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September 13, 2017 - 1:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, sports, charity, crossroads house, golf, bergen.

Submitted photo and press release:

The 17th Annual Van Hulburt Memorial Golf Tournament to benefit Crossroads House took place on Thursday, Aug.17th at the Batavia Country Club.

The tournament is hosted by the Hesperus Lodge No. 837 in Bergen and the Hulburt family. Van Hulburt was an educator and leader in the Bergen community and his family dedicates the proceeds from the tournament each year through the Lodge of which Van was a member.

The tournament is the longest running outside fundraiser for Crossroads House and has raised over $80,000 since its inception.

A check in the amount of $7,300 was presented to Crossroads House on Sept. 7th at the Lodge.

Pictured from left are: Marty Krause, tournament chairman; Helen Hulburt, wife of Van Hulburt; and Jeff Allen, Crossroads House executive director.

September 12, 2017 - 11:30am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Some of the best sophomore trotting colts and geldings on the Grand Circuit will be in town on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 13) to vie for a total of $121,500 in purses offered in the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) at Batavia Downs. And with only one more stop after Batavia before the finals, everyone will be jockeying for point position in a very close race.

The first $60,200 division (carded as race three) features Yonkers Trot winner Top Flight Angel and Hambletonian finalist Guardian Angel AS.

Top Flight angel (Archangel-Top Photo) was having a very solid year that turned outstanding for his connections last week when he won the $500,000 Yonkers Trot. Previous to that victory he finished fourth in the Empire Breeders Classic at Vernon Downs and had one win in a NYSS leg. He is currently seventh in points for the final and is in need of a win here to keep pace with the leaders and make the draw for the Night of Champions. With $331,916 earned and a mark of 1:55, he is as solid a choice here as you could want.

Leaving from post one and listed at 7-5 morning line, Top Flight Angel will be driven by Andy Miller for trainer Julie Miller.

Guardian Angel AS (Archangel-Provide AS) has seven wins this year, two of which were in the NYSS. He raced in the Hambletonian final in August and was trotting second in the stretch when he was involved in the highly contentious interference call that saw him break and finish ninth. Most recently Guardian Angel AS won his elimination of the Yonkers Trot, defeating Top Flight Angel in the process. But in the final he made a break after the start and was never in the race after that.

Trainer Anette Lorentzon has regular driver Jason Bartlett up once again behind Guardian Angel AS who has drawn post four and is the early 6-5 choice.

In the second $61,300 division, Lord Cromwell (Chapter Seven-Oh Oh Its Magic) come in on a two-race win streak and a freshly set 1:54.3 lifetime mark at Saratoga Raceway. He won the $143,737 Dexter Cup at Freehold Raceway in May and was in the Empire Breeders Classic in June where he finished a close sixth after getting parked the whole mile. He is the top money earner in this race with $169,965 and is part of a stable entry with The Last Chapter (Chapter Seven-J C Josie).

Lord Cromwell will depart from post three with Jim Morrill Jr. in tow and the Ed Hart trainee is listed in the entry at 2-1.

Eye Ofa Tiger AS (Chapter Seven-Cascade AS) is the top point-getter in the NYSS for this category on the strength of two wins and three seconds in the series. In his last start at Saratoga, he was parked out the better part of the mile and still hung on tough to finish second behind Lord Cromwell, who cut it. For the year overall he has five wins and has never missed the board in 10 starts and those outings have put $138,660 on his card.

Like Guardian Angel AS, Eye Ofa Tiger AS is trained by Anette Lorentzon and will be driven by Jason Bartlett. He has post seven and is the early second choice at 5-2.

Also on the card are two $15,000 Excel A series trots on the card that offer great betting opportunities and will be hotly contested.

Post time for the first race is 5 p.m.

September 11, 2017 - 3:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, sports, Batavia Downs.

Focus Power with driver Drew Monti.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Focus Power moved up to the top class on the grounds after winning in the Open II last week, but the ascension was no impediment as he won the $10,000 Open Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 9).  

Focus Power (Drew Monti) left from post four and was in front and on the pylons before they race even hit the turn. With the short field settling, Believe This Bob (Shawn McDonough) wanted the front and came before the eighth pole and cleared before the quarter in :28.1. Positions remained unchanged until Southwind Torque (Ray Fisher Jr.) pulled mid-way up the backside in what would be a short-lived bid.

As the outside challenge faded in the turn, Believe This Bob was looking solid in front as they headed for home. However as soon as the passing lane was accessible, Monti directed Focus Power into it and shot right by Believe This Bob and paced away to a two-length win in 1:53.1.

Focus Power ($7.80) now has $73,845 on his card on the strength of seven wins this year and the win time of 1:53.1 was only one-fifth of a second off the lifetime mark he just set last week. James Caradori owns the 5-year-old altered son of Shadow Play that gets his conditioning from Darrin Monti.

In the co-featured $9,000 Open II, Itsonlyrocknroll A (Larry Stalbaum) got away last and methodically worked his way up the rail while chasing fractions of :26.4, :54.4 and 1:23.3 and before getting loose around the far turn to tip three-deep and simply pace away from everyone to win by two open lengths in 1:53.1.  

It was the second win in a row and 11th of the year for Itsonlyrocknroll A ($16.40) who now has earned $61,695 in purses for Stalbaum who also owns him. Kim Asher is the trainer.

