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Batavia Bulldawgs claim 34-30 win over Blue Devils in annual scrimmage

By Steve Ognibene
Max Monroe scores 4.7 seconds left in second half to win the game for Bulldawgs.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Max Monroe scores 4.7 seconds left in second half to win the game for Bulldawgs.  Photo by Steve Ognibene

The 11th annual scrimmage between the Batavia Blue Devils vs. the Batavia Bulldawgs was another win for the mini-squad on Wednesday evening at VanDetta stadium.  

The Bulldawgs opened the first drive with a 60-yard TD run by Logan Brooks.  They led at the half 20-16.

Bluedevils took a brief lead after halftime, 24-20, then on its next possession, the Bulldawgs scored Parker Davis on a 60-yard TD run, regaining the lead 26-24.   

With 3:44 left in the game, the Blue Devils scored and led by four, 30-26.

Then with 4.7 seconds left, Max Monroe scored to secure the Bulldawg's win, 34-30,

The Blue Devils, who over the past 11 years have won sectional titles and vied for a state championship, has yet to manage a victory against the much younger team.

Photos by Steve Ognibene

To view or purchase photos, click here.

Photo by Steve Ognibene
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Photo by Steve Ognibene

OAE Titans and Batavia Bulldawgs clash under the lights

By Howard B. Owens


The Oakfield-Alabama/Elba Titans hosted the Batavia Bulldawgs in three youth football games at O-A's field on Saturday, with a 7 p.m. start time on the third game, giving the JV squads an opportunity to play under the lights.


  • Beginners, OAE over Batavia 31-0
  • Minis, Batavia beat OAE 40-0
  • JV, Batavia 14, OAE 6

Photos by Kristin Smith. For more photos, click here.















Photos: Batavia Bulldawgs open new season at Van Detta

By Howard B. Owens


The Blue, Gray, and Black is back in action and in snazzy new uniforms.

The Batavia Bulldawgs youth football program took to the turf at Van Detta Stadium on Saturday to kick off the 2022 season.

Photos by Howard Owens




Photos: Blue Devils Experience night at Van Detta

By Howard B. Owens


The Batavia Bulldawgs and the Batavia Blue Devils joined together once again on Tuesday night for the annual (after a skipped season) Blue Devil Experience Night at Van Detta Stadium in Batavia.

Photos by Alecia Kaus/Video News Service






AED Defibrillator donated to Batavia Bulldawgs

By Howard B. Owens


Press release:

We are very grateful to the David M. McCarthy Memorial Foundation for their decent donation of a new AED Defibrillator and Medical Emergency bag for our Bulldawgs organization. The David M McCarthy Memorial Foundation has done so much for so many youth organizations in our community. On behalf of our Board of Directors, coaches, athletes, and families we thank you from the bottom of our hearts! 

Photo:  Mr. Mike McCarthy, Brian McCarthy & Pete Stevens from the foundation's board along with our Mini football division team and Bulldawgs board members.


Sign up Saturday at Polish Falcons' nest for 2021 Batavia Bulldawgs Youth Football and Cheer League

By Billie Owens

Sign ups for the 2021 Batavia Bulldawgs Youth Football and Cheer League will be held this Saturday, May 8, at the Polish Falcons of America Nest, located at 123 Swan St. in the City of Batavia.

Times are 12 to 2 p.m. for returning athletes; 2 to 4 p.m. for new athletes.

Limited roster spots are available. Unlimited weight for ALL positions.

Sign up for:

  • Beginners -- 6-7 years of age
  • Minis 8-9 years of age
  • JV -- 10-11 years of age
  • Varsity -- 12-13 years of age

Please provide: birth certificate, proof of health insurance, and proof of physical exam.

Cost for football is $225 and includes a personalized jersey.

Cost for cheer is $175 and includes a personalized cheer jacket.

Family discounts available for multiple athletes.

Cash, personal check and payment via Venmo are accepted.

"Once a Bulldawg, always a Bulldawg!"

Questions? Contact League Commissioner John Reigle at (716) 228-5787, or Cheer Director Kate Smith (585) 409-3604.


New Batavia school board member embraces the values of communication, cooperation

By Mike Pettinella

Lifelong Batavian John Reigle knows firsthand the importance of teamwork and communication – qualities that he says will serve him well as he takes a seat on the Batavia City School District Board of Education.

Reigle (inset photo right) was a standout wide receiver and kick returner at Batavia High School who earned a football scholarship to South Dakota Tech upon graduating in 1997. He played for three years at the Rapid City, S.D., college, studying business, before returning home.

