Kysor added to Raabe Classic squad

Lori Chase
April 21, 2011

Ken Kysor was double trouble for Port Allegany’s opponents last fall, when the soccer all-star decided to play football in his senior year, too. Kysor quickly became one of the best kickers the Gators have ever had, ranking among the state leaders in field goals and touchbacks, and celebrated Homecoming against Otto-Eldred by drilling a 40-yarder which many longtime observers of the program believed to be a school record.

“He’s been a weapon for us all year,” coach Mike Bodamer said during the Gators’ run to the District 9 championship game.

Juggling the demands of his two-sport status – one memorable Saturday morning found him playing in the soccer team’s Senior Day win over Johnsonburg, then making the trip to Sheffield to kick six extra points as the football Gators routed the Wolverines that afternoon – Kysor finished the year as one of Port’s leading scorers, with six field goals and 37 PATS. The defense also benefited from his booming kickoffs, which pinned the opponent at or inside its own 20-yard line on 30 of 64 attempts (including 20 touchbacks).

His efforts garnered him all-star honors from both the Allegheny Mountain League in football and the Upper Allegheny Valley Soccer League, a spot on the Pennsylvania Class A All-State team, and the Special Teams Player of the Year award.

He was also one of three Gators selected for the Olean Times Herald’s Big 30 All-Star team, which includes an automatic invitation to play in the 38th annual Don Raabe Charities Classic, scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011 at Parkway Field in Bradford, Pa.

Formerly known as the Big 30 All-Star Game before being named in memory of its founder, the first 37 games between teams of graduated seniors from area high schools in Pennsylvania and New York have raised nearly $1.5 million dollars to benefit numerous charities and personal causes throughout the Twin Tiers.

The Pennsy roster includes players from Bradford, Cameron County, Coudersport, Eisenhower, Elk County Catholic, Kane, Johnsonburg, Otto-Eldred, Port Allegany, Ridgway, Sheffield, Smethport, St. Marys, Warren and Youngsville.

Players from Southwestern and Frewsburg, two Chautauqua County schools, will join those from Allegany-Limestone, Bolivar-Richburg, Cattaraugus-Little Valley, Cuba-Rushford, Ellicottville, Franklinville, Gowanda, Olean, Pioneer, Portville, Randolph, Salamanca and Wellsville on the New York squad, which won last year’s game 46-37 to increase its series lead to 19-16-2.

An honor roll student who also spends some of his limited free time volunteering as an EMT with the Port Area Ambulance Service, Kysor plans to major in chemistry in college, then go on to medical school for anesthesiology.

Rain, rain, go away …

Wait a minute. Isn’t it supposed to be spring?

The calendar may claim that it’s the middle of April, but don’t tell that to area baseball and softball teams who saw multiple games washed out by a mix of rain and snow that left fields unplayable – and underwater in some places.

Two weeks into the season, the scorecard read Mother Nature 11, Port High 0. Since then, the teams have managed to squeeze in some action between the raindrops and snowflakes, but midway through the season, the bat-and-ball squads have combined to finish just five of 17 scheduled games. Even the normally more weather-resistant track teams had to postpone one meet, and with reports of Saturday’s high winds blowing hurdles across the track, the Kane Invitational was canceled.

“This has been brutal,” athletic director Dan Stavisky wrote in an email attached to a lengthy list of schedule updates. As he attempted to rake the muddy infield last Monday afternoon – the first time his team was able to get outside after practicing in the gym for a full month, and just 24 hours before taking on defending league champ Coudersport – new softball coach Dave Morey said he’d never seen such a prolonged stretch of bad weather to begin the season. Stavisky, who started teaching at Port in 1985-86, echoed that sentiment at the next day’s track meet.

Where, to nobody’s surprise, it was raining again.

Rescheduled games (so far):

Mar. 28: Smethport (home) – DH at Smethport Apr. 20 // postponed again
Mar. 31: Otto-Eldred (home) – May 7
Apr. 4: Northern Potter (away) – May 14
Apr. 6: Kane (home) – TBA
Apr. 18: Cameron County (away) – suspended; TBA

Mar. 29: Smethport (away) – May 20
Mar. 31: Otto-Eldred (away) – Apr. 21
Apr. 4: Northern Potter (home) – May 14
Apr. 6: Austin (away) – DH at Port May 5
Apr. 8: Johnsonburg (away) – May 17
Apr. 14: Oswayo Valley (away) – TBA
Apr. 18: Cameron County (home) – TBA

PAHS Track/Field: Off to another fast start

Led by quadruple wins from Nick Conway and Max Morris – including a school record in the high jump by Conway – the Port Allegany boys track team started off the 2011 campaign on a fast note, dropping Northern Potter 83-67 in last Tuesday’s season opener.

