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Phil Blackwell

Stories by Phil

Symetra Tour returns to Drumlins this weekend

Credit Union Classic draws top women's golfers looking for LPGA cards

Nearly two decades old, the Symetra Tour’s Credit Union Classic has turned into a late-summer fixture on the Central New York golf calendar. And once again, the future stars of women’s golf are heading to Drumlins Country Club’s East course this weekend, battling for $100,000 in prize money and improving their odds of being one of the 10 players that, at season’s end, will earn an LPGA Tour card.

Area baseball teams find tournament success

North Syracuse advances to Babe Ruth Mid-Atlantic Regional

Once again, a group of North Syracuse Babe Ruth Baseball players is vying for state, regional and – potentially – national honors. In this case, it’s the 15-and-under North Syracuse side grabbing the honors, starting out last weekend when it went to Ithaca and won the Western New York state championship, sweeping all four of the games it played.

C-NS, Liverpool football await 2014 season

Northstars to debut on new turf Oct. 3 against Henninger

Right after the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship ended on June 7, the work got underway at Cicero-North Syracuse’s Bragman Stadium.

Liverpool grad helps guide NCAA baseball champs

Scott Brown excels as Vanderbilt pitching coach

Exactly two decades ago, Scott Brown graduated from Liverpool High School, wondering where his journey in baseball would take him. As it turned out, it would land him in the highest level of college baseball, and last Wednesday night in Omaha, Nebraska, Brown, now a seasoned pitching coach, was an integral part of Vanderbilt University’s first-ever national championship in any male sport.

Local lacrosse players gain national recognition

C-NS girls get tryouts with U.S. National Team

Though the high school lacrosse season is completed, the curtain has lifted on a summer where top local players take part in all kinds of camps, clinics, travel teams and tournaments. And that even includes a bit of national recognition, especially when it comes to a talented core of girls players from Cicero-North Syracuse.

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Hart leads Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame inductee list

Golf, basketball, football, journalism all part of Class of 2014

With accomplishments that span the entire second half of the 20th century and the first years of the 21st century, the six newest inductees to the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame provide a wide variety of compelling stories.

Sovring helps Section III win state golf title

C-NS star plays in third state tournament; Auburn's May prevails

Both as a freshman, and as a junior, Cicero-North Syracuse girls golfer Brianna Sovring earned the right to play deep into June and appear in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship tournament.

Softball Warriors fall just short of AA state title

Liverpool claims semifinal, drops final to East Meadow

So how close did the Liverpool softball team come to bringing home the first state championship in program history? One more hit, at an opportune time, may have provided that winning moment for the Warriors in Saturday's state Class AA title game at Moreau Recreation Center in South Glens Falls, but it never got that hit, and instead took a 3-1 defeat to East Meadow.

Akinpelu second in 400 hurdles at state meet

C-NS's Austen places fourth in Division I pentathlon

Ore Akinpelu, Morgan Austen, Mark Vanmarter and Pete Girardi led the contingent of Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool track and field athletes working in home territory during last weekend’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet at Bragman Stadium.

Liverpool softball rallies past Bethlehem in AA regional

Warriors erase 5-0 deficit, advance to state final four

As if the nine-inning, 2-1 conquest of Cicero-North Syracuse to claim the Section III Class AA championship wasn’t enough, more drama – and more happiness – awaited the Liverpool softball team by week’s end.

Petrin competes in state golf tournament

C-NS star contends early, finishes in tie for 16th

On Monday morning, Cicero-North Syracuse boys golfer Joe Petrin went after a state championship. Close to the lead with 18 holes left in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association tournament in Ithaca, Petrin got a close-up view of the race for the top spot, but could not keep up with it.

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Warriors beat C-NS, reclaim sectional softball title

Hansen scores winning run in ninth of 2-1 classic

Alicia Hansen did not hold back on the hyperbole in the afterglow of the Liverpool softball team's 2-1, nine-inning victory over Cicero-North Syracuse in Monday's Section III Class AA final at the Gillette Road complex that ended the Northstars' four-year reign as sectional champions and gave the Warriors its first crown since 2009.

