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October 30, 2008 - 7:43pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, football, sports, Notre Dame, dundee.

 Notre Dame (6-2) vs. Dundee (8-0)

Noon, Saturday, at PAETEC Park

The Notre Dame football team has been on a roll, cruising through the opening two rounds of the playoffs by a combined score of 111-6.

The Fighting Irish blasted DeSales 55-6 in the first round and then thrashed Perry 56-0 last week. Everything is clicking.

The defense has only allowed a total of 142 yards rushing in two games and the Yellowjackets only had one serious chance to score in the semifinals.

Craig Houseknecht, Rick Lair and the rest of the defense is playing near-perfect football; and they are going to have to keep that up to avenge last year's 18-13 loss in the semifinals at the hands of Dundee.

The Scotsmen have put 385 points on the scoreboard this season and have crushed some teams, even giving Red Jacket an 89-6 beat-down in Week 5.

The offense is led by junior running back Steve Webb, who earned Offensive Player of the Week in a 53-14 win over Marcus Whitman, when he rushed for 190 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Dundee will throw the ball a little and does have a few other options, but Webb is the go-to guy.

Notre Dame's offense has turned from good to great in recent weeks and will also face a stiff challenge because the Scotsmen have only given up 45 points this season. Marcus Whitman is the only team to score over 10 points in a game this season against them and Dundee is coming off a 49-0 blowout of Geneseo.

The Fighting Irish have a ton of team speed and last week it was Mike Pratt to take advantage of the East Rochester turf, picking up 109 yards with three touchdowns. He is now at 615 yards on the season.

Kevin Schildwaster is a speedster in the backfield and has 675 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The passing game will most likely be needed because of Dundee's stout defense, and Notre Dame has had little difficulties with that.

Nick Bochicchio threw two more touchdown passes last week, even though there was little need to throw the football. His top target is always going to be Kevin Francis.

Francis had a nice punt return last week but is the biggest threat on the turf. It is only a matter of time before he gets some space on a kick return, punt return or short reception and he's going to make a big play. There aren't many players as fast as Francis playing football in the smaller schools in Section 5.

Neither team lacks experience as Dundee has a bunch of players that return after going to the sectional finals last season and Notre Dame has plenty of talent that were sophomores on the 2006 sectional championship squad.

Dundee is sixth in the state in Class D and the Fighting Irish debut at No. 15 this week.


October 29, 2008 - 10:05pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, baseball, muckdogs, sports.

Four former Batavia Muckdogs just earned World Series rings.

The Philadelphia Phillies just beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 to win the World Series 4 games to 1, claiming the first team title in 28 years.

Philadelphia used to be the parent club of the Muckdogs before St. Louis took over two years ago and some players on the team got their professional baseball start in Batavia.

First baseman Ryan Howard hit six homers in Batavia, playing 48 games in 2001. Second baseman Chase Utley batted .307 while playing 40 games in 2000.

Starting pitcher J.A. Happ went 1-2 in 11 starts for Batavia in 2004 and reliever Ryan Madson had a 5-5 record in 15 starts in 1999.

October 28, 2008 - 8:50pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, Le Roy, sports, byron, volleyball.

 The Genesee Region League is typically very strong in volleyball, with Byron-Bergen, Notre Dame and Attica as top squads almost every year.

Those teams, a couple of others in the GR as well as Le Roy and Batavia are all kicking off the playoffs on Wednesday.

Byron-Bergen is 19-1, has won six consecutive sectional championships and will get the top seed in Class C, hosting No. 8 Marion in the first round at 6:30 p.m. 

Le Roy earned the top seed in Class CC with a 9-7 record and will host No 8 Sodus at 5 p.m.

Pembroke is a seventh seed and will be playing Mynderse at Victor at 5.

Batavia is a fourth seed and hosting No. 5 Aquinas at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Class BB with No. 4 Attica will host No. 5 Waterloo at 7 in Class B.

Notre Dame is a third seed - earning a bye - in Class D and is hosting either Houghton or Romulus at 6 p.m. on Thursday.

