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September 16, 2017 - 4:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, batavia, Batavia HS.

The Batavia Blue Devils moved to 2-1 on the season with a 28-13 victory over Cardinal-O'Hara at Cardinal-O'Hara this afternoon.

Ray Leach rushed for 179 yards on 21 carries and scored a TD.

Chandler Baker gained 91 yards on the ground, scoring once, on nine carries. He was 7-10 passing for 33 yards.

On defense, John Kindig had seven tackles and a fumble recovery. Josh Barber had seven tackles and two interceptions, including one on Cardinal-O'Hara's two-yard line that he returned for a touchdown to close out the game.

Anthony Ray had six tackles.

September 16, 2017 - 3:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, football, sports.

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After replacing the injured starter at QB, Le Roy's Cole Biggins helped his offense put together two scoring drives in the 4th quarter Friday night to lift the Oatkan Knights from 18-7 down to a 19-18 victory over archrival Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen.

Biggins capped the second drive with a nine-yard TD pass to Reece Tresco with 10 seconds on the clock.  

After coming in during the 2nd quarter, Biggins was 9-14 passing for 73 yards and gained 65 yards on the ground in eight carries.

Kyler LaCarte gained 48 yards on 13 carries and scored on a 14-yard run for Le Roy's first 4th quarter TD.

Reece Tresco caught four passes for 33 yards and a TD. Gavin Luckey gained 25 yards on two receptions.

Bryce Bordonaro had eight tackles and forced and recovered a fumble.

Photos by Ed Henry.

Top photo: Senior Luke Stella and Coach Brian Herdlein celebrate the Knights’ victory.

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Reece Tresco hauls in the game-winning TD 

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Reece Tresco (16) and Cole Biggins (22)

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Kyler LaCarte

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Gavin Luckey with a tackle.

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Bryce Bordonaro with a tackle.

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Cole Biggins races 31 yards through the Raiders’ defense for a TD.

September 16, 2017 - 12:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports.

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Zach von Kramer rushed for 250 yards on 15 carries and three touchdowns to lead the Pembroke Dragons to a 48-6 win over Notre Dame.

Von Kramer also had nine tackles on defense.

For the Irish, Timothy Klotzbach was 6-11 passing for 122 yards and one touchdown.

In other games:

  • Attica 53, Oakfield-Alabama/Elba 7: Mason Compton had 148 yards, three touchdowns on five carries. 
  • Alexander 44, Holley 6: The Trojans are now 3-0. For Alexander, Chris McClinic carried the ball 12 times for 162 yards and three touchdowns. Terrez Smith rushed seven times for 71 yards and two touchdowns.Erik Scharlau, four catches, 70 yards, one TD.

We'll have more on the Le Roy vs. Cal-Mum game later in a separate post.

Top and bottom photo by Thomas Ognibene. The rest of the photos by Jim Burns.

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September 10, 2017 - 2:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, football, sports, notify.

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The Blue Devils will be a better team the rest of the season because of their 42-6 loss Aquinas Institute in Van Detta on Saturday, said Head Coach Brennan Briggs after the game.

"I schedule these guys week two, not to try to keep an undefeated season or anything," Briggs said. "That doesn't mean too much to these guys. We scheduled them week two because we knew that we've got a pretty good football team but I wanted to see how tough we were and they proved tonight that they aren't afraid to throw punches with the best of the best. They competed. They worked hard. They weren't afraid to go out there and play football against one of the best teams in the state and I'm proud of them for that."

Briggs doesn't think the score reflects how well his team played. They held the game close in the first half, mounted a drive and showed they could go toe-to-toe, but in the second half, the greater depth of the Little Irish allowed Aquinas to pull away.

"Obviously, you know they are a very, very athletic team and there are some big kids over there," Briggs said.

With Ray Leach, Chandler Baker and Anthony Ray, the Blue Devils have three top players who compare favorably to any athletes in Section V, but Aquinas, in Class AA, has talent at more positions and most of their players aren't playing both offense and defense because of a larger roster.

While the Little Irish had a 21-6 lead at the half, one of their three TDs came on a kickoff return when T.J. Jones just ran through a couple of tackles for a 90-yard return.  On offense and defense in the first two quarters Batavia played Aquinas tight.

"We have a lot of guys going two ways and they're huffing and puffing (in the second half)," Briggs said. "But you know what, they scratched and they clawed and they kept fighting and I'm proud of them. I think that we are a better football team tonight and tomorrow and the rest of the season because of what just happened."

