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November 10, 2018 - 1:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, Batavia Downs, sports.

Photo of Bioness with reinsman Hunter Oakes.

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

When French-bred trotter Bioness last competed at Batavia Downs he won the $15,000 Schroeder Invitational trot in October. On Friday (Nov. 9) he stayed undefeated at the Genesee County oval by taking the $11,500 Open Handicap trotting feature under a slick drive by his young reinsman Hunter Oakes, over a very sloppy track. 

When the wings folded Bioness started the long trek from post seven to the front and gained that position by the quarter in :29.4. But the lead was short-lived as the local hot-trotter Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) pulled at the three-eighths and rushed to the front by the half and grabbed the pylons into the second circuit. 

Southern Palms (Kevin Cummings) made the next move, pulling at the five-eighths and drawing near Lougazi as the race progressed through the third panel. The top two trotters battled around the last turn and into the stretch before a gap allowed Oakes to pull Bioness out of the pocket and jet between them. He was by Southern Palms and overtook Lougazi at the wire to win in 1:59.4 by one-half length. 

It was the fifth win of 2018 for Bioness ($2.70) who now has $107,438 on his card for the year. The 7-year-old altered son of Sam Bourbon is owned by the Northfork Racing Stable and is trained by Chris Oakes. 

For the 20-year-old Hunter Oakes, it was his fourth consecutive win in only five career drives and his first career victory at Batavia Downs in his Western New York homecoming. 

In the $8,800 Open II trot, Labatt Hanover (Shawn McDonough) sat third the whole mile before tipping three-wide off cover in the lane to catch Barn Winner (Ray Fisher Jr.) at the wire to win by a neck in 2:00.1. It was the second win in the last three starts for Labatt Hanover ($11.60) and owners Gary and Cynthia Saj. McDonough also does the training. 

There was no winner in the early Pick-5 wager on Friday so the $2,756 carry over will supplement a guaranteed $7,000 pool for the early Pick-5 wager when live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 10). This bet will be part of the USTA Strategic Wagering Program and as such, will offer free race pages for races one through five for Batavia Downs tomorrow courtesy of Trackmaster. These free pages can be downloaded at www.ustrotting.com under the “Handicapping” tab. Post time for the first race is 6 p.m. 

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 8, 2018 - 1:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Photo of Sportsmuffler with driver Billy Davis Jr.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Sportsmuffler remained the mare to beat in Western New York after scoring her second straight top class distaff pacing feature victory at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Nov. 7).

Getting away fourth, Sportsmuffler (Billy Davis Jr.) watched as Machin Marley (Kevin Cummings) flew to the front and guided the field’s fortunes to the half in a tepid :58.3. Shortly after that marker, Kruella pulled first-over and eventually took command of the pace by the three-quarter pole. With Machin Marley starting to lose touch, Davis, who was a boxed fourth, was able to sneak Sportsmuffler out and around the pack before going three-deep into the last turn. First drawing even with Kruella, Sportsmuffler then pulled away from everyone to win by three in 1:56.1.

It was the ninth win of the year and 35th career victory for Sportsmuffler ($7.90) who is owned by Rose Campbell and trained by Steve Kiblin. Sportsmuffler has now earned $60,366 this year. 

In the co-featured $8,800 fillies and mares Open II, Hey Kobe (Billy Davis Jr.) led every step of the way going gate to wire and winning by two lengths in 1:56.4. The Mihajlo Zdjelar trained Hey Kobe ($12) scored her sixth win of the year for owner Keith Pinkowski. 

Billy Davis Jr. won both top events on Wednesday but he ended up with a driving Grand Slam as well. Besides the already mentioned Sportsmuffler and Hey Kobe, Davis also won with Sweet Kimmy (2:03.1, $6.70) and Gussy’s Dragon (1:58.3, $43). 

With no winning ticket in the early Pick-5 wager on Wednesday, there is a $709 carry-over and a $2,000 guaranteed pool for the early Pick-5 at Batavia Downs when live racing resumes on Friday night (Nov. 9). The early Pick-5 is a 50-cent base wager that starts in race one and runs through race five. Post time for the first race on Friday is 6 p.m.

November 6, 2018 - 1:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, sports, football.

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Blue Devils running back Ray Leach was named the Section V Class B Player of the Year and Coach Brennan Briggs was named Coach of the Year.

The awards come after Batavia secured another Section V championship Saturday, knocking off the Wayne Eagles, 48-14.

Though Briggs has led four teams in five years to Section V championships, this is his first Coach of the Year award. It's also the first Player of the Year award for Leach, a senior.

