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November 11, 2018 - 12:04am
posted by James Burns in news, sports, Batavia Blue Devils, football, Batavia HS.

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In a record-breaking season the Batavia Blue Devils will continue in the battle for a state championship after their win Saturday over Cheektowaga 28 to 56.

Hours before the game I asked someone from the coaching staff how the Blue Devils did preparing this week. He said he has never seen them so ready. He was right, they were ready. Apparently the Blue Devils are peaking at the right time.  

The offense was about as one-dimensional as it could get in tonight's game, it was all Ray Leach. Leach, tonight’s MVP, rushed for a NYS record setting 427 yards and eight touchdowns on 29 attempts. Don’t think he was all the Batavia offense had to offer, but he was more than they needed to defeat Cheektowaga. 

Leach did not do it all on his own, the front line opened up more than a few holes Leach could have walked through at his leisure and the other key offensive players made selfless blocks and served to distract Cheektowaga’s defense.

Like all true companionship contending teams, the Blue Devils defense was up to the task this evening. They made huge stops in the first half that kept Cheektowaga out of the game. Without stellar defensive plays it may have only been a seven-point game at the half instead of 8 to 36 Batavia. In the third quarter the defense put up a few points of their own with a safety. 

Coach Brennan Briggs congratulated the team after their victory and said “There are only four teams left in the state, why not us? Let's take it to the dome.” 

The Batavia Blue Devils will now face Skaneateles in Binghamton at 3 p.m. next Saturday, Nov. 17th.

For more photos of the game click HERE.

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November 10, 2018 - 7:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, football, sports, news.

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The Alexander Trojans won their first 10 games of 2018 by dominating their opponents, even bigger, stronger opponents.

Today, in Clarence, playing for the Far West Regional Championship, they met a team whose size they couldn't overcome.

The Trojans lost to the Clymer/Sherman/Panama Wolfpack 29-6.

The Trojans made it this far with a multi-player attack ground game and a defense that could stuff the run on the other side of the ball. Today, the Wolfpack outgained the Trojans 271 rushing yards to 148 rushing yards by dominating the line on both sides of the ball.

On defense, the Wolfpack linemen were often in the backfield as soon as the handoff.

On a team where 100-yard games have been common and frequent, only Ty Woods managed to break more than 100 yards rushing. He went for 116 yards on seven carries, but 86 of those yards came on the final play of the game. That's when Woods, who had taken over at QB, broke free on a run and scored Alexander's only touchdown.

"Where we made a living on speed and strength overcoming size and bulk, today we met a team that was our equal or better in the trenches and in the box," said Head Coach Tim Sawyer. 

There were two key moments in the game. In the first quarter, the Trojans advanced the ball to the red zone but a fumble pushed them back and gave them a 2nd and 17. The second decisive play was a third-quarter interception of a Dylan Busch pass.

"You cannot be in second and longs and third and longs against a team like this," Sawyer said.

Alexander was down by only a touchdown and seemed to be mounting a drive when they turned the ball over on the interception.

Sawyer admitted that may have deflated the team a bit.

Chris McClinic, who came into the game with 1,088 rushing yards on the season, an 11.7 per-carry average, was held to only 11 yards on 10 carries. Terrez Smith, who came into the game with 1,022 rushing yards on the season, a 9.55 per-carry average, was held to 20 yards on 10 carries. McClinic and Smith finish the season with 16 and 15 touchdowns apiece after not reaching the end zone once today.

It was a hard day to play football -- cold, made even colder by a strong, unrelenting wind that shortened passes and caused kicks to veer offline. 

With the Wolfpack shutting down the run, the wind and cold made Busch, who has put up great stats all year (49-92 for 907 yards, 15 TDs, and only six interceptions), a less effective alternative. He was 3-11 passing with three interceptions. The Wolfpacks QB, G. Hinsdale, was 4-12 passing with one interception.

The combined program of Clymer, Sherman and Panama gives the three schools a combined 328 student count (or what New York State Public High School Athletic Association calls "bed count." For football, for a team to qualify for Class D, the bed count should be 229 or below (Alexander's is 192). However, the NYSPHSAA used a formula that tallies the bed count of the second or third school in a combined program at 30 percent. That makes CSP's bed count 181.

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To purchase keepsake prints of game photos, click here.

November 10, 2018 - 3:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, news, Darien.

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A driver is unresponsive after his or her vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree off Route 77 in Darien. Mercy Flight is on standby. The accident location is 9610 Alleghany Road between Ganson Avenue and McGregor Road. Darien Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 3:56 p.m.: The driver is a 25-year-old male who lives in Corfu. He told Sheriff's deputies at the scene that he fell asleep at the wheel. His truck left the roadway, hit a drainage ditch and went airborne before coming to a stop 50 yards away after striking a tree. He was taken by ground ambulance to ECMC with non-life-threatening injuries. Investigators determined that no alcohol or drugs were involved in the accident, said Sgt. Jason Saile.

November 10, 2018 - 3:00pm


Sign up today! Take advantage of this great opportunity! Offering men's and women's shower rooms and changing room. Super clean. Stop in today and check it out for yourself! Oakfield Fitness116 N. Main Street, Oakfield. 585-861-8995

November 10, 2018 - 1:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, veterans, Veterans Day, news.

Press release from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

 As we approach our nation’s observance of Veterans Day this Monday, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is urging his constituents and all New Yorkers to set time aside this weekend and thank a veteran or current service member for their dedication and sacrifice to preserving our way of life.

Hawley, the son of a veteran, served seven years in the Ohio Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves and reached the rank of 1st Lieutenant. He has served on the Assembly’s Veterans’ Affairs Committee for more than a decade.

