Photo by Carol Perkins
George Uzdavinis sprints down the court.

by Dave Clark

High School Skiing
The boys and girls Alpine and Nordic ski teams recently took part in the state championships last Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 27 and 28. The alpine teams competed at Bristol Mountain and the nordic team skied at the Gore Mountain Ski Bowl, a changed venue due to lack of snow in the Rochester area where it was originally scheduled.
Every section that skies, and not all of them do, brings their best allotted number of skiers to compete against the other sections and each sectional winning school brings that team to compete against the winning schools of the other sections to determine the state champion. In effect, there are two competitions going on at the same time.
In the nordic competition, Old Forge’s girls team competed against the other sectional champions. The top three girls matched their skills against the top three girls of the other four sections to see who would be the state champion.
Monday, Feb. 27, the girls competed in the 7.5k classic race. Laura Levi had a great run as she finished in fourth place followed by Emily Green in sixth and Rachel Smith in 16th. Mikeeli Hanson and Emily Rudolph skied for the Section III team and they came in 39th and 42nd. At day’s end, Old Forge found themselves in third place among the five schools, but, close enough that it appeared that whoever won the relay race the next day would be crowned the state champion. So, it was a good showing.
Tuesday, Feb. 28, the girls were ready for the three x 3k skate relay race. Our team came in third among the school teams and the positions ended up the same as when they went in. Honeoye Falls-Lima won the state championship with Queensbury second and Old Forge, third. In addition, Emily Rudolph skied for the Section III A team and they came in 11th place among the 16 teams entered. Hanson skied for the Section III B team and they ended in 15th place. Alexis Hollister was the recipient of the NYS Sportsmanship Award for Section III Girls.
In the section competition, Section V won followed by Section II, Section III, Section VII and IX. That was the same order as the high school competition. Once again, Section V, led by HF-L, were the best.
In the boys competition, Old Forge had only two boys in the race as they did not win the Section III title. In the distance race, Tyler Rudolph came in 12th place and Jack Rivet was 15th, both good runs. The race was a 10k classic race.
Tuesday, the two Old Forge skiers competed in the three x 3k skate race. Rudolph skied for the Section III A team and they came in 12th. Rivet skied for the Section III B team and they came in 15th place.
In all, there were a total of 48 skiers competing in the distance race and 16 relay teams. The top three teams in the state for the boys were Lake Placid in first place and the state champion, Queensbury was second and HF-L third. The final order of the section teams was the same with Section VII in first, Section II in second, Section V in third, Section III in fourth and Section IX in fifth and last position.
The state honored the combined winner of the distance race and relay race for both the girls and boys. Gabby Armstrong won that honor for the girls and Scott Schultz won for the boys. Both skiers are from Lake Placid.
That officially ends the high school season for the competitors. Old Forge had another fine season and with all skiers back next year, maybe, this will be their year.

Photo by Carol Perkins
Cedric Barkauskas fights off an opponent.

Both the boys and girls alpine teams won their sectional competition and the school team competed against the other seven schools and were allowed four skiers to compete. Any extra Old Forge skier had to ski for the Section III team.
Monday, Feb. 27, the skill contested was the slalom race. As always, each competitor got two runs. I might add that the conditions at Bristol Mountain were not ideal. Gore Mountain had good manmade snow conditions, but, Bristol was not good. The skiers who skied first had an advantage over the later skiers as the snow turned to mush and times were much slower. I found, in looking over the results, that many skiers who skied first had better times than when they reversed the order in the second run, and vice versa. However, having said that, all competitors had to ski the same course and make the necessary adjustments.
In the boys slalom race, Tyler Kane had the best finish for Old Forge with a 32nd place. Kane was the only Old Forge skier to have two qualifying runs. Of the 63 skiers competing in this race, 24 had a DNF or DSQ run.
Alex Sutherland had the best finish of the Old Forge girls with an 18th place finish after her two runs. Hannah Kane, skiing for the Section III team was 39th and Lauren Beckingham, skiing for the Old Forge team was 41st.
In the giant slalom race held on Tuesday, Charlie Uzdavinis was the top Old Forge skier with a 25th place. Kane also completed his two runs safely and placed 31st. That was it for Old Forge.
In the girls giant slalom, Alexis Hollister placed 19th, Sutherland was 22nd, Kane was 35th and Beckingham was 45th.
Eight of the 11 sections had ski teams. Only the two sections on Long Island and the section in the St. Lawrence area had no teams. In the boys sectional competition, Section II beat our Section V for first place. Section III was a disappointing eighth. In the school competition, Horace Greeley of Section I, downstate, and Shenendahowa of Section II tied for the title. Old Forge came in sixth.
In the girls competition, Section II beat out Section V, once again, to win the competition. Ellicottville out of Section VI in the Buffalo area, surprised many by winning the school state championship by a slim two points over HF-L of Section V. Like the boys team, the Old Forge girls placed sixth.
The New York State Alpine Combined Champion based on their two-day standings were Gigi Vasile of Webster in Section V and Lane Feldeisen out of Lake George-North Warren in Section II.
The kids were a bit disappointed, but most of them will be back to give it another go next year. This competition cannot take away a good solid year of skiing for both the nordic and alpine teams. The competition has shown that Section III, always a good competitor, has in the last few years been a weaker foe.

Modified Boys Basketball
The boys’ modified basketball team played their last two games this past week and although they lost both games, they have shown that they are learning the game fast and with more experience, will become fine players.
Tuesday, Feb. 28, they hosted a very large and an older Holland Patent team. Old Forge tried hard, but it just was not possible for them to keep up with their opponents. It was a game that did neither team any good. I did like the way the kids never gave up and tried hard all the way. They must realize that they will be playing mainly Class D schools as they get up to high school ball and never have to play a game that is impossible to win.
Cedric Barkauskas led his team with seven points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal. George Uzdavinis had four points, three rebounds, one assist, one block and three steals; Clifford Donovan had one point, one rebound, one assist and one steal; Zach Quinn had four rebounds and Ethan Ehrensbeck had five points, six rebounds, three blocks and one steal.
Thursday, March 2, they officially closed the winter sports season with an away game at Remsen. This game was closely played from start to finish as the Rams pulled out a 34-29 victory. Old Forge fell behind by five points at the half and played even ball for the entire second half.
Barkauskas had 10 points and two rebounds, Uzdavinis had 10 points, two rebounds and one block; Donovan had two points and two rebounds; Porter Kelley had two rebounds and one block; Quinn had two points, two rebounds and three blocks and Ehrensbeck had five points, seven rebounds and three blocks.