December 1, 2021

Homer survives tough playoff opener

Katie Vartanian/contributing photographer

Homer’s Sam Sorenson, right, stiff-arms Central Valley Academy’s Miles Perry as he looks to gain yards Friday at Homer High School. Sorenson led the Trojans’ 30-13 victory with 193 rushing yards

HOMER — It wasn’t quite how they drew it up, but the No. 2 Homer football team took down No. 7 Central Valley Academy 30-13 in the NYSPHSAA Class B quarterfinals thanks to four touchdown runs from Sam Sorenson.

Homer nearly trailed at the half for the first time this season, with CVA holding a 13-8 lead toward the end of the half thanks to touchdown runs from Chase Brewer and Tanner Warren. Homer coach Gary Podsiedlik thinks that adversity will make his team better in the future.

“We wanted to put our kids in position to succeed no matter who we’re playing,” Podsiedlik said. “We’ve had it almost too easy in the last month. We needed this. We needed a tough, physical, well-coached team.”

Sorenson scored his second touchdown of the half with just 36 second left before the break to give the Trojans a 14-13 advantage.

Sorenson’s first scoring rush, sandwiched by the Thunder’s two first-half scores, came from 12 yards out. Jake Calabro converted the two-point try.

The Homer defense, which was stout aside from the two scoring drives, kept CVA off the board for the remainder of the game and took some pressure off the offense.

“At halftime, I drew on the whiteboard what plays they were running and I said, ‘this is what they were doing and this is what we have to do to stop it,’” Podsiedlik said. “And the kids picked it up, listened and understood the concept and we were flying and playing good, sound defense.”

Sorenson closed the show in the second half with two more rushing touchdowns, a 6-yard run in the third quarter and a 4-yard dash in the fourth. David Morse polished off the first two-point conversion, while Sorenson took care of the second.

Sorenson continued his dominant season with 193 yards and the four touchdowns on 23 carries. Morse also added 14 carries for 84 yards, but it was his backfield mate who continues to steal the show.

“Sam Sorenson is a beast,” Podsiedlik said. “He’s a good, solid human being. He’s not loud, not outspoken. He’s a class kid. And it’s nice when a nice kid can also be a beast.”

The Trojans’ win moves them onto the sectional semifinals, with a rematch against either No. 3 Vernon-Verona-Sherrill or No. 6 Marcellus waiting for them.

Homer topped V-V-S 30-21 on Sept. 17. Marcellus was blown out by the Trojans 55-26 just a few weeks ago, with Homer scoring 41 first-quarter points.


No. 5 Cortland, No. 4 Oswego 1
Cortland exacted its revenge on Oswego when it mattered most, coming back after dropping the first set to beat the Buccaneers after losing the first two matches of the year.

The Purple Tigers lost the first set 2025, then won the next three 25-21, 2521, 25-15.

Cortland head coach Cheri Olson attributed the win to the Purple Tigers’ stellar defense.

“Our defense was amazing. Oswego just kept swinging and our back row was not going to let them have any easy kills,” Olson said. “We lost a lot of points against Oswego from tips and it was evident that we learned from our mistakes.”

Kristin Rowland and Molly Steve led the way in digs with 25 and 23, respectively.

Sarah Davis-Howard and Aliza McCormick also added 19 digs apiece.

Offensively, Steve’s 16 assists led the team. Davis-Howard had six kills, with McCormick, Grace Bauman and Kaedyn Murphy all adding four kills. Brenna Hogan chipped in three aces, while McCormick and Steve both had one.

Cortland’s next game will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday at No. 1 Fulton in the NYSPHSAA Section III Class A semifinals. The Purple Tigers lost 3-0 twice to the Red Raiders during the regular season,


The Dryden girls volleyball team earned the No. 8 seed in the NYSPHSAA Section IV Class C tournament, giving them a first-round matchup against No. 9 Waverly. That match will be played at 6 p.m. Monday at Dryden.


Dryden at Altmar-Parish-Williamstown, noon