“Military service runs deep in my family and Veterans Day will always hold a special place in my heart,” Hawley said. “Whether it be my annual Patriot Trip to Washington, D.C., to give back to local veterans or my efforts in Albany fighting for various tax credits, healthcare and education options available to our veterans, protecting those who have risked their lives to protect us will remain one of my top priorities.

"I encourage all my constituents and New Yorkers alike to take time this weekend to thank a veteran for their service and pray for those who are still fighting overseas.”

Hawley is a true champion in Albany for our current and retired military members, sponsoring several pieces of legislation to make the “Campaign Service Medal” more inclusive, help veterans start small businesses, and remove admission fees for veterans to state parks.

Hawley also played a pivotal role in ushering in the Veterans Buy-back Bill that allows vets to purchase up to three years of military service back from the state in exchange for a credit toward their public pension.

November 10, 2018 - 1:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in volunteers for animals, animal rescue.

From the Volunteers for Animals:

Mac is in need of a cushy barn home or indoor/outdoor home with no young children. He is a great cat who just needs a job.

He is very playful but can be a bit rough at times. He is a young adult, up to date with vaccines and neutered.

There is no charge for an adoption fee and we ask that you confine him for a period of time until he has adjusted to his new surroundings.

If you are able to help out this guy, drop us an email at [email protected]

UPDATED Sunday, Nov. 11: Reader Wendy Castleman informs us that Mac has found a new home.

November 10, 2018 - 11:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, sports, news.

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NOTE: We apologize to our friends at Notre Dame. We received this article in a timely fashion and neglected to publish it.

Article by Joseph Scanlon.

Eight individual graduates and the 1973 Bishop Smith League Co-champion Football Team were inducted into the Notre Dame High School Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, Nov. 3, at the school.

Inductees included five individuals inducted as student-athletes: John Francis ’66, Mike Callahan ’67, John Stisser ’80, Sue [Burns] Keefe ’81 and Kathy Dwyer ’90 along with two alumni as supporters -- Joe ’68 and Patty Jurewicz ’69 Flynn and Rick Mancuso ’76 as a coach.

ND Principal Wade Bianco opened the program by welcoming the Fighting Irish faithful who packed the newly renovated Reinhart Gymnasium for the evening program

ND grad Deacon Walter Szczesny '76, HOF '15, gave the invocation while ND Athletic Director Mike Rapone '71, HOF '96, served as Master of Ceremonies presenting Hall of Fame plaques to this year’s recipients.

Mark Francis ’75, HOF '96, accepted on behalf of his brother John ‘66 and Hall of Fame Committee member Joe Scanlan, Ph.D., ’65, HOF ’17, read an acknowledgment from Sue Burns’ former Volleyball Coach Rhonda DiCasolo and accepted on behalf of Sue [Burns] Keefe ’81. Mike McGee ‘74 spoke on behalf of the ’73 team being inducted. Annie Lawrence, ND Board of Trustees president, provided closing remarks for this year's well-attended induction program.

A big word of thanks goes out to the following members of the 2018 ND Sports Night Committee for yet another successful program -- Overall Chairperson Mark Francis ’75, HOF ’96; Chair of the Selection Committee Mike Rapone '71, HOF '96; ND Director of Advancement Emily Patrick; Diane Zigrossi Fraser '68,  Michele Rapone Fuller '67; and Joseph Scanlan, Ph.D., ’65, HOF ’17.

Individual bios, as well as a review of the Fall 1973 ND Varsity Football team's accomplishments, follow:

John Francis ‘66

Regarded as one of the most talented student-athletes in the mid-1960s era, as well as in overall ND sports history, Batavia native John Francis was a key member of Fighting Irish Football, Basketball, Baseball and Track and Field teams from 1962 – 1966.

Known for his speed and elusiveness in each of the aforementioned sports, John earned nine Varsity letters during his historic athletic career at ND. Small in stature yet huge in performance, he captained ND’s first ever Bishop Smith League Varsity Football Championship team in the fall of 1965 earning first team All-Catholic all-star honors as a halfback. He led the Smith League in scoring while averaging 6.1 yards per carry. Highlights from his senior team MVP gridiron season included a four-touchdown performance against the Knights of Lockport DeSales [38 -27] and a memorable offensive performance as a running back and defensive performance as a cornerback in ND’s first-ever victory over all boys powerhouse St. Francis of Athol Springs [34 – 14].

A speedy guard and tenacious defender, John played a key role during his senior Varsity Basketball season helping ND qualify for the highly competitive postseason Manhattan Cup competition pitting the top teams in Bishop Burke vs. Bishop Smith leagues for only the second time in school history.

John was a leader in school as well as in the athletic arena has served as a Student Council officer during his sophomore, junior and senior years. His overall senior year athletic performance earned him the recognition of 1966 ND Male Athlete-of-the-Year Award awarded by legendary Director of Athletics Reverend David J. Scheider.

John pursued his football career at the collegiate level at Long Island’s C.W. Post University in Brookville, where he played competitively for four years, his freshman year as a JV team halfback and his final three years as a letter-winning split end. As a junior receiver, he was credited with scoring eight touchdowns and amassing more than 700 total yards including a 78-yard touchdown score. As a senior, he was recognized as ECAC All-East Division 2 “Player of the Week” for his record-setting 12 catch, two touchdowns, 262 yards receiving game which established a C.W. Post school record that stood for 24 years until surpassed in 1993.

John was recognized by the Notre Dame High School Sports Boosters as the Genesee Amateur Athlete-of-the-Year at the annual ND Sports Night in 1968. He graduated with a BA degree in Business Administration from C.W. Post and served as a football graduate assistant in 1970. He currently resides in Las Vegas.

