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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.

November 14, 2016 - 11:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, sports, Cross Country.


Fresh off a Section V title, the boys of Oakfield-Alabama's cross-country team competed this weekend for a state title. The team entered as the eighth seed but notched a sixth-place finish.

They competed at Chenango Valley State Park, outside of Binghamton, "against the very best Class D runners in all of New York State," said Paul Beuler, who provided the photos and information.


Junior Cole O'Donnell from OA-E, finishing in fifth place in Class D at the Sectional Meet on Nov. 5th. 


Senior Mike Bowen from OA-E finishing in 32nd place at the Sectional Meet on Nov. 5th at Wayne High School.


Senior Josh Larmon from OA-E, on the right, finishing in ninth place at Sectionals. 


Sophomore Mark Anauo from OA-E finishing in 15th place.

November 13, 2016 - 3:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, basketball, sports, news.


Members of Notre Dame's basketball team from 1969, which won a state title known as the Manhatten Cup, were together once again last night for the school's Hall of Fame dinner. In the picture above, they pose in front of a case which holds a replica of the 1969 trophy.

For more on the inductees, click here.


November 13, 2016 - 10:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, Batavia HS, batavia, news.


Batavia got into a shootout Saturday night at Ralph Wilson Stadium against the Dunkirk Marauders and came up a bullet short, losing a fight to the finish 50-48.

Both teams scored seven touchdowns apiece, but Dunkirk made one more two-point conversion than the Blue Devils, and that made all the difference.

A win would have propelled Batavia into a chance at a state title, instead, their season is over.

"This is a great group of kids and I couldn't be more proud of them," said Head Coach Brennan Briggs after the overtime loss. "It didn't turn out the way we wanted, but once again, I'm proud of these guys. Ten and one is a great football season."

The game, in many ways, was a battle of two big-play backs, Batavia's Ray Leach and Dunkirk's Alton Ingram. Leach, a sophomore, came into the game just shy of a 1,000-yard season and Ingram had more than 1,100 yards rushing.

Saturday, Leach carried the ball 20 times for 224 yards and Ingram ran 33 times for 240 yards. Both backs scored four touchdowns each.

Coming into the game, Batavia knew Ingram would be a challenge.

"You’ve got to gang-tackle him," Briggs said. "You can’t arm tackle him. He’s a big kid. He runs hard. He makes you pay if you try to arm tackle him. He’s a good football player. I tip my cap off to him. I wish we could have done a little bit more to stop him but that’s football."

The sophomore Leach finished the season strong.

"He did a great job," Briggs said. "He busted the big plays. He made the runs. He made the plays he could have made. I look forward to having him for two more years. He did a great job. He’s hard to stop."

The game opened fast and never let up. A minute into the first quarter, Leach scored on a 59-yard run.

On Dunkirk's first play from scrimmage on its first possession, Dunkirk's QB Evon Hernandez connected on a 61-yard pass to Elwin Gomez.

In the battle of two-point conversions on these first two touchdowns, the Marauders came out on top, and led 8-6.

Before the end of the quarter, the two teams would combine for another four touchdowns and Dunkirk entered the second quarter with a 22-20 lead.

Jerry Reinhart and Chandler Baker also had big games for Batavia. 

Reinhart scored twice on the ground, part of his total of 131 yards on 14 carries, and tossed TD passes to Leach and Baker. He was 3-9 passing for 48 yards.

Baker gained 54 yards on seven carries and caught two passes for 37 yards.

Dunkirk came into the game as a big-score team, strong run game and some athletes who could move the ball. Briggs said he and his coaches knew they would be tough to stop.

"We knew we would probably have to outscore them," Briggs said. "It was a great game. We just didn’t come out on top."






To purchase prints, click here.

November 12, 2016 - 3:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Try Hockey for Free, hockey, sports, batavia.


Members of the Batavia Ramparts and Notre Dame Ice Hockey were on hand today at Falleti Ice Arena so young children could give hockey a try.

The Try Hockey for Free event is held annually.



November 11, 2016 - 11:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, alexander, news, sports.


The best season in Alexander football history came to a disappointing end Friday night at New Era Field in Orchard Park, where the Trojans lost a regional playoff game to the #1 Class D team in the state, Maple Grove, by a score of 28-0.

The Trojans managed to hold the Dragons to just eight points in the first half, but turnovers and an inability to get its offense moving allowed Maple Grove to run away with the game.

Maple Grove held Alexander to 142 total yards on offense, most of them on the arm of P.J. Brennan, who was 10-29 passing for 122 yards.