Alexander was a ninth seed in Class DD and was at Perry Tuesday night, but got knocked out in the first round, 20-25, 25-19, 25-19, 26-16.

Chelsea Turcer had seven kills and seven aces for Alexander.

October 28, 2008 - 8:17pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, Attica, football, Le Roy, sports, Oakfield, pembroke, Notre Dame, Alabama.

 I'll be visiting the five teams that are still playing in the Section 5 playoffs this week, doing video previews as well as my written ones. They will all be on The Batavian on Thursday to help fans get ready for the games.

Notre Dame will be playing Dundee on Saturday at  noon at PAETEC Park in the Class D finals.

Le Roy will play Letchworth at 1 p.m. with Pembroke vs. Oakfield-Alabama to follow at Aquinas in the Class C semifinals on Saturday.

Then Attica will play Bath at 6 p.m. Sunday at PAETEC in a Class B semifinal game.

I attended two practices today and will visit the other three teams on Wednesday and Thursday. You will get the most in-depth previews for local teams as we go deeper into the playoffs here at The Batavian.

I will also be covering games this weekend as well as doing a radio preview and guest appearance during the game on WVIN for the Attica/Bath game on Sunday. You will be able to hear the broadcast locally at www.localsportsedge.com

WBTA will also be broadcasting local games this weekend. The Notre Dame/Dundee game can be heard on 1490 AM or at www.wbta1490.com, and then at the conclusion of that game, Le Roy/Letchworth will be picked up. WBTA will stay on the air to cover the Oakfield-Alabama/Pembroke contest.

You will be able to see video highlights, a game story and photos of each game as soon as possible on The Batavian as well.


October 28, 2008 - 4:52pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, Buffalo.

Ah, the grand premier! Gina Pero remembers it well. She was four years old and already inspired by the spirit of dance. So inspired, in fact, that she danced right into the stage curtains. When her mother saw her little girl get caught there in the drapery, she thought for sure that was the end of that.

Instead, it was just the beginning. Curtains aside, Gina fell in love with the stage.

"I was a shy child," she says. "But not on the stage. It was that distance, being high up, that space between the stage and the audience, that fine line. I loved the lights. As soon as the lights hit me, I used to get that feeling like no other, like I was supposed to be on stage."

Dance turned out to be the one thing Gina Pero cherished almost as much as her family.

"Growing up in Batavia was great because my entire family lives there," says Gina. "We're a very close family."

Literally close. Gina told me how she used to walk to her "Nana and Papa's" house, just down the street, where she would fill up on homemade Italian meals—her favorite. That's probably the hardest thing about living in New York City now, she admits: being away from everyone back home.

But for the next month and a half she won't be too far.

On November 13, Gina will take the stage as a Radio City Rockette at Shea's Performing Arts Center in Buffalo. The Radio City Christmas Spectacular will run nearly every day from then until November 30—sometimes up to four times in a day. (Follow the link above for ticket and showtime info.)

"For me to be a Rockette, I feel strong, I feel that I am a strong woman," she says. "I love the womanhood that is happening with the girls."

Rehearsal is strenuous, says Gina. All of the girls rehearse for at least six hours a day, not counting the time they spend before rehearsals warming up or the time after in the ice baths, cooling down, or, after all of that, the time most girls put in, still practicing, working late with the athletic directors, the choreographers, the stage managers.

"We have everything in the palm of our hands," she says.

Life as a Rockette may have been "one of the most amazing experiences" of Gina's life thus far, she admits, but it hasn't been the only one. Receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance education from the University of Buffalo in 2002 was a fine moment. Dancing with magician Jason Byrne in Japan wasn't too bad either. Nor was going larger-than-life as a billboard model for the show "Air Play" at the Tropicana Resort in Las Vegas... to name a few. Let's not forget, either, that Gina was a heck of a cheerleader at Notre Dame, where she also landed herself in the national honor society.

These days, Gina's especially proud of a program she started in New York City called Inside Out. She explains it as "a program to help artists find their inner voice and stay positive." The idea is to "keep artists from giving up and help them find out who they are and to appreciate what they have."

