2020 Winter Sports Wrap Up
Click on the link below to jump to the recap for the specific sport.
Girls Varsity Volleyball, Girls Varsity Basketball, Boys Varsity Basketball, Varsity Girls Indoor Track, Varsity Boys Indoor Track
Varsity Cheerleading, Varsity Boys Wrestling, Varsity Boys Ice Hockey, Girls Varsity Bowling, Boys Varsity Bowling
This winter, close to 400 students participated in our modified, JV and Varsity programs! A highlight from the winter season was that the Girls Volleyball team won the Section III Class A Championship on 2/15/2020! Below is a recap of how all of our sports teams did.
Girls Varsity Volleyball - Cheri Olson, Head Coach
Girls Volleyball finished a successful season by clinching the Section III Class A championship on February 15th against Carthage! Coach Olsen said, “I credit my team stat leaders Grace Call, Tori Cruz, Alexandra Zacek, and Kayci Olson for exhibiting their leadership, dedication, and athletic abilities and keeping the team motivated to capture the Class A title. I am beyond proud of all the girls on the team. They really played their own game and it was so fun to watch them play. Apparently it has been quite a few years since a Cortland team from any sport won sectionals. We estimated about 1990 was the last, and only other time, volleyball won.”
Congratulations to the girls volleyball team on their championship season!
Girls Varsity Basketball - Nolan Sinclair, Head Coach
The Varsity Girls basketball team enjoyed an extremely successful regular season. The ladies finished the regular season 13-6, which is the most wins the program has seen in the past six years. The Lady Purple Tigers started the season 12-1 with big wins over Central Square and cross-town rival Homer. This season the Lady Tigers were fortunate that they had both an outstanding senior class, as well as a group of underclassmen eager to succeed. The senior class, composed of Lyndsie Babcock, Kaitlyn Pratt, Shyanne Lewis, Gabby Fowler, and Marissa Gilmore, had a combined 14 years of Varsity experience. The successful regular season led to the 4th seed in the Sectional Tournament. The ladies opened Sectional play with a huge game against a strong team, the Whitesboro Warriors. The team unfortunately fell short versus Whitesboro in a hard fought game. Coach Sinclair said, “the girls worked hard each and every day and it was an absolute pleasure to be their coach.”
Boys Varsity Basketball - Jeremy Milligan, Head Coach
The Varsity boys basketball team started out the season with fifteen members, fourteen of which were new to the Varsity level, and three of which were brand new to Cortland basketball. Despite the inexperience, the Tigers roared out of gates earning a record of 5-2 by early January. This exceptional start included a thrilling triple overtime win at home against Fowler and being crowned tournament champion for the 24th Cortland Classic Holiday Tournament. Following the team’s 5th win at Watertown, the squad lost a starter for the season due to a foot injury, and started a difficult stretch of league games.
All league opponents returned multiple starters to their lineups and thus created some challenging match ups. After a rough stretch of some lopsided losses, the squad maintained focus and poise winning two of their last four games, including a heart-breaking buzzer-beating overtime loss to Indian River. The final record was 7-13, one win shy of qualifying for sectional play. Coach Milligan said, “The team was grateful for its senior leadership from Ethan Myers, Antoine Jennings, and Connor Tierney. Ten of the thirteen players that ended the season with the team are underclassmen, including four starters and the top 3 scorers and rebounders.”
Varsity Girls Indoor Track - Paul Drexler, Head Coach
The Varsity Girls’ team had newcomers that really improved not just our numbers but also our depth on the track and in the field. Two eighth graders, Alexis Brown and Bianca Hayes, helped to fill the distance runner shortage. Celeste Perkins broke her sister's record in the triple jump and came within 1/16th of an inch from State qualifiers.
Malana Booker broke the indoor record in high jump as well as the 55 meter dash, an event she tried for the first time this year, only to have it broken by freshman standout Jazayah Herbert who now holds the school record. Oumou Diakite finished her state championship hopes in the weight throw (after breaking school records) at the state qualifier meet. Chae Underwood tried Pole Vault with help from seniors Lillian Quick and Kathryn Aumick, who will be leading the outdoor track and field team into a strong spring season.
Senior Pearl Hettich also broke the school record in the 55m dash, but shared the team's highest acclaim as a member of the class A section champion 4x400 team with Lillian Quick, Ella Quick, Maia Quick and alternate Soleil Gutchess. The team almost literally set a new record every time they ran.
Thrower Morgan “Mama” Zimmer took care of feeding the entire team at each and every weekend meet. A senior who's leadership and caring will be impossible to replace.