Conway ignored rain and chilly temperatures to soar over the bar at 6′ 3”, breaking the previous mark of 6′ 2” shared by B.J. Moses (1991), Chris Stavisky (2002), and Jeremy Clay (2004). The six-foot-tall sophomore also ran district-qualifying times on his way to sweeping the 110- and 300-meter hurdles, and added a win in the pole vault.

“I can’t say enough about Nick Conway. I didn’t realize during the meet that he’d set the high jump record, but I knew just from watching him that he was going to districts in the hurdles,” Gator head coach George Riley said. Noting that Trevor Neal also cleared the six-foot mark in the high jump, he added, “That’s going to be a good competition between the two of them all year long.”

Morris notched his wins in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, the long jump, and the 400 relay, posting district-worthy times in both sprints.

“He’s confident – very confident – in the 100, and wants to run against the best kids going,” Riley said. “He hurt his ankle in gym class today playing badminton, and still came out there and ran the best times of his life in two races. Pretty impressive.”

The NoPo girls, led by a quadruple from 2010 state qualifier Rebecca Warriner, captured 14 of 18 events in their 88-62 victory. Despite stumbling out of the blocks, Warriner recovered to win the 100, then swept the other sprints and also anchored the winning 1600-meter relay team.

“The young lady’s fantastic, and I think she’s only a junior, which is impressive,” Riley said.

Torin Bennett, Ellen Kibbe, and Erin Perry all tripled for the Panthers, while Kelsey Payne qualified for districts in the high jump and doubled in the triple jump and 400-meter relay to pace the Gators.

“I don’t think we gave any points away. I think we got beat,” said Riley, who knows his team will now need to run the table – and get some outside help – to catch NoPo in the North Tier League standings. “I’m disappointed the girls didn’t win, but they got beat by a very good team. My hat’s off to Northern Potter and the coaching staff; they work hard and they deserve it. That’s the truth.”

Both Gator squads dominated overmatched Cameron County in Emporium last Thursday, with Conway, Morris, Payne, and Evens each earning individual triples, then slogged through yet another cold, wet April afternoon to sweep Smethport and Sheffield on Tuesday.

Conway again led the way, quadrupling against the Wolverines and tripling against the Hubbers, and Morris quadded against Smethport. For Sheffield, defending District 9 sprint champ Kalil Slaughter showed the blazing speed that sent him to states last year, lowering his own school records in both the 100 (:11.1) and 200 (:22.6) and scorching the homestretch of the Gator Field track to anchor the 400-meter relay team to a come-from-behind victory.

“I was honestly surprised by the scores. I expected both boys’ meets to be closer,” Riley said. “We had a wonderful night.”

A Gator sweep in the 200 by Bryanna Evens, Jillian Edgreen, and Sara Borro secured the win against the Hubs, pleasantly surprising Riley, who admitted he’d expected the decision to come down to the meet-ending 1600-meter relay. Payne quadrupled in both meets to lead Port, with Ashley Woodruff quadrupling and Evens tripling against Sheffield.

Halfway through the regular-season schedule, the Gator girls are 3-1, and the boys are riding a 29-meet winning streak as they seek their fourth consecutive North Tier League crown.

“I hope to keep the unbeaten league streak going for these seniors, and we take another championship,” Riley said. “Everybody is looking for us, so hopefully we can hold it together and pull it off. We’ve got a nice start.”

At Port Allegany, April 12:
Boys: Port Allegany 83, Northern Potter 67
100: Morris (PA) :11.6, 200: Morris (PA) :23.5, 400: A. Morgan (NP) :55.3, 800: E. Kibbe (NP) 2:25.2, 1600: E. Kibbe (NP) 5:21.6, 3200: Bryan (NP) 11:24.6, 400 relay: Port Allegany (Morris, Osani, Brookens, Neal) :47.3, 1600 relay: Northern Potter (Schweigart, Olney, M. Morgan, S. Kibbe) 4:01.1, 3200 relay: Northern Potter (Olney, E. Kibbe, Reisinger, S. Kibbe) 9:42.8, 110 hurdles: Conway (PA) :15.9, 300 hurdles: Conway (PA) :42.9, long jump: Morris (PA) 18-10, triple jump: Osani (PA) 35-1, high jump: Conway (PA) 6-3*, pole vault: Conway (PA) 8-6, shot put: G. Lehman (NP) 39-8, discus: J. Lehman (NP) 91-3, javelin: A. Morgan (NP) 138-11.
* – PAHS record