On the year, Leach has 127 carries for 1,714 yards, which averages 13.5 yards a carry, along with 27 rushing touchdowns. He has 10 receptions for 361 yards and three TDs. 

On his career at Batavia HS, he has 4,476 rushing yards and 66 TDs. He has 635 all-purpose yards and 90 touchdowns.

Photo courtesy of Batavia High School.

November 5, 2018 - 12:52pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports.

Michele Larson of Batavia and Brady Weber of Perry continued their recent run of stellar league bowling last week in competition at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia and Perry Bowling Center, respectively.

Larson rolled 225-235-258--715 to set the pace in the Synergistic Monday Nite NFL League at Mancuso's, while Weber posted 244-245-280--769 in the Monday Nite 5 League in Perry.

Other big series last week included Rich Wagner's 288--789 in the Toyota of Batavia Thursday Night League at Mancuso's and Robbie Hanks' 734 in the Friday Night Mixers at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion.

Click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page for more high scores.

November 4, 2018 - 4:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, alexander, Class D sectional title.

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Just as they've done all season, the Alexander Trojans dominated an opponent and came away with a victory, this time for the Class D sectional title.

The Trojans beat York/Pavilion 36-0 in Alfred on Saturday night.

Three backs for Alexander gained at least 100 yards. Fullback Hayden Walton had eight carries for 100 yards. Chris McClinic gained 106 yards on 12 rushes. And Terrez Smith, the game's MVP, ran seven times for 116 yards.

"(Winning the MVP in sectionals) means everything but I'm not the most valuable player," Smith said. "The team helped me a lot to get this trophy. I wouldn't have it without this team. It was a team effort."

It was nearly nine minutes into the first quarter before Alexander scored for the first time, on a 56-yard run by Smith. 

By half-time, York/Pavilion's fate seemed sealed with the Trojans up 29-0 after a 29 yard run by Smith, a McClinic eight-yard run, and an 18-yard pass from Dylan Busch to McClinic.

Busch completed six passes against one interception, on a tipped pass, on the night.

McClinic, Smith, Walton, Busch, Ty Wood, the Trojans are a team with exceptional talent at skill positions. It's something special, McClinic said, to be surrounded by such great teammates.

"You know you don't have to do it all yourself," McClinic said. "You know you have some skill guys around. That's wonderful."

Sawyer agrees it's special but the whole team is special.

"When 11 guys do their job then the team really benefits from that," Tim Sawyer, head coach, said. That's been our formula and guys know what they need to do and that they're accountable to each other. You add to that, they care about each other and makes for a winning combination for sure."

On defense, Jake Jasen had another big game with 15 tackles, Woods 11, Walton 9, plus a fumble recovery, and Nate Luker had eight tackles.

The Trojans won their first sectional title in program history two years ago and that seemed like an incredible team but Alexander hit a brick wall -- like a lot of Section V teams do -- when it came time to play Section VI for the regional championship.

That year Maple Grove came out strong and fast and left Alexander not much of an answer on its way to a 28-0 win.

Coach Sawyer's hopeful this year's Trojan team can succeed where other Section V teams have failed when Alexander takes on Clymer in Clarence next week.

Clymer is 10-0 and ranked #1 in the state so Alexander is meeting a tough opponent again as it tries to advance to the state tournament.

"(Maple Grove) was just a little bit better than we were in the trenches and they dictated the play a little bit more," Sawyer said. "think we throw the ball better now than we did then because of pre-snap reads perhaps. Our defense has come a long way. Our defense is just outstanding.

"Coach McCracken is very thorough. The kids understand the system. Anytime you have a defense like we have it gives you a chance every week, so yeah, we're looking forward to the matchup for sure."

Top Photo: Head Coach Tim Sawyer embraces Terrez Smith as time expires in Alexander's Class D championship win.

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Dylan Busch trots into the end zone of Alexander's final TD of the night. Busch snatched the ball out of the air after York's QB was hit from behind as he attempted a pass (next picture).

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Chris McClinic

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Terrez Smith headed for the end zone.

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Chris McClinic

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To purchase keepsake prints of photos, click here.

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Hundreds of Alexander fans greeted the Trojans when the team bus arrived back at the school at 11:30 last night. The bus received a fire department escort through the village. (Photo submitted by Andrew Young.)

November 4, 2018 - 12:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Photo of Lucky McTrucky in the lead with driver Drew Monti.

By TIm Bojarski, for Batavia Downs​

After some early maneuvering, Lucky McTrucky got a perfect trip en route to winning the $10,500 Open Handicap pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 3).