Larry Stalbaum visited the winner's circle five times on Saturday with Itsonlyrocknroll A, Teo Enteo A (1:56, $7.90), Mister Livan N (1:53.2, $4.60), Anderlecht (1:54.4, $3.20) and Saint William A (1:56.3, $7.10). 

Not wanting to be outdone, Drew Monti and Kevin Cummings each had two winners apiece as well. Trainer Kim Asher also sent four of her horses to the winner’s enclosure for pictures.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on today (Sept. 11) with post time set at 5 p.m.

September 11, 2017 - 3:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

The first race at Batavia Downs Friday night (Sept. 8) may have only been a $6,500 Excelsior B pace for first-year fillies, but to one participant of the race it was a once in a lifetime milestone.

After finishing second with Fast Date in 1:57.2, Jim Morrill Jr. surpassed the $100,000 million dollar mark in career earnings. That places him 22nd on the list among all harness drivers in the history of the sport.

Morrill got his start in the business working for his father at Foxboro Park. The elder Morrill, an accomplished driver himself, always had a small stable there and he laid the groundwork for his son and helped him hone his skills. Jim Morrill Jr. got his first driving start in 1984 and from there he was on his way.

“My father meant everything to my career. He set down everything to get me going when he was still driving and put me on every horse in the barn. I didn’t really know what I was doing at the time and would drive one bad here or there and if the owner complained about it, he told them to take their horse to somebody else. And then he’d come back to me and tell me “you cost me another horse you little whelp.”

The family’s operation was eventually moved to Maryland and Rosecroft Raceway where the number of horses in the barn grew. Besides driving his father’s stock, Morrill started getting a lot of catch drives and soon was finding himself in demand.

Rosecroft used to take six-weeks off during Christmas each year and Morrill didn’t want to sit idle, so in 1990 he went to New York and started driving for Ray Schnittker and George Anthony at Yonkers Raceway. He soon found a lot of success there as well and decided that move would be permanent.

Morrill recalls his most memorable races as being the 2004 Meadowlands Pace where Holborn Hanover was a 58-1 upset winner in 1:49, equaling the stake mark and the 2009 Jugette where Showherthemoney made a break in her elimination before coming back to win that race and the final as well three races later.

Jim Morrill Jr. left the New York metropolitan area in 2005 and relocated his business and family to western New York.

“I have never regretted moving to the Batavia-Buffalo circuit, we love it here. My wife’s sister and mother live near us and when I’m on the road she has her family now instead of being up in New Jersey by herself. The New York Sires Stakes has been great for me as well as the overnight starts and we’re just gearing up for the next however-many years to come.”

In 2006 at Batavia Downs, Morrill set the all-time driving standard for the track with 177 wins and a UDR of .537 for one meet. 

For his career to date, Jim Morrill Jr. now has had 37,332 starts with 6,902 wins, 5,692 seconds and 4,753 thirds with $100,046,554 in earnings.

September 11, 2017 - 3:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Azreal As It Gets with driver Matt Kakaley.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

The 2-year-old pacing fillies were at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 8) to battle for their share of the $109,000 in purse money up for grabs in the New York Sires Stakes (NYSS).

The first $54,500 contest saw Azreal As It Gets (Matt Kakaley) lead briefly before yielding to favored Alexis Faith (Jim Morrill Jr.) past the quarter and settle into a garden-spot trip. Azreal As It Gets took full advantage of that strategic spot as Alexis Faith then battled Michelle’s Jazz (Ray Fisher Jr.) from the three-eighths pole to the top of the stretch. From there she found the passing lane and scooted through to win by two lengths in 1:55.4, with a snappy :28.2 final panel. The time was a new lifetime mark for the filly.

It was the first win in six tries for Azreal As It Gets (So Surreal-Vanite Semalu) who now shows $58,461 on her card for owners Our Horse Cents Stable and Stable 45. Azreal As It Gets ($6.70) is trained by Jake huff.

Ubettergo Go in forefront with driver Billy Davis Jr.

In the second $54,500 division, Ubettergo Go (Billy Davis Jr.) took off the gate and tucked in fifth while Wisdom Tree (Kevin Cummings) and Hurrikane Shorty (Jason Bartlett) set the early pace on the front-end. When Jan (Jim Morrill Jr.) pulled first past the half, Ubettergo Go followed second-over and advanced up the backside. Around the last turn, Hurrikane Shorty gapped the leader and Jan dropped in second. But Ubettergo Go continued to advance against the stubborn Wisdom Tree, who would not give up. Down the lane Cummings and Davis were driving hard but Davis got more out of his filly in the end and won by a half-length in 1:55.3.

The victory was the third of the year for Ubettergo Go (Art Major-Ubetterthink Think), all of which were in NYSS races. Ubettergo Go ($22.40) has earned $87,359 so far this year for owners Tony Basile, Reginald Petitpas, Ozzie MacKay and Blake Macintosh, who also trains the filly.

There were also three $15,000 Excelsior A races on the program Friday night.

In the first division, Act Like A Diva (Roll With Joe-Music Row) went wire to wire for Jim Morrill Jr. in 1:57.2. Act Like A Diva ($6.00) is owned by Paymaq Racings, Greg Gillis, Louis Willinger and Craig Henderson and is trained by Erv miller.

