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September 3, 2014 - 7:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, high school sports, pembroke.

Pembroke Head Coach Dick Dimincuco has been working hard all pre-season to get the Dragons ready to take the field in 2014 and what he sees two days before opening kickoff against Elba is a team that's still a work in progress.

But the emphasis is on the word "work."

"We have nice group of kids who work hard and come every day and try to get it done," Dimincuco said. "Obviously, that's a strength. We need to get a little better at what we do on the field, and they're going to do that because they work hard and listen."

The Dragons are coming off a 2-6 season and the program hasn't had a winning record since 2010 (5-3).

The team will rally around QB Mitch Lewter, a senior in the role of offensive field manager for the first time. He won't be without weapons. Senior Dakota Swimline returns to wide out and running back and senior Cal Neurohr will share backfield time as well as play linebacker.

The offensive and defensive lines will be anchored by 6-foot, 225-pound junior Jack Thomas.

"He's a big tackle and good football player," Dimincuco said. 

August 30, 2014 - 11:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, high school sports, alexander.

With only one winning record in the previous six seasons, it's tempting to think of last year's 7-1 record and a three-way share of the Genesee Region League title was a bit of a fluke.

After all, in the previous two years the Trojans were 2-6 and 2-5.

Head Coach Tim Sawyer doesn't mind folks around the league thinking that way. After all, they might just be in for a surprise.

"We've had a good camp," Sawyer said. "We've had excellent attendance. They want to be good. It's a new team, but the same goal. Let's see if we can be GR champs. We've got to be perfect six, eight nights to do it, but we've got a chance."

Last year, the Trojans were big and physical. A year ago, Sawyer noted how several of his players hit the weight room hard during the off season. That training paid off.

There was no better proof of that than the season put together by Dylan Scharlau, with 1,663 yards rushing and 19 TDs.

But Scharlau graduated. So did his big offensive line and a strong, rugged QB in Nelson Burke.

At every position, the Trojans are smaller.

But they're also faster, Sawyer said.

Speed will change the nature of the offensive attack and Alexander might rely more on big plays.

Junior Jerad Brown will start at QB and he's got a great instinct for the game, Sawyer said.

Sharing the backfield will be a committee of backs, Sawyer said.

"Scharlau averaged about 27, 28 carries a game," Sawyer said. "We probably won't see that this year. We'll probably see a bunch of boys eight to 12, maybe 15 carries in a game, which I like, because all those boys will turn around and play defense."

Leading the defense will be Ty Laird, a returning starter, and a player Sawyer says is "probably the best football player in GR."

"He's crazy strong and he's running a 4.7 40," Sawyer said.

Perhaps the most interesting player on the squad is Zach Shilvock, a soccer player who last year chose tennis over football, so didn't kick for the Trojans until the last few games of the season (after tennis was over).

Shilvock gives Sawyer a weapon not to many high school coaches ever get to use -- a kicker who can put it through the uprights from as far as 45 yards out.

"I've seen him make 50s," Sawyer said.

Special teams overall could make the difference for Alexander, Sawyer said.  

"We hope that can help us get through some close games," Sawyer said.

It should be an interesting season for green and gold.

"I know people on the outside just glimpsing in think this will be a down year a little bit," Sawyer said. "Obviously, you can look and see, we don't have the size, but we've got some kids who can play."

 

August 30, 2014 - 10:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, Oakfield, high school sports, oakfield-alabama, Alabama.

Hornets fans have much to be hopeful about in the 2014 season: A third-year starter at QB with a strong arm, a strong offensive line, experienced coaching leadership, but there's also a couple of question marks.

The big issue is who among a young group of receivers and running backs is going to step up and be the playmaker to complement QB Allen Chatt.

Head Coach Brian Palone is looking to improve on last year's 5-3 record in what promises to once again be a tough Genesee Region.

"It all depends on how those guys coming in at skilled positions do for us," Palone said. "We've got some guys who are really competing at those spots for us. It will be interesting to see how we perform in the first game."

Chatt has continued to improve at QB and has become a true team leader, Palone said. He's stepped up, providing leadership to his young receivers.

"He knows what I expect of him and what we expect of the offense," Palone said.

August 28, 2014 - 12:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, elba, high school sports.

It's hard to find a high school football coach who will predict a winning season during an August practice session, and Elba/Byron-Bergen Head Coach Michael Cintorino is no exception.

But clearly, he has a lot to be excited about.

He's got a starting QB coming into his second year leading the varsity squad who's gotten bigger and stronger in the off season and put in the hard work to improve his skills.

He has two proven veterans to run the ball, and both his offensive and defensive lines are stocked with second- and third-year players.

Last year's 3-5 season was merely a chance to grow and learn for this group of players.

"This year, they're a year old, a year hungrier and they've been extremely competitive in practice and looking forward to the start of the season," Cintorino said.

The offense will be led by Garrett Chapell, who was shaky at times last year, but Cintorino said he's playing now with a whole new level of confidence.

"He looks fantastic this year, Cintorino said. "He put in a ton of work in the off season."