Girls: Northern Potter 88, Port Allegany 62
100: Warriner (NP) :13.3, 200: Warriner (NP) :27.5, 400: Warriner (NP) 1:04, 800: Perry (NP) 2:59.4, 1600: E. Kibbe (NP) 6:11, 3200: Soule (NP) 2:59.4, 400 relay: Port Allegany (Payne, Foster, Borro, Edgreen) :56.3, 1600 relay: Northern Potter (E. Kibbe, Perry, Bennett, Warriner) 4:33, 3200 relay: Northern Potter (Sisko, A. Kibbe, Soule, E. Kibbe) 11:27.4, 100 hurdles: Bennett (NP) :18.3, 300 hurdles: Bennett (NP) :53.4, long jump: Healy (PA) 12-5, triple jump: Payne (PA) 30-1, high jump: Perry (NP) 4-11, pole vault: J. Edgell (PA) 7-6, shot put: Slavinski (NP) 28-11, discus: Slavinski (NP) 82-10, javelin: Knauer (NP) 119-6.

At Emporium, Apr. 14:
Boys: Port Allegany 119, Cameron County 22
100: Morris (PA) :11.6, 200: Morris (PA) :24.8, 400: Miller (PA) :56.1, 800: Shaffer (PA) 2:23, 1,600: Coxen (PA) 5:32, 3,200: Coxen (PA) 11:52, 400 relay: Port Allegany (Osani, Brookens, Neal, Morris)
:46.8, 1,600 relay: Port Allegany (Shaffer, Caulkins, Collver, Homell) 4:09, 3,200 relay: Port Allegany (Stehle, Majot, Binder, Coxen) 10:52, 110 hurdles: Conway (PA) :16.1, 300 hurdles: Conway (PA) :42.0, long jump: Morris (PA) 18-5, triple jump: Johnson (CC) 36-3, high jump: Conway (PA) 5-10, shot put: Taylor (PA) 38-0 ¼, discus: Taylor (PA) 123-11, javelin: Thompson (CC) 145-0.

Girls: Port Allegany 120, Cameron County 20
100: Evens (PA) :13.9, 200: Evens (PA) :28.0, 400: Evens (PA) 1:06, 800: Miller (PA) 2:53, 1,600: Woodruff (PA) 6:25, 3,200: Woodruff (PA) 14:11.9, 400 relay: Port Allegany (Payne, Foster, Borro, Edgreen) :57.5, 1,600 relay: Port Allegany (Wise, Rosenswie, Young, Causer) 5:28, 3,200 relay: Port Allegany (Riley, Miller, Woodruff, Johnson) 11:35, 100 hurdles: Payne (PA) :19.4, 300 hurdles: J. Edgell (PA) :56.5, long jump: Culver (PA) 12-2, triple jump: Payne (PA) 29-5, high jump: Payne (PA) 4-6, shot put: Schatz (CC) 31-2 ½, discus: Schatz (CC) 101-0 ¾, javelin: Zoschg (CC) 102-6.

At Port Allegany, Apr. 19:
Boys: Port Allegany 100, Smethport 53
100: Morris (PA) :11.7, 200: Morris (PA) :24.1, 400: Caminite (S) :56.6, 800: Miller (PA) 2:15.9, 1600: Lightner (S) 5:28.3, 3200: Groshek (S) 12:47.6, 400 relay: Port Allegany (Morris, Osani, Brookens, Neal) :46.8, 1600 relay: Smethport (Lightner, Alfieri, Caminite, Paulik) 3:49, 3200 relay: Smethport (Johnson, Groshek, Caminite, Paulik) 9:24.7, 110 hurdles: Conway (PA) :15.8, 300 hurdles: Conway (PA) :41.7, long jump: Morris (PA) 18-5, triple jump: Osani (PA) 37-1 ½, high jump: Conway (PA) 5-8, shot put: Lowery (PA) 40-0, discus: Mix (S) 101-6, pole vault: Lightner (S) 8-6, javelin: Stuckey (PA) 159-10.

