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byron-bergen

September 1, 2015 - 6:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, byron-bergen, football, sports.

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Some key starters from the 2014 edition of the Ebla/Byron Bergen Lancers have graduated and moved on, but head coach Mike Cintorino is confident in the squad he will put on the field in 2015.

"This is the most veteran group we've ever had," Cintorino said. "We have a lot of guys who played with us as freshman and sophomores and we've got 15 seniors returning, mostly starters, so we lost some names such as (Steele) Truax, (Mike) Shanley and (Garrett) Chapell, and guys like that, but in all reality, we had guys with us last year already ready to fill those roles who have been with us for a couple of years."

John Hockmuth, a standout at tight end last season, has been waiting his turn to lead the offense and is ready to step in as QB-1, Cintorino said. Richard Flores, perhaps the fast running back in the Genesee Region, returns as half-back and there are younger guys ready to contribute at receiver and tight end.

Size and experience will benefit the offensive and defensive lines.

"They've been playing together actually since they were in 7th or 8th grade, so this line is probably the most experienced line that we've hever had in terms of them playing together and having that continuity," Cintorino said.

There are no push overs in the GR this year, Cintorino said, so preperation for each game is going to be a key to a successful 2015 for the Lancers.

"It's that old cliche, one week at a time," Cintorino said. "We don't want to look ahead. Right now, our number one focus is Pembroke. In a league like this, you can't take any team for granted."

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June 11, 2015 - 1:24pm
posted by Traci Turner in byron-bergen, education, schools.

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 Byron-Bergen Superintendent of Schools Casey Kosiorek (left) and the WNY Video Recording Coaching Institute’s Executive Director Jim Thompson (right) at their recent presentation for the TeachLivE conference at the University of Central Florida.

Press release:

Teachers throughout the region will have a new professional development resource, thanks to a collaboration between the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (GVEP) and the Byron-Bergen Central School District. The Western New York Video Recording Coaching Institute will incorporate a proven video-coaching model with a groundbreaking virtual-classroom simulator, TeachLivE™, which allows educators to develop and improve their teaching practices in a safe environment.

The new institute will be headed by Executive Director Jim Thompson, who has led the development of BBCSD’s own successful Instructional Coaching initiative since 2013. He and Byron-Bergen’s Superintendent of Schools Casey Kosiorek recently made a presentation at the National TeachLivE Conference at the University of Central Florida to educators from across the country, who were there to learn about this innovative approach to professional development.

Kosiorek credits the GVEP’s District Superintendent Kevin MacDonald for supporting the Institute’s vision.

“Mr. MacDonald has shown unwavering support for this initiative, and his support has made this a reality,” he said. “This is a great approach to support teachers in becoming the best they can be. We are very excited to be hosting it here, and helping to make these services available to teachers in our entire area. Ultimately, this is a huge benefit, not just for the teachers, but also for all of their students.” 

TeachLivE is a computer-simulated, mixed-reality classroom. Teachers step into this virtual classroom and within a minute experience immersion and suspension of disbelief, allowing them to rehearse high-leverage teaching practices related to student achievement. Much like a flight simulator for pilots, TeachLivE simulates a classroom experience for teachers to hone their skills.

The tool will be combined with individual coaching, role-playing, model lessons and videotaping of lessons. The Institute’s program is designed to guide teachers, using a style that is highly interactive, supportive, and reflective.

“Everyone can get better; this is not just for new teachers, or superstars,” Kosiorek said. “No matter where a teacher is, they can be better. We’d like to see every teacher at Byron-Bergen get involved in Instructional Coaching within the next three years.”

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The new WNY Video Recording Coaching Institute will offer teachers a rich professional development experience, complete with individualized video coaching, and a safe environment for teaching improvement in TeachLivE’s simulated classroom environment.

June 3, 2015 - 2:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, byron-bergen.
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Byron-Bergen Elementary School’s Celebration of Reading Challenge proves that Principal Brian Meister and Assistant Principal Amanda Cook, along with the entire student population, are “stuck” on reading.

Press release:

The Byron-Bergen Elementary School’s Celebration of Reading Challenge began on Dec. 5 — students pledged to read 20,000 books before the school year ended. On May 28, the entire school population gathered to hear the results, delivered by teacher Debbie Slocum: just over 510 motivated young readers had exceeded their goal, reading a total of 23,473 books.

