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June 1, 2015 - 12:52pm


The annual Jim Kelly Celebrity Golf Classic is underway at Terry Hills today. The entire Buffalo Bills team attended the morning's events, which included for the players a long-drive contest and a football throwing contest.

Above, head coach Rex Ryan wallops one during the long-drive contest.

Jim Kelly on the anniversary of the Bills' Super Bowl run and the prospect for the Rex Ryan era.

Jim Kelly on Rex Ryan.

Jim Kelly on tournament fun.

Jim Kelly on continuing the tournament.


Players react to a teammate's errant tee shot during the long-drive contest.


A player reacts to his own errant tee shot.


Players participate in the football throwing target contest.


Actor Dennis Haskins (TV show "Saved by the Bell") with Kathy Leffel. Leffel lives on Clinton Street Road and has for years on tournament day invited her friends over and served brownies from under a tent in her back yard to any celebrity golfers who stopped by. Most years, all the big stars do, such as Dan Marino and Jim Kelly himself. Leffel has sold the condo and will be moving, so this is probably the last year of the brownie party.


May 31, 2015 - 3:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, golf.

Early in the spring, we contacted all of the Genesee County golf courses to get information on public golf tournaments. We thought since there are so many tournaments during the summer, golfers might appreciate being able to plan in advance with tournaments they would play. Below is the information we received back or just otherwise know about.  The list is likely incomplete, but it's the best we can compile at this time.

Terry Hills Golf Course:

  • June 10 -- Leadership Genesee 12:30 p.m. shotgun, $100 per golfer
  • June 12 -- BNAR (Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors) for Mercy Flight 12:45
  • July 20 -- Young Life 12:30 p.m.
  • July 29 -- Chamber of Commerce (for more information, click here)
  • Aug. 1 -- Ricky Palermo Tee Times TBD
  • Aug. 11 -- Leone Memorial 12:30 p.m.
  • Aug. 16 -- AAA for WNY Veterans 1 p.m.
  • Aug. 30 -- Alex’s Place, 1 p.m., for Crossroads

Batavia Country Club:

  • Thurs. June 11 -- Genesee/Orleans Ministry of Concern
  • Fri. June 12 -- Gillam Grant Community Center
  • Sat. June 27 -- Matt Luxon Memorial
  • Sat. July 25 -- Batavia High Football
  • Sat. Aug. 1 -- Crossroads
  • Fri. Aug. 7 -- Genesee County Cancer Assistance
  • Thurs. Aug. 20 -- Van Hulbert Memorial
  • Sun. Aug. 23 -- Jim Thompson Memorial
  • Wed. Sept. 16 -- Mercy Flight

Stafford Country Club will once again host the Genesee ARC golf, tennis and bocce ball tournament. It is July 13. There are a variety of packages available. Click here for more information.

At the Le Roy Country Club on Aug. 22, the third annual Andrea Mangefrida Memorial Golf Tournament will be held.

May 24, 2015 - 8:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Flyball, sports, dogs, animals, pets, batavia.


It's an adrenaline rush to see one of his border collies racing through four jumps, grabbing a tennis ball and streaking back to him, said Hamburg resident Peter Russell, who was in Batavia on Saturday to compete in a biannual flyball competition at the Fairgrounds.

Flyball is a dog-racing sport. Teams are comprised of four dogs and four handlers. Each dog runs down a track, jumping over four hurdles, hitting a platform at the end of the track, which releases a tennis ball, and then the dog runs back through the hurdles with the ball. The race is a relay, so once the first dog returns, the next dog runs the next leg.

The sport was created in California in the late 1960s and has grown to international proportions.  

Russell is a member of the Buffalo Wings Flyball Team, which has won national championships.

More than 15 teams competed yesterday, with dogs and owners traveling to Batavia from throughout the Northeastern United States and Canada.

The exhibition hall at the fairgrounds on Saturday was a cacophony of yelps and yaps and a whir of flashing fur.

"I think people enjoy the sport because of how quick it is," Russell said. "Races come down to hundredths of a second."

It's also a social sport, said Cindy Henderson, a resident of Massachusetts and regional director for the North American Flyball Association.

"You're with four different people," Henderson said. "That's what's fun about it. You're working with a whole team of people. It's not like other sports where you're just one handler working with a dog. You're a team."

