(Aug. 4, 2013) -- Call it beginner's luck if you must, but skill eventually trumps luck when it comes to overall excellence. Besides, the 2012-13 Kerr Cup All-Sports Championship's grand champion caught a bad break or two along the way and still ended another school's long reign in the annual New York State Sportswriters Association competition.
Baldwinsville compiled 43.5 comined points from 28 boys and girls competitions in the recently concluded school year, holding off Maine-Endwell (43.33), Fort Ann (40) and Saratoga (40) for the 2012-13 grand championship, a "Beeautiful" ending to the year. By rallying in the spring season with big efforts in baseball and girls lacrosse, the Bees ended the impressive run by Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, which won overall championships in each of the first four years (sharing with Cazenovia in the 2010-11 season) of the Kerr Cup.
They did so in the rookie year under Bishop Ludden graduate Christopher Campolieta a self-described "life-long sports nut" who taught in Brooklyn schools before coming up to Baldwinsville. He served as an assistant principal in the district before becoming athletic director last summer.
"I'm pleased I've got my first year under my belt," Campolieta said, "and this is quite an accomplishment for the school."
As is the case every year, there's a story within a story for the champion. The Baldwinsville story began with disappointment in the fall when the football team, which for much of the season looked like it was the equal of any in the western half of the state, surrendered two touchdowns in the last five minutes and lost to Syracuse CBA 35-24 in the Section 3 Class AA championship game.
The good break that evened out B'ville's luck came in the sectional baseball quarterfinals vs. Auburn. Down a run in the bottom of the ninth, the Bees tied the game on a ball driven through the legs of a Maroons infielder. They won it on Jacob Norton's hit in the 11th to reward Scott Blewett with the win after seven innings of relief work, then ran the table in rolling up sectional and NYSPHSAA championships.
More class champions
Baldwinsville finished as the Class AA overall champion. Other outright winners in combined team scoring were Maine-Endwell (Class A), Hoosick Falls (C) and Fort Ann (D). Babylon and Bronxville shared the title in Class B.
Baldwinsville had previously won Class AA in 2011, and Bronxville won Class B in 2009 and 2012.
Fort Ann's Class D triumph was particularly impressive with championships in baseball and softball plus an appearance in the final by the boys soccer squad.
In boys scoring, Saratoga (AA and overall), Maine-