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May 5, 2017 - 10:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Empire Cup College Showcase, sports, soccer, news.

The 2017 Empire Cup College Showcase is a two-weekend event a big financial boost to the local tourism industry, but a week of rain, some of it heavy at times, has saturated playing fields and forced the cancellation of this weekend's games.

As for next weekend's games, that depends on the weather.

"We've got to hope for a couple of dry days this week," said Kelly Rapone, director of tourism for the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.

Over two weekends, more than 3,000 soccer players from all over the Northeast were expected to fill up local hotels and eat at local restaurants, but that $1.1 million of expected economic impact has been cut in half.

Everybody, from the hoteliers to the event's hosts to the participants are hugely disappointed by the rainout, Rapone said.

The event is a chance for top high school players to showcase their talent for college recruiters and give them a chance to play against some of the other top players in the Northeast and Canada.

This weekend, the boys' championship games were scheduled to be played. Next weekend, girls' games are scheduled.

May 1, 2017 - 12:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in tourism, business, batavia, sports.

Press release:

The 2017 Empire Cup College Showcase has teamed with Elite Tournaments and U.S. Youth Soccer Region 1 to bring the Eastern Regional League to Batavia. Over the next two weekends (May 6-7 and 13-14) Genesee County will host more than 3,000 soccer players, plus coaches, families and fans, as the tournaments are played at the Batavia Sports Park and Genesee Community College fields.

Historically this tournament draws teams from throughout New Jersey, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Canada. With this new partnership, the event has shown significant growth and the influx of visitors and the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce estimates that this event will create an economic impact of more than $1.1 million during the span of the two tournament weekends, from both hotel stays as well as visiting local restaurants and shops. The tournament will generate more than 1,200 room nights at area hotels.

This tournament invites all USYSA and U.S. Club Soccer affiliated boys and girls U13 through U19 teams to participate. Players not only get the opportunity to play with and against the top teams in Region 1; they also get the chance to showcase their abilities and talents to recruits at the collegiate level.

The Genesee County Visitor Center will be open to assist visitors in finding local destinations by providing the new dining guide, maps, visitors guide and area coupons from participating merchants.

April 29, 2017 - 7:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, Oakfield, sports, baseball, little league.


The Oakfield-Alabama Little League kicked off its 2017 season today with a parade down Main Street in the Village of Oakfield.

Opening ceremonies also commemorated the lives of Dan Gilbert, James "Beef" Soggs, and Brayden Salvaterra.

Gilbert, baseball coach at Oakfield-Alabama High School and longtime active supporter of Little League, passed away March 1.

Soggs, dedicated to youth sports in Genesee County and a coach in Batavia, was also remembered as part of the moment of silence before the first game.

Brayden was just two weeks shy of his 6th birthday when he died unexpectedly and of a cause that has never been determined. He loved baseball and he and his dad were the third in line for Little League sign-ups for this season. 

His coach -- he played on the Washington Nationals each of the past two seasons -- Normand Fluet, purchased a bench and the Town of Oakfield installed it overlooking one of the T-ball fields with a commemorative plaque.

"The final product is full of memories and certainly ensure that Brayden’s memory is going to live on forever," said League President Andy Merkel.

"One of the things that is great about the Oakfield and Alabama communities is that Little League is a big part of it," Merkel added. "I grew up playing in the Little League program, most of the coaches grew up in the Little League program, most of the parents grew up in the Little League program, and it’s great to see the people from throughout the community who maybe don’t have a connection any longer, don’t have a child or relative playing, but they still come out to support our program, have a hot dog and watch a baseball game. It means a lot to have that community support."












April 28, 2017 - 12:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, softball.

Submitted info:

Wednesday Night Coed Softball Game 1 results and box score...
TF Browns Blind Squirrels (away)- 3,3,3,1,0,3,1
The Misfits (home)-                          0,0,3,0,0,1, mercy
Final 14-4 (away)
R. Sumeriski 4-4 3rbi
C. Harrington 2-4 2rbi
A. Ford 1-4
J. Dykstra 2-4 1rbi
M. Jamil 4-4 2rbi
L. Leto 2-4 2rbi
J. Janes 2-4 2rbi
J. Lee 2-4 1rbi
H. Dempsey 2-3
J. Petry 0-3 1rbi...
B. Whitehead 2-3
M. Ayers 2-3 1rbi
C. Weibel 0-3
J. Potter 0-3
S. Curry 2-3
K. McGill 0-3
D. Pirincci 3-3 1rbi
M. Greene 1-3 1rbi
J. Maskell 0-2 1rbi...
The New Batavia Softball League's Coed season begins at Kibbe Park and so do the hopes for 7 teams as they chase the championship trophy. Game 1 unfortunately was over before it started as the TF Brown's Blind Squirrels (1-0) reassure The Misfits (0-1) that the team name does fit in a 14-4 final. Proud of every player on both sides. Fun natured trash talk amongst many friends and some new faces have joined which we are always proud to have. TF Brown's Blind Squirrels (1-0) will be visiting against Wii Not Fit (1-0) Wednesday May 3rd in a rivalry game starting at 6pm. Kibbe Park is where all the games will be held.
Wednesday Coed Week 1 game 2 results and box score...
Final 19-11 (away) Kibbe Park
Allstate (away) 0,0,3,6,7,3,0
97 Rock (home)0,1,0,1,6,3,0
D. Leach 2-4 2rbi
T. Maurer 1-5 1rbi
J. Huertas 5-5 4rbi
T. Lazik 3-4 3rbi
R. Funke 2-4 1rbi
A. Page 0-2 1rbi
D. Callahan 3-4 1rbi
C. Spurling 1-3 1rbi
M. Funke 3-4 2rbi
V. Redman 3-4 1rbi
B. Spurling 2-2 2rbi...
L. Phillips 2-3
N. Cummings 3-4 2rbi
S. George 2-4 1rbi
D. Cervone 2-4 2rbi
D. Marshall 3-4 3rbi
D. Cummings 2-4 1rbi
J. Quinn 1-3 2rbi
D. Ball 1-4
K. Cervone 1-4
T. Quinn 1-3