Cool Like Fire (Billy Davis Jr.) took the early lead but soon yielded it to Lucky McTrucky (Drew Monti) past the eighth pole. Then just before the quarter, Davis pulled Cool Like Fire and retook the lead once again. From there positions remained unchanged for the next half mile.

After passing the three-quarters in 1:27, Cool Like Fire was in a very good spot and looked fresh legged on the point. But Monti, who had gotten the perfect trip, pulled Lucky McTrucky coming out of the final turn and pushed him hard towards the stretch drive. As they headed down the lane the horses were stride for stride in a good match race with Lucky McTrucky getting the advantage before the wire and won by a neck in 1:56.1.

It was the 11th win of the year and 53rd victory of his career for Lucky McTrucky ($6) who has won $79,765 in 2018 for owner Tessa Roland. JD Perrin trains the winner.

In the $9,900 Open II co-feature, Dark Horse (Ray FIsher Jr.) got away at the back of the pack and watched as Bahama Bay (Denny Bucceri) and Hardts Or Bettor (Drew Monti) battled hard on the front end past the half. Fisher tipped Dark Horse four-wide up the backstretch, took the lead in the final turn and pulled away to win by two in 1:56.

It was the fifth win of the year for Dark Horse ($4.70) who is owned by VHF Racing and trained by Sabrina Cleavenger.

Ray Fisher Jr. led all drivers on Saturday scoring three wins on the night.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 7) with post time for the first race at 5 p.m.

November 4, 2018 - 1:20am
posted by James Burns in batavia, Batavia HS, sports, football.

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Batavia Blue Devils faced the Wayne Eagles for the Class B Sec V Class final at St. John Fisher College Saturday night. Most everything has been falling Batavia’s way this season and that included the game's coin toss. Batavia won and elected to receive. 

On the game's opening kick Wayne went for an onside kick, or their kicker shanked it, no one was sure, but the play ended with Wayne recovering the ball in Batavia territory. The Batavia defense held Wayne and after three downs they punted but Batavia coughed up the ball again on a fumble. This time Wayne was able to capitalize on the turnover and scored. 

For the first time this season Batavia was behind in a game.

Late in the first quarter, Batavia was able to get up on the board with a touchdown, but in more uncharacteristic play, they failed to convert and missed the field goal. The first quarter ended Batavia 6 Wayne 7.  

After some back and forth Batavia was able to break through and score with four and a half minutes left in the first half, then again with three minutes left and again with 40 seconds left in the half. At the end of the first half Batavia led 28 to 7. 

Batavia made sure Wayne understood they were in charge and there was no way they were going to let them back into the game. Batavia started the second half scoring again only 20 seconds in. Batavia 35, Wayne 7. 

After a few substitutions by Batavia, they led by 49 to 7. Wayne was able to put a few more points up on the board in the fourth. 

The final score Batavia 49, Wayne 14.

Ray Leach hit a season-high with 344 yards and six TDs. Alec Rood ran for 59 yards.

Ethan Biscaro went 5 for 9 passing for 112 yards and 1TD and another interception on defense. 

 Taio lburi-Bethel had four receptions for 110 yards and one TD.

For more pictures of the game click HERE

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November 3, 2018 - 3:58pm

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Seven-year-old Christina Guiher demonstrates what she's learned in her karate lessons for judges during the sixth-annual Traditional Martial Arts Association Tournament at Le Roy High School this afternoon.

The Tournament consists of Sparring (point fighting), Individual Kata (forms), Team Kata, Weapons Kata, and Self Defense.

Tournament organizers are Soke William Cavalier (Livonia Tatsu Do School), Hanshi Dick Borrell (Borrell’s Karate Academy Batavia), and Renshi Fred Merica (Le Roy Karate & Self Defense Center/ Main Street Fitness). All three have been close associates and tournament/clinic organizers for the past 40 years.

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November 3, 2018 - 1:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

Photo of Southern Palms with reinsman Kevin Cummings.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs​

After getting the perfect trip, Southern Palms had just enough at the wire to win the $8,800 Open II Handicap trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday evening (Nov. 2). 

The race played out quite simply: Barn Winner (Ray Fisher Jr.) went to the top and Southern Palms (Kevin Cummings) got the perfect pocket trip. After fisher cut fractions of :28.1 :58.2 and 1:28.2, Barn Winner rounded the last turn looking like the probable victor. But Cummings brought Southern Palms out for the stretch drive and after steady urging, nipped Barn winner at the wire by a head in 1:58.3. 

