It was a tough year for Saugerties sports teams. Because of the defeated school spending plan the previous year, which forced the district to operate under a contingency budget, many of the teams were able to play only an abbreviated schedule. This put them at a disadvantage, because their opponents had the benefit of playing full schedules.
Throw in injuries, and concussions for several members of the football team (who were protected from further injury by caring coaches and a district policy governing how and when a player can get back on the field after such an injury), and you have teams dealing with unprecedented challenges.
Most of all, the spring and fall teams were hampered by a poor turnout of players. For some reason, which left coaches stymied, not as many students went out for sports teams as had in the past, leaving the teams to play with few reserves to replace injured teammates or substitutes.
And while it’s been a number of years since any Saugerties teams have made the championships, there were a number of very bright spots this past year.
The Section 9 Football Coaches Association selected Saugerties senior wide receiver Lucas Gran and senior center Eric Beresheim for the All-League team. Gran and Beresheim, who both played offense and defense for the Sawyers, were selected for the Class A team.
And for “Muggsy” Beresheim, it’s been a very good year. U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey nominated Beresheim to the U.S. Naval Academy, where after graduation he will become a Marine and part of that proud branch of the military’s artillery.
For the girls’ track team, the Averill sisters, Christen, Shannon and younger sister Kellyann, swept through the local track world.
Sara Forsythe set the school record in the pole vault and Meghan Creen and Megan Rom led the throwing team.
On the boys’ side, John Winters, Jr. proved that he could match the state’s best throw-for-throw in the shot put.
It was a tough year for boys’ baseball but excellent play by many underclassmen in 2012 bodes well for this coming spring’s team.
Boys’ and girls’ lacrosse teams had good seasons, making the playoffs. Moorea and Hayley Spoljaric had an outstanding year, with Hayley going on to be a standout with the girls’ soccer team and now the leading scorer with the girls’ basketball team.
Ashley Werner helped drive the girls’ team to a winning season, leading the team in goals.
The boys’ lacrosse team made it to the Division 9 Class B Championships but lost in the final. Many of the wins during the season can be attributed to hard-nosed goalie Mike Yaeger, whose tenacious D kept them in the games.
For the girls’ softball team, it was a fun year, as they beat a number of teams they should have lost to. However, when the season was over, Coach Melinda Glover said she was looking forward to the coming year.
This past fall, the boys’ and girls’ soccer teams had good years although they both had to play shortened seasons because of the budget. The Averill sisters along with Hayley Spoljaric, Taylor Lynch and sparkplug Rebecca Veltrie moved the team into the playoffs where they shone but eventually fell short.
The boys’ team, hampered by a low turnout and injuries, had a tough year, but Aelijah Wilson, Alex Munoz and Artiva Cherwin had outstanding years.
It was an exceptionally difficult year for the football team. Hampered by a low turnout and a number of key players going down to various injuries including concussions, coach Lee Meisinger was forced to use six different players at quarterback.
But despite the injuries, Gran, Beresheim, JT Elmendorf, Terrell Lawrence, Russell Neglia, Adam Bacon and Matt Winters made it a fun and exciting year.