Each member of the team has a specific role. The lead dog needs to have stamina since false starts can mean multiple trips down the track before there's a legal start. There are the middle leg dogs who need to be fast and agile, and then there's the anchor dog, who ideally loves to race and has the competitive drive to overtake another dog if the team has fallen behind. There also needs to be a height dog. The height dog is the smallest dog on the team. The shorter the dog, the lower the hurdles for the team.

Russell and his wife own 13 border collies. Four of them are retired and nine of them race. They're also breeders.

Border collies are particularly well suited to the sport, Russell said.

"It gives them a job to do," he said. "Border collies are bred to herd sheep, so they need a job to do. Their job is to go get the ball and come back to you and tug on their toy. In essence, that's their job for the day. It gives them some mind stimulation, because it's a difficult sport to learn and master and it gives them the physical stimulation because they're running over four jumps, hitting a box, coming back, tugging on the tug when they get back to you."

Alissa Schwab, of Amherst, owns a Jack Russell terrier, the height dog for the Buffalo Wings.

"I got started because obedience training wasn't enough for Jack Russell terriers," Schwab said. "The Buffalo wings needed a fast height dog and they came to training and spotted him and he was hired."

She's been racing for seven years now and now owns three Jack Russells.

"It's great for my dogs," she said. "They look forward to it. The community of people from our region is just fantastic and the racing is good."

The owners enjoy the race. The dogs enjoy pleasing their masters and getting a treat at the end of the run, usually a tug on a rope, but maybe something a little more tasty.

"They like to be rewarded for doing things they love," Schwab said. "You're part of the reward. They want to come back to you."












May 23, 2015 - 10:27pm


Laurie Napoleone speaks during the Awareness Ceremony on the second day of the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation Baseball Tournment.  The tournament has grown to a three-day event spread out over every available baseball field in Batavia.

The foundation has provided more than $170,000 in assistance to families with children dealing with medical issues. The foundation has also purchased a new scoreboard for the ball field at Williams Park, has donated more than $48,000 to pediatric cancer research and has pledged $50,000 to the Golisano Children's Hospital.

Michael Napoleone succumbed to Burkitts Lymphoma/Leukemia, an aggressive form of blood cancer, in 2006. Mark and Laurie Napoleone formed the foundation in response to the outpouring of support their family received from the community after Michael was diagnosed.


Genesee Pride AAU boys and girls basketball donated $350 players raised for the foundation.


The family of Kenny Hazlett. Hazlett was a longtime umpire and dedicated volunteer for the tournment who passed away. A sign on the backstop of the Little League field honoring his memory was unveiled during the ceremony.


David Pero speaking about Hazlett.


Unveiling the sign.


Chase Bordonaro received a Spirit of Michael Napoleone Award, along with Tony Piazza and Griffin Dellapenna (pictured below).



Veterans in attendance were invited to stand along the first base line during the playing of the National Anthem


May 23, 2015 - 6:32pm


The Batavia Varsity Boys Track Team competed in the Monroe County Championships on Saturday earning a tough second-place finish, 63 points total out of 22 schools competing. 

Junior Adonis Davis had a big day for the Blue Devils earning an impressive victory in the pentathlon. Senior Jerrett Laskett was the winner in the 400 hurdles and placed second in the high jump. Senior Devon Koepp placed third in the disc and fourth in the shot. 

The 4x8 relay team of Senior Eric Dilaura, Junior Cal Jantzi, Junior Louie Leone, and sophmore Campbell Andersen finished in third place also. 

Head Coach Nicholas Burk said, “The Monroe County Championships is a very competitive meet and to finish in second place is very impressive."

Class B rival Greece Olympia finished in first with 75 points. Next Saturday is Batavia’s next meet, which is the Section V at Brockport State College.

Full results of this meet can be found at:

May 22, 2015 - 12:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in michael napoleone foundation, sports, batavia.

3385465.jpg At 2:30 this afternoon the three-day Michael Napoleone Memorial Baseball Tournament begins at the ball park on State Street in Batavia. It promises to be a fine time for families to enjoy the Great American Pastime and help a worthy cause. There will be lots of baseball games, food, kids' activities and on Saturday, the Lions Club will offer free cancer eye screenings at the Main Tent on State Street.