Game 2 of opening night was a pretty high scoring afair that started off slowly as the rust was getting removed from the off-season for these teams. Andrew Steinbrenner's Allstate (1-0) spread the wealth with everybody batting in at least one run in their matchup against the respected bunch from 97 Rock (0-1) who made a push later but it was too much to overcome. Andrew Steinbrenner's Allstate (1-0) next week go on to face The New Batavia Softball League's sponsored Slapnut Magoos (0-0) starting at 9pm. 97 Rock (0-1) will be also facing The New Batavia Softball League's sponsored Slapnut Magoos (0-0) as they come off their needed bye week right into a double header to catch up. Start time 8pm at Kibbe Park.

Wednesday Night Coed Week 1 game 3 results and Box Scores...
8-7 final (home) Kibbe Park
The Gallaghers (away)0,1,0,2,2,2,0
Wii Not Fit (home)       0,0,6,0,1,0,1
N. Gaudy 2-4 
C. Dowling 4-4
E. Davis 1-3 1rbi
M. Dwyer 3-3 3rbi
J. Stymus 1-2 1rbi
G. Hodges 2-3 2rbi
J. Palaszynski 1-3
V. Redman(roster sub used) 1-3
P. Mutter 1-3
D. Gioia 1-3
N. Nicometi 1-3 1rbi
D. Coley 1-3...
TJ Sauka 1-4
T. Sanchez 1-4
Tom Sauka 2-4 2rbi
T. Towner 1-4
L. Tillery 2-3
J. Marucci 2-3
A. Prusinowski 1-3 1rbi
M. Saxman 3-3 2rbi
J. Martinez 2-3 2rbi
J. Vasi 0-3... (illegal lineup! no more than 3 males in a row)
Now the final game of our opening night for Coed softball under the lights at Kibbe Park Wednesday's turned out to be the game of the week. Absolute prime time deserving. Wii Not Fit (1-0) jumped out to a five run lead after The Gallagher's (0-1) scored first. The Gallagher's then chip, chip, chipped away to tie the game as Wii Not Fit stranded the bases loaded with only one out in the sixth inning. Tom Sauka hit a triple in the top of the seventh inning to avenge a bad news bears base running blunder earlier in the game, but would not get any further. Wii Not Fit the home team with last ups loaded the bases again with one out and M. Dwyer delivered a walk off high sacrifice fly as The Gallagher's could not get out of the bases loaded jam this time. Wii Not Fit (1-0) will be looking at their first loss of the season as they take on the TF Brown's Blind Squirrels (1-0) next week at 6pm. Very fun and entertaining opening night of sofbtall at Kibbe Park.
April 27, 2017 - 2:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, alexander, batavia.

Submitted photo and press release:

Last month, the Genesee Amateur Hockey Association held its Beginner Timbits Cross-Ice Jamboree at the Falleti Ice Rink.

For the event, Coach Jim Kujawski divided the 60 plus Beginners into six teams featuring the Blue Line Bandits, Orange Blaze, Purple Rhino’s, Yoda Force, Rowdy Red Rascals and The Avengers.

The teams played three “cross-ice” (Benches to Bleachers) against one another. The games were 16-minutes long with 4-minute shifts. A great time was had by all.

At the beginning of the Jamboree each player’s name was announced as they came onto the ice and they lined up for the National Anthem sung live by Shawn Calmes, of Alexander. They were so in the moment and so excited to begin play.

The players range from age 3 to 14 and their hearts are 100 percent into the learning to skate if needed; and then into developing hockey skills. Coach Kujawski and his team of on-ice helper coaches and dads as well as several GAHA student on-ice helpers follow USA Hockey’s American Development Modules (ADM) and you can experience each player’s development week after week.

The bleachers were packed with parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, as well as cousins and friends. At last count there were 375 spectators for this Jamboree. The space along the boards was also filled to capacity. Everyone was into the games.

The GAHA Beginner Program is sponsored by Tim Hortons’ who provided the jerseys and also provided refreshments for the players and family after the event.

GAHA offers this program in two Sessions – Session I begins the first week of October and has 15 on ice sessions; and Session II begins the first week of January and also has 15 on ice sessions. Players are encouraged to attend both sessions.

If interested, you can contact Sharon Valyear-Gray, the Beginner Player coordinator, at [email protected]

April 27, 2017 - 8:57am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports.


The New York State USBC championship tournaments are taking place in Tonawanda (Women) and Endicott (Open), and 22 teams from the Genesee Region -- 19 at the Women's tournament and three at the Open tournament -- are among the participants.

To see who is hitting the road over the next several weeks, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page for Mike Pettinella's final bowling column of the 2016-17 season.

April 27, 2017 - 8:53am
posted by Mike Pettinella in Bowling, sports.

With the major tournament season upon us, bowlers are traveling far and wide in an attempt to capture a slice of the hundreds of thousands of dollars up for grabs.

Nationally, the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships run through July 15 at South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas, and the USBC Women’s Championships continue through July 9 at Raising Cane’s River Center in Baton Rouge, La.

(The 2018 USBC Open Championships are scheduled for the Oncenter in Syracuse, but that’s a story for a future column).

In New York, the 93rd NYS Open Championships started last weekend at Ideal Bowling Center in Endicott, near Binghamton, and continue for three more weekends, skipping Mother’s Day weekend of May 12-14.

And the 81st NYS Women’s Championships are in the middle of a five-weekend stay at Tonawanda Bowling Center.