Port Allegany 95, Sheffield 53
100: Slaughter (S) :11.1, 200: Slaughter (S) :22.6, 400: Stuckey (PA) :57.7, 800: Miller (PA) 2:15.9, 1600: Majot (PA) 5:39,9, 3200: C. Caulkins (PA) 14:08.5, 400 relay: Sheffield (Torres, Allan, Stevens, Slaughter) :46.6, 1600 relay: Sheffield (Torres, Jamison, Allen, Reynolds) 3:52,6, 3200 relay: Port Allegany (Majot, Stehle, Binder, Coxen) 9:31.3, 110 hurdles: Conway (PA) :15.8, 300 hurdles: Conway (PA) :41.7, long jump: Slaughter (S) 20-1, triple jump: Osani (PA) 37-1 ½, high jump: Conway (PA) 5-8, shot put: Lowery (PA) 40-0, discus: Leonard (S) 106-1, pole vault: Conway (PA) 8-0, javelin: Stuckey (PA) 159-10.

Girls: Port Allegany 82, Smethport 68
100: Evens (PA) :14.0, 200: Evens (PA) :29.0, 400: Woodring (S) 1:03.5, 800: Woodring (S) 2:43.5, 1600: Woodring (S) 6:10.5, 3200: Woodruff (PA) 14:07.6, 400 relay: Port Allegany (Borro, Payne, Foster, Edgreen) :56.6, 1600 relay: Smethport (Stratton, Carlson, Smead, Woodring) 4:40.6, 3200 relay: Smethport (Raymond, Carlson, Smead, Leet) 11:51.3, 100 hurdles: Payne (PA) :19.5, 300 hurdles: Carlson (S) :55.7, long jump: Master (S) 12-9, triple jump: Payne (PA) 28-11, high jump: Payne (PA) 4-4, shot put: R. Edgell (PA) 29-2, discus: R. Edgell (PA) 82-9, pole vault: Johnston/J. Edgell (PA) 6-6 (tie), javelin: Duffy (S) 90-10.

Port Allegany 127, Sheffield 15
100: Evens (PA) :14.0, 200: Evens (PA) :29.0, 400: Evens (PA) 1:05, 800: Woodruff (PA) 3:01, 1600: Woodruff (PA) 6:23.5, 3200: Woodruff (PA) 14:07.6, 400 relay: Port Allegany (Borro, Payne, Foster, Edgreen) :56.6, 1600 relay: Port Allegany (Edgreen, Johnston, Foster, Evens) 4:42.3, 3200 relay: Port Allegany (Johnson, Young, Riley, Woodruff) 12:11.8, 100 hurdles: Payne (PA) :19.5, 300 hurdles: Johnson (PA) :59,0, long jump: Culver (PA) 12-8, triple jump: Payne (PA) 28-11, high jump: Payne (PA) 4-4, shot put: R. Edgell (PA) 29-2, discus: R. Edgell (PA) 82-9, pole vault: Johnston/J. Edgell (PA) 6-6 (tie), javelin: Labesky (S) 67-10.

Baseball: Gators win pair after dropping opener

After two weeks of rainouts – and even some snow – the Port Allegany baseball team finally got some games in the scorebook last week, dropping their first game to Coudersport before bouncing back with wins against Oswayo Valley and Johnsonburg.

By the time the Gators opened their long-delayed season, coach Nate Zitnik joked, the Allegheny River had spent more time on the Moose Park field than his team had.

“We’ve had one legitimate outside practice where we went over everything,” he explained. “We’ve been getting on the guys for mental mistakes, but the bottom line is, we haven’t gotten to go over a lot of stuff, either. There’s a lot of situations we’ve talked about in the gym, but just aren’t the same when you put them on 90 feet.”

Walks, errors, and chilled bats combined to thwart the Gators in last Tuesday’s 9-4 loss to the Falcons, a rain-shortened six-inning affair moved to Moose Park from an even soggier C.A.R.P. Field.

“We would’ve liked to have played a little bit better against Coudy,” Zitnik said, “but you can say that about all the games you lose, I guess. But these guys are good kids and quality individuals; they work hard and they’re playing with something to prove. You can’t ask for more than that as a coach. So hopefully we settle in, and it turns into some winning ballgames.”

The Gator bats heated up in time for Thursday’s game at Oswayo Valley, with Sam Kysor and Garrett Drabert homering as Port pounded out 12 hits in its 10-4 victory. Kysor finished the day 2-for-4 with 3 RBI and also threw a perfect 10-pitch seventh inning to close the game. Charlie Buchanan (3-for-3) and Chad Barnard (2-for-4) also added to the Gator attack, while Drabert struck out two and allowed just one hit in four innings of work to pick up the win.

The next night’s win over visiting Johnsonburg was nowhere near as comfortable, and not without its share of controversy. With the score tied 4-4 in the bottom of the sixth inning and Gator runners on second and third, a dispute over the ball-strike count led to a balk which plated the winning run, stirring a heated argument between the Johnsonburg coaches and the home-plate umpire.