Twenty years later, his passion for the gridiron continues as commissioner of Batavia Bulldawgs Youth Football, a program that he has been involved with for the past decade.

Earlier this week, Reigle -- father of two Batavia school students and a third who graduated this year -- was appointed to the district’s board of education to replace Patrick Burk, who stepped down after 34-plus years on the board.

“I’ve been involved with the youth in the community through the Batavia Bulldogs and in youth sports with my kids growing up, but I wanted to get involved on the education side of it as well,” Reigle said. “I think it’s important for our district to have parents actively involved, everyone working together on behalf of the students and teachers.”

Reigle attempted to get on the board in June as a write-in candidate, falling short as Alice Ann Benedict (the current president), Barbara Bowman and Tanni Bromley were elected to the three open positions. Still, he garnered 489 votes – an impressive amount as a write-in.

“Superintendent (Anibal) Soler (Jr.) and Business Administrator (Scott) Rozanski reached out to me to see if I was still interested – to make sure that nothing had changed in my life – and when I told them I was, they said the board was interested in having me finish out Pat’s term (which ends in June 2021),” Reigle said.

He was sworn in at Monday’s night board meeting.

Reigle, 41, said the campaign process proved to be an eye-opening experience.

“Just talking to a lot of people – most didn’t know who was on the board or how many people sat on the board,” he recalled. “I hope I can be that connection with the community with the families that I know, to communicate to them that they can voice their opinions and bring them to the board.”

Calling it a “unique year” in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes in how students are taught, Reigle praised administrators for “coming up with the best plan for our district.”

“It’s definitely a unique year with the hybrid approach. I really think our administrators did a great job of gathering the feedback from the parents,” he said. “A little over 75 percent of the parents wanted in-school and I think about 20 percent wanted the hybrid, remote learning. I think they did a great job of putting a plan together to fit what the families wanted.”

Reigle said he knows many families in the district and is familiar with a lot of the teachers.

“Knowing families with kids attending in the different (school) buildings will be good,” he said. “And I know a lot of the teachers, I think that will be helpful as well … to be a voice for the teachers as well. They’re a big part of the success at Batavia.”

He said teachers “went above and beyond” in the spring and summer to enable students at all levels to advance.

“Look at the challenges that they’ve had, having to go from no plan or expectation of having everything shut down in March, and still having to teach the kids. The way that they responded was amazing, from communicating with the kids, you saw all the events at graduation to make it special – not only for the seniors but for the eighth-graders who were graduating from middle school and the kids at Jackson School who were graduating into John Kennedy.”

Reigle said he looks forward to working with what he sees as “a great board of education that is eager to listen and do what’s best for the district” and to learn from Benedict, another lifelong Batavian who previously served on the board.

Benedict said Reigle will be a welcome addition.

“We are excited to have John Reigle on the board of education,” she said. “He is enthusiastic … and can give us a new perspective on issues that come to us. We are happy that he was willing to fill our open seat to complete a seven-member board.”

Reigle, manager of Timebuyer Auto Sales on West Main Street, and his wife, Ashlee, live in the City of Batavia. They have three children – Bryce, a 2020 BHS grad who is attending Genesee Community College; Mackenzie, a senior at BHS where she is a first-team all-league girls’ basketball player, and Jordan, a third-grader at John Kennedy Elementary School.


Burk: Time was Right to Retire

Burk, 63, said he had planned to retire at the end of the 2020-21 school year – when his term expired -- but said that he sped up the timetable as a result of his “confidence” in the leadership of Benedict and “the genuine interest” of Reigle, his replacement.

“So basically after 34-plus years it was time for me to pick me – to concentrate on my other work and opportunities,” he said. “It’s bittersweet, but I feel really good about it.”

Burk said he still has many irons in the fire, so it’s not like he riding off into the sunset.

He said he will now have more time to help establish Main Street 56 Theater at the City Centre (he’s the president of Batavia Players) and continue his role as a consultant for Lee Publications.

He also is the executive director of the Genesee Valley School Boards Association, which represents 22 school boards in Western New York.

Batavia Bulldawgs open regular football season tomorrow at Lions Park

By Billie Owens
The Batavia Bulldawgs our their regular season of football Saturday, Aug. 17, at Lions Park in Batavia against Barker/RoyHart.
The park is located at 11 Wallace St.
Game times are as follows:
  • Beginners (ages 6/7) at 10 a.m.
  • Mini (ages 8/9) at 12 p.m.
  • Junior Varsity (ages 10/11) at 2 p.m.
  • Varsity (ages 12/13) at 4 p.m.

