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March 6, 2011 - 2:36pm
posted by Michael Napole... in baseball, youth, sports, fundraiser.
Event Date and Time: 
May 27, 2011 - 9:00am to May 29, 2011 - 8:00pm
March 5, 2011 - 3:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, baseball, Batavia Muckdogs, sports.

Baseball, believe it or not, is just around the corner, and right on schedule, the booster club for the Batavia Muckdogs hosted its annual hot stove dinner and auction at the Batavia Party House.

More than 200 people were on hand for dinner and both a silent auction and a live auction with auctioneer Todd Jantzi of Bontrager's (below).

The booster club presented a donation to the Michael Napoleone Foundation. Above, accepting the check from Shirley Fanara, right, are Laurie Napoleone, center, and Ann Marie Suttell, president of the foundation.

More pictures after the jump:

March 3, 2011 - 3:54pm
posted by Timothy Walton in batavia, sports, Brian Hillabush.


The local sports world and many members of the Genesee County community mourn today after hearing of the unexpected passing of popular sportswriter, Brian Hillabush.

Hillabush, who spent nearly a decade at Batavia Daily News and some time at The Batavian, was found dead in his home Wednesday evening. No cause of death has been determined.

"I'm very shocked to hear about Brian and we will all certainly miss him," says Batavia Daily News managing editor Mark Graczyk. "He did great job as sports writer here. He always cared about people that he covered and will be missed by the people in the community.

"Brian loved and lived for sports, with his favorite teams being Duke, Yankees, and the Colts," said his girlfriend Aline Alibe Santos. "He loved his nephews and his family and had future plans to get married."

Hillabush had been attending Genesee Community College and was majoring in travel and tourism. 

"He was an energetic, well-liked student. You could tell from his days at the paper that he was interested in learning about the facts and finding out as much as he could about topics he liked." says GCC instructor Amy Slusser. "He took interest in local geography and hometown destinations and wanted to promote Batavia as a tourism destination."

Hillabush was well known for spending hours each week at sporting events and had a strong following in high school sports.

"He was very good at his job," says Batavia hockey coach Paul Pedersen. "He went the extra mile to cover the high school sports and was very passionate about the ones in the area, being that he was a local kid himself.

"He would go every day, game to game, and that was his life. It was awesome and the articles showed the time he put into each one of them. (Our) team went to states in 2002-2003 and he followed us to all the games that were way out of town. Him and (Mark) Gutman were stapled to us. Not every reporter does that. It was nice and made the kids feel special."

"Brian was passionate about how he represented, reported and worked with the local sports," stated Notre Dame Football coach and longtime friend Rick Mancuso. "He loved the kids he interacted with and he loved what he did.

"His passion was what set him apart from other people. He really was an advocate for high school sports.He worked very hard in everything he did and had a vision for how high school reporting should be."

Brian's work was appreciated by many and he was one of the few reporters that went out of his way to cover cheerleading as well.

"The first person to always cover our acomplishments was Brian," says former Batavia cheerleading captain Jamie Turman. "As a cheerleader it wasn't often that you would be in the limelight, but Brian always made our winnings known to our community.

"He understood that even though we were cheerleaders, we were proud of what we had done and what we had acomplished. He was amazing in the sense that he made all althelets feel great about what they had done no matter how big or small. He even took the time to talk to us and to learn about cheerleading to try and put himself in our shoes."

Hillabush's vision for high school sports started with a focus on the Genesee Region but quickly expanded to all of Section V. He played a major role in the lauch of, which is an online high school sports forum that allows athletes from all over the section to interact and chat about their sports.

"He had a great vision in kicking off probably one of the most succesful high school sports sites that exists in SectionVTalksback. He really did a great job at what he did. He will be missed by many," added Mancuso.

Friends may call on Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m. at H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home, 403 E. Main St., Batavia, where services will follow at 6 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the family. Burial will be in Grand View Cemetery, Batavia.

March 2, 2011 - 10:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, sports, Brian Hillabush.

Brian HillabushBrian Hillabush, who spent nearly a decade at  Batavia Daily News building a reputation as a solid sportswriter who cared about the players he covered, was found dead at his home in Batavia this evening.

He was 33.

No cause of death has been determined, according to Sgt. John Peck of the Batavia Police Department.