Mike Callahan ‘67

Hailing from Le Roy, Mike Callahan was a prominent member of Fighting Irish Cross-country, Basketball, Baseball and Track and Field teams during his athletic tenure [1963 – 1967] at 73 Union St. Mike played four years of Cross-country and Basketball, three in Baseball and one as a Track and Field team member.

Mike earned coveted All-Catholic recognition during his senior year [1966-67] seasons in Varsity Cross Country, Varsity Baseball and Varsity Track and Field! He finished second overall in the highly competitive 1966 All-Catholic Meet held on the challenging Delaware Park course in Buffalo. As a junior, he was a key member of ND’s fall 1965 undefeated Bishop Smith League Championship Cross-country team – ND’s first Cross-country championship team in school history. Mike was a key performer on ND Cross-country teams, which compiled an overall dual meet 15 – 4 record during his sophomore through senior seasons.

A starting guard on ND’s Varsity Basketball team during his junior and senior years, Mike’s stalwart offensive and defensive play on the hardwood helped ND to qualify for postseason Manhattan Cup competition vs. Bishop Burke league opponents both years. These appearances were only the second and third times that a Fighting Irish Varsity Boys hoop team had advanced to that level in school history. Mike’s team’s two-year Varsity Basketball record was 28 -8 highlighted by a 16 -2 senior season with both losses by one point!

Mike achieved All-Catholic recognition in both Baseball and Track and Field as a senior where his play on the diamond as a pitcher and infielder and on the track as a distance runner helped ND achieve Bishop Smith League Championship status in both sports while interestingly enough participating in both simultaneously.

An excellent academic student, Mike earned the Excellence in Math Award during his senior year at ND and went on to earn a BS degree in Mathematics from St. Bonaventure University in 1971. While at St. Bonaventure, he continued to pursue his athletic career by playing collegiately for the Bona baseball team for two years as well as running Cross-country and Track for one year each.

His post-collegiate softball career earned him induction into both the Rochester Senior Softball Hall of Fame as well as the New York State USSSA [United States Senior Softball Association] Hall of Fame.

Mike and his wife Margy are the proud parents of 3 grown children: Michael [39] Jamie [38] and Dan ’02 [34] and currently reside in Churchville. Now retired, Mike previously served as Office Manager for RR Gamble, CH Wright Distributors and Wright Beverage Distributors in Batavia.

John Stisser ‘80

A native of Pavilion, John Stisser earned 11 Varsity letters during his four-year student-athlete career [1976 – 80] at ND. During this time period, John was a four-year member of Fighting Irish Football, Basketball and Baseball programs as well as a one-year participant in Track and Field.

Named ND Varsity Football’s Outstanding Defensive Back during the 1978 and 1979 fall seasons, John’s play on the gridiron helped ND earn Genesee Region [GR] Championships during both his junior [1978-79] and senior [1979-80] seasons, as well as a coveted Section V NYSPHSAA Class C Championship during his junior fall 1978 season. He was named to the Genesee Region [GR] Football All-Star team as a Defensive Back as a junior and also as a senior while he served as ND Varsity Football team’s co-captain.

He was recognized as the MVP of the 1978 JV Basketball team and received the Coach’s Award during his senior hoop season [1979-80].

A -four-year letter winner as a Varsity Baseball player, John’s play on the diamond earned him Genesee Region [GR] All-Star status as a junior [1979] and as a senior [1980] when he helped lead ND to two consecutive GR Baseball Championships, as well as Section V NYSPHSAA Class C Championships. He concluded his star-studded baseball career by being selected as the MVP of the GR All-Star Baseball game.

The 1979-80 ND Male Athlete-of-the-Year, John graduated with honors from ND in 1980, and continued his post-secondary education at Marietta College in Ohio where he earned a BA in General Studies.

John and his wife Pnina are the proud parents of three grown children – Max [31], Joe [26] and Meredith [19] and currently reside in Manchester, NH. He previously spent 20 years in publishing with The New York Times/Simon and Schuster and Manson News and currently is employed by Reynolds American Inc. Trade Marketing Services.

Sue [Burns] Keefe ‘81

Sue [Burns] Keefe was a truly remarkable four-sport student-athlete at ND [1978 – 1981] during which time the native Batavian was a four-year member of the Lady Irish Varsity Volleyball and Basketball teams and a three-year member of the Lady Irish Varsity Soccer and Tennis programs.

She was a senior tri-captain in Soccer and a key member of her team at the sweeper position for which she earned team MVP recognition in 1980.

She co-captained her ND girls Volleyball team as a senior, a sport she excelled at under the tutelage of legendary ND Girls Volleyball Coach Rhonda DiCasolo.

Sue’s overall play as a setter earned her team MVP honors and Genesee Region [GR] All-Star recognition during both her junior [1979] and senior [1980] seasons under Coach DiCasolo. She earned Section V NYSPHSAA All-Tournament team recognition as a senior and played a key role in helping ND earn two Section V NYSPHSAA Class C Championships [1978 and 1980] during her time as a Varsity team member.

She received the ND Sportsmanship Award as well as the prestigious 1981 Female Athlete-of-the Year honor during her senior year [1980-1981] at ND.

Upon graduation from ND in 1981, Sue entered Niagara University to pursue a BS degree in Nursing. In addition to earning her undergraduate degree in Nursing, she has also earned two master's degrees, one in Nursing and the other in Epidemiology. While at Niagara, she played Division I Softball for three years as a first baseman for the Purple Eagles as well as Varsity Tennis for four years! She was the recipient of the Niagara University Interscholastic Athletic Sportsmanship Award as a graduating senior in 1985.