For questions or comments, email:

Three Batavia Bulldawg teams to play Saturday in NOFA Championship Games

By Billie Owens

Press release:

The Batavia Bulldawgs Youth Football and Cheer program is excited to announce that three Bulldawg teams have made it to the Niagara Orleans Football Association (NOFA) 2018 Championship Games. Games will be played this Saturday, Oct. 27, at Veterans Memorial Baseball Park in Medina.

The Bulldawgs Mini Division (8-9 year olds) finished its regular season undefeated with a record of 9-0. This past Saturday they defeated the #4 seeded Tri Town Trojans 19-0 in the playoff round to advance to the championship.

The Mini Bulldawgs are the #1 seed with a 10-0 record and will face the #2 seed Newfane with a record of 9-1.

The Bulldawgs are coached by Head Coach Jed Davis, assisted by Frank Gioia, Scott Lazarony, and Bobby Darch. The Mini game will kick off at 11 a.m.

The JV Bulldawgs (10-11 year olds) finished with an impressive 7-2 regular season record to earn the #4 seed in the playoffs.

After successfully beating the #1 ranked Albion Purple Eagles this past Saturday with a 20-6 win, they will face the Holly Hawks who are ranked #3 with a 9-1 record entering the championship round.

The JV Bulldawgs are coached by Head Coach Brian Mruczek, assisted by Aaron Fix, Justin Smith, Kenny Griffin, and Al White. The JV championship game will kick off at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Also finishing with an undefeated regular season of 9-0 the Varsity Bulldawgs entered into the playoff contest as the #1 seed against the #4 Albion Purple Eagles. Playing through the cold and rain this past Saturday, the Bulldawgs capped off a 34-0 win against Albion to make it to the Championship Game against the #2 seed Tri Town Trojans.

Tri Town has a record of 9-1 with their only loss being against the Bulldawgs in regular season play. The Varsity Bulldawgs are coached by Head Coach John Marucci, assisted by Jerry Smith, Eddie Woods, Michael Almekinder, Chez Rolle, along with junior coaches Evan Cummings and Kaiden Marucci. The Varsity Championship game is scheduled to kick off at 3 p.m.

The Bulldawgs would like to invite any and all of the Batavia community to come out and support these amazing young athletes on their championship quest. Come join the CheerDawg cheerleaders as they lead the Bulldawg fans and supporters in the stands.

Games times again are 11 a.m. (Mini), 1 p.m. (JV), and 3 p.m. (Varsity) this Saturday at "Medina Vets Park," located at 335 W. Oak Orchard St., Medina.

Photos: Bulldawgs play under the lights at Van Detta

By Howard B. Owens


The Batavia Blue Devils hosted the Batavia Bulldawgs for their annual "Blue Devils Experience" at Van Detta Stadium in Batavia on Wednesday night.

The Blue Devils open their season Aug. 31, 7:30 p.m., at home against Hornell.







Batavia Bulldawgs, with team in each of three divisions, to play in NOFA Playoffs Saturday in Medina

By Billie Owens

Press release:

Don't forget to come out and support your Batavia Bulldawgs Saturday, Oct. 21, at the 2017 NOFA Playoffs!

This is the first season they will have a team representing each of the three playoff divisions. So come support these hard-working young athletes as they continue their mission for a 2017 NOFA championship!

Game times are as follows:

  • Mini Division: #1 BATAVIA vs. #4 Pembroke @ 11 a.m.
  • JV Division #1 Newfane vs. #4 BATAVIA @ 3 p.m.
  • Varsity Division: #1 Albion vs. #4 BATAVIA @ 7 p.m.

Playoff Games location:

Admission: $2 fee at gate
***All coaches with their NOFA badge, players & cheerleaders are free.

Parents/Guardians -- Please remember we will be providing ALL water on the sidelines for players & cheerleaders. Athletes will not be permitted to bring anything on the sideline with them.


Photos: Blue Devils Experience for Bull Dawgs

By Howard B. Owens


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

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

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







Photos - Batavia Bulldawgs practice

By Steve Ognibene

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

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






Batavia Bulldawgs top Newfane for youth football crown

By Mike Pettinella


The Batavia Bulldawgs youth football and cheer program captured the 2016 NOFA championship in the Mini (8-9-year-old) Division by virtue of a 12-0 victory over top-seeded Newfane.

