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November 22, 2008 - 5:32am
posted by Brian Hillabush in basketball, sports, Oakfield, Alabama.

 Last year's Oakfield-Alabama basketball team was very good.

The Hornets went 20-3 last season, with the final loss coming to East Rochester in the sectional semifinals.

That team had a ton of talent, with James Davis and John Gerber graduating after the season. But, Davis missed a lot of time due to injury, and essentially four starters return to the squad to try to capture a GR title for a second straight year and finally win a sectional championship for the school.

The biggest name on the roster, not just because of his size, is Noah Seward. The big man averaged a double-double last season, scoring 11 points with 10 rebounds per game. He's had three years on varsity and is expected to be a premier player in the post this season.

Brad Riner may not have Seward's size, but he's just as tough. Both were stars on the very successful football team and Riner will run the point for the Hornets.

He is a defensive-minded player that will look to turn defense into offense, while distributing the ball like a true point guard is expected to. He has plenty of varsity experience and will also score when needed.

Guard Tim Smith won't admit it, but he's going to be expected to pitch in on the scoring end of things. While Davis and Gerber were the focus of the offense when they were on the floor, Smith managed to have some pretty solid games putting the ball in the hoop.

Expect him to be a big part of the offensive gameplan. A.J. Kehlenbeck is a big body with the ability to play solid defense and put the ball in the basket.

Oakfield-Alabama also has plenty of depth, with several players returning from last years team and newcomers that were on the 20-0 jayvee squad last season.

The only really big change you will see from the Hornets is at the top as Gary Kurkowski returns to coach the varsity squad because Merritt Holly stepped down. Kurkowski has been a part of the program for a very long time, coaching at every level.

His coaching style is very similar to Holly, so there won't be a big change. But many of the players respect his old school approach to the game.

The only way to top the Division I title and semifinal appearance of a year ago will be a championship, which is a long term goal for O-A. First the squad must get through a tough regular season and mesh as a unit - with a few players still banged up from football season.

 

November 21, 2008 - 9:31pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, basketball, sports.

 For this area, if a high school basketball program has one or two players that move on to play the next level, it's a pretty remarkable achievement.

The Batavia boys basketball program makes one or two playing in college look like nothing, as five former Blue Devils are playing at the Division III level, with the best-of-the-best in the area.

Mike Chmielowiec is the elder statesman of the group and is starting his senior season at the University of Rochester tonight, with a game against Pitt-Bradford.

Kevin Saunders is a junior and playing at Fredonia State and Adam Brasky is a sophomore at King's College.

Mike Hoy and Bryan Anderson are freshman, Hoy playing at Geneseo and Anderson at Roberts Wesleyan. 

Chmieloweic and Saunders both start.

"I've definitely learned a lot of different things as the years went on," said Saunders, who started 13 games as a freshman. "Being a junior I've played a lot and learned a lot of different things along the way. I've grown as a player overall."

Chmielowiec has had a tremendous career and is one of two seniors starting for UofR this season. 

"I think there is a different element to (being a captain in college)," said Chmielowiec, a political science major. "Most kids on the team were captains or the man where they are from. It's a different responsibility. Now you have guys that were the best. It's almost a different kind of leadership role."

He played every game (including three starts) as a freshman, scoring 4.2 points per game, leading the team in 3-pointers with 14. 

Chmielowiec was the MVP of the Chase Tournament as a sophomore and started all 26 games. He led the team in scoring with 12.4 points per game, also leading the team in rebounding with 3.5 per game. He had 48 assists, good for fourth on the squad.

He was third on the team in scoring last season at 12.4 per game, starting 19 games and missing some time due to injury.

Chmielowiec was recently featured on the UofR Web site.

After spending the summer living in Los Angeles and putting on over 10 pounds, he is ready for a big senior season. After that, he will either go into the workforce or play basketball overseas, where a former coach has some contacts that will be interested.

Saunders started 19 games and saw action in all 24 in his freshman season at Fredonia, finishing second on the team in 3-pointers (28) and assists (48).

He led the team in assists last year with 63 and started 13 games, playing in all 26.

Saunders is a captain for the Blue Devils this season, and his team is off to a 2-1 start. Fredonia is a team on the upswing and the hot start is big, especially with the 66-63 victory over Penn State-Behrend this week. The Blue Devils were down 18 points with six minutes to go and went on a tear at the end of the game.

