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October 26, 2016
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Halcyon days

Sullivan West’s Drew Billard has another fine day as he leads the Bulldogs to a league win over Liberty. A crucial match with Eldred on May 7 likely determined if the Dawgs garner their 10th straight Division IV. Billard will be one of the top four seeded golfers competing in this coming week’s OCIAA championships slated for Grossingers on May 14.
Photos­­­ by Richard A. Ross

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — At long last the glorious spring is here in earnest, and with it a panoply of stunning action under bright blue skies and life-affirming sunshine. That said, the school year’s most glorious season is sadly also shortest, or so it seems, by dint of the inhospitable weather at its outset and the haste of its closure to make way for school’s end. That leaves little more than two months of action, and now here in the second week of May we are enmeshed in the richest part of the regular season tapestry.

On the golf greens this past week, the Fallsburg girls (7-1) suffered their first defeat of the season in a non-league match with Monticello. The Lady Panthers then defeated a diminished Sullivan West squad (1-6) to round out their record to 4-4-1. The Lady Comets, who have won three consecutive division titles, are poised to garner their fourth as they remain undefeated in league play. With four players in sectionals last year and Danielle Stratton in her second state tourney, the lady golfers were the bright spot of Fallsburg’s spring. This year, the team aspires to do more than just hoist another division banner in the Fallsburg gymnasium.

In boys golf, Sullivan West and Eldred are tied for the Division IV title with Tri-Valley just one match behind. Sullivan West’s only league loss to date came against Tri-Valley at Tarry Brae. This week the Westies 9-3 (8-1 OCIAA) defeated Liberty 220-241 and are seeking their 10th consecutive Division crown. A May 7 match with Eldred figures to be key in which team grabs hold of the top rung of the ladder. Eldred has a match with Tri-Valley on May 8.

In baseball, Tri-Valley (5-5 OCIAA) captured two of three from Division V Seward as the Bears began their series with Fallsburg this week by downing the Comets 8-0. Things are looking promising for the defending Section IX Class C champs to make it back to the postseason. They beat Tuxedo two out of three but were swept by Chester. Sullivan West fell to 7-6 overall behind a 9-7 non-league loss to Highland, a team they may encounter in sectionals, should the Westies get there. They are currently 4-2 in Division IV, taking two of three from Burke but a crucial series with league leading O’Neill looms large next week. The Westies have to win at least one of those three games to lock up a sectional berth via their league record. They can also get in by dint of a .500 or better overall record.

Eldred defeated Downsville 17-6 to improve to 6-6.In softball Sullivan West 2-7 (1-3 OCIAA) fell to O’Neill 8-6. Eldred defeated Downsville 12-1 to improve to 4-6 before losing a league game to Livingston Manor 4-9 (2-1 OCIAA) by the score of 13-11.

In track and field Sullivan West easily defeated Fallsburg in a home meet. Dani Myers returned to action and Mitch Paciga won the high jump, repeating his state-qualifying mark of 6-2. Four Tri-Valley alumni made track and field news this past weekend. Garret Grey, competing for Ashland University, won the GLIAC Hammer Championship with a Lifetime Best throw of 225 feet, which is the second best throw of all college athletes this season. Freshmen Jim Bernstein competing for Oneonta State University placed second in the 10,000 meter run at the SUNYAC Championship at Cortland. Frosh Rafael Ramirez (Hammer) and Soph Brian Edwards (Discus) competing for Alfred State College, won their events. Ashand and Alfred State won their championship, with Oneonta placing second. Meanwhile the current Lady Bears won the Steinhart Cup Meet at Ellenville, defeating Red Hook, Liberty, Ellenville and Rhinebeck. Ellenville won the boys cup title. Tri-Valley was third.

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