To purchase prints, click here.

November 9, 2016 - 5:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, sports, basketball.

In 1969, the Notre Dame High School Boys Basketball Team won its one-and-only Manhatten Cup in basketball and that team will be honored along with other Hall of Fame inductees Saturday.

There will be a tour of the newly renovated school at 4:30 p.m., followed by a picture of the 1969 team members in front of a replica trophy.

The actual Hall of Fame event begins at 5:30 p.m.

Press release:

1969 Boys Basketball Manhattan Cup Championship Team: First and only Manhattan Cup championship team. Also were the Smith League Champions for the first time. Many believe this to be the greatest championship in school history due to the format of this tournament, which involved schools of all sizes much like the Hickory championship in the movie “Hoosiers."

Tony Cinquino ’69: Outstanding wrestler during our era of dominance in Smith League Wrestling. Three-time All-Catholic who ended his wrestling career on a 61-match win streak. Three-sport athlete who also ran X-C & track. X-C senior season went 7-1 and the wrestling squads he was on won three Smith League titles and two All-Catholic Championships with one second-place finish.

Dan O’Connor ’69: 1969 Athlete of the Year who earned All-Catholic recognition in football, wrestling & track. Led Smith League in rushing his senior season and the wrestling squads he was on won three Smith League titles and two All-Catholic Championships with one second-place finish.

Tom McGrath ’76: 1976 Athlete of the Year. Tom was an exceptional all-around athlete who excelled at four sports: football, basketball, baseball and golf. He led the Varsity Football team in receptions, was the boys Varsity Basketball team’s leading scorer and the MVP of the Varsity Baseball team his senior year.

Phil Pangrazio ’79: 1979 Athlete of the Year. Phil was a GR All-Star in football who also was a top track performer earning All-Catholic in the discus. Played basketball & wrestled.

Mark Wadams ’96: Three-sport standout (Football/Basketball/Baseball) was Notre Dame’s Athlete of the Year in both 1995 & 1996. Mark was a three-time Section V All-Star in basketball playing IN THREE Sectional Finals winning in 1995 and earned GR All-Star recognition in baseball, basketball & football. He was named First Team All-State in Basketball in 1996 and is the only player in school history to accumulate both 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.

Dave Pero ’69: Longtime basketball coach who was on the bench for more state championships than any other coach (three). Dave served 12 years as a very successful JV boys basketball coach where he had an outstanding win/loss record developing players for future varsity success and was an assistant coach for two state championship teams (1992 & 2001). Took over as Girls coach in 2003 where he won a state title as a head coach in 2013. He also won two Western Regionals, four sectional titles, six GR championships and is ND’s winningest Girls Basketball coach.

November 8, 2016 - 6:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, hockey, sports, news.

Notre Dame may be looking at a 2016-17 ice hockey season without a player or players who Section V officials deemed was inappropriately recruited or influenced to attend the school.

Kathy Hoyt, executive director of Section V, confirmed Section V officials held a hearing on the eligibility of the player or players. She declined to discuss details. She said the school has appealed the decision and New York Public High School Athletic Association will consider the appeal next week.

A source said two players were affected. Another Section V official who is not authorized to speak on behalf of the section said he was aware that players had been deemed unduly recruited or influenced, but he didn't know how many players were affected.

Hoyt said regardless of the outcome of the process, Notre Dame will retain its 2015-16 Section V Class B crown. 

The only question is whether the players will be eligible for the 2016-17 season.

The Batavian received no response to our request for comment made via email yesterday and today from either Notre Dame Athletic Directory Mike Rapone nor Head Coach Marc Staley.

A source says the complaint that led to Section V holding its hearing came from a team outside of Genesee County.

The names of the players involved have not been released.

November 7, 2016 - 8:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, volleyball, sports.


Le Roy beat Bath-Haverling on Saturday to become Section V champions in Class C1 in volleyball.

The team next plays Cal-Mum in a Far-West Regional playoff. Game time is time is 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, in Avon.

Photos by Tim McArdle.


November 6, 2016 - 9:28pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports.

Several bowlers hit the 700 mark last week in league action at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia and at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen.

Click on the Pin Points link at the top of this page to see who's hot on the lanes.

League secretaries from other bowling centers in the area are invited to email their high scores for posting on this website to [email protected].

Watch for a new Pin Points column this Thursday -- exclusively on The Batavian, the area's No. 1 source for online news -- and support the advertisers who support bowling in the Genesee Region.

November 5, 2016 - 10:59pm
posted by James Burns in sports, batavia, High School Football, hornell.


