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Phil Blackwell

Stories by Phil

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Girls tennis Lakers streak to Class C final

Skaneateles handles Cazenovia, MPH in early rounds

An undefeated regular season and an OHSL Liberty division regular-season championship were all nice accomplishments for the Skaneateles girls tennis team, but it wouldn’t be completely satisfied until it added the Section III Class C team title.

C-NS girls soccer holds off B'ville, 3-2

Back-and-forth battle could provide playoff preview

Can a game with a 3-2 score be considered a win for both sides? Perhaps so, in the case of Thursday night's girls soccer battle between Cicero-North Syracuse and Baldwinsville, for though the Northstars prevailed by that 3-2 margin, the Bees could leave Archie Hall Stadium convinced that, if they met again in the Section III Class AA playoffs, the result could prove different.

C-NS, Liverpool boys soccer sides sweep

Northstars top Nottingham, Henninger; Warriors earn playoff spot

Going into the final week of the regular season, there was little doubt that the Cicero-North Syracuse boys soccer team was primed for a championship push – and Liverpool wanted those same good feelings, too, before it got too late.

Swimming Wildcats get even with J-D

Uzcen breaks school record; Castro, Cahalan, Dunning each win twice

Every West Genesee girls swimmer, and their partisans, remembered how Jamesville-DeWitt had snagged the Section III championship from them a year ago.

B’ville tennis beats Auburn in Class A semis

Bees to face F-M again for sectional team title

For an entire decade, the Baldwinsville girls tennis team had chased Fayetteville-Manlius, and are convinced that, in 2014, it will finally catch them. And though it didn’t happen in a pair of regular-season encounters, the only choice for the Bees is to try and get the Hornets when the stakes were highest – during next Tuesday’s Section III Class A team tournament final at Mott Courts in Utica.

J-D, MPH tennis fall in sectional semifinals

Unbeaten Red Rams upended; F-M gets to Class A final

In order to lay claim to the Section III Class B team title, the Jamesville-DeWitt girls tennis team had to navigate through three tough matches in a 72-hour span – but only won one of them.

Rowles rolls again for cross country Lakers

Cazenovia splits pair of 27-28 meets with Hannibal

Everything for the Cazenovia girls cross country team is now pointed toward next week’s showdown with Skaneateles for the OHSL Liberty National division regular-season championship.

J-D runners sweep ESM, grab league titles

Girls, boys Red Rams both finish 8-0 in OHSL Freedom division

Once again, Jamesville-DeWitt’s cross country teams find themselves perched atop their respective Onondaga High School League Freedom divisions. Not only did the Red Rams sweep these league titles with matching 8-0 marks, they wrapped them up Wednesday against their neighbors from East Syracuse-Minoa on the Spartans’ home course, which only made it sweeter.

Three B'ville golfers advance to state qualifier

Monaco, Tierney, Hayes lead way at AA sectionals

Though the Baldwinsville boys golf team could not keep up with its top rivals in the battle for team honors at Wednesday's Section III Class AA tournament at the Links at Sunset Ridge, the trio of Matt Monaco, Eion Tierney and Carson Hayes earned advancement to the state qualifier late in the spring.

C-NS, Liverpool golfers advance from AA sectionals

Boys Northstars finish third to F-M, Auburn in team tournament

For a few brief moments, members of the Cicero-North Syracuse Blue boys golf team carried the notion that it could go all the way to the top and earn the Section III Class AA championship. But while that dream fell just short, the Northstars, along with the Liverpool Warriors, saw several standout performances in Wednesday's sectional tournament at the Links at Sunset Ridge.

West Genny to send seven golfers to state qualifier

Wildcats fourth in Class AA team sectional tournament

No one else in Section III Class AA boys golf could claim the kind of depth that West Genesee possessed on its roster during its 2014 season. And that depth was on display during Wednesday's Class AA sectional tournament at the Links at Sunset Ridge, where the Wildcats would have seven players make it out of this round and advance to the sectional state qualifier in May at Colgate University's Seven Oaks course in Hamilton.

