at the Glen race moved to Florida as the Go Bowling 235 at The Daytona Road Course.

“We are beyond excited and ready to welcome NASCAR back to Watkins Glen International and the beautiful Finger Lakes Region,” WGI President Michael Printup said. “Our dedicated team has worked hard over the past few months in making sure the competitors, teams and fans can safely enjoy our world-class facility for the future. I know our fans can’t wait for NASCAR to make its return to The Glen in what has become a summer tradition for over 30 years.”

Schedules for the NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and ARCA Menards Series 2021 seasons will be announced in the near future. In addition, start times and television network information for Cup Series races will be also announced at a later date.

Two-time defending Go Bowling at The Glen winner and NASCAR Most Popular Driver, Chase Elliott, will look to join four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon (1997-99) and Mark Martin (1993-95) as the only drivers to win three-straight Cup Series races at the 2.45-mile road course.

The full 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule can be found at nascar.com. Additionally, for more information on the Go Bowling at The Glen event weekend, visit TheGlen.com.

Photo in text: WGI President Michael Printup (File photo)

Athletes of the Week: Glen Gators Elites

SCHUYLER COUNTY, Sept. 21, 2020 -- With interscholastic athletics on hold until the new year, this website’s habit of selecting Athletes of the Week is also on hold.

Except ... except that the Glen Gators Elite Squad’s achievement -- swimming the entire length of Seneca Lake in segments over the past three weeks, culminating in completion Saturday -- begs further acknowledgment.

So this week, we honor as The Odessa File Athletes of the Week those nine Elite Squad individuals: Faye Mooney, Amanda Wilbur, Thalia Marquez, Liam Smith, Georgia Michel, Madison Moss, Malina Butler, Megan Adams and Alannah Klemann.

They did a fantastic job. They showed us that determination and imagination can lead us to grand achievements, even in the midst of a pandemic.

Now, if it only inspires others to pursue alternative forms of athletics -- say intramurals. If the high school athletes compete, The Odessa File editor will try to be there, camera in hand.

Photo in text: The nine swimmers emerge from the water near the Watkins Glen Kayak Launch at the end of the final leg of their journey.

The Glen Gators Elite swimmers rise after reaching their Kayak Launch destination.

Glen Gators Elite Group swims final leg, reaches Seneca Lake's southern shoreline

WATKINS GLEN, Sept. 19, 2020 -- Nine members of the Glen Gators Elite Squad completed the final leg -- about three miles -- of their Seneca Swim Challenge Saturday morning, a segmented journey that saw them swim the length of Seneca Lake from Geneva to Watkins Glen.

“This was a huge accomplishment,” said Gators Coach Jason Westervelt, noting that he wasn’t sure if the nine swimmers -- eight girls and one boy -- “realized how far it was” when they started out. “To my knowledge, this was the first time a team ever swam the entire length” of the lake, he added.

The idea for the journey came from Westervelt, who said it worked out so well that it might become an annual event. When asked its genesis, he paused, smiled, and said. “Why not, I guess.”

The nine, who concluded their swim at the Kayak Launch at the southeastern edge of Seneca Lake, adjacent to Clute Park, are Amanda Wilbur, Thalia Marquez, Faye Mooney, Malina Butler, Liam Smith, Megan Adams, Alannah Klemann, Maddie Moss and Georgia Michel. Wilbur joined the group on the second leg after recovering from an appendectomy.

The group started the swim on Aug. 28, and then followed that periodically with a half-dozen more segments, ranging from three to six miles.

The water temperature Saturday was 66 degrees, and the air temperature when the day's swim started was 52. It warmed to the high 50s as the morning progressed, although a cold north wind made things a little more uncomfortable.

Waiting for the Gators at the Kayak Launch were family members toting binoculars and cameras. After the swimmers reached their destination, standing in the shallow water off the shore, they were handed hooded sweatshirts, one by one, with “Seneca Swim 2020” on the front and “40 Miles. No Pool. No Problem.” on the back. Each was also given a celebratory Glen Gators medallion by Westervelt.

All said they were chilled, and thus glad to get the sweatshirts and to leave the windy shoreline for a gathering in the parking lot at the rear of the Glen Harbor Marina. There, they presented various of their adult swim mentors with thank-you gifts, including one to Coach Westervelt: a sign that read “Coach,” signed by each girl, with “Gators Conquered Seneca 2020” written on the bottom edge.

“We worked with Mother Nature the best we could,” Westervelt said in a speech to the swimmers’ families, with the team standing alongside him. He pointed out the two seniors -- Wilbur and Adams -- and said: “I’m glad we could give this to them” in a senior year where the pandemic has postponed the high school girls swim season until spring.

