Legendary Fort Plain baseball coach Craig Phillips was named a 2017 National Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coaches Association last week.
Philips is the only baseball coach and one of just 23 high school coaches from across the country to be selected for the honor that the NFHS has awarded since 1982.
“To be honored with this award from our small school in upstate New York, I am just extremely honored. I hope I have made a difference, but most of all I am so proud that we have such great kids and such a great school and community that support the program and me,” said Phillips. “To be honored in this way is a great, great honor.”
“Coach Phillips’ selection as National Coach of the Year is a tremendous honor. It is also well-deserved,” Fort Plain Superintendent of Schools David Ziskin said. “Craig’s love of the game and his players has defined his career. He has made a unique and indelible imprint on the athletes he has coached, Fort Plain and on high school athletics in New York State.”
“I have known Craig for a very long time and seen him in action for a very long time and this kind of award recognizes not only the success of his teams, but also overcoming adversity,” Fort Plain Athletics Director Charlie Karker said. “This award recognizes the time, effort, and care that he has given to Fort Plain – not just the school or the team – all of Fort Plain.”
Phillips enters his 45th season this spring with more than 750 career wins – the most wins in the history of New York State high school baseball – and that success hasn’t waned over the last few years either.
Over the past two seasons, the Fort Plain baseball team was a combined 37-6, won the 2016 Class D New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) championship and reached the Section II final last year.
Phillips called the 2016 state title “improbable” at the time. The then-No. 3 seeded Hilltoppers beat top-seeded Fort Ann in eight innings, 2-1, in the Section II title game. Fort Plain then went on to beat Genesee Valley, 11-0, in the state semifinal and West Canada Valley in the state championship game, 11-6.
Always the coach, Philips said of his upcoming 2017 team, “We don’t have any seniors this year, but I expect us to still be pretty good.”
Overall, the Hilltoppers have won 24 league championships, 10 Section II titles and a pair of state championships during Philips’ tenure. The first sectional title was in 1981 and the first state crown came in 2007 in Class C. Including the 2016 run, Fort Plain has played in five NYSPHSAA state tournaments.
Even though Phillips tends to deflect his own accomplishments, he was named the NYSPHSAA Coach of the Year in both 2007 and 2016. He has served on the Section II baseball committee for 35 consecutive years and was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2011. He was inducted into the Capital Region Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012.
“There is something so intriguing about the game of baseball. Every year, there is always a restart of the season. It is always fresh and new. Since we are a small district, we always have new players that are question marks, but they have to play. We are lucky enough that they respond to myself and my other coaches,” Philips said. “I have to thank all of my assistant coaches from over the years. I started out alone, but without them, in this day and age, there is no way we would be as successful without them. I also want to thank the community for supporting our program and the school for giving us, and maintaining, such a gorgeous facility that we get to use.”
Phillips has had dozens of league, section, and state all-stars on his rosters over the years including 2016 New York State Sportswriters Association Class D Player of the Year, and 2017 First-Team All-State selection, Drew Fureno. Former players have also followed in the coach’s footsteps into the dugout. Former Hilltopper Jabin Weaver was named the head baseball coach at Hudson Valley Community College this past fall.
“I have coached so many great kids from great families, but I have never coached a grandson yet,” Philips joked as he rattled off name after name he has put on roster cards over the years. “We have a saying here in Fort Plain, ‘tradition never graduates.’ I know I am a tough guy to play for, but the way that the players, school, and community have rallied around baseball they have made that saying remain true for many years and it will remain true for many more.”
It is that time of year where the tests are coming up. Here is the schedule for the week of Jan. 22-26.
