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December 17, 2016 - 7:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, Batavia HS, news, batavia.


The Evens beat the Odds 98-92 today in the annual Batavia High School boys basketball alumni game. 

Batavia's head coach, Buddy Brasky, said the oldest player on the floor today was from the Class of 1998 and there were players who graduated as recently as last year participating.

Brasky said it's just a good time for the players and coaches and fans. Afterward, they all go out for beer and pizza.  

The game was played at John Kennedy School.

The after-game photo at the bottom was posted by Brasky on Twitter.









December 17, 2016 - 11:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, basketball, sports, news.


Antwan Odom had 17 points and TeeSean Ayala scored 13, including three three-pointers, to help the Batavia Blue Devils beat Honeoye Falls-Lima 55- 39 in Batavia's home opener.

Batavia is now 2-1 on the season.

Mason McFollins added eight points.








December 14, 2016 - 11:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, byron, bergen, pembroke, basketball, sports.


Pembroke beat Byron-Bergen in a home game for the Bees last night, 55-46.

Olivia Kohurst scored 14 points for the Lady Dragons, with six coming off a pair of three-pointers. Mackenzie Jurek had 11 and Mackenzie Johnson, who also had a pair of three-point buckets, had 10.

For Byron-Bergen, Karson Richenberg had 11 points, Dana VanValkenberg, nine, Jenna Amesburg, nine, Hailey Hubbard, eight, and Kelsey Fuller, seven. VanValkenberg and Amesburg each hit three-point shots.








December 12, 2016 - 3:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Shooting for a Cure, pembroke, basketball, sports.


Press release:

During the last five seasons, The Pembroke High School Girls’ Basketball Team has focused on winning—not just league games, but the battle against breast cancer.  It’s a cause that is personal to the team and their school district because of the number of faculty and family members who have been affected by the disease.  Yet according to Senior Captain, Shelby Turner, this year’s fundraiser (7pm, Thursday, January 12th vs. Notre Dame) is particularly important as it marks the final season this group of four seniors will be able to play in the event.

“I was only in 7th grade when the first varsity team came up with the idea to host the first Shooting For A Cure! game in support of Toni Funke’s battle with breast cancer,” Turner said.  The team spent that season seeking support from the community and local businesses in hopes of funding research efforts at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) in honor of Mrs. Funke.  “Although I was a young player on the modified team it was amazing to see our community come together the way they did in support of her,” Turner stated. “This fundraiser means so much to our team because it gives us an opportunity to give back to the community, especially those battling cancer. This game is our identity and we take tremendous pride in that,” Turner said.

The 2017 Shooting For A Cure! donors list numbers more than 65 merchants and individuals such as ADPRO Sports, AdWorks, the Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, Buffalo Bandits, Buffalo Bisons, Carly’s Club, Chef’s, Chestnut Hill Country Club, Darien Lake, Fava Brothers Lawn Care, Insty-Prints, Maple Ridge Landscaping, M&T Bank, NFL Films, Original Pizza Logs, Party City, Perry’s Ice Cream, Target, Tops, Save-A-Lot and the YMCA to name a few.  Many of the product donations will become game night auction baskets and raffle prizes. Monies will also be raised from apparel sales and food sales with the generous support of local pizzerias and vending companies.  Additionally, online donations are being accepted at the team’s online fundraising site: (

The team hopes Shooting For A Cure! will continue its tradition of topping the previous years’ fundraising total.  According to team member Sammi Tatarski, the event succeeds because of the format. “All of the money raised that evening goes directly to support cancer research at Roswell Park,” Tatarski said. “Playing for this team is not just about basketball, it’s about giving back to the community and showing our support for those in need any way we can.”  Tatarski added, “This game is personal to me because in 2013 my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Seeing what she went through was difficult and no one wants to see a family member go through that. It inspired me to want to do whatever I could to help find a cure for this disease.  That 2013 season I was just a young kid on the JV team.  This game has had a special meaning to me ever since that day and I truly believe in what it stands for.”

