Special woman, special race

Myriam Loor has done an amazing job directing an amazing race for 11 years called the Celebrate Life Half Marathon in Rock Hill, Sullivan County.

It began when Loor was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and continued running all the while enduring 4½ months of harsh treatments. She upped her weekly mileage to 35, having never run more than 20 miles a week. Her cancer went into remission and a friend, Suzy Loughlin, sent a congratulatory bouquet of flowers with a note reading, “Celebrate Life, My Friend.’’

Less than three years later, Loor, a Monticello resident who came to the U.S. from her native Colombia at age 16, organized the 13.1-mile road race. More than 700 runners from all over the country wind through a gorgeous Sullivan County course knowing that every dime of proceeds assists cancer patients in treatment.

The 11th edition went off on March 9, and preliminary numbers have been tallied.

“A few minutes ago I finished reconciling the account and I literally had tears in my eyes, believe it or not,’’ Loor said in an email the other day. “ I think we are very close to netting $60,000. That’s incredible.’’

Incredible, indeed.

Loor’s remission lasted 11 months before the cancer came back in December 2002. She has been in remission this time since 2005, and after years of blogging hundreds of short essays, she used some of them to author a recently published book called, “Because It Is I.’’

Loor will celebrate her 53rd birthday on May 23. She has completed a dozen or so marathons – not keeping track because numbers mean little anymore, other than the one on her birth certificate. Loor is looking forward to growing old. There are more races to run and direct, and more patients to help.

Twitter: @th_KevinGleason

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Coleman Catholic kids made quite an impact

I am one of the last people to blame officials for a team’s loss. Even really badly officiated games rarely dictate outcomes. There are simply too many variables involved, too many things that players and coaches could have done differently to change the final score.

I felt that John A. Coleman Catholic’s 57-50 overtime loss to Utica-area New York Mills for the Class D state title represented one of those rare occasions when officials perhaps cost a team the game. New York Mills got almost every call, and wound up getting whistled for 10 fouls (yes, 10, the entire game!) to 21 for Coleman Catholic. This, despite Coleman Catholic outrebounding New York Mills 46-39, a statistic that typically suggests the more aggressive team. If New York Mills could have more than occasionally made a free throw, finishing 10-of-19 to Coleman Catholic’s 8-of-12 foul shooting, Mills would have won in regulation.

But it wasn’t just the discrepancy in fouls. Two key Coleman starters, point guard Nick Sirbaugh and rebounding-machine Doug Terrone, a forward, fouled out in the fourth quarter. Terrone was whistled for his fifth with 3:41 left in regulation, Sirbaugh 39 seconds later. So Coleman went the final 7:02 seconds, counting overtime, without two critical pieces.

For my column off the game, I was all set to focus on Coleman Catholic getting robbed. But that quickly changed when not a single Coleman Catholic player blamed the officials. They instead talked about New York Mills being a worthy opponent and deserving the win.

“We gave it our all,’’ senior guard Kevin Davis said. “That’s what matters most. The refs, I think, did an OK job. There is always going to be controversial calls. You gotta get past that.’’

So I chose to focus on Coleman’s classy reaction to the loss. (http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140316/SPORTS31/403160327/-1/SPORTS0303). It turns out I wasn’t the only one impressed by Coleman Catholic.

A man named Matt Moyse was watching. He’s an assistant coach for Charlotte Valley Central School in Delaware County, which lost to New York Mills earlier in the tournament. When Moyse read about Coleman Catholic’s mature exit, he felt compelled to share his views in an email to Coleman Catholic administrators.  He gave me permission to share his touching note:
For starters, let me say that I am a member of the Board of Education and Assistant Varsity Boys’ Basketball Coach for Charlotte Valley Central School in Delaware County, NY.  Our young men lost in the regional round of tournament play to NY Mills just over a week ago. Despite not being there with our team, my wife and I traveled to Glens Falls this past weekend as fans of the game, but left as fans of Coleman Catholic, and specifically, the young men who represented your school.

 As a coach, I always tell our kids that referees do not change the outcome of the game and that we must accept the decisions that they make. As a fan on Saturday, I was appalled for your young men. But more importantly, I was so impressed with the demeanor and pose of your young men as they held on for dear life whistle and whistle blown against them. #5 (Terrone) sat on the edge of his seat, encouraged his teammates at every moment and supported them every second of the game after he had been unjustly disqualified. Most young men in that position would have pulled their jersey over their head and chose to not watch any more, upset that their moment was ruined.  What I saw from your players was that there wasn’t a single moment of “me,” but rather an enormous team effort from every member of that squad. Moreover, what I saw from those young men after the last horn had blown was the most impressive thing.  They received their medals, shed some tears and shared embraces with each other and their coach. And then, it was time for NY Mills to receive their medals and celebrate. Your student-athletes stood up, moved away from the bench area so they could see each player be called to center court and they applauded. A standing ovation for a worthy opponent. It was a moment of sportsmanship that is never shown between competitors in the “me” generation.

