Winter Sports seasons begin this week. See what coaches are saying about their teams.
Penn Yan Girls Basketball
After going 10-11 overall and 9-6 in the Finger Lake East, the Penn Yan girls’ basketball team is hoping to improve upon their record this season.
Head coach Katrina Davenport is looking forward to the season, with big matchups coming against Midlakes and Geneva. They are “hoping for a successful season,” Davenport said. “We would like to have 14-plus overall wins this season.”
The team returns five players while losing four from last year’s version of the team. Newcomers Haylea Langan (12th grade), Hayley Anderson (10th grade), and freshman Jammie Decker and Sierra Harrison will infuse youth into the squad.
Penn Yan opens up its season Friday, November 30 at home against Marcus Whitman.
Dundee Boys Basketball
The Dundee boys’ varsity basketball team will be looking to improve upon a season that left them with a 4-17 mark last year. Coach Lester Miller, who is 184-113 overall in a storied high school basketball career, knows how to win and will be looking to impart that wisdom upon another group of players this season.
“We have to learn to get back to a winning environment,” Miller explained. “A successful mind-set is contagious.” He has set a goal for his team “to compete for a league title” but knows that challenge won’t come easy. “We have a lot to turn around and some health issues to get past.”
The Finger Lakes West is not forgiving, and with match ups against key rivals Marcus Whitman, Red Jacket, and South Seneca, there will not be a night where the Scots are not tested. Miller’s squad returns six players from last year and has some key newcomers looking to make their mark on Dundee basketball.
Newcomers Miller is counting on to add to the nucleus include senior Isaac Semans, junior Cody Salamendra, and sophomore Peyton Boudinot. Of Semans, Miller says “He brings length, skill, and energy to our team. He is new to the school and the league coaches know nothing about him.” Salamendra, Miller explains, “has a lot of experience and always plays hard.” Boudinot “can open up the floor with his shooting.”
The team opens up with a matchup at Hammondsport on Friday before coming home to face Romulus next Wednesday, Dec. 5.
Dundee Girls Basketball
The Dundee varsity girls’ basketball team struggled through a tough season last year. The team went 0-18 overall and 0-14 in the tough Finger Lakes West League. The one trademark the team had, however, was that it didn’t quit and improved as the season went on. First-Year Dundee head coach Michael Strait is counting on that never-give-up attitude to lead his team this year.
Strait, who brings a 13-27 record from his years coaching at Bradford, returns seven players from that squad, the seven who will comprise his entire roster this season. Coming back are Mackenzie Strait, Alyssah Newell, Megan Sutherland, Dalaine Nolan, Makenzie Cratsley, Ally Wood, and Haille Knapp. These are the players Strait figures will rise to the challenge of the goals he has set – compete in the Finger Lakes West and win at least 10 games.
“We will surprise some teams with how hard we play and how well we will compete,” Strait said. “I feel some teams will sleep on us and we will come out of nowhere and hopefully beat them.”
All of the girls will be counted on to contribute this season, but Strait singled out sophomore Makenzie Cratsley as someone who could shine with a larger role. “She…is showing a lot of promise in the way she hustles and competes,” Strait explained. “She can shoot, rebound, handle the ball, and finish at the rim.”
Strait will be helped by assistants Mark Strait and Hailey Buckenroth. The team’s first game is Nov. 27 at home against Hammondsport followed by a Friday night matchup Nov. 30 at home against Clyde-Savannah.
Penn Yan Bowling
Coach Mindy Johnson is back to lead the Penn Yan Mustang keglers this season and she is expecting big things from the boys and girls bowling teams. The boys finished last season with a record of 17-19 while the girls went 24-12.
About the girls, Johnson says “I have three very strong seniors to lead the team. We will fight with Newark girls for the title for sure.” She continued, saying that the familial quality of her team serves them well. “My girls have grown up together from seventh grade to this team,” Johnson explained. “We are family and we have worked very hard to vie for the league and sectional title.” However, a familiar foe has been a roadblock for the team. “We have come in second to Newark (in the league and sectionals) for the last two years.”
Leading the way for the girls this season are seniors Kari Ayers, Emilie Thomas, and Emily Augustine. Johnson also pointed to the duo of Rielly Stewart and Aysa Crocker as bowlers she is counting on, saying they “finished up really strong last year so I expect some good support out of them.”
On the boys’ side, Johnson knows the team is youthful, but she is hoping to have a good showing. “The league seems wide open this year,” she said. “We are young but should not be underrated.”
The boys return everyone from last season. Freshmen Cameron Bassage and Ben Broome along with tenth graders Jon Mashewske, Trevor Harris, and Zach Gurba will anchor the squad along with some newcomers. “Connor Harmon is a junior who just moved to Penn Yan over the summer and he looks to be a starter,” Johnson said. “I look forward to seeing Dutcher (8th grade) and Trenton (9th grade) Samultuski improving their game this year.”
The team’s next match is Dec. 4 at Brock’s Bowl in Penn Yan.
Dundee’s bowling team had a successful season last year with the boys posting a 48.5-15.5 record, while the girls came in at 30-34.
Coach Courtney Eddinger’s team returns three boys and four girls from last season. Stephan Smith, Hunter Murphy, and Connor Muck will anchor the boys’ squad, while Jaedyn Brewer, Edele Morgan, Sam Hunt, and Mercedez Roy are the mainstays for the girls.
Eddinger is looking for a team that will compete. “Our goal for the season is a competitive team that will demonstrate the value of bowling as a sport,” she explained. Eddinger believes the team will “demonstrate that Dundee has a winning attitude.”
The team opens up play Thursday, Dec. 6, against Naples at Lakeside Lanes.