To say it’s been a memorable year in local sports would be an understatement, we’ve witnessed championships lost legends and made history in the process. Here are our picks for the top 10 most memorable local sports headlines of 2016.
10. The rise of Joseph Girard III
This Glens Falls sophomore had been on everyone’s radar for some time, but in 2016 JGIII had a coming out party of sorts. Not only did the 6’1″ sensation pick up a slew of Division I college basketball offers, but he also made a name for himself on the football field, helping the Indians to their first state Super Bowl in school history. Oh and he’s exiting 2016 averaging only 34.2 points per game on the court.
9. Holy Trinity strong
— Daily Gazette (@dgazette) October 26, 2016
After an early morning arson, the Holy Trinity football team thought everything they had worked for was over with their equipment destroyed and their first playoff game scheduled for the next day. But the community stepped up, among them UAlbany. The Danes donated jerseys, pads, and equipment – keeping the team’s season alive. Although they didn’t get the victory, the real win was being able to play.
8. UAlbany Makes History, Defeats Buffalo
7. Schalmont is #RossiStrong
When Schalmont freshmen soccer player Davia Rossie was unable to hit the field this season because of a cancer diagnosis, her peers responded in a huge way. Her team along with the boys’ soccer and football teams all got and wore shirts that said “Rossi Strong” on game day and during warmups. Keep fighting Davia #RossiStrong.
6. UFC Takes on Albany
As recently as last year this headline carried a very different meaning, but with the legalization of Mixed Marchal Arts in New York State, the UFC made its first appearance in Albany this fall. Over 6,000 Capital Region residents descended on the Times Union Center for this glorious event, but 518 Sports wasn’t one of them because we weren’t good enough for the UFC.
5. Can’t stop Kevin Huerter
2016 has been a busy one for the Kevin Huerter in March he guided Shenendehowa to a second consecutive Section II Class AA title in boys basketball before helping the school to its first-ever state title in baseball (more on that later). After that, Huerter was named Mr.Basketball of NY and then won a gold medal at the FIBA Americas under-18 Championships in Chile. Now the 6″7′ guard is averaging a gentlemen’s 6.7 points per game for the Terrapins, not bad for a freshman competing at one of the highest levels of College Basketball.
4. Grasso gone too soon
On Sunday, Sept. 25 the close-knit Section II football community was shook to its core when news of longtime Bishop Maginn coach Joe Grasso’s death spread. A legend’s legend, Grasso was respected by so many coaches and players alike from around the Section. Rest in peace coach.
3. Section II goes 3 for 3 at the Dome
In out of this world fashion, Section II captured three state Super Bowl titles at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, all of which strangely came down to a play involving a two-point conversion. First, it was Cambridge on Friday, then Glens Falls and Troy capped off the weekend – proving again that Section II is the greatest Section in New York.
2. Lady Danes make history
For the fifth consecutive year in a row, the UAlbany women’s basketball team captured the America East title, but they weren’t done there. The team made history when they won their first NCAA tournament game, upsetting Florida 61 to 58.
1. Anderson selected third overall
Just days before guiding the Shenendehowa baseball team to its first state title in school history, senior flamethrower Ian Anderson became the highest Major League Baseball draft pick in Capital Region history when the Atlanta Braves selected him third overall. After starting out in the Florida Golf Coast League, Anderson rounded out his rookie season in the Appalachian League.