Sue is currently employed by Catholic Health System in Buffalo in a management position and continues to enjoy golf and tennis recreationally. She credits her success in athletics, education and life in general to her former ND Girls Volleyball Coach Rhonda DiCasolo and Girls Physical Educational instructor Faith Flick, who were amazing role models inspiring her as a female and as a student-athlete during her career at ND.

Sue and her husband Daniel currently reside in Amherst and are the proud parents of two grown children Katherine [24], Daniel Maxwell [22].

Kathy Dwyer ‘90

Kathy Dwyer was a key member of Fighting Irish Varsity Volleyball, Basketball and Tennis teams in the late 1980s – early 1990s earning 13 Varsity Letters, as well as multiple team MVP awards, Genesee Region [GR] All-Star accolades and Section V NYSPHSAA All-Tournament recognitions during her star-studded ND career.

A four-year Varsity Volleyball team member, Kathy received team MVP and Section V NYSPHSAA All-Tournament team recognition in both her junior and senior years, as well as Genesee Region [GR] All-Star recognition as a senior.

Kathy began her star-studded career as a member of the Lady Irish Varsity Basketball team as an eighth-grader at St. Joseph’s Elementary School in Batavia and proceeded to earn team MVP honors during three Varsity hoop seasons! During this time period [1985-1990], she was recognized as a Genesee Region [GR] All-Star on 3 occasions [1988, 1989 and 1990] and a Section V NYSPHSAA All-Tournament selection twice [1989 and 1990].

She also played four years of Varsity Tennis and earned team MVP honors in 1989 and 1990.

Kathy was named ND Female Athlete-of-the-Year in both her junior [1988-89] and senior [1989-90] years!

Upon graduation from ND, she attended SUNY Cortland where she earned a BSE degree in Physical Education in 1994. While at SUNY Cortland, she played two seasons of women’s collegiate Tennis and Basketball. During that time period, she was the starting point guard for the Women’s Varsity Red Dragons' Basketball team. She earned her master’s degree from United States Sports Academy after her undergraduate career at SUNY Cortland.

Kathy now joins her sister -- Lisa Dwyer Lenhart ’83, ND HOF ’15 -- as the second member of the Dwyer family to be recognized as a ND Hall of Famer! She is currently employed as a Physical Education instructor in the Alexander Central School District where she also coaches Boys Modified Tennis.

Team Recognition

ND Fall 1973 Varsity Football Team – Bishop Smith League Co-champions

The Fall 1973 Varsity Football Team [5 – 1 Bishop Smith League competition;  7 – 2 overall record] avenged their only regular season Smith League loss to Lackawanna Baker-Victory by defeating the previously undefeated Lockport DeSales Knights to gain a share of the highly sought after 1973 Smith League title.

A review of the ND’s 1974 Mater Dei credits the junior passing combination of QB Andy Vogl to wideout Mark Francis and the punishing running of sophomore Walter Szczesny – currently ND’s Campus Minister/Theology teacher – as key cogs in Coach Bayne Johnson’s Fighting Irish offense. A review of Batavia Daily News articles during the 1973 season continually made mention of Jerry Cecere and Mike McGee as offensive contributors and teammates Dan Wagner, Tom Maxwell, Mike Mead and Tom Hughes as turning in stellar defensive performances on a weekly basis.

The season-ending non-league portion of the 1973 season came to a memorable end as the Irish retired the “Judd Cup” – named in honor of former ND football team member and United States Military Academy at West Point graduate Don Judd ’60 who was killed in action during the Vietnam War -- with a 15 – 6 victory over Genesee County rival Le Roy on a snow-covered Oatkan Knights’ home field at Le Roy’s Hartwood Park. Sophomore Walt Szczesny scored both ND TDs in this season ending finale enabling the Irish to finish the season with a 7 – 2 record for the second straight season!

The season did not end without individual honors bestowed on team members as Mark Francis ‘75 was named to the prestigious All-Western New York Football All-Star team as well as receiving first team All New York State recognition. Jeff Sanfratello ’74 [2nd team] and Mike Mead ‘74 [3rd team] also received New York State All-Star nods.

ND was well represented on the 1973 All-Catholic team with seven team member recognitions: seniors Co-Captain Mike McGee, Jeff Sanfratello, Mike Mead, Tom Maxwell and juniors Co-Captain Mark Francis, Andy Vogl and Kevin Sullivan.

Team members included 11 seniors [Class of ‘74] Robert Minekheim, Mike McGee, Mike Hughes, Mike Mead, Jerome Cecere, Jeff Sanfratello, James Tibbs, Ed Flynn, Andy Cordes, Thomas Maxwell and James Majors; 11 juniors [Class of ‘75] Andy Vogl, Mark Francis, Mike Tepedino, Jim Tassone, Dan Wagner, Kevin Sullivan, Mark Steger, Joe Cesarano, Ange Paradise, Tony Pecora and Dennis Johnson and nine sophomores [Class of 1976] James Mullen, Paul Judd, Walt Szczesny, Dan DiMartino, Mike Cordes, Steve Bucciffero, Stacey Thompson, Vic Marchese and Tom McGrath and one freshman [Class of 1977] Gino Oliveri.

The 1973 Bishop Smith League Co-Champions were coached by Head Coach Bayne Johnson and assistant coaches Rich Funke and Ed Sullivan. Tom Cesarano and Pat Vogl served as student managers.

Supporter Recognition

Joe [’68] and Patty [‘69] Jurewicz Flynn

Suffice it to say, Joe and Patty [Jurewicz] Flynn are classic examples of ND alumni who continue to truly enjoy bleeding “blue and gold” in support of all ND student-athletes long after their own children have graduated from ND!