What the nine did, he said, “was show you can accomplish just about anything despite the pandemic.”

He noted that one of the team members, Malina Butler, made the swim with a leg injury that prevented her from kicking. So she "pulled 90% of it, just using her arms."

“This was just amazing,” Westervelt said of the overall journey, telling the group: “It’s something you’ll be able to tell your kids and grandkids about, all the way through.”

What comes next is a matter of conjecture. Westervelt said he was planning to seek use of the Watkins Glen High School pool for swim training, taking his request to the School Board this coming week.

Photos in text:

Top: Swimmer Amanda Wilbur presents Coach Jason Westervelt with a gift from the Gators Elite group.
Second: The swimmers gather on a dock to retrieve some clothing from a boat.
Third: The present to Coach Westervelt: a sign autographed by the swimmers.
Fourth: From left, Gators Faye Mooney, Amanda Wilbur and Thalia Marquez, three of last year's Odessa File WGHS Athletes of the Year. The fourth, former teammate Peighton Cervoni, is now a freshman at SUNY Geneseo.
Bottom: Gator Maddie Moss dons a sweatshirt at the conclusion of the swim.

Burdett Fire Department Rescue Boat personnel keep an eye on the swimmers.

Left: Georgia Michel, flanked by parents Rob and Gina. Right: Swimmer Liam Smith.

The Glen Gators Elite Group nears the end of its Seneca Lake journey.

Left: Gator Faye Mooney exults at the end of the trek. Right: Alannah Klemann with her father Steve.

Left: Coach Westervelt with swimmer Malina Butler. Right: Gator Megan Adams.

The Glen Gators Elite Squad gathered after the swim to celebrate. From left: Faye Mooney, Alannah Klemann, Liam Smith, Thalia Marquez, Amanda Wilbur, Georgia Michel, Malina Butler, Megan Adams and Maddie Moss, with Coach Westervelt at right.

Section IV vote makes it final: no fall sports

SIDNEY, Sept. 15, 2020 -- The superintendents of school districts in Section IV made official Tuesday what the section's various leagues made clear last week, voting 59-10 to move all fall sports to the spring because of the risks of the ongoing pandemic.

The leagues voted independently last week to postpone the sports, with the Interscholastic Athletic Conference voting 12-7 Friday to do so. Those moves had followed one by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association to move football, volleyball and cheerleading -- sports deemed a "higher risk" than others amid the pandemic -- to the spring.

"After much League and Section IV discussions," the Section IV Athletic Association said in a statement, "in the interest of student health and safety and with financial concerns due to New York State aid to education cuts, Section IV member schools have voted 59 Yes, 10 No, and 1 abstention to postpone" fall sports until a start date of March 1, 2021.

In addition to football, volleyball and cheerleading, sports affected include cross country, boys and girls soccer, and girls swimming.

IAC votes to move all fall sports to spring

ITHACA, Sept. 12, 2020 -- The Interscholastic Athletic Conference voted 12-7 Friday to postpone all fall sports until spring.

The move follows a decision by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association to move football, volleyball and cheerleading -- sports deemed a "higher risk" than others amid the coronavirus pandemic -- to the spring.

Sports affected by the IAC vote are boys and girls soccer, girls swimming, and cross country. The move is expected to become cemented when Section IV weighs in with a vote of the superintendents of member school districts this coming week.

That outcome is expected because of reports that not only the IAC, but the STAC, MAC and other conferences, have opted to move the sports -- although official announcements have not yet been released.

Watkins Glen Athletic Director Rod Weeden said the IAC vote, and word circulating from other conferences, makes the postponement of fall sports "all but certain" pending the Section IV vote. And Odessa-Montour Athletic Manager Greg Gavich placed the odds at 98% likely that there will be no sports this fall.

Right now, Gavich explained, the NYSPHSAA "has set the winter sports season date as November 30. We hope to be able to meet that starting date, but that remains to be seen. The new fall season start date is March 1. A lot will transpire between now and then, so I have no idea what sports we will be offering during that season. Spring start is now April 19."

One Watkins coach, girls soccer's Scott Morse, weighed in like this: "It's heartbreaking, honestly. The kids will be devastated. I wish we hadn't had sign-ups as it gave them false hope ... I fear it will be a difficult couple of months for many kids. Athletics gives so many of them a purpose and a focus. It keeps them engaged in school and out of trouble. Mentally and emotionally, so many rely on sports. It's just very sad."

Weeden echoed that, saying he was opposed to the postponement for a number of reasons -- one being the fear that spring sports might not work out ... that "we could have done this much now. We don't know what tomorrow will bring. Tomorrow is not promised."

More than 100 students had signed up at Watkins Glen for soccer, girls swimming and cross country, "and now I feel like I'm disappointing them," said Weeden.

