Ten athletes that helped define the 2013-14 high school sports season:
Jake Coveney, Broadalbin-Perth, Jr.
One of the area's true few all-seasons stars, Coveney was incredible in 2013-14 on the gridiron, hardwood and track. The junior starred in the Patriots football's secondary during its run to the Section II Class B Super Bowl; was a consistent force for the B-P boys basketball team in its run to a sectional title game; and, was the high scorer for the B-P boys outdoor track and field team in its sectional title victory. The cherry on top: Coveney's solo public school title in the pentathlon this spring.
Jenelle Dillenbeck, Canajoharie, Sr.
The driving force behind the Lady Cougars' run to the Section II Class C girls soccer championship, Dillenbeck's presence proved too much for any opposing defense to handle. Her relentless running and efficient finishing with an equally-skilled and athletic team around her led Dillenbeck to 42 goals, including her team's second in Canajoharie's 3-0 victory over Waterford-Halfmoon for the sectional title.
Julian Gallup, Amsterdam, Sr.
Few athletes this school year were busier than Gallup. After committing to Niagara University to play baseball just before the school year started, Gallup then turned in a standout performance as the starting quarterback for the Amsterdam football team during the fall, took up indoor track during the winter and qualified for the state championships in the long jump and as part of the Rams' 4x400-meter relay, then pulled double duty in the spring as the top pitcher and most feared hitter on the AHS baseball team while also competing in track and field where he again reached states in the long jump and ran a leg of Amsterdam's state title-winning 4x400 relay.
David Graveley, Amsterdam, Jr.
With his 4x400-meter relay team and in the 400-meter hurdles, the Rams outdoor track and field star gained entry to the state championships three times between the winter and spring. Graveley ran the opening leg for the Rams' winning 4x400-meter relay squad at this spring's state championships, turning in his bes split of the season in the title race. Along the way to the outdoor state championships, Graveley won a sectional title in the 400-meter hurdles and helped lead the Rams to their first team sectional title.
Maddie Gurga, Broadalbin-Perth, Sr.
The top player on the area's best volleyball squad, Gurga had a dominant fall for the Lady Patriots, which finished 14-4. Playing all over the court, the senior led the B-P volleyball team to the No. 1 seed in the Section II Class C tournament and to the title game. Gurga did all of that despite using the first part of the season to get comfortable again on the volleyball court, as she had dealt with an injury in the offseason.
Katie Herba, Broadalbin-Perth, Sr.
With 44 goals this fall, Herba put an exclamation mark on her distinguished career with the B-P girls soccer program. The senior scored her 100th career goal in early October and used the 2013 season to put her numerous program records seemingly out of reach for challengers for quite some time. Herba's No. 6 jersey was retired following the conclusion of the Lady Patriots' season, which ended in the sectional semifinals.
Pierre LaPort, Broadalbin-Perth, Sr.
LaPort's first season ended with him being named The Recorder's Defensive Player of the Year for his work with the B-P football team, and he ended his spring as The Recorder's Field Athlete of the Year for boys outdoor track and field. In the fall, LaPort was the driving force behind the Patriots' run to the Super Bowl, the best player on the club's vaunted defensive line. This spring, LaPort capped his career with a team sectional title, a win he helped make possible with a solo title in the shot put.
Zak Shaw, Fonda-Fultonville, Sr.
Shaw spent the first two semesters of the school year in a physical grind, serving as a starting center and linebacker for the Braves during football season then returning to wrestling in the winter after a 3-year absence and finishing third in the Section II small-school tournament at 182 pounds. In the spring, Shaw was The Recorder's Pitcher of the Year for baseball, leading the Braves to the Section II Class B championship and tossing a two-hit complete game in the final against Voorheesville.
Andre Taylor, Broadalbin-Perth, Sr.
During football season, Taylor was a jack-of-all-trades, lining up at tight end, running back, defensive end and linebacker in leading B-P to the Section II Class B Super Bowl, including a huge performance against Cohoes in the Class B semifinals. In the winter, Taylor was The Recorder's Co-Player of the Year for boys basketball, thanks largely to his immense performance to lead the Patriots to the Class B championship game -- including back-to-back 30-plus point efforts to open sectionals.
Will Turner, Fonda-Fultonville, Sr.
Opposing defenses tried just about every gimmick defense in the book to try and contain the 6-foot-7 Turner during basketball season, but it very rarely succeeded. With opponents focused almost entirely on him, Turner still produced enough to be The Recorder's Co-Player of the Year -- and in the few times opposing teams did play him straight up, Turner looked nearly unguardable. Turner was also a key part of the F-F football team, starting at both defensive end and tight end.
-- Michael Kelly and Adam Shinder