The coroner referred the case to the Monroe County Medical Examiner for an autopsy.

There was no evidence of foul play nor anything suspecious about his death, Peck said.

Hillabush joined the staff of The Batavian in September 2008 and was sports editor until February 2009 when the original owner of The Batavian, GateHouse Media, ended its association with the site and laid off Hillabush.

Brian had been attending Genesee Community College.

In the past hour or so dozens of messages of condolence have appeared on the wall of Hilly's Facebook page.

February 22, 2011 - 4:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, sports.

Sign-ups/registration for 2011 Little League and Jr./Sr. leagues are this Friday and Saturday.

This will take place at Genesee Country Mall, by the entrance to Sunny's restaurant.

On Friday, Feb. 25, the time is 6 to 8 p.m. On Saturday, Feb. 26, the time is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Please bring a copy of the player's birth certificate, the registration fee and proof of Genesee County residency.

Costs are:

Little League (ages 9 to 12) -- $75

Junior League (ages 13 to 15) -- $90

Senior League (ages 16 and under) -- $90

Senior League-ages 16 and under-$90

Any questions?
Little League call Larry Hale 585-409-3485
Junior/Senior leagues call Mike Dobbertin 585-233-3577

February 22, 2011 - 4:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, hockey.

Hockey Coach Kevin Hamilton, who refers to himself as "the proudest coach in Batavia," submitted this information.

The underage Mite A team has been playing against much higher level of play all season long. The majority being second-year teams, and three or four of them giving travel teams a run for their money.

We won two games in league play against MCYH and won a scrimmage against a tough Webster B team. The rest of the games we did not do much scoring, if any, but we did play our hearts out.

Well last night in Scottsville (Feb. 17), round one of playdowns, up against Geneseo (womped us 7-0 in regular season), it went 0-0 first period, 0-0 second period.

After the second period, they come to the bench, kneeled down on the ice in front of me (I already couldn't be any more happy, they are playing their best hockey ever), I look down at them and ask "Who thinks they can play better hockey in the third period?" They all respond with a hand raise. I said " Looks like whoever could score the next goal, could be the winner. We can do it!"

The boys stand up yelling and cheering, big smiles on their faces. The third period starts, we get the puck in Geneseo's end, puck comes back to the point, Connor Peterson (age 7) picks his head up and makes a pass to the weak side winger Cole Young (age 6) and a one-timer for the game's first goal.

We then carried the momentum even further, with more shots on net and eventually scoring another goal from Vince Dirisio (age 6) off a rebound. With hard work from the entire team, and especially our six-man defense and Alex Bialek (age 7) first-year goaltender picking up a huge playoff shutout!

We win 2-0. Priceless!!!!!! We now go on to play the Russians, I meen the stacked #1 team Monroe County (their second team)...These kids are the future of the Ramparts and are on their way to being an amazing group of hockey players.

February 14, 2011 - 4:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, muckdogs, sports.

The Genesee County Baseball Club will hold its annual Batavia Muckdogs Hot Stove Dinner and auction from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, March 4 at the Batavia Party House at 5762 East Main Street Road in Stafford.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under. The evening will begin with a cocktail hour followed immediately by dinner.

The Hot Stove Dinner is a time for good food, friendship, baseball talk, and silent and live auctions of baseball-related memorabilia (including signed bats and balls), work by local artists, and gift certificates from a variety of local businesses.

Tickets may be purchased in Batavia at Dwyer Stadium, Gerace’s Hair Care, the Williams Law Firm, and the offices of Dr. Ross Fanara and Dr. Alan Barcomb.

February 14, 2011 - 2:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in events, sports.
Event Date and Time: 
February 24, 2011 -
7:00pm to 9:00pm

Alumni Buffalo Sabres Hockey team will be playing in a charity basketball game against the Pembroke Central Schools Faculty on Feb. 24. The game will be held in the high school gymnasium beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door and $8 advance.

Tickets include the game and a half-hour autograph session with the Sabres alumni. There will also be a raffle for an autographed hockey stick during the game.

For more information contact Paul Schuler at 599-4525. Proceeds to benefit Pembroke Drama Club and Scholastic Bowl.

February 14, 2011 - 2:39am
posted by Timothy Walton in notre dame high school, sports.