For the folks back home who haven't yet been down to the Big Apple, Gina's got a helpful tip: "Know your train."

"It's fast paced here," she says. "We drive everywhere in Batavia, but in New York you walk or take the train. There's a lot more variety of things to do, as far as anything for anybody. Anyone can go there and find work and find fun and find a place to live."

Talking to Gina, who seems to have done more than most folks do in a lifetime, you get the sense that she has only just begun.

"I want to continue doing everything," she says. "I want to perform forever. There's no feeling like the feeling on stage. I'm really looking forward to opening night at Shea's. It's going to be an amazing experience for me and my family."

(Photos courtesy of Radio City Entertainment)

October 28, 2008 - 1:15pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, Daily News, city council.

Batavia's City Council decided last night not to pitch in $2,750 toward a shared recreation study of park and play land in the city, according to the Daily News. Check out our post from a couple weeks ago for the details. Councilman Bob Boialkowski said he would rather the city sold the land to get it on the tax rolls, and he wasn't alone in that opinion. Reporter Joanne Beck wrote:

(City Council President Charlie) Mallow took the agreement as a directive to Molino He asked him to give the district a call and tell school officials the city isn't interested at this time.

In other news, Joanne Beck put together an excellent article on the city's decision to cut the position of plumbing inspector down from full- to part-time. Beck fleshes out that rather dry news by talking with the city's plumbing inspector, Barb Toal, and, in doing so, shows how a decision ostensibly made for the greater good impacts the livelihood of one individual. For example:

(Toal) will lose half of her salary ... and will now have to pay nearly $500 a month for health insurance. She will also have to work for a longer period of time to reach her full pension benefits since she's now being cut to part-time. She would have reached that goal by January.

Read this one if you have the time.

Beck also wrote an article on the discussion at last night's Council meeting about the city's ambulance service. That news was first featured here on The Batavian this morning when we picked it up from WBTA's coverage. If you're looking for more detail, you might want to check out the article in the paper.

We encourage you to pick up a copy of the Daily News at your local newsstand. Or, better yet, subscribe at BataviaNews.com.

October 28, 2008 - 9:25am
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, Announcements, veterans, VA Medical Center, medicine.

From the VA Medical Center:

Veterans enrolled in VA health care may obtain flu vaccines at walk-in clinics at VA Western New York Healthcare System in Batavia, 222 Richmond Avenue. The vaccines will be available Monday through Friday, between 8:30 and 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. at the outpatient clinic. Enrolled veterans may also contact their primary care provider to obtain the vaccine. There is no charge for the flu vaccine for veterans enrolled in VA Healthcare. Walk-in clinics will be held through December 31.

Eligibility will be verified prior to administration of the vaccine. For information regarding VA Healthcare eligibility call 1-888-823-9656.

October 27, 2008 - 8:48pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, Attica, football, sports, pembroke, Notre Dame.

 With four teams still alive in the Section 5 playoffs, the Genesee Region League is having a heck of a postseason.

That was shown this week as four league players earned Player of the Week honors.

Notre Dame thumped Perry 56-0 in the Class D semifinals and got both the offensive and defensive POY.

Running back Mike Pratt rushed the ball nine times for 109 yards and three touchdowns and gets the offensive honor. Pratt is a 5-foot-9, 180-pound sophomore that led the Fighting Irish as the team rushed for 259 yards in the contest.

6-foot-1, 225-pound senior linebacker Craig Houseknecht had a sack on the opening Perry possession and finished the game with six solo tackles, six assists, the sack, a forced fumble and 1 1/2 tackles for losses of 26 yards to earn the defensive honor.

Pembroke beat Bishop Kearney 32-12 and 6-foot-5, 220-pound defensive end Ken Babcock was named the defensive POY. He had eight solo tackles, seven assists and knocked down a pass in the victory. Babcock also caught a touchdown pass in the win.

Attica's Dave Jennings was key in a historic 18-0 victory over East Rochester/Gananda this past weekend.