The second division went to Checkered Past (American Ideal-Character Flaw) who tripped-out in 1:57.4 for Jim Morrill Jr. Checkered Past ($4.30) is owned by All Star Racing Inc. and is trained by Peter Foley.

The final split was won by Pelican Blue Chip (Rock N Roll Heaven-Feathery Fame) who went gate to wire in 1:56.2. Pelican Blue Chip ($3.60) is owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc., Michelle Rosato and Matthew Dugan and is trained by Tracey Brainard.

September 10, 2017 - 2:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, football, sports, notify.

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The Blue Devils will be a better team the rest of the season because of their 42-6 loss Aquinas Institute in Van Detta on Saturday, said Head Coach Brennan Briggs after the game.

"I schedule these guys week two, not to try to keep an undefeated season or anything," Briggs said. "That doesn't mean too much to these guys. We scheduled them week two because we knew that we've got a pretty good football team but I wanted to see how tough we were and they proved tonight that they aren't afraid to throw punches with the best of the best. They competed. They worked hard. They weren't afraid to go out there and play football against one of the best teams in the state and I'm proud of them for that."

Briggs doesn't think the score reflects how well his team played. They held the game close in the first half, mounted a drive and showed they could go toe-to-toe, but in the second half, the greater depth of the Little Irish allowed Aquinas to pull away.

"Obviously, you know they are a very, very athletic team and there are some big kids over there," Briggs said.

With Ray Leach, Chandler Baker and Anthony Ray, the Blue Devils have three top players who compare favorably to any athletes in Section V, but Aquinas, in Class AA, has talent at more positions and most of their players aren't playing both offense and defense because of a larger roster.

While the Little Irish had a 21-6 lead at the half, one of their three TDs came on a kickoff return when T.J. Jones just ran through a couple of tackles for a 90-yard return.  On offense and defense in the first two quarters Batavia played Aquinas tight.

"We have a lot of guys going two ways and they're huffing and puffing (in the second half)," Briggs said. "But you know what, they scratched and they clawed and they kept fighting and I'm proud of them. I think that we are a better football team tonight and tomorrow and the rest of the season because of what just happened."

Once again, Leach was impressive on offense, rushing 18 times for 111 yards and a TD.

"You know you go for over 100 yards against Aquinas, that's something," Briggs said. "You've got to be pretty darn good to do that and I'm proud of him. I'm proud of our offensive line."

Baker also put up good numbers against a tough team, completing 11 of 16 pass attempts for 121 yards.

This week will be the first time the Blue Devils have practiced in three years following a loss. Since the opening week loss against Livonia in 2014, Batavia hasn't lost a regular season game.

Briggs thinks his team is tough, dedicated and will come to practice Monday ready to work.

"I know it sounds weird but I think we just became a better football team because these guys are going to respond," Briggs said. "They're going to compete and they're going to be hungry for the rest of the year."

Top photo: Anthony Robinson scores a 30-yard rushing touchdown for Aquinas in the third quarter. Robinson had 19 carries for 164 yards.

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To purchase prints of game photos, click here.

September 9, 2017 - 2:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, football.

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Alexander beat Pembroke on Friday night, 34-0. Chris McClinic rushed 21 times for 200 yards and two TDs for the Trojans. Terrez Smith added two TDs on 10 carries for 129 yards. Erik Scharlau ran 50 yards after an interception for a TD. 

Photos by Destin Danser. Top: Chris McClinic intercepts a Pembroke pass; second, Terrez Smith scores; third, Jacob Miller, Pembroke, and Grant Cox, Alexander battle for a pass. For more pictures and to purchase prints, click here.

Also on Friday:

  • Le Roy beat Wayland-Cohocton 34 -6. Jake Hill was 8 for 20 passing for 131 yards and three TDs. Gaven Cassidy had 13 carries for 59 yards. Ty Williams hauled in two passes for 53 yards and two TDs. Kylar LaCarte, two catches,18 yards and a TD.
  • Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen beat Letchworth/Warsaw 34-6. Bryce Yockel scored twice on 20 caries for 186 yards, and Bobby Stevens had 16 carries for 112 yards and two TDs.

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September 9, 2017 - 7:52am
posted by Steve Ognibene in Oakfield, sports, xc, Cross Country, batavia, steve ognibene's blog.

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The eighth annual Dash in the Dark at Oakfield-Alabama High School, where high school cross-country runners run their races at night under the lights, took place last night (Sept. 8).

Thirty-five schools, more than 1,000 competitors from Section V and VI, and one from Pennsylvania, attended this year's event.

Cross-country participants call this the “Super Bowl” of races which runners start and finish under the football stadium lights along with construction towers to help guide them on the course.

Teams consist of three runners and will be split up into two divisions depending on school size. Each school can enter three teams in the Gold Race (fastest race) and unlimited teams in the Blue Race.

The course is a fast, flat, grassy, 1,600-meter loop around the school grounds. Each leg will run two loops, starting and ending inside the football stadium.

Medals are awarded to the top 10 fastest individual times, both girls and boys, for both divisions.

Team trophies are given to the top three teams in both divisions in the Gold Race.

Team awards go to the top three teams in the Blue Race, for both divisions and genders.

