Saturday Sports: Watertown Rapids look to hold onto win streak

Published: Jun. 25, 2022 at 10:06 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - The Watertown Rapids were back home Saturday night playing host to the Oneonta Outlaws in a PGCBL contest at the Alex Duffy Fairgrounds.

The Rapids were in search of their 2nd straight win after beating Boonville on the road Friday night.

Watertown was flashing the leather early on as Henry Pelinski hits a blooper to left that left fielder Rob Conley makes a diving grab on for the out.

At the top of the 3rd, Watertown starter Jonah Shearer gets in trouble walking Dylan Broderick with the bases loaded and forcing home Connor Cooney: 1-0 Outlaws.

But Shearer works his way out of further trouble, striking out Jelani Hamer.

The Rapids tie it up in the bottom of the 3rd when Tyree Bradley checks his swing with the bases loaded and walks, Malachi Flaherty comes in to make it 1 all.

The Rapids fall to Oneonta 9-4.

The St. Lawrence Men’s basketball Team rounded out it’s coaching staff for the upcoming 2022-23 season by adding a familiar name that’s had success on both the high school and college level as a player.

Former Heuvelton Girls’ Basketball star Paige McCormick will be a part of the St. Lawrence Men’s Basketball coaching staff this coming season.

On Thursday, McCormick was named as Graduate Assistant Coach.

Saints head coach Chris Downs says McCormick stood out among all of the other applicants for the job.

”I mean, I had over 30 applicants for the job and she rose to the top on her own merits as a basketball person. It didn’t really have much to do with her sex, it had to do with the fact that she’s a pretty knowledgeable person and I thought she could do the job,” said Downs.

McCormick, who led Heuvelton to 3 straight state basketball championships and went on to play Division 1 basketball at UMass before transferring to Roberts Wesleyan for her senior year and playing as a graduate at Merrimack, says she is grateful for the opportunity to start a new chapter in her basketball career.

”I mean, it means a lot to me just because I have a very supportive family, a lot of supportive friends and community overall is just very supportive, and I really feel like it’s the perfect situation for me to do this here,” said McCormick.

The Saints are coming off a season that saw them post a 16-10 overall record, 10-8 in Liberty League play, and Downs says he feels McCormick can help the program both on and off the court with her experience of playing at different levels of the college game.

”She understands how to win. She’s been told her whole life that you’re not getting a scholarship to play Division 1 basketball from Heuvelton. So, she’s had a chip on her shoulder, and I think she’s gonna carry that chip on her shoulder out to recruiting, to working with our players, to help our team become successful. That’s what I’m looking for out of her,” said Downs.

McCormick will also be a pioneer on the hardwood, becoming the first woman to be on the bench of the men’s basketball program and being one of the first females in the Liberty League to coach men’s basketball.

She says because of that, she feels there will be a little added pressure to prove herself in her first college coaching job.

”I always feel like I have a certain amount of pressure on me, but I don’t think it’s anything extra. I’m just more than happy to be able to do this. I hope that I’m not the only one to do it. I hope that there’s more females in the Liberty League to do it very soon,” said McCormick.

Downs says from what he’s seen in his experience with McCormick, he has no doubt she will hit the ground running and be as successful on the bench as she was as a player.

”She worked with me last year at a basketball camp and she’s just got really good intensity, very good understanding of basketball. You know, her passion is unbelievable. So I just thought that would be, she would be a nice addition to our staff,” said Downs.

Former Watertown High lacrosse star Jillian Girardi is back in town after finishing up a successful career at Northwestern, where she scored 52 goals and added 10 assists in her final season and helped lead the Lady Wildcats to the Final 4.

Girardi, who was one of 25 finalists for the prestigious Teewarton Trophy, given to the nation’s top women’s lacrosse player, says her experience at Northwestern was one she will never forget.

”It’s always a fun year. It’s my 5th year, so felt kind of old, my body started giving out on me but it’s always fun. It’s always fun to play the sport that I love and that’s why I love seeing that now for girls in high school just being able to see them grow up and kind of play a sport they love and fall in love with it as I did in high school. I think this year was fun and I hope that I inspired people here in this town and just all over the country,” said Girardi.

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