Also, don't miss The Awareness Ceremony which will be at 1 o'clock at the Little League Field on Saturday.

Game starts today are at 2:30, 4:30 and 6:30 for Little League and Minor League.

On Saturday, games are at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 2:30 p.m., and 4:30 p.m. for Minor League and Little League.

Sunday Little League and Minor League:

10:15 a.m. -- Playoff
12:15 p.m. -- Playoff
3:15 p.m. -- Championship

Williams Park

Friday -- 5 p.m., 7:30 p.m. (under lights)

Saturday -- 10, 2:30

Sunday -- 10, 12:30, 3:30 playoffs and Championship


The Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation, Inc., was founded in 2007 in memory of Michael C. Napoleone, the eight year old son of Mark and Laurie Napoleone from Batavia, who passed away from Burkitts Lymphoma/Leukemia, an aggressive form of blood cancer. During Michael's illness, the community rallied around the family to assist with food, gas, medical bills, and other necessities. The not-for-profit Foundation, a 501(c)3, organization, was created to give back to those who cared, to give forward to those in need, and to support research efforts to find a cure for childhood cancer.

May 21, 2015 - 10:10am


Senior Nick Bauer celebrating with his teammates after scoring the third run for the Batavia Blue Devils as they defeated Aquinas last night at Dwyer Stadium 4-0 to advance to the next round of the Section V playoffs. The first three innings left both teams scoreless on the opening night of the championship rounds.


Junior Greg Mruczek pitched the first five innings and recorded four strikeouts and allowing two hits.  


In the fourth inning, sophomore Jerry Reinhart walked and advanced on a double steal scored for the Devils. Senior Pat Wrobel drove in the run with to put the Devils up 2-0 after 4.


In the fifth inning Nick Bauer hit a single then stole second and third. When he crossed the plate, Batavia had their third run. Junior Alex Canty (pictured above stealing second) hit a single, stole two bases and scored on a sack fly from Junior Tyler Hale to extend the lead and eventually the final score 4-0.


Relieving pitcher Senior Quintin Weis finished the last two innings with three strikeouts and one hit. Batavia Blue Devils record is 12-8 and will play thier next secional game this Friday at Greece Athena.


For more Photos go to:

May 20, 2015 - 3:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, baseball, little league, health department.

Batavia Little League has paid for a health permit, according to County Manager Jay Gsell.

Gsell said a VP with the league showed up at the County Health Department this morning and paid the fee, Gsell said.

The department had told league officials they couldn't sell pizza and hot dogs without a proper permit, which costs $175 per food stand.

May 20, 2015 - 3:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Milestones, batavia, figure skating.

Press release:

Six area figure skaters who train at Lockport’s Cornerstone CFCU Arena competed May 16-17 at the Spring Skate Festival hosted by the Skating Club of Western New York at Holiday Twin Rinks in Cheektowaga. Angelina DiTullio, of Lockport, Michelle Dyer, of Batavia, Macy Midla, of Batavia, sisters Emily and Allison Milleville, of Lockport, and Kristin Riemer, of Royalton, together competed in 13 events over the course of the two-day competition. The skaters collected one gold medal, four bronze medals, and three fourth-place ribbons overall.

The Figure Skating program at Cornerstone CFCU Arena is growing under the coaching and direction of Figure Skating Director Dawn Ahlers.

On June 13, Cornerstone CFCU Arena’s Lockport Skating School will host its first Basic Skills competition involving competitors from its Figure Skating and Learn to Skate program as well as skaters from out of town. To date, applications have been received from as far away as Rochester and Ontario, Canada. Plans are to create a United States Figure Skating Association (USFSA) sanctioned club and host recurring events to draw skaters from across the region to Lockport.

The Cornerstone CFCU Arena features two NHL regulation-size rinks, a pro shop, a performance training center and seating for 630 spectators. The 93,500 square-foot facility at 34 Chestnut St. in Lockport opened its Figure Skating and Learn to Skate programs in October. More information about these and other programs may be found at

In photo, from left, Macy Midla, of Batavia, Michelle Dyer, of Batavia, and Kristin Riemer, of Royalton.

May 20, 2015 - 10:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in little league, baseball, sports, health department.

Report from our news partner 13WHAM about the County Health Department requiring Batavia Little League to acquire a health permit to sell pizza and hot dogs.