Roswell Park has officially sanctioned Shooting For A Cure! as a Team Cure fundraiser and as a valuable example of the way that young people can make a difference. “We continue to be impressed by the Pembroke Girls’ Basketball Team each season. They push themselves, not only on the court, but off the court as well going above and beyond for the benefit of others.  It’s inspirational to have a group of teens who are so passionate about raising funds for cancer research at Roswell Park.  These girls continue to demonstrate an incredible amount of compassion,” said Julia Harvey, Team Cure coordinator.  “This team is special and their community is amazing.  Although the players may change each season, Shooting For A Cure! has remained constant, with the girls leading the charge, for five consecutive seasons,” Harvey added.  “To think that they’ve has raised over $40,000 in five seasons with this game is a testament to benevolence of these girls and the entire Pembroke community.” 

December 12, 2016 - 9:09am
posted by Mike Pettinella in Bowling, sports.

RENO, Nev., DEC. 12, 2016 – E.J. Tackett of Huntington, Ind., one of the Professional Bowlers Association’s rising young stars, defeated veteran Tom Smallwood of Saginaw, Mich., 246-180, to win the PBA World Championship Sunday at the National Bowling Stadium.

Tackett, PBA’s 2013 Rookie of the Year, won his first major championship and his fourth title of the 2016 season with a closing string of six strikes after Smallwood lost his strike line on the left lane and suffered two open frames late in the match. Tackett, the top qualifier for the World Championship for the second year in a row, earned $60,000 along with his fifth career title.

“It was the greatest feeling in the world to have my dad here to watch,” Tackett said after a tearful embrace with his father, Ed Tackett.

“It was great to bowl a good game to win,” Tackett said. “Tom gave me some breaks, which you’d never expect from him, but to throw the last six strikes, to be able to perform like that on a stage like this is what you dream about. It’s been a huge breakout year for me. I just hope I can keep riding the wave. I don’t expect to win every time, but I just want to bowl well.”

With his win, the 5-foot-7, 130-pound right hander, put himself into the thick of the PBA Player of the Year race.

“Player of the Year is one of those things you strive for,” the 24-year-old Tackett said. “Now it’s a matter of what my peers think. With the kind of year I’ve had, I’d put myself in the top five in the world. Where, I’m not sure, but I grew up watching Tiger Woods, and I want to be the Tiger Woods of bowling.”

Smallwood earned his berth in the title match with three consecutive wins, including a 266-235 victory over England’s Dom Barrett in the semifinal match. Smallwood, who became a hero among America’s working class in early 2010, started the match against Barrett with eight strikes before leaving the 3-6-10 in the ninth frame.

Smallwood’s legacy began during the recession of 2009 when he lost his job with GMC and decided to pursue his dream of bowling professionally. He earned an exemption to bowl on the PBA Tour during the 2009-10 season, but more importantly, won the 2010 PBA World Championship for his first title and a $50,000 prize.

Smallwood, with key strikes when he needed them, eliminated 19-year-old Anthony Simonsen, who failed to carry strikes at critical opportunities, in the first match, 204-193. Simonsen, a two-handed player from Austin, Texas, was trying to become the youngest player to win two major titles in the same season after winning the United States Bowling Congress Masters in February.

In the second match, Smallwood rebounded from an open second frame with a string of five strikes, building a lead Australia’s Jason Belmonte couldn’t overcome. Belmonte, the three-time reigning PBA Player of the Year, saw his hopes for his first title in 2016 die when he left the 3-4-6-7 split in the ninth frame and failed to convert, losing to Smallwood, 224-185.

The PBA World Championship was the final event of the 2016 PBA Tour season. PBA competition resumes January 10-14 when a field of 16 PBA stars will join 16 Japanese players in the DHC PBA Japan Invitational in Osaka.


National Bowling Stadium, Reno, Nev., Sunday

Final Standings:

1, E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., $60,000.

2, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., $30,000.

3, Dom Barrett, England, $25,000.

4, Jason Belmonte, Australia, $20,000.

5, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, $15,000.

Stepladder Results:

Match One – Smallwood def. Simonsen, 204-193.

