An impressive decade for Southern Tier sports
This afternoon, Maine-Endwell, N.Y. capped a storybook season by defeating South Korea, 2–1, to win the Little League World Series. (Check out my former employer, pressconnects.com for all sorts of coverage.)
I’m not an upstate New York native, but having spent 11 years (2003–2014) in Binghamton (and a bonus 8 months up Route 81 in Watertown!), I had a front-row seat to what feels like a remarkable list of athletic achievements for such a “small town.”
Those memories got me thinking: How do each of these achievements stack up? And if your memories go deeper than mine (again, I moved to Binghamton for my freshman year at BU in 2003), what other accomplishments should make the list?
There is, of course, no right or wrong answer here, but here’s my two cents. Let the debate begin:
6. Binghamton University pole-vaulter Rory Quiller wins the NCAA Championship, the first in the school’s D-1 history (2008)
5. The Binghamton Mets break a 20-year drought, sweep their way to an Eastern League title (2014)
4. Kevin Broadus leads Binghamton University to its first America East title and D-1 NCAA tournament appearance (2009)
3. Jonny ‘Bones’ Jones — the pride of Endicott, N.Y. — defeats Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua at UFC 128 to win the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship (2011)
2. After missing the playoffs for five straight seasons, the Binghamton Senators and MVP Robin Lehner cap a storybook season with their first Calder Cup (2011)
And №1: Maine-Endwell goes 24–0 in the 2016 Little League World Series, winning the first LLWS for the U.S. since 2011 and the first for New York State since 1964.
So there’s my list — what’s yours? What am I missing? Are there other major sports moments in Binghamton’s history from before my time? Is Maine-Endwell’s win the greatest athletic achievement in Southern Tier history? Let me know! Leave a comment, Snapchat me or send me a Tweet and let’s talk about it.
NOTE: A previous edition of this story incorrectly referred to Maine-Endwell’s Little League team as the Spartans. M-E’s high school mascot is the Spartans, but the Little League team has no official nickname. H/T Kevin Hogan
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Chris Strub is the first man to live-stream in all 50 U.S. states, the author of ’50 States, 100 Days: The Book,’ but before all of that, he was a columnist and blogger at the Press & Sun-Bulletin in Binghamton, N.Y., and the Sports Editor of Pipe Dream, Binghamton University’s student newspaper.