Photos By – Jeff Pexton – Perfect Game Imaging
WHITESTOWN – The flow of athletes through the doors at Accelerate Sports Complex reaches its height during the winter months when the snow is battering Central New York communities.
However, the summer months aren’t that far behind as basketball and soccer leagues, combined with the usual flow of individual lessons and workouts have kept the 83,000 square foot, multi-sport facility buzzing through June and July.
“During the leagues we are definitely a lot busier,” said Bryan Ingalls, who has been one of the directors at Accelerate since its opening in December of 2014. “This year there are a lot more teams. The leagues have attracted a lot more teams and the games are a lot more competitive.”
Accelerate has basketball and soccer leagues Mondays through Thursdays.
The boys and girls varsity soccer leagues both use Accelerate’s 300 x 150 foot turf field. Soccer fields at New Hartford High School, Marcy Elementary and Oriskany are also in the rotation for the 15-team girls league. Only Oriskany and Accelerate are used for the 10-team boys league. The regular season for the soccer leagues ends next week, leading to the playoff tournament the following week.
The amount of teams and the quality of play has grown each and every year. There were 10 total teams in the summer of 2015 and 18 last season.
“When you get into the third year, we are a lot more efficient in everything we do,” Ingalls said. “Everything runs more smoothly. From the officiating to scorekeepers, we know what the coaches want from us and everything is better. But, the biggest difference I see is that the kids are getting better and are more talented.”
Holland Patent junior varsity coach John Riemenschneider coaches the Golden Knights’ varsity summer team that plays on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“I love the fact that we get to play twice a week all summer,” Riemenschneider said. “The competition has been great. Most of the elite teams in the area are playing. We are able to get the preseason things out of the way. There are new girls and everyone gets used to playing with each other before we start our preseason.”
Another advantage is getting to play on the turf at Accelerate.
“The facilities are great and the girls like playing on the turf,” Riemenschneider said. “Our field is grass and when you get to sectionals the games are played on turf, so the more turf time we get , the better it is for our varsity.”
Coinciding with the soccer leagues, six different basketball leagues have been at it since late June on Accelerate’s three full-sized courts.
There are boys 5th/6th, junior varsity, and varsity leagues, as well as girls and boys leagues in the 7th and 8th-grade division. In all, 35 teams have competed in the leagues. The regular season concluded this past week and postseason play begins this week.
Following the summer leagues, there will be a slight break when the majority of the traffic through the facility will be for individual lessons and personal workouts in the gym, track, batting cages, fields or courts. There are also basketball and football camps scheduled for August.
After about a month, Accelerate moves on to their fall season as softball leagues from 10U through 18U are already set to begin on Sept. 16.
For more information on camps, leagues, membership, etc. visit: www.accelerate-sports.com/home.html