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Local News

April 24, 2014

SUNY Cobleskill Woodsmen Team is a 'motley crew'

Lindsey Leisenring is only five-foot-six and 120 pounds but she once climbed a 30-foot tree in 11 seconds, she said Wednesday.

Leisenring is a senior at the SUNY Cobleskill and one of 30 members in the school’s Woodsmen Team. During the upcoming SUNY Cobleskill Celebrates the Great Outdoors weekend on Saturday and Sunday, the team will compete at two large events: the well-known STIHL® Timbersports Northeast Collegiate Qualifier and The 68th Woodsmen Collegiate Spring Meet.

Linda Serdy, one of the team’s advisers, said the close-knit Woodsmen Team reminds her of the kids from the ’90s film “The Sandlot.” The 12 women and 16 men that make up the team come from a vast array of backgrounds and majors and get together five to six times a week to practice for competitions all over the Northeast. They are a motley crew, Serdy said.

Unlike other athletic teams at the college, the Woodsmen are a club and raise the majority of their own money for equipment and travel expenses, Serdy said. Instead of practicing indoors like most teams, Cobleskill’s Woodsmen practice in a field at the college, which requires shoveling in the winter. The club members are very dedicated, yet still manage to maintain strong grade point averages.

“They are just amazing,” Serdy said, “And extremely disciplined. No matter where we go to compete, whether it’s Paul Smith, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry or the University of Connecticut, they’re the face of SUNY Cobleskill.”

Recently, the school’s Woman’s 1 team won first place at a competition at SUNY ESF, a large accomplishment in a sport that has been increasingly gathering momentum, Serdy said. The club recruits anyone who is interested when they are freshmen, she said.

“People always start out saying, ‘Oh, I can’t chop wood!’ and we say ‘Sure you can!’ We have some small girls on the team, but they are very physically fit and compete alongside the big guys.”

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