And when Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake's
defending state championship team gets edged out of returning to the NYSPHSAA girls cross country meet despite being one of the strongest squads in New York, Bob McGuire
just plugs his
girls soccer team into the equation.
"We were the second-best (Class A) team in the state," said McGuire, who's been the Spartans' athletic director for 14 years.
program, which he
says is fueled by the work and enthusiam of the coaches, has a double-barreled leg up on the competition when the bid for a three-peat begins this fall:
(1) Boys volleyball will conduct its first NYSPHSAA championship in November, qualifying it as a scoring sport in the All-Sport Championship standings.
Burnt Hills won a five-section regional in the sport two years ago and placed third last November.
(2) "We didn't graduate a lot of (key) seniors this month, so there's a lot coming back," McGuire
And the pipeline remains full.
Like many districts across New York, Burnt Hills has trimmed its interscholastic sports budget considerably recently (about 30 percent over the last two years), but the youth and recreational programs remain robust in the community.
The Junior Spartans programs, which typically start between third and sixth grade, have more than 5,000 participants each year, keeping McGuire and Kevin Fitzpatrick busy scheduling gym and field time for the many leagues.