He said while some in the IAC voted for postponement "for safety reasons," he believed other votes were based on finances, as districts around the state face fiscal difficulties.

O-M School Superintendent Chris Wood said his school voted in favor of the postponement in order to give the district "more time coming back to see what happens with the infection rate and to get a better look at our budget numbers." He said the consensus among area schools was "Section IV was going to do this anyway, so why wait?"

Said Watkins Glen School Superintendent Greg Kelahan: "I will respect the IAC's vote and decision. We voted 'no' because we believe our facilities, our coaches, and our athletes are prepared to safely operate. I understand that every school has different things to consider and contend with that may have led to a different conclusion. It is certainly disappointing, but if anything, this year has taught us how to adapt and adjust to changing conditions. We will make the best of it and prepare for the upcoming seasons."

Photso in text:

Top: Watkins Glen Athletic Director Rod Weeden.
Bottom: WGHS girls soccer coach Scott Morse (File photos)

NYSPHSAA moves football, volleyball, cheerleading to March 1: 'Fall Season II'

ALBANY, Sept. 11, 2020 -- The New York State Public High School Athletic Association has decided to postpone football, volleyball and cheerleading -- all deemed sports with "higher risk" amid the pandemic -- to March 1, dubbing it "Fall Sports Season II."

None of the three sports were being planned this fall at either the Watkins Glen or Odessa-Montour school districts. The Watkins Glen School Board had, with the concurrence of O-M, opted to cancel football, a sport shared by the two schools with a team called the Seneca Indians. Watkins had also canceled cheerleading, while volleyball had remained in limbo across the state.

The move by the NYSPHSAA came as districts around New York await a decision on whether any fall sports will be held. Discussions in various sections have been ongoing, with Section VIII being the first to postpone all sports until January.

"Fall Sports Season II" can open with practices on March 1, said the NYSPHSAA, which recommended that the season end on May 1, although individual sections can adopt their own closing date.

Watkins Glen School Board backs sports as Section IV schools weigh a fall start

WATKINS GLEN, Sept. 9, 2020 -- The Watkins Glen School Board at a meeting Tuesday night reaffirmed -- in unanimous consensus -- its continued support of an interscholastic athletics program this fall. It is awaiting direction from Section IV.

The Section’s Executive Committee is expected by Monday to relay a vote by school districts within its boundaries as to their preference: to move forward with fall sports on Sept. 21, or to delay until January, when all three seasons would be packed into the final five-plus months of school.

The Watkins School Board, said Superintendent Greg Kelahan, “is committed to moving forward if allowed by the state and Section IV.” That would include both varsity and modified levels of the three permitted sports: soccer, cross country and girls swimming.

When asked if the district might seek independently to pursue competition should Section IV opt out of fall sports -- such as against schools in the old Lakes Region league (Dundee, South Seneca, Romulus and Trumansburg) that folded in the 1970s -- Kelahan said “I’m not opposed to any kind of conversation, and I believe that’s true of the Board and the community.”

One problem with the Lakes Region idea, said Watkins Glen Athletic Director Rod Weeden, is a ruling from the state that might preclude such out-of-section contests until Oct. 19. In any event, he said, it’s unclear what the Section might say in the next few days, and what the result might be if districts within the section are evenly split on playing this fall or waiting until January.

One thing clear, he said, is a requirement that masks be worn in soccer, impeding the breathing of forwards who are constantly moving. Substitutions would be more frequent, he said, but that might be easier than in the past because of an influx of players who would otherwise have played football -- which was put on hold by the state and, in any event, was jettisoned by the Watkins Glen and Odessa-Montour districts this fall.

Weeden said he and the Board would like to see the fall season start on Sept. 21. He said youth sports conducted during the summer “went fairly well,” and that high school sports might do the same. Only by starting, he said, can the schools see if fall sports and, by extension, winter sports can be held safely and effectively.

“There are a lot of decisions to be made” in the coming days, he said.

Photo in text: Watkns Glen School Superintendent Greg Kelahan (File photo)

WGI to host Victory Laps, raising funds for R.A.C.E. Foundation; tickets online

WATKINS GLEN, Sept. 3, 2020 -- Fans will get the opportunity to drive three laps at The Glen in 2020 as Watkins Glen International hosts Victory Laps, presented by Stoner Car Care, from September 25-27.

The laps will be held from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $25 per vehicle as attendees can experience the twists and turns of the full 3.45-mile Grand Prix road course for three paced laps from the driver’s seat of their own vehicles behind an official WGI pace vehicle.

“We knew we wanted to find some way to provide our fans and the community an unforgettable experience at WGI in 2020,” Watkins Glen International President Michael Printup said. “The idea of the Victory Laps is a great way for everyone to still enjoy the ‘Best NASCAR Track’ while being safe, socially distant and raising money for a good cause.”