Liverpool, C-NS track stars advance to state meet

Vanmarter, Akinpelu, Girardi, Austen, Herringshaw earn wins

Mark Vanmarter, Ore Akinpelu, Morgan Austen and Pete Girardi have all secured spots in next weekend’s state track and field championship meet at Bragman Stadium, with a chance at contending for medals.

Liverpool, C-NS softball return to AA sectional final

Northstars edge West Gensee; Warriors hammer Central Square

In order to arrive at their latest head-to-head clash for the Section III Class AA championship, the Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool softball teams got there in vastly different manners.

Liverpool baseball falls in Class AA semis

Rough start leads to Auburn stopping Warriors, 10-2

Three pitches, especially the first three pitches of a baseball game, are far from enough to decide any kind of outcome. Yet it was what took place on that initial trio of deliveries that would start to send the Liverpool Warriors spiraling down to a 10-2 defeat to Auburn in Monday’s Section III Class AA semifinal at Onondaga Community College.

C-NS, Liverpool softball handle playoff openers

Warriors pull away from Auburn; Northstars blank F-M

Though certainly eyeing each other for a possible Section III Class AA championship showdown, the Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool softball teams did not forget about the immediate task of getting through the early rounds.

Liverpool baseball advances; C-NS knocked out

Warriors get past RFA as Northstars fall to F-M

Though the Liverpool baseball team lost twice in the regular season to Cicero-North Syracuse, it was the Warriors moving past the early rounds of the Section III Class AA playoffs, while the Northstars exited early.

Northstars’ Petrin reaches state golf tournament

C-NS brother tandem contends at sectional qualifier

Cicero-North Syracuse boys golfers Joe and John Petrin both had strong fall campaigns and finished among the leaders in the Section III Class AA tournament last October at the Links at Sunset Ridge.

C-NS girls lax makes return to sectional final

Northstars stop F-M, to face West Genny at Carrier Dome

Everything that the Cicero-North Syracuse girls lacrosse team had done to build its program back up to elite status leads up to the trip it takes to the Carrier Dome Tuesday night to see if it can upend West Genesee and win its first Section III Class A championship in 16 years.

Vanmarter leads Liverpool to second at AA meet

C-NS boys finish third; Girardi prevails twice

Mark Vanmarter and Alex Christensen helped the Liverpool boys track and field team to a second-place finish, just ahead of Cicero-North Syracuse, in Wednesday’s Section III Class AA championship meet at Bragman Stadium.

C-NS's Sovring earns return to state golf tournament

Northstars standout finishes fifth at sectional tourney

Cicero-North Syracuse girls golfer Brianna Sovring reached a pinnacle in her high school career when she qualified for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association tournament for the second time a season ago. Now, though, Sovring has reached a new milestone as, by finishing fifth in Tuesday's 2014 Section III championships at Kanon Valley Country Club, she will get to return to SUNY-Delhi's course on June 14-15 and make a third appearance in the state tournament.

Liverpool boys gets close to league track title

Vanmarter wins three events; Warriors one point back of F-M

A single point kept the Liverpool boys track and field team from winning last Thursday’s CNY Counties League National division championship on its home track. With a total of 147 points, the Warriors finished just behind Fayetteville-Manlius, who seized the top spot with 148 points. Cicero-North Syracuse had a strong showing, too, getting to third place with a total of 126 points.

Girls track Northstars takes second at league meet

Liverpool's Akinpelu wins three races

With lots of depth on its roster, the Cicero-North Syracuse girls track and field team offered a legitimate challenge to Fayetteville-Manlius during last Thursday’s CNY Counties League National division championship meet at Baldwinsville’s Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium.

C-NS, Liverpool softball build win streaks

Rivals both beat B'ville as sectional playoffs near

Though the path to those wins proved different, the Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool softball teams both earned crucial decisions with the Section III Class AA playoffs close at hand.