And then this morning, I looked up the local paper and saw the story of Mr. Davis’ tragedy (losing his sister at age 31 to a heroin overdose on Nov. 1) and how you have all come together to be a family.  It literally brought a tear to my eye.  I know it doesn’t take the sting of a loss away; but as a random stranger, I am so proud of your young men and program. I cannot say enough to everyone I have talked to about Saturday and the events that transpired. You are all forever Champions in my book.

Keep those heads held high – sometimes winning doesn’t always come with a trophy.


Matt Moyse



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Estrada receives bye to Golden Gloves semifinals

Jaime Estrada thought he was fighting in the quarterfinals of the Daily News Golden Gloves boxing tournament on Wednesday. He got all the way to Bishop Ford High School in Brooklyn, only to learn that he had received a bye to the semifinals.

It makes Estrada, 19, a two-time Golden Gloves champion, two wins from defending his 123-pound open title.

Estrada, a New Windsor resident fighting out of the Newburgh Boxing Club, was raring to go. He weighed in at 1221/2 pounds, a half-pound under the limit, on Wednesday.

He then joined four fellow 123-pounders in a room. That is where officials held a blind draw to determine the two boxers squaring off and three others receiving byes.

“We wanted to fight,” said Newburgh Boxing Club trainer Ray Rivera. “I even told the guy, ‘Give the bye to the other guy, we will fight tonight.’ ”

Estrada’s semifinal date hasn’t been set but probably will take place in early April.

Estrada advanced to the quarterfinals, and now the semis, by beating Joshua Gonzalez 5-0 in a preliminary bout on Feb. 18.

Rivera believes Estrada is much better than when he won the title last year, and certainly improved since winning the Gloves title in 2011.

“Much more experience, stronger, hungrier,” Rivera said.


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2015 Super Bowl odds: Quite the prices on Jets, Giants

March Madness? Opening day of Major League Baseball around the corner? That’s all fine and dandy, but what about the 2014 NFL season?
How about early odds to win the Super Bowl, courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv, Twitter: @BovadaLV). Bovada.lv Sports Book Manager Kevin Bradly said, “Unless a quarterback or star running back moves teams, it is pretty rare that one player in the NFL will have a big impact on Super Bowl odds, but we have seen some slight movement since free agency began.
“The Green Bay Packers have seen some money over the last week, getting (Julius) Peppers no doubt contributed to that, and have gone from 16-1 to 10-1. Meanwhile the Denver Broncos, who have bolstered up their defense a touch, have also dropped from 8-1 to 7-1, but are not seeing any backing by our bettors. The Eagles would be the other team that has moved from 25-1 to 18-1 as a result of them being pretty active in the market through keeping their own free agents, trades, and free-agent signings.”
Gotta love the Giants at 40-to-1 or the Jets at 66-to-1, no?

Team    odds on Feb. 3/March 18
Seahawks    9/2    6/1
Broncos    8/1    7/1
49ers    15/2    15/2
Patriots    14/1    9/1
Packers    16/1    10/1
Eagles    25/1    18/1
Colts    28/1    20/1
Saints    18/1    22/1
Panthers    25/1    25/1
Bears    25/1    28/1
Cardinals    33/1    33/1
Falcons    25/1    33/1
Ravens    40/1    33/1
Bengals    25/1    33/1
Texans    40/1    33/1
Chiefs    28/1    33/1
Steelers    33/1    33/1
Chargers    33/1    33/1
Cowboys    33/1    40/1
Lions    33/1    40/1
Giants    33/1    40/1
Rams    40/1    40/1
Browns    66/1    50/1
Dolphins    50/1    50/1
Buccaneers    50/1    50/1
Redskins    40/1    50/1
Vikings    75/1    66/1
Jets    50/1    66/1
Bills    75/1    75/1
Titans    50/1    75/1
Raiders    75/1    100/1
Jaguars    100/1    150/1



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Estrada wins Golden Gloves preliminary bout

Defending champion Jaime Estrada dominated his preliminaries bout on Tuesday in the Daily News Golden Gloves boxing tournament. Estrada, of New Windsor and the Newburgh Boxing Club, beat Joshua Gonzalez of the Bronx 5-0 in the 123-pound division.
Estrada clearly won all three rounds and forced Gonzalez to take a standing eight count in the first round. “I’ve been working on some things that I applied in the fight,’’ Estrada said.  “Body work, controlling the pace of the fight. It was my type of fight.’’
Estrada, 19, last fought in January in the Gloves nationals. He lost a tough first-round bout to Sharone Carter of St. Louis, 2-1. Carter went on to lose in the final. “I thought that I won the fight,’’ Estrada said.
There was no such uncertainty over the result on Tuesday. Estrada won the 123-pound title in 2011 before losing in the prelims in 2012. He reclaimed the title last year, and faces a big challenge in trying to win his third title in four years.
“There are a lot of champions, four or five champions (at 123 pounds), six including myself,’’ Estrada said. “It’s going to be tough, but hey, nothing comes easy in life.’’
“He’s the favorite,’’ said Ray Rivera, Estrada’s trainer. “There are some good guys in there, and we are taking each one seriously. Jaime has worked hard, so he’s ready.’’
kgleason@th-record.com; Twitter: @th_KevinGleason