And the students’ reward for all that reading? Inspired by the book “Stuck” by Oliver Jeffers, about an impossible tree where everything thrown into it gets stuck, Principal Brian Meister and Assistant Principal Amanda Cook promised to allow themselves to be duct taped to chairs during the assembly, and to wear clothes made of duct tape the next day.

“It’s a fun way to get students 'stuck' on reading,” Meister said. “It keeps them excited and wanting to read more, while the duct tape event itself is something they will always remember.”           

The Celebration of Reading is the brainchild of Byron-Bergen’s English Language Arts (ELA) Committee, which began the challenge in 2013 with a goal of reading 10,000 books (a target also exceeded by more than 8,000). The assembly included guest speaker Nancy Bailey from the Bergen Public Library who invited the children to visit the library and to keep reading over the summer. Selected readers from each grade level received new books to jumpstart their summers, some of which were signed by the authors or illustrators.

Teachers read selections from a few favorite books, complete with comic flourishes. Craig Schroth read from Mo Willems’ “Knuffle Bunny”; Taylor Farruggia read from “Strega Nona” by Tomie DePaola; Heather Young entertained with “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” by Judith Viorst and Ray Cruz; and Daneen Williams read from “Miss Nelson is Missing” by Harry G. Allard Jr. and James Marshall. Many other teachers participated in the event, including Nicole Newton, Mariah LaSpina and Karen Tischer.

A highlight of the readings was a hip-hop version of the Dr. Seuss classic “Green Eggs and Ham” by teachers Ken Rogoyski and Megan Wahl, assisted by student Katherine Rogoyski as “Fox I Am.” Students were also treated to a showing of the school’s video “Read a Book” (based on Taylor Swift’s song “Shake It Off”), which was produced at the beginning of the school year.

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Byron-Bergen student Katherine Rogoyski and teacher Mrs. Wahl make Dr. Seuss’s “Green Eggs and Ham” come alive.

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Mrs. Cook and Mr. Meister sport their custom-tailored duct tape regalia to celebrate Byron-Bergen Elementary students reading 23,473 books.

May 18, 2015 - 12:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, byron-bergen.

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Press release:

The Byron-Bergen Central School District’s emphasis on educating the whole student recently earned it a place on Character.org’s annual list of State Schools and Districts of Character. These 80 schools and four districts from around the United States demonstrate a dedicated focus on character development that has a true positive impact on academic achievement, student behavior, and school climate.

“This is a great honor for everyone in our district — from the students and parents to the teachers and administrators. They have all been united in their efforts to make our schools places where students can learn to be both intelligent and good citizens,” said BBCSD Superintendent Casey Kosiorek. “I am so proud to see our school community recognized for their dedication and hard work.”

BBCSD adopted a district-wide framework for character education in 2012 that teaches students about leadership, ethics, decision making, and respect. It centered on the district’s core values, "Challenge, Engage, Nurture." The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (www.violencepreventionworks.org) has since become an integral part of the education experience at all grade levels. “The Leader in Me” (www.theleaderinme.org), a whole-school transformational model that uses Steven Covey’s Seven Habits and gives students self-confidence and life skills, was also adopted in 2012.

The extensive School of Character application process was navigated by Amanda Cook and Patrick McGee, assistant principals at the elementary and Jr./Sr. high schools. “The process offered us the chance to reflect on our character education initiatives and identify areas of strength as well as opportunity,” Cook said. “Their reviewers gave us feedback that will help us strengthen current practices using the 11 Principles of Character Education framed by Character.org.”

The character education movement is a proactive effort to help students recognize, and then do, what’s right. In schools of character, teachers work together as professionals, with parents and community members as partners. They positively shape the social, emotional, and character development of their students. Children in these schools feel safe, respected, and connected to those around them, allowing them to thrive academically and socially and be motivated to give back to their communities.

Character.org (www.character.org), is a national nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., that works with schools to inspire, educate, and empower young people to be ethical and engaged citizens.

Caption: Character education is built into daily life at all grade levels at Byron-Bergen Schools. (l-r) Students Clare Fraser and Grace Pulcini; assistant principals Patrick McGee and Amanda Cook; students Pearl Jolliff and Rayna Brew.

May 15, 2015 - 9:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Business Education Alliance, BEA, business, batavia, byron-bergen.

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The Genesee County Business/Education Alliance held its annual meeting this morning at Terry Hills. The event featured presentations by students who have been through BEA programs, awards and election of officers.

