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Thursday, October 23, 2014
Amsterdam, NY ,

Recorder file photo Amsterdam's Kristian Santos competes during the diving portion of a 2013-14 meet at Lynch Literacy Academy.

Recorder file photo OESJ's Dylan Klock rounds third base during the team's 2014 sectional championship game against Fort Ann at Joe Bruno Stadium in Troy.

Recorder file photo Hannah Priamo, right, is introduced during a 2013 game against Gloversville, as teammates cheer her on. The team sponsored a fundraiser and wore orange in support of Priamo and her battle with cancer.

Recorder file photo Amsterdam's Bryan Stanavich (28) breaks through the Gloversville defense as he runs for a touchdown during a September 2013 game at Husky Field.

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Moments and performances that blew us away

Saturday, June 28, 2014 - Updated: 4:09 AM

You never quite knew just what was going to happen next.

That was the story of the 2013-14 academic year in area high school sports. Unpredictability was the theme of the year, as every day and every game brought the possiblity -- almost the certainty -- that something amazing or memorable was going to happen.

We tried to narrow it down to a list of 10 moments and performances that blew us away this year.

In the end, we had to expand the list to an even dozen. Here they are, in chronological order:

One for West: Braves' Hart scores with special play, Sept. 7

Heading into the 2013 football season, the Fonda-Fultonville Braves were certain of one thing: Their first play was going to be "Zero-One-West," a play designed to honor longtime coach John West, who passed away earlier in the year.

The play was a simple one, just a draw handoff to halfback Pat Hart -- and, of course, the play went for a 61-yard touchdown.

"That's what we wanted," said Hart. "We did that one for him."

"We'd scripted it, we were going to run it. ... I was hoping we'd get a big play out of it and the ultimate would be to score a touchdown -- but you never know," said F-F head coach Tom Carpenter. "That was real awesome."

The Braves ended up winning the game, 49-12.

While hitting the initial play for a touchdown was a stroke of magic for the Braves, the club knew exactly how to celebrate the big moment. When the squad had practiced the play back in August, coach Alex Mancini had instructed the Braves what to do when the play hit for six points.

"And, when we score with this play, we're all going to point up to the sky at Mr. West," he had said, choking up midway through the line.

Night to remember: Herba, Priamo shine at Patriot Field, Oct. 1

It was not hard to wear goosebumps on a chilly Tuesday night in Broadalbin, but that had nothing to do with the weather.

On a night where the Broadalbin-Perth Lady Patriots soccer team honored sophomore teammate Hannah Priamo, who was diagnosed with a form of cancer in the summer, senior Katie Herba scored her 100th career goal in a 4-1 victory against Gloversville.

"To be able to support Hannah on a night like this and get a win for her is something special," B-P head coach Rob Klug said that night.

Herba scored all four of her team's goals and starred on the field, but the senior was happy to cede most of the night's spotlight to Priamo. The sophomore and her teammates -- all wearing orange "Team Hannah" T-shirts before and after the game -- raised $3,000 that night for The Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Albany Medical Center in Priamo's name.

After going through treatments, Priamo was back playing soccer this spring, getting ready for next fall's season.

Untouchable: Stanavich runs away from Averill Park, Oct. 25

At halftime, Bryan Stanavich's night was a disaster. He'd fumbled twice late in the first half of Amsterdam's first-round Section II Class A football playoff game against Averill Park, and both times he coughed up the ball it resulted in an Averill Park touchdown drive.

During the intermission, something happened.

"At halftime, he grew up," Amsterdam quarterback Julian Gallup said.

On the first play after halftime, Stanavich took a toss from Gallup and broke free for an 80-yard touchdown. The electric sophomore tailback was pretty much unstoppable the rest of the night, rushing 16 times for 208 yard and three touchdowns while also adding a touchdown reception as the Rams surged for a 48-34 victory.

It was the highlight of a spectacular debut season on the varsity team that saw Stanavich top the 1,000-yard mark and put up three 200-yard games.