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F-M golfers repeat as sectional AA champs

CBA's Bellardini shoots 73, wins individual honors

High winds, chilly temperatures, occasional rain - nothing was going to keep the Fayetteville-Manlius boys golf team from claiming another Section III Class AA championship, or stop Christian Brothers Academy's Jack Bellardini from emerging as the top individual at Wednesday's fall sectional tournament at the Links at Sunset Ridge.

B’ville field hockey beats F-M in overtime

Capsello helps Bees avenge earlier defeat to Hornets

What the Baldwinsville field hockey team hoped to accomplish, in Tuesday’s home game against Fayetteville-Manlius, was a bit of payback. And the Bees would get it, not only defeating the Hornets, but doing so 2-1 in overtime, in large measure due to Serena Capsello’s timely offensive heroics.

Solvay, Westhill volleyball go through five-set dramas

Bearcats edge Homer; Warriors fall to Cazenovia

The close girls volleyball competition atop the OHSL Liberty division was reflected in matches Solvay and Westhill played Tuesday night. Finding success, the Bearcats shook off a furious comeback attempt to beat Homer in five sets while the Warriors made its own rally and got to a fifth set, only to fall to Cazenovia.

Caz volleyball conquers Westhill, Homer

Lakers survive Warrior comeback, tie for league lead

Whatever mid-season bouts of inconsistency and doubt that surfaced for the Cazenovia girls volleyball team are now swept away, and there’s no telling where the road might end.

Girls soccer Lakers play Westhill to 2-2 draw

Quick exchanges in second half, OT period mark fast-paced battle

Though the Skaneateles girls soccer team knows it possesses enough talent and resolve to make a championship push, a pair of regular-season defeats to Cazenovia, ranked in the state Class B top 10, threatened to dent the Lakers' confidence.

C-NS field hockey blanks Liverpool, 1-0

Northstars win in long-awaited return to home field

Much of the Cicero-North Syracuse field hockey team's 2014 season was spent traveling elsewhere, as it played 10 consecutive road games while waiting for the new Field Turf at Bragman Stadium to get finished. At last, though, the turf was ready, and on Monday night the Northstars came back home in the sweetest way possible, recording a 1-0 victory over its neighbor and rival, Liverpool.

Grimes girls soccer blanks CBA, stays unbeaten

Cobras, still atop state Class C poll, have four straight shutouts

Even a 1-1 draw with Tully on Sept. 23, the first blemish it had taken this fall, did not keep the Bishop Grimes girls soccer team from staying atop the state Class C rankings.

CBA football victimized by Liverpool rally

Brothers fall to 2-3; F-M slump continues against Auburn

Whatever turmoil and struggles that the Christian Brothers Academy football team had faced so far in 2014 would feel more tolerable if it could muster a win against unbeaten Liverpool last Friday night at Alibrandi Stadium.

Grimes football moves to 4-1; J-D ends skid

ESM takes surprising defeat to Oswego, 28-20

It took a month, and five games, before the Jamesville-DeWitt football team could savor a victory, something that Bishop Grimes was getting quite used to – and East Syracuse-Minoa was familiar with, too, until an unlikely foe intervened.

Boys soccer Lakers blank Cortland, Homer

Cazenovia rematch will get made up on Columbus Day

What was supposed to be the busiest home stretch of the regular season for the Skaneateles boys soccer team got curtailed a bit.

Skaneateles girls soccer falls to Cazenovia

Busy homestretch awaits, including two games with Westhill

In essence, three big games in a two-week October stretch would go a long way toward defining how the Skaneateles girls soccer team would look at itself heading into the Section III Class B playoffs.

Girls tennis Lakers are Class C top seed

No one in the Onondaga High School League’s Liberty division was able to get close to challenging the Skaneateles girls tennis team in nine league matches.

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Skaneateles cross country sweeps APW

Boys Lakers join girls with wins at Polo Grounds

Fresh off another big effort at the Maine-Endwell Invitational on Sept. 27, the Skaneateles girls cross country team would relax a bit while taking a tour of its famed Polo Grounds.