Match Two – Smallwood def. Belmonte, 224-185.

Semifinal Match – Smallwood def. Barrett, 266-235.

Championship – Tackett def. Smallwood, 246-180.

December 10, 2016 - 12:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, batavia, Batavia HS.


The Batavia Lady Devils picked up their first win of the season in their home opener on Friday night, beating Eastridge 54-36.

Ryann Stefaniak led all scorers with 14 points. Mackenzie Reigle hit three three-pointers on her way to an 11-point game and Taylor Stefaniak also scored 11.





December 9, 2016 - 1:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, pembroke, alexander.


Pembroke pulled out a tight 44-42 win Thursday night over Alexander at Alexander.

Ried Miano scored 14 points for the Dragons. Ryan Carsdale scored 12 and Lucas Kohurst added 10.

For Alexander, Eric Scharlau scored eight and Brian George added six.






December 9, 2016 - 8:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, sports, soccer.


Batavia's Maggie Cecere has been named to the First Team, All-State Class A girls soccer team for 2016.

Of the 11 girls named to the team, only two were from Section V.

Cecere has committed to Kutztown University where she will be a pre-med major and play for the Golden Bears, a team coming off its most successful season in program history, making it to the final four of the Division II NCAA playoffs. The team will be ranked #4 to start the 2017 season.

Her sister, Samantha, just completed her first college season as goalie for Wilkes University. She is a pre-pharmacy major.

Photo courtesy of Steve Ognibene.

December 8, 2016 - 7:53am
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Bowling.

The honor score list in the Genesee Region USBC this season continues to grow at a rapid pace as five more bowlers posted 300 games over the past couple weeks, with one of them making it a “daily double” by recording an 800 series as well.

Matt Slocum of Perry shot his eighth USBC-certified perfect game in the middle of a 267-300-248—815 effort on Nov. 21 in the Monday Napa 400 League at Perry Bowling Center.

The big 31-year-old right-hander, nicknamed Strapper, said he took a five-year-old Roto-Grip Nomad Dagger out of the closet recently and, despite it having “3,500 games on it,” as he said, crushed the 1-3 pocket on lanes 3-4.

He said he wasn’t trying to add up his score but knew he was approaching 800. When he struck on the first ball in the 10th frame the honor score was secure.  His high series is 836.

An officer at Groveland Correction Facility in Sonyea, Slocum bowls on a team with his cousin, Ryan Smith; Brian and Brady Weber, and Don Parrott.

Slocum has enjoyed much tournament success over the years, but said he’s now devoting more time to teaching his stepdaughter, Allie Faryna, the finer points of the sport, and is excited to see his 4-year-old son, Gavin, stepping onto the lanes.

Nathan Wright of Batavia credited his parents for encouraging him to play sports in high school after rolling his second 300 game while substituting in the Realty USA/No Finer Diner Doubles League at Mancuso Bowling Center on Monday (Dec. 5).

The 27-year-old Wright, a 6-foot, 300-pound muscular NYS corrections officer, started with the 300 game on lanes 9-10, and finished with 247 and 202 for a 749 series. Last year, he had his other 300 in the same league.

A league bowler for only the past five years (he’s a regular in the Antique World Tuesday night league at Mancuso’s), Wright said he sees the game as an extension of a commitment to athletics that began while a student at Pembroke Central School.

“I was in wrestling, football, baseball and track (at Pembroke),” he said. “I’m thankful that my parents pushed me to stay in sports. They said I would stay out of trouble … and keep me off the streets. As it turned out, if I would have had any misdemeanors on my record, I wouldn't have been able to work for the State.”

Wright throws a high-revving ball, without placing his thumb into the hole, with a smooth delivery. Fellow bowler John Gerace rewarded him – and the other 16 members of the league -- by purchasing cheesy bread after the perfect game.

Thomas Friedl of Fillmore, better known as T.J., said the first-time experience of bowling a 300 “is just surreal” when talking about his perfect game on Nov. 27 in the Sunday Night Mixed A League at Letchworth Pines in Portageville.