He'll have three first-year receivers, but Cintorino said they look like real weapons for Chapell so far.

The backfield will be bolstered with the experience of Steele Truax and Mike Shanley, who both proved last year they can run for positive yards and put points on the board.

So will this all add up into Ws for the Lancers, maybe a nice post-season run.

Cintorino dosn't want to go that far. Not yet.

"It's tough to say (how good the team will be)," Cintorino said. "Everyone else is probably saying the same things that we are right now, so we have to see what the league is going to look like once the season actually kicks off. Our goal is obviously to compete for a league championship and make it to sectionals and compete in the Class C sectionals, but there are a lot of good teams putting in the same work we are, so we have to wait and see until we get started."

August 28, 2014 - 12:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, high school sports, Notre Dame.

 

With each turn of a new generation of football players at Norte Dame, Head Coach Rick Mancuso usually finds a way to mold the young players into a winning unit.

Mancuso, of course, stops short of making any predictions for the Fighting Irish in 2014, but he does say he has a good group of young men who have been working hard and putting in the time to get ready for another season.

"Last year, our JV team had a successful season, so they're coming in and they had a lot of experience last year towards the end," Mancuso said. "We pulled up some kids for sections who got some playing time, which is a big advantage for them. Hopefully, we can keep them motivated and learning every day."

The offense will now be in the hands of junior Connor Logsdon, who led that JV squad last year to its undefeated season.

He steps into the shoes of record-setting QB Tim McCulley, but Mancuso said Logsdon is now his own man with his own offense to run.

"We're not asking him to fill anybody's shoes," Mancuso said. "We're asking him to execute the offense and do what he can do. Everybody's got to do their 1/11th."

Not much about the offensive scheme will change from recent seasons. Notre Dame will run and it will pass and work at setting up scoring opportunities.

"Unless you've got all the horses up front, you can't run the offense one way or the other," Mancuso said. "We're going to mix it up. We'll pretty much run the offense we've been running right along. We won't be spread as much as we were. We'll be spread sometimes, but we've got the full confidence in this team being able to execute what we put in."

The Irish are coming off a 6-2 season that ended jarringly with a 28-0 loss to Alexander in the first round of Class D sectional play. 

Notre Dame opens the season at home against Oakfield-Alabama on Sept. 6 at 1:30 p.m.

"We've got a great group of guys," Mancuso said. "I think everybody is going to do their best to make the team successful."

August 27, 2014 - 10:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, football, sports, Bulldawgs.

The Batavia Bulldawgs and the Batavia Blue Devils met in a scrimmage this evening at Van Detta Stadium.

Who won?

Who cares. The Mini-Division (8-9 years old) Bulldawgs were clearly thrilled to be on Woodward Field and get a pre-game pep talk in the Blue Devils' locker room from Batavia Head Coach Brennan Briggs.

Briggs told his team that he heard the Bulldawgs defense hadn't given up a score yet this season, so the Blue Devils offense might have a tough time of it.

In the first series, the Bulldawgs stopped running back Dominick Mogavero behind the line of scrimmage and sacked QB Greg Mruczek.

On the first play, the Blue Devils linemen didn't block. Rather they grabbed each of the Bulldawgs in front of them and lifted them in the air over their heads. Above, offensive lineman Gunner Rapone lifts an obviously thrilled Nathaniel Heusinger.

August 20, 2014 - 8:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, high school sports, Le Roy.

There's a few story lines we could take with Le Roy football for the 2014 season.

The return of starters Mike McMullen at QB and Ryan McQuillen at receiver. A team coming off a 7-1 season but a need to avenge a disappointing OT loss in the Class C sectional final. The expectations on a team with a storied tradition that has a lot of tools, but will be relying on young offensive and defensive lines.

And then there is the final season of Head Coach Brian Moran, in search of his 200th victory, a possible 14th sectional title and -- dare we say it -- a second state title in 26 years at the helm.

The story line Moran has the least interest in, his final season.

"We don't really worry about the final year," Moran said. "We just come out and prepare these kids as best we can. Whether it's your first year or last year, we just want to focus and coach kids up best we can."

Starting with McMullen and McQuillen, the Oatkan-Knights do have some key starters returning, and all of them are guys that are in their third or fourth years on varsity, such as Jon Pierce, Jake Henry, Tom Kelso, Nick Egeling and Kody Lamkin.

That's a lot of talent on a team that we know will be well coached. Is it unfair to have high expectations?

Moran won't go there.

"Every year you come in, you expect to be successful," Moran said. "That's the first thing. Hopefully, we can get ourselves better and compete for a championship again. That will be interesting to see, but it will be up to how the kids perform and how they work together."

Much will depend on the big men up front.

"We're a little inexperienced up front and you're only as good as you play offensively and defensively on the line," Moran said. "Those kids are going to have to really focus and get themselves ready."

One thing's for sure, if history is any indication, Moran and his staff will do everything they can to prepare this team to compete at a high level. Coach's last year, or not.

August 19, 2014 - 5:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, football, sports, high school sports, Batavia HS.

