The day was electrifying and unprecedented for C.W.Baker High School in Baldwinsville.
On June 8, two different Baldwinsville sports teams found themselves playing for New York state championships in different cities.
The baseball team was in Binghamton playing for the Class AA championship. The girls lacrosse team was in Cortland competing in the Class A title game.
The baseball Bees defeated Clarence 4-1 to win the state title. The girls lacrosse team fell short, closing out a scintillating run to the championship with an 8-5 loss to Farmingdale.
In the end, it was all good. No, it was great.
Those performances helped Baldwinsville have the best high school sports program in the state. The school has been awarded the Kerr Cup by the New York State Sportswriters Association as grand champions in all-sports for all classes.
Using a points system from 28 boys and girls sports, Baldwinsville finished with 43.5 point to edge Maine-Endwell (43.33). Fort Ann was third (40) and Saratoga (40) was fourth. Burnt-Hills-Ballston Lake won the previous four titles, though it shared the award with Cazenovia in 2010-11.
“It’s like getting a cherry on top with the sports writers award,” said Baldwinsville director of athletics Chris Campolieta. “Definitely, it’s a unique, cool thing.”
Here are some athletic highlights from the past school year at Baldwinsville:
– The baseball team won the Class AA state championship.
– Pitcher Scott Blewett was the NYSSWA Class AA Player of the Year and the All-CNY Pitcher of the Year.
– Baseball coach Dave Penafeather was the All-CNY and NYSSWA Class AA Coach of the Year.
– The girls lacrosse team was Class A state runner-up; its win over Cicero-North Syracuse at the Carrier Dome in the Section III championship game may have been one of the events of the year from an excitement standpoint.
– Running back Tyler Rouse from the football team was named the Gatorade Player of the Year in New York. He signed to play at Boston College.
– The girls and boys volleyball teams reached the state tournament. The girls team finished as state runners-up.
– The girls Junior 8 and the girls Junior 4 plus coxswain won state rowing championships.
– The wrestling team won the Section III championship. Kevin Paul and Brian Honsinger competed in the state championship.
– At the indoor state track and field championships, Alec Peinkofer was second in the 1,000 meters; the boys 4X400 relay was fifth and the girls 4X400 relay was sixth.
– Lacrosse goalie Parker Ferrigan earned All-America honors and played in the Under Armour All-America game in Baltimore.
– Soccer player Emma Firenze signed to play at Syracuse.
– Catcher Gabe Levanti was named a second-team All-American by Louisville Slugger.
Campolieta said the day in June in which the baseball and girls lacrosse teams played for state championships simultaneously was a tough day for him. He wanted badly to be at both places. Instead, he went to Binghamton with the baseball team and school principal Joe Debarbieri represented at the girls lacrosse game. The two texted back and forth with scores and updates.
“We had double the excitement and double the nerves in Baldwinsville, waiting for the outcome of both competitions,” said Baldwinsville superintendent Jeanne Dangle. “Everyone was very proud of how our student-athletes conducted themselves on and off the field, regardless of the outcomes of the games.”
The baseball championship marked the first time a Baldwinsville boys team has won a state title. The girls lacrosse team won the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class A state championship in 2000.
The Kerr Cup is named after former sports writer Neil Kerr of The Post-Standard. In 2011, Baldwinsville was the overall winner in Class AA, but not overall grand champion for all classes.
In breaking down scoring just for girls sports, Cicero-North Syracuse tied for No. 1 in Kerr Cup scoring for Class AA with Sachem East (Fayetteville-Manlius was fifth overall); and Skaneateles shared the Class B top spot with Bronxville (the CBA girls tied for fourth). In boys scoring by individual classes, Jamesville-DeWitt tied for third in Class A; Cazenovia was third in Class B. For combined boys and girls leaders, Fayetteville-Manlius was fourth in Class AA; Jamesville-DeWitt was fifth in Class A; CBA was third in Class B; Cazenovia and Skaneateles tied for fourth in Class B; and Poland was second in Class D.
Winning it for all sports, Campolieta said, is one of those deals he’ll probably reflect on years from now and pinch himself a little.
“This award is a remarkable achievement for our district’s athletics program,” Dangle said. “It’s a gage of the high level of commitment of everyone involved in the program, including our student-athletes, parents, coaches, administration and staff.”