For final results go to: http://yellowjacketracing.com/results

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September 7, 2017 - 3:06pm

Press release:

The families of David Swinton and Christina Volpe are proud to announce "Play It Forward," a basketball event and fundraiser to be held at 6 p.m. on Nov. 4 in the Notre Dame High School gym at 73 Union St. in Batavia.

Join us in celebrating these recently deceased Batavians for their achievements in sports and their impact on local youth.  

Members of the school alumni and staff, as well as former teammates of Christina, will play to raise funds for local charities.  

One-hundred percent of all money raised will be donated to local causes. 

The evening will begin with a welcome and greetings from Wade Bianco, principal of Notre Dame High School, and Mike Rapone, the school's Athletic director. The event will feature basket raffles, and food and beverages will be available for purchase.  

The event will center on an alumni game, which we are certain all will enjoy.

Alumni of all ages and skill levels are welcome to participate. The more the merrier, with family fun being the entire measure of success. We are planning a co-ed pickup style game, with a running clock, in which players can sub in and out as freely as necessary.

We will have officials, but we hope to see a premium of offense, and  minimum defense!

In October 2015, Christina Volpe died suddenly at St. Francis Hospital in Greenville, S.C. A graduate of Notre Dame High School and Roberts Wesleyan College, Chrissy was an outstanding player in volleyball and basketball. Many of her records set at Notre Dame are still unbroken.

Throughout her educational career, she was a source of motivation for teammates and aspiring athletes.

In November 2016, David Swinton passed away tragically while enjoying the great outdoors, one of his many passions. As a beloved and respected teacher, Dave worked with students at Genesee Valley BOCES in crisis intervention. He coached varsity soccer and softball at Notre Dame, as well as modified basketball.  

His kindness and good humor were major keys to his success.

The community is invited to come for an evening of sport and camaraderie as we remember the lives of these two people who eagerly played it forward.  

Please call to get your name on the list to play in the Alumni Game. 

"It is when you give of yourself that you truly give." (Kahlil Gibran)

Contacts:

  • Mike Rapone, ND Athletic Director  

           [email protected]

           [email protected]      

           (585) 343 278, ext. 115

  • Margaret and John Volpe   

           585-813-1110

  • Jane Swinton  

           585-548-2898

September 7, 2017 - 1:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

There will be 14 freshman fillies on hand at Batavia Downs on Friday evening (Sept. 8) to compete for $109,000 in purses in the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 2-year-old female pacers.

The first $54,500 division (race three) has Alexis Faith (American Ideal-Cannae Cammie) as the early choice to get the job done. Alexis Faith had won five-in-a-row until last week when she suffered her first defeat of the year to Youaremycandygirl in NYSS action at Yonkers Raceway. She set a lifetime mark of 1:53.1 at Tioga Downs last month and is the highest purse earner of this division with $96,145 in the bank. Alexis Faith is also third in the points standing for the final coming up at the end of the month.

Trainer Casie Coleman has Jim Morrill Jr. in the bike and they are the 9-5 track oddsmaker’s selection from post three.

Also in the hunt is Azreal As It Gets (So Surreal-Vanite Semlu). This filly is winless this year but has raced well each week in defeat. She was race timed in 1:52.4 at Tioga Downs last month and more recently has back-to-back third place finishes at Yonkers, both with solid closing quarters.

Matt Kakaley will drive for trainer Jake Huff and they will depart from post one at 5-2.

The next $54,500 group (race four) features co-favorites Jan and Hurrikane Shorty.

Jan (Rock N Roll Heaven-Armbro Savannah) comes late to the NYSS party as she makes her first start in the series. Having raced exclusively at Mohawk Raceway this year, Jan just completed a sweep of the Wish Upon A Star series, winning both eliminations and the final in a lifetime best 1:51.4.

Trainer Dr. Ian Moore has assigned Jim Morrill Jr. to drive Jan and they will leave from post six listed at 8-5.

Hurrikane Shorty (Art Major-Speed Date) is the current top point-getter and top money winner in the NYSS for her age, sex and gait. She is also the top money winner in this race with $107,565 on her card. Hurrikane Shorty won her first lifetime start in 1:52.3 at the Meadowlands in June and that remains her life’s best timing. The filly has never been worse than second in her career.

Jason Bartlett is on board for trainer Kevin McDermott and they will start from post three rated at 9-5.

There are also three divisions of the $15,000 Excelsior A series on the card that will go as race six, seven and eight. 

Post time for the first race is 6 p.m.

September 7, 2017 - 12:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

(Photo of Celebrity Ruth with driver Jason Bartlett.)

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

There were record breakers coming from everywhere at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Sept. 6) as the track standard was breached three times during the proceedings of the $108,2000 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) and $30,000 Excelsior A series for 3-year-old trotting fillies.

In the first $59,100 division, Mamora Bay (Sam Schillaci) got away fourth behind a heated front-end battle between Deli-Delite (Drew Monti) and Busy Doing Nothing (Ray Fisher Jr.) that lasted until the half. At that point Schillaci pulled his filly, went three-wide around the fading Busy Doing Nothing and took the lead from Deli-Delite by the three-quarter pole in 1:27. Now on a track record pace, Mamora Bay looked like the only thing to beat was the clock, but Deli-Delight came back on and chased her to the wire. But Mamora Bay hung tough to win by a half-length in 1:57.2, which tied the track record for age, gender and gait.