The 5-foot-10, 205-pound linebacker had nine tackles, a sack and an interception in the victory as the Blue Devils won a sectional football game for the second time ever.

Attica will be playing Bath in a semifinal game on Sunday while Oakfield-Alabama and Pembroke play each other in the semifinals on Saturday. Notre Dame gets to try to avenge last season's loss to Dundee in the finals on Saturday as well.

Snub alert: Oakfield-Alabama's Tim Smith rushed for 196 yards, had 331 all-purpose yards and scored six touchdowns in a 63-34 win over Dansville in a Class C game. How did he not get recognized?


October 27, 2008 - 8:25am
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, charity, Salvation Army, Holidays.

As the holiday season fast approaches, the Salvation Army readies its legion of bell ringers for the ubiquitous Red Kettle Campaign. Volunteers are needed, and anyone in the community can sign up.

From the press release:

“We call upon all businesses, families, individuals, clubs, churches, unions and associations – including sororities, fraternities, schools, business and civic organizations – to consider scheduling some time to ring the bells,” said Major Leonard Boynton, officer-in-charge of The Salvation Army in Batavia.

“A successful campaign is especially critical this year,” said Boynton. “With the economic downturn, this winter is going to be very difficult for many struggling families. We are already experiencing increases in requests for assistance and we anticipate that the demand will continue."

“The appeal of the kettle campaign is that it is very personal. When we see someone at a kettle, we know this is our neighbor, someone who is willing to sacrifice a few hours for those less fortunate or those having a temporary crisis.”

Money raised during The Red Kettle Campaign is used throughout the year to provide services to families, individuals, children and senior citizens. Programs include: emergency family assistance, older adult luncheons & activities, and after school youth programs.

Any person or organization wishing to help may call the local Salvation Army at 343-6284 or The Red Kettle Center, anytime at 1-877-764-7259. Information and volunteer forms are also available on-line at www.redkettles.org.

The Red Kettle Campaign began in 1891 when a Salvation Army captain in San Francisco resolved to provide a free Christmas dinner to the area's poor. Kettles now are used around the world, including Korea, Japan, Chile and Europe. Everywhere, public contributions to the kettles enable The Salvation Army to bring the spirit of Christmas to people who would otherwise be forgotten - the aged and lonely, the ill, poor and disadvantaged, and inmates of jails and other institutions.

October 27, 2008 - 8:06am
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, wbta, Le Roy.

Flu shots will be offered at the Presbyterian Church at Main and Clay streets in Le Roy from 10:00am to noon today, courtesy of the Genesee County Health Department.

In other news, leaf collection begins in Batavia today on River Street in the southside and Redfield Parkway in the north. Leaf piles need to be free of sticks and any other "foreign materials" and placed near the curb line in the street. Residents of Oak, Main and Ellicott streets should place their leaves in the space between the sidewalk and the street.

Batavia's City Council meets this evening at 7:00pm at City Hall.

October 25, 2008 - 5:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Holland Land Office Museum, Dean Richmond.

Richmond Tomb

Checking in at number 10 on the Holland Land Office Museum's ongoing list of 25 Things that Made Genesee County Famous is Dean Richmond.

The name Richmond still plays a prominent role in Batavia. There is the library, of course, but there is also the impressive looking family tomb in the Batavia Cemetary on Harvester Avenue.

Too bad his grand old mansion was torn down by the school board (the school board!?) after the board purchased the building in 1966 and the failed in an attempt to annex the Richmond Library. Where the Greek Revival structure once stood (311 East Main St.) is ... a parking lot. (I think they call that progress.)

But back to dear old Dean.

Mr. Richmond, according to HOLM, was born in 1804 in Barnard, Vermont. He was the son of an entrepreneur, but was forced to make his own way in life at age 14, when his father died.  He turned his father's money-losing business into a profitable one, and eventually used his growing wealth to invest in the emerging railroad business.