 "I don't know if we are a better team this year, but we are more experienced, said Saunders, a sports management major. "When I was a freshman and sophomore, we had young guys. I was seeing a lot of minutes as a freshman, so we were young. Now the core of our team is all juniors and seniors."

Adam Brasky - son of Batavia coach Buddy Brasky - played in all 19 games for King's College as a freshman, where he played 5.9 minutes per game, scoring 1.2 points per game with nine assists on the season. King's won a conference title last season.

He expect to have a big sophomore season, and has averaged 17.5 minutes per game in the first two contests of the year.

"There is a big difference for me from my freshman year," said Brasky, a history major. "The game doesn't feel as fast as last year. It has slowed down and I feel more comfortable now."

Brasky is playing a new style of basketball compared to Batavia's high-octane, man-to-man full-court pressure defense.

"We don't press much and aren't an up-tempo team," Brasky said. "We don't want them to get to the basket and offensively we set up plays and run motion. In high school the players aren't all this good. Here you run motion and use your basketball IQ to run plays, rather than run the court.

Hoy and Anderson are just getting their feet wet in the college game, but the two freshman are off to solid starts.

Anderson was a big signing for the Raiders and starts his college career off as the backup center.

Roberts is off to a 3-1 start and Anderson has played 18.3 minutes per game, scoring 8.8 points with 4.5 rebounds per game.

"I thought that as a freshman I would only get 2-3 minutes per game," said Anderson, who is a physical education major. "There were a couple problems and one of the big guys couldn't play, so it has helped me to get more playing time. It showed the coach that I can play at this level. Myself and another freshman are the big guys right now."

Hoy is mentioned as a sharpshooter in the Geneseo Web site preview, and he's already contributing after just one game.

He grabbed four rebounds and scored two points while playing 19 minutes in the opening game victory.

"I was a bit surprised," said Hoy, who has not declared a major yet. "It was more of a surprise in the scrimmages because I didn't expect to play this much. I got a lot of time and was like 'wow'".

 Hoy - like all five former Batavia players - has found the transition to college basketball easy because of the guys he plays with.

"Playing basketball is fun for me," Hoy said. "I like all the guys on the team. It has made the transition easier. I've been really happy about that part."

With seven-straight Monroe County League Division III titles, the Batavia program has been one of the best in the area. And with five players contributing on Division III teams, it shows.

November 21, 2008 - 8:17pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in Daily News, sports, soccer.

 In Friday's Daily News, the photo and roundup of Genesee Region League girls all-stars are the main focus of the front page of sports.

A nice roundup of the players, featuring the Division I champion Holley Hawks, pretty much fills the page.

The Batavian led with Division II champion Wheatland-Chili in our roundup of all-stars, posted on Oct. 22.

The writeup is packed with information, but features the boring team photo that just about every all-star team roundup has had for, oh, ever. I think most would prefer headshots or action photos from the season.

That's the only local sports because the winter sports teams are still getting ready for the season, but there is a cool AP story on the Syracuse football team on B-4. AP sportswriter John Kekis writes about how little has changed since it was announced coach Greg Robinson was fired and will be replaced at the end of the season.

Any Syracuse football fan will admit that the program was in dire need of a change as Robinson was never able to turn the team into a winner. The Orange are currently 2-8.

We encourage you to pick up a copy of the Daily News at your local newsstand. Or, better yet, subscribe at BataviaNews.com.

November 21, 2008 - 12:27pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, Daily News, business, sports, town board, youth football.

Some area auto dealers feel pretty strongly about the inevitability and justness of a Washington bailout of the nation's auto industry, according to the Daily News. John Pazamickas, sales manager for Orleans Ford-Mercury had this to say to Virginia Kropf:

"We believe the auto industry is the most important single manufacturing industry in the country, and for the government not to take seriously the livelihood of millions who derive income from that industry is shameful."

Shameful! That's emphatic. What do you think? Is Pazamickas in the right? He says that "for every job the auto industry creates, eight other jobs are affected." Is the auto industry so entwined with the fabric of the national economy that a bailout is "inevitable"?


In other news, the family whose apartment burned earlier this month—in the same fire that destroyed the post office in Pavilion—have found a new home. For now at least, they will be renting out a home on St. Mary's Street.


