We’ve got student support. Do you?

“We just don’t get the students to games, and I don’t know why,” he said. “You go to Seton, Chenango Valley, and even Vestal…they all have big student cheering sections, and for whatever reason, we do not.”

– Mark Abbott, Norwich head basketball coach

The endless debate will always continue. Who has the best student fan section in STAC? Section IV? New York State? Local high schools have their own basketball cheering sections, and since basketball season is over we can forget about the arguments about who is better…for now.

Recently, Patrick Newell, the sports editor for The Evening Sun in Norwich, blogged about Norwich’s lack of student support at basketball games. Although Norwich had a very successful season, going 15-6, head coach Mark Abbott can’t understand why there weren’t big cheering sections at home games. “We just don’t get the students to games, and I don’t know why,” he said. “You go to Seton, Chenango Valley, and even Vestal…they all have big student cheering sections, and for whatever reason, we do not.” Newell writes that mostly adults come to see games and the bleachers are filled – just not with students.

Take the schools where student cheering sections are big – most notably Chenango Valley and Seton Catholic Central. The basketball teams from both schools never feel like they are alone on the court, and games between Seton and CV can get rowdy, to say the least.

For me, it’s that school spirit that makes the games exciting. When CV played Seton in the Section IV semi-finals last season, it was electric at the neutral Johnson City site. Sitting at opposite-diagonal sides of the gym, the Warrior fan base rocked the bleachers and the Saints answered right back with a thunderous roar of their own. CV won that game and head basketball coach Bob Zanot told me that the great enthusiasm not only pumps up the players, but him as well. That’s what high school sports are all about.

But does having a massive student section cheering loudly really have an effect on the game? In NCAA Div. I basketball, where student fan sections can be the most organized and crazy in all of sports, researchers have found that playing at home means about a 4 point advantage for the home team. So in close games, the crowd does matter. In another study by Harvard University, a researcher found that by analyzing European soccer matches, for every 10,000 fans at a home game, it gave the home team a 0.1 goal advantage. In soccer that’s huge.

The Chenango Valley 6th Man, the Seton Catholic Central Fan Club, the Owego Free Academy O-Zone, the Union-Endicott Sea of Orange, and the Vestal Den Men can all be lucky that they are apart of a growing trend for schools to form official student cheering sections to help create the “Home” atmosphere that will help their teams win. I hope that Norwich starts something like these schools. With a good basketball program, Norwich could become one of those places, like CV and Seton where teams are afraid to play.


p.s. –

If anyone cares to bring up the atmosphere at a Chenango Valley vs. Chenango Forks football game, good luck. The loudness at those games breaks all rules of physics and common sense, and therefore should be thought of as a supernatural event that happens only once (or twice if your lucky) a year. It’s like Duke v. UNC, Yankees v. Red Sox, David v. Goliath, Mac v. PC, Good v. Evil, all rolled into one…on steroids. That’s why everyone loves it.


Mullins headed to Binghamton University

It’s official. After several weeks of uncertainty about where senior basketball standout Matt Mullins will be playing next season, he has announced he will be a BU Bearcat. The 6’1″ guard from Chenango Valley, who averaged 18.1 PPG last season and led the Warriors to the New York State Class B Final Four in Glens Falls, will be suiting up for the NCAA Division I Binghamton University Bearcats and head coach Kevin Broadus come this winter. He and the rest of the BU team will compete in the America East Conference along with schools like Boston University and the University of Vermont. From the Press & Sun Bulletin:

“Matt Mullins, a Chenango Valley senior and two-time Press & Sun-Bulletin All-Metro selection, will join Binghamton University’s basketball program as a walk-on for the 2008-09 season.

“It’s always been my goal to play at the Division I level, and I want to thank coach (Kevin) Broadus for giving me the opportunity to achieve that goal,” said Mullins, scoring leader for a CV squad that reached the Final Four of Class B state playoffs.

“Walk-on is just a term, it means he doesn’t have a scholarship,” Broadus said. “But if he plays better than a scholarship player, then he’s going to play.”