Dean Richmond is best known in railroad circles as the first person in America to advocate the use of steel rails for the construction of railroads. An order was placed in England for the steel rails for a test run, but the tests were completed after Richmond died. The tests were successful and the steel industry grew out of the demand for the product by the railroad.

While Richmond was president of the New York Central, he demanded that all trains stop in Batavia. In 1866, the year of Richmond’s death, more than 3.7 million travelers rode on the train line. Not all of those people stopped in Batavia, but a fair share did, and because of Richmond, Batavia became a terminal and a gateway to the west.

Among the passengers who road through Batavia, according to Patrick Weissend, was Abraham Lincoln -- both on his way to assume the presidency in Washington, D.C., and his casket was carried through Genesee County when his body was returned to Springfield, Ill. In both cases, the name of the engine that transported Mr. Lincoln was the Dean Richmond.

The Buffalo History Works site quotes this passage about the train's pass through Batavia from the Buffalo Morning Express:

The funeral train was met at Batavia yesterday morning by the Committee from this city which included Honorable Millard Fillmore. The Committee left here at 6:00 o'clock Wednesday evening by a special car provided for their accommodation, passing the night at Batavia. At 5:00 o'clock yesterday morning, the funeral train arrived at that point, where it was received, as at every halting point along the line of its long, sad journey, by an immense concourse of people. The assemblage had begun with the very dawn, when the firing of the minute guns awoke the village from its slumbers and hastened the steps of pilgrims from the surrounding country flocking in. Before the train appeared, it had grown to the proportions of a city throng.

The multitude stood with their heads bowed, silent, sorrowful and reverent, paying that sincere homage to the dead which had everywhere been so memorable and remarkable. The pause of the train was but for ten minutes, during which the committee from Buffalo took their places in the car reserved for them. From thence to this city no halt on the journey was made but at every station and almost continuously the train passed between long lines of people, who had come to catch but a floating glimpse of what bore the remains of their beloved President; and everywhere they bowed, with uncovered heads, in afflicting bestowment of their little passing tribute of solemn reverence.

Here's something additional I just found: The wreckage of the Dean Richmond, a freighter on the Lake Erie that went down in a storm in 1893. Here's a 1872 article from the New York Times about a fire aboard the very same steamer. Actually, maybe those are not the same boats. This article says there were for Great Lakes steamers named the Dean Richmond -- all met similar fates.  The link contains a picture of the fourth one.

October 25, 2008 - 5:44pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, football, sports, Notre Dame.

Notre Dame is going to get another crack at Dundee, this time in the Section 5 Class D finals, after thumping Perry 56-0 Saturday at Don Quinn Field in East Rochester.

Dundee beat the Fighting Irish 18-13 last year and the two squads will be facing each other next Saturday at PAETEC Park. 

This Saturday's game was never a contest as the Yellowjackets couldn't move the ball or stop Notre Dame from getting into the end zone.

A Craig Houseknecht sack on the first offensive possession for Perry wound up forcing a three-and-out. Kevin Francis returned the punt 36 yards to the Perry 21 and just a couple of plays later, Mike Pratt ran it in from 15 yards out for the first score of the game.

Pratt then recovered a Perry fumble and a facemask penalty moved the ball deep into Yellowjacket territory. Nick Bochicchio tossed a 9-yard touchdown pass to Francis to finish off that drive.

Francis intercepted Perry quarterback James Devitt and the Fighting Irish were back at it again after the 25-yard return. Pratt scored from 14 yards out this time.

After the teams exchanged turnovers, Pratt broke a 40-yard run for a score to make it 28-0 near the end of the first quarter. He also had an interception in the final seconds of the first period.

Kevin Schildwaster had a 6-yard TD, Bochicchio tossed a 5-yard touchdown pass to Rick Lair and R.J. Marchese dove in from 1-yard out and the score was 49-0 at halftime.

Notre Dame called off the dogs in the second half and everybody got into the game. The only score after the break was a Schildwaster 12-yard run.

The Fighting Irish out-rushed the Yellowjackets 259-31 and were led by Pratt, who gained 109 yards with the three scores on just nine carries.

