It is said that adversity builds character. That being said, what Troy High's softball team dealt with the last two weeks defined their collective character.
With their head coach, George Rafferty, "removed" from the team by school officials after an incident at Averill Park on May 12, the Flying Horses went into the sectional tournament under the direction of assistant coaches Tara Anthony & Talia Valenti, with one goal clearly in mind. Win the title for the coach.
The path was cleared when Troy defeated top-seeded South Glens Falls on May 24. That same day, Burnt Hills upset defending state champion Averill Park, setting up the title showdown in Malta three days later. The Lady Spartans were the Cinderella story, but the clock figuratively struck midnight sometime around 5 pm on Friday afternoon, as Troy captured their 3rd Class A title in 4 years, 2-0.
Now, it's on to the state tournament for Troy. As for Rafferty, a caller to The Record's Sound Off! line provided some further detail, as published in today's edition. The caller stated that Rafferty threw a full-on temper tantrum after a call went against Troy. He not only bumped the umpire, but chased him as well. This show of uncharacteristic misconduct, despite six seasons of success at Troy, conceivably could, if the school board warrants it, cost Rafferty his job. Apparently, in Rafferty's mind, the umpire might've been favoring the defending champions for whatever reason, and was anything but impartial. The caller felt the need to speak up, especially considering that it took The Record, due to its financial & manpower limitations, a week after the Rafferty incident was first reported by the Albany Times-Union, to finally mention that it happened, and for that, we say, thank you.