Liverpool baseball rallies, stuns B’ville

Warriors putting together strong finish to regular season

Should the Liverpool baseball team rise up and make a serious push for the Section III Class AA title, it may point to last Monday’s game against Baldwinsville as a turning point.

C-NS girls lax tops F-M, finishes 15-1 regular season

Liverpool to face Hornets in sectional playoffs

Though it knows that the task to reclaim the Section III Class A title after a 16-year absence is a tall one, the Cicero-North Syracuse girls lacrosse team goes into the Section III Class A playoffs confident after a tremendous 15-1 regular season.

C-NS boys lacrosse pulls away from Liverpool

Northstars regain form after pair of late-season defeats

Losses to Fayetteville-Manlius and West Genesee had the Cicero-North Syracuse boys lacrosse team in a skid, while its counterparts from Liverpool were making a furious late push to atone for early-season woes.

Softball Northstars, Warriors roll to more wins

C-NS splits weekend doubleheader with Horseheads, Troy

Once their regular-season business with each other was done (with one victory apiece), the Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse softball teams proceeded to handle most of its other opposition through the rest of the busiest week of the regular season.

Girls lacrosse Northstars hold off B'ville

Liverpool stopped by Bees, West Genesee

Still perched at the no. 4 spot in the state Class A rankings, the Cicero-North Syracuse girls lacrosse team motored toward the post-season, though perhaps a bit concerned with the way its defense was performing.

C-NS baseball blanks Liverpool for second time

Northstars, Warriors battle through busy week

Perhaps the next time the Liverpool baseball team meets up with Cicero-North Syracuse, it won’t have to worry about Steven Theetge. In two separate outings this season, Theetge has kept the rival Warriors off the board, doing so again last Thursday as the Northstars battled to squeeze out a 1-0 victory.

Liverpool boys lax trying for late surge

C-NS stumbles in losses to F-M, West Genesee

True, they began the last full week of the regular season far apart when it came to win-loss records, but perhaps the Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool boys lacrosse teams saw that large gap close before they met in Tuesday’s regular-season finale at Bragman Stadium.

C-NS track and field dominates Baldwinsville

Northstars sweep Bees, Henninger in 48-hour span

Cicero-North Syracuse’s track and field teams had quite a successful finish to its CNY Counties League National division slate, earning a sweep over Baldwinsville on Wednesday afternoon.

Liverpool softball takes out C-NS, 12-4

Nine runs in first two innings provide early decision

What, exactly, is the conclusion to draw from the Liverpool softball team's 12-4 victory over Cicero-North Syracuse in Monday afternoon's welcome spring sunshine? Either it is the strong, loud statement of the Warriors using its bats to silence and dominate its long-time rival and part-time nemesis, or it's the Northstars conceding one small battle at this late point in the regular season in order to concentrate on the larger prize.

C-NS, Liverpool girls lax rolls to wins

Warriors making late push to get into sectional playoffs

Though some key regular-season contests still remained, the Cicero-North Syracuse girls lacrosse team spent last week’s action easily casting aside a pair of opponents.

Baseball Warriors, Northstars take losses

Liverpool unable to stop B'ville; C-NS salvages split

When the Liverpool baseball team made its way back from a week of work in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, it joined home-standing Cicero-North Syracuse in wondering if any sort of consistency could get hashed out.

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Liverpool boys lacrosse stuns B’ville in overtime

Warriors go through 2-1 week; C-NS handles C. Square

Even if the Liverpool boys lacrosse team of 2014 doesn’t match the remarkable performance of the last few seasons, it can look back on last Tuesday night’s game against visiting Baldwinsville with a lot of fondness.

Liverpool tennis edges past C-NS, 4-3

Warriors get all points in straight-set victories

Each of the Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse boys tennis teams found themselves squeezing in as many matches as they could and hoping the weather didn’t misbehave too much.

