SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — As unseasonably warm early spring weather gives way to a cold spell this week, spring sports teams are anticipating next week’s inauguration of regular season action. Weather uncertainties aside, baseball, softball, boys and girls golf, track and field and boys tennis will get underway. While spring lacks the duration evinced by the lengthier winter sports season, it serves as the crown jewel of the athletic year, rife with riveting action. Teams, as well as individual athletes in golf and track, will look to get off to a fast start with the hope of making sectionals as an overture to even greater glory. Defending champions will look to retain their titles while others will look to dethrone them.
In girls track, Tri-Valley seeks its third consecutive Division IV title and sixth straight Section 9 Class C crown as the Lady Bears look to complete the 2011-12 trifecta, having won Section 9 titles in cross-country and indoor track. Eldred’s girls vie for their fifth straight Division V title and fourth consecutive Section 9 Class D crown. In boys track, Eldred goes in search of its fourth straight Division V title and its fourth consecutive Section 9 Class D crown. Monticello vies for its third consecutive Division III title, while the Tri-Valley boys look to defend their Division IV title and improve on their runner-up status in Section 9. In boys golf, Sullivan West seeks to extend its eight-year supremacy in Division IV. Last year they shared the title with Tri-Valley and Eldred. Fallsburg’s Richie Elliott will try for his third straight trip to states. He was last year’s OCIAA champ and finished seventh in Section 9. In girls golf, defending Division III champion Fallsburg sent two girls to states last year. Cassie Orlan graduated in June but Danielle Stratton returns for another run. In baseball, Livingston Manor will look to defend its Section 9 and state Class D titles while Tri-Valley looks to avenge its 8-7 loss to S.S. Seward in last year’s Section 9 Class C title game as they go in quest of the sectional plaque. The Bears are loaded with seniors. Sullivan West made sectionals last year before losing to Rhinebeck. The Bulldogs look to make it back to the postseason this spring. Monticello successfully defended its John Spear tournament title last spring with wins over Ellenville and Rondout Valley. The Panthers have a strong returning nucleus and hope to make some noise in Division III and in sectionals. In softball, Sullivan West will look to make sectionals for the 27th time in 30 years under the watch of coach Mike Ellmauer, while the Livingston Manor girls begin their quest for a third consecutive state title. Monticello, Fallsburg, Liberty and Eldred look to improve on last year’s performance.
A number of area teams will look to hone their edges in scrimmages this week. Here is a brief slate of opening week action. League games are denoted with an (L), non league games are noted as (NL). Baseball: April 2, Fallsburg @ Eldred (L), Tuxedo @ T-V (L), MHS @ Pine Bush (NL); April 3, Ellenville @ Liberty (NL), Eldred @ Fallsburg (L), Burke @ Monticello (NL); April 4, Eldred @Fallsburg (L). Softball: April 2, Port Jervis @ Sullivan West (NL), Seward @ Tri-Valley (L), Monticello @ O’Neill (NL), Tuxedo @ Fallsburg (L); April 5, Tri-Valley @ Family (NL), Monticello @ Cornwall (L). Boys and girls golf: April 2, Warwick @ Sullivan West. Track and field: March 31, Tri-Valley at Hendrick Hudson (NL); April 4, O’Neill at Liberty (L). Boys tennis: April 2, Monticello @ Liberty (NL).
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