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Sports poll: What was the top sports story of 2013 in Bethlehem and Guilderland?

Reader poll

What was the top sports story of 2013 in Bethlehem and Guilderland?

  • Bethlehem boys volleyball goes to states again 1%
  • Gunnar Zemering’s state swimming title for Bethlehem 59%
  • Guilderland boys soccer reaches state semifinals 0%
  • Guilderland softball beats Bethlehem for Sectional title 1%
  • Local golfers Victor Fox and Earl Winchester finish second at state tourneys 39%

148 total votes.

As we begin 2014, let's not forget what took place in 2013. There were a number of sports stories that captured our interest, but which one was the most memorable? Here are the top five choices:

Bethlehem boys volleyball goes to states again. The Eagles won their third consecutive Sectional and regional championships, but they lost three of their four sets in pool play at the state tournament to finish third.

Bethlehem's trip was memorable in a controversial way, as coach Jason Wood felt that eventual state champion Fairport deliberately threw one of its two pool play sets against Sachem East to make it more difficult for the Eagles to advance. Fairport coach John O'Dell said he simply wanted to give his bench players a chance to see some on-court action after the Red Raiders clinched their berth to the finals.

Gunnar Zemering becomes second Bethlehem swimmer to win a state title. Zemering joined Ken Neff on the school's short list of state champs when he won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 21.10 seconds, one-hundredth of a second ahead of Alexander's Robert Brown.

Where Zemering swam in the finals made the achievement all the more amazing. Zemering was in Lane 8 after barely qualifying for the championship heat, limiting his ability to know exactly where his competition was.

Guilderland boys soccer reaches state semifinals for first time since 1989. The Dutchmen knocked off Big 10 upstart Albany 4-1 in the Section II Class AA finals and then edged Section III's Baldwinsville 2-1 in overtime to win regionals before falling to Fairport 3-1 in the state's Final Four.

Guilderland's success was due in large part to Connor O'Brien's restarts. Whether it was corner kicks or free kicks, O'Brien found a way to get the ball in just the right spot for a teammate to knock it into the goal. The Dutchmen's playoff wins over Shaker (1-0) and Baldwinsville came from goals started by O'Brien's kicks.

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