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Local colleges: JCC’s Dobson-Tufo ready to make impact this season

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Jessica Dobson-Tufo had other plans coming out of high school.

She didn’t plan on attending Jefferson Community College, and when those plans changed, she didn’t expect to still be playing collegiate softball this spring.

But the third-year student is back at her familiar position of shortstop, ready to end her decorated JCC athletics career by leading the softball team back to the Region 3 playoffs.

Originally, the diversely talented athlete from Carthage High School had plans to attend SUNY Oswego to play volleyball.

“I was supposed to be going there out of high school, I got accepted but there were some things that came about, some family issues. My mom got sick, she had cancer,” Dobson-Tufo said.

Dobson-Tufo’s mother passed away in the fall of 2011, during her sophomore soccer season at JCC.

Dobson-Tufo said that the entire school athletic department served as a support group through the difficult time. “They were there for me pretty much through the whole thing,” Dobson-Tufo said.

The soccer team changed plans for its annual “pink-out” cancer awareness game that season, instead dedicating the game to Dobson-Tufo’s mom.

“I really think that being part of that team at that time really helped me through it, because it’s not an easy thing to go through at this age,” Dobson-Tufo said.

Dobson-Tufo has provided plenty of help to JCC athletics, excelling in three sports and providing a presence that fifth-year coach Charlie Bridge said has helped cultivate the “family atmosphere,” he had envisioned for his softball program.

“It feeds to everybody else on the team, just the character and personality that she has,” Bridge said.

Dobson-Tufo played two years of soccer, anchoring the team’s defense and earning All-Mid-State Athletic Conference honors in both seasons — 2010 and 2011 — and was selected to the All-Region 3 Team as a sophomore.

This past winter, she stepped onto the volleyball team midway through the season and helped the school to its first conference title in years.

She started every game for the softball team as a freshman in 2011, helping that program to an 18-7 record in Region 3 and a regional playoff berth — its best season in Bridge’s tenure.

But last spring, another wrench was thrown into Dobson-Tufo’s plans. She tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee during the team’s fourth game of the season and was forced to miss the year after starting 7-for-11 at the plate with three RBIs.

“She put in a lot of work that winter. She was so driven to have a great year,” Bridge said.

Dobson-Tufo learned just over a month ago that she would receive a medical redshirt for last season. That, combined with her changing majors from elementary education to athletic training, allowed her an extra year of eligibility to play softball this year. She plans to transfer to SUNY Brockport to play either volleyball or soccer in the fall.

Dobson-Tufo doesn’t plan to play softball beyond this year. But then again, plans can change.

Here is a look at the JCC spring sports teams.

SOFTBALL

Coach: Charlie Bridge (5th year).

2012 record: 16-17 overall (14-15 Region 3).

Outlook: The team will get its best defensive infielder (Dobson-Tufo) and its best outfielder (Taylore Kelsey, concussion) back from a strong 2011 team after both players missed last season with injuries. Also back is the team’s top pitcher, sophomore Lindsey Croneiser. Bridge hopes they can add to a good freshmen class, highlighted by Mary Young, who led Jamesville-Dewitt to the Class A state title game last season, and Lauren Youngs, a pitcher from Okinawa, Japan. The Cannoneers will also play on a new enclosed, on-campus field this season.

Roster: Jane Judware (OF, Fr.); Paige Morgia (OF, Fr.); Taylore Kelsey (OF, So.); Samantha Giruzzi (P, Fr.); Lauren Youngs (P/2B, Fr.); Jessica Dobson-Tufo (SS, So.); Kate Gehrke (C, Fr.); Mary Young (3B, Fr.); Megan Couturier (OF, Fr.); Jenna Ferlito (OF, Fr.); Nictoria Bates (OF, Fr.); Lindsey Croneiser (P/OF, So.); Kari Gehrke (OF/C, So.).

BASEBALL

Coach: John Northrop (5th year).

2012 record: 20-26 (13-11).

Outlook: The Cannoneers will rely on a lefty-dominated offense and a deep stable of 15 pitchers to follow up on the first 20-win season of Northrop’s tenure. Sophomore Nicolas Espino is back at the leadoff spot. He batted for a .395 average last year and ranked second in Region 3 with 32 stolen bases. Josh Amann is back to anchor the pitching staff after leading the team in wins last season. Mitchell Dubois, who was second in wins, and Jake Welch, who missed significant time with injuries, are also back to pitch from last year’s team. The key to this season, according to Northrop, is if the team can win close games, which were a struggle with a young group a season ago.