A portion of the proceeds will benefit WGI’s R.A.C.E. (Racing and Community Enrichment) Foundation, which supports local community organizations of the Southern Tier as well has healthcare heroes of the Upstate New York area during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tickets are available for advance purchase online only at TheGlen.com/RACE.

‘Stoner Car Care has enjoyed a long, successful history with Watkins Glen, both in racing our car and sponsorship at the track,” Stoner, Inc. President Rob Ecklin Jr. said. “We are pleased to be part of Victory Laps weekend in support of R.A.C.E. Foundation.”

About the R.A.C.E. Foundation

The mission of R.A.C.E. is to meet the needs of local underserved populations with a focus on youth-oriented support. A donor-advised fund of the NASCAR Foundation, R.A.C.E. uses a backing of a close-knit community to foster meaningful fundraising efforts, while leaning on support from the international racing family. More information on the Foundation is available at www.TheGlen.com/RACE.

Letter to governor, Section VIII decision cast doubt on start date of sports seasons

SCHUYLER COUNTY, Aug. 27, 2020 -- The future of high school sports in New York State took a turn toward uncertainty Wednesday when the New York State Council of School Superintendents asked in a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo that he delay athletics, while Section VIII put its sports on hold until January.

"Superintendents have put their plans out to the public and the vast majority are set for some level of in-person learning starting in a couple of weeks," the letter to Cuomo said. "Authorizing school athletics could jeopardize successful resumption of in-person learning for students." Instead, it suggested a delay, with three sports seasons packed into early 2021, from January to June.

Reactions from the Odessa-Montour and Watkins Glen school superintendents reflected that uncertainty.

"We were all surprised by it," said Watkins Glen's Greg Kelahan about the letter, the "we" referring to his network of superintendents stretching from this region to Central New York, where he served before coming here. "That doesn't mean we're supporting it or not supporting it. But it would have been nice" if they had all been contacted about it before it was sent to the Governor.

"I'm of the belief," he added, "that interscholastic athletics are an important part of public education. I have to question how this will be a meaningful experience if athletes can't play games, but only practice" -- the situation with the highly popular sport of football.

Beyond that, there is the challenge of bringing "our facilities up to speed. We haven't used the pool all summer" because of the pandemic, and while the school has an artificial turf field for soccer, scheduling might call for some games on grass. "As you know, this has been a rough summer on lawns.

"I hate these last-minute dictates from on high. But we will adapt and adjust. We should put that on T-shirts: 'Adapt and adjust.'"

Despite the request by the State Council of School Superintendents, he said, "I don't believe the governor will go back on his directive. But we need some guidance soon."

The entire situation is "frustrating," he said. "I feel for the kids. They've been on a rollercoaster. A lot of them are driven by their athletic pursuits. Take that away and it's a hit to a child's confidence," and will affect performance in class. "And that drive extends to music and art and technology."

Odessa-Montour Superintendent Chris Wood said he understands the motivation of the State Council in seeking the postponement. It's because "there are still a lot of unknowns, a lot of questions."

For instance, he said, if -- as he's heard -- attendance at inside events will be limited to 50% of capacity, what happens at the O-M pool, where capacity is 84? That means 42 allowed, which might easily be taken up by the size of the two competing teams, and exceeded when coaches, timers and scorekeepers are added in. "What do we do then?" he said. "Do we ask some of the swimmers to leave, and what do we do with them?"

That's just one of many unanswered questions, he noted, since the state has offered no guidance to go with the decision to allow sports.

"The state issued a 145-page guidance document to open school," he said. "But there have been no pages -- zero -- on sports. We need to see requirements and plans. They have to put something in writing. Don't just say the school district should have sports."

And finances will play a role, especially if 20% of state aid is withdrawn throughout the school year, as feared. "If it's only 10%," he said, "that will loosen up some funds for athletics." But 20% creates serious financial issues.

Wood said the Governor's announcement last week reopening sports is not mandatory. For example, over in Section VIII, which governs Nassau County athletics, the county's council of school superintendents voted 7-0 in emergency session Wednesday to postpone sports until 2021, with three sports seasons played between January and June.

"It's the prudent thing to do -- wait until January," said Pat Pizzarelli, executive director for Sectiion VIII. "We know this will be a very unpopular decison, but it is the only one we can make at this time. We're unanimous in our feeling that we're just not ready. It's just not time to allow kids to play sports. My first and foremost concern is the safety of our student-athletes."

And according to an article in Newsday, a New York State Public High School Athletic Association meeting Tuesday of section directors held discussion of a possible sports delay, "and a number of section leaders were considerig it, according to several participants. Section I, III, IV and IX were said to be considering it."

