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Batavia High Blue Devils

October 16, 2021 - 6:37pm

Batavia’s two high school varsity football teams recorded victories on the road Friday night.

In a game played at Depew High, the Batavia High Blue Devils of Section V defeated Clymer-Sherman-Panama of Section VI, 25-21, rallying to win when senior quarterback Jesse Reinhart hit Javin McFollins with an 11-yard touchdown pass with 4:11 left in the game.

Meanwhile, at Cuba-Rushford/Hinsdale, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish broke a five-game losing streak, upending the host Rebels, 33-14, in a Section V Class D matchup.

At Depew, Batavia battled back from a 21-13 deficit as running back Aidan Anderson scored on a 60-yard run early in the fourth quarter, setting up Reinhart and McFollins’ late heroics.

The Blue Devils were able to schedule the game against Clymer-Sherman-Panama, a strong Class D team, after its contest at Newark/Marion was cancelled due to COVID-19 issues with the home team.

Reinhart threw for three TDs – two to McFollins (11 and 88 yards) and one to Carter McFollins (18 yards). Anderson racked up 171 yards on 27 carries.

Batavia, 6-1, takes on Wilson Magnet at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Van Detta Stadium.

ND 33, Cuba-Rushford/Hinsdale 14

Drew Edwards rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown in his debut as halfback and quarterback Jimmy Fanara completed 10 of 12 passes for 157 yards and two scores as Notre Dame raised its record to 2-5. Edwards had been the team's starting left tackle until moved to fullback the previous game.

Four of Fanara's completions went to Evan Cummings for 60 yards and Bryceton Berry caught two passes for 37 yards and two touchdowns.  Fanara also ran for a touchdown.

Hayden Groff rounded out the Irish attack with 57 yards on the ground and a TD.

The 33 points is one less than the team had scored over its first six games.

On defense, lineman Connor McWilliams came up with nine tackles, including five for a loss, while linebackers Vin DiRisio and Edwards were credited with eight and six tackles, respectively.

The Irish host Clyde-Savannah at 1 p.m. Saturday.

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October 14, 2021 - 8:44pm

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With all of their weapons on offense, the Batavia High Blue Devils have scored 36 touchdowns en route to a 5-1 record in Section V varsity football competition this season.

On 31 occasions, the Batavia placekicker has trotted out onto the field, looking to put the finishing touches on those scoring drives or spectacular plays that resulted in six points.

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Batavia will be facing Clymer/Sherman/Panama, a Section 6 school, at 7 p.m. Friday at Depew High School to replace the previously scheduled game at Newark/Marion, which is unable to play due to COVID-19.

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petry_1.jpgAnd, SHE has been successful on 28 of those point-after-touchdown attempts, proving herself as a valuable contributor to Coach Brennan Briggs’ team.

She is Julia Petry, (kicking above and photo at right), an 11th-grade scholar-athlete who has put in much time and effort to earn the right to wear jersey No. 40 on the otherwise 31-man Blue Devils’ squad.

“Julia does a very good job kicking PATs for us. She works hard at it and the hard work has paid off,” Coach Briggs said.

After being placed in concussion protocol due to an injury sustained when the team’s bus had an accident returning home two weeks ago, Petry has been cleared to play in this Friday’s game.

She said it was very difficult for her to have to watch from the bench last weekend when Batavia suffered a 27-26 defeat to visiting Honeoye Falls-Lima. The Blue Devils missed on two extra point attempts in that contest.

“Obviously, the whole game I was upset that I couldn’t play,” she said. “I was there on the sidelines, but I wanted to be out there.”

Petry’s journey to becoming Batavia’s varsity kicker (she also shares time on kickoffs) began at a young age, hanging out with older brother, John IV, and other boys when her mom, Jennifer, operated a child care center.

“Growing up I used to take my brother’s toys all the time and play with them,” she recalled. “My mom used to run a daycare center, so I always was around a lot of boys – and had this connection with them; I’ve always thought that I’ve had several older brothers because of that.”

