Anne Delaney

Friday, August 29, 2008

Tough game for Cronk, Mott

The Ilion and Oneida boys soccer teams opened their seasons on Friday with wins at the Sherburne-Earlville Tournament.

Center State Conference Division I member Ilion defeated Vernon-Verona-Sherrill, 3-1 in one game. Oneida of the Tri Valley League defeated Sherburne, 4-1 in the other match. Ilion and Oneida will play in the tournament championship at 6 p.m. Saturday (Aug. 30). That's good news for the Ilion and Oneida players. It's not good news for the coaches.

Ilion's Jim Mott and Dwayne Cronk of Oneida try to avoid in-season matches. The men are boyhood friends back to their days playing soccer in Chittenango. They played together on the Bears' varsity - Mott on defense and Cronk in goal. Their families are friends and the stability of their friendship is more important than soccer, so they stay away from competition.

On Saturday, a match-up will be unavoidable. For the sake of both men, let's hope the game is decided in regulation and doesn't require a penalty kick shootout to determine a champion. But given their history, regardless of what happens on the field Mott and Cronk will both be a part of a victory.

One champion in TVL boys soccer

In boys soccer, the Tri Valley League will be one seven-team league this season. For the last five years, the TVL was comprised of two four-team divisions. Camden was not able to field a varsity team this year. The Blue Devils also didn't have a varsity team in 2001 and 2002.
The impact of this alignment will be minimal. The league will have one overall champion and that's how it should be instead of two division winners. Champions of the East and West divisions under the old alignment feels watered down.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

McCutcheon redefines focus

The best athletes and coaches can turn on their powers of concentration and perform regardless of circumstances around them. Michael Jordan comes to mind. So do Tiger Woods and Bill Belichick. After watching the Beijing Olympics, add Hugh McCutcheon.
The 38-year-old New Zealand born McCutcheon showed an incredible amount of poise, concentration and grace while coaching the U.S. men's volleyball team to the gold medal under trying personal circumstances.
McCutcheon's father-in-law, Todd Bachman, was killed in a random Beijing stabbing on Aug. 9 while touring with his wife, Barbara and daughter, Elisabeth McCutcheon, Hugh's wife. Barbara was seriously injured in the attack and eventually flown back to the Mayo Clinic in the family's home state of Minnesota. After taking some time with his family, Hugh McCutcheon returned to the team that finished the tournament with a four-set victory over world No. 1 Brazil.
I thought I'd seen inner fortitude at its best earlier this summer when Woods won the U.S. Open on a bad knee. It's exhausting to limp through life, as Woods did.
It seems nearly impossible to try to escape them.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

An Olympic Finalist

In Jen Kaido's first Olympics, the 27-year-old rower from West Leyden has a chance to race for a medal.
Kaido and teammates Lia Pernell, Lindsay Meyer and Margot Shumway earned a place in Sunday's final with a second-place finish in a repechage race on Tuesday. The repechage, or second-chance race, was a better effort for the Americans, according Kaido.
"Overall I think it was a great race and if we keep learning from the previous race, executing our goals and attacking all they way down the course, I really believe it could get us on the podium," she wrote in an e-mail.
The women's quadruple sculls final will be Sunday at 4:30 a.m. The race will be covered on NBC's web site ( during its 3:30-6 a.m. time slot.  and on local NBC affiliate WKTV from 12-2 p.m.
Kaido wrote she will be doing a lot of resting leading into Sunday. The scullers will practice twice a day on both Thursday and Friday.
"I have been watching a lot of Olympic events on TV or movies on my laptop," she wrote.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Kaido wants more 'aggressive' approach

When Jen Kaido rows her second Olympic race early Tuesday morning Eastern Daylight Time, she will do so with a different attitude.
Kaido wants her women's quadruple sculls boat to be aggressive from the beginning of the race, instead of only toward the end which helped the Americans salvage a third-place finish in a heat race on Sunday.
Kaido and teammates Lia Pernell, Lindsay Meyer and Margot Shumway will row in second-chance racing, called repechage, on Tuesday morning. Repechage ensures each boat has two chances to advance from preliminary races because there is no seeding in heats. Six boats will be in the repechage with the top four moving on to a final later in the week.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Kaido ready to go

As of Saturday morning, Eastern time, West Leyden's Jen Kaido was in the midst of final preparation for her first Olympic race.
Kaido will race Sunday at 4:40 ET. Rowing will be included in NBC's Olympic coverage from 12-1 p.m. on Sunday. Kaido wrote in an e-mail there will be two heats of four boats. The US will be racing against Germany, Great Britain and Australia. Kaido wrote she and her teammates met with their coach to discuss logistics, including what bus to catch to the race course and needed time for warm up.
"It's not going to be easy," Kaido wrote, "but if we are aggressive the whole way down the course while maintaining all the fundamentals we've been working on this summer, we could do it."

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Campbell should serve in Army

Caleb Campbell shouldn't be allowed to play in the National Football League.
Campbell has a job: He is a 2nd Lt. in the United States Army. Just because Campbell - a standout on the Army football team last fall - can play ball doesn't mean he should be released from his commitment to the U.S.
Campbell was picked by the Detroit Lions in the seventh round of April's NFL Draft. He was all set to join the team. But the Department of Defense reversed an Army policy that permitted athletes to pursue professional careers while remaining on active duty.
Roger Staubach fulfilled his service with the Navy, including a tour in Vietnam, and he became one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. The Navy didn't allow Mitch Harris to begin a pro baseball career after the right-hander was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 13th round of June's MLB draft.
Campbell shouldn't be allowed an out either, even for the NFL. Because, maybe now more than ever, the U.S. needs soldiers with a linebacker's mentality.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Manley deployed in Afghanistan, will miss Frankfort soccer

Dwayne Manley won't be with his Frankfort-Schuyler boys varsity soccer team this year.
The 39-year-old Frankfort resident has four-and-one-half months remaining on a National Guard deployment in Afghanistan. Manley is a staff sargeant in the 27th Brigade Combat Team out of Syracuse. He deployed in January and will likely be back by the end of December, according to his wife Nicole. Manley is located in the area of Kabul, the capital, and his work includes mentoring the Afghan National Army.
Manley joined the National Guard in January 1993.
"Being over here for any length of time gives you an insight on how other people live their day-to-day lives, and how even the smallest of items, like a box of crayones to a young child, brightens their day in such a way that makes you truly feel good about what we're trying to do here," Manley wrote in an e-mail.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Perez believes in U.S. World Cup win

In Hugo Perez's speech on Sunday at the National Soccer Hall of Fame, he referred to the 1991 FIFA World Cup title won by Mia Hamm and fellow inductee Anson Dorrance.
"I'm still a little jealous," Perez said. "The U.S. still hasn't won a World Cup on the men's side."
Perez is holding out hope that the U.S. will win the World Cup in his lifetime. Perez is 44.
"They have a good program. The federation has a good program. I think it's getting closer," Perez said.
Perez said the U.S. has the ability to produce a winning team; the resources are in place. He said what's needed is for those young athletes to be taught the correct way to play the game technically. Perez acknowledges that with all of the other sports in the U.S., soccer will have to break out of second-tier status.
"It will be a passion for generations coming up," Perez said. "Before it was a pastime, now it's a passion."