Once again, Leach was impressive on offense, rushing 18 times for 111 yards and a TD.

"You know you go for over 100 yards against Aquinas, that's something," Briggs said. "You've got to be pretty darn good to do that and I'm proud of him. I'm proud of our offensive line."

Baker also put up good numbers against a tough team, completing 11 of 16 pass attempts for 121 yards.

This week will be the first time the Blue Devils have practiced in three years following a loss. Since the opening week loss against Livonia in 2014, Batavia hasn't lost a regular season game.

Briggs thinks his team is tough, dedicated and will come to practice Monday ready to work.

"I know it sounds weird but I think we just became a better football team because these guys are going to respond," Briggs said. "They're going to compete and they're going to be hungry for the rest of the year."

Top photo: Anthony Robinson scores a 30-yard rushing touchdown for Aquinas in the third quarter. Robinson had 19 carries for 164 yards.

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To purchase prints of game photos, click here.

September 9, 2017 - 2:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, football.

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Alexander beat Pembroke on Friday night, 34-0. Chris McClinic rushed 21 times for 200 yards and two TDs for the Trojans. Terrez Smith added two TDs on 10 carries for 129 yards. Erik Scharlau ran 50 yards after an interception for a TD. 

Photos by Destin Danser. Top: Chris McClinic intercepts a Pembroke pass; second, Terrez Smith scores; third, Jacob Miller, Pembroke, and Grant Cox, Alexander battle for a pass. For more pictures and to purchase prints, click here.

Also on Friday:

  • Le Roy beat Wayland-Cohocton 34 -6. Jake Hill was 8 for 20 passing for 131 yards and three TDs. Gaven Cassidy had 13 carries for 59 yards. Ty Williams hauled in two passes for 53 yards and two TDs. Kylar LaCarte, two catches,18 yards and a TD.
  • Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen beat Letchworth/Warsaw 34-6. Bryce Yockel scored twice on 20 caries for 186 yards, and Bobby Stevens had 16 carries for 112 yards and two TDs.

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September 4, 2017 - 8:58am
posted by Howard Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, sports, football.

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The Batavia Blue Devils rolled into Syracuse with the goal of shutting out Johnson City at the Carrier Dome to open the 2017 season. They rode out 37-0 victors.

"I felt really good about our defense," said lineman Anthony Ray. "Our defense is always good. We’ve just got kids who are physical and who can hit. One of our goals was to put up a giant goose egg, not let them have anything, have a shutout, so I think we completed that and that’s a good thing."

Batavia scored on the first play of its first possession when Ray Leach broke out for a 56-yard run to the goal line. The Mustangs then fumbled the kickoff giving Batavia good field position again. On Johnson's City's next possession, the snapper on a fourth-down punt attempt overshot his target resulting in a safety, extending Batavia's lead to 16-0.

That's how the day went for Johnson City. In the second half, when a Johnson City runner was about to cross the goal line, Taiyo Iburi-Bethel caught him from behind and punched the ball out of his hands, sending it out the back of the end zone for a touch back and giving Batavia the ball on the 20. After another long drive by the Mustangs, Chandler Baker snagged one of his two interceptions to deny Johnson City a score again.

"Coming in, we worked very hard in practice, just from the start, from the get-go," said Baker, who is also QB1. "We’ve been improving every single day, so coming in, I had confidence in my guys. I knew they were going to give 100 percent and that’s what they did and we came out with a win."

A win is a win, but Coach Branden Briggs, who expects his players to execute on every play, wasn't entirely satisfied.

"I'm hoping we’re not happy with a win here today, to be honest with you," Briggs said. "It’s good to get a win, but we’ve got a long way to go. We’ve got a lot of mistakes to clean up. I’m confident we can do that, but the kids must buy into that and we’ve got to get much, much better."

Both Baker and Ray said they see room for improvement.

"We did good, but we can always improve," Baker said. "Me personally, I've got to limit the interceptions. I can’t have that. Next week we’re going to have Aquinas and they’re going to be a battle. We’ve just got to work really hard in practice and we’ll be fine."

Ray said there are some tasks the defense needs to address, such as improving player discipline in staying in position and closing up holes up the middle.

The team was eager to play on the big stage of the Carrier Dome, said receiver Ethan Biscaro.

"We were very excited and we were ready," Biscaro said. "We put in enough preparation and practice and we knew if we came out and played like we do at practice that we could beat anyone."