Southern Palms registered his seventh win of 2018 for owner Mike Torcello who has now been enriched the sum of $57,991 by his gelding's performances this year. Western New York legend Gerry Sarama trains the winner.

Sarama and Torcello also sent forth the winner of the $8,500 co-featured trot. 

Theresnoway (Jim McNeight Jr.) got away seven lengths behind the leading Striker Ace (Drew Monti) before pulling first-over past the half and rallying down the stretch to win by a length and upset the field at 14-1. Theresnoway ($31.80) also got his seventh win of the year, breaking a long drought since his last score on August 17. 

Kevin Cummings led all drivers on Friday night winning three races on the card. Cummings is now in sole possession of the dash win lead for the current Batavia Downs meet, sporting 88 wins so far. Drew Monti is second with 85 wins and did not visit the Purple Haze winner’s circle at all on Friday.  

Racing resumes on Saturday night (Nov. 3) with post time set at 6 o'clock.

November 2, 2018 - 10:09am

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In a very tight sectional semifinal class D3 matchup Notre Dame of Batavia edged CG Finney last evening in five sets 25-20, 21-25, 20-25, 25-17, 25-20 at Wayland Cohocton High School.

Notre Dame took the first set win but CG Finney came on strong catching the Irish down two sets to one. Lots of energy flowed from play to play for Finney, which carried the momentum into the fourth but the Irish delivered with some key kills and digs to force a deciding set.

The Irish got off their heels and back in the game in the fifth to win it and send them to the finals against Hammondsport, who they play at SUNY Geneseo college tomorrow at 3 p.m. There was a lot of heart played by both teams especially the underdogs CG Finney.

To view or order photos click here.

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November 1, 2018 - 1:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

Photo: Sportsmuffler takes the lead with driver Billy Davis Jr.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

It was a dark and stormy night in Genesee County and the track was sloppy at best. But that didn’t stop the top side-wheeling mare Sportsmuffler from out-dueling three rivals at the wire to win the $10,400 distaff pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Oct.30). 

After a two-week layoff, Sportsmuffler got away third while Kaitlyn Rae (Ray Fisher Jr.) drove to the front by the quarter and led the field to the half without  opposition. This produced a very pedestrian :31 second quarter making Kaitlyn Rae look like a veritable lock. But there was a half to go and Sportsmuffler (Billy Davis Jr.) had different ideas and was the first to push the issue as they rolled up the backside. 

Kaitlyn Rae maintained her length advantage passing the three-quarters in 1:28.1, but her pursuers were poised to strike as Roll With Faith (Kevin Cummings) joined the fray another length behind Sportsmuffler. Coming off the far turn, Sportsmuffler was wearing down Kaitlyn Rae and Roll With Faith had tipped three-deep both of them. And from the back of the pack, Kruella (Shawn McDonough) came out of nowhere and was flying down the middle of the track. As the race approached the wire, these four were strung across the lane in a tightening bunch, but it was Sportsmuffler getting her head in front at the line to win in 1:57.3. 

It was the eighth win of 2018 for Sportsmuffler ($8.80) who has now earned $55,166 for owner Rose Campbell. Steve Kiblin trains the winner.

In the $8,500 fillies and mares conditioned under card, Susie’s Delight (Ray Fisher Jr.) unleashed a furious stretch drive to catch A Crafty Lady (Drew Monti) who looked like she was home, to win in 1:57.4. Susie’s Delight ($16.60) has now won three of her last four starts and five on the year for owner Swift Racing Stable. Ryan Swift does the training. 

Four drivers won all 10 races on Wednesday led by Billy Davis Jr. who had the Grand Slam. Kevin Cummings, Shawn McDonough and Ray Fisher Jr. all had two wins apiece. 

With no winner of the early Pick-5 wager on Wednesday, there will be a guaranteed $1,500 pool for that wager when racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday evening (Nov. 2) Post time is 6 o'clock.

November 1, 2018 - 8:34am
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Bowling.

The U.S. Open wasn’t kind to PBA legend Pete Weber, who was forced to withdraw on Friday due to a hip injury and, in an interview with Lucas Wiseman of FloBowling (flobowling.com) afterwards, added some insult to the situation by blasting the United States Bowling Congress.

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Dom Barrett of England triumphs as No. 1 seed Butturff falters again
See story below

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Weber was upset about the USBC’s practice time format, which allocates 14 lanes not being used during the tournament and gives each squad (48 bowlers) about 20 minutes of practice time. After that, the bowlers get one practice ball on each of their starting lanes.