For the second time this year, hockey fans filled the Falleti Ice Arena for the cross-town matchup between the Ice Devils and the Fighting Irish. The Devils were out for revenge after losing the first matchup and succeeded, upsetting the Irish 4-2.

"It felt great to beat a really good team going into sectional play," said Batavia senior captain Tim Finnell. "Now we have momentum to build off of."

The Irish got on the board first as Tyler Kessler set up Brett Perfitt in front of the net, where he put the puck past Batavia goaltender Adam Kurek.

Freshman Rich Francis then put Batavia on the board to even the game at 1-1. Joe Saraceni was credited with the assist.

Conor Holvey beat ND goalie Tom Dehr for his first of two goals to give Batavia the lead off an assist from Trevor Powers.

Zach Blew and Dylan Versage set up Josh Johnson to tie the game for the second time at two goals each to end the 2nd period.

Heading into the 3rd period tied 2-2 was a familiar scenario for both teams. Last time the two teams faced off it was the same situation, and Notre Dame made the most of the 3rd period by scoring 4 goals to win 6-2.

"Last game we got too hyped up going into the 3rd and we came out flat. When a couple bounces went their way we started to hang our heads because things weren't going our way," says Batavia forward Josh Marr. "This time we stayed calm and knew what had to be done in order to win this game...we had no room to take any shifts off."

Finnell led Batavia into the final period as Holvey and Trevor Schimley set him up to beat Dehr right side.

Holvey sealed the win for the Ice Devils, netting an empty net goal as the buzzer sounded to end the score 4-2.

Both Kurek and Dehr made 17 saves for their respective teams.

February 9, 2011 - 12:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, elba, Notre Dame.

For the second time this season, the Lady Lancers came up just points short against Notre Dame, dropping an emotional rematch in Elba, 43-40.

Notre Dame remains undefeated at 15-0 and Elba drops to 12-3.

The Lady Irish were led by Liz Geandreau, who scored 15 points with seven rebounds, and Riley Norton, 11 points and seven rebounds.

For Elba, Meg Stucko had 14 points and 16 rebounds and Racheal Cook scored 12 points.

To purchase pictures from this game (site template a little messed up right now, but site otherwise working) click here.

More pictures after the jump:

February 1, 2011 - 10:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, GCC, sports.

GCC's head baseball coach, Skip Sherman, right, is excited about two players who will be joining his squad.

Adam Pratt, above with his parents, signed a letter of intent to play for GCC and is receiving a two-year scholarship to play for the Cougers. Entering his senior season at Batavia High School, the southpaw has a 3.06 ERA with 106 Ks in 66 1/3 innings with a record of 6-4. He was the Rotary Tournament MVP last season.

Says Sherman:

Left-handed pitcher. I have been watching Adam for a couple of years now and we are very excited to have him join our program. He will be expected to help lead our pitching staff and will be tested very early to see if he is ready to pitch at a high level. He has great composure on the mound and was asked to pitch in some big games as a junior. I am expecting him to have a big senior year for Batavia High School and I am looking forward to working with him at Genesee next year.

Also signing on with the squad is Ken Urbanik of Lyndonville.


Kenny is a very versatile player and is an extremely hard worker. He will do very well in our program because of his work ethic. Right now he is projected to play a corner in the outfield and we are excited about having a player of his size, with his speed, in our program. He is the type of player that always succeeds in our program and it will be very interesting to see what happens after a couple of years in our program.

January 16, 2011 - 4:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, youth, sports, hockey, Harvester Avenue.


Area youngsters were able to get in a little hockey practice today on Harvester Avenue, where resident Kevin Hamilton built a small hockey rink. Hamilton, who coaches two youth hockey teams, said he constructed the rink out of a wood frame, a plastic sheet base and slowly builds up the ice over time, adding a little water over several days.

January 15, 2011 - 5:00pm
posted by Timothy Walton in batavia, notre dame high school, sports.


The Falleti Ice Arena was packed with both Notre Dame and Batavia fans who were hoping their team would come away victorious. It was the Notre Dame fans that got their wish as their team had a powerful third period and defeated host Batavia 6-2.

"We were pumped to get out there and play them," said Batavia forward Nate Palmer. "It's always a fun game, but unfortunately it didn't end the way we wanted it to."

