May 24, 2012 —
SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — “Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming,” said the late John Wooden, whose 100-year life included his legendary basketball-coaching career of the UCLA Bruins, which yielded an unprecedented 10 national championships. Success abounds locally both individually and team wise and it is most certainly attributable to Wooden’s maxim. Succinctly put, our kids are giving it all they’ve got and the results are proportionately remarkable. Here’s a quick panorama that encompasses a cross-section of county schools and sports.
Boys golf: Sullivan West clinched its ninth consecutive Division IV title. Drew Billard finished fourth in the OCIAA championship and is vying this week in sectionals, hoping for a chance to make it to states. Fallsburg’s Richie Elliott, Eldred’s Dave Powers and Tri-Valley’s Jimmy Bernstein also made the cut at the OCIAA meet and join Billard in the Section 9 championships.
Softball: Sullivan West clinched its second Division IV title in the past three years as it posted a 7-1 league record. The Lady Indians of Liberty made sectionals for the first time in a decade.
Baseball: Monticello swept Liberty and Rondout Valley to win its third consecutive John Spear Memorials Tourney title. The Monties edged Liberty 4-2 and then beat Rondout Valley 8-0 with sterling pitching from Ben Kapito and Connor Briggs, respectively. Liberty bounced back to defeat Ellenville 4-3 in the consolation game. The loss to Monticello was Liberty’s first in the second half of the season. They are now 11-6. They won the first two games of their series against Sullivan West, which concludes this week. Tri-Valley faces off against Chester to determine the Division V champion. Tri-Valley senior Joe Mickelson has put himself on the radar as a viable candidate for Player of the Year both locally and statewide with his astounding pitching and batting statistics. Coming into this week, Mickelson was 6-0 with one save and an E.R.A. of 0.16. He has notched 63 strikeouts. His batting average is an uncanny .567 with 34 hits and 30 RBI. He has a .649 on base percentage.