Jay Wolcott, a teacher with Byron-Bergen High School, received an APPLE Award, as did Ed Shaver (second picture), a teacher with Elba High School.

Other awards: Business Partner of the Year, Dan Harvey, formerly of Graham Manufacturing; and partner in education awards to Graham Manufacturing and Amada Tool America.

Wolcott and Shaver are pictured with Eve Hens, director of BEA.

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Nick Corsivo

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 Students from Alexander Central School who attended BEA Camps last summer. Lauren Young, Nick Allen, Andrew Young.

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Heather Dries and Chrstine Stevens, students at Byron-Bergen, in Wolcott's manufacturing systems classes.

May 15, 2015 - 1:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, Casey Kosiorek, schools, education.

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Casey Kosiorek, third from left, superintendent of schools for Byron-Bergen, was honored last night in Rochester by the Genesee Valley ASCD with a Supervision Award.

The award recognizes Kosiorek's outstanding leadership of the school district from an organization with a mission to highlight exceptional curriculum and supervision practices.

Also honored were J. Kenneth Graham Jr., of Rush-Henrietta, Renee Williams, of Honeoye Falls-Lima, with a Curriculum Award, and Mark Kokanovich, president of the Brighton Board of Education, with a Service Award.

May 13, 2015 - 2:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, byron, bergen, Bergen Fire, dwi drill.

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Byron-Bergen High School held its pre-prom DWI fatal accident simulation this morning to help remind students not to drink and drive. Bergen Fire Department with assistance from Mercy EMS and State Police conducted the drill. 

Participating students were Andrew Sczepanski, Sean Donovan, Celeste Brownwell, Joelle Meister and Nathan McCarthy. EMS Explorer students assisting were Aurora Zinter, Maddie Wittman, Katie Simmons and Jeremy Boeff.

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To purchase prints of photos, click here.

March 19, 2015 - 3:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, schools, education, byron-bergen.

It's Ag Literacy Week and farmers from throughout Genesee County are participating by going to their local schools and sharing about their careers and reading from a book picked especially for the occasion.

The book is "Weaving the Rainbow," by George Ella Lyon and Stephanie Anderson. The picture book is the story of a young woman who raises sheep, shears them, cleans, cards, spins and dyes the wool, using it to create works of woven art. The story is aimed at helping students make the connection between agriculture and its many uses and influences.

Above, Sharon Fuerch reads to a group of second-graders at Byron-Bergen Elementary School this morning.  

Below, Colleen Primm and her daughter Madelynn introduce a pair of their lambs to Byron-Bergen students.

March 7, 2015 - 4:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, high school sports, byron-bergen.

Team quickness and heavy use of a press defense helped Mynderse secure a 43-26 victory over Byron-Bergen in the girls basketball Section V Class C1 championship game played today at Rush-Henrietta High School.

A 15-1 first quarter set the stage for the Bees defeat. It was a hole Byron-Bergen never climbed out of despite scoring 12 points in the second quarter, which turned out to be a higher total than the one scored in the second half by the Bees.

Lindsey Lovett had 11 points for Byron Bergen, and Abbie Kelley scored 10. Sam Donnelly had five.

Lovett and Kelley were named to the All Tournament team.

March 5, 2015 - 5:30pm

Genesee County will have four teams playing for Section V championships in their respective classes this weekend.

Elba's Lady Lancers plays Jasper-Troupsburg for the Class D1 crown at Letchworth at 8 p.m., Friday. Elba beat Arkport last night 68-36.

Byron-Bergen's Lady Bees take on Mynderse at 1 p.m., Saturday, at Rush Henrietta after winning last night 42-38 over Gananda.

The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame take on Genesee Valley in the boys Class D1 championship at 7:15 p.m., Saturday, at Blue Cross Arena. Notre Dame beat Mt. Morris 62-45 to advance. Head Coach Mike Rapone asked that fans be advised that officials are going to clear out the stands at Blue Cross Arena following the completion of the 4:15 p.m. game Saturday. Doors will open for the 7:15 game at 6:45 p.m.

The Batavia Blue Devils go for the Class A2 title at 5 p.m., Sunday, against School of the Arts at Blue Cross Arena. (Click here for coverage of their semi-final game). 

February 28, 2015 - 11:57pm

It was a nifty little move under the basket, a no-look reverse layup from Byron-Bergen's Abbie Kelley. The kind of play good players make.