Three Genesee Region USBC teams are entered in the NYS Open Championships – J.E. Currier I and J.E Currier II, captained by Bruce Kraus of Corfu and Roger Stone of East Pembroke, respectively, and the Pretty Birds team captained by Mike Johnson of Batavia.

The Currier teams compete this weekend in Team, Doubles, Singles and All-Events, while Johnson’s team is scheduled for the last weekend, May 19-21.

At the NYS Women’s Championships, 19 teams of bowlers from the Genesee Region USBC are among the 405 teams entered. Only the Syracuse, Rochester and Johnstown local associations have more teams than the GRUSBC contingent.

The GRUSBC teams entered are as follows:

Creekside Construction and Rebels (Bonnie Willey, Geneseo); Huber Farms (Debbie Huber, Attica); Cartwright Racing, Just Us and Wiltsey Girls (Dawn Luckenbach, Caledonia); Crawford’s (Tiffany Crawford, Albion); Star Theatre (Lois Furioso, Wayland); Dogwood Florist (Cheryl Robson, Dansville); Burgio Tire & Co. (Lois Preston, Albion).

Also, MJ Graphics (Mary Jean Durfee, Attica); Thing I and Thing II (Roxanne Clar, Avon); Three Mrs. & A Spare (Amanda Quait, Nunda); Ubi Caritas and Friends (Susan Boring, Albion); Strike Out Cancer (Judy Bzduch, Perry); North Pole (Darleen Balduf, South Byron), and Medina Ladies (Jackie Jurinich, Medina).

You can find complete standings and updates for the NYS Open and Women’s Championships at the NYS USBC website –


While tournament bowling may be all “fun and games” for the competitors, those managing these events are faced with the sometimes difficult task of determining entering averages that truly reflect a bowler’s ability.

Bowlers establish their averages by competing in leagues and, normally, tournaments use a bowler’s highest average over a period of time -- ranging from last season to three seasons ago -- based on at least 21 game in a particular league (although some tournaments are now using 12-game averages).

At one time, all averages were treated equally, regardless of whether a league bowler was competing in a bowling center where it was hard to post high scores for a variety of reasons (by design, improper lane maintenance or too much/too little oil on the lanes).

Several years ago, the USBC implemented “Sport” leagues featuring oil patterns that took away the wall of oil in the middle of the lane that makes it easy to hit the pocket.  With that, leagues were categorized as either Standard (or House) or Sport.

The USBC also established a Sport league conversion scale which gave tournament managers a tool to adjust a bowler’s average. For example, an average of 192 in a Sport league converts to 216 – a number that represents the bowler’s “house shot” average.

Earlier this week, the USBC introduced a third league designation – Challenge – which is meant to take into account leagues that are bowled on lane conditions that fall between Standard and Sport conditions. As in the case of the Sport league, a Challenge conversion chart will be posted on the USBC’s website –

In announcing the move, USBC Executive Director Chad Murphy said many bowlers compete in leagues that are not designated as Sport, leagues where tougher oil patterns are used and where oil patterns are changed periodically over the course of the season.

 “A thorough examination of bowlers who have competed in both Standard and Challenge leagues showed a discrepancy that needed to be addressed,” Murphy said. “The data showed us that using a Sport conversion for some leagues might not be appropriate, but the averages of bowlers competing on certain conditions did warrant a conversion to ensure they are not gaining an unfair advantage when they compete on Standard conditions.

“This is part of our ongoing commitment to ensure the averages of all bowlers accurately reflect a bowler’s ability.”

Starting with the 2017-2018 season, when a league submits its certification, the league secretary must choose one, and only one, of three lane condition options – Standard, Challenge or Sport.

Standard will be for leagues conducted on traditional house conditions, Sport will be for true Sport leagues, while Challenge will be for leagues that use a variety of difficult patterns but are not classified as Sport-only leagues.

The USBC also is looking at data to determine a league’s lane condition designation. Leagues with an average difference of 20 or more pins when compared to a Standard league still will be considered Sport.  Leagues with an average difference between 10-19 pins will fall into the new Challenge condition.

Leagues from the 2016-2017 season will be moved into the appropriate lane condition designation based upon final averages and an analysis, and those leagues will be notified they have been moved into a new classification.

I applaud USBC management and staff for their efforts to create a fair tournament playing field. I hope we will see further measures – possibly a bowling center rating system and stiffer penalties for “sandbaggers” and those who report incorrect averages – down the road.


Congratulations to Vincent Mack of Perry and Cory Hyde of Mount Morris on their entrance into the “300 circle” earlier this month.

Mack, 49, posted his perfect game on April 7 in the Friday Nite 4 League at Perry Bowling Center. Using a Storm IQ, the 194-average bowler finished with the 300 for a 695 series.

Hyde, 35, used a Columbia Ransom Demand to shoot 300-193-209—702 in the Sunday Night Mixed League at Mount Morris Lanes on April 16. He has a 184 average.

For a list of all honor scores in the GRUSBC this season, go to


Genesee Region USBC members planning to attend the association’s banquet/hall of fame dinner have until May 1 to make their reservations by sending an email to [email protected] or [email protected].

The dinner is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on May 13 at Batavia Downs Gaming on Park Road.

Tournament champions, scholarship winners and Hall of Fame inductee Robert Foss Jr., who is being enshrined posthumously, will be honored.

Tickets are $25, with GRUSBC directors, league secretaries and Hall of Famers receiving a 50 percent discount. No reservations will be taken after May 1.

This is final column for the 2016-17 season. Thank you to all of the businesses who have supported this column. To them and our readers, have a great summer and hope to be back in September.

April 26, 2017 - 6:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in Oakfield, Alabama, sports, little league, news.

From Andy Merkel, president, Oakfield-Alabama Little League:

This Saturday, April 29, will be Opening Day for the Oakfield-Alabama Little League.