School records have been broken so often it's been impossible to keep up with them on the record board.
Varsity Boys Indoor Track - Paul Drexler, Head Coach
The Varsity Boys’ Indoor Track and Field team has been building in numbers. Coach Drexler said, “We came out of a great season last year after sending an athlete to the state championships. This year we had an early season injury taking out a key member of the mid distance team and the 4x400 relay team. Despite the early setbacks, this team showed their dedication to improvement by working hard and showing up to compete.”
Coach Drexler went on to summarize the season, “Some highlights from the season include finishing third at the Sectional meet at SUNY Cortland, and taking the 4x800 team with freshman standout Brady Pennock as an alternate to the Utica Invitational. Throwers were led by Coach Luke Parker and athlete Matt Honan, who broke the school record in weight throw.
Sophomore Marquise Inman worked tirelessly on his form and strength to break the school record in the 55 meter dash. Senior Ethan Lyle learned high jump in two days to finish second at the SUNY Cortland meet! Sophomore Luciano Devito did the same in triple jump! Senior Noah Ryan competed in nearly every event (17 of them, including Pole Vault!). Most of all, Joe Cataldo provided stats, support, team dinners, Sunday runs, and rides to anyone who needed one.”
“The boys and girls team, through the dedication and hard work of Coach Dearie introducing Indoor Track and Field as a winter sport, has broken almost all of the school records in the past two seasons, making it exceptionally exciting every time they take the track or field” explained Coach Drexler.
Varsity Cheerleading, Nikki Zeches, Head Coach
The Cortland Varsity Cheerleading team had a very successful season. Coach Zeches said, “The team competed in two local competitions placing third, qualifying them for sectionals. This year Cortland hosted our league competition which brought twelve cheerleading teams from the CNY area. Senior Alexis Campbell was selected from the Cortland team as an all star cheerleader. Along with Alexis we have four other seniors leaving the cheerleading team, Kaylee Seyfried, Adrienne Homza, Amaya Willis and Kyra Nelson. The team continues to grow and become strong every year. New stunts are being mastered allowing the team to perform and compete at an elite level.”
Varsity Wrestling - Garett Ciotoli, Head Coach
The Wrestling team showed a lot of progress from last year to this year. Coach Ciotoli explained, “Numbers are still very low, but the athletes that we did have on the team showed a lot of grit and determination. We had four wrestlers place in the Class B tournament. Noah Wurst took second, Luca Canzano and Jarrod Bush both took fourth. Marcus Hines took fifth. Noah Wurst and Jarrod Bush finished the season with 20 wins.”
Varsity Ice Hockey - Chad Totman, Head Coach
The Cortland Homer Golden Eagles played the second most difficult schedule in the state and were ranked 13th in the state for division 2 according to www.myhockeyrankings.com.
Only having four seniors and one junior meant the Eagles were young but not without talent as they finished fourth in league play for D2 Section II. Coach Totman said, “Sophomore Jed Brazo was named to the first team all star team and selected as player of the year, Nick Gravel was selected for second team all star team and Andrew Partigianoni, Nick Djafari, Nate Evans, and Dominic Tutino were named Honorable mention for D2. The growth of the team was pretty remarkable. The team really peaked at the end of the season winning five out of seven games. Teams that were beating us in the beginning of the year we started to beat by multiple goals.”
Varsity Girls Bowling- Annette McMahon, Head Coach
The Girls Varsity Bowling team had seven members, two of which were new to the team. Coach McMahon said, “They had a successful season qualifying for sectionals for the fifth year in a row. They finished 3rd in Division 2. Calista Van Epps led the team and had a stellar year. She had a personal high game of 290 and was the only one to qualify for the individual shootout and finished 9th overall. And with Makayla Cotterill and Autumn Wells placed in the top 50. Jillian Riccardi, Victoria Strobeck, Kendall Keep and Allison Oaks rounded out our team and will be our starters next year.”
Varsity Boys Bowling- Annette McMahon, Head Coach
The Boys Varsity Bowling team worked hard right down to the last two matches to qualify for sectionals. Coach McMahon explained, “They just couldn’t get the pins to do it. Jake Keep was our lead bowler with David Benjamin trying his best to out bowl him. Seniors Joe Kane and Cody Wilk were joined by Koby Davis, and Zach Norton who allbowled very well just not enough to make a difference. I think next year will be a good one with the guys we have returning.”
People can also follow us on twitter for updates @CECSD_Athletics. Stay tuned for more information on our spring sports.