Monday, January 22
- ELA Regents
- English 10R (McCall)
- English 10H (McCall)
- SUNY English (McCall)
Spanish II (Jarabek)
12 p.m. (noon)
- Living Environment Regents
- English 9 (Clute, Yurkewecz)
- English 9H (McCall)
- Living Environment (Jarabek, Smith)
Tuesday, January 23
- U.S. History and Government Regents
- Geometry Regents
- Freshman Seminar (Stokna)
- Geometry (DiBiase)
- Participation in Government (Sacco)
- U.S. History (Ryan)
Spanish I (Pombrio)
A.P. U.S. History (Gray, Niles)
12 p.m. (noon)
- Algebra I Regents
- Algebra – Year 2 (Waner)
- Earth Science (Elliot)
- Forensics (Bogus, Smith)
- SUNY Psychology (Ryan)
Spanish III (Jarabek)
Wednesday, January 24
- Global History & Geography Regents
- Physics Regents
- Algebra (Summerfield)
- Global 10 (Ryan)
- Math 8 (Summerfield)
- Physics (DiBiase)
Earth Science I (Elliott)
12 p.m. (Noon)
- Algebra II Regents
- Calculator Math (Capece)
- Global 9 (Niles)
- Trigonometry (Waner)
Thursday, January 25
- Earth Science Regents
- Chemistry Regents
There are a number of events coming up over the next few weeks at Harry Hoag Elementary school.
Students will graduate from the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program on Thursday, Jan 18 starting at 3 p.m.
There are also a pair of school dances coming up including a “Welcome 2018” dance on Jan. 23 at 2:45 p.m. and then a “Valentine’s Day” dance on Feb. 13 also starting at 2:45 p.m.
To stay up to date on everything going on in the Fort Plain School district make sure to follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/FortPlainCentralSchoolDistrict
Schools in the Fort Plain Central School district are under a 2-hour delay for Jan. 11, 2018.
UPDATE 10:15 a.m., Jan. 5, 2018: All Fort Plain athletic events and practices for Jan. 5 AND Jan. 6, 2018 are CANCELED.
Due to forecasted low temperatures, Jan. 5 will be a Superintendent’s Conference Day for the Fort Plain Central School District. STUDENTS WILL NOT ATTEND SCHOOL.
Teachers report by 10 a.m. Aides and food service staff do not report. Faculty and staff should check their email for further details.
Water has been restored to the Fort Plain school buildings, but there is a boil water order in effect for the time being.
Athletic contests have yet to be determined.
March 14 will now be a regular day of instruction (reminders will be sent).
The joint Fort Plain-Canajoharie Drama Club has announced the cast for this year’s musical, “Mary Poppins.” The classic tale of a magical nanny coming to care for the Banks children and taking them on fantastic adventures will be performed at the Canajoharie High School on Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24 at 7:00 p.m. A matinee performance will be held on Sunday, March 25 at 2:00 p.m.
The cast will be led by Vivian Hopkins as Mary Poppins, Connor Bowden as George, Quinn Jones as Winifred, and Aliza and John Hopkins as Jane and Michael Banks.
Joining them will be Keagen Ford and Evan Smida as the narrators, Sophia Rogers as Miss Andrew, Rianna VanRenselaar as Mrs. Brill and Vicente Nunez as Robertson Ay.
Rounding out the principal roles are Eliza Cechnicki as the Bird Woman, Michael Daniels as Neleus, and Christian Jones as the Bank Chairman.
The show will also feature Vikki Wilday as Miss Lark, Sarah Bowden as Mrs. Corry, Max Richtmyer as the Park Keeper, Cameron Brownell as VonHussler, and Luke Doxtater as Northbrook.
The cast also includes: Sayge Ruffino-Mosher, Tori Rocas, Bretton Scofield, Alexia Hill, Maura DiMezza, Charles Schermerhorn, Ashlin Tubbs, Mathea Leonard, and Vincenzo DiCrescenzo.
The musical is directed by Will Ryan and Lauri Broady, with musical direction by Norma Bowley. Also working behind-the-scenes is costumer Lisa Hill, Stage Manager Ron Hill, Set Manager Jim Fiaschetti, Technical Manager Michael Broady, and choreographer Tina Goldswer. The technical crew also includes Jenn Cechnicki, Garrett Oeser, Rob Rogers, Willow MaGinnis, Zack Rogers, Lilli MacVilla, and Michael Hoffman.