Playing sports became a large part of her life and that continues as she participates in summer soccer and high school football, basketball and (boys) lacrosse. Previously, she was on the girls’ soccer team.

Last season, the 5-foot, 9-inch Petry was the placekicker for the Batavia junior varsity team.

“I kicked during the COVID year on jayvees,” she said, adding that last year was the only time she experienced the fact that football is a contact sport.

“There was one time last season at Livonia when there was a bad snap and it hit my knee, and I actually picked it up and tried to run with it,” she said. “Two Livonia guys just came at me (and tackled her). I actually got up smiling from it, and said, ‘Did you see that?’ Everybody on the sidelines was like, ‘Yeah, Petry!’

This season, she’s hearing the cheers from her father, John; mom, brother and a multitude of Batavia fans who have elevated her to heroine status.

“It definitely feels good,” she said. “There’s a little distance (between her and her teammates) because I’m here to kick. I’m not on the line or whatever. But overall, I feel part of the team -- the family and the community that we have.”

She said she credits Sam Watts of East Aurora, owner of Special Teams Academy, for “making me the kicker that I am.”

“He took me from soccer player to football player. It seems from the outside that they’re very similar but when you get down to the details, there are big, important changes,” she said.

Petry attended Watts’ three-day camp earlier this year and also has received instruction through group sessions. She said she practices what has been preached to her about technique and drills to increase leg strength.

“I use what he taught me every day,” she said. “A bunch of the warm-ups he gave me, I use them every day and incorporate them every day in practice. There’s one – called one-step where there’s one step between you and the ball and that’s a really good warm-up.”

She then shared her pre-kick routine and the way in which she approaches the ball.

“First, I just make sure I’m spotting where I’m kicking,” she said. “So, normally I’ll pick a tree or a branch or something that’s really noticeable so I can always find it; to visualize where I’m placing the ball through the uprights.”

When she takes steps to the side, she starts thinking, “OK, I need to take my jab step, which is my very first step (straight on as she approaches the ball), thinking of the things I need to do to be technically sound. Then, set-up. It’s always one breath, look up through where my target was, and then one breath on looking down.

“Then, I give (holder) Jesse (Reinhart) the cue and I’m gone. I don’t know how many people can hear it, but I’ll look at him and I’ll say, ‘Yeah or I’m good.’ Abel Hammer is the center – he’s been very consistent.”

Asked if Reinhart turns the ball so the laces are on the non-kicking side, Petry said, “We’ve tried to turn it, but sometimes there’s not enough time.”

Point-after-touchdowns are kicked from the 10 and with the 10 yards of the end zone, each one travels 20 yards to the goal posts. Her three misses this season were wide to the left, Petry said.

Briggs said he’s pleased with Petry’s technique and leg strength, also attributing her improvement to time spent at Watts’ camp.

“We have not attempted any field goals this season, but I see her moving the ball back during practice and she does well,” Briggs added. “I am not entirely sure what her range is but I think we could connect on a 25-yard field goal or so.”

Petry is a bit more confident than that, stating that a 30-yard field goal is within her range. On kickoffs, her deepest boot carried to the opposition’s 15.

Looking ahead, Batavia has two more regular season games before sectional playoffs and, beyond that, Petry hopes to be the team’s starting kicker next year, but understands there could be competition for the job.

She said she has thought about kicking in college.

“I know that I will have to work really, really hard to get there, but I also know – myself personally – that if I set my mind to something and I’m driven enough, I could do it,” she said. “Right now, I’ve been college hunting, but focusing on what school academically would be best for me.”

Petry has a 4.097 grade point average (97 on a scale of 100) and is looking to pursue a degree in Physical Therapy. Along with her academics and athletics, she works 16 hours a week at McDonald’s.

All in all, she said she’s making the most of her football career, following in the footsteps of her dad and brother – both former Blue Devils.

“It has been quite an experience, and I’ve loved every moment of it,” she said.

Photo above by Steve Ognibene.

Comments
October 13, 2021 - 4:20pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Batavia High Blue Devils, Section V football.