Youth sports are in the news again. This time, the Batavia Town Board got the pitch: a proposal to rent "15 acres of land at Batavia Turf Farms to give area youths and adult sports leagues a place to play." Folks who are interested are already entertaining visios of sports tournaments and a boost to tourism "by attracting teams and spectators from outside the local area."


The Batavia Town Board approved the $5.9 million budget for next year. That means the property tax rate in the town will remain at zero.

We encourage you to pick up a copy of the Daily News at your local newsstand. Or, better yet, subscribe at BataviaNews.com.

November 20, 2008 - 9:40pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, basketball, sports, Notre Dame.

 Last season was a down year for the Notre Dame girls basketball team.

The program was going through a transition year and went 15-7, getting knocked out of the sectional playoffs in the quarterfinals - to rival Elba.

That loss hurt. And the four returning starters from that team are going to remember one of the earliest sectional losses the Fighting Irish have had in a long time when the season starts.

There is no reason to believe Notre Dame can't be one of the top teams in the Genesee Region League and make a serious run at a sectional title this season. The returning starters, a key addition and some solid depth gives ND a ton of hope.

Tri-captains Trisha Pike, Nichole Hart and Brittany Morelli all started last season and can get the job done.

Hart was the second scoring option for ND last season and Pike is a natural point guard with the ability to score as well. The two work very well together in the backcourt.

Morelli and Liz Geandreau showed their potential last season and will have to make up for the graduation of Charlie Scott-McGrail, who scored 13 points with 10 rebounds per game a year ago.

Coach Dave Pero got a nice surprise this season when Jill Marshall transfered from Elba to Notre Dame. The switch from one rival to another could make a huge impact on this season.

Marshall scored 10 points and had seven rebounds per game for the Lancers last season and was named to the Genesee Region League all-star squad. 

The Fighting Irish also have plenty of solid reserves coming off the bench and shouldn't have a problem spelling starters when they need a rest.

Pero expects the GR to be strong again this year, but the highlight games are always between Elba and Notre Dame. Those games are on Dec. 16 and Feb. 10, with a third probably in the sectional playoffs.

 

November 20, 2008 - 8:50pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in football, sports.

 If you are fan of local college football, or college football history, you are in for a treat this weekend.

on ESPN's Outside the Lines there will be a story on racism that the 1958 University at Buffalo football team had to deal with when deciding to accept or decline an invitation to the  Tangerine Bowl.

The program airs on Sunday at 9 a.m. on ESPN.

November 20, 2008 - 12:34am
posted by Brian Hillabush in basketball, sports, pembroke.

 When you look at the Pembroke bench, you are not going to see a lot of players wearing uniforms.

The Dragons only have seven players on the roster. But even with those low numbers, expect Pembroke to be one of the top teams in the Genesee Region League this season.

The reason is because of two returning GR all-stars, both big men. Ken Babcock and Andrew Wright combined for over 50 points in a game three times last season and will probably do it a bunch of times this year.

Babcock is 6-foot-5 and a rock in the paint. He scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds per game last season.

Wright is listed as a 6-foot-2 guard/forward and is a natural scorer. He picked up 18 points, 10 rebounds, two steals and four dimes per game last season.

Those two are givens and will garner most of the attention of other squads this season.

The third scoring option is also a returner in guard Andy Gabbey. Gabbey is a solid shooter and does not take it to the hole much, but can hit the three as well as anybody in the league.

Matt Seward, Eric Leffel, Matt Phelps and sophomore Kyle Stocking are the other players that are on the roster, and will all see significant playing time.

Pembroke went 10-11 last year after losing in the Class B quarterfinals.

 

November 19, 2008 - 10:22pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in basketball, sports, byron.

 Pete Loney's Daemen College basketball team is off to a hot start.

The Wildcats have won four of five games so far, and the Byron-Bergen graduate has played in all five games, starting one. He is having a great season so far from beyond the 3-point line. Loney has hit 13-of-21 attempts and is scoring 8.2 points per game.

He is fifth on the team in scoring while playing just over 15 minutes per game.

Loney's career-high of 16 points in a game came against Urbana College last season.

November 19, 2008 - 9:53pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in basketball, sports, Oakfield, Alabama.

 Oakfield-Alabama grad James Davis missed much of his senior season with an injury, but has gotten off to a nice start at D'Youville College.

