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September 26, 2016
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Night fever

Sullivan West football seniors, left to right, Tyler Bernitt, Joe Schroeder, Blain Reddish, Sawyer Erlwein, Brad Hemmer, Scott Herbert and Scott Erdman.

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Chilly nights and excitement under the lights defined Spirit Week action for Sullivan West fans as the docket featured Senior Nights for the girls’ and boys’ soccer teams on October 3 and 4 and a Homecoming Football extravaganza on October 5 versus Pine Plains. Flowers, smiles, hugs and victories provided the warmth to offset plummeting temperatures.

The girls got things going with a 6-0 non-league win over Chapel Field that began by the honoring of elder stateswomen Hannah Feinman, Kaitlyn Taylor and Cassidy Sauer. Sophomore Carly Grishaber scored first. Feinman followed suit, as did freshman Megan Brockner, junior Marianne Durkin and Sauer, who had two goals on the night. The Lady Bulldogs only need one more win in their next four games to qualify for sectionals.

The boys soccer team defeated Tri-Valley, 4-0, the next night, as seniors Jonah Bauer, Ryan Feeney, Richard Lander, Adam Murphy, Andrew Siegel, Gregory Stevenson and Eli Vaknin were honored. Feeney’s early goal set the tone against the winless Bears. Miguel Ramos scored and Lander added a penalty kick with a streaking shot into the lower left corner of the net. Siegel scored last. He had served in goal for most of the game before Noah Bauer took over the cage in the game’s final 12 minutes. The 5-5 Bulldogs need three more wins, out of their remaining six games, to qualify for sectionals.

Football Homecoming began with the crowning of King Sawyer Erlwein and Queen Dani Myers. Football seniors Blain Reddish, Joe Schroeder, Brad Hemmer, Sawyer Erlwein, Tyler Bernitt, Scott Herbert and Scott Erdman presented flowers to their parents before the Bulldogs, 6-1 (3-0 Class C Division II), evinced a one-sided 43-7 win over the winless Pine Plains. The scoring began with a safety, as a punt attempt by the Bombers resulted in a high snap and the ball sailed into the end zone. The Dawgs added a six-yard TD run by Andrew Stabbert shortly thereafter. Michael Sedlack’s PAT made it 9-0. A 71-yard ramble by Erlwein made it 15-0 as the first-half fireworks continued. Jared Meola ran it in from the two, just before the half, but the Dawgs weren’t done. A 23-yard fourth down run by Erlwein and a two-point conversion pass to Meola made it 29-0 at the break.

At halftime, football alums from the years ending with three were honored, including grid icons dating as far back as 1953. Warriors from Delaware Valley, Jeff-Youngsville and the Sullivan West Class of 2003 were on hand to be lauded as Bill Moloney read off their years, positions and numbers. See “Home Is Where The Heart Is” on www.sportsinsightsny.com for honoree names and details of the game.

In the third quarter, Meola carried it in from the 10 at 7:15 to make it 35-0. Sedlack’s PAT made it 36-0. The Bulldogs’ final points came on a one-yard TD run by Richard Shevak and another Sedlack PAT. Pine Plains scored in the game’s waning minute on a one-yard plunge. The Bulldogs travel to Millbrook, which is also 3-0 in Division II to determine which of the two will be the number-one seed in the playoffs. The semifinals are on October 26. The top seed will play Division 1’s number-two seeded team, which looks to be Liberty. In yet another under-the-lights spectacular, the Indians marshaled a late 20-yard TD pass from Quinn Jackson to Ryan Henry and a conversion run by Jackson to garner a 15-8 October 5 road win over Dover. Liberty improved to 5-2 (2-1 Class C Division I). Liberty plays Onteora this coming weekend and will clinch their berth with a victory. A Sullivan West loss to Millbrook would set up a heated rematch with the Indians, who are still smarting from last year’s 21-20 OT win that barred Liberty from the postseason, as well as this year’s 21-14 tornado-warning, monsoon-shortened affair earlier this season. If the Westies win, they’ll play O’Neill and Liberty would play Millbrook.

In Tri-Valley’s 56-0 Homecoming win over winless Livingston Manor that featured seniors Brendan Tierney, Aric Boyes, John Anzano, Shatik Smith, Cody Exner, Christian Klein, Kyle Burkey, Nick Hadden and Andrew Exner, the Bears delighted their fans who watched Tierney run for three TDs, Smith ramble 92 yards on a punt return and Exner score twice. The 4-3 Bears finish their season at Chester.

Visit www.sportsinsights.smugmug.com for albums of photos from all of the aforementioned games.