The Flynns have passionately supported our Alma Mater’s Fighting Irish athletic program since their early days as students in the mid- to late-1960s, initially as student-athletes, later as parents of their ND daughters Maura [class of 2000] and Mallory [class of 2004] participation in athletics and even after their daughters’ graduations as dedicated fans who simply enjoyed [and continue to enjoy!] supporting their Alma Mater’s rich history of interscholastic athletic competition.

The Flynns interest in athletics dates back to their high school days at 73 Union St. when ND was a competitive member in Diocese of Buffalo Bishop Smith League Catholic high school competition. Joe ’68 was a member of Fighting Irish Basketball, Football, Cross-country and Tennis teams while Patty ’69 was a member of Fighting Irish ND Volleyball and Bowling teams and a four-year participant in intramurals throughout high school.

A prior recipient of the prestigious Father David J. Scheider ND Alumni Award for promoting ND in the community, Joe earned his BBA degree in Business in 1972 from St. John Fisher College in Rochester and pursued a career as an accountant with Batavia-based Eaton Corporation – Trojan Industries [1973 -1994] and Boyle’s Motor Sales [1994 – 2017] prior to retirement.

Patty earned her BA Education degree from Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa., in 1973 and her MS Education degree from the State University College at Buffalo in 1976. Her 37-year teaching career as an elementary educator included teaching assignments in the Pioneer Central School District [1973-76], St. Joseph’s Elementary School in Batavia [1976 – 77] and Pembroke Central School District [1977 – 2010], from which she retired in 2010.

Congratulations are definitely in order for ND Athletic Hall of Fame inductees Joe and Patty Flynn for their ongoing support of Fighting Irish athletics as well as their interest in ND student-athletes as individuals. It wouldn’t be a ND sporting event if you weren’t there to lend your loyal, passionate support!

Coaching Recognition

Rick Mancuso ‘76

Rick Mancuso’s ’76 flair for competition began at ND when he entered as a freshman in the fall of 1972. Throughout high school [1972-76] he was known for his competitive spirit as a key member of Fighting Irish Varsity Football, Basketball and Baseball programs. Upon graduation from ND in 1976, Rick continued his education at Niagara University where he earned his BS degree in Management in 1980. The competitive spirit and work ethic that he demonstrated as a student at ND and Niagara University have contributed to his successful career in business in the Batavia area as the President of Mancuso Restaurant [T.F. Brown’s] and Bowling Lanes, and Main and Ellicott Properties LLC [Mancuso Real Estate], as well as a legendary coach in the annals of ND Fighting Irish sports history.

The following review of Coach Mancuso’s 37-year relationship with his Alma Mater [documented and supplied by current ND Director of Athletics Mike Rapone ’71, HOF ’15] paints the picture of an individual who truly epitomized the qualities of dedication to his Alma Mater and a work ethic of service to ND and his student-athletes throughout his coaching career.

Coach Mancuso began his coaching career as the Head JV Football Coach at ND in the fall of 1981, a position he held until taking over the reins of ND’s Varsity Football program in 2005 following the retirement of longtime, legendary Varsity Football Coach Bill Sutherland ’67. During his tenure as Varsity Football Coach, Rick’s Varsity Football teams qualified for Section V post season competition in nine of his 13 seasons and, in the process, won two Section V Class D NYSPHSAA Championships [2006, 2012], advanced to the title game on three other occasions while also winning three Genesee Region [GR] League Championships! He was recognized as Section V “Coach of the Year” during both title years.

In addition to his success on the gridiron, Rick also coached ND Lady Irish Varsity Softball for five years [2011-2015] winning a New York State Class D Softball Championship in 2012 after advancing to the NYSPHSAA semifinals the prior year. His Varsity Softball teams captured Section V NYSPHSAA Class D Championships in 2011 and 2012 as well as earning three Genesee Region [GR] Championships during this same time period. Rick received New York State “Coach of the Year” as well as Rochester Democrat and Chronicle recognition as All Greater Rochester “Coach of the Year” in 2012.

Coach Mancuso’s resume also includes successful stints as ND’s JV and Varsity Baseball coach, as well as a successful Boys Modified Basketball coaching record during which time period his teams lost only one game!

A very civic-minded individual, Rick has served as a past director of the Batavia Area Jaycees, the Batavia Rotary Club, Batavia Youth Football, and the Children’s’ Home Association, as well having served as a contributing member of the ND Board of Trustees and the Batavia Improvement District. He has played a key role hosting the annual T.F. Brown’s Community Christmas Dinner for the underprivileged for the past 25 years.

A past recipient of the Father David J. Scheider ND Alumni Award for service to others and the Paolo Busti Society ”Outstanding Italian American Award,” Rick and his wife, Julie, are proud parents of five ND graduates – Morgan [‘01], Alexandra [‘03], Rick [‘05], Patrick ‘[08] and Maddie [‘11].

Congratulations on your 2018 ND Athletic Hall of Fame induction, Rick . . . A true Hall of Famer – on the field of play and in the community!

Top photo: Individual 2018 ND Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees [L to R]: Rick Mancuso ’76 [Coach], Mike Callahan ’67, John Stisser ’80, Patty Jurewicz Flynn ’69 [Supporter] Kathy Dwyer ’90 and Joe Flynn ’68 [Supporter]. Not pictured: John Francis ’66 and Sue [Burns] Keefe ’81.

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Fifteen of the original 32 roster members of ND's 1973 Bishop Smith League Co-Champion Football team returned for the Nov. 3rd induction ceremony. Pictured Row #1 [L to R]: Mike Hughes, Jeff Sanfratello, Mike Mead, Joe Cesarano, Mike Tepedino, Jerry Cecere, Paul Judd and Mark Francis.

Row #2 [L to R]: Ed Flynn, Dan Wagner, Andy Vogl, Walt Szczesny, Mike McGee, Dan DiMartino and Jim Tassone.