There will be a short parade beginning at 9 a.m. at the Oakfield Fire Department, walking on Albert Street to the town park and ball fields on Drake Street.

Participants who'd like to be in the parade are asked to assemble at the fire hall at 8:30 a.m.

Opening day ceremonies immediately follow the parade. At that time, teams, coaches and the Board of Directors will be announced.

This year, a special moment of silence will be held in honor of Coach Dan Gilbert, who recently passed away, and who was instrumental in the OACS baseball program as well as Little League. Also, a bench will be dedicated to a young player who passed away suddenly earlier this year.

Games will kick off at 10 a.m.

April 26, 2017 - 5:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, track and field, byron-bergen, alexander.

In track and field yesterday, Alexander beat Byron-Bergen 83 2/3 to 57 1/3 in boys and 72-69 in girls.

Boy's results:

Long Jump


Brandon Burke


Triple Jump


Brandon Burke


Shot Put


Paul McDermott




Zach Jasen


Pole Vault


Justin Hannan


High Jump


Brandon Burke




Anderson Bradshaw,

Ben Slenker,

Bryce Davis,

Trevor Zauner








Terrez Smith




Trevor Zauner




Chris McClinic,

Terrez Smith,

Job Smith,

Tyler Cook




Job Smith












Tyler Cook




Trevor Zauner




Phelps, Gardner, Swaps, Burke


Girls results:

Long Jump


Olivia George


Triple Jump


Kelsey Mauer


Shot Put


Olivia George




Nicole Hume


Pole Vault


Reanne Dressler


High Jump


Lauren Hume




Dressler, Fuller, Gonyea, Caballero




Hailee Lowe




Olivia George




Lauren Hume




Hailee Lowe, Hannah Cline, Macie Riggs, Lauren Schmieder




Olivia George




Morgan Fuller




Siomara Caballero




Miriam Tardy




Katie Rebmann




Caballero, Dressler, Rehwaldt, Gonyea


April 22, 2017 - 6:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in softball, sports, batavia, news.


After running teams for a couple of years in Byron-Bergen, Stan Kaus and Matt Landers got to talking last year about getting more girls involved in fastpitch softball and bringing the teams back to Batavia.

"After last year we decided there are more girls in Batavia who want to play softball, so we kind of looked at each other and said, ‘Are you sure you want to go bigger?’ and we said, ‘as long as the parents step up and help,' " Kaus said.

The response, Kaus said, "has been phenomenal."

The new Batavia Girls Fastpitch is incorporating as a nonprofit with an eight-person board. There are eight new coaches, 17 sponsors and so far 35 girls signed up.

There are two 12-and-under teams and for the first time a 10-U team. Next Tuesday, they will host a meeting to form at least one, and maybe two, 15-U teams, which will add another 12 to maybe more than 20 more girls participating.

"I think the word will get out," Kaus said. "I think a lot of girls felt their only choice for playing ball was Little League. I think if they can come out and watch softball and see fastpitch, I think it will be great."

The Stingers, as the teams are known, also have new uniforms.

"The fact that it's back and we're breathing new life into fastpitch softball is kind of exciting," Kaus said.






April 21, 2017 - 3:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, sports, Announcements, dan gilbert, Oakfield, Alabama.

On Saturday, May 13th  the community and school district in Oakfield-Alabama will be having a varsity baseball field dedication ceremony for the late Dan Gilbert. The longtime coach and teacher was a great guy and is sorely missed after losing a long and couragous battle with cancer.

  • At 10 a.m. on May 13, there will be a community softball game for adults and home run derby for kids. There will also be basket raffles, concessions and face painting.
  • At noon will be the field dedication and ceremony.
  • At 1 p.m. there will be a varsity baseball game O-A vs. Lyndonville. 

Organizers are asking the public to consider donating an item to be raffled or making a monetary donation to benefit the Oakfield-Alabama Central School baseball program and to fund a scholarship in honor of Coach Gilbert. All proceeds to benefit the OACS Baseball Program in memory of Coach Dan Gilbert.

Anything that you can donate to help make Dan's dedication ceremony a special day will be greatly welcomed and appreciated. Make checks payable to: OACS, and send attention to Dan Gilbert Memorial, 7001 Lewiston Road, Oakfield, NY 14125.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Mary Kalinownski at: --  or Marc Johnson at 948-5838, or [email protected]

Here is a summary of Coach Gilbert's coaching achievements:

●  Section V Coach of the Year – 2001, 2003, 2005, 2008

●  Genesee Region Coach of the Year – 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010

●  Genesee Region Coach of the Year, Softball – 2011 (Dan’s only season as softball coach)

●  Coach Gilbert’s teams won 12 Genesee Region League Baseball titles

●  Coach Gilbert’s teams won four Section V titles (2000, 2001, 2003, 2009) and advanced to States in 2003


●  Overall record of 284-Wins against 58-Losses

According to his family and friends, "less quantifiable, yet just as impressive as his coaching accolades, was Dan’s uncanny ability to see something special in each of his students and/or players. He made believers out of his players and students which allowed them to dig deeper, become more confident and excel at levels they never knew were possible. This talent seemed to come easy to Dan, and for that, thousands of kids from our community are grateful."
April 12, 2017 - 7:33am
posted by Mike Pettinella in Bowling, sports.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again – with a different bowling ball -- until you do succeed!

For Harris Busmire, a lifelong Bergen resident and 25-year assistant chef at the Viking Valhalla Restaurant, that was the story of a memorable night of league bowling last Tuesday (April 4) in the G&W Vending League at his hometown lanes, Rose Garden Bowl.

Busmire recorded 30 strikes in his three games – a notable achievement – but what makes it more remarkable is that all of those 1-3 pocket hits came after the fifth frame of the first game. In other words, the 52-year-old right-hander struck on 30 of his last 31 deliveries!