Bees handle Proctor, go to showdown with Henninger

B'ville meets Black Knights with both teams at 5-0

Now all is in place for the Baldwinsville football team to take part in the biggest Section III Class AA football game of the regular season. The 5-0, state-ranked Bees will go to Sunnycrest Field next Friday night to face 5-0, state-ranked Henninger, with first place in the Class AA-2 division on the line.

Solvay, Ludden football get first wins of season

J-E blows out Tully, improves to 4-1

It took until October for the Solvay and Bishop Ludden football teams to taste victory for the first time this fall – a feeling with which Jordan-Elbridge is quite familiar.

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Defense sparks Wildcats to win over RFA

Pair of safeties, TD help West Genny reach 3-2

Getting one last chance to play in front of home fans on Senior Night, the West Genesee football team found itself struggling more with winless Rome Free Academy than it ever intended. As such, someone had to provide a spark - and the Wildcats' defense stepped forward, making three scoring plays, including a safety, that help lead to a 29-14 victory over the Black Knights.

Skaneateles football runs into Homer machine

Trojans score 69 points on host Lakers

For a very brief moment, when the Skaneateles football team recorded a safety in the first quarter of Friday night's game against Homer at Hyatt Stadium, there was a notion that it could at least make the Class B West division front-runners feel a bit of stress, something the Trojans hadn't felt all season. Then the second quarter got underway, and the Lakers' notions were dashed in a hurry.

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Late rally gives Warriors big win over CBA

Liverpool scores twice in final 5:31, go to 5-0

Even at this stage at what is shaping up as a memorable and possibly magical season, it's too early to say if the Liverpool football team will cast aside its 16-year sectional championship drought. But if it does, the Warriors are sure to look back to what happened late Friday night at Alibrandi Stadium as the pivot point where a good team showed something deeper.

Caz football gets away, stops Mexico 41-7

Lakers use 27-point second half to end early suspense

They had reached halftime in Friday night's game at Mexico, and the Cazenovia football team again found itself in front - but was also furious. Instead of the efficient, relentless and versatile machine fans were used to seeing, the state Class B no. 3-ranked Lakers were shaky, prone to self-destructive errors and only led the Tigers by a touchdown.

Warriors stop Marcellus in battle of unbeatens

Special teams help push Westhill to 5-0 record

Extraordinary events continue to unfold for a Westhill football program that, heading into the 2014 season, had no clue as to where things were headed. All of the uncertainty is gone now, replaced by a growing confidence and a sense that, in the wake of Friday night's hard-fought 27-12 victory over Marcellus, even greater things are within reach.

Skaneateles volleyball beats Solvay in five sets

Lakers break long skid with late comeback against Bearcats

Even though it's going through a tough season by its own high standards, the Skaneateles girls volleyball team has found some moments to savor.

Crawford, Burbidge lead sweep of Skaneateles

Caz girls soccer maintains no. 9 state ranking

Perhaps the best way to get a maximum effort out of the Cazenovia girls soccer team is to put them behind early. Stung by an early goal in Thursday night's game against Skaneateles at the Sean Googin Sports Complex, Cazenovia was even within minutes and soon took control, eventually prevailing 3-1 to complete a sweep of the 2014 version of the Lakers series.

C-NS swimmers drop showdown to West Genny

Murphy, Sovinsky lead Liverpool past CBA

In many ways, the Cicero-North Syracuse girls swim team’s season peaked on Sept. 25, when it went to Liverpool and stunned the Warriors 94-92, ending years of domination by Liverpool in that neighborhood rivalry.

J-D swimmers win, await West Genny showdown

CBA drops tight battle to Liverpool

While sweeping through all of its Onondaga High School League opposition, the Jamesville-DeWitt girls swim team has paid close attention to West Genesee doing the same thing in the Onondaga High School League.

J-D girls tennis finishes unbeaten regular season

Red Rams hold off Homer 4-3, stop CBA 5-2

Through a busy fall and wading through a tough, deep OHSL Freedom American division, the Jamesville-DeWitt girls tennis team would never take a blemish.

B’ville tennis sweeps Liverpool, Syracuse West

Bees head into sectional play on hot streak

One thing that the Baldwinsville girls tennis team did not let itself do was feel content in the wake of handing West Genesee its first loss of the season on Sept. 25.