Leach rushed for 256 yards on 19 carries and scored once. He said he was proud of the effort of his teammates.

"Our team did good," Leach said. "We all did our 1/11th and that’s all we needed to do to get the W. We knew we had to come out hard to stop them. Our goal coming into this year was get a shutout at the Carrier Dome. We put our heart into it."

Briggs said Leach also knows there are things he needs to work on to improve.

"He needs to hit that hole a little bit harder," Briggs said. "He can’t dance as much. He understands that. We’ve had that conversation."

These kinds of details will be important when the Blue Devils open their home season Friday against Aquinas, which may be their most daunting opponent of the season.

"It’s going to be a whole different animal next week," Briggs said. "The kids will understand that when they watch the film. Aquinas put up a great game against one of the great teams in AA football in section V. It’s going to be a true test of our character and a true test of where we really are as a benchmark."

Asked if the team came out a little flat in the second half, Briggs said, not flat, but dehydrated.

"They found out they need to get in better shape," Briggs said. "The need to get into conditioning a little more, get serious, take care of their bodies more outside of football."

Baker was 9-13 passing for 193 yards and two TDs.

Taiyo Iburi-Bethel had four receptions for 96 yards and a TD. Eric Davis had a single catch, but it was a big one -- a 30-yard TD.

Antwan Odom had eight tackles.

Photos by Steve Ognibene.

Top photo: Ray Leach on a run to score in opening seconds of the first drive to give Batavia an 8-0 lead.

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Chandler Baker scores early in the game.

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September 2, 2017 - 1:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, football, sports, news.

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Le Roy rallied in the second half Friday night to score three touchdowns and secure a season-opening victory over Dansville, 18-7.

The Oatkan Knights went into the half down 8-7 and then the Mustangs took their opening possession down to the two-yard line, were a Bryce Bordanaro recovered a Dansville fumble.

Le Roy marched 99 yards for a touchdown, taking the lead and the Mustangs never seriously challenged the Knights again.

Kyler LaCarte carried the ball 28 times for 149 yards and a TD.  QB Jake Hill was 10-13 for 144 yards and a TD.  Reece Tresco had two catches for 34 yards and a TD. T.Y. Williams had two receptions for 25 yards, and Gaven Cassidy nabbed three passes for 17 yards.

On defense, Luke Stella had seven tackles, including two for a loss, Tyler Rider had seven, Bryce Bordanaro, five, Jake Hill, five, and Reece Tresco, five.

In other Friday football action:

  • Oakfield-Alabama/Elba beats Perry/Mount Morris, 40-30.  OAE put up 27 first-half points in their season and home opener. Collin O'Halloran led the OAE team with 116 yards on the ground along with two touchdowns. Colton Dillon and Gage Dieterle added rushing touchdowns while Dillon and Ty Mott each had an interception returned for a touchdown. Justice Fanaro led the Yellowjacket offense to 23 fourth quarter points hooking up with Austin Croll for multiple touchdowns through the air. Fanaro finished the game 10-17 for 255 yards and 3 touchdowns while Croll had 249 all purpose yards and three touchdowns. 
  • Pembroke beat York/Pavilion, 48-24. Zach von Kramer rushed for 303 yards on 16 carries, scoring four times.
  • Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen fell to Bath, 24-20.
  • Notre Dame was shut out by Canisteo-Greenword, 45-0.

Le Roy photos by Ed Henry. 

Top photo, Jack Dempsey with the carry.

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Ty Williams.

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Reece Tresco with a seven-yard reception for a TD.

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Gavin Luckey with a reception.

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Kyler LaCarte with the ball.

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LaCarte scores.

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Post game, LaCarte.

September 1, 2017 - 11:19am
posted by alex brasky in Le Roy, football, sports.

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Several high school football mergers have hit the area over the past several years. But, remaining as one of the few holdouts, Le Roy has been holding on to a tradition they’ve built over many years and is anticipating a return to glory sooner rather than later.

Season Outlook

Following a 3-4 finish a season ago, Le Roy is looking to a new cast of characters in order to restore this program as a championship contender. Equipped with 13 seniors, the Knights should have little trouble equaling their opponents experience level each week during the regular season.

What remains to be seen in LR is whether or not this new crop of seniors has what it takes to lead their team on a Section V Playoff run.

It’s tough for me to nail down exactly what to expect from this group, but with Week 1 just one day away – judgement day is coming.