His games were 214, 277 and 300 for a 791 series, with the last game marking his third USBC-certified perfect game. His previous 300 was part of an 811 series (his lone 800 effort) in March of 2003.

“I really struggled early,” Busmire said, pointing out that he used two bowling balls in the first five frames before switching to a Columbia 300 Enigma in the sixth frame. “Nothing was working.”

Indeed. He missed a single pin spare in the first frame and spared in the second frame with a MOTIV Talon before leaving two splits (and failing to convert them) and then getting a spare with an Ebonite Disruption.

“When I switched to the Enigma, the whole lane opened up,” he said. “I just kept my hand behind the ball and I was able to use three different lines.”

Busmire said every ball from the sixth frame of game one to the end of game three was solid in the pocket except for the fourth frame of game two when he left the 3-6-10 on lane 8.

“I came too much off the side of the ball, almost over the top,” Busmire said of the errant shot. He did pick the spare, however, and went on to string 20 consecutive strikes.

Despite chronic knee problems (he wears a knee brace when he bowls, along with a hat and shorts), Busmire bowls in three leagues at Rose Garden and averages 203 on Tuesday, 195 on Wednesday and 190 on Thursday.

Busmire wasn’t the only high scorer last week as Chris Bardol of Rochester continued his super bowling in the G&W Vending League with a 299 game and 811 series – his third 800 set to go along with a pair of 300 games and the 299.

Other recent honor scores:

-- Scott Budde of Albion registered his first 300 game, capping a 716 series, on April 2 during the New York State Elks 70th Annual Bowling Tournament at Boulevard Bowl in Schenectady.

His perfect game came on the first weekend of the tournament, which runs for five weekends at Town & Country Lanes in Guilderland (Team event) and at Boulevard Bowl (Doubles & Singles).

Budde, who turned 53 last month, started with 202 and 214 before burying all 12 balls in the 1-3 pocket for the 300.

A sales rep for Kaman Automation in Tonawanda, Budde said he was more nervous after the game was over than during it.

“I didn’t know what do to after it was over,” he said.

Budde used a new Roto-Grip Daredevil bowling ball to eclipse his previous high game – what he termed a “wacky” 284 in the early 1990’s.  He took about 18 years off from bowling before starting up again a couple years ago.

His 300—716 came during the Doubles event where he and his partner, Dan Ward, posted 1,470 with handicap (1,260 scratch) to top the standings.

-- Danny Hunt of Geneseo posted a 300 game at Livingston Lanes in his hometown on April 9 in the Sunday Evening Mixed League.


Perry residents Joann Van Duser and daughter, Rachel, combined for a 1,306 score with handicap on the final day of competition to claim the Women’s Doubles title at the Genesee Region USBC Association Tournament.

Joann (143 average) rolled 431 scratch while Rachel (176 average) posted 603 scratch to edge another mother-daughter team in Laurie Cole and Virginia Metzger of Albion (1,278). Ironically, both teams were bowling on the same pair of lanes during the tournament’s last squad.

While the number of entries continues to lag, there were more bowlers than last year. In the Open Team event at Letchworth Pines in Portageville, entries rose from 16 to 20, and in the Women's Team event, entries increased from five to 10. Also, in Open Doubles, (Doubles & Singles took place at Perry Bowling Center) entries jumped from 32 in 2016 to 51 this year.

According to GRUSBC President Tom Fluker, a committee of GRUSBC directors and selected bowlers will be put together to evaluate the tournament and to implement changes next year in an effort to increase participation.

Unofficial champions:

Open Team -- McClurg Five, Perry Bowling Center, 3,755. Members are Tracy Werner, Steve Werner, Wes McClurg, Beth Ann Kaczmarek and Dave Kaczmarek.

Women's Team – King Brothers, Bennington Lanes, 2,572. Members are Debbie Huber, Carley King, Angela Zymowski and Mary Meyer.

Open Doubles -- Casey Palmer Sr. and Casey Palmer Jr., 1,623.

Women's Doubles -- Joann Van Duser and Rachel Van Duser, 1,306.

Open Singles -- Al Vlietstra, 860.

Women's Singles -- Caroline Appleby, 664.

Open All-Events -- Casey Palmer Jr., 2,358.

Women's All-Events -- Patricia Gilbertson, 1,913.


The Genesee Region USBC East (Wyoming and Livingston counties) defeated the GRUSBC West (Genesee and Orleans counties), 45-43, in the third annual Senior Cup match at Scopano’s Lanes in Oakfield on Saturday (April 8).

Competition in the 50-and-over event took place in Doubles, Singles and Baker Team. The teams tied after the Doubles, and the East led by two points after Singles. The teams split the 18 points awarded during the Baker Team match, enabling the East squad to break a 1-1 tie in the series.

Bob Santini led the way for the East by winning all three of his matches, posting 290—732 in Singles. Team captain Kevin Gray Sr. also won his three matches while Brenda Komenda averaged 220, second only to Santini’s 234.

Other East members were John LaGeorge, Jerry Davis, Al Vlietstra, Mark Comstock, Eric Galton, Brett Van Duser and Don Parrott.

For the West, Roger Stone and Bruce Kraus each averaged 217.

Other East members were captain Paul Spiotta, Scott Gibson, Scott Shields, Joe Mortellaro, Gregg Wolff, Bob Hodgson, Jerry Currier and Joe Trigilio.


The GRUSBC Association Banquet & Hall of Fame Dinner is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on May 13 at Batavia Downs Gaming on Park Road.

Tournament champions, scholarship winners and Hall of Fame inductee Robert Foss Jr., who is being enshrined posthumously, will be honored.

Tickets are $25, with GRUSBC directors, league secretaries and Hall of Famers receiving a 50 percent discount. Reservations can be made through May 1 by sending an email to [email protected].

