As I write, two Troy High spring sports teams are still playing, but as the season winds down, one must consider the prospect of change at the ol' alma mater.
Today, the boys' lacrosse team plays a Class B (don't ask) quarterfinal match on the road at Burnt Hills. The Flying Horses, to my knowledge, have never had a winning season in lacrosse, and the sport has been part of the school's athletic program for some 30-odd years. Started after I graduated. Troy finished the regular season 5-11 after blowing away Averill Park on Tuesday and spoiling the Warriors' Senior Night. I can't say I'm confident of their chances vs. Burnt Hills, though. That's just the way it is.
The baseball team went one-and-done in the Class A sectionals, blowing a 3 run lead in the 6th inning at Scotia on Thursday, allowing the Tartans to advance with a 6-4 win. Troy finishes 6-13 on the season, much worse than last year. In the last two seasons (2015-6) under coach Will Whitty, Troy has gone 17-25. The lone Troy game I witnessed, last month at Joe Bruno Stadium, saw Troy escape after nearly blowing a lead against Colonie. I honestly don't know what the issue is, but the sub-.500 record under Coach Whitty, who succeeded Curtis Nobles (Ballston Spa) a couple of years ago, suggests that, if this was any other school in any other market, there would be a change. That said, if Coach Whitty returns in 2017, if I were him, I'd be looking over my shoulders. Yeah, both of them.
I wrote earlier this week that Troy had "removed" softball coach George Rafferty prior to Friday's 10-2 sectional win over city rival Catholic Central, after Rafferty, in his 6th season at the helm, had an incident with an umpire eight days earlier in a loss to Averill Park. Television aside, because I haven't seen anything on the air on the subject, it seems that the Albany Times-Union has been the only media outlet that reported the story. The Record? Fuhgeddaboutit! Not a word was written there. They can cite "limited resources" until the cows come home, but the hometown paper has missed quite a few stories in recent times.
As Albany Times-Union and Time Warner Cable Sports high school reporter James Allen reminded me earlier this season, it's also up to the schools to report games during the regular season, and not a lot of them do, perhaps feeling a bit of a budget crunch as well, and unable to have the extra manpower in the athletic department, like hiring a sports information director, like the colleges do, to handle such things.
Back to Friday's Class A sectional. Troy had 2 assistant coaches guiding the team in Rafferty's absence. Taking on a "win one for the coach" approach, the Flying Horses spotted Catholic Central an early 1-0 lead, then raced ahead and ran away with the game. Top seeded South Glens Falls is next for Troy, which can't afford to look too far ahead toward a sectional title rematch vs. Averill Park. South High blew away Mohonasen, 16-0. also on Friday, setting up the semifinal match vs. Troy, to be played at Luther Forest Park in Malta.
Since Tuesday, when the news of Rafferty's removal appeared in the Times-Union, there has been no follow-up. I am assuming it's a suspension, but what if Troy decided to pull the plug on Rafferty altogether, citing zero tolerance guidelines? We don't know that for sure. Yet. We've seen that Troy has dealt with the sudden aversity in a positive way, and that could galvanize them toward a 3rd sectional title in 4 years. We'll just have to wait & see.
As a alumnus of Troy High, and a fan, I can't help but think that there are changes in order otherwise, for the lacrosse & baseball teams. The question, though, is when will change come about? I can't speak for the fan base, but I have to believe sooner, rather than later.