It was the second win of 2017 for Mamora Bay (Chapter Seven-Guilie Bi) who now has earned $95,881 this year for owner Peter Barbado. Mamora Bay ($3.40) is trained by Sam Schillaci.

In the second $59,100 split, Celebrity Ruth (Jason Bartlett) took the lead by the quarter pole and was never headed from there as Bartlett sat chilly the whole mile after the favored Barn Bella (Jeff Gregory) made a break by the eighth pole. Setting easy early fractions of :29.2 and :59.4, Bartlett loosened the lines a bit to try and put some distance between his horse and Ostrich Blue Chip (Scott Zeron) who was sitting on his back. They smoked the third quarter in 1:28.2 and then with one line-tap from Bartlett, Celebrity Ruth trotted home in :28.2 to win by a length in 1:56.4 which broke the track record.

It was the second win in five days for Celebrity Ruth (Archangel-Celebrity Obsession) and sixth on the season. The winner’s share of the purse has pushed the filly over the quarter-million dollar mark in earnings this year with $250,983 now in the bank. Celebrity Ruth ($4.30) is owned by White Birch Farm and trained by Trond Smedshammer.

Just because the NYSS divisions were over didn’t mean the record breaking had ended as well. There were still two $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior A series to be run and one of them got in on the action.

(Photo of Seventh Heaven with driver Jason Bartlett.)

Seventh Heaven (Jason Bartlett) got off the wings third and took advantage of an expeditious half of :57.2 (which was faster than either NYSS contest) set by Billie Blue (Chris Lems) and take the lead at the three-quarters before coasting home under wraps in 1:56.4 to tie the three-race-old track record.

It was the seventh win for Seventh Heaven (Chapter Seven-Porque) this year and her efforts have now benefitted owner Richard Balog with $50,800 in purses. Seventh Heaven (2.90) is trained by Linda Toscano.

The second Excelsior A division was won by Aunt Susie (Credit Winner-Aunt Mel) who went gate to wire in 1:58.2. Aunt Susie ($4.60) is owned by the Ervin Miller Stable, Paymaq Racing, the Nick Surick Stable LLC and Louis Willinger. Nick Surick does the training and Jim Morrill Jr. was in the sulky.

September 6, 2017 - 11:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, muckdogs.

After tonight's final home game of the 2017 season, we spoke with Brian Paris, president of the Genesee County Baseball Club, a community-based group that co-owns the Muckdogs with the Rochester Red Wings, for his thoughts on the season and the chances the Muckdogs will be back in Batavia for 2018.

The Muckdogs lost tonight to Auburn 6-3 in a game delayed by rain and attended by 494 fans on a night before school starts. The team is 30-44 and plays one last game in Auburn in a matchup that will determine whether the Muckdogs can avoid finishing in the cellar.

September 6, 2017 - 3:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, sports, Announcements, Run for the Acorns.

Press release:

East Bethany -- The fifth Anniversary Run for the ACORNS is Sunday Oct. 1st, and promises to be the best event yet!

Grab a friend for some great exercise, fun and free stuff! Run for the ACORNS 5K/10K trail run and walk will be held at Genesee County Park & Forect.

This race is part of the United Way of Genesee County race series which is sponsored by LaCivita Enterprises.

Race signup includes coupons and special offers from local businesses and restaurants! This year's race will feature the first-ever Kids Fun Run! Free to youth 10 & under. Must register on race day. Age-appropriate categories and distances. Run is on a grassy playing field. Everyone is a “winner”! This 5K/10K trail run and walk is designed for people of all ages and activity levels.

Surround yourself in the beauty of the forest in October on trails through the woods, along the headwaters of Black Creek and over rolling hills. Walk or run on single and double track trails through the forest, along a creek and up and down rolling hills in the Genesee County Park & Forest, with an estimated 100 feet of climb in the 10K loop. Trails are very wide and easy to negotiate (minimal rocks and roots). The course starts on asphalt and then leads into the woods for a truly beautiful run through the
countryside. Enjoy post-race snacks and drinks as you congratulate your fellow participants!

All proceeds benefit the ACORNS, the nonprofit organization that supports the Genesee County parks with a mission to enhance the visitor experience and foster environmental stewardship and education. Awards prizes will be given to the top overall male and female running finishers in each race. Awards will also be given to the top male and female running finishers in each age group.

Check-in begins at 8 a.m. The 10K run begins at 9 a.m.; the 5K run/walk begins at 9:15 a.m. Kids Fun Run begins about 10:30 a.m.

Registration is required! Fee is $25 before Sept. 27th; $30 late registration. Register before Sept. 17th to get your long-sleeved race tech shirt! Special fifth year anniversary shirts to participants registered for this and all other previous Run for the ACORNS races!

Register online by clicking here or at check-in on the day of the race.

Enjoy the morning in the forest and run for the ACORNS – You’re “NUTS” if you don’t! See you there! For more information visit our website here or call 585- 344-1122. 

September 6, 2017 - 3:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, sports, golf, Announcements, GCSEA.

