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Phil Blackwell

Stories by Phil

Seniors honored as Section III Scholar-Athletes

Each of the area’s high schools was well-represented as their top performers on the field and in the classroom were honored June 8 during the Section III Scholar-Athlete Awards Dinner at Onondaga Community College’s SRC Arena.

Clonan takes over as ESM athletic director

On Tuesday, Bob Campese spent his last day at East Syracuse Minoa before stepping down from his post as athletic director and heading into retirement.

Sindoni returns as Skaneateles football coach

Lakers re-hire leader of 2012 sectional champs

Three years ago, in the aftermath of a stormy, scandalous season that cost the Skaneateles football team a shot at championship glory, the Lakers won a Section III title no one could take away. Joe Sindoni was the head coach of that Lakers team in 2012, but then left to try and rebuild the program at Cicero-North Syracuse, little imagining that he would return to Skaneateles.

Kim, Jones compete in state tournament

J-D golfers join Auburn's May, who repeats as champion

Two of Jamesville-DeWitt’s top girls golfers would finish a memorable season by appearing in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship tournament.

B’ville’s Walsh vies for state golf title

Bees' senior ties for 19th; May repeats as champion

One last time, Baldwinsville’s Katie Walsh made her way to the course at SUNY-Delhi, part of the field for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association girls golf tournament, and managed to get a top-20 finish.

Warriors beaten again in AA state final

Liverpool softball drops title game to Orchard Park

Twelve months after it fell one victory short of the one prize it wanted the most, the Liverpool softball team returned to South Glens Falls for the state Class AA final four, seeking to take that last step and finally earn the program's first state championship.

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Millar, Barber run to state track championships

CBA's Schug, J-D's Payne also earn medals

One more time, Bryce Millar and Kyle Barber participated in a high school state championship meet with the intent to add more victories to the titles they have accumulated over the years across the fall, winter and spring.

Solvay softball stopped in state final again

Bearcats beat Marlboro, but fall in close title game

More than a generation ago, just as the New York State Public High School Athletic Association started to hand out championships in softball, Solvay earned the Class B state crown in 1986. Nearly three decades later, the Bearcats had a second chance to add a second title to that long-ago prize –but Saturday afternoon’s title game at the Moreau Recreational Park in South Glens Falls ended in the same unforgiving manner as it did in that same venue 12 months earlier.

Westhill baseball falls in state semifinal

Livonia rallies late, edges Warriors 3-2

When the Westhill baseball team took the trip down Interstate 81 to Binghamton’s Broome County Community College on Saturday, it intended to return with a third state Class B championship in six years.

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Hill second in 400 at state track meet

Skaneateles relay teams each earn medals

A successful spring for each of the Skaneateles track and field teams would culminate with strong efforts in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meets, contested at the University at Albany, and very nearly led to a gold medal for Connor Hill.

Roland, Gugel stand out at state track meet

Solvay's Harrington is sixth in girls pentathlon

An interesting mix of local track and field athletes made their way to the University at Albany and appeared in this weekend’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet.

Track Lakers finish season at state meet

Rowles, boys 4x100 relay sides have strong finishes

From a team and individual standpoint, Cazenovia’s track and field program was represented quite well during this weekend’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet at the University at Albany.

C-NS, Liverpool athletes gain wins at state qualifier

Akinpelu prevails twice; Mahana, Bearkland first for Northstars

A year from now, top track and field athletes will return to Cicero-North Syracuse as it once again hosts the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet. They’ll hold this year’s state meet at the University at Albany, though, and a full array of talent from C-NS and Liverpool will be there on the Division I (large school) side after their work at last Friday’s Section III state qualifier held at Bragman Stadium.

Track stars win big at sectional state qualifier

F-M, J-D, ESM, CBA all have first-place finishes

From Fayetteville-Manlius to Jamesville-DeWitt to East Syracuse Minoa to Christian Brothers Academy, local track and field athletes earned a large share of the winner’s glory during Friday’s Section III state qualifier at Cicero-North Syracuse’s Bragman Stadium.

