To two high school football teams that taught us a lot about what sports should be all about.
When it came to pure football talent, Unatego wasn’t in the same class as Tioga when the two teams played in the Section Four Class D final Nov. 9 at Binghamton Alumni Stadium. At halftime, Tioga had a 47-point lead, and Unatego’s Spartans had to know they weren’t going to win the game.
But instead of giving up, they decided to give it all they had in the second half. By the time the game ended, Unatego had scored 53 points, and sophomore quarterback Josh Feyerabend had thrown for a state-record 579 yards and a single-game Section Four record seven touchdown passes.
Fifty-three points will win you a lot of games, but not this one. Tioga scored 80 points in one of the wildest games in New York state high school football history.
What was even more impressive than those 80 points is that Tioga had pulled its first string from the field at halftime, with Unatego making its second-half surge against the winners’ second- and third-string players.
Unatego senior Kellen Komenda: “We still lost, but it’s the most fun I’ve had losing,” said Unatego senior Kellen Komenda. “We couldn’t stop them on D(efense). They’re a great team, but we kept fighting — Spartan pride.”
Between Tioga’s prowess and sportsmanship and Unatego’s never-quit, gallant effort, the teams made both their schools … and us … proud.
To the village of Cooperstown for being ecologically responsible.
Last year, at the urging of Michael Whaling of Sharon Springs, who was concerned about toxic herbicides resulting in carcinogens getting into Otsego Lake, the village began an effort to reduce its use of synthetic pesticides at Doubleday Field.
On Nov. 10, Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz announced that the village has succeeded in eliminating toxic herbicides and pesticides altogether at the historic field.
“We decided last year we wanted to move away from pesticides, and this year we got it all the way down to zero,” said Katz.
Katz said village officials and the head groundskeeper for Doubleday field, Quentin Hasak, were given guidance by Jennifer Grant, co-director of the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program at Cornell University, in how to wean the field from herbicide applications.
The new integrated pest management practices being used at Doubleday include using entomopathogenic nematodes as a biological control of white grubs, officials said.
We’re not altogether certain what entomopathogenic nematodes are, but we think they have something to do with bugs and worms. Be that as it may, the village deserves praise for getting this valuable task accomplished ahead of schedule.