The GC Sheriff's Employees Association Golf Tournament will be held Saturday, Sept. 23, at Terry Hills Golf Course in Batavia.

Cost is $75 per person and includes green fees, cart, lunch, dinner, awards and prizes.

Registration and lunch starts at 11 a.m.

Shotgun start for golf at noon.

Sponsor a tee or green or $100; sponsor a deputy for $375 -- includes tee/green sings & 1 foursome.

Proceeds go to help support the GCSEA Fundraiser Account and Veterans One-stop Center of WNY Inc.

The golf tournament is open to everyone. Come enjoy a great day of fun and golf; help support our veterans, the GCSEA and the nonprofits is helps throughout the year.

Terry Hills is located at 5122 Clinton Street Road.

For more information, contact Norman Itjen at (585) 409-4540 or email  [email protected]

September 5, 2017 - 2:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Two of the best 3-year-old trotting fillies on the Grand Circuit will be at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 6) in a division of the $108,200 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS). Barn Bella and Celebrity Ruth will go head to head in the second $59,100 division (carded as race four) of the NYSS in what looks to be a heavyweight battle for the ages with possible track record implications.

Barn Bella (Conway Hall-Bravissima) comes into the race as the second richest ($329,584) and third fastest (1:51.3) 3-year-old trotting filly in North America. She has scored 10 wins in 12 starts this year, making breaks the only two times she hasn’t finished first.  

Having campaigned exclusively in New York State this year, Barn Bella has won five legs of the NYSS as well as the $228,250 Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) at Vernon Downs in 1:51.3, which was her lifetime best effort.

In her last start on Aug. 18, Barn Bella was racing older male trotters in the overnight Open at Tioga Downs and made a break in the first turn while everyone was jockeying for position. This will be her first start back in 18 days and she looks to rebound with a big effort in the short six-horse field.

Barn Bella will be a big hometown favorite as all her connections are from only a few miles of Batavia Downs. Co-owner/trainer Steve Pratt, co-owner Wanda Polisseni and driver Jeff Gregory all call Batavia Downs their “home track” and will converge there with high expectations for their star performer.

Barn Bella has drawn post six and has been made the 8-5 morning line favorite.

Looking to spoil the homecoming is Celebrity Ruth (Archangel-Celebrity Obsession) who comes in fresh off a win in the $119,010 Hudson Trot final at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday (Sept. 2).

Celebrity Ruth was unraced at two but has made up for time lost this year. She has won three legs of the NYSS as well as the afore mentioned Hudson Trot. She also took a major check finishing second to Barn Bella in the EBC. In all, her five wins and five seconds have put $280,938 in her bank account this year. She has a lifetime mark of 1:53.4 taken at Tioga Downs but has been race timed in 1:52.1 at Vernon.

Trond Smedshammer trains Celebrity Ruth and has regular driver Jason Bartlett up once again and the pair will depart from post two, listed at 3-1.

In the first $59,100 division (carded as race three) Mamora Bay will start at Batavia Downs only four days after competing in the Hudson Trot as well where she finished third behind Celebrity Ruth.

Prior to Saturday, Mamora Bay (Chapter Seven-Giulie Bi) had been off since Aug. 1 as she was trying to get over the effects of a virus she has been dealing with all year, as reported by her trainer Sam Schillaci in a recent interview. With that said, she did look good qualifying twice at Northfield Park getting ready for that big stake.

In the Hudson, Mamora Bay got away sixth and was forced to come third-over in a dull outer flow and had to overcome a strong front-runner, the rain and a breaking horse around the last turn but still closed well to finish third, beaten less than four lengths.

With $66,331 on her card so far in 2017, Mamora Bay has only one win in six starts this year and her connections are hoping she gets back to her form of last year now that she is back in action.

Sam Schillaci is aboard once again and has been named the early favorite at 9-5 leaving from post three.

Looking to challenge for the spoils is Maewegonow (Deweycheatumnhowe-Mauresmo) who is the highest money earner in this leg with $91,220 banked. But she also only has one NYSS win to her credit.

Maewegonow has shown versatility racing on the front end as well as from behind and in this short field could be successful with either strategy. She has hit the board in seven out of 11 starts and took a lifetime mark of 1:55.3 in her last outing at Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs in an overnight event.

Charlie Norris trains and drives Maewegonow who has drawn post two and is tabbed at 5-2.

The current track record for 3-year-old trotting fillies is 1:57.2 set by Cowgirl Hall in 2012 and matched by Bouncing Bax in 2013.

There are also two divisions of the $15,000 Excelsior A series on Wednesday that are programmed as races six and seven.

Post time for the first race Wednesday is 5 p.m.

September 5, 2017 - 10:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in 5K, sports, batavia area jaycess, batavia, notify, news, Labor Day.

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Bill Buckenmeyer won the Batavia Area Jaycees' Labor Day 5K race yesterday with a time of 18:11.

The female winner was Kimberly Mills with a time of 19:53.

The top walker was Gina Giese with a time of 36:13.

There were also winners in various age categories.

At the youngest level, 14 and under, the top male and top female were Kameron Kuszlyk (22:46) and Maya Ciocola (29:20).

In the over 60 category, Frank Gioia (21:24) and Janice Spiotta (26:12) had the best times.

For a complete list of participants and times, click here.