Batavia Notre Dame got on the board first as Josh Johnson snuck the puck by Batavia goaltender Adam Kurek on a play set up by Dylan Versage. 

Batavia failed to produce a strong offense in the first period, but came out strong early in the second as Conor Holvey set up Tim Finnell to tie the game at 1-1.

Notre Dame responded shortly after by taking the 2-1 as Tyler Kessler stole the puck and beat Kurek for the goal.

Josh Marr capped off the second-period scoring as he broke down the right side of the ice and sniped the puck over the right shoulder of ND goaltender Tom Dehr.

The third period was all ND as they capitalized four times.

The Irish came out hard and Zach Blew lit the lamp off a set up from Josh Johnson and Dylan Versage.

Story continued after the jump: 

January 15, 2011 - 12:36pm
posted by Timothy Walton in sports.



January 14, 2011 - 11:38am
posted by Timothy Walton in notre dame high school, sports, Falleti Ice Arena.


It's one of the biggest games of the year. This Saturday the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-1-2-1) will host the Batavia Ice Devils (4-6-1-0) at the Falleti Ice Arena in front of an almost guaranteed sold out arena. The netcasting will begin shortly before the game that is set to faceoff at 1 p.m.

The game will be netcast live right here on The Batavian. It will include play-by-play updates and an up-to-date scoreboard and time-clock. Anyone following the netcast will also be able to participate in game polls, and get the chance to ask questions in a chat room style.

This matchup will be the first time the two teams meet this year. Notre Dame will be led by leading scorer Jack Nenni and goaltender Tom Dehr, who again this year, is ranked one of the top goaltenders in Section V. Batavia will be led by Junior forward Josh Marr, who is currently leading the team in points.

January 11, 2011 - 9:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, baseball, Batavia Muckdogs, sports.

In an item added at the least minute to the city council agenda Monday night, the council approved an extension to the Dwyer Stadium lease agreement for the Batavia Muckdogs.

Formalizing the lease agreement extension in a hurry-up fashion was necessary, said City Manager Jason Molino, because it's only been recently that another year of professional baseball in Batavia was "set in stone." 

Once that was in place, Molino said, the New York-Penn League demanded a lease agreement be in place well before the start of the season.

The NY-Penn League has been pretty demanding during the off season, Molino said, and the city has, in response, made improvements to the field and locker rooms.

"You talk about unfunded state mandates," Molino said. "Minor league baseball has mandates of its own."

Near the end of the 2010 season, league president Ben Hayes spoke harshly about the condition of the Dwyer playing field. Molino said the field wasn't in the horrid shape Hayes made it out to be, but the league did have some (valid) concerns.

"We addressed those concerns in the fall and the league is satisfied with the changes that we've made," Molino said.

The renewed lease makes few changes to prior agreements and does not increase the funding burden on taxpayers, Molino said.

The primary change is memorializing a capital expense fund balance with a minimum balance of $20,000, though the city has a $60,000 balance currently, Molino said.

January 7, 2011 - 12:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, Batavia Rotary Club, sports.


Notre Dame entered the 4th quarter of the Rotary Club of Batavia Girls Basketball Tournament finals down by 8 points.

All night, Perry gave Notre Dame room for plenty of attempts, but the shots just weren't dropping. That all changed in the 4th quarter. Suddenly, whatever invisible shield had been keeping the ball out of the basket disappeared.

The Lady Irish scored 20 points in the 4th quarter, compared only six points for Perry.

Final score, Notre Dame 45, Perry 39.

Carly Pike had 19 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 steals for the Fighting Irish (8-0). Pike scored 13 of her 19 points in the fourth quarter.

In the consolation game, Alexander beat Batavia 56-52.

All-Tournament players: Cheslea Turcer, Alexander; Lisa Redband, Batavia; Karissa 
Schuster and Erica Miller, Perry; Riley Norton, Notre Dame; Carly Pike was named MVP.


Winners photo submitted by Tim Call.

More pictures after the jump, with even more available for purchase by clicking here.

NOTE: For Tuesday's games, I used the wrong pricing sheet for photo purchases. That's been corrected and those photos are available by clicking here.

January 5, 2011 - 10:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports.