The Knights will benefit from a much-lighter schedule than they had in 2016, with Livonia remaining as the one true Titan on their 2017 slate. The other six games sitting in front of Le Roy are all winnable – giving them a chance to put their best foot forward during the regular season.

As is the case with many local teams.

The merger between the LCAA and GRAA has made things much simpler for the teams in the surrounding regions, making this season one of the most-highly anticipated campaigns in recent memory.

Key Matchups

Week 3 – Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen

The Knights and Raiders endured an overtime battle for the ages last season, with the Raiders turning out the victor. Will this year be different?

Week 4 – Avon

Avon is historically tough and will likely present a difficult challenge for Le Roy in the middle of their schedule. 

Week 5 – Notre Dame

An old-time rivalry returns to the fold in 2017.

Week 6 – Livonia

Livonia has finished within the top-4 in Section V Class B for several seasons in a row. This is going to be a tough matchup for Le Roy. 

Key Players

Bryce Bordonaro (OL/DL)

Bryce is a strong force inside for the Le Roy offensive line, and also serves as one of the team’s leaders. 

Tyler Rider (OL/DL)

Tyler is another big man in the middle for the Knights, and another team leader. 

Luke Stella (RB/LB)

Luke will play a major role in the team’s success this season as a well-sized running back and linebacker. 

Cole Biggins (WR/DB)

Cole has flown under the radar in the past, but his performance this season might be too much to ignore for future opponents. 

Gaven Cassidy (WR/DB)

Gaven provides the Le Roy offense with solid athleticism along the outside of an offense which features a sophomore quarterback. 

Coach’s Quote

“We expect to be competitive in every game we play this season,” said Le Roy Head Coach Brian Herdlein. “Our team speed should be a strength for us this season.

"Our newcomers with the help of the returning players are filling the positions open from graduation last season nicely. We hope to be more of a factor in the postseason this year.”

September 1, 2017 - 11:11am
posted by alex brasky in football, sports, oakfield-alabama, elba.

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Oakfield-Alabama/Elba is in its second season as a merged program and has a load of senior leadership, which they hope will carry them to a resurgent season in 2017.

Season Outlook

Although I have placed O-A/E at the bottom of my Preseason Power Rankings, the potential of this team to rise in the ranks, and finish the season in contention – is strong. They finished 1-7 a year ago and anticipate a better finish this year.

OA/E not only returns their starting quarterback, but also have numerous names coming back along the line of scrimmage, and a strong stable of backs – who served as backups last season. This year, it will be the O-A/E skill players’ time to shine and lead their team out of the depths of despair.

It can take a few years for a newly merged program to come together and reach their full potential. This year, in my mind, will serve as a stepping stone toward that end.

Key Matchups

Week 2 – Notre Dame

The Irish are an old-time rival of both Oakfield and Elba. Both sides will get up for this game. 

Week 5 – Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen

Byron-Bergen was previously merged with Elba before the Lancers began their relationship with Oakfield. Does any bad blood remain between the two sides?

Week 6 – Holley

Another winnable game for O-A/E.

Key Players

Colton Dillon (QB)

Colton is going into his second year under center for O-A/E, but has been learning a new system as he prepares for Week 1. He will be important for this team if they hope to achieve success.

Gage Dieterle (RB/LB)

Gage has been given a more important role this season as the team’s starting RB.

John Igoe (OL/DL)

John will help anchor a senior-laden line.

Cam Smith (OL/DL)

Cam will also help anchor the defensive and offensive trenches for O-A/E. 

Coach’s Quote

“The O-A/E Football Team looks to make vast improvements in their second year of the new merger,” said Head Coach Mike Cintorino. “With new systems being installed on both sides of the ball and significant buy in from the athletes, the program looks to once again compete for a league title and find their way back to sectionals.

"Although this is a very young team, many of the players have varsity experience and will look to utilize that throughout the season. Now being part of the Livingston-Genesee Region Conference will provide a good test for the O-A/E Football team while holding on to the many rivarlies of the old Genesee Region.”

September 1, 2017 - 11:04am
posted by alex brasky in football, sports, Notre Dame.

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Last season, the Irish suffered their first losing campaign in 11 years, and return in 2017 hoping for more out of their new leadership class.

Season Outlook

It’s no secret that ND Football took a major step back last season, and it would be incredibly disappointing for fans of the Fighting Irish to be forced to watch their team go through yet another dismal campaign. For, the ND Faithful is not used to watching its football team struggle through Divisional and even non-Divisional matchups.