During the interview, Weber made his feelings very clear. This is what he said:

“One ball on each lane when you start, I’m sorry but I don’t know what the USBC is trying to do to us, but to me it’s kind of stupid. I’m sorry, I’ve always been straight forward, but I think what they’re doing to us right now is very stupid.”

He said it wasn’t a matter of him not being physically able to compete.

“No, I went down to the practice, and we’ve got 20 minutes of practice on the pairs down there. But when there are five, six guys on a lane, you only get three, four or five shots, maybe. I’m sorry, I’m 56 years old and I need more than five or six shots. And then when they make us move to our pair and I only get one shot on each lane, I think that’s just totally wrong, I think that’s just totally wrong.”

He acknowledged his disappointment with having to withdraw for the second straight year.

“My hip hurt. The conditions were stupid. And even this year … I know we’re bowling on fresh (oil) every squad, but they’re not giving us anything to work with. And I am up to here with the USBC. I’m almost ready to quit.”

He said he is thinking about retiring from the regular tour but sticking with the senior tour (PBA50).

“Now I got two months off. I’ve got my new doctor here. He made me feel really good. But when I have to go and stand straight up when I throw a shot, that doesn’t help me. And when you can’t get the ball to go 30 feet down the lane before it hooks, it’s – like I said – stupid, it’s really stupid.”

He said his dissatisfaction is directed at the USBC.

“I’m not frustrated with bowling -- I’m frustrated with the USBC and what they’re trying to do to bowling right now. I don’t mean any disrespect to the USBC, but I think that what they’re doing is not right – and I think they’re just hurting bowling right now, especially professional bowling.”

Wiseman, a former USBC staffer, wrote a column related to Weber’s rant, properly noting that the USBC is trying to retain the integrity of the oil pattern by limiting practice on tournament pairs.

He also wrote that 48 bowlers on 14 lanes for 20 minutes means there are “too many players practicing on too few lanes.”

BATAVIA YOUTHS OFF TO GOOD START IN ROCHESTER LEAGUE

Mancuso Bowling Center’s entry in the Rochester NY USBC Youth Travel League Handicap Division is off to a flying start, winning 20 of its first 30 points over three weeks of competition.

Coached by Tom Fluker, the team is tied for second place with AMF Dewey Gardens II and AMF Gates Bowl III – six points behind AMF Fairview Lanes I. Gates has four teams in the league while Fairview and Dewey Gardens each have two teams.

Other teams represent Bowl-A-Roll, Brockport Bowl, AMF Empire Lanes, Radio Social and Miller Lanes (Honeoye Falls).

Individually, Tony Sprague rolled 247—659 and Emma Miller 187—513 last week to lead the way. Sprague leads the league with a 195 average while Miller is second among the girls with a 164 average.

Other Batavia team members are Corinne Saluste, Ben Sputore, Zach Wester and Haylee Thornley. Four of the six are selected to compete in the weekly league, which ends in late March.

Mancuso’s is hosting the league at 2 p.m. this Saturday.

ROSE GARDEN TEAM RED-HOT IN GR TRAVEL LEAGUE

The Rose Garden II team defeated the Rose Garden I team, 20-4, in recent Genesee Region Youth Travel League action at Mount Morris Lanes and now has a 13-point lead over second-place Perry Bowling Center.

Evan Phillips set the pace with a 667 series with handicap, while teammates Sawyer Zinter, Megan Jarkiewicz and Brendan Pimm each topped the 600 mark with handicap.

On the scratch side, Samantha Hyde (Le Roy Legion Lanes) had the high series for the week with 207—578, followed by Dennis Van Duser (Perry Bowling Center) with 193—533.

The league bowls again this Sunday afternoon at Legion Lanes.

NEWS & NOTES FROM AROUND THE GENESEE REGION

-- Several Genesee Region USBC members have signed up to compete in the 2nd NYS Senior Masters this Saturday at Cort Lanes in Cortland. Qualifying squad times (four games) are 9 and 11:30 a.m., with the top 16 advancing to head-to-head match play.

To enter, call 585-343-3736 or send an email to [email protected]. A list of bowlers and more information can be found at www.bowlny.com.

In Tommy Kress’ 60-and-Over Tour action last Sunday, John Masiello of Kenmore won his second straight tournament, rolling 265 to defeat Keith Garceau of Rochester (263) and Don Perrault of Rochester (243) in a high-scoring final match. No Genesee Region bowlers cashed. The next tournament is set for Nov. 25 at Brad Angelo Lanes in Lockport.