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September 4, 2017 - 8:58am
posted by Howard Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, sports, football.

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The Batavia Blue Devils rolled into Syracuse with the goal of shutting out Johnson City at the Carrier Dome to open the 2017 season. They rode out 37-0 victors.

"I felt really good about our defense," said lineman Anthony Ray. "Our defense is always good. We’ve just got kids who are physical and who can hit. One of our goals was to put up a giant goose egg, not let them have anything, have a shutout, so I think we completed that and that’s a good thing."

Batavia scored on the first play of its first possession when Ray Leach broke out for a 56-yard run to the goal line. The Mustangs then fumbled the kickoff giving Batavia good field position again. On Johnson's City's next possession, the snapper on a fourth-down punt attempt overshot his target resulting in a safety, extending Batavia's lead to 16-0.

That's how the day went for Johnson City. In the second half, when a Johnson City runner was about to cross the goal line, Taiyo Iburi-Bethel caught him from behind and punched the ball out of his hands, sending it out the back of the end zone for a touch back and giving Batavia the ball on the 20. After another long drive by the Mustangs, Chandler Baker snagged one of his two interceptions to deny Johnson City a score again.

"Coming in, we worked very hard in practice, just from the start, from the get-go," said Baker, who is also QB1. "We’ve been improving every single day, so coming in, I had confidence in my guys. I knew they were going to give 100 percent and that’s what they did and we came out with a win."

A win is a win, but Coach Branden Briggs, who expects his players to execute on every play, wasn't entirely satisfied.

"I'm hoping we’re not happy with a win here today, to be honest with you," Briggs said. "It’s good to get a win, but we’ve got a long way to go. We’ve got a lot of mistakes to clean up. I’m confident we can do that, but the kids must buy into that and we’ve got to get much, much better."

Both Baker and Ray said they see room for improvement.

"We did good, but we can always improve," Baker said. "Me personally, I've got to limit the interceptions. I can’t have that. Next week we’re going to have Aquinas and they’re going to be a battle. We’ve just got to work really hard in practice and we’ll be fine."

Ray said there are some tasks the defense needs to address, such as improving player discipline in staying in position and closing up holes up the middle.

The team was eager to play on the big stage of the Carrier Dome, said receiver Ethan Biscaro.

"We were very excited and we were ready," Biscaro said. "We put in enough preparation and practice and we knew if we came out and played like we do at practice that we could beat anyone."

Leach rushed for 256 yards on 19 carries and scored once. He said he was proud of the effort of his teammates.

"Our team did good," Leach said. "We all did our 1/11th and that’s all we needed to do to get the W. We knew we had to come out hard to stop them. Our goal coming into this year was get a shutout at the Carrier Dome. We put our heart into it."

Briggs said Leach also knows there are things he needs to work on to improve.

"He needs to hit that hole a little bit harder," Briggs said. "He can’t dance as much. He understands that. We’ve had that conversation."

These kinds of details will be important when the Blue Devils open their home season Friday against Aquinas, which may be their most daunting opponent of the season.

"It’s going to be a whole different animal next week," Briggs said. "The kids will understand that when they watch the film. Aquinas put up a great game against one of the great teams in AA football in section V. It’s going to be a true test of our character and a true test of where we really are as a benchmark."

Asked if the team came out a little flat in the second half, Briggs said, not flat, but dehydrated.

"They found out they need to get in better shape," Briggs said. "The need to get into conditioning a little more, get serious, take care of their bodies more outside of football."

Baker was 9-13 passing for 193 yards and two TDs.

Taiyo Iburi-Bethel had four receptions for 96 yards and a TD. Eric Davis had a single catch, but it was a big one -- a 30-yard TD.

Antwan Odom had eight tackles.

Photos by Steve Ognibene.

Top photo: Ray Leach on a run to score in opening seconds of the first drive to give Batavia an 8-0 lead.

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Chandler Baker scores early in the game.

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September 2, 2017 - 3:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, news, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Photo of driver Drew Monti winning the 2014 race in the closest finish ever in the annual drivers' bike race (Photo courtesy of Paul White).

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

A full card of harness racing action, food specials and a drivers' bike race are all on tap as part of the annual Labor Day extravaganza at Batavia downs on Monday (Sept. 4).

The live harness racing kicks off at 1:15 p.m. with 12 exciting races. But there will also be something for the whole family to enjoy all day long and no one will go hungry for sure.

The featured meal deal is a $10.95 chicken barbecue provided by the Center Street Smoke House from noon to 3 p.m. in the clubhouse. The smell of the on-site prepared barbecue chicken with “all the fixin’s” will permeate the grandstand and come with a built in value. Every meal purchased comes with $10 in Batavia Downs Gaming Free-play to be used on the gaming floor after earning one base-point.

If chicken is not to your liking, there will also be $1 Sahlen’s hot dogs, $1 draft beer and $1 soda available on the track apron outlets from noon to 4 p.m.

Then after the seventh race, Batavia Downs will present the annual Driver’s Bike Race sponsored by Crazy Cheap Cars of Oakfield. This race features eight of the top drivers at the Downs competing in a race on bicycles that will then be given away to the fans who correctly picked the winner of the race.