“I’ve never done anything like this before,” said the 37-year-old righty, a third shift supervisor at Morton Salt in Silver Springs. “Everything just came together.”

Friedl admitted he was a “little nervous” entering the 10th frame of the third game on lanes 5-6, following games of 206 and 266.  He finished with the last seven strikes in the second game, giving him 16 in a row going into the final frame.

“I buried the first ball. The second ball was a bit wide, but came back (to strike). I thought I was going to leave the 10-pin,” he said.

His last delivery was solid in the 1-3 pocket and minutes later he was filling out the application to receive his ring from the United States Bowling Congress.

Friedl, who averages around 200, also has a 299 game to his credit. The 772 is his high series. He’s the patriarch of a bowling family that includes his wife, Erica, and daughters, Sage, 12, and Summer, 9.

Rob Sease of Brockport added to his lengthy list of honor scores with a 300 game while substituting in G&W Vending League at Rose Garden Bowl on Nov. 29.  The 38-year-old right finished with a 740 series.

Sease, who now has about a dozen perfect games to go with a handful of 800 sets, also had a 290 game in the same league on Oct. 18.

Jeff Baes of Gasport rolled his second 300 game of the season on Nov. 23 in the Wednesday Community League at Medina Lanes.  His first one came on Sept. 14.

His games were 203-256-300 for a 759 series, raising his average to 214.

Unofficially, there have been 16 perfect games and 11 800 series so far this season in the GRUSBC.

December 8, 2016 - 7:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, basketball, sports, elba, news.


In their first meeting of the season, Notre Dame prevailed Wednesday night at home over archrival Elba, 43-34.

Margaret Sutherland led all scorers with 21 points and Calli McCulley added 16 for Notre Dame.

For the Lancers, Emily Reynolds scored 12 and Madison Howard scored 6.

It was the first win for new Head Coach Tom McCulley.







December 7, 2016 - 1:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, elba, Notre Dame.


Three Lancers scored in double digits Monday night in the home opener for Elba against archrival Notre Dame, a game won by Elba, 72-34.

Tucker Bezon put up 19 points and Henry Pflaumer had 17 and Shane O'Halloran added 12. Pflaumer knocked down four three-point baskets.

For Notre Dame, Ryan Mukkat scored 11 points, anchored by a trio of three-point baskets.

Tonight, the Notre Dame girls host the Elba girls in their newly renovated gym. Game time is 7 p.m.







December 6, 2016 - 2:33pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports.


The South team, comprised mostly of Batavia-area bowlers, won the annual Karl Marth Cup bowling match on Saturday at Medina Lanes, ending the North squad's five-year winning streak.

From left are Brett Van Duser, Matt Slocum, Joe Trigilio, Dean Cadieux Jr., Geoff Harloff, Paul Spiotta, Ed Doody, Fred Gravanda, Rick Saunders, Jim Pursel, Gregg Wolff and Mike Pettinella.

Click on the Pin Points link at the top of this page for more details on the match, and for high scores from league play last week.

December 1, 2016 - 5:14pm
posted by Rick Franclemont in sports, alexander, trojans, varsity, basketball, Barker.

It came down to the last few minutes, and the Trojans could not hang on for the win.

Leading most of the game, Alexander put up some impressive stats:

Matt Genaway 21pts, 4 steals

Chris McClinic 10pts, 8 assists, 5 rebounds

Dustin Schmieder 12pts, 6 rebounds

Erik Scharlau 9pts, 12 rebounds

Alexander hosts Attica this Friday at 7pm.

More pictures from the game can be found here:

November 30, 2016 - 9:47pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Beat The Champ, sports.


To view more photos, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page.

For 24 years, Paul Peck covered the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres as part of his duties as a full-time sportscaster for Channel 4, in Buffalo.

For less than a year, the New Jersey native has been the play-by-play man for the "Beat The Champ" show, which has been resurrected on WBBZ-TV (MeTV) out of Buffalo (channel 67.1 over the air and cable 72 in Genesee County).