-- Employees at Scopano’s Lanes in Oakfield were informed last week that the sale of the Oakfield Hotel and bowling center to a couple from New Jersey is nearly complete. According to co-owner “Jonesy” Scopano, the establishment will change hands once the state approves a new liquor license.

November 1, 2018 - 8:29am
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Bowling.

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USBC Press Release

WICHITA, Kan. – England’s Dom Barrett won four matches Wednesday on his way to claiming the 2018 U.S. Open, including a thrilling one-pin victory over top-seed Jakob Butturff of Chandler, Arizona, in the title match, 207-206.

The 33-year-old right-hander became the third foreign-born player to win the U.S. Open, joining Finland’s Mika Koivuniemi (2001) and Canada’s Francois Lavoie (2016). He earned the $30,000 top prize and coveted green jacket presented to the champion.

Wednesday’s stepladder finals at Northrock Lanes were televised live on CBS Sports Network.

The title match swung back and forth as both players tried to figure out the 43-foot oil pattern. An open in the fifth frame from Barrett gave Butturff a slight advantage, as both competitors headed into the final frame working on doubles.

Butturff, finishing the match first, nearly left a 7-10 split on his first shot before the 7 pin tumbled late. He converted the spare and struck on his fill ball, forcing Barrett to strike on his first shot for a chance at the title.

Barrett rolled the strike he needed to start the 10th frame, but a 4-6 split on his second shot left him needing to convert just one pin for the victory. His spare attempt was left of target, but it was enough to push over the 6 pin to give him his seventh Professional Bowlers Association Tour title and second major championship.

“For me, it’s about slowing everything down as much as I can in those situations,” said Barrett, who won the 2013 PBA World Championship. “I threw the one in the 10th really well, and I thought the 11th shot was OK, but I must have grabbed a lot of that one. On the spare attempt, I told myself that I didn’t want to miss it right, and I certainly didn’t do that.”

Barrett credited his run through the stepladder to his aggressiveness. He made a big move to the left to start the third game and made multiple ball changes over the course of his final two wins. In all, he averaged more than 238 on his way to the title.

As exciting as the win is for Barrett, he looks forward to everything awaiting him across the Atlantic Ocean. Barrett and his wife, Cassie, recently welcomed son, Colby.

“This means so much,” said Barrett, the runner-up at the 2015 U.S. Open. “Especially for my family at home, too. My wife has hardly had any sleep for the last 10 weeks with a newborn baby, so I think it’s now time for me to take care of my dad duties and take care of my family.”

Butturff led the U.S. Open for the second consecutive year by a sizeable margin to earn the No. 1 seed for the TV show. The 24-year-old left-hander led this year’s field by 552 pins after leading by 617 pins in Liverpool, New York, in 2017.

He joined PBA and United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer Earl Anthony as the only bowlers to earn the top seed in consecutive years at the U.S. Open since 1971. Anthony also was defeated in each title match, dropping the final game in 1979 and 1980.

“It definitely hurts, especially losing by one, but at least I can say I led this tournament two years in a row, by a lot,” said Butturff, a four-time PBA Tour champion. “It’s about the only thing I can take out of it, but it’s definitely an amazing feeling.

“I threw a couple of bad shots but threw one good when I needed to and (left a) 10 pin. At least I forced him to show up. You know, Dom bowled phenomenal this week, too; we all did on the TV show. It’s rough, but at the same time, I always think of it as another learning experience.”

Barrett also delivered in the 10th frame to advance to the championship match, beating Kristopher Prather of Plainfield, Illinois, 226-222.

Prather had built an early lead, striking on six of his first seven shots but missed a 6 pin in the eighth frame to allow Barrett, who had been struggling with carry, to tighten the match.

Prather missed the opportunity to shut out Barrett in the 10th. Given the chance to fill 26 pins in the 10th to advance, Barrett rolled a double and got nine pins on his fill ball to secure his spot in the championship match.

Barrett defeated EJ Tackett of Bluffton, Indiana, 264-248, to advance to the semifinals. Barrett finished the game first and delivered a double to force Tackett to do the same, but the 12-time PBA Tour champion was unable to get the 10 pin out on his first shot.

Tackett was hoping to become the seventh player to complete the PBA’s Triple Crown. He had claimed the 2016 PBA World Championship and 2017 PBA Tournament of Champions.

In the opening match of the stepladder, Barrett bested Marshall Kent of Yakima, Washington, 258-203. Barrett delivered 10 strikes on his way to the win, while Kent was unable to recover from opens in the third and fifth frames.

All competitors at the 2018 event bowled 24 qualifying games over three days to determine the 36 players advancing to a cashers’ round. After eight additional games, the field was cut to the top 24 players for round-robin match play.