In 2017, however, the Irish are hoping to ‘Wake Up the Echoes’ and restore the winning tradition of ND Football.

They feature a returning starting quarterback but welcome a load of talent coming up from the JV squad, which leaves this new-look squad with the expectation of making progress and climbing the ladder – beginning with the first step on Opening Night vs Canisteo-Greenwood.

Aside from C-G, all of ND’s 2017 opponents are from the newly-merged LCAA/GRAA League, with Le Roy serving as the only other non-Divisional matchup on their schedule. This merger has been a win for all involved, including the Irish who I believe will benefit from a more-familiar slate.

Key Matchups

Week 2 – Oakfield-Alabama/Elba

Notre Dame is ranked above O-A/E in my Preseason Power Rankings. If they hope to gain any traction within their Division, they must win this game. 

Week 4 – Holley

The Irish will be out for revenge in this game. 

Week 5 – Le Roy

This old-school rivalry comes back in 2017 with each side matching up well with one another.

Key Players

Brendin Klotzbach (QB/LB)

Brendin returns to lead the Irish offense during his senior season. He has the athleticism and arm strength to get the job done.

Eddy Skalny (OL/DL)

Eddy will provide leadership for a young ND offensive line.

Coach’s Quote

“This group of young men have been working very hard,” said Notre Dame Head Coach Rick Mancuso. ”And with the leadership of the senior class, we have progressed a little quicker than we anticipated.

"We have a good mix of seasoned players, plus talented newcomers. After enduring the programs first losing season last year in the last 11 years, this team has shown the work ethic it will take to get back on the competitive path.”

August 30, 2017 - 3:26pm
posted by alex brasky in football, sports, pembroke.

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Pembroke Football has had a rough go of things in recent years, but 2017 could be the season where we see them finally break out. With a familiar face making the move to Dragons’ head coach, and many experienced athletes returning to the roster, Pembroke is working toward a level of success which hasn’t been seen from this program in quite some time.

Season Outlook

Former head coach, and 2016 assistant Justin Loeber has returned to the helm of the Dragons’ program and has also welcomed back another former Pembroke head coach, and Greater Buffalo Sports HOFer, Dick Diminuco as offensive coordinator. The rapport between these two has already been built – dating back to Diminuco’s time spent as HC – and it is Loeber’s belief that their working relationship will translate to a smooth transition on the field.

In addition to two familiar faces on the sidelines, Pembroke returns a QB who has previously run Diminuco’s offense, and return a RB who led the GR in rushing yards a season ago. A young offensive line may provide a bit of growing pains for this offense to begin the year, but expect their experience in the backfield to carry them through October – and into the Section V postseason.

I believe in this team this year, more-so than I ever have before. Their Divisional schedule has remained the same, and their non-Divisional games are both winnable. If the Dragons can take care of business, they should prove me right in 2017.

Key Matchups

Week 1 – York/Pavilion

The Golden Knights are a big, strong team who will test the Dragons’ young offensive line immediately to begin the season. 

Week 2 – Alexander

The Trojans won the GR League Title last season, and will be a tough out once again in 2017.

Week 5 – Geneseo

I have heard good things about Geneseo during the preseason. This will be another non-Divisional test for the Dragons. 

Week 6 – Attica

Attica is my preseason pick to win the Division, giving this game in Week 6 the potential to be a very big game for Pembroke. 

Key Players

Reid Miano (QB/DB)

Reid returns for his third season under center for the Dragons, and leads an offense which has plenty of experienced talent behind him. 

Zach von Kramer (RB/DB)

Zach returns as the GR League’s leading rusher, and will be out to defend his rushing title in 2017.

Damion Ramirez (OL/LB)

Damion is the most-experienced of the Pembroke lineman, and will have to do his best to bring the younger guys along throughout the year. 

Brandon Kowalski (WR/DB)

Brandon is a steady contributor for Pembroke on both sides of the ball. His stats may not show it, but he is a vital piece to this team this season. 

Jarrod Carrow (TE/DL)

Jarrod is another returning athlete for the Dragons who is due for a breakout year. 

Coach’s Quote

“What I learned my first (stint as head coach), was that I was so unprepared to take the job,” began second-time Pembroke HC Justin Loeber a few weeks ago. “Coach Diminuco came in, I had two years to work with him, and he showed me how to really practice, and get the most out of our kids. I feel much more-prepared my second-time around.”

Things are finally looking up for Pembroke Football. Stay tuned for what could be a big year.