In this case, it couldn't have come at a more opportune time. Head Coach Rick Krzewinski said it was perhaps the difference maker in the game.

The Lady Bees got to that point by allowing Notre Dame to go on an 11-0 run at the start of the third quarter to erase a 10-point lead for Byron-Bergen in the Section V Class C1 playoff game.

The reverse of fortunes had a familiar ring to the Bees, who lost a home game earlier this season to the Fighting Irish after blowing a first-half lead.

Krzewinski told his players in the locker room at the half, "looks familiar doesn't it?"

One of his girls said, "don't even talk about it."

"Oh, we're going to talk about it," Krzewinski told his team, "because we're not going to let happen what happened last time."

The Bees apparently got the message, and Kelley's nifty basket provided the spark they needed to beat back Notre Dame's momentum.

"Players make plays and that was the perfect time for it," Krzewinski said. "We got our composure back, I thought, and started hitting some shots."

That basket and a three possession change of defense to a 2-3 zone, seemed to break the rhythm of the Irish girls.

Kelley, who has 393 points on the year, did more to carry her team than drop that one score. She was the game's leading scorer with 23. Nobody else on her team was in double digits.

"Today was Bergen's day," said Irish Head Coach Dave Pero. "In the fourth quarter, Abbie Kelley took the game over. We missed way too many free throws. We probably missed 14 free throws (10, actually) and in sectional play, in any game, you can't miss 14 free throws and think you're going to struggle to win. Sometimes you'll get lucky, but the luck of the Irish wasn't with us today."

B-B's diamond defense held Notre Dame's top two scorers to totals a shave below their season PPG averages. Becca Krenzer had 12 points and Shea Norton, 11.

Emma Francis didn't hit a single three and was held to seven points for the game.

"We had the shots we wanted," Pero said. "You have days when they're not going to go in and today was one of those days. But we fought to get back in third quarter and I don't know if we ran out of gas a little bit, we might have, but I've got to take my hat off to Bergen. They played a great basketball game. They played for 32 minutes and that's why they're moving on and we're not."

The Bees had 13 days off before the game and Krzewinski said the team used that time to work on the diamond defense thinking it would be effective against Notre Dame.

"We were hoping maybe we could force some turnovers, worst case maybe slow them down," Krzewinski said. "I thought the girls worked it well and the message was, it will work if you move and they moved. We got out of it what I wanted."

It's been 2008 since Byron-Bergen beat Notre Dame in a girls basketball game, and the Irish seem to be a chief rival for just about every team they play.  The win certainly made Bees fans happy, who whooped it up in the closing seconds of the game.

"Yeah, everybody wants to beat Notre Dame, obviously,"  Krzewinski said. "Year in and year out they're a team that everybody wants to beat and to be able to do this in a sectional game just makes it really sweet. I'm so proud of the way they (his team) played and hung in there and did this. I don't even know what to say."

Next up for Byron-Bergen, the #3 seed in the tournament, is #2 seed Gananda (16-3) at 6 p.m., Tuesday, at a location to be determined.

Pembroke, also a C1 team, lost today to East Rochester.

Oakfield-Alabama and Alexander also lost playoff games today, leaving Byron-Bergen, Batavia and Elba as the three Genesee County girls basketball teams still alive in the postseason. All three have games scheduled for Tuesday.

To purchase prints, click here.

February 25, 2015 - 10:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, high school sports, pembroke, byron-bergen.

Two teams, evenly matched, made for action-packed basketball at Byron-Bergen Tuesday night, but a 14-2 run in the second quarter made all the difference for Pembroke as the Dragons pulled out a 51-45 win in a first-round Section V playoff game.

Byron-Bergen and Pembroke came into the game as the #8 and #9 seeds, both with 7-12 records and having split their two regular season contests.

"We know everything that they're running," said Chad Smith, Bees head coach. "I mean, he had to change up his pace and we were able to adjust to it. We figured it out. We did a great job. He knows pretty much what we're doing. We worked them down to five seconds on the shot clock a lot throughout the night, but they had guys come up big."

Smith and Pembroke Coach Matt Shay agreed that the turning point was the second quarter, when shots stopped dropping for the Bees and the Dragons got hot.

"We really locked down defensively and that was huge because they made some shots in the first quarter and I told the guys after the first quarter, I thought we were playing solid defense, but they were just making tough, good shots, good offensive plays. I told the guys, 'stick with it.' I think the defense looked pretty good and eventually those percentages even themselves out."