The freshman started the first two games this season, scoring six points per game. He has averaged 31 minutes per contest while 2 1/2 rebounds and four assists per game.

D'Youville is 0-2 to start the season, but Davis is one of five freshman hoping to turn the program around.

November 18, 2008 - 10:28pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, sports, alexander, track & field.

 Jenna Porter had a pretty impressive freshman season at Nazareth College. Now she returns for a sophomore year where she will be one of the top runners on the squad.

Porter set the Nazareth school record in the 55-meter sprint (7.72) and 60-meter sprint (8.42) last season, and was a member of the school-record setting 800-meter and 1600-meter relay teams.

She carried that success on in the spring as she broke the school record in the 100 (:12.93), 200 (:26.28) and 400 (:59.73). She also ran on the 400 and 1600 relay teams that set records. She was actually named team MVP for the outdoor season, and was awarded Empire 8 all-star honors.

Porter was a star for the Alexander track team as well, helping to win two state titles in the 400 relay. She also made states in the 200 and led the Trojans to five consecutive Genesee Region League championships.

Naz kicks off the season on Dec. 6 at the Cornell relays.

November 18, 2008 - 8:24pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in sports, volleyball, kendall.

Kendall grad Christine Halter was named D'Youville Student Athlete of the Week after leading her team to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.

Halter had a team-high five kills against top-ranked Juniata College,  concluding her stellar four-year varsity career. 

Halter is the school's all-time leader in games played (404), second in blocks (286) and third in kills (1,028).

D'Youville went 24-11 and won the North Eastern Athletic Conference championship this season.

November 18, 2008 - 4:29pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, basketball, sports.

Bryan Anderson and Mike Hoy handled most of the scoring duties for the Batavia boys basketball team last season. Both are gone to graduation, meaning the returning players will have big voids to fill if the Blue Devils are going to win an eighth-straight Monroe County League Division III title and compete for a sectional crown.

 The good news is, coach Buddy Brasky's squad is filled with talented guards with a ton of experience. And those players were motivated during the offseason by last year's 53-52 loss to Pittsford Sutherland in the sectional finals.

It was unique last season when the four Hoy brothers played varsity - and started a game together - but the squad is down to three Hoy boys.

Andrew is the a sophomore and the youngest, and has the most responsibility of the three. He is expected to be the team's top scoring option.  He was the third option last year as a freshman, and did a good job. He's the go-to guy now.

Marcus returns to run the point. He stepped into that role last season and was one of the best defensive players Batavia had on its roster. 

Marcus is expected to be the floor general, playing solid defense and distributing the basketball. His scoring role will also increase this season.

Robert is listed at 5-foot-11 and will be a starting forward, cleaning up rebounds and attempting to battle some of the giants playing for the large school teams the Blue Devils get during the season.

Batavia does have size issues. 

Joe Schlossel is the other returning forward and is listed at just 6-foot-2.

Dakota Irvin (6-foot-3), Mike Lee (6-2), Josh Budlong (6-1) and Kris Bartz (6-2) are the other big men for Batavia.

Adam Pettinella returns as a shooting guard  and will be expected to help out with the scoring. He didn't start last season, but saw quality minutes in some critical situations during the season.

Donovan Rolle will see action as a guard and forward.

Batavia finished 20-4 last season and should be considered one of the favorites in Division III. The Blue Devils are playing a brutal regular season schedule, including tipping things off at the Olean Tournament, with two defending state champions in the tournament.

 

November 18, 2008 - 2:11pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in sports, byron, track & field.

 Byron-Bergen graduate Gillian Taylor has competed in two cross country races this fall and should be primed for a big indoor track & field season at the University at Buffalo.

The sophomore ran a 21:40, for a 37th place finish, at the Tommy Evans Invite and took 63rd with a 22:06 at the UB Stampede Invite.

The Bulls scored 513 points and finished 17th at the 2008 NCAA Northeast Regional Championships at Van Cortlandt Park this past weekend, but Taylor did not compete in the race.

She was a member of UB's distance medley relay team during indoor last season, and finished 15th in the 800 m at the MAC Outdoor Championships last year.

Taylor was one of the most successful runners in area history at Byron-Bergen.

