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Schenectady hits the trifecta in basketball, hockey and wrestling

Friday, April 4, 2014
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Schenectady hits the trifecta in basketball, hockey and wrestling

Friday, March 21, was quite a day in local sports. The Scotia-Glenville boys’ basketball team put an exclamation point on their undefeated season by winning the Federation Championship and became only the third team in Section II history to accomplish this feat.

About three hours later, Duanesburg graduate and North Carolina State sophomore Nick Gwiazdowski defeated the two-time defending National Collegiate Athletic Association champion to win the NCAA Division I, 285-pound championship. Gwiazdowski became the first Section II wrestler to win a Division I national championship.

Then Union College captured its third consecutive ECAC [Eastern College Athletic Conference] hockey championship, becoming the nation’s No. 1 ranked team and secured a No. 1 seed for the NCAA Hockey championships.

What makes this historic day so significant? The deep Schenectady County roots of the coaches, players and schools. Schenectady County native sons Jim Giammattei and his assistants Mark Sausville and Glen Stopera led a suburban band of brothers on a magical championship ride playing a core group raised together in the same community.

Niskayuna and Duanesburg coaching legend Joe Bena nurtured and advanced the rural-raised Gwiazdowski to two New York state championships. Pat Popolizio, Bena’s protégé and Niskayuna native son, then took over coaching Gwiazdowski at North Carolina State. Head Coach Popolizio coached Gwiazdowski on to the national championship.

Moreover, Union College, Schenectady’s nationally renowned gem of higher education, used their ECAC victory to shine even brighter on the national sporting stage and set up a high-profile national championship run. I suspect there aren’t many other counties in the United States with teams and athletes that captured state, regional and national championships in one day.

However, athletes from Schenectady’s urban, suburban and rural communities did just that on March 21. And that, my friends, is reason to make us all proud.

John Barr

Delanson

While enjoying your freedoms, don’t trample on others’

One thing America was known by is freedom. Free speech, free assembly, free borders, freedom of religion, and so on. Yet, in these days we are very quickly losing those expressions of freedom.

There are two ways this is happening, by dictatorship such as Cuomo (conservatives are not welcome here, etc.) and by too much exercise of perverted freedom. It should be obvious that dictatorship under false leaders would severely curtail freedom. This being, again, obvious in such things as freedom of speech in the defense of marriage.

The second attack on true freedom, the abuse of it, is not as obvious. Those that preach this, such as homosexuals, want “their rights” but use “their freedom” to destroy those opposed. So, while one group may believe that they are free to do whatever their evil hearts devise, those opposed are silenced, taking away any freedom of theirs.

We are coming back into the spring and summer months, which gives us more liberty of expression outside our homes and on the streets, parks and recreation areas. The trampling of others’ rights are exercised, in this upcoming weather, by loud music. You get blasted out of your freedom by those expressing themselves and are evil people if you complain. Even the police are not interested in keeping the peace and consider you a troublemaker if you complain to them. You are disturbing them if you do so.

So what is the answer? Where does true freedom lie? Well, consider this: as soon as you believe it is “your right” to commit some act, you are in trouble. The “golden rule” of do unto others as you would have them do to you is where liberty and freedom is! Love your neighbor as yourself and think of their rights and you will not trample yours or their freedoms.

Barry Groat

Schenectady

 

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