The Batavia Blue Devils defeated the Hornell Red Raiders today in a 41 to 20 victory.

Batavia scored first five minutes into the game. Hornell quickly responded with a touchdown of their own. At the end of the first quarter, the score was Hornell 7 Batavia 6.

Batavia scored soon after the start of the second quarter with Hornell answering with a touchdown again, making the score 12 to 14. Batavia tried unsuccessfully twice for a two-point conversion after their touchdowns missing both times. Hornell went for a field goal after both of their touchdowns converting for one point both times. It looked as if the game had settled into a rhythm of both teams scoring equally with the outcome to be determined by extra points.

Midway through the second quarter, number 51 Jzon Richardson came up with a forced Hornell fumble and stopped their progress deep in Batavia territory. This play knocked the wind out of Hornell, even though late in the second Batavia fumbled with Hornell recovering the ball. Hornell never got their rhythm back and never threatened Batavia’s lead again. The second quarter ended with Batavia leading 28 to 14.

Hornell looked like they were going to come within one touchdown of Batavia in the third but Batavia’s defense stopped them. After that, it was Batavia in charge of the ground and the air, never looking back and cruising to victory. 

The standout players of the game where number 2 Jerry Reinhart, number 12 Chandler Baker, and the Sec V MVP number 34 Bubba Leach. 








More picture of the game are here,

November 5, 2016 - 1:09pm
posted by James Burns in sports.



The Batavia Blue Devils meet Hornell this afternoon in the Sec V Class B finals. Both teams are undefeated at 9 and 0. The Batavia Blue Devils are favored over Hornell, but not by much.  The game starts at 3 pm in Rochester at Rhino Stadium. 

We will be posting updates during the game with full coverage to follow this evening. 

*Update. Class C game ran late. Kickoff now scheduled for 3:30. 

* End of first quarter. Hornell 7 Batavia 6

*Half Time Hornell 14 Batavia 28!

*End of 3, Hornell 21 Batavia 34

**** Final score Hornell 21 Batavia 40!!!****


November 5, 2016 - 11:30am
posted by Rick Franclemont in sports, alexander, football, news.

Alexander's defense came through again, forcing six turnovers and recording six sacks, in route to a 19-6 win over Clyde Savannah to win the Section V Class D championship.

It's the first Section V football championship in school history.

Outside linebacker Derrick Busch has five tackles and three interceptions.

Adding to the Trojans' interception total were Chris McClinic and Dane Heberlein. 

Dustin Schmieder, who set a Section playoff record last week for sacks, had 2.5 of the team's total on Friday. Adding to the sack totals were Erik Scharlau, Zach Jasen and Mitch Gordon. 

QB P.J. Brennan was part of all three TD scores for Alexander, rushing for 77 yards on nine carries. He tossed a TD pass to Busch. Heberlein had 112 yards on 21 carries.

Alexander will now contend for the regional title against the state's #1 ranked Class D team, Maple Grove.

More photos can be found at:

November 4, 2016 - 10:06am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports, batavia bulldawgs.


The Batavia Bulldawgs youth football and cheer program captured the 2016 NOFA championship in the Mini (8-9-year-old) Division by virtue of a 12-0 victory over top-seeded Newfane.

The Bulldawgs ended the season with a 7-1 record, with the only loss coming at the hands of the Holley Hawks. The Batavia team avenged that defeat, however, in the playoffs with a 13-12 win.

The team is led by Head Coach Brian Mruczek and assistants coaches Shawn Bigsby, Kenny Griffin, Al White and Scott Lazarony.

Mruczek said an all-for-one and one-for-all mentality powered the team to victory.

 “The kids knew exactly what needed to be done in the championship game,” he said. “They proved all year that if we stick together as a family, play with heart and emotion, nothing could stop us.”

Mruczek thanked the team’s corporate sponsors, City of Batavia community leaders and Batavia City School District for their support.

The season concludes at 10 a.m. this Saturday (Nov. 5) with the CheerDawgs competing in the 2016 NOFA Cheer Zone at Attica High School.

November 1, 2016 - 8:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, youth sports, Notre Dame, batavia, news.


As many 50 young girls, grades 2 through 8, have just completed the new Fall Ball Training Camp run by Tom McCulley and Otis Thomas in the renovated Notre Dame High School Gym.

The camp was offered to girls attending either St. Joe's or Batavia City Schools.

"There’s not really a whole lot going on for girls this age," said McCulley, who takes over from Dave Pero as head coach at Notre Dame this season. "We thought this would be a way to get them ready for the upcoming season no matter where they may be playing."