She received 14 varsity letters and was a team captain in cross country, indoor and outdoor track. She was named the teams' most valuable runner 12 times and holds the B-B records in the 1500 (4:50), 800 (2:20), 1000 (3:01) and was on the record holding 1600 relay squad.

She won 10 individual sectional titles and qualified for the state championships in outdoors five times, and indoors once.

November 17, 2008 - 10:05pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, basketball, sports.

 Mark Hamilton did a great job of getting the Batavia girls basketball program back to respectability.

When he stepped down, the school looked for a coach that can take the program to another level. Bill Wade appears to be that man.

Wade coached Byron-Bergen to the state finals in 1984, won a state title in 1999 with Notre Dame and then retired, spending four years as an assistant coach at SUNY Brockport. Wade's career record is 215-52.

He looks to help the squad improve on last year's 16-5 record and be competitive in the Class A sectionals.

The veteran coach has a pair of returning senior stars that are expected to lead a young team this season.

Jaycee Shirk showed marked improvement as last season went on and the 6-foot-1 forward/center is expected to be a force in the paint. Shirk teamed with Alyssa Tretter for that role and now will be handling those duties on her own.

Shirk averaged 12 points with eight rebounds and two blocks per game last season.

The other returning starter is senior guard Brittany Mazurkiewicz, who poured in 10 points with five assists and three steals per game.

Every other player on the roster is a junior.

Stacy Hein is expected to run the point with Brittany Wormley, Alicia Emminger and Michelle Jordan also expected to be key players for the Blue Devils.

Batavia earned a fourth-seed in the Class A playoffs last year, but were knocked out by No. 5 School of the Arts in the quarterfinals, 62-44. Shirk had nine points in that game and Mazurkiewicz had eight.

 

November 17, 2008 - 5:06pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, basketball, sports.

 Batavia graduate Adam Brasky and his King's College basketball team improved to 2-0 this past week with a huge upset victory.

King's shocked two-time defending MAC Commonwealth Conference champion Widener 80-67 in the championship game of the Ramada Inn Classic on Sunday.

Brasky had a key 3-pointer in the contest and finished the game with seven points, according to a story on D3hoops.com.

In the first half the teams went back and forth as the teams were tied 26-26 with 6:14 remaining on the clock. King’s would use back-to-back three-pointers by Mike Wagner to build a 32-26 advantage with 3:44 left. After Widener countered with a three-pointer by B.J. Smith, Adam Brasky answered for King’s with a trey of his own to give the Monarchs with a 35-29 advantage with 3:03 left.

Widener was ranked seventh in the Division III small school poll and 23rd in the nation.

November 15, 2008 - 2:42pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in football, LeRoy, sports.

 

With just four minutes left in the game, something clicked for the Le Roy football team. In a situation where the Oatkan Knights had turned the ball over six times and was trailing by 18 points, they didn't quit.

There was a sudden burst of momentum as the team that hadn't lost all season long wasn't about to take its first defeat lying down.

Le Roy came back and had a shot to win the game in the final minute, but turned the ball over a seventh time and walked off the field with a crushing 38-35 defeat against the most skilled team it has seen all year, Jamestown Southwestern.

The start to the game was strange as the teams took the field and there was a penalty on the kickoff, then had to wait four minutes to re-do the kick because of the television coverage.

But the Oatkan Knights received the ball on the kick and fumbled the ball away on their third play. Southwestern quickly scored as Levi Bursch scored on a 19-yard run.

The Trojans got the ball back on an interception, then gave it back to Le Roy when they fumbled it.

The Oatkan Knights marched right back down the field and was knocking on the end zone door when the ball popped out again, giving Southwestern the ball at their own 20-yard line.

Zack Sopak lofted up a 54-yard pass to Will Sleggs and the Trojans were deep in Le Roy territory. Bursch capped off the drive with a 2-yard dive into the end zone.

Le Roy marched on the next drive, with the highlight being a 35-yard pass to Quentin Humphrey. This time,  the turnover directly resulted in points for Southwestern.

Travis Fenstermaker was trying to get the ball to Mike Humphrey for a touchdown, but Bursch stepped in front and snagged the pass. He took it 97 yards to the house, giving Southwestern a 21-0 advantage.

The Oatkan Knights again were moving the ball as a Fenstermaker pass to Andrew Alexander was a big gainer, especially when you add the face mask penalty.

