Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rick Sowell on Junior College (JUCO) Rivalries in the 1980s

Guest blooger Rick Sowell going to the hoop against Washington and Lee in 1984 after transfering from Cobleskill to Washington College. Rick at an outstanding career earning both JUCO and Division III All American honors.

What I remember most about Herkimer is playing them in the 1983 Regional Final at Herkimer. A week earlier we beat the top ranked team in the country, Nassau Community College in a great game at Cobleskill. It certainly was a fun time to be on campus after our victory! Rolling into Herkimer the following week as the #1 team in the country, we were quite full of ourselves. And, before you know it, found ourselves down to a much inspired Herkimer team we had no problem beating during the regular season. I can’t remember the sequence for most of the game, but I do recall Cobleskill, being down 4 or 5 goals late in the game, only to come back and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. I remember hearing Herkimer really giving it to us as if the game was over. But, after scoring a goal late in the game, our faceoff man, Pete Basti went on a run winning 4 or 5 consecutive faceoffs, and allowing us to pull off the comeback. It was awesome! I also remember Fred Opie being one heck of a player, and he could talk smack too! He was all over the place with that long stick, even played extra-man offense, now that’s something! I believe that victory back in 1983 was the last time Herkimer lost to Cobleskill. Lead by Coach Paul Wehrum, Herkimer won 21 consecutive Regional Championships, 8 National titles, including 5 in a row 1992-1996.

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