Back at O-M, Wood said his district was neither committing to sports nor postponing them.

"I can't commit without more guidance," he said. "Our official position is we need more information."

Photos in text: Watkins Glen Superintendent Greg Kelahan (top) and O-M Superintendent Chris Wood. (File photos)

WGI updates its schedule for rest of 2020

Special to The Odessa File

WATKINS GLEN, August 11, 2020 -- As a result of the ongoing pandemic and its impact on the state of New York, Watkins Glen International has announced that the events of the Hilliard U.S. Vintage Grand Prix, September 10-13, will continue without fans.

The GT World Challenge America and Ferrari Challenge North America race weekends have been postponed until the 2021 season.

Ticketholders to the three racing events will automatically receive a credit for the full amount of their purchase, plus an additional 20% of the total amount paid in their WGI account the week of August 17. The credit can be applied to a future event in 2020 or 2021 at a NASCAR-owned track or towards the purchase of tickets at Watkins Glen International for 2021.

For more ticket holder options and information, visit www.theglen.com/assistance-svra. If a refund is preferred, requests are due September 10, 2020. The Glen team will be in touch as soon as possible regarding requests, but it may take up to 60 days from the original form submission date to process.

CMOG trophy awaits winner at Daytona

Special to The Odessa File

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., August 11, 2020 -- The winner of this Sunday’s (Aug. 16) historic first NASCAR Cup Series race on the world famous trioval/road course at Daytona International Speedway -- the Go Bowling 235 At The Daytona Road Course -- will win a special, one-of-a-kind trophy, produced by The Corning Museum of Glass.

The Go Bowling 235 At The Daytona Road Course is one of three events (along with NASCAR Xfinity Series race and ARCA Menards Series) to be held on the tri-oval/infield road course that are realigned races that were originally scheduled to be held at Watkins Glen International. The Gander Trucks event is realigned from Iowa Speedway.

Located just 20 minutes away from Watkins Glen International (NY), The Corning Museum of Glass has created the work of art especially for the anticipated inaugural premier series event on the heralded road course. While this will be the NASCAR Cup Series’ first visit on the trioval/road course, the iconic layout has been the home of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, North America’s premier sports car race, since 1962.

Traditional glassmaking methods were used on the 18” tall/4.5” wide prize, incorporating a blown glass cup that plays on the history of NASCAR (which began in 1948), “The World Center of Racing” Daytona International Speedway (opened in 1959), and Daytona Beach, the “Birthplace of Speed,” which dates back to 1903 when automotive competition began on the sands of the beach.

“Thinking about the history of the track and long-held traditions, I was reminded that historically, trophies used to be cups and have evolved into sculptural forms,” said Eric Meek, Sr. Manager of Hot Glass Programs at The Corning Museum of Glass. “We took this trophy back to a more traditional shape. Daytona is the most historical track, and in thinking about a trophy design for a race held in this storied location, I was transported back to the golden age of speed. I wanted to design something that felt like a bit of a throwback -- like it belonged in the era of streamline racers and the quest to go faster.”

The Corning Museum of Glass has partnered with Watkins Glen International to design a trophy for its NASCAR Cup Series races since 2012.

“Typically we have created a trophy that embodies Watkins Glen International and the celebrated region in which it resides,” added Meek. “It’s a design that The Corning Museum of Glass has perfected each year, made especially for the drivers who claim victory in Watkins Glen. It’s always exciting to be a part of something that so many people love, and we’re thrilled to continue the tradition this year at Daytona.”

A limited number of fans will get to see who takes home the glass piece in the Go Bowling 235 At The DAYTONA Road Course, which starts at 3 p.m. ET (NBC). The day will feature a doubleheader with the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, which gets the day started at 12 Noon (FS1).

NYSPHSAA delays high school sports start date, cancels fall championships

COVID-19 task force also presents plans if further delays are necessary

Special to The Odessa File

LATHAM, NY, July 16, 2020 -- The Officers of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) have voted to delay the official start date of the Fall 2020 sports season, cancel the Fall 2020 Regional and State Championships and prepare to implement a condensed season schedule in January 2021 if high school sports remain prohibited throughout 2020 due to COVID-19.

This decision comes at the recommendation of the NYSPHSAA COVID-19 Task Force when they convened as a working group for the third time Thursday morning.

“As the state considers reopening, it is unrealistic to believe athletic seasons can start on August 24th as originally scheduled,” said Paul Harrica, NYSPHSAA President. “The priority will continue to be on the educational process and a return to learning in the safest way possible.”