Peck said he has been overwhelmed by the response from the bowling community and the popularity of the show -- which features the best bowlers in the area in scratch singles (no handicap) competition.

"It has been an incredible experience," said Peck during a break in taping on Wednesday at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia, where four shows to be aired in December were produced. "I've had more people come up to me and more feedback than I did in 25 years of covering the Bills."

Peck and company's appearance in Batavia continued the wave of success the show has been riding since about a dozen or so bowling centers in Western New York put up $6,000 each to be able to host qualifying rounds and the actual taping of the shows on a monthly basis.

He said he has found bowlers to be passionate about their sport, and has come to realize than many bowlers throughout the region remember the original "Beat The Champ" show hosted by Chuck Healy and then Van Miller on Channel 4 in the 1960s, '70s and '80s.

"The show has a cool place in people's memories," said Peck, who left Channel 4 about four and a half years ago and now is a financial professional for AXA Advisors in Buffalo and sports personality for the University of Buffalo.

Peck said he was apprehensive at first about joining the show -- since he has a limited knowledge of bowling -- but noted that he has received much encouragement from longtime bowlers, including his co-host Sue Nawojski, of Buffalo, one of the finest women bowlers in New York State.

"Things have gone very well thus far, and my friend and mentor, Van Miller, would be proud to know that we have kept this tradition alive," he added.

John DiSciullo, WBBZ-TV promotion and production coordinator, said the show is getting very favorable ratings and, just as importantly, has "created an awareness of bowling that we haven't seen locally in a long time." He indicated that the show has been renewed for another season.

Mancuso Bowling Center proprietor Rick Mancuso said he opted in as a way to bring "something that is good for the bowling community .... and I think that has been accomplished."

He also said he was pleased that two Batavia bowlers qualified for the TV show -- Rich Wagner and Fred Gravanda.

"Both of them are great guys, at two different spectrums of their careers, Rich being a younger guy (33) and Fred (at 66), the old war horse," he said, acknowledging both their accomplishments over the years.

He said he is contemplating staying with the show for another year, but would like to see it expand.

"We would love to see the show move a bit more east and northeast of Batavia so we can attract a larger market," he said, referring to the Rochester area. "That would definitely affect us in a greater way."

"Beat The Champ" officials said they are looking into the possibility of going into other areas of the state.

Photo at top -- The on-air trio of Janelle Sabin, left, scorekeeper; and commentators Sue Nawojski and Paul Peck spent the day at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia on Wednesday for the taping of four "Beat The Champ" bowling shows, which will be broadcast on WBBZ-TV (MeTV) during the month of December. Click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page for more photos by Mike Pettinella, bowling columnist and reporter for The Batavian, the region's No. 1 source for online news.

November 28, 2016 - 4:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, news, batavia.


Press release:

Daemen College men's basketball player Jeff Redband (Batavia, N.Y./Batavia) has been named the East Coast Conference Rookie of the Week for games held Nov. 21-27. The official announcement was made via the league's weekly men's basketball report, which was released this afternoon from conference headquarters in Central Islip.

Redband, a 6-foot-7 redshirt-freshman forward, averaged 13.7 points, 3 rebounds and 1 block per game in three contests last week, while also shooting 51.7-percent from the field (15-for-29) and 55-percent from three-point range (11-for-20). Redband's efforts helped Daemen pick up a pair of wins to push out to a 5-1 record this season.

Redband opened the week by posting the first 20-point outing of his career in Daemen's 90-79 road win at Edinburg University last Wednesday (Nov. 23). The sharp-shooting forward canned five three-pointers in the first half, scoring 15 of his 20 points in the opening frame. He ended the game shooting 7-of-13 from the field and 6-of-10 from long distance, while adding five rebounds in what was the 300th win in the career of Daemen Head Coach Mike MacDonald.

Two days later, Redband started 4-for-4 from the field and 3-for-3 from three-point range as Daemen raced to a 19-point halftime lead over visiting Slippery Rock University. He ended up sharing game-high honors with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting (4-for-7 from three-point range) in the Wildcats' 12-point win (69-57). The victory moved Daemen to 5-0 for the first time since the 2012-13 season.

