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December 05, 2016
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Fallsburg’s Richie Elliott observes the flight of a ball on the fourth hole at Tarry Brae in a match versus Sullivan West. He shot a day’s best two-over par 38 but the Westies won the match. Elliott is the defending OCIAA golf champion.

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — It’s May at last, the month that is second to none for its density of events and intensity of sports action. Across the spectrum of baseball, softball, boys tennis, boys and girls golf and track and field, teams try to marshal wins that will lead to sectional berths. Here’s a thumbnail sketch of current contenders.

Sullivan West’s softball team is in first place in Division IV with a 3-0-league record, having swept O’Neill, Liberty and Burke in the first of two encounters this spring. That first-half success already guarantees a playoff berth. The boys golf team is also in first place at 4-0, as it pursues an unprecedented ninth consecutive Division IV title. If it wishes to be in the running for a sectional berth, the Sullivan West baseball team will have to build on its two win against four losses. The Bulldogs beat Chester 8-7 for their second win. The Sullivan West girls golf team is in second place in Division IV .

Tri-Valley‘s boys and girls track teams are unbeaten in their division. This past week, they easily rolled by Sullivan West. The girls team also bested all schools at this week’s Monticello Games to capture first place, just a week after topping 26 schools at the Tri-Valley Invitational. The T-V girls are the defending Section 9 Class C champs. Dominque Darby was named the Monticello Games’ Outstanding Female Field Athlete. She won the shot put and the discus and took second in the hammer throw. The boys were Section 9 runners’ up in 2011. The Bears’ baseball team is 8-2 and in second place behind unbeaten Chester in Division V. T-V has already clinched a berth in sectionals. Last year, they lost a heartbreaker to S.S. Seward in the title game. The Bears opened a three-game series with Fallsburg this week. Bear’s senior Joe Mickelson pitched a perfect game using just 66 pitches in a 13-0 win over the Comets. It was just the 12th perfect game in NYSPHSAA history. Tri-Valley’s Bo Murphy pitched a perfect game in 2008. Tri-Valley’s boys golf team’s only league loss was to Sullivan West. Eldred is in the same position. The three teams tied for the Division IV title last spring.

Monticello’s boys track team faces league quests in Port Jervis and Liberty this week in search of its third consecutive Division III title. They took third place overall at the Monticello Games. Tino Taylor was named as one of two male outstanding track athletes for his wins in the 200 and 400. The Monties girls track team is also unbeaten in Division III. The baseball team is currently 2-1 in Division III.

Eldred’s boys and girls track teams are unbeaten in Division V. The Yellow Jackets are the defending Section 9 Class D champs in boys and girls track and are looking to keep that winning tradition going. Livingston Manor has the distinction of being the reigning NYS Class D champion in both baseball and softball. At present, both teams are cruising in Division VI. Mike Mills fired a no-hitter in the Wildcats’ 11-0 defeat of Tuxedo last week. He struck out 11.

Fallsburg’s girls golf team is unbeaten overall and has a 1-0 mark in league play. While the boys golf team may not be able to contend for a division title, its standout Richie Elliott looks to defend his OCIAA title and marshal a return to states. Fallsburg’s baseball team is 3-2 in Division V. They need two more wins to clinch a sectional berth. None of the Sullivan County boys tennis teams is experiencing much success this spring as Monticello, Liberty and Fallsburg/Tri-Valley share a common problem in terms of the lack of experienced players in the fold. Liberty’s baseball team is 3-3 overall but just 1-2 in Division IV. Liberty’s boys track team is 2-1 in Division III and can still lay claim to a league title by beating Monticello if Monticello bests Port Jervis. Liberty’s girls track team is also 2-1 and still in contention for a league title.

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