May 18, 2015 - 9:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, sports.


Until yesterday, I'd never seen a street sweeper quite like this one. I spotted David Musser on Route 5 in Batavia and when we spoke he said people around here often comment that they've never seen anybody propelling themselves down the street on a skateboard with a stick. Musser recently moved here from Chicago and said the sport seems more common there. Primarily, he said, it's good cross-training for stand-up paddle boarding on the lakes.

May 14, 2015 - 4:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, Oakfield, sports.

I wasn't around for this, didn't even know about it until a few minutes ago when a relative of Katie Brownell sent me an e-mail, but Brownell once threw a perfect game, striking out 18 batters, in an Oakfield-Alabama Little League game.

That was 10 years ago. has a story up today about the event, about Brownell's subsequent fame and her upcoming graduation from Buffalo State University. 

May 14, 2015 - 1:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, muckdogs, sports, baseball.

Press release:

Single game tickets for all 2015 Muckdogs’ home games go on sale Monday, May 18, beginning at 9 a.m. at the Dwyer Stadium Box Office, over the phone by calling (585) 343-5454 or online at Normal box office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The same great, affordable ticket prices are back again in 2015. Tickets range from $8 for box seats to just $7  for adult General Admission tickets and $6  for kids and senior General Admission tickets.

During the season, the ticket office opens on game days at 9 a.m. Monday-Friday and closes at the end of fifth inning. On Saturday and Sunday, the ticket office will open at 10 a.m. and close after the fifth inning.

Season tickets, coupon books, ticket packages, and group tickets are on sale now. For more information, visit or call (585) 343-5454 and press zero, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

The Muckdogs open their 2015 home schedule on Friday, June 19th vs. the Auburn Doubledays at 7:05 p.m. In addition to their Pinckney Division rivals, the Muckdogs will welcome the Boston Red Sox (Lowell), Detroit Tigers (Connecticut), Houston Astros (Tri-City) and the Oakland A’s (Vermont) farm teams to Dwyer Stadium in 2015.

May 13, 2015 - 8:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, high school sports, batavia, softball, tennis.


With this post, we catch up with a couple of sports-related submissions that we hadn't gotten to yet.

Above, the Batavia JV softball team after its victory in the Pembroke JV softball tournament. The team beat Notre Dame 8-4 and Pembroke 10-6.

The team: Liz Piedmont, Emma Dunn, Nataleigh Rivera Ellis, Alexis Merriam, Maiya Reinhart, Gabz Havens, Assistant Coach Rick Smith, Stephanie Hoy, Courtney Biegasiewicz, Cheyenne Richardson, Shelby Weis, Katie Ange, Coach Jim Fazio, and Stephanie Shultz. Also on the team are Jasmine Barber and Nashalie Vasquez-Vega.

Submitted by Jim Fazio.


Earlier this week, Jeff Redband advanced to the boys varsity tennis state qualifier tournament in singles for the fourth consecutive year by finishing third in the Class B sectionals. Also Samir Jain and Jon McMaster (not pictured) advanced by finishing third in the doubles tournament.

Submitted by Scott Lawniczak.

May 10, 2015 - 8:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, high school sports, Notre Dame, Batavia HS.


Batavia beat Notre Dame 3-2 in the championship game of the Rotary Tournament.

Batavia scored the winning run on a 2-out Quentin Weis single. Pitchers Greg Mruzek and Tyler Prospero both went the distance. 

Photos are from one inning of the Batavia vs. Oakfield-Alabama game and the championship game.








To purchase prints, click here.

May 9, 2015 - 6:34pm
posted by Andrew Crofts in sports, GCC, softball.
  The Genesee Community College softball team lost the third and final game of the Region III Division III Group B Finals series to Hudson Valley Community College on Saturday afternoon by a final score of 16-5. The Cougars forced a game three after a comeback win on Friday night but fell behind after the Vikings scored two in the top of the first on Saturday. Genesee responded in the home-half of the inning after Karissa Schuster led off with a single and came around to score on a Shannon Baker hit. The Cougars added two more runs in the inning and took a 3-2 lead into the second. Baker retired HVCC in order in the second but surrendered five runs on two hits and two walks in the third, which put the Vikings in the lead for good. Hudson Valley added two more in the fourth before GCC scored twice in the bottom of the inning to cut the lead to 9-5, but the Cougars send just two batters over the minimun to the plate the rest of the way and did not cross the plate again. Schuster finished the game 3-4 with two runs scored. Dani Wilshire and Chelsey Ruzewski each collected two hits and Georgie Miller went 1-4 with a run scored and a run batted in. Shuster and Baker were both named to the Region III Group B All-Tournament team for Genesee, which finishes the season 25-11
May 9, 2015 - 4:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, baseball.