No reservations will be taken after May 1 and no one will be allowed to “walk in” on May 13. The banquet is open to all GRUSBC members.

The final Pin Points column for the 2016-17 season is scheduled to appear on The Batavian on April 27.

April 11, 2017 - 1:08pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports.

Chris Bardol tacked on another 800 series (811) while Harris Busmire struck on 30 of his last 31 deliveries for 277-300--791 in G&W Vending League play last week at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen.

For a list of high scores from the week of April 4, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page.

Fans of Mike Pettinella's Pin Points column can read his article a day early this week as it will appear on Wednesday, exclusively on The Batavian, the area's No. 1 source for online news.

April 6, 2017 - 3:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, sports, golf, Bocce, news, Cougar Classic Golf Tournament.

Press release:

The 2017 Cougar Classic Golf Tournament is just a few months away and registration is now open for the second annual event scheduled for Monday, July 24, which will once again take place at the prestigious Stafford Country Club, 8873 Morganville Road, (Route 237) Stafford. With 88 golfers, 22 teams, 60 sponsors and tons of fun the inaugural event in 2016 raised approximately $25,000 for student scholarships!

The registration deadline is June 16, so don't wait until the last minute!

"We're looking forward to building on last year's success," Jerry Reinhart, who is returning as chair of the Cougar Classic Golf Tournament. Reinhart is member of GCC's Class of 1971, founder of Access Rentals and president of Reinhart Enterprises Inc.

"Although we saw a few raindrops last year, we're anticipating another day of quality golfing among friends and colleagues, and all for a great cause," Reinhart said. "As an alumnus myself, I can attest to the value a GCC degree and the important contribution the College makes to our community overall."

Up to 36 foursomes will once again take part in the 18-hole event, which tees off in "shotgun" style at 12:30 p.m. New this year will be a bocce tournament, welcoming more than just golfers to join the fun. Registration will begin at 11:30 a.m. with a light lunch available. Beginning at 5:30 p.m., participants are invited to attend dinner in the club house where a silent auction and prize drawings will conclude the event. Games including Skins, Beat the Pro, Longest Drive (Men's and Women's), Closest to the Pin and a Putting Contest add excitement to the day and gives everyone a chance to walk away with one of a number of prizes.

Sponsorships of all kinds are currently being sought to support the event and student scholarships. The sponsorship levels are: Platinum $3,000; Diamond/Dinner $2,000; Gold/Lunch $1,500; Silver/Beverage Cart Sponsor/$1,000; Titanium/Tee $500; and Bronze/Hole $100. In-kind support, golf games, and clever or creative sponsorships are also appreciated. The first gracious sponsor is the John W. Danforth Company, which pledged at the $1,000 Silver Level.

The cost per foursome is $500, or $125 per individual golfer. The cost to participate in the Bocce Tournament is $200 per team of four or $60 per individual player. For anyone interested in attending the event and supporting local students but cannot make the golf tournament, the dinner-only option is only $20 per person.

To receive a Cougar Classic printed invitation, participate as a golfer, bocce competitor, sponsor, volunteer or dinner guest, please contact Jennifer Zambito at (585) 343-0055, ext. 6265 or email the alumni office at [email protected]. For further information, including golf and sponsorship registration and event updates, check out the Cougar Classic website at

April 5, 2017 - 10:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, wrestling, track and field, schools, education, news, batavia.



The Batavia High School wrestling team, and boys and girls track teams, were honored by the City School District board on Tuesday night with proclamations for their 2016-17 Section V titles.

The wrestling team: Joseph Allegue, Richard Lamkin, Lazavia Price, Bohdan Andriychuk, John Folger, Eric Gimlin, Zeshan Armstrong, Jeffrey Cherry, Ryan Kuhn, Gavin Schmidt, Dylan Zurek and Kaden Marucci, and coaches – Richard Stewart, Kenneth Darch and Thomas Garlock.

Boys track: Campbell Andersen, Samuel Bartz, Ryan Bieniek, Isaiah Ciociola, Freddie Cunningham, Trey Kemp, Jerry Reinhart, Ian SanFratello, Chandler Baker, Andrew Cunningham, Eric Davis Jr., Damian Escobar, Marques Hargrave, Ryan Kabel, Nathan Loria, Luke Maltese, Nichalas Neid, Anthony Ray, Tyler Stewart, Julio Vazquez, Valentino Zinni, Matthew Adams, Cameron Austin, John Bruggman, Evan Bartz, Taiyo Iburi-Bethel, Zakariah Jantzi, David Pillo, Jaheim Smith, Jaydon Barber, Brock Every, Garrick Havens, Daemon Konieczny, Mario Rosales, Nate Crane (Letchworth CSD), Job Smith (Alexander CSD), and Kyle VanSlyke (Letchworth), and coaches – Nick Burk, William McMullen, Richard Boyce, William Buckenmeyer, Andrew Cowan, Daniel Geiger, Aaron Sherman and John Williams.

Girls track: Natalie Bigelow, Edmarie Calderon-Torres, Margaret Cecere, Samantha Cohen, Lindsie Cook, Alexis DeLong, Taler Fonda, Aja LeCointe-Wilkinson, Madison Moore, Katherine Wiseley, Rachel Denise, Kiaya Franklin, Tanner Kolb, Madison Murray, Alexis Stork, Paige Wasilewski, Claire Zickl, Brianna Bromley, Emily Caccamise, Elisabeth Cohen, Hannah Finkney, Regan Henrici, Sarah Adams, Juliana Branche, Arianna Brown, Camryn Buck, Sydney DellaPenna, Brianna Gutman, Madeline Taggart, Jadin Vasciannie and Kaitlin Ange, and Coaches – Nick Burk, William McMullen, Richard Boyce, William Buckenmeyer, Andrew Cowan, Daniel Geiger, Aaron Sherman and John Williams.