The game wasn't really decided into the closing second, but Byron-Bergen wasn't able to run its plays to get some scores.

Smith realizes he has a young team and he's eager to start off-season work with his returning players with an eye toward a stronger 2015-16.

"We've got a great group of kids," Smith said. "They work their tails off for me. I knew it was going to be a fight. They weren't going to give up at all until the end. I'm very proud of our guys.
I think we're moving in the right direction."

For Pembroke, Ryan Cansdale had 16 points, Zack Von Kramer, 10, and Kyle Ludwig hit three triples on his way to a 10-point game.

For the Bees, Steele Truax had 11, and Brandon Burke and Adam Strassner had 10 each.

Next up for Pembroke at 7 p.m., Friday, is #1 seed Mynderse (15-4). 

Shay knows it's going to be a tough game for his young team.

"We're definitely the underdog, which is OK with us because we've been an underdog team for most the season," Shay said. "I don't try to focus too much on the other team. We will get focused on what we do and execute on what we do rather than concentrate on what they do."

To purchase prints, click here.

December 29, 2014 - 2:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, byron-bergen, Byron-Bergen Central Schools.

The Byron-Bergen Central School District needs to improve its online banking security, according to a NYS comptroller's audit released this month.

While the district informed the auditors that some of the report's recommendations were already being complied with or will be met, the board rejected one of the recommendations.

Auditors said that while the district has online access to all of its accounts -- including high-balance savings accounts -- such access is unnecessary.

The board countered: Actually, online banking for all district accounts is unavoidably necessary, thanks to the state.

"Due to the remote location of our school district," the district board responded, "and limited district office staff due to the ever-increasing budget constraints caused by the property tax cap, freezing of state aid and the Gap Eliminate Adjustment, we are unable to do banking transactions on a regular basis at our banking institution's branch locations due to distance and time away from other duties district office staff perform. We must be as efficient as possible in the use of our existing office staff. That efficiency is increased with the ability to our banking functions online."

The audit found that two employees were keeping their usernames and passwords on a piece of paper and while one document was locked in a filing cabinet, the other was kept in a cabinet that wasn't always locked.

Online-banking users also do not properly log out of their banking sessions and then delete their browsing history, cache and cookies, according to the audit.

The audit also knocked the district for not having copies on file of its banking agreements, but district officials said they felt the confidential information contained in these documents were best secured at the bank and not in district offices.

The district is not taking full advantage, the report states, of their bank's notification alerts for high-threshold transactions.

The district said it has instituted additional staff training in these area were best practices were not already in place.

December 19, 2014 - 2:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron, byron-bergen, bergen.

Press release:

The Byron-Bergen Central School District community has been doing an amazing job of providing assistance to some of our community families during the holidays for many years. 

The B-B community members, administrators, faculty, staff, and students donated toys and games, clothing items, rolls of wrapping paper, and more than 1,000 nonperishable food items. 

The B-B winter sports teams donated more than 500 nonperishable food items and assisted with packing fruit bags! Also, close to $2,400 was donated by the community, administrators, faculty, and staff so we could purchase gifts for families in need from our school district. 

All the food items will be picked up by the local Hesperus Lodge No. 837 Free & Accepted Masons for sorting and packing into 90-plus food baskets for local families (as they have done for many, many years), with several community, Board of Education, and school district members pitching in to help. 

Sponsors of this holiday goodwill were organized by Hesperus Lodge No. 837 Free & Accepted Masons and coordinated by Dick Sands; and include the faculty, staff, and students of Byron-Bergen CSD; the Byron-Bergen community members, and area businesses. 

Food baskets and gifts will be delivered on Saturday, Dec. 20, by the Masons, community, and school volunteers. All involved truly believe in the magic of the holiday season!

October 18, 2014 - 11:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, elba, high school sports, alexander, byron-bergen.

Before facing off against Elba/Byron-Bergen, Alexander's Head Coach Tim Sawyer offered an assessment of what it would take the Trojans to beat the Lancers.

"We need 48 minutes of perfect football," he said.

After the game, Sawyer said his team got pretty close.

"I feel like we get maximum effort out of our boys, a good effort, but we still continue to make some mistakes," Sawyer said. "Today we played a pretty complete game. I'd say 42, 44 minutes of pretty good football."

