Tough game for Cronk, Mott
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.