C-NS girls tennis topples Liverpool, 5-2

Northstars sweep singles, avenge Sept. 9 defeat to Warriors

A reflection of the close girls tennis competition between Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool could easily be found in their pair of regular-season clashes in 2014.

Cross country Bees sweeps West Genny

Lathtop, Kellner top runners in big road win

In the latest installment of the state Class A girls cross country rankings, Baldwinsville was nowhere to be found, while West Genesee comfortably sat in the no. 16 spot.

Chittenango cross country sweeps ESM, Mexico

Caz splits with J-E despite wins from Rowles, Ridings

Fine seasons are unfolding for both of Chittenango’s cross country teams, as reflected by the efforts they put forth in Wednesday’s sweep of a three-way battle with East Syracuse-Minoa and Mexico.

Liverpool cross country sweeps C-NS

Basla, Petrella win individual races; sides sweep Auburn

At least in 2014, the pendulum in cross country has gone toward Liverpool, in terms of its rivalry with Cicero-North Syracuse.

F-M girls runners fall from top of state rankings

Hornets were no. 1 every week since 2006

Something happened early this week that had not taken place since 2006. The Fayetteville-Manlius girls cross country team found itself outside the no. 1 spot in the state rankings, something it had held for eight years through its continual reign that included state and national championships.

B’ville field hockey edges Cortland, Port Byron

Bees improve to 7-5, await rematch with F-M

Now the Baldwinsville field hockey is assured of a return to the Section III Class A playoffs, though it had to go through a lot of stress before getting there.

Caz volleyball sweeps Marcellus, Skaneateles

Lakers move to second in league with big matches ahead

Through past winter and fall seasons, the Cazenovia girls volleyball team always carried on intense battles with Marcellus and Skaneateles, looking to rise up to the high standard that those two sides set for so long.

WG swimmers win first-place duel with C-NS

Castro, Cahalan, Dunning each win two races for Wildcats

Whether the West Genesee girls swim team has the goods to avenge last fall’s Section III championship defeat to Jamesville-DeWitt will get decided next Wednesday night. What isn’t in doubt, though, is the hold the Wildcats has over the CNY Counties League, which it reinforced Tuesday in Camillus when it rolled past Cicero-North Syracuse 102-76 in a first-place showdown.

Solvay volleyball edges Westhill in five sets

Bearcats nearly squander 2-0 lead in instant classic

Each time the Solvay and Westhill girls volleyball teams get together, the intensity cannot be masked or contained. Better yet, the quality of play is terrific, as was displayed in Tuesday night’s showdown at Westhill’s gym, where the Bearcats jumped out to a 2-0 lead in sets, missed out on multiple chances to close out the match, but hung in there and survived a five-set classic to beat the Warriors.

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Marcellus tennis earns first league title in 25 years

Mustangs go 11-1 in OHSL Freedom National division

What was shaping up as a memorable week for Marcellus athletics began with some history provided by the girls tennis team.

Field hockey Lakers fall to Liverpool rally

Cazenovia ends busy stretch of seven games in 15 days

If ever a week’s break in between games was welcome, this one for the Cazenovia field hockey team fit that profile. Over a course of two weeks, the Lakers had played seven games, six of them on the road, facing all kinds of quality opposition inside and outside the Section III ranks.

Liverpool field hockey rallies, stuns Cazenovia

Warriors' last-minute comeback builds crucial momentum

With one defeat to Cicero-North Syracuse in the recent memory bank, and a rematch on the new turf at Bragman Stadium looming a week ahead, the Liverpool field hockey team wanted, at the least, a good performance out of Monday night's home game against Class C powerhouse. But it had no idea just how good - or memorable - it would be.

F-M tennis, golf gets even with West Genny

Late-season wins avenge earlier defeats to Wildcats

Whether it was for a few weeks, or a few days, a pair of Fayetteville-Manlius teams - one in girls tennis, the other in boys golf - were both eager for another shot at West Genesee. And when they got that chance on the same Monday afternoon within a few hundred yards of each other in Camillus, both sets of Hornets pulled it off, providing a satisfactory conclusion to their respective regular seasons.

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