Roster: Kyle Simmons (SS/P, Fr.); Calder Roggie (INF, Fr.); Jordan Parker (C, So.); Mike Mosher (INF/P, So.); Josh Amann (P, So.); Eury Villalona (P, Fr.); Ariel Suriel (3B/P, Fr.); Ryan McDougall (OF/INF, Fr.); Louie Diaz (OF, Fr.); Nathan Mastervick (OF, So.); Terrence Belec (1B, Fr.); Jason Hardie (C, Fr.); Joey Sewillo (INF, Fr.); Elliot Martin (C, Fr.); James Adydan (P, So.); Corey Weller (P, So.); Rolando Rincon (P, Fr.); Nicolas Espino (2B, So.); Erric Barnier (OF, So.); Adam Terrillion (P, So.); Jorge Mera (OF/P, Fr.); Jake Welch (P, So.); Jordan Delaney (P, Fr.); Junior Garcia (P, Fr.); Mitchell Dubois (P, So.); Tyler Decker (1B, So.); James Matthews (P, Fr.); Chris Ballester (INF/P, Fr.).

MEN’S LACROSSE

Interim head coach: Dave Vespa.

2012 record: 4-11 (4-9).

Outlook: JCC has its eyes on returning to regional playoffs after a down year. They had qualified every year from 2008-11. Vespa will take the place of veteran coach Mark Streiff, at least for the early portion of the season, while he is out for medical reasons. Attackman Kyle Scordo is back to lead the offense, which expects to be strong with new additions Travis McGraw and Joe Spooner. Taylor Mustizer will anchor the defense in his second season.

Roster: Travis McGraw (A/M, Fr.); Kristian Baxter (M, So.); Kyle Scordo (A/M, So.); Matthew Damon (M, Fr.); Jonathon Walters (D, So.); Jacob Speno (M, So.); Dan Lazore (A/M, Fr.); Christian Booth (M, So.); Kelsey Brady (A/M, Fr.); Taylor Mustizer (D, So.); Ken Hall (M, So.); Will Benko (M, Fr.); Andrew Derouin (D, So.); Vince Renzi (D, Fr.); Javier Primicias (M, So.); Cale Siver (D, Fr.); Michael Dake (D, So.); Robert Hughes (G, Fr.); Mike Mulligan (D, Fr.); Joe Spooner (A/M, Fr.); Dave Damon (M, Fr.).

WOMEN’S LACROSSE

Coach: Whitney Bachner (2nd year).

2012 record: 10-6 (10-4).

Outlook: The Cannoneers are looking to build on a strong 2012 season that ended in the final four of the regional playoffs, but will have to do so without a bench and with much of its scoring talent gone from a season ago. Midfielder Gabby Navarra will be the strongest returning midfielder, with the ability to play offense and defend, while Caitlin Stone returns to anchor the defense for a second straight year. JCC expects improved goalie play with freshman Ashley Kirch.

Roster: Gabrielle Navarra (M, So.); Cierra Recor (A, So.); Kaitlyn Rajner (M, Fr.); Brittany Campbell (A, So.); Allison Brady (A, Fr.); Caitlin Stone (D, So.); Paige Hart (M, Fr.); Brianna Bates (D, So.); Jorden Mead (A, So.); Ashley Kirch (G, Fr.).

GOLF

Coach: James Ambrose (5th year).

Outlook: Mike Donnelly, who made it to nationals last season, is back for his second season to be the anchor of a young group. Chadd Call, who qualified for states at General Brown, will join the team along with high school teammates Riley Parker and Andrew Robinson. Freshman Matthew Wojasinski is also expected to claim a travel spot.

Roster: Chadd Call (Fr.); Vinny Cesario III (So.); Matthew Dermady (So.); Kevin Dibble Jr. (So.); Michael Donnelly (So.); George LaBarr (Fr.); Bryant McCarthy (Fr.); Issac Newton (Fr.); Riley Parker (Fr.); Andrew Robinson (Fr.); Matthew Wojasinski (Fr.).

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