"The coaches just kept telling me to keep my head in it, and I was gonna make a play happen," Stanavich said.

On her own: Fedullo carries Lady Rams to OT win, Dec. 27

Nina Fedullo spent the 2013-14 girls basketball team announcing herself as a star for the future in Section II. During the Amsterdam Holiday College Showcase, the freshman showed what she can do when she puts a team on her back.

Fedullo set what was then a career-high with 20 points, including the Lady Rams' final 13 points over the last two minutes, 31 seconds of regulation and four minutes of overtime, and sank the deciding free throws with 6.1 seconds left in the extra session to give the Lady Rams a 48-47 win over Corcoran.

Fedullo had a hard time establishing a rhythm early on, especially at the free throw line, where she missed all seven of her attempts during regulation. In overtime, however, she was 5 of 6 from the charity stripe -- including the decisive pair after she was fouled by Corcoran's Kia Gayle on a drive to the basket.

"I just had to get my momentum down," Fedullo said. "I had to get it together."

The eruption: Parslow goes nuts in Fonda, Jan. 17

In a breakout campaign, Fonda-Fultonville girls basketball junior Emily Parslow let it rain against Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk in a Colonial Council matchup.

Parslow set a school record with eight 3-pointers against the Lady Indians, as the junior scored 36 points in a 71-45 victory.

The previous F-F record of seven 3-pointers was held by Natalie Monsoni and Krystal Van Alstyne.

Parslow's big night was one of many for the junior. She averaged 20.1 points per game and led the Lady Braves to a 14-6 record and a berth into the Section II Class B quarterfinals. Along the way, Parslow made 40 3-pointers and scored more than 20 points in nine games.

"When the game is on the line, she wanted the ball," F-F head coach Tom Nethaway said.

An arrival: Amsterdam's Bergh becomes a star, Jan. 23

The numbers Amsterdam High School boys basketball sophomore Kory Bergh put up in his team's 77-76 upset of Troy become no less gaudy with time.

In the Big 10 contest, Bergh collected 33 points on 10-of-15 shooting. The sophomore made 8 of 13 3-point shots, and 5 of 6 from the foul line.

And, when things mattered the most, Bergh was brilliant. The sophomore made a buzzer-beating 3 to send the game into overtime, and his final 3 in overtime gave the Rams the lead for good.

"I've seen a lot of great players -- I've coached a ton of them, seen a ton of them in this awesome league we have -- and that was one of the greatest performances I've ever seen," Troy head coach Rich Hurley said of Bergh's night.

To Amsterdam junior forward Marcus Pritchard, the outburst acted as Bergh's arrival as one of the area's prime-time players.

"You watched him change during that game," said Pritchard. "He became a new person."

Record-setting splash: Santos shatters AHS diving mark, Jan. 25

Kristian Santos set a lot of records in his junior and senior years diving for Amsterdam High School. The Mohonasen Dive Meet was the high point of a brilliant career.

Already having qualified for the New York State Championships, Santos went out and put up a massive score of 528.80 points for 11 dives at Mohonasen High School, winning the competition by nearly 50 points and obliterating his own Amsterdam scoring record.

It was one of many peaks in a phenomenal season that saw the University at Buffalo-bound Santos eventually cap his career with a seventh-place finish at the state meet. By the time the year was done, he'd broken his own school records for six and 11 dives so many times it was easy to lose count and came within a couple of points of breaking the Lynch Literacy Academy pool record held by state record holder Manny Pollard of Albany Academy.

"I'm not really that frustrated, because I did beat it -- just not here," Santos said.

Well-deserved: Monette wins state award, Feb. 6

Northville High School's Tim Monette served as an inspiration to all this year, and the New York State Public High School Athletic Association recognized that with its 2014 Spirit of Sport award.

