ESF the Team to Beat
Report from Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
FLCC seeks to stay on a log roll
(April 22, 2005)
About the only way to beat Finger Lakes Community College is to recruit its woodsmen after they're done at the two-year school.
"If we ever lose, it's to ESF," legendary timber coach Marty Dodge says, referring to SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse. "And that's mostly because of our people."
ESF will be the team Finger Lakes CC is trying to beat at the 59th annual Intercollegiate Woods-men's Competition today and Saturday on its Lakeshore Drive campus in Hopewell, near Canandaigua. FLCC is the defending men's champion but ESF won the New York state title three weeks ago.
"ESF is going to be tough," says Dodge, whose team was third behind ESF and Paul Smiths College at states. "They're loaded with our graduates." Finger Lakes has won the Intercollegiate Woods-men's title 15 times on the men's side and 14 times on the women's side. Those are big numbers when you realize this year marks the school's 30th anniversary in timber sports.
"Considering we're the only two-year school (competing), it's pretty significant," Dodge says about the many championships his teams have won. Dozens of the 67 colleges known to have woodsmen's programs are sending their timber teams to little FLCC for the two-day competition, which begins at 8 a.m. today. This is the sixth time the Intercollegiate Woodsmen's has been held in Canandaigua; the first since 1999.
After the opening ceremony there will be canoe races, log rolls, pulp tosses and a speed-climbing demonstration up until about 4 p.m. On Saturday, there is axe throwing, chain sawing, pole climbing, single-buck sawing and cross-cutting from 8 a.m. until the banquet and awards at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free.
ESPNU, the new cable TV spin-off from the all-sports network ESPN, will be covering the championships with FLCC graduate and world-champion lumberjack Dave Jewett of Pittsford as a commentator. Two Victor High graduates, Greg Cocquyt and John Rentschler, are Finger Lakes' top male athletes. Both are second-year students, which means Dodge will soon have to beat them just as he has so many others who have joined his team.