Zanot, Mullins honored

In the annual Press & Sun-Bulletin’s “All-Metro Team” and “Coach of the Year” selections, Chenango Valley saw two familiar faces. Matt Mullins was selected to the “All-Metro” team, an all-star roster of the ten best players in the Press & Sun-Bulletin’s circulation area. Also, CV head coach Bob Zanot was named “Coach of the Year,” leading his Warriors to their first trip in school history to the Final Four in Glens Falls. Zanot gave his “32 minutes, for 32 years” motivation this year, and also proved that the best way to coach a team is by sitting down.

Coach of the Year: Bob Zanot

Photo by Tim Rogers

All-Metro: Matt Mullins

Photo by Tim Rogers


Hoops wrapup.

They made it to Glens Falls. What a season. After all the games in the House of Rock or wherever they went, the Chenango Valley boys’ basketball team made CV (and BIFF) proud. They upset Seton, they upset Lansing, they upset Hannibal, but they never upset the crowds cheering them on. Whether it was Tommy Hull or Matt Mullins on one of their 30-point nights, or Chris Mack hitting 3’s from downtown to rack up 24 points vs. Hannibal, or Eric Bidwell
getting fouled and making a 3-pointer to end the game vs. Chenango Forks, or all three of the “Seton Fan Club” vs. the “CV 6th Man” games, or Mike Ball’s tip-in buzzer beater in the Lansing game to put the Warriors ahead before halftime, or the chants of “Come on Mully” before a big free-throw, or when our fans stormed the court after we knew the Warriors were headed to Glens Falls, it was always was worth the ticket price to come see CV play. Congratulations to all the basketball players on the most successful basketball season ever at Chenango Valley. It’s one for the Wall of Fame.

#2 – Chris Mack (12)
#3 – Eric Bidwell (12)
#4 – Andy Fox (10)
#5 – Kris Boyce (12)
#21 – Kyle Christoffersen (11)
#32 – Tommy Hull (10)
#33 – Myles Pedroso (12)
#34 – Matt Mullins (12)
#44 – Mike Ball (12)
#55 – Matt Bobal (12)

Coaches: Bob Zanot, Matt Stanton, Aaron Waymire
Manager: Ed Saunders

Look for baseball coverage coming next week…


CV’s magical run ends here.

Matt Mullins’ shot is blocked by Olean’s 6-8 Jacob Houseknecht.

Chenango Valley Warriors: 39
Olean Huskies: 50

The Chenango Valley Warriors lost to the Olean Huskies 50-39 in the New York State Class B Semi-finals Friday night at the Glens Falls Civic Center. Senior Matt Mullins scored 16 pointa and sophomore Andy Fox 7 for CV, a team who could not seem to keep up with the Olean’s dunking menace, 6’8″ Jacob Houseknecht (20 points) and sharpshooter Sam Moore (21 points). They also didn’t shoot well, going 2-20 from 3-point range, a place were Mullins and Chris Mack usually tear it up. This appearance in the NYS Final Four is the first in CV history, and is an accomplishment for all the players, coaches and fans to celebrate.

Photo by Tim Rogers

Photo by Tim Rogers

Photo by Tim Rogers


Glens Falls, here we come.

Chenango Valley Warriors vs. Olean Huskies
Friday, 6:45 p.m.
Glens Falls Civic Center
Glens Falls, NY
New York State Class B Semi-finals

Official webcast of the game.



Chenango Valley Warriors: 55
Hannibal Warriors: 52

Scoring 24 points (including seven 3-pointers), Chris Mack (a.k.a. “The Ankle Breaker”) led the Chenango Valley Warriors to a 55-52 win over the Hannibal Warriors in the state quarter-finals to make it to the State Class B Final Four semi-finals in Glens Falls, NY. Mack was absolutely on fire from 3-point range and led the Warriors who trailed most of the game. A packed fan section saw CV upset 8th ranked Hannibal in the “Battle of the Warriors” in one of the best games this year. Matt Mullins added 14 points for Chenango Valley, and also saw his 1,000 career point go through the net in the Cortland State gymnasium. Sophomore Tommy Hull had 10 points, and added key defense against a huge Hannibal team. This is the first time a CV team has ever made it to the New York State Final Four. The state Class B Semi-Final against either Section 6’s Olean (ranked 5th in the state) or Charlotte from Section 5 this Friday, 6:45 p.m. at the Glens Falls Civic Center.