Strive to excel
SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Each new moment is an opportunity, each new venture a challenge. For those who engage in the rigors of athletic competition, the most salient time is always the here and now, not what happened last time out and not what may happen in a future encounter. As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
Two weeks into the young season, teams and individuals already have been tested. Some, like the Tri-Valley boys soccer team, experienced their first success as they downed Chapel Field 5-0 under the watchful eye of their new coach Erik Risher, who brings the fire and skill of his Section One experience from Peekskill and, for the past few years, from Haldane to bear on the Bears. Watching a team that has been mostly winless over the past few seasons evince confidence and skill and a newfound understanding of the game, this writer witnessed the priceless pleasure of kids striving to excel in the here and now. Senior Zach Nilsen led the charge with three goals. Gabe Surina added two more. While last week’s column dwelt on week-one woes, this week, it’s all about moving on with a newfound opportunity to summon one’s best.
Sullivan West’s boys and girls cross-country teams marshaled their first wins of the season in a non-league home meet vs. Livingston Manor, Fallsburg and Family School. Corinne VanWagner (24:12) led the way ahead of teammate Courtney Meyerer (25:17). In the boys race, also won by the Westies, it was Ethan Seidl (20:15) in the lead finishing ahead of teammate Dan Paparella (21:59). Tri-Valley’s boys and girls prevailed over Liberty, Eldred and host Monticello. In the girls’ race, Monti twins Camryn and Sydney Johnson took first and third with times of 22:35 and 23:47. T-V’s Autumn Bender was second in 22:47. In the boys’ race it was Monti Joe Klein (19:28). Eldred’s Dave Powers was third. T-V went on to compete in the challenging Chittenango Invitational. Bender had the best finish of the Lady Bears, taking 20th place in the daunting field with a time of 21:36. For runners, each new race is a chance to reach down for something extra: a constant striving to succeed based on practices that enforce the right conditioning and race tactics.
Liberty boys’ soccer defeated Monticello 5-0 to remain unbeaten. Monticello’s volleyball team is also undefeated to date, with big wins over Newburgh and Washingtonville, as well as a victory over smaller S.S. Seward. Sullivan West’s volleyball team posted its first win of the season in a four-match tilt over Liberty.
In football, Liberty came up just one point shy of upsetting defending Class C Champ O’Neill as the Indians failed on a potential game-winning two-point conversion play from the 1 1/2 yard line, in the game’s waning seconds. The final score was 21-20. Tri-Valley’s young Bears were taken to the school of hard knocks by Chester to the tune of 56-0, while Monticello got shellacked 35-0 by Cornwall. On the winning side of the ledger, Roscoe/Manor/Downsville defeated Eldred 23-12 for its first win of the season. Brad Dreher rushed for two TD’s. Eldred’s Julian Gottlieb and Nick Warren scored for the Yellow Jackets. For albums of photos visit, www.sportsinsights.smugmug.com.