But, Alexander wound up coughing up the ball inside the red zone.

Southwestern punted and Le Roy finally got on the scoreboard just seconds before the first half ended. Alexander hauled in a pass by Fenstermaker and rumbled 63 yards for the TD.

After making a stop and punting the ball away at the start of the second half, the Oatkan Knights got a turnover when Southwestern fumbled. That led to a 13-yard touchdown pass to Mike Humphrey. The extra point attempt failed and Le Roy trailed 21-13.

After a big kick return by Tanner Delahoy, Southwestern didn't take long to make it a two-score game as Sopak hooked up with Will Sleggs on a 29-yard scoring pass.

Le Roy got some major help on the next drive. On a fourth-and-2, Fenstermaker tossed a first down pass to Alexander, but there was a face mask and late hit penalty issued on the play.

The Oatkan Knights faced another fourth down later in the drive and Fenstermaker ended up tossing a 6-yard touchdown pass to Mike Humphrey on the fourth-and-1.

The next 10 points came by the Trojans, seeming to put the game away.

Bursch caught a 3-yard touchdown pass and Dan Imfeld nailed a 28-yard field goal, giving Southwestern a 38-20 lead with just 6:49 left on the clock.

The game appeared to be over. But it wasn't.

Fenstermaker - who ends his high school career with a 20-2 record - capped off a three minute long drive with a 1-yard TD run.

The Oatkan Knights recovered the onside kick and it started to look like something special was going to happen.

But, Mike Humphrey fumbled the ball away after catching a short pass. Again, the game looked to be over - that is, until the Trojans fumbled while trying to run time off the clock. Le Roy recovered with 1:28 left in the game.

Humphrey immediately caught a 42-yard touchdown pass and the impossible, now seemed possible. The Oatkan Knights were only trailing 38-35 and when they recovered the second onside kick, looked like they were going to win the game.

Fenstermaker threw a pass to Mike Humphrey and Le Roy had the ball at the Southwestern 22-yard line and just over 30 seconds to work with.

But the Southwestern defensive backs had the Le Roy receivers covered, forcing Fenstermaker to scramble. He was hit by Eric Mazgaj and the ball popped out, with the Trojans recovering and ending Le Roy's season.

Fenstermaker went 21-of-37 for 283 yards and four touchdowns, with Humphrey hauling in 14 passes for 136 yards and three scores. Alexander rushed the ball 19 times for 61 yards and caught two passes for 91 yards and a score.

Southwestern improves to 11-0 and moves on to the state semifinals next weekend at PAETEC Park.

 

UPDATE: More photos from Pete Karl.

November 15, 2008 - 2:36pm
posted by JIM NIGRO in football, LeRoy, sports.

 

The LeRoy fans who braved the dismal weather for today’s Western Regional football matchup with Southwestern were treated to an emotional roller coaster ride.

As the rain began to intensify, so too did LeRoy’s turnover problems. Turnovers - in the form of a fumble and interception - on their first two possessions proved frustrating. A sustained drive on LeRoy’s third possession had the Oatkan Knighs faithful cheering. Then, just as suddenly, the LeRoy crowd was silenced as the ball was fumbled away near the Southwestern goal line. LeRoy turned the ball over twice more in the first half, both times after moving the ball deep into Southwestern territory. To compound the problem, the Trojans capitalized on LeRoy’s miscues.

At half time I spoke with LeRoyan John Arneth, a long time Oatkan Knight supporter. “You can’t beat a good team with that many turnovers in one half. Period.” He went on to specify the need to control the ball, particularly at this stage of the season. “This time of year all the pretenders have gone home. Good teams will capitalize on your mistakes.” Southwestern fit’s the latter category well as they turned three LeRoy turnovers - two fumbles and an interception - into scores. “Right now they are not beating us so much as we are beating ourselves. But they are playing a mistake free game”, Arneth concluded.