Perry and Notre Dame will move on to a finals match in the 2010 Batavia Rotary Girls Basketball Tournament at GCC on Thursday.

Both squads won by big margins in first-round action Tuesday.

Perry beat Batavia High 50-31 and the Lady Irish overcame Alexander 60-44.

A few more pictures after the jump.  A total of 75 photos are available for sale by clicking here.

December 30, 2010 - 11:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports.


With about two minutes left and the Batavia Blue Devils down by five points, the instructions from Coach Buddy Brasky were clear -- whatever you do, don't foul number three.

You don't want to put the ball in the hands of the other team's best player in the closing minutes of a tight came.

Then Batavia's senior guard Ryan Pyatt did exactly what would get him pulled from the game. He fouled Jamell Johnson, number three for Charles Finney.

Earlier in the game, Finney's senior forward scored the 1,000th point of his career. That's how good he is.

It was clear at this stage of Thursday's game, giving points to Finney could possibly sink the home team's hopes of winning the 29th Annual Batavia Lions Club Boys Basketball Tournament. Up to this moment, Batavia never had even had as much as a single-digit lead.

But then Johnson, who had 24 points on the night, gave Batavia a gift. He missed his free throw.

Andrew Hoy, Batavia's all-time leading scorer, on the other hand, would be fouled four times in the final two minutes.

He didn't miss his shots. Not one of them.

In all, during those closing minutes, Hoy sunk 10 straight free throws (two came on a technical foul by Finney's Justin Allison), plus put up two points on a critical jump shot, to lead Batavia to a 53-50 victory.

"I just kept telling myself, have confidence," Hoy said after the game. "I kept reminding myself, I’ve made a million free throws. This is nothing different.

"When you're at the free throw line, you’ve got to make those," the senior guard added. "They call them free for a reason."

Allison's technical foul -- he mouthed off to Batavia's sophomore forward Justin Washington and then to a ref -- is what changed the momentum in the game, both Brasky and Hoy said.

At that point, with 2:30 left, Finney had an eight-point lead and were hitting their shots.

After that, Finney would score two more points (despite having players go to the free throw line three times) and Batavia would score 13, with 12 coming from Hoy, who had 22 points on the night.

"I kept stressing to my kids, the game’s not over," Brasky said. "That’s why we play 32 minutes. You don’t get too high when you go on a run, you don’t get too low when they go on a run. You play 32 minutes and we did.

"We took advantage of the technical and I give our kids a lot of credit for that," Brasky added.

Batavia moves to 7-1 and Finney is 8-2.

Batavia's other top scorers: Justin Washington, 12 (and 13 rebounds), Ryan Funke, 6, and Ryan Pyatt with 6. Spencer Stressing had 3 and Dylan Hodownes and Tommy Prospero each added two.

For Finney, Dan Drummond had 12 points and 12 rebounds.

In the consolation game, Notre Dame beat Dansville 70-45. Vinnie Zambito scored 22 points with seven assists for Notre Dame, now 5-1. Zach Hotze scored 13, Doane McCulley, 11, Mike Pratt, 9, Tom Whelehan, 6. Pratt's 9 came on three, three-point goals.


The Batavia Blue Devils with their championship trophy. Photo courtesy Bev Hoy.

More pictures after the jump (to purchase pictures, click here):

December 29, 2010 - 1:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, Batavia Lions Club, sports.


The Batavia Blue Devils will advance to the finals of the annual Batavia Lions Club Basketball Tournament at GCC on Thursday.

The Blue Devils will face the Finney Falcons.

The Falcons (8-1) defeated Notre Dame (4-1) 76-68.

To advance, the Blue Devils (6-1) beat Dansville 87-38.

For Batavia, Andrew Hoy scored 24 points and had eight steals. Other point leaders, Ryan Pyatt, 11, Dylan Hodownes, 11, Ryan Funke, 10, Mitch Francis, 10, Justin Washington, 8. Ryan DiMartino had 10 rebounds.

For Notre Dame, Vincent Zambito, 15, Doane McCulley, 15, Tom Whelehan, 8, Marquis Love, 8, Josh Hotze, 8, Mike Pratt, 8, Zach Hotze, 6.


About 15 more pictures after the jump, and all of the pictures, including another 20 or so, can be purchased by clicking here.


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