The result was a 21-0 win, giving Alexander a 5-2 record on the season and carrying them into sectional play on a four-game win streak.

Pre-game, the meeting of the two 4 and 2 Genesee Region rivals promised to be a close battle, and for the first 11 minutes of play, that's exactly what it was. But as the scoreless first quarter drew to a close, LB Derrick Busch cut in front of a Lancers receiver to snag a Garrett Chapell pass and dash 28 yards unimpeded for the score.

"That gave us the momentum that carried us through the game," said senior Tyler Laird.

In the second quarter, RB Tristan Aldinger scored on a 44-yard run and RB Jacob Wozniak scored on a 50-yard run.

"Running up the middle, my fullback, Al Hadsall, had a really good block on the inside, so I broke it off on the outside of him and the whole team really put it together on that play and helped me score," Wozniak said.

Sawyer said he knew coming into the game that the Lancers feature a strong, aggressive defense, and he came prepared.

Six different players took snaps and four backs took turns taking handoffs.

"We wanted to use our speed early to get out wide and get them to spread and they did," Sawyer said. "Then we started running zone run up the middle, and you guys saw the game kind of open up for us."

Wozniak and Aldinger shouldered most of the load out of the backfield. Wozniak had 23 carries for 108 yards and the TD, and Aldinger had 128 yards and a TD on 14 carries.

Elba/BB isn't an easy team to shut down offensively. It's a good team with Chapell, John Hochmuth and Steele Truax to power the scoring.

Yet, they were shutout.

"I give all the credit to (Defensive Coach Matt) McCracken," Sawyer said. "I think he's under 30, but he's (the) mastermind."

Laird said the defensive line really sparked the performance.

"Our guys were working hard," Laird said. "Our D-line has got a push and they were opening up the lanes for me to make tackles. That goes for me and the other linebackers Cody Trzecieski and Jake Wozniak. The linemen really opened it up for us."

This is the second year the Trojans have run a three-man front on defense, and it's kind of a secret weapon, Sawyer said.

"I think that confuses our opponents a bit and we're getting pretty good at it," Sawyer said.

On Saturday, Alexander travels to Honeoye Falls for a first-round sectional game against Avon.

Last year the Trojans made it all the way to Section V finals. This year's team is a very different kind of team, with more speed and not as much power, but Laird said that's the only difference between each year's teams.

This year's team is just as ready to challenge for a title.

"It was rough at the beginning of the year trying to adjust to a new scheme, but these kids are working just as hard as that team did last year and they just keep getting better every single week," Laird said. "It's basically the same atmosphere as last year. Five and one in the GR and I'm excited. It feels great."

Top photo: Jacob Wozniak breaks free for Alexander's third, and final touchdown -- a 50-yard run.

Elba/BB's Mike Shanley comes close to blocking Zach Shilvock second of three extra points.

Steele Truax dives for a few extra yards in the third quarter.

Tristan Aldinger comes close to a third-quarter pass interception.

Samuel Browne picking up yardage in the third quarter.

Mike Shanley on a run in the third quarter.

UPDATE: Rick Franclemont also took pictures of the game. You can view them here.

To purchase prints, click here.

October 15, 2014 - 11:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, yogurt.

Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer and Assemblyman Steve Hawley just happened to be in Bergen this morning when they learned that Gov. Andrew Cuomo had signed legislation first conceived by students at Byron-Bergen School to make yogurt the official state snack.  

The two representatives who carried the bill through the legislature immediately headed over to the school to celebrate the bill's passage with the students who made it all possible.

Below, a recording of the announcement, with Principal Brian Meister.

Several of the students wanted to hug Sen. Ranzenhofer when they first saw him at the school this afternoon.

 

October 10, 2014 - 4:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, bergen.

When I was out there today, I liked this early-fall-day scene I spotted across the road from Byron-Bergen School.

BTW: Byron-Bergen is hosting a first-ever Friday night football game tonight. It's a big local football night. Batavia HS has its homecoming and the 5-0 Le Roy team meets 5-0 Bishop Kearney in a homecoming game. (I'll be in Le Roy).

October 10, 2014 - 4:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, byron-bergen, WNY Tech Academy.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley and John Jakubowski, a workforce development consultant for Genesee County Economic Development Center, spoke to students at the WNY Tech Academy at Byron-Bergen High School this afternoon.

Hawley spoke about how he works in Albany to help get legislation passed and drum up support for projects such as the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park and WNY STAMP.