Two former Oatkan Knights, John Piazza and Kevin Pike were on hand to root for LeRoy. When I asked Piazza, a former LeRoy linebacker in bygone years, what he thought of LeRoy’s chances, he said, “You’ve got two great teams on the field. LeRoy’s got a lot of heart. They’re hanging in there. Hopefully the momentum will swing our way.” It takes one to know one. Once a Knight, always a Knight. Or so it seemed. Though it took some time in coming, John Piazza’s words would be prophetic. In the meantime, LeRoy capitalized on a Southwestern fumble. Travis Fenstermaker put the ball in the air and Mike Humphrey made a remarkable catch in the end zone to put renewed life into the LeRoy crowd. Just as quick as their hopes soared, they came plummeting back to earth Soutwestern returned the ensuing kickoff for considerable yardage and the very next play scored on a pass play of their own. But the LeRoy faithful would not be deterred. “LeRoy has some amazing athletes on the field”, said Kevin Pike. ”It’s a great atmosphere here at UB. We’ll have a better second half.”

Trailing by eighteen points with four minutes left, the Oatkan Knights kicked the roller coaster into high gear - and on an uphill ride. In the time remaining, LeRoy brought the fans to their feet, scoring two touchdowns, both conversions - one for two points and two successful onside kicks.

Then, just as quickly, despite all the last minute gut checking, time ran out on a great season, with a seventh turnover.

 

November 14, 2008 - 8:32pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in football, LeRoy, sports.

 While the Le Roy football team is looking for as much information on Jamestown Southwestern for Saturday morning's game, that team is doing the same.

Here is the story in the Post-Journal previewing the game.

 

November 14, 2008 - 7:41pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in Attica, basketball, sports.

The Iona College basketball team is playing right now (7:30 p.m.) and the game is being broadcast on the Internet here.

This is where you can watch Attica grad, and one of the best players in the history of the Genesee Region League make his Division I college debut.

The Blue Devils' all-time leading scorer, Derek Wolfley, is a freshman on the squad. Enjoy the game. 

 

 

 

 (UPDATE: Derek did not get in the game. The Gaels are playing in a tournament next weekend, so hopefully he will get a chance to make his college debut then.)

November 13, 2008 - 9:52pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in football, LeRoy, sports.

 Le Roy (10-0) vs. Jamestown Southwestern (10-0)

10 a.m. Saturday, at University at Buffalo

The Le Roy football team has cruised to big wins for most of the season, and then ran into its biggest challenge of the season in the Section 5 Class C finals last week in Oakfield-Alabama.

This might be an even bigger challenge as Southwestern is traditionally a very strong Class B team that has moved down to Class C this season.

The Oatkan Knights do have experience with Class B schools, beating Batavia 27-13 and Hornell 41-19.

But Southwestern has had a bigger year than either Batavia or Hornell. The Trojans are undefeated, the second-ranked team in the state (Le Roy is No. 1), has a strong defense and an amazing offense.

While we all know about Le Roy's big wins, Southwestern has many of its own, including a 44-2 win over Westfield/Ripley, 28-0 victory over Allegany-Limeston and a 42-6 win over Falconer.  Falconer beat Le Roy the last time the Far West Regionals were played in Buffalo in 2006.

Westfield's last victory came in the Section 6 Class C championships with a huge defensive effort, beating Silver Creek 21-0.

The Oatkan Knights will have their hands full with the Trojan offense.

Coach Jay Sirianni is an offensive-minded coach and has the ultimate weapon in quarterback Zack Sopak. Sopak is one of three rushers that are over 600 yards rushing, but also has the ability to throw the ball.

Running backs Levi Bursch and John Mistretta are both at about the same number of yards as the quarterback.

The offense will keep the defense guessing.

“Our line does different things on different plays and they do a great job up front and it just opens holes for our backs,” Sopak told The Buffalo News after winning the sectional title, the second for the program. 

2004 is the only other time Southwestern has won a sectional championship, playing Hornell in the Class B Far West Regionals. You can find a complete history of the Far West Regionals in this complete  look at the history of the game.

Le Roy's offense has been spectacular all season long and will be battling a very good defense, which has not given up more than 14 points in a game this season.

Linebacker Ryan Buzzetto leads the defense with 83 tackles.

Class C offensive Player of the Year Travis Fenstermaker leads the Le Roy offense with 1,234 passing yards with 20 touchdowns and just three interceptions, with most of those passes going to Mike Humphrey, who has caught 49 balls for 747 yards and 12 scores.

Andrew Alexander will also get plenty of opportunities to run the ball, having picked up 1,466 yards and 14 touchdowns on 188 carries.

Le Roy has 14 sectional championships, and one state title. That lone championship came in 1995. 

 

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