Track Northstars fall to Fayetteville-Manlius

C-NS girls get sprint titles from Pulaski in 74-67 defeat

Armed with lots of talent and ready to romp in the rain, the Cicero-North Syracuse track and field teams ventured to Fayetteville-Manlius on Wednesday afternoon in an effort to go to the top of the CNY Counties League.

Softball Warriors, Northstars head for rematch

Liverpool holds off West Genny; C-NS blanks Auburn

Working their way toward another head-to-head showdown next Monday, the Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse softball teams still had to take care of a lot of competition in the lead-up - if the weather cooperated.

C-NS baseball sweeps F-M, Oswego

Northstars win twice in one day after defeat to West Genny

In a span of less than 10 hours on Thursday, the Cicero-North Syracuse baseball team just may have turned its entire season in a new – and more promising – direction.

Liverpool softball thrives in Myrtle Beach

Warriors go 4-0, give up just two runs overall

Once the Liverpool softball team made its way to Myrtle Beach, S.C., for a week of intensive game action during the April school break, it had long shaken off its April 14 defeat to rival Cicero-North Syracuse.

Girls lacrosse Northstars win close games in Maryland

Liverpool goes 2-1, takes close loss to Watertown

Having moved past the most difficult and crowded portion of its regular-season schedule, it was time for the Cicero-North Syracuse girls lacrosse team to relax a bit – if the definition of relaxation meant challenging itself in a trip to Maryland.

C-NS girls track defeats West Genesee

Northstars also thrive in weekend meets at Marcellus, Utica

The Cicero-North Syracuse girls track and field teams worked their way through raw, cold conditions and, getting three titles from Hannah Szumloz, rolled to a 102-38 victory over the Wildcats last Wednesday afternoon at Bragman Stadium.

C-NS boys lax goes 1-1, falls to B’ville

Liverpool takes losses to West Genesee, Cazenovia

Whether it wanted to or not, Cicero-North Syracuse’s boys lacrosse team found itself a spectator on a historic occasion. When the Northstars lost, 14-7, to Baldwinsville last Thursday at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium, it gave long-time Bees head coach Peter Fiorini his 400th career victory.

Liverpool track sweeps to Tully Invitational titles

Vanmarter, Akinpelu among multiple winners for Warriors

Sweeping all of the top spots in distance events, the Liverpool boys and girls track and field teams both managed first-place finishes at Monday afternoon's Tully Spring Break Invitational.

C-NS baseball blanks Liverpool, 7-0

Theetge strikes out 12, gets late run support

For a while in his second start of the season, Cicero-North Syracuse baseball pitcher Steven Theetge was facing the same situation with which he had little control over - namely, giving his team a superb performance on the mound, but not getting rewarded for it.

C-NS softball outshines Liverpool again

Scott hurts Warriors with home run, five RBIs

For more than three decades, Kerry Bennett had the best possible view as he built a softball dynasty at Cicero-North Syracuse that piled up Section III and state championships. But when the Northstars met main rival Liverpool Monday afternoon at the Gillette Road complex, Bennett, the subject of a controversial dismissal from his job in August of 2012, was on the opposing side, assisting Warriors coach Nick Spataro.

Liverpool baseball roars to three straight wins

Better weather leads to Warriors' hot start

Determined to climb back to the top of the Section III Class AA ranks, the Liverpool baseball team found immediate success once games finally got underway.

C-NS baseball falls to Oswego, Syracuse East

Northstars take pair of one-run defeats after 3-0 start

With a big early-season showdown against defending state Class AA champion Baldwinsville looming on Tuesday, the Cicero-North Syracuse baseball team dealt with a pair of one-run defeats, which slowed things up after a 3-0 start.

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C-NS, Liverpool softball string together wins

Warriors start 3-0; Northstars prevail at Binghamton tourney

The Cicero-North Syracuse softball team could not quickly put its 2-1 defeat to Baldwinsville on April 3 behind them due to the bad weather that kept them off the field for nearly a week.

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