Cooperation and relationship building is a big part of the job, he said.

"Communication is the key to getting anything done," Hawley said. "It doesn't matter whether it's texting, whether it's e-mailing, whether it's on the phone, but the best sort of communication is what we're doing here today, looking at each other, eyeball-to-eyeball. You know who I am now. I know who you guys are."

Jakubowski, a retired educator, told students about how he uses his expertise to create job-training programs so the companies coming into the Ag Park and STAMP have a local workforce of job-ready applicants when they open their doors.

September 29, 2014 - 10:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, byron-bergen.
Elizabeth Findlay David Keller

Press release:

Byron-Bergen Central Schools has named two alumni to the Hall of Fame for 2014.  Elizabeth Findlay (class of 1980) and David Keller (class of 1975) join the ranks of other distinguished Byron-Bergen alumni honored with a place in the Hall of Fame for their achievements after graduation.

The Byron-Bergen Alumni Hall of Fame recognizes the accomplishments of the district’s graduates, providing young people of our district with positive adult role models, showing that graduates of Byron-Bergen can achieve high levels of accomplishment in their lives.  This honor is in its twelfth year and has become part of our school district culture and a permanent reminder to our students about the outcome of hard work and diligence.

This year’s honorees exemplify dedication, leadership and service.

While attending Byron-Bergen Central School District, Miss Elizabeth Findlay participated in National Honor Society, Band, Chorale, Solo Festival and All County Band.  She earned a Bachelor’s Degree from SUNY Fredonia in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Reading from SUNY Brockport.  Miss Findlay started teaching at Byron-Bergen in 1985 as a kindergarten teacher for her first 5 years, becoming a 6th grade teacher in 1990 and continues in that role today.  Miss Findlay has been very active in Byron-Bergen Central School District, participating on many committees, mentoring new teachers, and is a Master Teacher for student teachers.  Miss Findlay also participated in the Bureau of Education and Research in Rochester “using guided reading to help your students become better readers.”  In the 2005-06 school year, she was selected as the Byron-Bergen Middle School Teacher of the Year.  In 2008, she was chosen as the Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year.  Miss Findlay has served on the Gillam-Grant Board of Directors and is a member of the St. James Episcopal Church.  Miss Findlay is a compassionate role model and a constant source of encouragement and inspiration to the youth of the Byron-Bergen learning community.

Mr. David Keller was active in French Club, Future Teachers of America, American Field Service, Yearbook Co-Editor, Swim Club, Concert Band, Marching Band, and hosted an exchange student from Brazil during his time at Byron-Bergen.  In 1975, Mr. Keller joined the U.S. Army Bands Program and studied music under the Navy Master Chief Mike Scairini.  Upon graduation from the School of Music, Mr. Keller served in multiple Army Bands throughout the United States and in Berlin, Germany.  In 1992, Mr. Keller was selected to the prestigious U.S. Army Field Band (the musical ambassadors of the Army) in Washington, D.C.  The culmination of his military career came when he was selected as the first musician to become a Command Sergeant Major.  Sergeant Major Keller (retired) served our nation for over 34 years and while in the U.S. Army Field Band, performed in all 50 states.  He performed for every Presidential Inaugural event from George Bush, Sr. through Barrack Obama.  During his Military career, Mr. Keller received numerous awards and medals.  Mr. Keller has performed with many symphonies and orchestras throughout the United States.  During his long and distinguished military career, Mr. Keller pursued his education at numerous universities and colleges, ultimately studying music with Karl Nitchie, Principle Bassoonist Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.  Mr. Keller is a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.  Mr. Keller is currently the Principle Bassoonist, Genesee Symphony; Bassoonist/Clarinetist, Batavia Concert Band; pit musician for Genesee Community College, Batavia Players, and Byron-Bergen CSD.  Mr. Keller participates in the Byron-Bergen holiday and spring concerts (2011-present), performs in the pit orchestra for musicals, and has assisted with construction/painting of the school musical sets.  Currently, Mr. Keller is the treasurer of the B-B Music Boosters, and has been instrumental in fundraising events for the group; and is an active member of Gillam-Grant.  Mr. Keller enjoys gardening, renovating his 179 year old house in South Byron, taking cruises, and being helpful to others.  Mr. Keller’s loyalty to his community/country, passion for music, and tireless volunteerism make him an outstanding role model for our youth.

