Displaying items by tag: Sienna College

Thursday, 16 May 2019 13:23

Joey Laurer: Athlete of the Week

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Springs High School’s varsity pitcher Joey Laurer learns dedication and time management from his familial inspirations. 

Laurer began playing baseball at the age of two, and swimming competitively at seven, as he followed in the footsteps of his baseball playing uncle, Jerry Faiola and swimming father, Kurt Laurer. 
While Laurer states that baseball is his favorite, he excels in swimming as he broke the school record for the 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 1 minute, one second and 10 milliseconds – qualifying him for states. 
It isn’t enough to say that Laurer is an exceptional athlete, but he is a scholar-athlete, as he is a member of Saratoga Springs National Honor Society and a familiar name on the school’s honor roll. Laurer attributes his inspiration to his Nonna (grandmother). 
“Because she has fought through cancer four different times. Just her character and strength.” 
When Laurer is not in school or practicing, he is giving back to his community as an Eagle Scout, where his Eagle project was to re-paint the West Side Recreation Center Field building. 
“It wasn’t too tough (balancing his schedule), I don’t think, because I just try my best to make sure I stayed on top of everything I had to do. It’s taught me some valuable skills like time management.” 
Though baseball is near and dear to his heart, it is not a game without disappointments. 
“You always have to stay humble, and you’re working hard so that you can do your best to succeed as much as possible.” 
In addition to having a positive mindset, constant support from loved ones is highly encouraging. On and off the field, his biggest supporters are his family, including his parents, his sister, and grandparents, who are constantly encouraging him throughout his athletic career. 
“(They are) picking me up after a tough game. Telling me what I need to do better. Just always being supportive of what I want to do, and where I want to go with it,” said Laurer. 
Laurer would also like to thank his friends, aunts, uncles, coaches, scout leaders and teachers for their constant support throughout his academic and athletic career. 
Though only a junior, Laurer has verbally committed to playing Baseball at Siena College, where he plans to major in pre-med. 
Published in Sports

[Photos provided]

SARATOGA COUNTY — On Thursday, Nov. 9 two local gentlemen were inducted in the New York State Baseball Hall of Fame. Paul Mound, Union College baseball coach and creator of Saratoga Stampede, and John DeGregory, Schuylerville, a wellknown baseball player during his high school and college years at Sienna College. With over 400 people in attendance, MC Rodger Wyland, Sports Director for NewsChannel 13, spoke of Mound and DeGregory’s achievements in baseball, along with the other 14 members of the 2017 inductee class: Buffalo Bisons, Minor League Blue Jays Affiliate; Andy Van Slyke, St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates; Paul O’Neill, New York Yankees and Cincinnati Reds; BJ Surhoff, Milwaukee Brewers and Baltimore Orioles; Shawon Dunston, Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants; Marty Appel, New York Yankees Media, author; John Sterling, YES Network Announcer; Carl Yastrzemski, Boston Red Sox, Cooperstown Hall of Fame; Sandy Koufax, Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers; CB Bucknor, Major League Umpire; Phil Schoff, Syracuse, St. Johnsville; Walt Weiss, Oakland Athletics, Colorado Rockies; Omar Minaya, New York Mets, MLB Players Association; and Andy Yager, upstate umpire.

“When you’re getting inducted side by side with all those Major League Baseball guys, it’s very humbling. It was professional all around, a very special night,” Mound said of the evening.

Mound has been coaching Union College baseball since 2011 and has led the Dutchmen to their fifth consecutive 20-win season, the longest active streak in the Liberty League. He is the third coach in the program history to reach the 150-career win mark.

“As I’m sitting there looking at the names of the people that are up on the podium in front of me, I’m sitting there going ‘what am I doing here?’” Mound laughed.

“I never got into doing all of this stuff to get recognized. I got into it simply because I love the game and I always wanted to give kids an opportunity like I had as a kid. When you start reflecting back on it, you think, ‘holy cow, I guess I did do more than I even realized I did,’” Mound said.

Mound’s high school baseball coach is also in the New York State Baseball Hall of Fame, along with three other people from his baseball organization, Saratoga Stampede.

DeGregory had a self-described, “very long and very productive career as a baseball player at whatever level I played at. Unfortunately, I wasn’t given the opportunity to play at the pro level but I played in Sienna, I played in Connecticut in the Norwich City League for two years, and in the Albany Twilight League,” DeGregory said.

DeGregory is no longer active in baseball, he is currently working at Newport News and has done so for the last 30 years. In his early adulthood, he tried out for the Houston Astros and was offered a playing contract with them that he turned down.

“There were some circumstances that I decided not to pursue the contract, I thought I would be given more opportunities and it just never happened that way but I was able to adjust and I have a great career in the naval nuclear program that I’ve been a part of for almost 35 years. I am really happy that although it didn’t work out for me in a baseball sense, I do have a very successful career outside of baseball,” DeGregory said.

“I was very honored to be a part of that ceremony and I am proud to be a part of that group of inductees and all of the other inductees over the years,” DeGregory stated.

“I would relive the night 100 times if I could,” Mound laughed.

“The event was fantastic, we were sold out. John DeGregory and Paul Mound were all well deserved, all gentlemen. They are well-respected within the local community. Paul is a tremendous success with Stampede and has done a remarkable job building Union baseball into a powerhouse. Degregory is the best hitter I ever saw, played with, or played against,” said Rene LeRoux, Executive Director of New York State Baseball Hall of Fame.

Published in Sports

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