Bees vie for honors at state track qualifier

Lathrop, Jaquint, LaRock do well in girls meet

Baldwinsville’s best track and field athletes did not want their season to conclude at Cicero-North Syracuse’s Bragman Stadium during Friday’s Section III state qualifier. Attempting to move forward among large schools in Division I, and advance to this weekend’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet at the University at Albany, was a stated goal, and the Bees tried to reach it.

Track Lakers impress at sectional state qualifier

Relay teams prevail; Hill wins boys 400-meter dash

On both the boys and girls sides, the Skaneateles track and field teams made a big impact during Friday’s Section III state qualifying meet at Cicero-North Syracuse’s Bragman Stadium. As a result, the Lakers will be well-represented on the Division II (small school) side during next weekend’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet at the University at Albany.

Westhill baseball returns to state final four

Five years after securing the second of back-to-back state Class B championships, the Westhill baseball team is going back to the state final four.

WG boys lacrosse defeated in state final

Niskayuna beats Wildcats for historic state title

In a quest to add to its own daunting and staggering record with a 16th state championship, the West Genesee boys lacrosse team got to the final round, only to get thwarted by an opponent making its own kind of history.

Lakers drop state Class C final at wire

Cold Spring Harbor hangs on, beats Caz 9-8

With the final minute of Saturday's state Class C boys lacrosse championship game at Vestal High School's Dick Hoover Stadium ticking away, Cazenovia waged an all-out assault on the Cold Spring Harbor net, determined to force overtime and, perhaps, bring home the program's third state title in five years.

McGuire, Gardner lead Bearcats to regional win

Solvay wins rematch with Windsor, goes to state final four

Molly McGuire and Jackie Gardner are the best of friends, and together, they’ve helped the Solvay softball team scale unprecedented heights. For them, along with fellow seniors Nicole Antonacci, Chelsie Delperuto, Brandi Pidkaminy, Jordyn Everett and Kayla Emmi, Just one goal remains – a state Class B championship, barely missed a year ago, now again within the grasp of the Bearcats as big contributions from McGuire and Gardner helped the a return trip to the state final four.

Softball Warriors return to state AA final four

Bats come to life as Liverpool beats Shen in regional final

Ideally, what the Liverpool softball team would like to do when it goes to South Glens Falls this Saturday for its second consecutive state Class AA final four appearance is something close to what it accomplished in the two games leading up to it.

WG girls lacrosse beaten in state semifinals

West Islip avenges 2014 state title game defeat to Wildcats

The thing draws attention in girls lacrosse is goals and offensive statistics, just like most sports. Defensive work is far less glamorous, but far more important, especially for someone like West Genesee, whose run of seven state Class A championships since 2001 has always featured an ability to keep opponents of all stripes from finding the net with regularity.

Lakers stopped by Mt. Sinai in state semis

Skaneateles girls can't recover from first-half struggles

Only one program from Long Island has kept the Skaneateles girls lacrosse team from a possible run of three consecutive state Class C championships. Mount Sinai, in 2015, did exactly what it did in 2013, leading from start to finish and upending the Lakers 13-7 in Friday's state semifinal at SUNY-Cortland.

Red Rams fall to Victor in state semifinal

J-D unable to make late comeback against unbeaten Blue Devils

Since claiming its last state Class B title in 2011, the Jamesville-DeWitt boys lacrosse team has, in each of the ensuing four seasons, come close to adding another crown, but have not quite pulled it off.

J-D softball drops Class A final to Oneida

Red Rams unable to hold 2-0 lead in late innings

Everything was falling into place for Jamesville-DeWitt’s softball team when they finally got around to playing the Section III Class A championship game against defending champion Oneida Wednesday night at Onondaga Community College.

Boys Wildcats rally, reach state Class A final

Second-half shutout keys 8-6 victory over Pittsford

For the 23rd time, the West Genesee boys lacrosse team has given itself a chance to earn the state Class A championship - and it took the last step toward that title game in a very familiar manner. Buoyed by a superb defense, the Wildcats fought past Section V champion Pittsford 8-7 in Wednesday night's state semifinal, held right in the Panthers' backyard at St. John Fisher College.