August 29, 2017 - 5:58pm
posted by alex brasky in alexander, football, sports, news.

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Alexander won their first-ever Section V Football Title last season, but enter 2017 needing several new faces to fill roles left empty by the graduation of the Class of 2016. The tradition of Championship-level success was solidified last year for the Trojans, and it will be up to this group to carry the torch forward into the future.

Season Outlook

The Trojans face a steep challenge right out of the gate, as 2016 state-ranked Bolivar-Richburg will host the Trojans -- who have few easy matchups this season. However, I believe what they return at running back and on defense should be enough to carry them to another big year. Currently, they sit as the #4 team in my HS Football Power Rankings, just behind longtime rival Attica.

While I expect Alexander to finish within the Top 2 or 3 in their Division, come Sectional time they will have to prove themselves to be a Title contender once again. Absent from this group are many of the leaders of the Trojans' 2016 Championship team, and new voices must fill the void in order to get this team to remain as a Class D Titan.

Lucky for them, it's as steady as she goes when it comes to their head coach, as Tim Sawyer is back for yet another season in the Green and Gold. He has done a solid job surrounding himself with good people and has produced a winner in Alexander. His leadership should allow for a seamless transition into 2017.

Key Matchups

Week 1 -- Bolivar-Richburg

Bolivar-Richburg was a strong team a season ago, and will likely be a tough out in 2017 as well. Alexander opens with a tough matchup on the road. 

Week 2  -- Pembroke

The Dragons could surprise this year as they have the 2016 GR League leading rusher returning to their backfield, accompanied by a three-year varsity QB. This alone should provide Pembroke with a chance to overcome the Trojans in Week 4. 

Week 4 -- Attica

Attica is my preseason pick to win the Division Title. If Alexander can knock off the Blue Devils for the second-straight season, it will likely be the Trojans who instead hoist the trophy at season's end. 

Key Players

Jake Jasen Jr. (C/MLB)

Jake is a second-year varsity starter and is the anchor of the Trojans' young offensive line. He is also a solid run defender on defense.

Erik Scharlau (DE/TE)

Erik recorded 7 sacks last season at defensive end, and will also serve as a big target at tight end, as the Trojans have a young QB this season entering his first year under center.

Chris McClinic (RB/DB)

Chris ran for over 500 yards last season as a sophomore behind a senior RB, but this year things will open up for him to extend his presence in the backfield for the Trojans. 

Job Smith (LB/FB)

Job is a tremendously physical player who his coaches expect will provide great leadership on both sides of the ball. 

Mitch Gordon (LB/FB)

Mitch led Alexander in tackles a season ago and will be big out of the backfield for his team this season as well. 

Coach's Quote

"As a coach, I am excited about the challenge this season," said Alexander HC Tim Sawyer upon our discussion last week. "I am pleased with the development and the work ethic of the players in our program. I believe if we all do our jobs to the best of our abilities, we will have a chance to win every week. I am fortunate to have a tremendous coaching staff at both the JV and Varsity level."

Alexander has a reputation to uphold as a Section V contender. Can they keep the ball rolling?

Stay tuned.

August 29, 2017 - 11:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia bulldawgs, Batavia HS, sports, football, news, batavia.

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The Batavia Blue Devils hosted the Batavia Bull Dawgs at Van Detta Stadium on Monday night for its annual Blue Devils Experience.

That's when the young players get a chance to gather for a pre-game prep-talk in the Blue Devils' locker room, run through the tunnel onto Woodward Field, warm up with the varsity squad and then play a game against the defending Section V champions.

Batavia opens its season at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse on Sunday. For ticket information, click here.

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August 28, 2017 - 4:53pm
posted by alex brasky in sports, football, Batavia HS, batavia, news.

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The run which the Batavia Football team has put together throughout the past three seasons has been nothing short of historic. After years of dormancy, the Blue Devils are now coming off of three-straight Section V Class B Titles, and are the favorite to win their fourth in a row in 2017.

Season Outlook

In an attempt to ramp-up their regular season schedule, Batavia has gone outside of the box and scheduled teams which they hope will provide them with a steeper challenge than their 2016 slate -- in order to better prepare themselves for the postseason, where they've fallen just short of the State Final Four in each of their three Championship seasons.

However, upon researching each of their 2017 opponents, it seems as if the Blue Devils effort to do so may be all for naught - as they are likely to be favored to win many, if not all 7 of their regular season games. 

