Sports round-up, March 23, 2023

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Granville’s Alex Torres was recently named a recipient of the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award representing Granville/Whitehall football.

Torres wins honor as Granville scholar-athlete

Granville three-sport standout Alex Torres was honored last week with the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete Award.

Torres received the award from the Capital District Chapter of the National Football Foundation, representing the Granville/Whitehall football program.

“This is a very prestigious award for Section II and I feel honored and proud to represent both Granville and Whitehall by being selected,” Torres said.

Torres has decided where he will play as a college student in Division I football. A signing day will be announced soon after Torres has informed the schools he will not be attending of his decision.

Torres received the award at a dinner attended by 50 high schools and colleges in Section II at the Polish-American Community Center in Albany on Sunday, March 12.

Every year each high school and college in the section that offers a football program is asked to nominate one candidate who possesses the best combination of academics and athletic ability.

The National Football Foundation is a non-profit organization to promote and develop amateur American football on all levels throughout the United States and “developing the qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, competitive zeal and the drive for academic excellence in America’s young people,” according to its mission statement.

The foundation was founded in 1947 with early leadership from Gen. Douglas MacArthur, longtime Army Black Knights football coach Earl Blake and journalist Grantland Rice.

The foundation fulfills its mission statement by inspiring young people to excellence: holding up the greatest players and coaches in the history of the game as role models and enshrining them and their achievements in the College Football Hall of Fame.

The foundation also excites young people, and those who influence them, about the game: in particular, managing the College Football Hall of Fame in such a way as to dramatize the history, exhilaration and value of the game to an ever-broadening audience of fans and potential fans.

The foundation develops, manages and promotes model football programs, which further strengthen the educational and character-building qualities of the game.

Honoring, publicizing and providing financial support to high school and college football players who represent the ideal of the scholar-athlete is all part of the process.

Torres also plays on the Golden Horde basketball and baseball teams.

Torres is the son of Mario and Nekia Torres.

Greenwich girls end with first loss

The Greenwich girls basketball team saw its outstanding season end last weekend, falling to defending state champion Millbrook in the semifinals of the New York State Class C Girls Basketball Championships at Hudson Valley Community College.

The win snapped a 26-game winning streak for the Witches.

“We ran into a significant opponent. We knew we’d have our hands full, especially with their size,” said Greenwich coach Jason Slater.

“They’re the defending state champs and we have nothing to be ashamed of. We had a heck of a season. Some people had written us off but the girls came together and kept battling. We were down to the final four. There’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

It was the Witches’ first appearance in a state semifinal since the 1993-94 season.

The Witches led 10-8 early, but a 7-0 run gave Millbrook the lead and a 20-15 lead after a quarter.

The Blazers outscored Greenwich 17-14 in the second stanza to lead 37-28 at the break.

In the third Millbrook began to pull away. The Blazers used a 20-5 advantage in the quarter to open a 21-point lead and Greenwich could not recover.

Natalie Fox led Millbrook with 19 points. Emily Grassler added 18, Beth Bosan 15 and Hudson Heitman 10.

Norah Niesz paced the Witches with 22 points. Grace Autiello contributed 16 and Brooke Kuzmich 10.

Slater said he feels his team will be back for another deep run next year despite losing three senior starters. Two starters will return along with junior Adrianna Rojas, an all-state selection last year. Rojas hasn’t played for the Witches as she suffered an injury during the sectionals.

“There’s no reason we can’t be back in this spot next year, if they keep up the time they put into it,” Slater said.

“There were some tears in there, but there’s nothing to hang their heads about. They’ve got a proud bunch of coaches and community. We’re not gonna be content with this. We’re gonna keep working and give it another run next year.”

Greenwich ends the season 26-1.