Caz secures fourth trip to state title game

Lakers beat Penn Yan again in state semifinals

In pursuit of another state Class C championship, the Cazenovia boys lacrosse team had another tough encounter with Penn Yan - and got another victory.

CBA baseball stopped again in sectional final

VVS pulls away late, beats Brothers 11-3

Christian Brothers Academy's quest to claim the Section III Class A baseball championship got thwarted, in the championship round, by a hard-hitting opponent wearing red - again.

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Walsh, Warriors reclaim sectional Class B title

Westhill fights off Holland Patent, 5-4

Sam Walsh finally returned to his favorite role as a starting pitcher - just in time for the Westhill baseball team. Walsh's complete-game effort, combined with selective and timely hits, helped push the top-seeded Warriors past no. 2 seed Holland Patent 5-4 to win the Section III Class B championship Tuesday at Onondaga Community College.

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Bellardini helps Section III win state golf tourney

CBA star shoots 35 on final nine holes to play key role

When Christian Brothers Academy boys golfer Jack Bellardini completed his fall season at the Section III tournament at Marcellus Golf Club, it was amid cold, raw and windy conditions. And when Bellardini’s season ended nearly eight months later at Cornell University’s Robert Trent Jones course during the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship tournament, it was again cold and raw.

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Bees’ Monaco brings home state golf title

Section III team beats out Section I for top prize

When Baldwinsville’s Matt Monaco survived a tense playoff at Seven Oaks on May 23 and advanced to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association boys golf tournament, he joined a strong Section III team that was on its way to Ithaca.

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Softball Warriors repeat as sectional champs

Liverpool rolls past Utica Proctor, 24-2, in AA final

Maybe it was an unfamiliar setting and an unfamiliar opponent, but the Liverpool softball team didn't care, as long as the outcome was familar - and happy. Repeating as Section III Class AA champions, the top-seeded Warriors blew open Monday night's sectional AA final against Utica Proctor at Onondaga Community College in the second inning and went on to rout the Raiders 24-2.

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Solvay softball secures sectional three-peat

Big fourth inning pushes Bearcats past APW, 7-2

Cold, wet, weather, a venue change, a pitching role reversal - any of these things may have derailed the Solvay softball team. But nothing would keep the unbeaten Bearcats from rising to the top of the Section III Class B ranks for a third consecutive year.

Red Rams rip Vestal in lacrosse regional

J-D takes on undefeated Victor in state semifinals

With a seventh consecutive Section III Class B title secured, now it was back to the state tournament for the Jamesville-DeWitt boys lacrosse team, who met Section IV champion Vestal in Sunday’s regional final at Cicero-North Syracuse's Bragman Stadium after heavy rain and lightning forced a Saturday-night postponement.

C-NS rallies past Auburn in AA semis

Liverpool baseball eliminated by West Genny

Four outs from another premature ending in another quest for a Section III Class AA championship, the Cicero-North Syracuse baseball team made quite a rescue - and had the likes of Jake McArdell and Brad Hamilton to thank as it reached the sectional final.

Baseball Wildcats roll to sectional AA final

WG beats Liverpool, 6-0, as Randall throws shutout

A season ago, the West Genesee baseball team saw its season end in a Section III Class AA semifinal played at Onondaga Community College. But when the Wildcats returned to that same round, at that same OCC venue, on a chilly, overcast Sunday afternoon, it turned out quite different, WG shutting out Liverpool 6-0 to earn a trip to Wednesday night's AA title game.

Sweeny pitches Westhill to sectional final

Warriors handle Solvay

Joe Sweeny enjoys pitching against Solvay - and the Westhill baseball team is glad for it. Sweeny's four-hit gem, combined with plenty of early run production and superb defense, helped the top-seeded Warriors defeat the no. 4 seed Bearcats 6-0 in Sunday's Section III Class B semifinal at Onondaga Community College and earn a trip to Tuesday's final against no. 2 seed Holland Patent.

