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THE SPORTS REPORTS: WILLIAMSON TRACK & FIELD COACHES SHARE ALL-REGION 'COACH OF THE SPRING;' HEADLINE LIST OF SEASON'S TOP COACHES (2022-07-02)

The Sports Reports
When you accomplish something that’s never been done before at your school, it merits recognition.

The Williamson track & field coaching staff — Mark Dexter, Steve Hepfer, Karen Knaus, Aaron Wooster, Dave Slusser, Chris Young, and Jason Hungerford — directed the Warriors to the first NTL title in school history this spring.

A combined effort between Williamson and CV, it is CV’s first league title this century, and their first title as a combined entity, and earns them the title of The Sports Reports’ 2022 All-Region “Coaches of the Spring.”

The Warriors sent five athletes to the PIAA Championships.

The 2022 All-Region Baker’s Dozen “Coaches of the Spring”
The Williamson track & field coaching staff:
See above.

Joe Melanson, track & field, Corning: Melanson directed the Hawks boys and girls to STAC and Section IV, Class A team titles this spring. Corning also brought home a haul of state hardware, including a pair of first-place medals.

Mike Vargeson, softball, Cowanesque Valley: With the help of assistant coach Kip Adams, Vargeson directed CV to a 16-4 regular-season mark. The Lady Indians then upset two higher seeds in the District IV playoffs in Canton and No. 1 seed Northeast Bradford to reach the Class A finals and earn a berth in the State championship tournament.

The Lady Indians would fall in the District final, 5-1 to eventual State Champ Montgomery, and again in their first-round State playoff game against Old Forge, 2-1

Jeff Limoncelli, baseball, Horseheads: Limoncelli led the Blue Raiders to a remarkable season. They traveled to Myrtle Beach, and faced some of the best teams in the state. After returning, they didn’t lose another game until regionals.

After losing the second game of the season to Corning the Blue Raiders didn’t lose another game in Section 4 all season, winning the STAC West Division title, the STAC Championship and the Section 4 Championship.

Dave Hogan, track & field, Waverly: Hogan advanced 10 athletes to the New York State Division 2 Track & Field Championships, including three relays, with sophomore Micah Chandler bringing home a medal.

While the boys accounted for four of the five events the Wolverines qualified for at States, it was the girls team that accounted for most of the team accolades this season, winning the IAC South Large School Division title, finishing second at the IAC Championships, and fourth at the Section IV Class C Championships.

John Loomis, softball Wyalusing: After losing much of their starting line-up a year ago, the Lady Rams looked to be in for a rebuild, but they were able to defend their NTL Large Schoo title.

They did so by winning several close games — at NPL, home against Troy, and at Canton — and by getting a few big rallies — at Troy, and home against Wellsboro. Their veterans stepped up, and their newcomers filled the holes, a testament to the coaching staff at Wyalusing.

Joe Darrow and Kevin Kester, boys golf: Joe Darrow and Kevin Jester mentored the Eagles to a school-record 11-0 regular-season mark, extending their post-COVID era winning streak to 20 matches.

The duo also coached the squad to the IAC South Large School and the IAC Large School championships.

Nick Vanderpool, baseball Wyalusing: Winning 15 straight games is not easy, especially not in the days of pitch counts, but the Rams pulled it off. They split with Wellsboro, swept everybody else, and ended their NTL season with a win over powerhouse Sayre. To top it off they got their first NTL title in a decade, giving them their first of the team’s two big goals. Vanderpool has coached many of these players since they were little, and he pulled all the right strings this season.

Brent Doane, softball, Owego: 
In his second year, Doane guided his group to the Section IV Class B runner-up spot. The Lady Indians overcame an early three-game losing streak to earn the fourth seed in the Section IV Class B tournament. They went on to upset No. 1 Susquehanna Valley in the semis and took No. 2 Chenango Valley to extra innings.

Mike Bronson, girls track & field, Athens:
The Lady Wildcats continued their dominance in the league by winning another NTL title. They had the league’s fastest miler (Emma Bronson) 2-miler (Sara Bronson), hurdler (Hannah Walker), the top thrower (Bartlow), and the best triple jumper (Mya Thompson).

Jamie VanDuzer, baseball, Sayre:
VanDuzer, who piloted the Redskins to District 4 titles in 2019 and ’21, led Sayre to an NTL Small School title, a 19-3 record, and a trip to the District 4, Class AA semifinals.

Kevin Scanlon, girls’ lacrosse, Corning: With Scanlon at the helm, Corning won its first sectional title since 2018, beating rival Ithaca in the final.

Tilden Franklin, softball, NEB:  Franklin had to remake his infield around the battery of Thailey Franklin and Emily Susanj, while incorporating several younger players into the line-up. It worked as the Lady Panthers won their first 10 games and clinched another NTL Small School title, while grabbing the top seed for the district playoffs.

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