Sunday Sports: A family affair as South Lewis dominates at cross country states

Published: Nov. 14, 2021 at 8:56 PM EST
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CHENANGO, New York (WWNY) - Saturday was a big day for a couple of area schools at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Cross Country Championships at Chenango Valley State Park, with 2 runners and one school bringing home state titles.

It was a big day for the South Lewis Girls’ Cross Country Team, as they captured the State Class D title led by sophomore Brynn Bernard, who won the individual title with a time of 18 minutes 42.8 seconds, just ahead of her sister Lexi who placed 2nd with a time of 19 minutes 19.2 seconds.

”Well, in 7th grade I made it to states and I placed 4th, and then in 8th grade I also made it to states and I placed 2nd, so I was kind of hoping to maybe kind of keep going up in my places and it’s just really nice,” said Brynn Bernard.

”It was really amazing. We train together all the time. We’re constantly competing with each other and we’re pushing each other, so it was nice to see that she finally got what she deserves,” said Lexi Bernard.

For the Lady Falcons, it was the 2nd State Class D Championship in school history, and Coach Jack Bernard, who also happens to be Brynn and Lexi’s father, says this one was special considering what the team had to endure this season.

”As far as this year, it was difficult. We had to do some different things to try and make sure that our students didn’t get quarantined. You know, even at the Frontier Leagues we only had 4. We didn’t even finish complete due to some quarantining, but we made it through, got to the best part of the season, sectionals and states, and were able to compete at full force,” said Coach Jack Bernard.

On the boys side, it was a special day for Beaver River senior cross country runner Colton Kempney, who captured the individual title in Class D with a time of 16 minutes 5.5 seconds, with the Beavers team placed 3rd overall in Class D.

For Kempney, a special moment after overcoming injury to take home the title in his final chance.

”I mean, it feels amazing. I mean I’ve been through so much this year. I had planter fasciatis for a year and a half, so I couldn’t run and this past outdoor season I had a labral tear in my hip, so that took me our for a while. I mean it just feels good to be back,” said Kempney.

On the gridiron, the OFA Blue Devils are the only are high school football team left alive in state play.

Saturday, OFA defeated Saranac Lake 28-14 in the State Class C sub-regionals.

OFA now moves on to the regional final, where they will meet Schuylerville of Section 2 with a trip to the State Final 4 on the line.

Blue Devils Coach Matt Tessmer says his team has made big strides as the season has moved along.

”We knew that coming into the season it was gonna be kind of a different type of season with the COVID-19 protocols, so we scheduled as many games as we could. We got a game right off the bat when we normally scrimmage against Plattsburgh High School. That was a good experience for us, and then once the season started we’ve just been trying to improve each and every week and see where we can get at the end and give ourselves a chance,” said Tessmer.

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