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November 10, 2018 - 10:45am
posted by Billie Owens in airport, news, batavia.

An airplane with malfunctioning front landing gear will attempt to land at the Genesee County Airport shortly. No ETA yet. The Town of Batavia Fire Department is being dispatched and Mercy medics are on scene. The airport is located at 4701 E. Saile Drive, Batavia.

UPDATE 10:47 a.m.: The plane already landed safely; no need for fire or EMS. The assignment is back in service.

November 10, 2018 - 2:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron, news, notify.

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A man in his young 20s apparently accidentally fatally shot himself with his own gun this evening during a party in a barn at 6490 Byron Holley Road, Byron.

The name of the victim has not been released pending family notifications.

Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster said right now investigators are leaning toward accidental as the cause of the firearm discharge.

It is possible the victim was playing with the weapon when it discharged.

He described the gun as a semi-automatic pistol that the victim owned and possessed legally.

There were five or six people in the room, a party room in the barn, as Brewster described it, when the gun went off.

The initial call at 11:45 p.m., Friday, was for a man accidentally shot in the face. Byron Ambulance was dispatched but the ambulance went back in service shortly after arriving on the scene.

The coroner arrived on scene at about 2:15 a.m.

Two people who were in the room at the time of the shooting were taken to the Sheriff's Office on Park Road for further questioning.

Brewster said a press release about the shooting will go out after family notifications and after investigators determine better exactly what happened.  

UPDATE 10 a.m.: The victim has been identified as John L. Carney, 23, of Le Roy.

November 10, 2018 - 2:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, news.

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Flames are visible coming out of the top of a corn dryer at 2775 Pratt Road, Batavia.

There is a semi-truck parked next to the structure.

A deputy on scene reports, "the flames are picking up."

East Pembroke fire is dispatched.

UPDATE 2:35 a.m.: Town of Batavia, Oakfield, and the City's Fast team requested to the scene. Corfu to stand by at East Pembroke.

UPDATE 2:38 a.m.: A rep on scene has shut off the propane going to the structure.

UPDATE 2:48 a.m.: Town of Batavia's ladder truck requested to the scene and fire police to shut down Pratt Road.

UPDATE 4:30 a.m.: Adding pictures. Fire crews are still on scene.

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November 9, 2018 - 11:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire, news.

An electrical fire is reported in the canopy of the Kwik Fill at 99 Jackson St., Batavia.

City fire responding.

UPDATE 11:47 p.m.: Fire is out. Power was cut before City fire's arrival. The assignment is back in service.

November 9, 2018 - 4:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in weather, news.

A winter weather advisory, issued by the National Weather Service office in Buffalo, is in effect from 3 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10.

Lake effect snow is expected. Total snow accumulations of three to five inches are expected in the most persistant lake effect snow areas. Lake effect snowfall will occur in relatively narrow bands.

Wind gusting up to 45 mph is also expected.

Northern Genesee County is specifically cited.

Plan on slippery road conditions.

If traveling be prepared for rapidly changing road conditions and visibilities.

November 9, 2018 - 4:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Players, fundraiser, theater, batavia, news.
Press release:
 
Tomorrow, Nov. 10, from 3-6 p.m., the Batavia Players are hosting a spaghetti dinner fundraiser at St. James Episcopal Church (405 E. Main St., Batavia).
 
Dinner is open to the public and includes pasta with homemade sauce, salad and bread for $10. Take out is available. At 4:30 p.m., the “orphans” from the upcoming musical "Annie" will be performing excerpts from the show.
 
"Annie" will be on stage at the Harvester 56 Theater Dec. 14,15,16 and 21, 22, 23.
 
With a cast of 40 actors, "Annie" is one of the largest productions the Batavia Players have performed at the Harvester 56 Theater. Actors come from seven counties in Western New York to participate in this show.
 
The Batavia Players also expect "Annie" to be the most popular show of the season. Tickets for the show are on sale now; one-third of all available tickets were sold in the first 24 hours.
November 9, 2018 - 4:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, news, batavia.

A chimney fire is reported at 7887 Kelsey Road. There is smoke in the residence, which is being evacuated. Town of Batavia Fire Department is responding.

November 9, 2018 - 4:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, business, JJ Newberry, Newberry Place--freshLAB, batavia.

Submitted photos and press release:

On Thursday, Matt Gray (in photo above) accepted the Robert Macon Award with an honorable mention from the Community Design Center of Rochester -- Reshaping Rochester awards on behalf of the Newberry Project.

The award was established to honor the late architect Robert Macon’s contributions in the Rochester area. A gifted designer and leader in the architectural community, Macon is remembered for his civic contributions and transformative projects that spanned a 30-year career in the city that he loved.

Nominations for this award recognize projects that demonstrate Design Excellence and contribute to enriching the public realm. Nominations were judged according to the following criteria:

  • Excellence in a building or structure that has solved a design problem in a distinctive way;
  • Extent to which the completed project demonstrates enduring and notable design;
  • Ability to integrate that undertaking into a community’s context and extent to which it contributes to or benefits the public realm.

109-111 Main St., Batavia, location of Newberry Place – freshLAB

Project Award Nomination 

Newberry Place--freshLAB is a locally led $2.8 million three-story downtown mixed-use building renovation to deliver a 10,000-square-foot, ground-floor restaurant incubator housing three start-up eateries and upper floor apartments.

The Main Street food hall project has overcome design and infrastructure challenges, warranted State and Federal historic designation along with significant investment and grant partners to underwrite success.

Guided by Preservation Studios and TRM Architecture, the project was thoughtfully approached to preserve the building’s historic character in which the first national retailer, JJ Newberry, settled in Batavia. JJ Newberry wall medallions, Art Deco aluminum counter trim, office doors, hallways, beadboard and chain-link milk glass dome fixtures have been incorporated into the new design.

