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Schools of Thought: Do you like my costume?

November 3, 2008
By BILL CAIN, The Leader-Herald

Anyone who saw me at the girls' Section II Class D championship soccer game Friday night might have noticed my "Guy trying to stay warm" costume.

It didn't work very well.

Not only did I not get candy bars, candied apples or whatever other sugar-covered "snack-sized" goodies people hand out nowadays on Halloween, but I wouldn't have been able to stuff them in my face if I had gotten treats. I couldn't feel my hands.

There were better costumes in the local sports scene, though, as two local teams were trying to imitate the New York football Giants in their sectional semifinals.

First was the Canajoharie football Cougars. In Week 6, the Cougs had to face Fort Edward in a regular season game. The two teams already were set to play each other in the Section II Class D semifinals.

While preparing for the Week 6 matchup, Canajoharie coach Ken Sullivan said his Cougars were not going to hold anything back for fear of showing Fort Edward too much before the playoffs. He said they just wanted to play their game and see what worked.

"It worked for the Giants," Sullivan said, in reference to New York's regular season finale last season before running through the playoffs and beating the previously unbeaten New England Patriots.

The Cougars were without a few players, one of them tight end Jeff Hill, who totaled 112 receiving yards and a touchdown on seven receptions in the rematch Saturday in Fort Edward.

In that first meeting, Canajoharie had trouble moving the ball and lost 14-7. Still, the Giants lost in their regular-season meeting with the Patriots and rebounded to win in the Super Bowl.

Hold that thought.

Monday, Amsterdam's volleyball team topped Catholic Central in the Section II Class A quarterfinals. That got them to the semis, where they were going to face Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, which was 19-3 coming into Thursday's semifinal match.

Amsterdam coach Chris Shelton admitted it was a tall order, but said, "Hey, the Giants did it."

Unfortunately, neither local team had the Velcro-helmet catch of David Tyree. The Lady Rams lost Thursday in three games to Burnt Hills. Canajoharie's Cougars lost 50-42 to the Flying Forts.

Alexis Theobald and Brandie Kreisel chipped in for Amsterdam with five kills apiece, but there was no Eli Manning escaping three sacks on one play.

Dylan Slater ran for 202 yards and Payton Stahler threw for 259 for the Cougars, but there was no Plaxico Burress in the left corner of the end zone to end the game.

When the Giants went up against the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, most people already had it down as New England's 19th win and the end to a perfect season. I'd love to have one of those "19-0" championship T-shirts I know someone must have printed. That would make a great costume for next year.

The Giants didn't consider it a foregone conclusion that they would lose last year's championship and didn't consider getting there to be good enough. It was good to see these two local teams at least take that lesson into the semifinals, even if they couldn't follow suit with a win.

A gap-toothed plastic mask of Michael Strahan could have helped. Well, it couldn't have hurt. Would have put some more candy in their bags, anyway.

Either way, their costumes were better than mine.



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