The Wildcats' winning streak was halted on Sunday with a 70-61 road loss at Mercyhurst University. Redband finished with five points, three rebounds and two blocks in a losing effort.

Redband's selection is the first weekly honor for a Daemen player this season. The Wildcats led the league in Rookie of the Week selections last season with six. Guard Jay Sarkis (Rochester, N.Y./Greece Athena), who is out for the entire 2016-17 season with an injury, was a four-time recipient, and Deion Hamilton (Rochester, N.Y./Greece Athena) earned the honor twice.

Redband and the Wildcats begin ECC play this week with a pair of road tilts. Daemen visits Long Island University Post on Wednesday (Nov. 30) and the University of the District of Columbia on Saturday (Dec. 3).

For breaking news and continuing coverage of the Daemen men's basketball team, follow @DaemenAthletics and @DaemenMBB on Twitter.

Photo courtesy Daemen Athletics.

UPDATE: I picked this up off of social media -- another former Batavia High School star having a good year so far at the college level is Jalen Smith, a guard at Hilbert College, who was the Alleghany Mountain Conference Player of the Week this week. "Jalen Smith led the hawks to a 1-1 record with averaging 27.5 points per game. He shot 57.7 percent from the field and 43 percent from the 3-point line. He led the hawks defense with four steal per game."

November 28, 2016 - 1:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, hockey, sports, news.

None of Notre Dame's hockey players will need to sit out the 2016-17 season, at least to start the year, state officials determined after hearing an appeal by school officials on a Section V ruling on eligibility requirements for two or three players.

Officials with NYSPHSAA kicked the appeal back to Section V to reconsider after finding irregularities with the initial ruling.

Wade Bianco, principal for Notre Dame, said he hopes to know by the end of the day today when the school and Section V officials will meet again.

He said he doesn't know what the impact would be on this season if Section V officials again reach an adverse decision based on new perimeters.  

"This their first time through this process and it's our first time through it all, so it's really something for the lawyers to work out," Bianco said.

Bianco said a top priority is protecting the students, the integrity of the coach and the school.

The names of the involved players have not been released, but in early November, Section V officials issued a decision after a hearing that at least two players were deemed ineligible for this season, citing possible violations of recruitment rules.

Officials with NYSPHSAA (New York State Public High school Athletic Association) were out of the office today and not available to provide more information.

November 25, 2016 - 1:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, batavia.


Batavia's own Mike Pettinella was edged out in the Genesee Region USBC Senior Masters tournament at the Perry Bowling Center by Bob Santini.

Santini is owner of Mount Morris Lanes and the title was his first senior masters win.

The 52-year-old bowler beat Pettinella 189-180.

Pettinella was trying for his third title in the scratch event for bowlers age 50 and over.

This year's tournament attracted 49 bowlers, the most in its 11-year history.

Santini, a 1994 Perry Bowling Association scratch memorial tourney champion, rolled a 700 series in qualifying to place third behind Joe Trigilio of Attica (721) and Paul Spiotta of Batavia (705). He followed that with 422 in the two-game semifinals to reach the round of six.

In that round, and as the lanes hooked more and more, he posted 187, second to Pettinella's 190, to reach the stepladder finals along with Oakfield's Scott Gibson, who shot 179.

In the first game of the finals, Pettinella defeated Gibson, 188-168, to earn the right to face the top-seeded Santini.

Santini earned $300 plus a free entry into the GRUSBC Masters in February, while Pettinella won $175 and Gibson took home $125.

Trigilio, Spiotta and Roger Stone won $75 each, while Fred Gravanda, of Batavia, Don Parrott, of Warsaw, Mike Kime, of Caledonia, Scott Shields, of Batavia, Bob Hodgson, of Medina and Bill Logan, of Albion, each won $60 for making the top 12.

Photo -- Mike Pettinella, left, and Bob Santini -- GRUSBC Senior Masters finalists.

November 23, 2016 - 12:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Mixed Martial Arts, sports, batavia, Le Roy, news.