Schildwaster ran the ball 11 times for 58 yards and two TDs and Marchese had three touches for 25 yards and a score.

Perry ends up 4-4 while the Fighting Irish improve to 6-2 and advance to the finals.

October 24, 2008 - 10:45pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, football, sports.

 The Batavia football team thought it found something about Geneva that would give them an advantage last week, but apparently the Panthers were the ones that got the information in the regular season finale.

Top seeded Geneva put an end to No. 8 Batavia's season in convincing fashion, winning the Class B opener 41-6.

Last week, the Panthers had success throwing the ball and this week they did it with the run game.

Shamar Bridges rushed for 118 yards with three touchdowns and quarterback Bobby Martin added 102 yards and a score on 12 attempts. He also completed 8-of-14 pass attempts for 85 yards and a TD.

Rob Williams had the only Batavia touchdown in the fourth quarter as the Blue Devils fall to 3-5 and are eliminated from the playoffs.

October 24, 2008 - 10:25am
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, Announcements, city council, committees.

City residents have been notified. Batavia is taking applications for positions on several of its boards and committees. We received a press release yesterday detailing the openings and the requirements for each volunteer position.

  • Cable TV Advisory Board: There is one opening.
  • Historic Preservation Commission: There is one opening. Any architects, historians, residents of a historic district or residents that have demonstrated a significant interest in the commitment to the field of historic preservation are encouraged to apply.
  • Planning & Development Committee: There are three openings and one opening for an alternate member. Residents from Wards 2, 4, and 6 are needed.
  • Zoning Board of Appeals: There are two openings. At least one resident from Ward 2 and 5 are needed. 

If you're interested or you want more information, contact City Clerk Heidi J. Parker at (585) 343-9221. You can also download an application from the city's Web site. Applications must be submitted to the clerk no later than November 21.

October 24, 2008 - 8:42am
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, wbta.

WBTA's Dan Fischer reports this morning that a worker at the Alliance Energy power plant in Batavia was injured last night when he became trapped under a garage door. The man has not been unidentified, but Fischer reports that he was working alone when he became trapped and used his cell phone to call for help. He was taken by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital after being freed by Batavia fire crews. His injuries were thought to be serious, but he has since been examined and found to be "OK."

October 23, 2008 - 9:25pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, Attica, football, Le Roy, sports, Oakfield, pembroke, Notre Dame.

 All of the high school football previews are set in sports. Here's the list of playoff games with links.

Batavia at Geneva

Attica at ER/Gananda

South Seneca/Romulus at Le Roy

Dansville at Oakfield-Alabama

Bishop Kearney at Pembroke

Perry vs. Notre Dame, at East Rochester

Pool Play roundup


And just in case you missed it earlier in the week, here are the Genesee Region League all-stars.

October 23, 2008 - 9:06pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, football, sports, Notre Dame.

 Perry (4-3) vs. Notre Dame (5-2)

3 p.m. Saturday, at East Rochester

Surprise, surprise. 

While everybody was looking forward to seeing post season rivals Notre Dame and C.G. Finney playing each other in the semifinals, Perry knocked off Finney and gets a crack at the Fighting Irish.

The Yellowjackets knocked off Finney 32-22 in the first round and are now playing the Cinderella role in this playoff.

James Devitt rushed the ball 19 times in that game for 124 yards and Zane Hendrickson pitched in 70 yards as Perry seems to be playing its best football of the season. The Yellowjackets started off 0-2 and have won 4-of-5 games since.

Notre Dame is playing some real solid football right now and is coming off a 55-6 conquering of DeSales. The Fighting Irish rushed for 313 yards in the game and were led by Kevin Schildwaster's 12 carries for 131 yards.

Schildwaster keeps getting better every week it seems and now has 617 yards and eight touchdowns. He's assisted in the backfield by Mike Pratt, who has 506 yards on the ground.

Notre Dame has been involved in a pair of blowouts over the last two weekends and have gotten a lot of experience for other runners, like Greg Barr, Beau Richter, Gianni Zambito and Jon Corona.

