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I went to the Fall Sports Luncheon held at The Pearl. Very nice place. Crowd seemed smaller to me and I didn't notice the corporate sponsors that have been introduced at the luncheons in the past. Mostly coaches and staff today with a few athletes there.


Roger Wyland was again the MC. Also there and introduced was the Channel 13 sports director (introduced as Wyland's boss). Dr. Mcelroy pointed out the person in charge of construction. I wish someone else from the board was there to fill in the gaps in my memory. I'm pretty sure he said the guy was from Clough Harbor and associates but I may be wrong.


Coach Ford was introduced first. As many of these things as I've been to Ford always find a way to single out one of the other coaches to compliment. Today's was Coach Sheffield. He described his amazement at how talented his players were when he watched them during their early morning practices.


He also said the football program is at a crossroads in 1AA. As we've talked about here he mentioned his problems scheduling, especially with teams from the MAAC. Albany played Cansisius and they folded their program, they played St. Peters once and they refused to schedule them again and of course $iena was on the schedule again for this year but then dropped football. He said the NEC has changed the way they've scheduled their conference games. In the past they've spread the league games out through the season so Albany could mix in some higher level opponents with the conference games. This year all the league games are clumped at the end of the season so he had to start out with consecutive tough games against higher conference opponents. He said he thought those games this year had taken a toll on the team and that they may have lost a bit of their swagger in those opening games. He also said there have been alot more injuries this year than in the past. He cited the early injuries to Kurtz and Vidal as well as Delgado, Walls and Ungerzadt. He said Delgado is having an MRI and may require another surgery on his knee.


Coach Aarnio wasn't there as soccer had a game at 2 today. Coach Banda said his team was still having trouble with some things he thought they had worked out before the season had started. He still sounded upbeat about the future and said his team was still competing hard.


Field Hockey Coach Sykes said his team has had an up and down season. He said he felt like Coach Ford's team that opening the season with four straight losses knocked alot of confidence out of this team. Once they got their first win things started to turn around. He was proud of their recent win over UNH, a team that beat Albany 13-1 two years ago. That win should be the one that helps put his team in the AE tourney.


Coach McVey said he expects the men’s cross-country team to compete for the conference championship coming up in October. The women had one of their top runners injured and he expected her absence to knock the team down a few places overall. He said some of the freshman have run very well and picked up some of the slack. One of the most notable things he said was about how the atmosphere around the athletic department has changed in the last year or two. He pointed out that most of the programs have gone from trying to build and hang on to expecting to win conference titles and regional events.


The final coach was Sheffield who is a pretty funny guy. He said his team has played better than he expected this year. Two players are nursing injuries and wear a protective boot when they’re not on the court. They should be OK to play but he rests them whenever possible. He said his goal was to get Albany to the top of the regional rankings, UA is currently third. He reviewed the 3 wins over Big East opponents and the fact that Albany hammered Siena. His team is at Stony Brook this weekend and he told us he is going to keep them on campus so they can watch the football team “beat the snot out of Stony Brook.”


I had a chance to chat with Coach Sheffield after the luncheon. He told me they had planned on redshirting Ashley Crenshaw but that Green (I think) went down with what looked like a serious injury and he was forced to forgo that. He said she has to get used to the style of play (it’s much quicker sets than other teams) but feel she will be a terrific player. He said during some drills in practice she has been the most impressive player on the floor. He said he likes the old gym set-up over having games held at the RACC where the crowd would be lost in a building that’s too big. Like me, he would like to see the floor painted to make it a true volleyball court. Despite their record, he feels UNH is one of the better teams in the conference. He said they’re very young and will get better as the season goes on. I jokingly asked him if he would hold E-Rod out during some of the road games so she could break the aces record at home. Apparently other people have asked the same things. He said it’s not a given she’ll break it on the road but she had a huge service game against UMBC last year who is one of the teams in the road trip. He said he would certainly like to have her break it at home because it will be such a special event.


That's pretty much it. I handed out a couple of "Beat Siena" pins. Never too early to start.

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The guy was from Clough Harbor.


Thanks again for the pin. It was nice to hear the coaches talk about the season so far. I'm always impressed with the volleyball program. I think coach is not far off in suggesting that Albany can be THE team in the northeast.


As for football, injuries are tough. But with having such a fast QB who isn't much of a passer, I'm not too worried about the injuries at the reciever position.


Kinda wish Coach Brown said a few words...guess we'll have to wait until the next one. icon11.gif

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Welcome to the board! It was great to meet you today.


It would have been great to hear from Patterson and Will Brown. I think last year's luncheon was right before basketball season and they had the fall coaches and the basketball coaches give a talk.

Maybe there will be another one before basketball season. I'd be happy with an exhibition game.

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Just heard from my client about the work down at UA. My client is very close to the top within Clough Harbor. He called and said they have been hired to execute the plan that Sasaki out of Boston designed.


They are currently securing the funding for the overall project. The top issue is (hold on to your hats) A NEW FOOTBALL STADIUM! They will not announce until the funding is secure. He did not give me a timetable but told me when a design is in their hands to execute it is usually imminent.


So the rumors have some merit! I just hope this doesn't take 5 years to complete.

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