The five finalists were determined by total pinfall, including bonus pins, for 56 games.

The U.S. Open is the fourth and final major championship on the 2018 PBA Tour schedule and is conducted jointly by the United States Bowling Congress and Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America.

Each round of the 2018 U.S. Open leading up to the stepladder finals was broadcast live on PBA’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame on FloBowling.

2018 U.S. OPEN
At Northrock Lanes, Wichita, Kan.
Wednesday’s results

FINAL STANDINGS
1, Dom Barrett, England, 955 (four games), $30,000
2, Jakob Butturff, Chandler, Ariz., 206 (one game), $15,000
3, Kris Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 222 (one game), $12,000
4, EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., 248 (one game), $10,000
5, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 203 (one game), $8,000

STEPLADDER RESULTS
Match No. 1 – Barrett def. Kent, 258-203
Match No. 2 – Barrett def. Tackett, 264-248
Semifinal – Barrett def. Prather, 226-222
Championship – Barrett def. Butturff, 207-206

October 29, 2018 - 12:28pm

Press release: 

Leaders from Batavia Downs Gaming offer their congratulations to Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas on his very special #34 jersey retirement tonight at New Era Field in Buffalo.

“It has been and is a pleasure working with Thurman at Batavia Downs Gaming, he is not only a work colleague but has become a good friend,” said Henry F. Wojtaszek, president/CEO of Batavia Downs Gaming WROTB. “Along with our entire Batavia Downs family, I want to congratulate Thurman and his family on this well-deserved accomplishment.”

Thurman Thomas has been associated with Batavia Downs as its Ambassador since 2012. He helped design the 34 Rush Sports Bar that is named after the Hall of Famer and opened in 2013. 

“What really makes this relationship special is Thurman’s wife, Patti Thomas, enjoyed many times at the Downs as a child as her family has been involved in (horse) racing since the 1970s,” said Michael Nolan, chief operation officer of Batavia Downs Gaming WROTB. “Since his football days Thurman has become a great friend and there is nobody more deserving of this great recognition.”

Thomas is widely considered to be the Buffalo Bills' greatest running back, having finished his career as the team's all-time leading rusher, an honor he still holds. Throughout his 12 years with Buffalo, Thomas rushed for 11,938 and 65 touchdowns.

The Buffalo Bills play the New England Patriots at 8:15 p.m.

October 29, 2018 - 11:44am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports.

The pins were flying at Perry Bowling Center last Thursday night as four bowlers -- including a husband and wife -- registered 700 series in the Thursday Night League.

Vincent Mack led the way with a 278 opening game en route to a 761 series, while Jason Hurlburt had 723 and his wife, Diane, 711, each with three solid games. Brady Weber started with 266 and finished with a 727 series.

Elsewhere around the Genesee Region:

-- Rich Wagner strung 10 in a row in a middle game 289 and finished with 761 while James Townsend recorded his first 700 series as an adult USBC member (704) in the Toyota of Batavia Thursday Night League at Mancuso Bowling Center;

-- Matt Balduf finsihed with 268 for a 732 series in the Le Roy Moose League at Legion Lanes;

-- Jason Nickerson rolled a 280 game and 714 series in the Sneezy's Monday Night League at Oak Orchard Bowl.

Click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page for more high scores from last week, and watch for Mike Pettinella's Pin Points column this Thursday.

October 29, 2018 - 11:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Ramparts, sports, hockey, batavia.

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Batavia Ramparts Squirt III travel team traveled to Jamestown yesterday and picked up a 7-2 win.

Goals:
  • #15 Will Stevens, assisted by #26 Luke Staley
  • #26 Luke Staley, assisted by #15 Will Stevens
  • #16 Preston Viele, unassisted
  • #15 Will Stevens, assisted by #88 Coleman Hiczewski
  • #16 Preston Viele, unassisted
  • #15 Will Stevens, unassisted (Hat Trick)
  • #88 Coleman Hiczewski, assisted by #15 Will Stevens

Photos and info submitted by Teresa Pfendler.

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October 28, 2018 - 9:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, eight-man football, football, Oakfield, elba, Alabama.

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Photos and write up provided by Mike Cintorino, OA-Elba head coach:

The OAE Football team defeated the CG Finney/Northstar Falcons 55-2 on Saturday night at St. John Fisher College to win the first ever Section V 8-Man Football Championship.