Standing in the third-base coaches’ box, Zitnik had a front-row seat: “From my perspective, I don’t know what the ump said, but the kid started his windup, and the coach walked out and said, ‘stop.’ The kid stopped in the middle of the windup, and I said, ‘Balk,’” he explained.

Johnsonburg coach Jeff Peterson was still fuming about the sequence of events afterward, calling it some of the worst officiating he’d ever seen before adding, “Overall, good game, nice showing on their part – they’re tough – but we’ll be back.”

The Gators struck early, with Seth Lowery and Matt Bodamer singling to lead off the bottom of the first and coming home on Camrin Stuckey’s standup double to right-center. Johnsonburg cleanup hitter Joe Holmberg tied the game with a two-RBI double in the third, then scored the go-ahead run, but Port quickly answered in the bottom of the inning as Chad Barnard singled home Lowery and Stuckey to go back on top 4-3. The Rams pushed a run across on a throwing error in the top of the fourth, setting up the controversial finish.

If the weather cooperates, Port (2-1) is scheduled to play a doubleheader at Smethport on Wednesday, then travel to Cuba-Rushford for a non-league game next Monday.

At Port Allegany, Apr. 12:
Coudersport 4 2 0 0 1 2 – 9 7 2
Port Allegany 2 0 1 1 0 0 – 4 5 3
Wolfinger, Jolley (4)(4 SO, 3 BB) and Whitman
Hildebrandt (3 SO, 6 BB), Stuckey (4)(2 SO, 3 BB), Drabert (6)(1 BB) and Lowery

At Shinglehouse, Apr. 14:
Port Allegany 4 2 0 0 0 2 2 – 10 11 1
Oswayo Valley 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 – 4 3 4
Drabert (2 SO, 4 BB), Stuckey (5)(3 SO, 4 BB), Kysor (7)(1 SO, 0 BB) and Sigafoes
Miller (3 SO, 6 BB) and A. Jandrew
HR: Kysor (PA), Drabert (PA)

At Port Allegany, Apr. 15:
Johnsonburg 0 0 3 1 0 0 0 – 4 4 1
Port Allegany 2 0 2 0 0 1 x – 5 5 3
M. Holmberg (5 SO, 1 BB) and Z. Luhr
Hildebrandt (4 SO, 2 BB), Stuckey (5)(4 SO, 1 BB) and Sigafoes
2B: Stuckey (PA), Lowery (PA), J. Holmberg (J)

Softball: Gators 1-1 after first week

The Port Allegany softball team wasn’t expecting to face defending league champ Coudersport in their first game of the season. But after weather woes washed out the beginning of the schedule, there they were, stepping to the plate against the Falcons just a day after finally getting outside to practice on their home field for the first time.

Coudy plated four runs in the top of the second inning, then held on for an 8-3 victory last Tuesday afternoon. But unlike some previous games against one of District 9’s best teams, the Gator girls were in this one until the end. Rachel Taylor scored the first run of the season on Kris-Ann Raymo’s stand-up double in the sixth, and Port pushed across two more in the bottom of the seventh on Kyley Mickle’s bases-loaded sac fly and a sharp single by Sarah Brodhun off the second-baseman’s glove before the game ended on a play at the plate.

“The second inning was where we lost it .. that basically was the game right there,” new head coach Dave Morey said. “We had that one bad inning, but other than that, the girls played well. They didn’t give up, and I was pleased with their effort.

“We just made some bad mistakes at crucial times, that’s all. But overall, I think the girls played well for their first night out playing a game; it was cold, and this was the first time everybody got a chance to work together. And we’re a young team. We’ve got three seniors and two juniors; everybody else is sophomores and freshmen, so you’re going to expect mistakes until they get better.”

In their only non-postponed game since then, Morey’s squad visited Bradford on Friday afternoon, rebounding to shut out the Lady Owls 5-0. Raymo doubled twice to lead the Gator offense, with Mickle adding two hits and scoring a run, and Becky Andrus pitched a four-hit, three-strikeout complete game to earn the win.

Weather permitting, the Gators (1-1) were scheduled to host Smethport on Wednesday, then make up their postponed game at Otto-Eldred on Thursday before shutting down for the Easter break.

At Port Allegany, Apr. 12:
Coudy 1 4 0 0 0 1 2 – 8
Port A 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 – 3

Whitman (1 SO, 2 BB) and Gerner
Andrus/Shelley (2 SO, 4 BB combined) and Bova