It looks as though the Batavia High Blue Devils will have to wait a bit longer to try for their sixth Section V football victory of the season.

Mike Bromley, the Batavia City School District athletic director, told The Batavian this afternoon that this Saturday afternoon's game at Newark/Marion has been cancelled due to some of the home team's members getting COVID-19.

Unless Batavia can find another opponent on short notice, the Blue Devils, 5-1, will have this weekend off, Bromley noted.

Batavia's final regular season game is set for 7 p.m. Oct. 22 at home against Wilson Magnet.

Comments
February 29, 2020 - 10:35pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Batavia High Blue Devils, Section V, sectionals, basketball.

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The second-seeded Batavia High Blue Devils rallied from a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to force overtime before dropping a 63-58 decision against visiting Newark tonight in the quarterfinals of the Section 5 Class B1 boys’ basketball tournament.

A long two-point basket by junior guard Zach Gilebarto with 6.6 seconds left in regulation tied the score at 48-48 and, following a miss at the buzzer by Newark’s Josh Green, the teams moved into the four-minute OT.

The Blue Devils took a 50-48 lead in the opening seconds of the extra period on a layup by senior center Camden White, but it was short-lived as senior guard Dustin Case nailed a three-pointer to put the Reds up 51-50.

Newark went ahead 53-50 on a put-back by senior forward Devin Agosto before Gilberto came through again with another three-pointer to knot things up at 53-53.

Two free throws and a short jumper by Agosto gave the visitors a 57-53 edge but White sank a layup at the 1:20 mark to pull BHS within two.

The Reds made it 59-55 on a pair of free throws by senior forward Blade Case, before Gilberto responded with a three-point play on a driving layup and foul shot to make it 59-58 with 12.9 seconds to play.

Batavia fouled Case who calmly made two free throws to put Newark up 61-58 and, following timeouts by both teams, a three-point shot by senior guard Caeden White bounced off the rim.

A pair of free throws by Green with 1.6 seconds left closed out the scoring and enabled Newark to avenge a 48-47 regular-season loss to Batavia on Feb. 11 in Newark.

In tonight's rematch, Newark took a 14-10 lead after the first quarter -- Camden White scored seven of his game-high 17 points to keep Batavia within striking distance – before Batavia responded to take a 26-22 halftime advantage behind five points each from junior guard Alex Hale and junior forward Stone Siverling.

A pair of three-point shots by Blade Case in the third quarter sparked the Reds to a 36-31 lead as Batavia struggled from the field, hitting just two baskets in the period.

The Newark lead ballooned to 45-35 with 4:22 left in the final stanza before the home team staged a furious comeback.

A free throw by Gilberto and two by Camden White after an offensive rebound made it 45-38. A steal resulted in two more free throws by Gilberto, before Green sank two free throws for Newark to put the score at 47-40 with only 1:06 on the clock.

Batavia wasn’t finished, however, as Gilberto sank a three-pointer from the top of the key to pull his team within four. A free throw by Blade Case made it 48-43 but a corner three by Hale with 25 seconds left gave Batavia life.

Hale committed his fifth foul to stop the clock and the strategy worked when Newark missed at the foul line, giving Batavia another chance and setting the stage for Gilebarto’s clutch basket just inside the three-point line to tie the score at 48-48 and push the contest into overtime.

Gilebarto scored 16, Hale 14 and Siverling nine for Coach Buddy Brasky’s squad, which finished its season at 14-7 and played the final game on the BHS gymnasium floor as a new one is scheduled to go in on July 1.

For Newark, Green led the way with 16 while Blade Case had 14, Agosto 14 and Dustin Case 12.

The seventh-seeded Reds, 12-10, advance to the semifinals against No. 3 Waterloo. The other semifinal match pits No. 1 Geneva against No. 5 Hornell. The semis are scheduled for Tuesday night.

Top photo: Batavia's Zach Gilebarto launches a game-tying long shot with 6.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter to send the game to overtime.

