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The winter sports season is underway and already we’ve seen amazing debuts, comebacks and performances.

Of all the things to start the season, few are better than the feel good story that happened with the Elmira swim team.

At the end of cross country season Elmira’s Andrew Degnan suffered a collapsed lung. While Degnan was in pain, he didn’t realize his lung was collapsed and so he pressed on and finished the race.

One of Degnan’s teammates came up with a phrase, that ended up on a t-shirt for Degnan. ‘If Drew can run with one lung, we can run with two!’

A swim meet at Johnson City last week was Degnan’s first time back competing since having a collapsed lung twice, three chest tubes and a thoracic lung surgery a month earlier.

In his first meet of the season Degnan won the 100 free for the Express.

A seventh grader playing varsity is something you rarely see at any level.

A seventh grader starting on a varsity team that won sectionals last year in Class AA, that’s about as rare as it comes.

Nolyn Proudfoot has now played two varsity games for the Corning Hawks, and it took him almost no time to show people he was ready for the varsity level.

In his first two games Proudfoot has 28 points and seven three pointers.

Possessing a quick release, Proudfoot is already one of the better shooters in the STAC Conference, and with an all-state point guard in Jackson Casey, and an all-state wing player like Isaiah Henderson on the court with Proudfoot it gives the seventh grader all the resources to develop into a star.

Elmira’s Jalea Abrams joined the 1,000 point club for Elmira last week with her first basket of the game against Union-Endicott.

It’s been a red hot start to the season for Abrams. She’s played four games this year scoring 31, 30, 26 and 33 in those four games. That’s a 30-point a game average through four games.

Abrams, recently committed to Queens College and will play at the Division II school last week. Now, the all-state selection from last year will try and help the Express to defend their STAC title this year and get back to the sectional final.


A season ago Donavan Smith was a state runner-up in Division II at Tioga High School.

Now, Smith is back where he started, at Elmira, and he’s eyeing a state title. The Express standout is off to a strong start, winning titles in each of his first two tournaments of the year.

Smith has recorded pins in each match he’s wrestled this season.


Winning four state medals is a rare thing. However, after doing that last year Cullin Cole is proving he wants even more this year.

The Blue Raiders swimmer is off to an absolutely dominant start to the season. He broke a pool record in winning the 50 free in a home meet against Ithaca with a time of 21.52.

Right now Cole currently has the second fastest time in the state in the 50 and the 100 free (47.52), along with the seventh fastest time in the state in the 200 free (1:47.27).

Corning’s boys bowling team is off to an unbeaten start to the season this year, putting up some big performances to start the season.

Camryn Stefanini has been dominant early this year, he had a 700 series the last match against Horseheads and that was coming off a 677 series and a 659 series and a 704 series.

Joseph Enderle has shot 659 and 623 his last two matches and Cameron Kennedy had a 660 series recently as the Hawks have routinely had multiple bowlers rolling high 600 plus series.
If you have any notes on stories about athletes, notes about milestones or any other interesting tidbits feel free to e-mail

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