As expected, modifications also ensued when the century-old walls and floors revealed structural challenges. Relocation of bathrooms, kitchen ventilation hoods and floorplans were flipped to accommodate.

Meanwhile, the intended use as a foodhall with a micro-brewery anchor tenant took perseverance to advance. A simple farm brewery concept evolved into a restaurant incubator intended to keep millions of dining and entertainment dollars local to reduce spending leakage from Genesee County each year.

Local leadership coalesced an infrastructure for restaurateurs to advance a concept, write a business plan and open a new restaurant in this shared space under supervision of industry experts.

However, New York State Liquor Authority does not allow multi-tenants to occupy one space. After months of inquiries and legal fees, learning of “concessionaire” was key to authorizing Batavia Brewing Co. dba Eli Fish Brewing Co. the primary license to brew and sell alcohol on premise.

Two additional “concessionaires” are allowed to share seating, an indoor bocce court and tasting room whereby all alcohol must be purchased at the anchor tenant. The food-hall incubator is anticipated to launch five new businesses in five years, create 30 jobs and generate thousands of tax dollars.

While bumping into walls was expected, the floor integrity, lack of power in downtown and limited capacity gas lines had to be doggedly overcome.

The heavyweight brewing equipment was placed onto the basement floor, a hole was cut through the first floor to allow the tanks to peek through serving as a foodhall feature. A tasting room was fashioned above to overlook the tank farm.

Even though the City of Batavia underwent a substantial Main Street reconstruction less than a decade earlier, adequate electric power was not available and low pressure gas lines were underground. Fortunately, the property boundary extended eight feet to the rear of the building, which enabled a new transformer pole installation.

Yet, that triggered a NYS building code exception request since the outdoor space would no longer allow the fire stair descent; other fire safety measures were emphasized.

Commercial kitchens and upper-floor apartments were reequipped due to lack of available gas. The gas company is now considering infrastructure upgrades due to the existing demand and recognizing more than 40,000 square feet of vacant space remains on the City block.

Committed to transform downtown, Matthew Gray exudes patience as the concept leader, building investor and volunteer mentor drawing from his decades of restaurant ownership.

Upon purchasing the building, the first floor was divided into three different areas, each with their own cobbled, inefficient and potentially unsafe HVAC systems. These systems were completely removed to allow installation of new energy efficient heating and cooling equipment suited specifically for the new use of the building.

Arctic Refrigeration Company of Batavia completely designed, sourced and installed the HVAC and mechanical systems in the building. The brewery received three 10-ton rooftop heating and cooling units. This equipment was designed and selected with the brewery and restaurant in mind. They can operate independently, each unit with two-stage heating and cooling. This allows for energy savings by using partial capacity of the equipment as heating and cooling requirements constantly change. 

The HVAC system was also designed to work in conjunction with the multiple kitchen exhaust systems. By balancing the airflow between the six exhaust fans, two tempered makeup air units and the HVAC units, comfort levels and energy efficiency will be at their peak performance.

The brewery’s chiller is also placed on the roof, allowing the chiller to remove the heat from the brewery process and discharge it outside the building. This design kept the HVAC systems from being overloaded or oversized if the heat were to be discharged indoors, again using energy efficiency wherever possible.

Project Participants:

  • Matthew Gray, building owner, lead investor, co-owner Batavia Brewing Co. dba Eli Fish Brewing Co. and freshLAB restaurant mentor, Batavia
  • Jon Mager, co-owner Batavia Brewing Co. dba Eli Fish Brewing Co., Batavia
  • TRM Architecture, Matthew Moscati, Buffalo
  • Preservation Studios, Mike Puma, Buffalo
  • Thomson Builds, Paul Thompson general contractor, Churchville
  • Batavia Development Corporation, freshLAB partner and project grant coordinator, Batavia
  • City of Batavia, micro-enterprise grant and real property tax abatement, Batavia
  • NYS Homes & Community Renewal, NY Main Street Anchor Project & Micro-enterprise Program Funds, Albany
  • USDA Rural Development, Equipment Grant, Batavia
  • National Grid, Main Street Revitalization Grant, Buffalo
  • Empire State Development, startup micro-brewery incentive, Buffalo

BEFORE: Single tenant space represents half of the ground floor, center wall later removed to use10,000 square feet on ground floor as open, shared dining food hall.

Center wall removed to open entire 10,000-square-foot ground floor space, looking south.

AFTER: Concessionaire walk-up service with dedicated cold and dry storage for each startup restaurant.

JJ Newberry wall medallions preserved and incorporated in new design.

Art Deco aluminum trim to peek through drywall.

“Brew Hole” to set heavy brewing equipment on the basement floor, tanks will rise above the first-floor level.

Tasting room hovers over “Brew Hole.”

Arctic Refrigeration Company of Batavia completely designed, sourced and installed the HVAC and mechanical systems in the building.

November 9, 2018 - 3:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama elementary, schools, education, news, charity.

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Chloe Lamb, 9, and Claire Lamb, 7, presented a check today for $1,803 to Lynn Gehlert, vice principal at Oakfield-Alabama Elementary School called "Fuel Young Minds."

Matt and Kendra Lamb with help from Chloe and Claire have set up a pumpkin stand in front of their house on Maltby Road, Oakfield, with no price set on pumpkins, just a request for a donation in any amount to take some home.

Two years ago, the Lambs raised $800 for the fire department and last year, $1,200 for the library.

Fuel Young Minds is a food pantry started by Gehlert.

"On her own, Mrs. Gehlert was supplementing food to families who needed it and when some families (in the school) found out about it, we said we wanted to offer more support than what she was doing on her own."

