Monday, March 23, 2009

History realized

You don't often get the chance to witness history, but I got that opportunity this weekend watching John A. Coleman Catholic High win the state Class D girls basketball title.

It was quite the scene up at Hudson Valley Community College to see that team celebrate their thrilling victory. I couldn't help but smile since it was nice to see a local team accomplish such a feat.

Coleman has a lot to be proud of with this team, and not just because they won a state title.

In the weeks leading up to their championship, I've had the opportunity to cover this team, and interview its starters and coaches several times. They seem like a group of really nice group and it's great to see them realize their dream.

The weekend didn't start off great, with Kingston losing in the AA semifinal -- a game they could have easily won. I felt truly bad for the Tigers and their coaches because, they too, seem like a good bunch of people.

But Coleman winning that state title should give this area something to be proud of -- the way the area should have been proud nearly a decade ago when Rondout Valley won a state football title.

So congratulations, Coleman. It was a well-deserved title.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

On to states

So, we're less than 24 hours from the state semifinals for two of area girls basketball teams and I really can't wait to see them play.

Both Kingston and Coleman Catholic bring a lot to the table and are now veterans to playing on the big stage.

For the Tigers, this will be their third straight trip to the final four and they'll be seeking their first berth in the Class AA title game. The Stateswomen, meanwhile, will be looking to get their second straight berth in the D final.

As journalists, we'renot supposed to root for any team, but you can't help but feel pretty good if both area teams make the final and maybe win championships.

Hopefully both schools will bring a big following to see how our area teams stack up against the best in the state.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Local teams hoop it up

So, after all the smoke from sectionals and regional semifinals has cleared, we're down to three local basketball teams a win away from the state final four.

Kingston is looking for its third straight trip to the Class AA girls semifinals, while Coleman is looking for its second straight final four berth in Class D. The Coleman boys, meanwhile, will take their third straight stab at reaching the Class D semis.

I actually think the locals are going to go 3-for-3 here.

For the Coleman boys, who are facing Greenport again in the regional final, I'm just going to go with the third time is the charm. With their sectional wins you can see the Statesmen getting better and better. Greenport is powerful, no doubt, but with the rising play of Jake Palmer, Conor Maisch and Eric Boesch, this Coleman team has its best chance of reaching Glens Falls.

The Kingston girls, looking for their third straight trip to Troy, are battle-tested and balanced. Rachel Coffey makes the team go, but Charlise Castro, Keyana Williams, Kelly Kell and Courtney Greenway, along with a strong bench are more than enough to beat a talented Mount Vernon team that captured its first Section 1 title in 26 years.

The Coleman girls, too, are on a mission. Just a win away from a state title last year, this veteran Stateswomen squad is poised to take that final step in getting that crown. Facing a Shelter Island squad that Coleman beat easily last year, another state berth is well within their reach.

It should make for an interesting weekend for the locals.