OAE wasted no time, scoring on the first play from scrimmage with a 60-yard run by sophomore Ty Mott, his first of two scores on the night on his way to 160 rushing on only seven carries. Colton Dillon continued his dominance, with 4 rushing touchdowns, all in the first half, on his way to 132 yards rushing on just seven carries. Sophomore Jayden Hughes also had a big night with 104 yards rushing on just four carries, including an 82-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Ty Kropelin added the other score for the OAE Football team who remains undefeated for the season and are ranked #4 in New York State.  

The defense once again held strong holding the Falcons out of the endzone, with their only points coming on a safety late in the game. Sophomores Ty Mott and Peyton Yasses each had 15 tackles while Nick Munger, Jayden Hughes, and Nick Wissinger all had interceptions. Gage Dieterle had four tackles for a loss including two sacks on the night. The OAE team had six total sacks total and forced four turnovers on the cold rainy night.  

Maalik Thomas led the way for the Falcons with 186 yards on 29 carries.  

The Weedsport Warriors will face off against Altmar-Parish-Williamstown in the Section III Championship game next Saturday at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. OAE will now face off against the winner of that game for the first ever Upstate New York Championship game on Saturday, Nov. 12th, at 12 p.m. at Pittsford Sutherland High School.

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October 28, 2018 - 1:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

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Photo of the dead-heat tie win for top pacers Lucky McTrucky and driver Drew Monti and In Runaway Bay N and driver Kevin Cummings, both posting a time of 1:56.3 in Saturday's Open Handicap. They came in only a head in front of Dark Horse with reinsman Ray Fisher Jr.

 

By TIm Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Big moves and strong drives couldn’t separate the top two pacers in Western New York this week as Lucky McTrucky and In Runaway Bay N hit the wire at the same time in the $11,000 Open Handicap pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 27).

It took a quarter of a mile but Lucky McTrucky (Drew Monti) finally got to the front and settled in for the mile. The outer flow came early at the three-eighths bringing Upfront Countryboy (Billy Davis Jr.) and In Runaway Bay N (Kevin Cummings) one-two at the half. Cummings swung In Runaway Bay N three-wide as soon as they hit the backstretch and set his sights on the leader.

By the three-quarters In Runaway Bay N took the front on the outside by a neck over Lucky McTrucky and he appeared to be going right by in the last turn. But Monti worked Lucky McTrucky hard and he responded by getting back the lead and had a clear length advantage at the top of the stretch. Cummings got after In Runaway Bay N with right-handed urging and he again drew even with Lucky McTrucky.

They paced together all the way to the wire and the camera could not separate them under the light where they finished in a dead heat in 1:56.3, only a head in front of Dark Horse (Ray Fisher Jr.) who brushed up the pylons late.

It was the 10th win of the year for Lucky McTrucky ($3.30) who is owned by Tessa Roland and the seventh win of the year for In Runaway Bay N ($5.60) who is owned by Mark Jakubik.

Billy Davis Jr. led all drivers on Saturday scoring three wins on the night.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Oct. 31) with post time for the first race at 5 p.m.

October 28, 2018 - 12:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, football, sports, news.

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A 325-yard ground game helped Alexander dominate Perry/Mt. Morris in the Class D semifinal playoff game played at Cal-Mum on Saturday, leading to a 45-8 victory.

Chris McClinic rushed 19 times for 108 yards and three TDs. Terrez Smith added another 142 yards and two TDs on 10 carries. Hayden Walton gained 66 yards on nine attempts. Dylan Busch was 3-8 passing for 66 yards and a touchdown. He was intercepted twice.

Alexander's first score came on its second possession in the first quarter when Busch hit Ty Woods over the middle for a 37-yard TD. 

Perry scored on a Cameron Petrie 62-yard kickoff return.

In the top photo, Smith breaks free for a 76-yard touchdown run (scoring on the second photo).

On defense, Jake Jasen had six tackles. J.J. Goodenbury and Ty Woods had five tackles each. Ty Woods forced a fumble and had an interception. Nick Kramer and Nello Paolucci each contributed a sack.

Defense was stellar all night. Jake Jasen led the Trojans with six tackles. JJ Goodenbury and Ty Woods each had five tackles for the Trojans. Ty Woods forced a fumble and had a big interception on the night. Freshmen linebacker Nick Kramer and SR. DE Nello Paolucci each has QB sacks for the Trojans! Trojans will play the winner of the York /Canisteo game. -- Tim Sawyer

York/Pavilion, the #6 seed, beat Canisteo-Greenwood, the #2 seed, 12-7. Alexander and York/Pavilion will face off for the Class D championship at 7 p.m., Saturday at Alfred State University.

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