The NYSPHSAA Officers’ decision includes:
--Delay Fall sports start date until Monday, September 21st
--Cancel Fall Regional and State Championship events
--Waive seven-day practice rule
--Maintain current practice requirements
--Encourage geographic scheduling for games & contests
--Schools would have the option, if permitted by state officials, to offer off-season conditioning workouts.

“We recognize this is challenging for everyone, but the decisions made at the State level are based upon data and statewide infection rates all in an effort to stop the spread of COVID and reopen responsibly,” said Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA Executive Director. “At this time, Department of Health guidance presented on July 13th prohibits interscholastic athletics across the state. The Association will continue to follow state guidance and will work collectively with State officials to ensure high school athletics will start up responsibly in the future. As an association, we must be willing to be flexible and continue to explore all options with students’ safety as our main focus.”

With regional differences, schools and areas will be impacted differently by the COVID-19 crisis. At the discretion of the NYSPHSAA Officers and authorization from state officials, if the Fall sports seasons are further interrupted or impacted by the COVID-19 crisis (i.e. state official guidance, school closings, cancellation of high-risk sports, etc.), then a condensed seasons plan will be implemented.

The Condensed Season plan would entail the following, with the stipulated dates being tentative.

Season I (Winter Sports)
Dates: Jan. 4-Mar. 13 (Week 27-36; 10 Weeks) Note: tentative dates.
Sports: basketball (girls & boys), bowling (girls & boys), gymnastics, ice hockey (girls & boys), indoor track & field (girls & boys), skiing (girls & boys), swimming (boys), *wrestling, *competitive cheer.

* Because of the high-risk nature of wrestling and competitive cheer, those two sports may have to be moved to Season II or season III.

Season II (Fall Sports)
Dates: Mar. 1-May 8 (Week 35-44; 10 Weeks) Note: tentative dates
Sports: football, cross country (girls & boys), field hockey, soccer (girls & boys), swimming (girls), volleyball (girls & boys), Unified bowling.

Note: Weather will have an impact upon outdoor sports in some parts of the state in March and potentially early April. Girls Tennis moved to Season III.

Season III (Spring Sports)
Dates: Apr. 5-Jun. 12 (Week 40-49; 10 Weeks) Note: tentative dates
Sports: baseball, softball, golf (girls & boys), lacrosse (girls & boys), tennis (girls & boys), outdoor track & field (girls & boys), Unified basketball.

The NYSPHSAA Officers have the ability to adjust seasons with the authority granted within the NYSPHSAA Constitution which states: “Article IV, 2: A committee of officers in consultation with the staff shall have the authority to act on all matters not provided for in this constitution and bylaws, and on such emergency business as may arise between regular meetings of the Executive Committee.”.

A full report, including meeting minutes, will be released later this week. The next meeting of the COVID-19 Task

About the NYSPHSAA:
The New York State Public High School Athletic Association is a non-profit, voluntary, educational service organization composed of public, parochial, and private schools dedicated to providing equitable and safe competition for the students of its member schools. The organization conducts 32 championship events and governs the rules and regulations of high school athletics in New York State. Membership is open to secondary schools providing interschool athletic activities for boys and girls in grades 7-12.

Odessa-Montour's Preston Harris, left, and Paden Grover. (File photos)

Grover, Harris, Vondracek named O-M Athletes of the Year as awards bestowed

ODESSA, June 16, 2020 -- Odessa-Montour High School seniors Paden Grover, Preston Harris and Grace Vondracek were named Athletes of the Year Tuesday night during a Zoom presentation emceed by Athletic Manager Greg Gavich from the school.

Vondracek, a standout in soccer, basketball and softball, and Grover and Harris, standouts in soccer, basketball and track, were named recipients of the annual Harold Lynch Athlete of the Year Awards.

Winners of the prestigious Charles Martin Sportsmanship Award were seniors Sara Gardner and Derrick Lewis, while senior Cheianne Webster won the James Anagnost Memorial Award presented each year to an athlete who loves sports and is a great teammate.

Section IV Character Counts awards went to Kara Reese, JoLynn Minnier, Caleb Thomas and Brett Walters.

Coaches in the various fall and winter sports also appeared from their homes, revealing their teams' honors. They were:

Girls Soccer: Coach Burton Brewster named:
--Defensive Player of the Year: Camille Sgrecci
--Offensive Player of the Year: Hannah Nolan
--Coach's Award: Autumn Garrison
--MVP: Grace Vondracek.

Girls Basketball: Coach Greg Gavich named:
--Coach's Award: JoLynn Minnier
--Most Outstanding Player: Grace Vondracek
--Most Determined Player: Kara Reese
--Player of the Year: Sara Gardner.

