The results are piling up.
There is drama, close contests and fierce high-stakes contests as the numbers are tabulated and the general public gasps to see the various results. Who wins and who loses.
However, there is no free pizza in the Daily Gazette newsroom.
What the hell.
Oh, that’s right, the scene here isn’t from Tuesday’s election day, it’s a comprehensive look at what’s set to populate the capital region’s sporting landscape this weekend.
An annual ritual in newsrooms across the country is for sports departments to be tongue-in-cheek to their news-side colleagues every election day, as the spoiled newsies are treated to free pizzas to brace themselves against the long hours – stop frenzy, which documents all races for public office.
The standard phrase from us smug jocks goes something like this: “Election night. Or as every athletic department on the planet calls it, every Friday night during the high school basketball season.”
(The fact that every sportswriter on the planet indulges in election night pizza without a trace of shame is purely coincidental.)
But after Tuesday’s riveting action in the world of politics, capital-area sports fans are being served a cavalcade of events that qualify as the biggest weekend on the calendar not named Travers Weekend. We can call this a bigger-than-the-sum-of-its-parts-weekend.
These include standalone games such as the Dutchman Shoes football match between Union and RPI and the men’s basketball Albany Cup, which was revived after a four-year absence and pitted Siena against UAlbany at the MVP Arena Siena. The schedule also brings a dizzying array of high school postseason games that deserve special attention, including Super Bowls (plural) and some state-level events that will require you to get in the car for a trip outside of Section II.
So buckle up folks. Here’s an overview of what’s on our plate this weekend:
HIGH SCHOOL POSTSEASON
School-level action comes to a head with five Section II Super Bowls deciding the championship, two on Friday and three on Saturday.
I’m still trying to come to terms with the fact that Christian Brothers Academy quarterback Donald Jones rushed-ran for 258 yards in the brothers’ 41-25 win over Shenendehowa on Oct. 6. The Plainsmen have to figure him out in Class AA Super Bowl Friday night at Guilderland High School.
I’m still trying to get my head around the fact that Niskayuna is up against Averill Park in Saturday night’s CBA Class A Super Bowl at CBA.
When did Niskayuna get Super Bowl caliber in football? It’s been a steady climb under head coach Brian Grastorf, and anticipation of the school’s first Section II championship is through the roof. je.
In addition to soccer, we have boys’ and girls’ soccer teams, including the Mechanicville Boys, who compete in the semifinals of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, and both boys’ and girls’ volleyball teams, who compete at the state level.
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake and Shenendehowa will compete in both, with the Gary Bynon-coached Spartans girls team in Massena seeking their 20th straight regional championship.
The Cross Country State Meeting takes place on Saturday in Vernon-Verona-Sherrill.
Credit has to be given to the women’s basketball programs of Siena and UAlbany for keeping their annual game against each other alive for the most part (they play on Sunday afternoons).
But the cup expires on Saturday, when the respective men’s teams end their break and play against each other for the first time since 2017.
Mike Demos, Siena Assistant Director of Sport/Communications, can vouch for the fact that I put the over/under at 10 because of the use of a form of the word “excited” so often during the formal portion of Thursday’s Albany Cup preview press conference became. which lasted less than 10 minutes.
UAlbany sporting director Mark Benson jumped out of the gate like Life Is Good at last weekend’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, then there was a pause before Siena head coach Carm Maciariello closed like Flightline at two to my O/U- Total to achieve on the Noggin.
(Where was that clever handicap when I was betting on the Breeders’ Cup last weekend?)
And they should be excited.
By 11:00 a.m. Thursday, over 7,000 tickets had been sold, en route to at least 10,000 for Saturday’s game at the MVP Arena.
“I’ve said it a couple of times, this should be the biggest sporting event outside of racing in Saratoga,” said UAlbany head coach Dwayne Killings, who campaigned for the series’ return and will coach an Albany Cup game for the first time, as does Maciariello.
“You might even convince me that we should play this game twice a year. For some people in the community, it’s their Super Bowl.”
“Who doesn’t want to play in front of 10,000 or 12,000 people?” Maciariello said.
“I’ll tell them [teammates] it’s going to be the biggest game you’ll play this year,” said Siena graduate guard Andrew Platek, who attended Albany Cup games while growing up in Guilderland. “The entire capital region is coming out, thousands of tickets are being sold just to see these guys come and play. So prepare yourself. You prepare like you would any other game. But you know, the stakes are a little higher and we’ll be ready.
“That’s what college basketball is about.”
“Have you ever played in an empty gym? It’s not fun, I can tell you that,” said UA-Albany guard Malik Edmead, laughing. “It’s going to be a little hype [around campus]. Everyone’s getting hyped for the game so there’s a bit of jitters and stuff.”
“There’s definitely some enthusiasm for the game on campus,” said Trey Hutcheson, UAlbany senior forward. “Even downtown Albany.
“Yeah, I think there’s some hard feelings on both sides of each other, which is a good thing. That is what makes a good rivalry.”
Speaking of rivalries, Union and RPI will be vying for the Dutchman Shoes at RPI on Saturday in a men’s soccer series so old schools can’t agree on who won and lost how many.
The trophy was first awarded in 1950 but the schools have been playing since 1886.
Just in case, the schools’ respective men’s ice hockey teams will be back home on Friday and Saturday, against Harvard and Dartmouth, for the first time since the Dutch and Engineers split two games against each other two weeks ago, before it almost sold out at the Messa Rink seating 2,225 and a sell out at Houston Field House seating 4,700.
Several other local collegiate teams are in the middle of the postseason, with the UAlbany No. 15 field hockey team playing in the NCAA tournament in Michigan and the Saint Rose women’s soccer team continuing their quest for a national championship at home against Jefferson in the NCAAs.
STOCKADE ATHON SUNDAY
As a compelling coda to this weekend’s busy sports symphony, we have the MVP Health Care Stockade-athon 15k on Sunday.
Saturday is expected to rain, but luckily it seems to blow through here until 8:30am Sunday morning, when some 1,500 runners will take to the streets of Schenectady for one of the biggest races on the capital region’s road racing calendar.
I would like to take this opportunity to commend the Gazette news and production staff for their excellent work on Election Day.
no thanks to me I had Tuesday night off and contributed nothing to the effort, watching The Redeem Team before falling asleep on the couch in the middle of NetFlix’s new version of All Quiet on the Western Front.
And no pizza either. But a lot to digest this week.
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Categories: College Sports, Email Newsletters, College Sports, Siena College, UAlbany, Union College