The camp is designed to get the girls in basketball shape for the season, drill them in fundamentals and help them learn how to focus, follow directions and participate as a team member.  

McCulley said this training will help the girls as they move up to higher levels. It's a lot harder for a coach to work with an incoming freshman, say, who hasn't had this kind of experience.

The camp ran for five weeks.

This was the first year for the camp and given its success, McCulley expects it to become an annual event.

"The girls love it," McCulley said. "They’re excited about it. They show up every week, so obviously, they want to do it. It gives them a chance to compete and to learn how to compete, learn how to prepare and stay focused and take direction, so when they do get up to the higher levels, at least they have a foundation to build upon."






October 31, 2016 - 7:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Rampart's Squirts, Batavia Ramparts, hockey, sports.


The Batavia Rampart's Squirt III travel team traveled to Cleveland to play in the Rock'n'Roll Cup Tournament, where they beat the Michigan Sting, 5-0, the Lake Erie Panthers, 10-1, and the Erie Lions twice, 4-1 and 5-2, to win the championship.

In the first game, goals were scored by Chase Cummings, who had three, Anna Stevens and Jameson Motyka.

In the second game, scoring: Brady Johnson, three goals, Anna Stevens, two, Jameson Motyka, two, and with one each, Chase Cummings, Drew Jursted and Noah Whitcombe.

In the third game, Evan Schwerthoffer, Anna Stevens, Sammy Pies and Jake Hutchins scored.

In the final, Chase Cummings had two goals, Anna Stevens, Sammy Pies and Jake Hutchins each had one.

Frankie Falleti was tournament MVP.


October 30, 2016 - 5:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

(Photo of China Dream with reinsman Shawn Gray.)

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

A scratch-shortened field of six top class pacers became a mere group of spectators who watched China Dream command their fate from the start of the race as he won the $10,500 Open feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 29).

China Dream (Shawn Gray) left sharply and crossed over to the pylons before the field rounded the first turn and then opened up a gapped advantage he would maintain for the remainder of the race. After Gray hit the brakes with a :29.3 second quarter, Littlebitaclass (Jim Morrill Jr.) pulled first up in an attempt to advance to the front with Knocking Around (Dave McNeight III) right on his back. But after hearing the footsteps, Gray asked his charge for more and more is what he got. China Dream pulled away in a quick :28 third panel and found himself leading by seven lengths at the top of the stretch. He continued his momentum all the way to the wire and cruised to a wrapped-up 1:54.4 victory.

It was the 10th win of the year for China Dream ($4.40) and it inflated his one-year earnings to $77,680 for owners Jack and Maria Rice. Maria Rice trains the winner.

In the co-featured $9,000 Open II, Thunderbolt Jaxon (Jim Morrill Jr.) took the lead just past the quarter and cruised to an easy three-length win in 1:54.1. It was the third straight win for Thunderbolt Jaxon ($5) and seventh of the season. Mike Torcello owns the winner who is trained by Gerry Sarama.

Jim Morrill Jr. led all drivers on Saturday night with four wins while Drew Monti, Jim McNeight Jr. and Ray Fisher Jr. all scored doubles. Trainers Gerry Sarama, Jim McNeight and Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. each sent two winners for pictures.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 2) with a 6:15 p.m. post.

October 30, 2016 - 1:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, football, sports, news.


Usually, offensive performance in football grabs the headlines, but yesterday, in the Trojans' 34-13 win over Bolivar-Richburg to advance in the Section V Class D tournament, Alexander's Dustin Schmieder had 8.5 sacks.

"I've never seen anything like it," said Head Coach Tim Sawyer.

Schmieder also had five tackles and Erik Scharlau had 2.5 sacks and seven tackles.

And while we're talking about defense, Derrick Busch and Chris McClinic each had an interception.

The previous Section V playoff record for sacks in a game was five by Dan Liseno, for Clyde-Savannah in 2002.

On offense, Dane Heberlien scored two TDs and P.J. Brennan was 3-11 for 91 yards and TD, with one interception. Busch caught the 11-yard pass for the TD. Mitch Gordon scored on a one-yard run.

Schmieder also had a 68-yard reception on the first play of the game.

Hannah Paolucci kicked two extra points on the day.

The Trojans had 309 total yards on offense, but Sawyer still noted, "Penalties held us back today. We need to clean up the penalties and some missed tackles."

Next week, Alexander will face Clyde-Savannah, who beat the Red Jackets 40-14, for the Class D championship.

Photos by Rick Franclemont. For more photos and to purchase prints, click here.






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