Wrestling: Coach Bill Lindsley named:
--Rookie of the Year: Brandon Davis
--Most Improved: Dominick Fazzary
--Most Outstanding Wrestler: Josh Beckley

Boys Swimming: Coach Terri Brace named:
--Rookie of the Year: Brock Sgrecci
--Most Improved: Micah Brewster
--Coach's Award: Caleb Thomas
--MVP: Brett Walters.

Football: Coach Trevor Holland named:
--Russell Crainey Award: Jared Rumsey
--OM Indian Football Award: Dominick Fazzary
--MVP: Derrick Lewis and Gage Arcangeli

Cheerleading: Coach Trina Shepherd named:
--Most Improved: Destiny Daugherty
--Leon B. Williams Jr. Award: Marisa Alton
--MVP: Shania Austin

Girls Swimming: Coach Chris Betts named:
--Most Improved: Sarah Barr
--Coach's Award: Madison Moss
--MVP: Kara Reese

Volleyball: Coach Denise Day named:
--Most Improved: Marisa Alton
--Most Dedicated: Cheianne Webster
--MVP: Hannah Chapman

Boys Basketball: Coach Dan Stephens named:
--Player of the Year: Paden Grover.
--Coach's Award: Derrick Lewis
--Most Outstanding: Preston Harris

Boys Soccer: Coach Katie Taber named:
--Most Outstanding-Offensive: Preston Harris
--Most Outstanding-Defensive: Paden Grover
--Mike Davis Memorial Award for dedication: Brock Sgrecci

Boys Bowling: Coach Tom Strong named:
--Top Average: Eric Rumsey
--Most Dedicated: Wes Wade
--Most Improved: Austin Hoyt

Girls Bowling: Coach Tom Strong named:
--Top Average: Jana Arias
--Most Dedicated: Courtney Davis
--Most Improved: Hannah Barr

Photo in text: Female Athlete of the Year Grace Vondracek (File photo)

Watkins Glen High School senior Gabe Planty on the final stretch of his 3200 Meter run.

Planty sets new WGHS 3200 Meter record

ODESSA, May 16, 2020 -- Watkins Glen High School senior Gabe Planty set a new school record at 3200 Meters -- 2 miles -- Saturday morning in a run on the Odessa-Montour High School track.

Planty -- running only against the clock (no other competitors) and overseen and timed by WGHS Athletic Director Rod Weeden and a Trumansburg track coach, Neil DeRaiche -- set a time of 9:34.89, bettering a mark set several years ago by Matt Gill, who ran a 9:42.46 as part of an outstanding WGHS career.

Planty, paced in his race by two running friends from Corning, Jacob Drew and Dan Gahagan, also holds the school indoor 3200 mark of 9:21, a time he had hoped to eclipse outdoors.

"But I fell off quite a bit in the second mile," he said. Still, his time far surpassed his previous 3200 outdoor best of 9:44, set in his freshman year.

Planty, who has signed to run cross country and track at Syracuse University, said he will begin training under the SU program in a couple of weeks. Before that, he said, "I wanted to see what I still had."

And what did you have? he was asked.

He smiled, and answered succinctly. "9:34.89."

Planty has done most of his running recently on the Catharine Valley Trail -- "There aren't many people out there," he said -- in the absence of the WGHS track, which has been closed. He said he wants to try another distance next weekend. He first indicated a 5K run, and then said a 1,500 Meters race was appealing.

Drew, in taking turns pacing Planty with Gahagan, said during one break that MileSplit and other running organizations have been encouraging efforts like Planty's in the absence this spring of high school track meets.

Weeden further explained in a subsequent email.

"MileSplit has offered a way for track athletes to compete by submitting videos of their performance in a virtual meet called the MileSplit Virtual Classic," he wrote. "The meet is open for about 6 weeks. Student athletes have to submit video evidence to be placed on a national leader board. Once MileSplit reviews the video and approves it, it is an official record for that student athlete. Having an official or coach present to verify the run, throw or jump helps with the verification process.

"This opportunity was sent out to all WG athletes by me about a month ago. Students were told they could submit on their own or ask for help completing this submission. Gabe reached out that he was interested. I told Gabe we could not publicize this as it could bring people out and we could inadvertently violate the social distancing requirements. We also needed to find an open track, as our local track is closed. In order to make this an official record, I requested to be present and I also asked a second outside coach to come in to verify the time as correct on a second watch. I believe this will help with the Mile Split verification and support any issues with a record possibly being contested."

Hence the presence of DeRaiche. Also on hand, calling out splits, was Jeff Naylor of Elmira, a former Notre Dame cross county coach and Planty family friend who has helped Planty in his training for years.

Drew and Gahagan, noted Naylor and Planty, are emblematic of the running fraternity -- always willing to help their fellow runners.

"They're pretty tight," Planty's mother, Amy -- who was on hand to watch -- said of runners in general.

