Pitching, hitting powers Massena to Section 10 baseball title

Canton’s Scotty Ahlfeld with his parents Bob and Shelly Ahlfeld receives the 2021 James Pinkerton Memorial Award from umpires Rick Ahlfeld and Dale Warner

Scotty Ahlfeld has had a great love for the sport of baseball for as long as he can remember.

Even longer as he has been going to games which his father Bob and grandfather Rick Ahlfeld umpire and listened to their pregame and postgame discussions since he was a toddler.

On Thursday after Massena downed Gouverneur for the Overall Section 10 title, Bob and Rick Ahlfeld stood very proud as members of the Massena Chapter of the NYS Baseball Umpires who presented Canton’s junior catcher Scotty Ahlfeld with 2021 James A “Jim” Pinkerton Memorial Award.

The Pinkerton Award is presented to a deserving student/athlete, who has been nominated by his coach, in recognition of his accomplishments both on and off the field of play.

“I guess baseball is my favorite sport. It is the one I play the most and I really enjoy it,” said the soft spoken Scotty Ahlfeld who has also played soccer and hockey throughout his career at Canton. He also got a chance to play football in the current school year when the seasons were rearranged because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The umpire’s organization asks that the coaches nominate one or more student/athletes from his or her team that possess the following characteristics, all of which carry an equal importance when determining the winner of the award: Outstanding Ability and Understanding of the Game of Baseball, Team Leadership Both On and Off the Field, Excellent Community Citizenship, Exemplary Sportsmanship and High Academic Standing.

The Golden Bears’ junior catcher provides a hefty impact in every game despite standing only 5-5 and was a leader in the effort which saw the Bears reach the Section 10 Class B finals where they lost to NAC Central Division Champion and top seed Gouverneur. He batted .524 on the season where he only struck out twice, owns a complete physical and cerebral skill set and strong arm and quick release behind the plate and is a skilled bunter and instinctive base runner.

Massena’s senior shortstop and line drive machine Chris Paige was also nominated for the award and was recognized at the presentation. Some of the recent winners of this award, include Connor Paquin of Massena, Alex Burnett of Brushton-Moira and, Jack Finnerty of Canton.

“Scott Ahlfeld is just a baseball guy and he comes from a baseball family and a great family,” said Canton Coach Matt Caufield of the son of Bob and Shelly Ahlfeld and the grandson of Rick Ahlfeld and the late Betty Ahlfeld.

“You go by our field and you see might him out there with is brother John and his father playing catch or other games to improve their skills. He is an old school player and we played old school baseball this season. We squeezed in runs and Scotty stole home a couple of times. We only lose two players so we are going to be very good next year.”

The late Jim Pinkerton guided OFA Baseball teams to any number of NAC Central Division and Section 10 Class B titles and led one team to the New York State Championship game. Although his coaching career and administrative tenure as OFA’s Athletic Director was cut short by his passing from cancer, Pinkerton was posthumously elected into the New York State Public School Athletic Association Hall of Fame.

“I played for Coach Pinkerton so it always special to me to nominate a player for the award. Scotty is just a great choice,” said Coach Caufield.

Ahlfeld’s high baseball IQ was illustrated in every game he caught and he was honored as an All-NAC Central Division selection.

Academically, he holds a 96 average and is ranked 12 in a class of 91 students. He has been on the High Honor Roll for every quarter of his high school career. He is also a member of the National Honor Society, the Robotics Club, and the Model UN. He has taken advanced placement courses earning him college credits while still in high school.

He has also given back to the community in the form of officiating the youth sports of baseball and ice hockey.

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