Although they come into this year sporting a new quarterback under center, the experience which they possess at almost every other position on the field will help ease any growing pains their signal caller may experience. In addition, Batavia head coach Brennan Briggs has proven himself to be one of the top-coaches throughout Section V, and his ability to game plan, and make halftime adjustments has been what has put his team over the edge since his first year at the helm. 

When it's all said and done, I truly believe we will see Batavia win their fourth-straight Sectional Title. They remain as the best team in their classification, and from my perspective, it will take a miracle of sorts to knock them off as Champion. However, the real question is -- can this team get to the Carrier Dome for the State Final Four?

Time will tell.  

Key Matchups

Week 2 -- Aquinas 

Aquinas isn't necessarily the team who is a favorite to win a State Title every year, and enter 2017 under new leadership. With that being said, I expect the Lil' Irish to be one of the stronger teams on Batavia's schedule this year - and could push the Blue Devils to the brink of defeat. 

Week 5 -- Bishop Kearney

Also entering the season under a new head coach, the Kings lost a bunch from their 2016 Class C Championship squad. However, they do have an experienced quarterback under center and the new HC which they have brought in has a reputation for success. 

Week 6 -- Wilson

Wilson has given Batavia the most trouble of any of their opponents in recent seasons  - most recently pushing them in what finished as a 12-6 victory for the Blue Devils last season. This year, I expect they will give the Devils another tough game. 

Key Players

Ray Leach (RB/LB)

Ray finished as a first-team All-State selection last season and may be the best player in Section V this season. He will be tough for any opponent to stop this season. 

Butch Ray (OL/DL)

Butch was also a first-team All-State selection in 2016 and is the definition of an unstoppable force on the line of scrimmage. He, like Leach, is one of the top-players in Section V this season. 

Chandler Baker (QB)

Chandler comes equipped with elite arm strength and could provide the Devils' passing game with a boost this season. In addition, his athleticism is top-tier which makes him a dual threat in this offense. 

Coach's Quote

"We have a very young team this season," began Batavia HC Brennan Briggs upon our preseason discussion. "We should get better as the season progresses and the younger members become more comfortable with their role."

"It is always tough to replace your QB as well as other key members of a football team," continued Briggs. "But the 2017 football team is looking to put their stamp on the Batavia Football program. We have a lot of guys in new positions, but they are coming along. The goal is to go 1-0, and get better every day. We have some very difficult games along the journey, but our hope is it will prepare us for a solid post-season run."

Alex Brasky is Editor and Publisher of Batavia's Best.

August 23, 2017 - 3:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, Batavia HS, news.

The three-peat Section V champs Batavia Blue Devils get to play in another big-time stadium in their first game of the season Sept. 3 and boosters are hoping for a big local turnout.

The Blue Devils will face Johnson City at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. Kickoff is 2 p.m.

Tickets are available at Batavia High School in the Athletic Director's Office. Summer hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are $8, or $10 at the door. Checks for tickets bought locally should be made out to Batavia Coaches Association.

Students are encouraged to sign up in the AD office. A ticket and a ride on the spectator bus will be $10.

August 3, 2017 - 9:53am

Starting this week and for the next few weeks, Batavia Bulldawgs will be preparing for the upcoming fall football season.  

New location is at Lions Park, Buell Street, Batavia Many teams of different age groups were working on drills and play game scenarios.  

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July 18, 2017 - 11:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, Batavia HS, batavia.

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Blue Devils Head Coach Brennan Briggs has been leading a two-day summer football camp for young players in grades one through eight at Batavia High School. The camp features various offensive and defensive drills to help the kids learn football fundamentals.

Today winds up with a flag football game, pizza and a T-shirt for each participant.

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UPDATE: Submitted group photo from the end of the camp

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July 12, 2017 - 12:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, football, batavia, Batavia HS.

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It's the middle of summer, but it's not too soon to start thinking about high school football -- the players are getting ready.

Batavia Head Coach Brennan Briggs sent in this picture of some of his team who participated yesterday in 7-on-7 drills yesterday as they get ready to defend three straight Section V championships this season.

Also participating in the drills were Elba/Oakfield-Alabama, Gates, Churchville, Alden and Albion.

The 7-on-7s take place every Tuesday.

There are 11 versus 11 drills on Thursday at Cal-Mum.

July 10, 2017 - 7:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, football, news, notify, accident.

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Brian West Jr. 2000-2017

Brian West Jr. loved people, and people loved him, according to Tim Sawyer, head coach of Alexander High School's football team.

