Sunday Sports: Lady Spartans Lacrosse aims to take class title, Rapids baseball season starts

Published: May. 28, 2023 at 11:08 PM EDT
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ADAMS, New York (WWNY) - Saturday, we visited with the Indian River Lady Warriors lacrosse team, one of two Frontier League Girls’ Lacrosse teams left alive in the Section 3 playoffs.

Now, we check in with the South Jeff Lady Spartans, as they look to take the first step towards a State Class D Title on Tuesday night.

Coach Jen Williams’ Lady Spartans advanced to the Section 3 Class D Title game with an impressive 21-3 win over Frontier League rival General Brown at Christian Brother Academy on Thursday night.

The score may not be indicative, but Williams says no matter who you’re playing this time of the season, there’s a bit of pressure in a one-and-done scenario.

”Anytime you get to a sectional semifinal it’s a pressure stage. You’re not at home, you’re playing in a different place in front of a different crowd with the next teams coming on after you, so they’re seeing you. It should mean a lot to the kids. We try not to play to our opponent right now. We’re taking care of ourselves and it should get us where we want to go,” said Williams.

Where the Lady Spartans want to go is back to the States for the 1st time since the 2018 season. And in order to do that, South Jeff will have to get past Skaneateles, who beat South Jeff 8-7 in the Section 3 Class D Final last season.

The players are happy to get back to the title game and have the chance to avenge that heartbreaking loss from a year ago.

”I think, you know, we’ve all felt that we wanted to come back here and we want to prove ourselves as the team that we are. We work day in, day out, we work in the off season, and we commit a lot to this sport, and I think it’s really our time to show what we do,” said Madelyn Barney.

”Yeah, it’s a really nice feeling going into the championship. We work at practice every single day, we push each other. We’re trying to focus on the little things to be able to come out strong and win the championship in the end,” said Reese Widrick.

For the number one ranked team in the state in Dlass D, there is no break for the Memorial Day weekend.

Williams says the team will be on the practice field fine tuning some things ahead of their showdown with Skaneateles.

”The kids know at this point in the year that it’s an expectation. This is not, unfortunately for us and for all spring sports at this level, it’s all championship time. The families and the kids have to sacrifice for this commitment. Teams don’t get here by not doing that previous to this, so we’re looking forward to the challenge. We’re gonna work on the fundamentals, and when it comes down to it in the championship games, it’s all the fundamentals that need to be in place in order for us to succeed,” said Williams.

South Jeff versus Skaneateles for the Girls’ Section 3 Class D Lacrosse Championship takes place Tuesday night at 7 PM at Jamesville DeWitt High School.

Turning to the baseball diamond, there was plenty of excitement at Toyota Field Sunday afternoon, as the Watertown Rapids officially kicked off their 2023 Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League season.

It was move in day at Toyota Field, as members of the 2023 Watertown Rapids began arriving from around the country.

A majority of the players showed up on Sunday, with the rest of the team expected to arrive on Monday.

Rapids Manager Mike Kogut is excited to see players he’s recruited in the off season in person for the first time.

”Yeah, it’s always exciting. Move in day, the start of a new season. We’ve got about a dozen guys here already. Should have 5 or 6 more coming in throughout the rest of the day and we’re excited to get to work,” said Kogut.

Kogut spent the afternoon getting the players settled in their new apartments and giving them a tour of the locker room and the field.

The players are not only excited to kick off the 2023 campaign, but play for Kogut, who made an positive impression on most of them during the recruiting process.

”I really liked Coach Kogut and the way that he approached me. I think it’s just gonna be a great fit overall for the summer,” said Terence Moynihan.

”Just nice field, nice facility, good coach. Just good people, too, so looking forward to it,” said Brody Valentine.

”I like the coaching staff, the facilities are pretty nice, and it’s pretty close to home, so excited for that,” said Jacob Parker.

”I just wanted to try something new, go somewhere I’ve never been before. I’m from Philadelphia, PA, so coming out here it’s a little different. Just wanted meet people from all over and really just wanted to experience something completely new,” said Gaetan Grandelli.

”It’s a good opportunity. It’s gonna be my last summer to play, and seemed like a good place to come and spend it,” said Teaghin Andre.

The Rapids hold their first official practice on Tuesday, have their media day on Wednesday from 5-7 PM and open their season on Thursday as they travel to Amsterdam to face the Mohawks.