CBA baseball advances to Class A final

Brothers get past Marcellus, Camden, to meet VVS in title game

By the time the Christian Brothers Academy baseball team entered the Section III Class A playoff fray as the top seed, their two neighbors were already out of the tournament.

Grimes baseball reaches Class B semis

Cobras upend South Jefferson, Lowville, fall to Holland Patent

While their softball counterparts made an inspired run through the Section III Class C playoffs, Bishop Grimes was trying to make a run on the baseball side, too, rising from its own no. 6 seed in the sectional Class B bracket.

Tennis players make mark at state tournament

F-M's Druger wins consolation bracket in singles

Fayetteville-Manlius, East Syracuse Minoa, Jamesville-DeWitt and Manlius-Pebble Hill all had a rooting interest during last week’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship tournament.

Girls lax Lakers return to state final four

Skaneateles routs Chenango Forks, Salmon River in regionals

Once the Skaneateles girls lacrosse team had locked down its third consecutive Section III Class C championship, two regional games in the state tournament quickly followed, but neither proved too taxing as the Lakers, again, are going to SUNY-Cortland for the state final four.

Caz boys lacrosse advances to state semis

Lakers get fourth regional win over Salmon River

Plenty of messages and warning signs were out there for the Cazenovia boys lacrosse team going into Saturday's Class C regional final against Salmon River at Cicero-North Syracuse's Bragman Stadium.

Grimes softball makes run to Class C final

Cobras stop Herkimer, Cato, will face Sandy Creek for title

When the Bishop Grimes softball team started out on its Section III Class C playoff journey, the notion that it could win the whole thing was absurd with so many strong squads in the bracket.

CBA track finds success at sectional meets

Schug, SanGiacomo, Ferguson among big winners

Mainly due to a sweep of the sprints by Anna Schug, Kiana Ferguson and company, the Christian Brothers Academy girls track and field team recorded a fourth-place finish in Thursday’s Section III Class B-1 championships at Westhill High School.

Westhill-Ludden track captures sectional B-1 title

Solvay second to Warriors; J-E grabs third place in B-2 meet

Finding success in many different disciplines but doing especially well in field events, the combined Westhill-Bishop Ludden boys track and field team was able to hold off Solvay to win Friday’s Section III Class B-1 championship meet at Canastota High School.

Caz girls track second at B-1 sectionals

Boys Lakers finish fourth despite two wins from Nichols

Each of Cazenovia’s track and field teams took aim at Section III Class B-1 championships late last week, and got close to the throne. Going first, the Cazenovia girls went to Westhill High School on Thursday afternoon, where it picked up 103.5 points to finish comfortably in second place amid a nine-team field. Only Skaneateles, with 149.5 points, fared better.

WG, Marcellus track stand out at sectionals

Benson, Sylcox, Townsend, McGuane among event winners

Carly Benson’s victory in the 1,500-meter run, plus other top finishes, helped the West Genesee girls track and field team to a fifth-place finish in last Wednesday’s Section III Class AA championship meet at Cicero-North Syracuse’s Bragman Stadium.

J-D softball roars back to Class A final

Red Rams rout defending champion New Hartford in semis

In order to get a shot at the Section III Class A championship, the Jamesville-DeWitt softball team would need to climb past the reigning champions – a task that it handled with, arguably, its best performance of the season.

B’ville softball reaches sectional semifinal

Bees surprise Central Square, fall to Utica Proctor

For a long time, Baldwinsville’s softball team could only look on as its neighbors from Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse piled up one Section III championship after another, wondering if it would ever get its turn at the big prize.

Baseball Bees blanked in sectional opener

West Genesee knocks out B'ville in 2-0 decision

What was the primary concern for the Baldwinsville baseball team going into the 2015 season would remain its biggest hurdle when things ended two months later – namely, the ability to get men on base and then bring them home for valuable runs.

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