By Eric Schuman
It was an exciting winter break for AP sports! Both the boys and girls basketball teams competed in holiday tournaments on 12/26 and 12/27. The boys‘ tournament was held in Burnt Hills and the girls’ was hosted by Colonie. The boys took on Queensbury in the first round and came out with a 67-36 win. Senior Matt Lettko delivered 20 points to lead AP. The Warriors then defeated Burnt Hills 46-30 in the finals. Lettko was named Tournament MVP and fellow senior Mike Re was named to the all-tournament team. The girls team decimated Catholic High 64-20 in their first round behind 18 points from Anna Jankovic, 15 from Kelsey Wood, and 14 from Amelia Wood. AP then fell in the finals to Colonie in a close 49-47 game. Kelsey Wood scored a team high 14 points and both Jankovic and Amelia Wood finished with 10.
Boys basketball also took on Mohonasen on 1/3. Jack Long and Michael Re each scored 9 points for AP in the victory. Up next for AP is an away match at Burnt Hills on 1/9.
The Capital District Jets took on Pearl River on 12/28. AP freshman Cole Davidson scored in the contest, but the Jets fell 3-1. On 1/3, the Jets fell to Shen 6-0. The Jets will take on Queensbury next on 1/10 at the Albany County Hockey Facility.
The girls track and field team broke two school records on 12/29. The records were broken by the 4x200m relay team of Marissa Mazzacco, Lydia Munandi, Abby Wicks, and Lydia Ware, and the 4x800m relay team of Kim Mazzacco, Mary Bryant, Maddy Gile, and Gabby Skiba.
Make sure to come out and support AP’s athletes in their upcoming events. Go Warriors!
This week’s scholar athlete is Lydia Ware. Lydia is a sprinter and captain on the Varsity Indoor Track team. During the Fall, Lydia played on the Varsity Soccer team, and she will run for the Varsity Outdoor Track team this Spring. Lydia says she began running track in eighth grade in order to stay in shape for soccer. She fell in love with the sport, and “it quickly became my priority.” Lydia’s love for track comes from the friends she has made. “Track is a unique sport in that it is competitive but very amiable. Whether you win or lose a race, it’s so easy to look past the competition and build connections with athletes from rival schools.” Running track brings challenges, specifically when an athlete looks to improve his or her times. Lydia says “it’s obvious if you’re not improving as a runner because numbers don’t lie. For me, it’s frustrating when I know I’m not getting faster, and it’s just as hard to help teammates who are unhappy.” In order to improve her times Lydia lifts weights during the offseason. Lydia’s efforts have helped her to break several school records. In her future, Lydia plans to continue running in college at the Varsity level.
Lydia works hard both in her sport and in her academics. She has maintained a GPA of 99 throughout high school. Lydia has reached the top five since her freshman year, and is the senior class valedictorian. In order to balance school and her sports, Lydia says “it’s important for me to make good use of the time before practice and after school and get assignments done as soon as possible, not procrastinate.” For extracurricular activities, Lydia plays in orchestra and chamber orchestra. In addition, she is a member of science club and the student-athlete advisory committee. This Fall, Lydia’s academic achievements were recognized as she was inducted into the National Honor Society.
Lydia’s friend and teammate Alana Caroll has been a role model for her throughout her time in high school. Lydia says “she is incredibly talented and intelligent, but her humility and fun personality make her truly amazing.” Lydia adds “my parents, teachers, and coaches Luskin and Gobel have all helped me to grow as an individual in their own ways.” Lydia wishes to tell younger athletes “There’s more to sports than just winning. Don’t let a bad day get you down; focus on the good moments and find your passion.” We wish Lydia the best as she concludes her senior year at Averill Park and prepares for college.
In wrestling, a varsity dual meet is when your wrestlers in the fifteen weight classes wrestle head to head against another opposing school’s fifteen wrestlers. During the last weekend of 2019, the Averill Park High School Wrestling team participated in the two day Mountain Duals in Johnstown, where they competed in duals against ten top teams from around the State, including three schools ranked in the top twelve by New York Wrestling News.
Considering the level of competition faced and the toll of injuries that kept some of AP’s usual starters out of the lineup, the team can hold their heads high that they were victorious in four of the duals. On an individual level, Sean Malenfant and Chad Rist both went a ridiculous 10-0 for the weekend, closely followed by Alex Cooper who went an impressive 9-1. Also leading the effort were Dominick Paradise (7 wins), Nick Tempel (6 wins) and Jacob White (6 wins).
The weekend also allowed the team to get a glimpse at its future. 9th graders Elias Goosmann, Morgan Hempel, Nick Price and Ben Riston, as well as 8th grader Drew Loucks, saw their first major varsity action and competed hard throughout. The entire experience was a positive one that will only help these young Warriors as they enter into the second month of the season and the New Year.
Submitted by the AP Wrestling Coaching Staff