The 2014 Byron-Bergen Alumni Hall of Fame inductees will be honored on Friday, October 17, 2014.  They will spend the day visiting with Byron-Bergen students and sharing how their school experience influenced their lives.  After an induction ceremony and dinner that evening, the two honorees will be recognized just prior to the boys’ varsity soccer game.  If you would like to attend the induction ceremony and dinner ($25.00 per person), please contact Patty Gunio at (585) 494-1220, ext. 2329 by October 10, 2014, to find out the details and make a reservation.  (Seating is limited to 80 people.)

September 27, 2014 - 10:40pm

It was Robert Neyland, the legendary Tennessee head coach, who first observed that the team which makes the fewest mistakes usually wins.

Neyland also said teams need to make their breaks and pounce on opportunity.

While Elba/Byron-Bergen wasn't without its own miscues in a Saturday afternoon scrap on its home field, the inability of Oakfield-Alabama to strike from the red zone on successive drives in the second quarter turned out to be a deal breaker for the Hornets.

The Lancers won the defensive battle 7-6.

Brian Palone, O-A's head coach, gave credit to the Lancers' defense, but also said mental errors by his players and a lack of execution on the details in the red zone hurt his team's chance of notching a win.

"I also have to do a better job with play calling down here at times to give us a better opportunity," Palone said. "I'll point the finger at myself  for some of the stuff we had down here in the red zone. Some of it is on them. It goes both ways, but we just didn't finish."

On one possession, with the ball inside the five, Elba/BB even gave O-A a whole new set of downs on a pass interference call, either because of a stout defense or an inability to finish, the Hornets couldn't punch it in.

The Hornets would return the favor, stopping a Lancers drive on the goal line, in the 4th quarter.

Elba/BB also had its share of turnovers and penalties to help keep points off the board.

"I'm just glad we both did have mistakes," Lancers Head Coach Mike Cintorino said. "I'm glad we're both kind of even. We've seen games and we've had games ourselves where those mistakes aren't even and it ends up being a game you give away.  It very easily could have gone the other way today.  We had some opportunities that we didn't capitalize on and our defense bailed us out. They came up big."

The way Cintorino sees the game is that two well-prepared defenses shut down a pair of powerful offenses.

"You get two offenses like this, one that really passes the ball well and one that really runs the ball well and you think it's going to be this high scoring game, but both teams did a really nice job preparing for the other offense and it turned out to be a great defensive game," Cintorino said.

Both coaches said they were proud of their defenses.

"It was a real grinder of a game that was just going to come down to who had the ball last," Palone said. "We're all really proud of the way our team held together."

O-A put points on the board first when Trent Stack pulled in an Alan Chatt nine-yard pass just over the goal line (top photo).

Being down 6-0 seemed to give the Lancer's offense a spark it lacked through the entire first half.  The combination of Garrett Chapell  to John Hochmuth seemed unbreakable as QB and tight end connected for reception after reception, including a leaping grab by Hochmuth on the sideline to secure another first down.

"Early on, John had a drop, but the best athletes I have ever coached know how to come back from adversity in a game," Cintorino said.  "He had that same idea in the Holley game where he had a drop and came back with a huge touchdown for us on the next drive."

Hochmuth had 10 receptions for 142 yards on the day, but it was Chapell who finished off the winning drive.

With the ball on the three, Chapell ran a keeper wide right and found little in the way of opposition from the Hornet's defense.

An extra point kick and the Lancers had the seven points that would prove enough to move the team to 3-1 on the season.

Chatt threw a lot of passes -- 40 on the day, and completed half of them for 259 yards, with a TD toss and an interception. Sal Schwable had five catches for 86 yards and Stack had four receptions for 65 yards.

Chapell had 13 completions on 23 attempts for 154 yards. Truax carried the ball 14 times for 61 yards. He also had 16 tackles on defense and a fumble recovery.

Trent Stack holds the ball aloft after putting the Hornets on the board first in the third quarter.

John Hochmuth with a grab on the sideline to help keep the Lancer's eventual winning drive alive.

Reice Woodward found that one pass near the sideline in the second quarter was just a bit beyond his grasp.

Hornets QB Alan Chatt.

Hochmuth grabs for an O-A runner.

Steele Truax on a big gainer in the 4th quarter that would help put the Lancers on the two-yard line with a chance to extend the team's lead, but O-A stopped the drive and took over on downs.

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