Photos: Top, wrestlers Joe Allegue and Jack Folger with school Board President Pat Burk and Coach Rick Steward; and girls track members Katherine Wiseley and Madison Murray with Burk and Coach Nick Burk.

April 4, 2017 - 1:30pm
posted by Destin Danser in pembroke, alexander, high school sports, softball, sports.


The Pembroke Lady Dragons Varsity Softball Team dropped its home opener to the visiting Alexander Trojans 6-2 on Monday night.

Leading scorers for Alexander were Hannah Paolucci and Lindsay Czechowski, with two runs each. 

Photos provided by Destin Danser Photography. To view complete album and purchase prints, click here. 



April 3, 2017 - 1:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, batavia, sports.

Press release:

The Class-A Short-Season New York-Penn League and its member clubs are proud to announce that the league's philanthropic arm, the NYPL Charitable Foundation, will once again award more than $10,000 in scholarships this summer to deserving high school graduates from the league's 14 markets.

Now in its ninth year, the 2017 NYPL Scholarship Contest is open to any graduating senior from a public or private high school within the league's footprint. Any student who has been accepted at a two- or four-year college or university, vocational school, or technical education institution is eligible.

Applicants will be judged based on academic performance, volunteer and extracurricular activities, and the impact their local NYPL club and Minor League Baseball have had on their lives.

The scholarship contest will consist of two stages -- a local round and a league round. In the local stage, students will apply directly to their local NYPL team, with one applicant chosen by each of the 14 teams to advance to the league/final round. The 14 finalists will then be judged by league representatives. Three applicants will be selected to receive the top prize of a $2,500 scholarship. All other finalists will receive a $250 book award.

“The New York-Penn League Charitable Foundation and our 14 member clubs are pleased to have the opportunity to assist outstanding high school seniors within our league’s footprint for the ninth consecutive season,” said Ben J. Hayes, president of the New York-Penn League.

“This program will again recognize those seniors who not only meet and exceed traditional scholarship criteria, but demonstrate the positive community impact and lifelong memories fostered by their local NYPL clubs throughout the year.”

High school seniors interested in entering the 2017 Scholarship Contest can obtain the official application from their local NYPL club, or by visiting the league's official website,

The deadline to submit applications to the nearest NYPL team is June 5. Each club's winner, including the three $2,500 scholarship recipients, will be selected in mid-July.

The New York-Penn League and its 14 member clubs created the New York-Penn League Charitable Foundation, a 501(c) (3) charitable organization, in 2003. The mission of the Foundation is to provide focus and support for the collective and individual charitable and community efforts of the New York-Penn League, its Clubs, and their staff.

March 30, 2017 - 8:25am
posted by Mike Pettinella in Bowling, sports.

Update, March 31 -- The Sunday Team squads at the Genesee Region USBC Tournament have been cancelled due to a lack of entries. Team openings exist at 7 tonight or at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday (April 1).

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard so-called “handicap” bowlers say they can’t compete against “those scratch bowlers” when it comes to participating in the annual local association tournament.

Unfortunately, that perception exists despite the fact that the local association tournament – in our case the Genesee Region USBC – is set up with a handicap format to give bowlers of all skill levels a fair chance at succeeding.

Results from the first of two weekends of the 2017 tournament at Letchworth Pines in Portageville (Team event) and Perry Bowling Center (Doubles & Singles events) are, once again, proof that this perception is not reality.

-- In the Open Team division, McClurg Five out of Perry Bowling Center featuring bowlers with averages ranging from 119 to 194 posted 2,573 scratch – nearly 300 pins better than its team average – en route to a 3,755 score with handicap to move into first place.

Team members are Tracy and Steve Werner, Dave and Bethann Kaczmarek, and Wes McClurg.

-- In the Open Doubles division, Casey Palmer Jr. and Casey Palmer Sr., league bowlers in Batavia and Albion, combined for 1,623 with handicap to take the lead. Palmer Jr., a 178 average bowler, posted 706 scratch, and his dad (182 average) added 593 scratch.

Palmer Jr. rolled 608 in Singles and is in position to surpass All-Events leader Steve Maher of Castile, who rolled 603 in Team, 643 in Doubles and 572 in Singles – all above his 176 average.

Maher’s 2,334 score with handicap is in first place, but Palmer Jr. is scheduled to compete in Team event this weekend and needs 687 with handicap to move past the Castile resident.

-- In Open Singles, 68-year-old Al Vlietstra of Geneseo (200 average) is in first place after rolling 258-225-269—752 for an 860 with handicap score.

Four others broke the 800 mark with handicap – Steve Krna of Batavia, 834 (718 scratch); Gary Roberts of Medina, 821 (635 scratch); Dan Dixon of Attica, 803, (685 scratch), and Dean Cadieux Sr. of Byron, 802 (662 scratch).

-- In Women’s Singles, Deborah Say of Attica rolled 461 scratch – slightly higher than her 139 average – to take the lead with a handicap score of 652.

Other leaders after the opening weekend are as follows:

-- Women’s Team – Huber Farms, Bennington Lanes, 2,572.
-- Women’s Doubles – Deborah Say and Rachel Tibold of Marilla, 1,231.
-- Women’s All-Events – Cathi Fournier of Dansville, 1,863.

Complete standings can be found on the GRUSBC website –

The tournament resumes Friday night with Team and D/S squads at 7 p.m.  On Saturday, Team squads are at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. and D/S squads are at 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. On Sunday, both Team and D/S squads are scheduled for 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Open division teams consist of five bowlers (all men, all women or any combination) while Women’s division bowlers consist of four women.

Openings exist on all squads.  Entry forms can be downloaded from the GRUSBC website.