"It's a great sport," Naylor added. "Other runners love to help out."

Photos in text:

Top: Planty at the finish line, with his mother Amy and WGHS Athletic Director Rod Weeden visible in the background.

Second: Race pacer Jacob Drew, center, prepares to change places with Dan Gahagan. Both are friends of Planty's.

Third: Former Elmira Notre Dame cross country coach Jeff Naylor, a Planty friend on hand for the run.

Bottom; Naylor congratulates Planty after the record was set.

Left: Gabe Planty, left, paced by Jacob Drew. Right: Planty with his mother, Amy.

Red Cross Swim Program canceled

To the Editor, May 2020:

The Red Cross Summer Swim Program at Watkins Glen High School will not take place this summer because the school is closed, and because it would be impossible to maintain social distancing during instruction.

We share your disappointment!

It is essential that families continue safe swimming practices this summer. Remember to designate an adult to be the “watcher” for a 20-minute shift and alternate with other adults to avoid for fatigue and distraction. Wear lifejackets when boating and when swimming in unusual or unguarded areas.

We will continue our fundraising efforts so we are able to provide instruction in 2021!

Kate LaMoreaux and Nikki Chaffee
Program Directors

Left: Watkins Glen's Isaac McIlroy. Right: Odessa-Montour's Grace Vondracek.

Here, in an abbreviated school year,
are The Odessa File Athletes of the Year

SCHUYLER COUNTY, April 20, 2020 -- This has been a very different school year, obviously -- one which, in its shortened form, eliminated a full season of high school sports.

So now, when it's time to name the Athletes of the Year at the Watkins Glen and Odessa-Montour High Schools, as The Odessa File does every year with sponsorship by the E.C. Cooper Inc. Insurance Agency, the approach being taken is a little different, as well.

In two cases, there is little to distinguish between the performances of leading Athlete of the Year contenders through the first two of what normally would be three seasons.

So we are declaring co-winners in both instances-- a doubling of the honor, if you will.

In another case, we are declaring a single winner based on those first two seasons with an understanding that her best sport was yet to come in the spring. She has excelled in that sport for the past four years at O-M, and there was no reason to believe she would experience any dropoff.

And in one case, the award is going to four girls who were teammates on a squad that proved for the third straight year to be the best among Section IV Class C schools. Each of the four earned a First Team berth on The Odessa File's All-Schuyler All-Star team last fall.

The winners:

Watkins Glen Male Athletes of the Year: Gabe Planty and Isaac McIlroy.

Planty won The Odessa File Fall MVP Award for his cross country exploits, and in truth McIlroy could conceivably have tied for that honor after an impressive soccer season. The fact that Planty led his team to a sectional title swayed that decision.

Then the two of them did share the Winter Sports MVP award, Planty for his record-setting Indoor Track achievements, and McIlroy for leading the boys basketball team to the Section IV final.

Both had been looking forward to successful spring seasons, Planty in track and McIlroy in baseball.

Odessa-Montour Male Athletes of the Year: Paden Grover and Preston Harris.

Grover made Second Team on The Odessa File Fall All-Schuyler team for his soccer season, while Harris was First Team for the same sport.

The two flipped the script in the winter in basketball, with Grover earning a First Team berth and Harris Second Team.

Both would have competed in Track & Field, where each was impressive last year and were expected to be again this year.

Watkins Glen Female Athletes of the Year: The swimming quartet of senior Peighton Cervoni, junior Amanda Wilbur, freshman Faye Mooney and 8th Grader Thalia Marquez.

They, along with some talented teammates, were unstoppable on their way to the squad's third straight Section IV, Class C championship. The four, in fact, shared a pair of sectional titles in relay races.

Congratulations, girls, and thanks (from a journalistic fan) for all of the exciting postseason achievements.

Odessa-Montour Female Athlete of the Year: Grace Vondracek.

She was an Odessa File First Team All Star in soccer and a Second Team pick in basketball.

What was snatched away was an opportunity to excel once again at softball, where she is a talented pitcher and amazing hitter. Last year, for instance, she hit .700 and reached double digits in home runs, along with driving in more than 30 runs. She has been an All-Schuyler First Team pick in softball for four years, and was the Schuyler Spring MVP once.

Now, she earns what she has come close to winning in the past: the Athlete of the Year honor.

Photos in text:

Top: Watkins Glen's Gabe Planty.
Bottom: Watkins Glen's (from left) Amanda Wilbur, Faye Mooney, Thalia Marquez and Peighton Cervoni.

Left: Odessa-Montour's Preston Harris. Right: Odessa-Montour's Paden Grover.


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© The Odessa File 2021
Charles Haeffner
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869

E-mail: chaef@aol.com