The Bulldawgs ended the season with a 7-1 record, with the only loss coming at the hands of the Holley Hawks. The Batavia team avenged that defeat, however, in the playoffs with a 13-12 win.

The team is led by Head Coach Brian Mruczek and assistants coaches Shawn Bigsby, Kenny Griffin, Al White and Scott Lazarony.

Mruczek said an all-for-one and one-for-all mentality powered the team to victory.

 “The kids knew exactly what needed to be done in the championship game,” he said. “They proved all year that if we stick together as a family, play with heart and emotion, nothing could stop us.”

Mruczek thanked the team’s corporate sponsors, City of Batavia community leaders and Batavia City School District for their support.

The season concludes at 10 a.m. this Saturday (Nov. 5) with the CheerDawgs competing in the 2016 NOFA Cheer Zone at Attica High School.

Batavia Bulldawgs' last home game Saturday will be opportunity to aid one of their own

By Billie Owens

Press release:

Join the Batavia Bulldawgs for their last home game this season on Saturday, Oct. 8, at 2 p.m. at Van Detta Stadium in Batavia. They will play against Akron.

This will also be an opportunity to assist one of their own, whose family is challenged by serious illness.

Savannah Heick, a Mini CheerDawg, has been going through a tough time. She is fighting PANDAS -- pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal -- which she was diagnosed with last season.

Since then, she and her family have been traveling to medical specialists in New York, New Jersey and Ohio. Currently, she is said to be seeing "an amazing specialist" in Cleveland and it has helped "tremendously." With all the battles she faces, she continues to work hard and has been doing an incredible job cheering on the Dawgs.

As you can imagine, this fight has caused some financial burdens for the family.

All Bulldawgs and CheerDawgs, families and supporters, community members, friends -- please come out and help one of our own!

Along with the contents of a donation jar that will be located at the concession stand, the Bulldawgs will donate ALL 50/50 raffle prizes to Savannah's family.

Go Bulldawgs!

Photos: Blue Devils vs. Bulldawgs

By Howard B. Owens


The Batavia Blue Devils hosted the Batavia Bulldawgs (Minis, ages 8-9) at Van Detta Stadium on Wednesday night for the annual scrimmage between the two teams.








Tonight is Blue Devil Experience night at Van Detta Stadium as Mini Division Bulldawgs battle varsity team

By Billie Owens
Press release:
Tonight is the annual BLUE DEVIL EXPERIENCE night. The Mini Division Bulldawgs (8-9 year olds) will play against the Blue Devils varsity team under the lights.


Prior to the game, the kids will be allowed to go into the varsity locker room to hear Coach Brennan Briggs' pre-game speech and come out onto the field alongside the Devils.

Game time is at 7:15 p.m. at Van Detta Stadium in Batavia (Mini players are to arrive by 7 p.m.).

This will be the battle of champions ... as the defending 2015 NOFA Mini Division Champion Bulldawgs look to defend its 2-0 record vs. the TWO-time defending Section V Blue Devils.

Come out for an exciting game! GO BULLDAWGS!

Batavia Bulldawgs Football & Cheer to hold registration April 23 at Batavia City Centre

By Billie Owens

Press release:

The Board of Directors and coaching staff of the Batavia Bulldawgs Youth Football & Cheer program are excited to announce open registration will take place on Saturday, April 23, for the upcoming season. We look forward to welcoming new and returning athletes to the Bulldawg family.

Registration is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Batavia City Centre (east entrance, near Sunny’s Restaurant).

Boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 14, or will be 6 by Dec 1 attending Batavia area schools (that are not affiliated with another NOFA team) are eligible to participate, with no weight restrictions. All athletes will be placed in developmentally age appropriate divisions based on the following league age rules:

Football divisions (NO WEIGHT REQUIREMENTS):
Beginner (ages 6­7; must be 6 by 12/1, can’t turn 8 prior to 12/1) Mini (ages 8­9; must be 8 by 12/1, can’t turn 10 prior to 12/1)
JV (ages 10­11; must be 10 by 12/1, can’t turn 12 prior to 12/1) Varsity (ages 12­13; must be 12 by 12/1, can’t turn 14 prior to 12/1)

Cheer divisions:
Beginner (ages 6­7; must be 6 by 12/1)
Mini (ages 8­9; must be 8 by 12/1)
JV (ages 10­11; must be 10 by 12/1)
Varsity (ages 12­14; must be 12 by 12/1, can’t turn 15 prior to 12/1)

Football & Cheer Registration fees can be accepted via credit/debit card, check or cash and includes:

­ High­ quality, annually certified safety equipment ­and full game day uniforms
­ Practice uniforms
­ Accident & liability insurance

­ Cheerzone competition
­ End of season banquet
­ Participation trophy
­ Possible playoffs for mini squad thru varsity based on record of wins/losses

**A multi­-athlete family discount is available as well as payment plan options. Scholarships are also available for those who apply based on eligibility. A minimum of $50 is required at time of registration.