Longtime Batavia bowler Paul Spiotta hit a milestone worthy of celebration last week when he competed in the USBC Open Championships at South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas, Nev.

The 59-year-old right-hander took part in his 25th national tournament and received a plaque for his accomplishment.  And he bowled fairly well with a 1,684 All-Events score (187 average) on the extremely challenging Open Championships oil pattern.

He was part of the Joe’s Awards & Trophies team, which also included Todd Mortellaro, Joe Trigilio, Joe Mortellaro and Gregg Wolff.

They flew to Vegas with a companion team, Striking Effects Pro Shop, which consisted of Jim Pursel, Brian Green, Matt Balduf, Mark Brown and Geoff Harloff.

Green posted 645 in Doubles, combining with Brown for an 1,168 total, while Pursel had 641 in Team and 625 in Singles en route to a 1,766 All-Events score.

Trigilio and Joe Mortellaro are closing in on milestones, as well. By competing at next year’s tournament in Syracuse, Trigilio will have 25 years and Joe Mort will move within a single year of 50 years at the national event.


Norm Bialuski of Rochester rolled a 239 game in the final round to capture the $1,100 first prize at the T.F. Brown’s Scratch Eliminator Tournament on March 18 at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia.

The 47-year-old right-hander, a frequent competitor in Genesee County events, defeated Mike Rose of Rochester (236), Dana Voytovich of Cheektowaga (181) and Kristina Szczerbinski of North Tonawanda (176) in title match.

Rose earned $550, Voytovich $400 and Szczerbinski $300.

Joe Trigilio of Attica was the lone local qualifier and he finished in ninth place for $160.

This past weekend, Trigilio notched his second 60-and-Over Bowlers Club tourney title this season by topping 40 other bowlers at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen.

Trigilio posted 244 to defeat Steve Nowicki of Rochester (205) and Bob Oster of Hilton (203) in the three-person finals. 

In the three-game qualifying round, Trigilio placed fifth with 704 and Bob Hodgson of Medina also advanced with 655. Trigilio then rolled 213 and 206 in the next two rounds to reach the finals

In youth league action on March 11th at Medina Lanes, 14-year-old Morgan Allis rolled a 277 game, registering nine consecutive strikes after an opening spare.  She is the daughter of Scott and Peggy Allis.



Megan Jarkiewicz, a third-grader at Byron-Bergen Elementary School and junior bowler at Rose Garden Bowl, placed first in the girls’ handicap grades 4 and under division last month at the NYS Youth Scholarship Region 2 Tournament at AMF Empire Lanes in Rochester.

Megan entered with an 83 average but came through with games of 117, 106 and 134 for a 357 three-game series to take top honors in her division with a 726 score with handicap.

The daughter of Frank and Sarah Jarkiewicz of Byron now moves on to the state finals on April 29 at Kingston Lanes in Kingston, where she will compete for a scholarship.


The Batavia Strike Force team won the final game to hold off Scopano’s I and finish in first place in the Genesee Region Youth Travel League this season.

Scopano’s won the match, 12-7, but fell six points short in its bid to overtake the Batavia team, which lists Corinne Saluste, Jordan Fluker, Skylar Laesser and James Townsend as its regular bowlers.

Regulars on the Scopano’s team are Mason Cadieux, Austin Kotarski, Collin Scheiber and Trevor O’Dell.

The league’s no-tap tournament and awards banquet are set for this Sunday, beginning at 12:45 p.m., at Mancuso Bowling Center.


Congratulations are in order to Doug Johnston of Livonia and Mark Mothersell of Rochester on their 300 games at Livingston Lanes in Geneseo and Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen, respectively.

Johnston rolled his on March 22 in the Wednesday Night 7 P.M. League and Mothersell posted his two nights ago (March 28) in a 710 series in the G&W Vending League. 

(Mike Pettinella’s Pin Points column appears every other Thursday on The Batavian, the region’s No. 1 source for online news. To advertise on this page, contact Mike at [email protected] or at 585-343-3736).

March 27, 2017 - 11:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Mixed Martial Arts, mma, sports, batavia, Le Roy.


Ground Force Fights hosted its second mixed martial arts tournament at Quality Inn & Suites on Saturday night.

Here are the results of the fights:

  • Jeremy Stopa vs. Dave Scerbo -- submission grappling match -- draw at the end of 10-minute match
  • Jim Perl defeated John Gearhart round one, submission due to strikes
  • Nolan Brant defeated Mike Taylor, :57 round one, TKO/ref stoppage
  • Eric Bonner defeated Shawn Henderson, round two, referee stoppage due to strikes
  • Ben Horton defeated Jesse Neal, round two, TKO/ref stoppage
  • DaJuan Robinson defeated Sequoyah Sethi, round one TKO
  • Matt Norstrand defeated Pete Flanagan, ref stoppage -- guillotine choke
  • Matvei Skvortsov defeated Corey Lauth, round one, ref stoppage -- guillotine choke
  • Jillian Decoursey defeated Emme Weber by unanimous decision
Top photo: Cory Lauth, of Pembroke, throws a kick during his match vs. Matvei Skvortsov.

Photos by Richie Casado.


Pete Flanagan, of Batavia, throws a punch during his match against Matt Norstrand.


Emme Weber vs. Jillian Decoursey.


Matt Norstrand, of Le Roy, won the title at 185 pounds.

March 20, 2017 - 9:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, sports.

Press release:

On Wednesday, March 29th, Notre Dame High School will hold informational meetings to gauge community interest as they consider the addition of Boys Lacrosse and Girls Ice Hockey to their sports offerings.  

The Girls Ice Hockey meeting will be held at 6 p.m. followed by the Boys Lacrosse meeting at 7 p.m. 

Contact Mike Rapone or Wade Bianco at 343-2783 more information.


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