Saturday, May 7, 2016

Good thing the season's almost over at Troy High.........

I really hate to take issues with my alma mater, but in this case, I have to.

In the hometown, we all knew going into the start of the school year in September that Troy High's 1st season as a member of the Suburban Council was going to be rough. Because there are no leagues in football, but rather, classifications (AA, A, etc.), Troy rolled through the Class A schedule, before losing the Class A title game to Amsterdam, and was rewarded by being elevated to Class AA for the 2016 season. Oh, and as noted before, the home opener on Labor Day weekend has Shenendehowa coming to town. That'll almost ensure a near sellout at Picken Memorial Field, and if it doesn't, a rivalry game vs. LaSalle two weeks later certainly could.

However, in the confines of the Suburban Council, merely the toughest league in Section II, things have been radically different.

The men's & women's basketball teams were the only winter sports teams to finish over .500, and the boys took home a Section II title along the way. The lack of communication between the member schools of the Council, Troy & Shen included, and local press leaves us wondering about Troy's overall records in swimming, bowling, golf, tennis, & track, although you can imagine, as I do, that all in all five sports, Troy is under .500. It's kind of like being an expansion team in a new league. That's just the way it is.

The school's soccer teams qualified for sectionals despite sub-.500 records, and didn't hang around very long, as both teams, men's & women's, were eliminated in the 2nd round. With a week to go in the baseball & softball seasons, and 2 weeks left in lacrosse, only the softball team, at 8-5, is over .500. The baseball team qualified for sectionals despite a 4-10 record, much worse than last year, this after losing to Bethlehem yesterday. Lacrosse? Fuhgeddaboutit. Troy is on a six game losing streak headed into today's non-league match vs. Amsterdam, and 3-10 overall. Lacrosse was added to the athletic program after I graduated, so all I can suggest is renting the 2011 movie, "Broken Arrows", starring and co-produced by Brandon Routh (currently on Legends of Tomorrow), for a crash course.

Speaking of LaSalle, Troy had a non-league baseball game scheduled with the Cadets on April 9, but it was postponed, even though there was no rain that day, but the cold weather, and perhaps a Chicken Little forecast suggesting precipitation, prompted the athletic directors at both schools to call the game off. They moved it to May 5, but it was bumped again due to a Troy scheduling conflict, as a Suburban Council game vs. Guilderland, originally set for May 4, was bumped to May 5 due to rain (Guilderland won, 9-1, on Thursday). They wanted to try again today, but it was LaSalle's turn to bump due to league conflicts, as a Colonial Council game vs. Watervliet was moved to today. They wanted to move it to Monday, May 9, but Troy has a Suburban Council game vs. Mohonasen that day. Oooops! Here's an idea, guys. Next Saturday, May 14, is available.

And therein lies the crux of this commentary. The tight Suburban Council schedule leaves Troy very little room for non-league games. One such match vs. Voorheesville, scheduled for April 26, was rained out, and hasn't been rescheduled. The quirky, unpredictable spring weather patterns in the Northeast don't help matters at all. The only time, it seems, that Section II schedules games on Sundays is during sectional play, usually in basketball. It wouldn't hurt for the scheduling committee to consider some flexibility in scheduling in 2017 and beyond to give the teams some additional room for games. It's just a question of whether or not they're willing to even try.

Do I have any confidence that Troy baseball will make another run to the Class A title game at Bruno Stadium? Not a lot, actually. What I saw at the Joe two weeks ago vs. Colonie illustrated what has been wrong for the Flying Horses ever since coach Curtis Nobles left Troy for Ballston Spa. Troy has had trouble finishing games, and escaped with a win in the drizzle after the Garnet Raiders nearly completed a comeback. When the sectional pairings are announced in about 10 days, we'll see how much of a chance Troy really has. There's a better chance of the softball team getting to the title game and a prospective rematch with Averill Park, even though the two teams will close the season on May 13. Lacrosse? Let me repeat myself. Fuhgeddaboutit. If they make sectionals, it'd be a surprise.

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