He packed a lot of living into his 17 years, Sawyer said. Friends, family, and football.

Early this morning, Brian West died at Strong Memorial Hospital from injuries sustained in a single-vehicle rollover accident on West Bethany Road on the Bethany/Alexander town line, just yards from his home.

Sawyer wasn't just Brian's coach. He had known him his entire life. Sawyer and Brian's father grew up next door to each other, were best friends and Sawyer also knew Brian's mother since high school and Brian's grandmother is Sawyer's neighbor.

Besides football, Brian liked to hunt and fish and ride ATVs, just like Sawyer and his dad when they were growing up together.

"He was a lot like his dad in that way," Sawyer said.

Brian was one of the nicest kids you could meet.

"I think his relationships meant a lot to him," Sawyer said. "His friends, his teammates, his family. He always had a smile on his face and wanted to have a good time while he was around people."

He was part of the Trojan's first-ever Section V champion team last year. He planned to pursue a career in law enforcement. (Click here for his obituary).

The cause of the accident is under investigation, and with Brian's death, it may be hard to determine. As of last night, investigators said there were few clues at the scene.

Brian was northbound on West Bethany Road and lost control of his Chevy Avalanche after coming over the crest of a hill. The truck swerved, partially left the roadway on the west shoulder, and as Brian seemed to bring it back to the road surface, it flipped over. It may have rolled over twice. Brian was ejected and landed in a neighbor's driveway. He was alert and conscious when first responders arrived and that seemed to provide hope to everybody at the scene that he would survive the crash.

He died this morning at Strong at 5:20 a.m.

Brian was a good football player, Sawyer said. He excelled as a defensive lineman but played mostly as an offensive tackle this past season because of a pre-season ankle injury. Sawyer said he was too valuable on offense to risk playing both ways every game.

"He was almost like a Dustin Schmieder type of kid," Sawyer said. "He wouldn't have come off the field this year for me."

Recently Brian ran a 4.96 40-yard dash.

"We were looking at him possibly playing tight end for us this year," the coach said.

Brian loved athletics and he loved to compete, Sawyer said.

The Alexander football team works out together in the weight room during the offseason, and tonight is no exception.

"We're a really close-knit community and our team is no different," Sawyer said. "As a team, we'll try to wrap our hands around this and I'll talk a little bit about life and how we all leave a legacy, if it's a good one or if it's a bad one. We all have got to make our time count. That's going to be my message to the boys. I'm going to tell them I love them. We lost a big part of our team today and as young men, as men, we've got to be able to deal with that stuff."

Sawyer also spent time today with Brian's parents. Before he went to their house, he said, he spent some time thinking about what he could say. It's hard to know what to say, he acknowledged.

"I said to Brian Sr., 'If God would have said 17 years ago, I will give you a son for 17 years and them I'm going to take him home, I think we would all take that deal if that were a good life, a life worth living,'" Sawyer said. "Maybe that's not the right perspective. I don't know. But he had a good 17 years."

Life doesn't always work in a storybook fashion. Not everything continues along perfectly, Sawyer said. 

"As sad as it is, I choose to focus on the positive," Sawyer said. "The boy had a great life. Yes, it’s cut short, but he didn’t get cheated out of his 17 years."

February 1, 2017 - 11:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, Le Roy, elba.

Two former Genesee County football stars have been selected for induction into the Section V Hall of Fame.

David Boyce, of Le Roy, and Mark Shardlow, of Elba, will both be inducted during the 20th-anniversary ceremony April 6.

Joining the 2017 class are:

  • Mark Baniewicz, Fairport
  • Trent Bridges, Irondequoit
  • Mike Butler, Irondequoit
  • Keith Downing, Fairport
  • Danny Gilardi, East Irondequoit Eastridge
  • Thomas Nacca, Jefferson

Three coaches from Section V and two others who have contributed to Section V football will be inducted: 

  • Jim Haugh, Victor and Livonia
  • Mike Nally, Edison
  • Ron Rucker, East Rochester
  • Marc Remillard, game official
  • Kevin Pino, athletic trainer, in contributor category

The ceremony will be at RIT Inn and Conference Center. Tickets to the induction ceremony and dinner are $40 per person or $350 for a table of 10. They may be ordered before April 1 with checks payable to Section 5 Football by mailing to: Frank Marafino, 4 Georgetown Drive, Apt. C, Rochester, NY, 14617.

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Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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