"It is an honor to have Tim as our state winner for this prestigious award," said Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA executive director. "Throughout his fight with cancer and continuing treatment, Tim continues to give 110 percent to the game of basketball, his team, and his community. He has shown us all how to overcome adversity, and has demonstrated admirable sportsmanship, while exceeding normal expectations."

After a successful fall season as the goalie for the Falcons, Monette was diagnosed in November with Burkitt's Lymphoma, a form of cancer.

While dealing with the ailment, Monette played his winter basketball season.

Breakthrough: Torres, Velazquez claim titles, Feb. 8

That Amsterdam High School wrestler Brandon Lapi blitzed his way through the Section II Division I Class 2 Championships to win the 138-pound title was nothing out of the ordinary. It was his fifth straight title at the tournament, after all.

But, for sophomore 182-pounder Marcus Torres and junior 106-pounder Chris Velazquez, winning their first sectional championship patches provided a career highlight.

Velazquez came to Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School for the tournament on the heels of a Big 10 Invitational win a week early and only needed to wrestle twice to win his first sectional title, recording a pair of pins in less than four minutes to reach the top of the podium.

"It feels so great. It's unexplainable," Velazquez said.

Torres, who won his 100th career match this past season, scored a pair of workmanlike decisions to pick up the title at 182 pounds. In the championship match against BH-BL's Anthony Papa, Torres wrestled perhaps his most aggressive match of the year in grinding out a 5-4 victory.

"I went in and tried to take some of my shots," Torres said. "I had faith in my shots and it worked."

Bombs away: Przybylowicz dominates in doubleheader, April 12

By the spectacular standards she sets for herself, Amsterdam softball player Ashley Przybylowicz didn't have her best season on the diamond in 2014.

But, in an early-season doubleheader at Maple Hill, the senior slugger demonstrated her spectacular power.

The Lady Rams split the twin bill with Maple Hill, but over the two games, Przybylowicz went 6-for-8 at the plate with two home runs -- one of them a blast over the parking lot that Amsterdam coach Brenden Cetnar approximated at 275 feet.

"Ashley has such a powerful and intense swing," Cetnar said. "Everything Ashley hits, she hits hard."

Przybylowicz's third and final homer of the season was another tape measure blast that landed on the walking path along Chuctanunda Creek to give the Lady Rams a late-season win over Schenectady at Shuttleworth Park.

Unrivaled: Briggs sweeps events at championships, May 13

After a showing at the 2013 Western Athletic Conference Championships that left Mayfield-Northville's Todd Briggs disappointed, the outdoor track and field star vowed to do better in 2014.

In Fort Plain, the junior made good on his promise to himself. Briggs won league titles in all four of his events to emerge as the WAC's top solo athletes.

"I made it personal to go out and get all four," Briggs said.

The junior won the 110-meter hurdles (16.8 seconds), 400-meter hurdles (60.2 seconds), long jump (20 feet, 3 inches) and triple jump (39 feet, 11 inches).

With his four wins, Briggs scored 40 points. M-N collected 86 as a team, and finished in third place at the event.

Smashing: Klock clubs way to title for OESJ, May 29

Dylan Klock's performance in the Section II Class D playoffs for the Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville baseball team could occupy multiple spots on this list by itself, but it was the sophomore's 4-for-5 effort at the plate in the Wolves' 7-1 championship game victory over Fort Ann that proved to be the cherry on top of the sundae.

In three sectional games, Klock collected 12 hits -- seven of them doubles -- in 14 at-bats, leading the way as OESJ pounded its way to 30 runs during the tournament to give the school the Class D title in its first year as a combined district.

"They feed off each other," OESJ coach Darin Lynch said. "When Dylan Klock starts hitting, the whole team starts hitting."

In the championship game, Klock found himself dealing with a Fort Ann defense that shifted dramatically to try and stop him from doing damage by pulling the ball. The way Klock was hitting, it didn't matter. He ripped the ball over, around and through the Cardinals' shift, and the Wolves brought a sectional title plaque back home in style.

-- Adam Shinder and Michael Kelly

     

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