|VALLEY SPORTS REPORT: TIOGA'S AIELLO HEADLINES SUPER 7 — NAMED "COACH OF THE FALL" (2017-11-23)
Valley Sports Report
THE VALLEY — A year after suffering through the only losing season of his career, Tioga football coach Nick Aiello directed the Tigers to their sixth Section IV title in seven years, as well as its sixth trip to the New York State, Class D semifinals.
Coming off a 3-7 season, Tioga let a 19-7 fourth-quarter lead slip away in Week 1 in a 22-19 loss to Class C defending state champion Newark Valley. The Tigers then reeled off eight straight wins, including a 63-42 romp over Sidney, the top seed, in the championship game of the Section IV, Class D playoffs.
After a 46-16 rout of Dolgeville to give the Tigers their sixth Regional championship in seven years, Tioga dropped a 32-27 decision to Maple Grove in the Class D semifinals.
Aiello is now 71-18 in eight seasons on the Tioga sidelines.
The remainder of the “Super 7 Coaches of the Fall” are:
Des Ford, volleyball, Tioga: Ford has built the Tioga volleyball program from the ground up, and is enjoying the best stretch in her 31-year career.
The Lady Tigers won their third consecutive Section IV title, and fifth in six years, this fall. They also swept state-ranked Haldane in the opening round of the state playoffs, before dropping a 3-1 decision in the quarterfinals to second-ranked Millbrook, which went on to lose in the state finals.
Under Ford, Tioga has enjoyed 26 consecutive winning seasons, and has won eight Section IV titles since 2000. Since 2010, Ford’s record is 147-15, and the Lady Tigers are currently on an 81-game regular-season win streak.
Scott Baird, cross country, Waverly: Waverly cross country Scott Baird has had several harriers run at States during his coaching tenure, but it had been several years. This year, freshman Collin Wright, and junior Brandi Welch ended the drought, and advanced to States.
Both the Waverly boys and girls teams won the Tom Koons Valley Invite. The Lady Wolverines won the Small School title at the Owego Invite and won its first IAC divisional title since 1996, and finished second at the prestigious McQuaid Invitational, and the Chenango Valley Invite. They also finished second at the Section IV, Class C Championships, and third at the IAC Championships.
The Waverly boys finished second at the IAC Championships, third at the IAC Divisional meet, and seventh at the Class C meet.
Tara Hogan, girls soccer, Waverly: For the second year in a row, Waverly girls soccer coach Tara Hogan directed the Lady Wolverines into the Section IV, Class B championship game — their first two trips there in program history.
Unfortunately, both trips ended in heart-breaking one-goal losses to powerhouse Chenango Forks. In 2016, Forks won a 1-0 battle, then went on to win a state title. This year, Waverly led 1-0, but Forks tied the game with 4 1/2 minutes remaining and won 2-1 in double-overtime.
Hogan is 41-11 in her three seasons at the helm of the Lady Wolverines.
Jake Lezak, boys soccer, Athens: After years of postseason frustration, Athens boys soccer coach Jake Lezak directed the Wildcats to the program’s first-ever District 4 title in 2016.
The Wildcats earned the chance to defend their Class AAA title this fall, but dropped a 1-0 decision to Mifflinburg — the same team they beat for their title.
Since 2010, Lezak has a record of 114-37-6, including a mark of 67-10-3 over the last four seasons.
Chuck Marvin, boys golf, Sayre: Under the tutelage of Chuck Marvin, the Sayre boys golf team advanced to the District 4 Championships for the second consecutive year this fall, and senior Ryan Murrelle broke through to earn a trip to the PIAA Championships on his fourth trip to Regionals.
Jack Young, football, Athens: Longtime Athens football coach Jack Young knew what he had in senior tailback Zach Jayne, and he kept feeding him the ball. He fed Jayne to the tune of school-records 2,161 yards and 34 TDs.
Young also directed the Wildcats to an 8-2 season, and another trip to the District 4, Class AAAA playoffs.
Since 2009, Young has posted a 60-38 record, and has coached his team into the postseason six times.
IN PHOTO: Tioga’s Nick Aiello.
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