But ND might go away from the run a little bit in this game because the East Rochester field has turf.

Nick Bochicchio has proven to be one of the top quarterbacks in the league and has the ultimate weapon on his side in receiver Kevin Francis. He's probably the fastest player in the Genesee Region League and if Bochicchio can get him the ball in space; he's gone.

Francis returned a punt for a touchdown last week and caught 27 passes for 337 yards and five TDs during the regular season. He added a touchdown reception in the playoff opener.

Notre Dame received an honorable mention in the state rankings this week and would advance to the finals next weekend against the winner of the Dundee/Geneseo game with a victory.

October 23, 2008 - 2:06pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, football, sports, geneva.

 Batavia (3-4) at Geneva (6-1)

7 p.m. Friday

Those Batavia football players that didn't believe they had a chance to beat Geneva before last week's regular season finale, now are believing the upset is possible.

It may sound funny, but that is because of the second half effort of a 40-12 loss. Now the eighth-seeded Batavia squad will try to upset the top-seed.

The Blue Devils found something in the Panther defense that coach Dan Geiger believes they can exploit. Geneva is a powerhouse and is ranked No. 3 in the state in Class B.

But it was clear after the homecoming loss last Friday, Batavia's players believe a victory is possible.

Oh yeah, a healthy Rob Williams will help.

Williams injured his hip in Week 6 and was initially not expected to play last week, but saw very limited action in the first Geneva game. And he didn't do much.

But he's close to 100-percent and will make a big difference rushing the football, returning kicks and covering the super-athletic Geneva receivers.

Williams will probably go over 1,000 yards rushing for the year in this game, which would be the second Batavia back to do so.

Anthony D'Aurizio had 24 carries for 183 yards last week and now has 1,009 yards and 10 touchdowns on the season.

The key to this game will be to obviously run the football, which the Blue did with success in the second half last week.

Batavia will also have to slow down the passing attack of Geneva as the Panthers receivers were wide open last week.

DeAnze Williams, Junior Collins and Derrious Thomas were all separating from the coverage with ease last week and quarterback Bobby Martin had no problem finding them at-will.

The secondary has to stick with those guys.

A victory in this game would be HUGE for the Batavia program and could set up the Blue Devils for a shot to shock the world and win a sectional title.

October 22, 2008 - 7:31pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, football, Le Roy, sports, Oakfield, pembroke, Notre Dame.

I am getting a jump on my previews for tomorrow and just saw something that made me crack a little smile.

 The newest version of the New York State Sportswriters Association state rankings came out today and our area teams are doing very well.

Le Roy moved up from fourth to third in Class C after demolishing Hornell last week and Oakfield-Alabama made the jump from No. 10 to No. 8.

Pembroke had not been ranked all season long and was getting an honorable mention before losing to O-A in Week 6, but fell off the board after that. The Dragons are making their first appearance on the official top 20 list at No. 17 this week.

Notre Dame received its first honorable mention this week in Class D after thumping DeSales last week.

It is nice to see the state is giving props to teams from our area. Now hopefully our local teams can prove them right.

October 22, 2008 - 5:37pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, community, video, Neighborhoods.

Heroes come in all sizes—some under four feet tall. And whoever said a damsel in distress couldn't be a beagle in peril? This particular hero is named Alex Smith, and he's 7-years-old, and he saved the life of his dog, Sasha, and it happened like this...

Alex was hanging out on the driveway at his father's home in Batavia when Sasha burst out out of the shrubbery above him and nearly hung herself there on her leash. (You see, that part of the driveway is sunken down below the yard where Sasha was chained up). As soon as the dog started squealing, Alex wasted no time and ran underneath her, pushing the dog up as high as he could hold her—not bad considering the dog is almost as big as he is. He got her high enough for the leash to loosen so Sasha could breathe. Then Alex was the one who set to squealing, shouting for his grandfather to come out and help Sasha before Alex ran out of strength. His sister Ashley was the first to hear and came to the rescue of brother and dog. We'll let her tell the rest of the story...

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