The Bulldawgs eagerly anticipate the summertime announcement of our 2016 game schedule with locally affiliated NOFA teams in the surrounding areas of Attica, Alexander, Pembroke, Oakfield/Elba, Akron, Albion, Medina, Roy­Hart & Newfane.

All contests will take place on Saturdays from late August through October. Every player will get the opportunity to participate in every game, where we never keep track of individual player statistics, only player participation and team records. USA Football certified coaches, using the Heads­Up Football philosophy to reduce the risk of injury, will coach our athletes. In addition, certified coaches will help to train our current cheer squads towards continued great success in the 2015 Cheerzone competition.

About Batavia Bulldawgs

Batavia Bulldawgs Football and Cheer is a family­oriented volunteer, non­profit organization affiliated with the Niagara Orleans Football Association, established in 1999. Since our inception in 2011, we have been committed to providing a high­quality youth football program where we are dedicated to the instruction of football, the philosophy of teamwork, the development of sportsmanship and competition in a safe and respectful environment, while promoting personal responsibility and offering participants an opportunity to enjoy all that is best about youth sports.


Barry Warner, League Commissioner, (585­) 217­-1213 or e-mail

Bulldawgs: 2015 NOFA Champions, mini and varsity divisions bring home trophies

By Billie Owens

(Submitted photo of Batavia Bulldawgs Mini Division 2015 NOFA Champions.)

(Submitted photo of Batavia Bulldawgs Varsity Division champions T/K)

Press release:

The Batavia Bulldawgs youth football and cheer are excited to announce that they are the 2015 NOFA Champions in the Mini (8-9 yr. olds) and Varsity (12-13 yr. olds) Division!

In the Mini division the Mini Bulldawgs battled Attica youth football to the very end for a 13-7 win. The Bulldawgs pulled off the exciting win on the final play of the game Oct. 24 with only eight seconds remaining. The Mini team was coached by Head Coach Brian Mruczek, along with Otis Thomas, Kenny Griffin and Tom Domboroski.

“As coaches we emphasized on becoming a family and the drive to never give up.” Mruczek said. “Over the course of the season, this team became family and learned to believe in each other. The championship game was exactly how our season went. Hard work, dedication, the will to never give up and the ability to believe in each other!”

The Bulldawgs finished with a record of nine wins and only one loss.

In the Varsity division, the Bulldawgs took on undefeated Newfane youth football. In another close game, the Bulldawgs sealed a 13-6 win to take home the championship. The Varsity team coached by head coach Barry Warner, assisted by Paul Grazioplene, Jason Pratt, Matt Beach and Mike Dillon.

“This team has laid the foundation of the Bulldawgs and its future success,” Warner said. "The Varsity team consisted of many of the remaining players from the inaugural season of the Bulldawgs. It was a great way for the kids to end their Bulldawgs career with us."

The team finished with eight wins and two losses for the season.

The Bulldawgs would like to congratulate all the players, cheerleaders, coaching staffs, and Bulldawg families on an amazing season. We would like to also thank all our corporate sponsors and community leaders that have supported us all season.

We are looking forward to concluding our season next Saturday, Nov. 7th, with the CheerDawgs competing in the 2015 NOFA Cheer Zone, which takes place at Attica High School starting at 10 a.m. Please come out and support our CheerDawgs!

Two Batavia Bulldawgs Youth Football teams to play in NOFA championship games on Saturday in Medina

By Billie Owens

John Reigle says that two of the Batavia Bulldawgs Youth Football teams will be playing in the NOFA championship games tomorrow in Medina. The Mini Team (8-9 year old division) will face off vs. Attica at 4 p.m. and our Varsity (12-13 year old division) will kick off at 8 p.m. vs. Newfane.

The games are held at Vets Park in Medina, located at 335 W. Oak Orchard St.

This is the first year two Bulldawgs teams out of the three divisions will represent the Batavia program and community in the championship games. The athletes, coaching staff, and parents are very excited about this opportunity. You are welcome to attend and show your Bulldawg pride!

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