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Estrada begins quest for third Golden Gloves title

Newburgh Boxing Club’s Jaime Estrada begins his quest on Tuesday night for a third Daily News Golden Gloves boxing title.
It will be Estrada’s swan song from the Gloves, and soon he will depart amateur boxing altogether. He has been itching to turn pro for a while now.
Estrada, of New Windsor, won the 2011 Gloves title. He lost in the 2012 preliminaries before taking the title last year in the biggest win of his life. Estrada was coming off a rough year in 2012, first losing in the Gloves prelims after struggling to find suitable training because of the NBC’s closure on Washington Street. Then in July 2012, Estrada was stabbed in the back, abdomen and left arm while awaiting a cab on Route 17K in the Town of Newburgh.
Estrada was lucky. His injuries could have been much worse. He spent six days in the hospital with a collapsed lung and missed 1½ months of training. He came back to win the Metropolitan Championship Tournament in November of that year.
So Estrada felt especially proud reclaiming the 123-pound title last year, beating New York’s Wilfredo Morales 3-2 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. It also avenged a 3-2 loss to Morales in the 2010 Metros.
Estrada is back to regular training with the Newburgh Boxing Club reopened on Broadway. He will need to be at his best to win another title. Defending novice champion James Wilkins is among the contenders.
Estrada wants to win another title but knows it’s not the end-all with a pro career around the corner. “Boxing is the key for me, and I realize that,’’ Estrada said. “All I have to do is keep working hard. My mom works hard for me to make sure that I have everything I need. That is my goal, to pay her back for everything she has done for me.’’
kgleason@th-record.com; Twitter: @th_KevinGleason

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Derek Jeter’s final season: Will he beat the odds?

So how do you think Derek Jeter will do this season? I think he’s going to go out in style, mostly because he appears to be healthy, partly because he’s Derek Jeter, king of special moments and destined to go out in style.

Las Vegas has gotten involved, of course. Check out these odds posted by Bovada, (www.Bovada.ly), with my predictions attached in CAPS:

Over/under .290 batting average: OVER

Over/under 120.5 games played: OVER

Will he break Honus Wagner’s record of most hits by a shortstop (3,430)? Jeter needs 115 hits. Yes (2/5 odds); No (7/4 odds): YES

Will he play in a game during the 2015 regular season? Yes (20/1); No  (1/50): NO


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Team odds to win 2015 Super Bowl

I’m not ready to hear about “11 days to spring training’’ or whatever it is. Just not ready to give up my football. For others already suffering from NFL withdrawal, let’s take a look at each team’s odds to win next year’s Super Bowl, courtesy of Bovada (www. Bovada.lv).
Seattle, not surprisingly, is the favorite at 9/2.

Odds to win the 2015 Super Bowl XLIX
Seattle Seahawks    9/2
San Francisco 49ers    15/2
Denver Broncos    8/1
New England Patriots    14/1
Green Bay Packers    16/1
New Orleans Saints    18/1
Atlanta Falcons    25/1
Carolina Panthers    25/1
Chicago Bears    25/1
Cincinnati Bengals    25/1
Philadelphia Eagles    25/1
Indianapolis Colts    28/1
Kansas City Chiefs    28/1
Arizona Cardinals    33/1
Dallas Cowboys    33/1
Detroit Lions    33/1
New York Giants    33/1
Pittsburgh Steelers    33/1
San Diego Chargers    33/1
Baltimore Ravens    40/1
Houston Texans    40/1
St. Louis Rams    40/1
Washington Redskins    40/1
Miami Dolphins    50/1
New York Jets    50/1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers    50/1
Tennessee Titans    50/1
Cleveland Browns    66/1
Buffalo Bills    75/1
Minnesota Vikings    75/1
Oakland Raiders    75/1
Jacksonville Jaguars    100/1

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Highest wagered Super Bowl in history

Seattle’s rout of Denver was the highest wagered Super Bowl in history.
According to Bovada.lv, much of the money in the first 10 days was bet on Denver before Seattle commanded some of the late gambling action.
Prop bets – those offbeat betting choices such as “length of national anthem’’ – accounted for more than two-thirds of the total action, also the most ever. Bovada Sports Book Manager Kevin Bradley said Bovada won big on the number of times Peyton Manning said “Omaha’’ (just twice, well under the 27.5 figure presented) but lost on the anthem going 1 minute, 54 seconds, well under the 2:25 prop.
Some of the big winners were those who bet on a Seahawks safety representing the first score (40/1) and the Seahawks winning by between 31-36 points (40/1). Oh yes, it was even money for any member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers to appear on stage shirtless.
And you thought folks just watched the Super Bowl for the commercials.
kgleason@th-record.com; Twitter: @th_KevinGleason

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Super Bowl XLVIII: Take the Seahawks

Super Bowl XLVIII

Seattle plus 2.5 vs. Denver



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