Photos by Steve Ognibene. To view or purchase prints, click here.

Below,​ Camden White scores inside for Batavia.

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Below, Max Rapone fights for a loose ball.

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Below, Newark's Devin Agosto drives to the basket.

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Below, the Blue Zoo cheering on their Blue Devils.

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Below, Alex Hale gets ahead of the field for a layup.

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Below, faces tell the story as time runs out after a hard-fought game.

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February 28, 2020 - 11:29pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, girls basketball, Batavia High Blue Devils, pal-mac.

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The Batavia High Varsity Girls’ Basketball Team’s season came to an end tonight at the hands of host Palmyra-Macedon, 58-48, in the quarterfinals of the Section 5 Class B1 Tournament.

The Lady Blue Devils battled back from a 15-point deficit to twice climb within six points in the fourth quarter, but were unable to overcome a shaky first half punctuated by foul trouble and the inability to keep the taller Lady Red Raiders from dominating inside.

Fifth-seeded Batavia finishes with a 14-8 record while No. 4 Pal-Mac advances to the next round with a 17-4 mark.

“We made a lot of mistakes. We didn’t get back (on defense),” Batavia Coach Marty Hein said. “We knew we had to press to try to wear them down, to get them into some foul trouble – which did happen, but we didn’t sprint back hard enough and gave up a lot of easy buckets because we just didn’t communicate.”

Hein also pointed to the foul situation, especially the fact that junior point guard Mackenzie Reigle had to sit all but 19 seconds of the second quarter after picking up her third foul.

“The idea was there, but obviously, we got into foul trouble ourselves,” he said. “Kenzie not playing for a whole quarter is not ever going to be a productive thing for us offensively. Actually, that hurt us offensively and defensively.”

Pal-Mac, behind senior forward Andra Savage’s 11 points, took a 29-18 lead into the locker room.

“We put up only 18 points in that first half, and Kenzie only played the first quarter and maybe 30 seconds of the second quarter,” Hein said. “That’s a killer for us.”

The home team upped the advantage to 43-28 late in the third quarter before hot-shooting junior guard Bryn Wormley led a Batavia rally that closed the gap to 45-36. Wormley had 10 of her game-high 25 points in the quarter.

Batavia employed a full-court press at the outset of the fourth quarter and cut the deficit to 45-39 on a free throw and bucket by senior forward Emma Krolczyk, who had all five of her points in the final frame.

The teams traded baskets until a three-point shot by Wormley – her sixth three-pointer of the game – pulled Batavia within 54-48 with 1:18 to play. That was as close as the Lady Devils got, however, as a layup by sophomore forward Ryley Trail and basket by junior guard Sophie Lyko sealed the victory for Pal-Mac.

Reigle, who fouled out in the closing seconds, ended up with six points (below her 15 ppg average) along with five rebounds and five assists, while sophomore guard Jaylene Dersham also had six points. Junior guards Kennedy Kolb and Tess Barone rounded out the scoring with 4 and 2, respectively.

Savage paced Pal-Mac with 17 points while senior guard Katherine Smyth added 12 and Lyke chipped in with 10.

Hein said he was impressed with the quality of the teams at the top of the Class B1. Entering Friday’s action, No. 1 Waterloo and No. 2 Dansville both were at 18-2, while No. 3 Livonia was at 16-4.

“We knew coming in with the teams that were left in the B1 Class, you needed a B-plus to an A performance every night that you were going to come out on the floor,” Hein said. “With the foul troubles and not getting back (on defense), we didn’t do that B-plus performance.”

Despite the loss, the coach said the season was a pleasurable one.

“Overall, I really love how all the girls were working together. It’s the tightest group that I’ve been with. They work together. It’s not just always about friendship; they care about each other on and off the court. It’s probably one of the best groups that I’ve enjoyed working with,” he said.

Photos by Steve Ognibene.

From top to bottom -- Tess Barone battles for a rebound; Mackenzie Reigle drives to the hoop; Kennedy Kolb goes for a loose ball; Barone attempts a free throw as Jaylene Dursham looks on; Brym Wormley splits the defense for a shot.