Since Sept. 1, mixed martial arts competitions have been legal in New York, and Batavia will be at the forefront next month of hosting tournaments.

Rich Mitchell, of Le Roy, and originally from Stafford (far right in photo) is a former professional MMA fighter and for the past five years has judged fights. Now he's moving into the promotional side of the business, sponsoring his first tournament Dec. 17 at the Quality Inn & Suites in Batavia.

"I’ve been involved with this sport and it was just time (to become a promoter)," Mitchell said. "It’s a natural progression."

There was a promoter in Buffalo, but he's become a deputy commissioner for the sport in New York, so that opened up the WNY market to competition.

Mitchell is planning on promoting six events a year, three in Batavia and three in Buffalo.

At first, the events will be all amateur bouts because professional fights, especially for insurance, are a lot more expensive to stage, but moving up into the promotion of professional fights is definitely part of the plan, Mitchell said.

"It's a little way off," Mitchell said, "maybe a year or two."

The event Dec. 17 starts at 6 p.m. and will feature Morgan Cavanach and Tom Shelby. Tickets are $30 pre-sale, $35 at the door, and VIP cage-seats are $50.

For more information, visit

Top photo: Eddie Ortiz and Pete Flanagan, both on the left, are two of the local fighters who will participate Dec. 17. Joe Loftus, second from right, was originally on the card but will have to sit out because of an injury; and Mitchell.

Bottom photo: Wrestling students and MMA participants at Main Street Fitness, Le Roy.


November 19, 2016 - 11:35am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports, Bowling.


PRIZE FOR PERFECTION: Bill Hayes, left, owner of Turnbull Heating & Air and sponsor of the Turnbull Heating Junior Bowling program at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia, presents a $100 gift card from Dick's Sporting Goods this morning to Jordan Fluker, the 19-year-old Batavian who rolled a 300 game last Saturday in league competition.

"This is a worthy accomplishment -- something to be proud of and something that can carry you forward to future success," Hayes said, as parents and youth bowlers looked on during a brief presentation.

A story about the achievement can be found by clicking on the Pin Points link at the top of the home page. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

November 16, 2016 - 3:51pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports, Bowling, Turnbull Heating & Air.


Jordan Fluker has continued to participate in organized youth bowling into his late teens, and the Batavian's dedication to the sport was rewarded at the highest level last Saturday (Nov. 12) when he rolled a 300 game at Mancuso Bowling Center.

Jordan, 19, joined a handful of Batavia youth bowlers who reached perfection by starting with 12 strikes in a row on lanes 17-18 in the Turnbull Heating Junior League, that is coordinated by his father, Tom Fluker, president of the Genesee Region USBC (in photo above).

A second-year student at Genesee Community College, Jordan said he started in the youth program at the age of 9, and has received coaching from his dad, who is a USBC Silver Level instructor.

"I saw my dad walking around behind me, and checking the scores but he didn't say anything to me during the game," Jordan said. "I think that he didn't want to mess up my game."

The slim right-hander said he became more and more nervous as the string of strikes increased, but kept his composure enough to keep the ball in the 1-3 pocket on all but one delivery -- the 11th ball.

"That one came up a little high and I got a good break to carry," he said. "That was the closest one to not being a strike."

The 12th ball was flush in the 1-3 pocket and all 10 pins flew into the pit. Hugs (the first one was from his dad) and handshakes from his teammates, other youth bowlers, parents and coaches followed.

Jordan said he was still shaky in the second game, suffering a few splits for a 181, but bounced back in the third game for 248 and a 729 series, a personal best.

A 200 average bowler, he has competed in two NYS Team Tournament finals and the NYS Youth Pepsi finals. He said that this is his final year of youth bowling, but wants to continue with the sport -- either when he transfers to a college with a bowling program or as part of an adult league.

Jordan, a former Mr. Batavian at Batavia High School, is on track for an associate degree at GCC in the spring, and said he is leaning toward majoring in Accounting or Web Design.

By the way, Tom Fluker rolled his first of his 10 USBC-certified perfect games at the age of 29.


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