Kendra said she wants her daughters to learn about supporting their local community but she also wanted to bring more attention to Fuel Young Minds.

Gehlert said the O-A community has really come together to support the program.

"We are very appreciative the support," Gehlert said. "The community has really stepped up and has been very generous to support our kiddos. The focus of Fuel Young Minds is our students can’t come to school and really benefit from education if their basic needs aren’t met."

November 9, 2018 - 3:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pavilion hs, Pavilion, news, entertainment, arts.

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Pavilion High School's "Stars of Tomorrow" present a performance of "My Fair Lady" at 7 o'clock tonight and tomorrow night.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for seniors and students.

Directors and Crew:

  • Director: Eric Traugott
  • Producer/Vocal Music Director: Beth Funderburk
  • Pit Orchestra Conductor: Stuart McLean
  • Choreographer: Denise Leblanc-Chatt
  • Set Design: Joe Paras

Cast List:

  • Eliza Doolittle: Katie Ehrhart
  • Colonel Pickering: Alex Stalica
  • Mrs. Eynsford-Hill: Mackenzie Blakeslee
  • Henry Higgins: Jacob Taylor
  • Mrs. Higgins: Ella Manurung
  • Freddy Eynsford-Hill: Jeremy Blakeslee
  • Alfred P. Doolittle: Anthony Brown
  • Harry: Joe Forti
  • Jamie: Zander Markek
  • Mrs. Pearce: Evelyn Northrup
  • Prof. Zoltan Karpathy: Max Whalen
  • Ensemble: Shea Amberger, Kylie Conway, Angela Davidson, Jordan Eggleston, Joy Gayhart, Cassie Guile, Aiden McConnell, Colin McConnell, Isis McLure, Ayden Taylor, Mr. Clark, Mr. Chrzanowski, Mrs. Slocum, Mr. Weaver, Mr. Webb

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November 9, 2018 - 3:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, encore gala, news, GCC Foundation, charity.

Press release:

Tickets are on sale now for Genesee Community College Foundation's 2018 Encore Gala! To buy, click here. The event will begin at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1, in the Richard C. Call Arena at GCC in Batavia!

Encore cochairs Tom and Kim Cox promise an all new, festive party atmosphere filling the Richard C. Call Arena. With plenty of convenient parking and the entire event taking place in one facility everyone can enjoy the fun together.

The evening will include:

  • 6 p.m. -- Cocktail hour with gourmet hors d'oeuvres, themed signature drinks and stylish jazz holiday music by The DSP Jazz Trio.
  • 7 p.m. -- Gourmet sit-down dinner. Vegan option available.
  • 8 p.m. -- Nik and the Nice Guys take the night away with live music on the house dance floor.

Encore guests looking for overnight accommodations will receive a special discounted rate at the following Batavia hotels: Clarion Hotel (585) 344-2100 or the Batavia Downs (585) 815-7000.

Encore sponsorship opportunities are still available at several levels: Holiday Chord Circle -- $1,000; Golden Guitar Society -- $600 and Inner Circle -- $300. Each sponsor level includes tickets (six, four or two respectively) for the gala and recognition in the Encore program and the live digital Encore display. Individual tickets can also be purchased for $100 each.

November 9, 2018 - 3:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

A man who drunkenly broke into a home on Swan Street in Batavia and picked up a child in that residence said in County Court this morning that he knew he terrified the people living there and he felt horrible about it. He said he knew he deserved to go to jail.

Judge Charles Zambito sentenced Sath Paul Dhanda, 39, of Clapsaddle Road, Bethany, to eight months in jail on a conviction, based on a prior guilty plea, to charges of criminal trespass and endangering the welfare of a child.

"I don't know these people," Dhanda said. "I have never seen them. I wouldn't know them if I saw them. I feel awful about what I did. I do believe I deserve time in jail to make sure it doesn't happen again."

First Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini blamed Dhanda's conduct on his drinking. Dhanda's criminal history goes back to at least 2007, the year after he reportedly suffered a head injury, when he was charged with assault at a residence on Ellicott Street. He's been arrested numerous times since then.  

By his own account and the word of others, Dhanda once had a promising golf career, and after being released from prison on a 2011 conviction for criminal contempt, Dhanda worked as a pro at a golf course in the region.

Today's court appearance today echoed Dhanda's sentencing in 2011 when he told then Judge Robert C. Noonan, "Alcoholism has destroyed my once promising life."

Cianfrini said today, "Everytime Mr. Dhanda drinks, almost every time he drinks, it seems he winds up in legal difficulty. He needs to come to the realization that he's a person who can't consume even one drop of alcohol."

She said he was lucky he hadn't seriously injured himself or somebody else given his lack of self-control when he's drinking. For his own safety and the safety of others, she asked Zambito to give him the longest possible sentence allowed by his plea agreement."

"Ms. Cianfrini is right," Dhanda said. "Alcohol is my problem but it's not every time I drink that I get into trouble but every time I get into trouble it's because I've been drinking."

He said prior to his arrest in July he had trouble with his health insurance and had trouble getting prescription medication. He mentioned going to UMMC and getting his medication and then taking it with alcohol. He said a friend was supposed to pick him up but instead of waiting he decided to walk. He said he blacked out and didn't remember entering the residence on Swan Street.

Dhanda is a good-looking man. Tall with the athletic build of a golfer, he is the son of a once-prominent urologist in Batavia. He is also well spoken and well mannered in court.

Zambito said the probation officer who prepared his pre-sentencing report said Dhanda was his "own worst enemy."

"It's clear," Zambito said reading from the report, "the defendant could do great things with his life if he would stop drinking and doing drugs."

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