Our live guests may place an entry in the box of the driver that they think is going to win in the Paddock Room from noon to 2:30 p.m. There will be eight names chosen from the winning driver’s box after the bike race is completed and each name drawn will receive one of the bikes used in the race. There is no purchase necessary, you must be 18-years-old or older to enter and you must be present to win.

This year’s competing drivers include (in post-position order) Larry Stalbaum, Mike Caprio, John Cummings Jr., Rock Vinci, Jim McNeight Jr., Shawn McDonough, Drew Monti and Denny Bucceri.

Caprio, Vinci, Monti and Bucceri have all won this race before and bragging rights are on the line for the next 12 months. 

September 2, 2017 - 3:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.
 
Photo of Hitman Hill with driver Brett Miller.
 
By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
 
The track standard of 1:53.2 for 2-year-old pacing geldings was lowered substantially on Friday night (Sept. 1) when Hitman Hill (American Ideal-Fox Valley Shaker) torched the Genesee County oval in 1:52.4 in the $106,000 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) at Batavia Downs. 
 
Leaving from post one in his $53,500 division, Hitman Hill (Brett Miller) shot right to the lead and dictated fractions that would put him in the record books. 
 
After stopping the clock at :27.3, :56.1 and 1:25.1, the only threat of the race came at the three-quarters when pocket-sitting Casual Cool (Drew Monti) pulled and advanced to within a neck. But Miller tapped the gas and Hitman Hill responded by pacing home in :27.3 to win by four lengths in 1:52.4 to set the new track record. 
 
The previous mark was held by Pointomygranson (Marcus Miller) who paced in 1:53.2 last year. 
 
"This colt, from the first time I sat behind him; I told (trainer) Chris Oakes the could be one of the best colts I've ever sat behind" said driver Brett Miller. "And I still feel that way."
 
Hitman Hill ($2.40) is now a perfect four for four this year and has earned $79,383 for his owners Tom Hill and Northfork Racing Stable. 
 
In the second $52,500 division, Jersey Jim (Artiscape-Jersey Pearl) matched his lifetime best clocking to score his third win of the year, two of which were in NYSS action. 
 
Jersey Jim (Jim Devaux) got away last as the heavily favored Paprike Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) led the way. But after Silver Arrow (John Macdonald) pushed the issue in the third quarter, Jersey Jim made a bold three-wide, three-quarter move and drew alongside Paprike Blue Chip at the head of the lane. From there he out-muscled the pace setter to the wire to win by a length in 1:54.1. 
 
Jersey Jim ($5.80) has now banked $62,933 in 2017 for owners Robert and Gail Sanders and trainer Perry Simser. 
 
There were also two $15,000 Excalsior A series contests on the card. 
 
In the first split, Real Rayenbow (So Surreal-R Reva Raye) won in 1:58.4 for Chuck Connor Jr. Real Rayenbow ($23.40) is owned by Janice Connor, Arden Homestead Stable and Crawford Farms Racing and is trained by Chuck Connor Jr. 
 
In the second leg, Major Sugar Rush (Art Major-Sugarcoated) registered a 1:56.2 victory for Ray Schnittker. Major Sugar Rush ($7.90) is owned by Ray Schnittker and Steve Arnold and is trained by Ray Schnittker. 
September 2, 2017 - 1:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, football, sports, news.

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Le Roy rallied in the second half Friday night to score three touchdowns and secure a season-opening victory over Dansville, 18-7.

The Oatkan Knights went into the half down 8-7 and then the Mustangs took their opening possession down to the two-yard line, were a Bryce Bordanaro recovered a Dansville fumble.

Le Roy marched 99 yards for a touchdown, taking the lead and the Mustangs never seriously challenged the Knights again.

Kyler LaCarte carried the ball 28 times for 149 yards and a TD.  QB Jake Hill was 10-13 for 144 yards and a TD.  Reece Tresco had two catches for 34 yards and a TD. T.Y. Williams had two receptions for 25 yards, and Gaven Cassidy nabbed three passes for 17 yards.

On defense, Luke Stella had seven tackles, including two for a loss, Tyler Rider had seven, Bryce Bordanaro, five, Jake Hill, five, and Reece Tresco, five.

In other Friday football action:

  • Oakfield-Alabama/Elba beats Perry/Mount Morris, 40-30.  OAE put up 27 first-half points in their season and home opener. Collin O'Halloran led the OAE team with 116 yards on the ground along with two touchdowns. Colton Dillon and Gage Dieterle added rushing touchdowns while Dillon and Ty Mott each had an interception returned for a touchdown. Justice Fanaro led the Yellowjacket offense to 23 fourth quarter points hooking up with Austin Croll for multiple touchdowns through the air. Fanaro finished the game 10-17 for 255 yards and 3 touchdowns while Croll had 249 all purpose yards and three touchdowns. 
  • Pembroke beat York/Pavilion, 48-24. Zach von Kramer rushed for 303 yards on 16 carries, scoring four times.
  • Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen fell to Bath, 24-20.
  • Notre Dame was shut out by Canisteo-Greenword, 45-0.

Le Roy photos by Ed Henry. 

Top photo, Jack Dempsey with the carry.

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Ty Williams.

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Reece Tresco with a seven-yard reception for a TD.

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Gavin Luckey with a reception.

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Kyler LaCarte with the ball.

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LaCarte scores.

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Post game, LaCarte.

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