WATER MAIN BREAK UPDATE (8:25 p.m.): The Fort Plain Schools and Office will be CLOSED for January 4, 2018 due to the water main break near Harry Hoag Elementary School.
UPDATE (8 p.m.): Crews are still working on fixing the pipes near Harry Hoag Elementary School and a decision about tomorrow’s school day has not been made yet.
We aim to have a decision made as soon as possible. We understand the concern and need for this information.
Keeping students safe and comfortable in the classroom is our top priority.
UPDATE (5 p.m.) No hard updates yet about tomorrow, but a great thank you to the Fort Plain DPW for working on a cold night like this one.
WATER MAIN ISSUE UPDATE (4:30 p.m.): We would like to thank all of the students, teachers, and staff for productively working through today’s issues.
School officials are speaking with town workers shortly about the status of the main break and what the best plan for tomorrow will be.
We encourage everyone to continue to follow us here or on our free messaging app (Remind) to stay up to date on tomorrow’s school day.
UPDATE (12:30 p.m.): Regular dismissal is still planned at both Harry Hoag and the Jr./Sr. High School.
Both the modified and JV girls basketball game have been postponed.
All after-school activities in Fort Plain buildings are canceled.
The bowling match vs. Middleburgh is still on at Iroquois Lanes
There has been a water main break outside the entrance of Harry Hoag Elementary school.
Students, faculty, and staff are safe. Running water to both the elementary school and the high school buildings has been shut off at this time while local public works departments and the facilities staff work on the problem.
Portable restrooms are on the way to both schools to handle restroom needs and hand sanitizer is being distributed throughout both building for those that need it.
Further updates about both the water and dismissal will be given as soon as possible.
The monthly Fort Plain Central School District is available and can be downloaded here.
Some of the highlights of the newsletter are:
Health & Wellness Fair 2018
The Wellness Committees of the Fort Plain and Canajoharie Schools will host their annual “Community Health and Wellness Fair” on Saturday, April 14 from 9:00 a.m. to noon at the Harry Hoag Elementary School.
This year’s theme is “Start Your Day the Healthy Way” and will feature morning exercise and breakfast tips, as well as some healthy breakfast treats such as made-to-order omelets and homemade oatmeal with toppings.
Students will have a chance to attend a soccer clinic, while adults enjoy a fitness class. The health fair will feature health screenings, massages, information for the aging, cooking demonstrations, mindfulness techniques, and much more.
Any individual, business or organization who would like to have a table is invited to participate at no cost.
Contact Lauri Broady at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or call 518-993-4000 #1003 to register or to receive more information.
The Annual Community Health and Wellness Fair is free and open to the public of all ages.
Harry Hoag “Fun With Math” Achievers
At the December meeting, the following students reached 100-math-fact goals:
Sofia Bates, Subtraction – under 6 min
Jansheen Haider, Addition – under 5 min
Kierra St. Louis, Addition – under 4 min
Jayde TenEyck, Multiplication – under 4 min
Larry Sanders, Subtraction – under 4 min
Zionna Robarge, Addition – under 4 min
Summer Trumbull, Multiplication – under 3 min
Marionna Stephens, Subtraction – under 3 min
Dawson Tracki, Multiplication – under 2 min
Dylan Keane, Multiplication – under 2 min
Chess Club Begins
The annual Chess Club will run from January 9 – February 13, with elementary students meeting on Tuesdays and Jr/Sr High School students meeting on Thursdays.
Students will learn fundamentals and game strategy skills, before moving on to compete in head-to-head games.
The Chess Club is advised by Ted Arndt and Libby Arndt.
The Fort Plain Central School District is closed for Friday Dec. 22, 2017 due to inclement weather.
Have a safe and fun holiday break!
For more updates sign up for our free Remind app by texting “@fpcsd1” to 81010 and follow the on-screen prompts.
The Fort Plain Central School District is under a 2-hour delay for Wednesday Dec. 20, 2017.
For more updates sign up for our free Remind app by texting “@fpcsd1” to 81010 and follow the on-screen prompts.