Norte Dame and Batavia advance to the championship match of the Rotary Tournament at Dwyer Stadium. Because of the threat of rain, the game starts at 4:30 p.m., two hours sooner than originally planned. The consolation game between Attica and Oakfield Alabama is being played at Batavia High School.

May 6, 2015 - 4:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, sports.

Press release:

Representatives from Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation (WROTB) announced that total wagering at WROTB on Saturday’s Kentucky Derby topped out at $1,930,585.30 with payouts of 2,067,622.80. Wagering handle was the second highest in WROTB’s history, and its payout to winning bettors was $800,000 more than last year and higher than it took in wagers, a first. 

“It’s the first time we’ve ever seen more payouts than money taken in," said WROTB Handicapper and Live Racing GM Todd Haight.

The complimentary Derby programs given out at WROTB Branches, EZ Bets and at Batavia Downs on Saturday touted Haight’s Hot Picks on the cover, which correctly selected the top four Derby finishers in exact order. The bettors of Western New York certainly benefitted as WROTB paid out $600,000 in winning Trifecta bets and over $630,000 in winning Superfecta wagers, both records.

Wagers placed at Batavia Downs Gaming totaled $62,248.50, an increase of nearly 5 percent over last year. Wagering using, WROTB’s online Web site, on the Derby was $53,821, a 26.6-percent increase over last year. Nationally the handle on the Kentucky Derby was up 4 percent and was its highest ever at $197 Million.

“It’s so exciting to see that interest in the Kentucky Derby is alive and well in Western New York," said Ryan Hasenauer, director of Marketing of Batavia Downs and WROTB. “We’re all pulling for a Triple Crown contender in American Pharoah. All our Branches will be open at 10 a.m. on May 16th, the morning of the Preakness, and we’ll be having another party with live tellers at Batavia Downs. Our Trifecta special includes food, Free Play and a complimentary Preakness wager like we had for the Derby.”

Owned and operated by 15 Western New York counties and the cities of Rochester and Buffalo, Western Regional OTB is a public benefit corporation with headquarters in Batavia. WROTB owns and operates 28 branches, as well as Batavia Downs Gaming, a standardbred racetrack and gaming facility.

May 5, 2015 - 7:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Announcements, batavia.

Press release:

The ninth annual David R. Millis Memorial Golf Tournament will be hosted on Sunday, June 7th, at the Batavia Country Club. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. This tournament is in memory of David Millis who passed away with pancreatic cancer at the early age of 54. Dave was the Superintendent for the Pollution Control Facility in the Village of Albion for 32 years and was an active member of the community.

The cost for a single golfer is $85, which includes, lunch, beverages and dinner. Guests not golfing are also invited to buy dinner-only tickets for $25, and the meal starts at 5:30 p.m. All participants, whether golfing or dining, will be entered into a drawing to win a TV and have the opportunity to buy 50/50 and raffle tickets. The following sponsorships are also available: Corporate, Major, Awards, Lunch Beverage, Longest or Shortest Drive, Closest to the Pin and hole sponsors. We also have several volunteer opportunities available. This tournament features, men and women’s longest drive and closest to the pin and putting contests. There are great raffle prizes, which include local sports tickets, autographed memorabilia, gift certificates and many more items.

Don’t miss your chance to win two-year lease on a 2015 Chevy vehicle and other great hole in one prizes sponsored by Don Davis Chevrolet, Buick, GMC in Albion.The proceeds from the tournament will again benefit the Knights/Kaderli Memorial Fund which is a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to assisting local families with their fight against cancer. The money assists with prescriptions, medical insurance, nutritional supplements, hospital beds, and other needs. In the past eight years, this tournament has raised more than $100,600 thanks to the support and generosity of many friends, sponsors and participants.

For questions or more information please e-mail [email protected] or visit us on




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