To view or purchase photos, click here.

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June 4, 2019 - 11:17pm

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A four-run third inning capped by Austin Saeva’s two-run single and solid pitching from Kyler Lacarte and Kenny Saunders powered the Le Roy Oatkan Knights to a 5-3 victory over Batavia in a Class B regional qualifying high school game tonight at Dwyer Stadium.

The victory – played before a crowd estimated at 1,100 -- avenges an 8-0 defeat at the hands of the Blue Devils in the title game of the Batavia Rotary Tournament last month and, more importantly, propels the Knights into regional competition on Saturday against Section 6 Class B champion Medina.

Saturday’s game will be played at Lockport High School and is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Le Roy put runners in scoring position against Batavia starter Taiyo Iburi-Bethel in the first two innings but failed to score while Batavia had two on and one out in the second but was unable to cash in as well.

The Knights broke through in the third, however, scoring four times on a pair of hits with two walks and two hit batsmen sandwiched in between.

Shortstop Giovanni Caccamise led off with a single and advanced on a stolen base and passed ball before first baseman Reece Tresco was hit by an Iburi-Bethel pitch. After designated hitter Tim McMullen was intentionally walked to load the bases, Batavia Coach Rick Saunders pulled Iburi-Bethel, moving second baseman Alex Hale to the mound.

Kenny Saunders worked a walk after fouling off three straight 3-2 pitches and Caccamise pranced home with the first run. Hale then hit Tommy Saunders with a pitch to load the bases again and a wild pitch made it 2-0 in Le Roy’s favor.

That was it for Hale and center fielder Andrew Francis came in to pitch. Saeva greeted Francis with a hard shot between third and short, past the drawn-in infield, and the Knights had a 4-0 lead.

Francis then struck out the next two batters and held Le Roy in check until a two-out triple to the gap in right-center by Tresco (who went 2-for-4) plated Tyler Slaven to give the Knights a 5-2 edge.

The Blue Devils scored a run in the bottom of the third as Francis singled, moved to second on an error and scored on Sam Sallome’s sharp single. Lacarte regrouped, however, to retire the next three batters.

Batavia had an excellent chance to cut into the lead in the fourth as Hale singled and advanced on Josh Weis’ infield hit. Francis then hit into a fielder’s choice, putting runners on the corners, before Trevor Zewan drew a walk to load the bases.

Lacarte escaped the jam by retiring what would be the last batter he faced, Sallome, on a first pitch foul pop to Tresco.

Kenny Saunders took the mound for Le Roy in the fifth and, after getting the first batter, gave up an infield hit to Iburi-Bethel, who went to second on an errant throw on the play. He was on third when, with two outs, Hale drilled an RBI single to cut the deficit to 4-2.

Trailing 5-2 in the sixth, Batavia got one-out hits from Francis and Zewan, with another Le Roy error – the Knights’ fourth of the game – putting runners at first and third. Sallome then hit a fly ball to center, scoring Francis, but Zewan was called out for failing to retouch second base on his way back to first after the ball was caught.

Francis set the Knights down in order in the seventh, setting the stage for an exciting finish, despite Batavia’s first two batters going down by a fly out and strike out.

Kenny Saunders had been mixing his fastball and change-up effectively, but lost his control as he walked Jake Humes and Hale.

Pinch-runner Zach Anderson and Hale then executed a double-steal on a 1-1 count to pinch-hitter Nate Ryan. With the tying run at second, Ryan fouled back a 2-2 pitch before popping one up near the third base line. Pitcher Saunders ran over, caught the ball with just the glove hand and then threw the ball and mitt in the air, touching off the victory celebration for the LeRoyans and their fans.

Le Roy improves to 17-4 while Batavia, which outhit the Knights, 9-6, and committed just one error, ends its first-ever Section 5 championship season under Coach Saunders at 14-8.

Story by Mike Pettinella.

Photos by Steve Ognibene.

To view or purchase photos, click here.

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