Coming into his third year as Batavia's head football coach, Brennan Briggs said both he and his players approach the 2014 season with some optimism.

There are seven returning starters on both sides of the ball, QB comes into his junior season as a second-year starter and there should be some other weapons on offense to help put points on the board.

"Overall the kids' attitude is very good," Briggs said. "They're excited coming into this season. They know they can win some ball games."

Joining Mruczek in the backfield will be a "committee" of runners.

"We've got some thunder and we've got some lightning back there," Briggs said.

During the off season, Mruczek has put the time in to make himself better, according to Briggs. He's studied film and schemes and really picked his brain to understand what it takes to run the offense.

"He's really been doing a great job for us. Great attitude, great commitment."

The coach said returning players who also seem ready to step up their game include Devon Koepp, Gunner Rapone and James Cryer.

Several sophomores who were part of the varsity last year are ready to assume bigger roles in 2014.

The Blue Devils are coming off of two consecutive 3-5 seasons.

Overall, the Briggs era continues to move forward as he works to shape the program according to his vision. 

"One of biggest things, coming into a program and kind of making it your own is setting that bar, setting the expectations of where you want it to be, so the kids understand exactly what you want  from them," Briggs said. "I think we're getting to that point where the kids understand what's expected of them every single day. They understand what kind of effort I'm asking from them."

The first game is Sept. 5, 7:30 p.m., at Livonia. The first home game is Sept. 12, 7 p.m., against Wellsville.

July 29, 2014 - 11:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, batavia bulldawgs, football, sports, youth sports.

As we move into August, football is in the air. The Batavia Bulldawgs started practices this week with sessions in the late afternoon at Kibbe Park. The first league games are Aug. 16, with Batavia hosting Attica at Lions Park.

July 20, 2014 - 9:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, high school sports, Le Roy.

After 30 years of coaching Le Roy High School football, Andrew Paladino is retiring at the end of the 2014 season.

Paladino was defensive coordinator under Head Coach Brian Moran for 25 years. This season will also be Moran's last, and he and Moran always said they would retire together.

"Also, it's time to go," Paladino said during a party in his honor at the shop of Bill Fox. "We've got three former players on staff now. We're leaving them in good hands. Brian Herdlein is a very capable coach. He'll do fine."

Paladino's Le Roy football career started as a player with junior varsity in 1970. In his junior year, as the only junior on the team, he was the starting center and made the All County Team. The following year he slimmed down and started at full back and line backer and was named to the All Rochester Team, the All State First Team, and was named a Prep All American.

Rather than go to college, Paladino decided to get married, take a job and stay in Le Roy.

His coaching career started a couple of years later when he became a youth football coach (as a kid he couldn't play youth football, he said, because he was too fat).

During the Moran/Paladino years, the Oatkan Knights won a state championship (1995) and more than a dozen sectional titles. 

At the party Saturday was Paladino's high school coach, Don Santini, who joined Paladino for a cigar. Paladino said, "This is the man who started it all right here."

Photo: Santini, Paladino and Ron Plummer.

July 15, 2014 - 11:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, pembroke, Lyndonville Tigers.

The season may not be over for the Lyndonville Tigers.

Then again, it might be.

One thing President of Football Operations Taylor McCabe is pretty confident about is the team is not done and there will be a team on the field next season.

The semi-pro football team plays its home games in Pembroke and there's been reports recently that the team has folded.

It's true, McCabe said, that owner Harold Suhr has pulled out, but there are other people ready to step into the ownership role. It's just a matter of whether the ownership situation can be straightened out before this Saturday's 5 p.m. game in Pembroke.

"Harold Suhr chose to close up shop and his involvement is coming to an end," McCabe said. "There are other interested parties, current players, current management, people who are going to stay involved if the interested parties pick up the ball and run with it. We may be able to play our next game. Worst case, we forfeit the rest of the season and re-emerge next year."

McCabe said contrary to some reports, the Tigers have not lost eight players to another team. They lost two. The team has enough players to finish the season if an owner or owners can be found.

Semi-pro teams survive primarily on fundraisers and donations, and this season the fundraising hasn't gone so well, which has meant Harold Suhr had to dig into his own pocket, as owner, to ensure refs were paid, insurance was paid, and other minor miscellaneous expenses were covered.

"This year, we were last in fundraising," McCabe said. "One of the big things with this league is everybody has family, kids, social lives, family and work obligations. It's not like anybody is doing this full time."

July 8, 2014 - 2:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, Bulldawgs.

Press release:

The Batavia Bulldawgs Youth Football & Cheer program will hold its 5th Annual Extreme Youth Football and Cheer Camp. This year’s camp cosponsored by Extreme Streetwear will be held at GCC Fields this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday July 10th – 12th.

Walk-up registration still available. Cost for the camp is only $30.

Campers will receive quality instruction from USA Football certified coaches, a camp T-shirt, and lunch at the end of camp on Saturday July 12th.

Camp on Thursday & Friday will run from 4 to 6:30 p.m. with check-in at 3:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9 to noon with check-in at 8:30 a.m..

The camp is open to ALL athletes no matter what league affiliation between the ages of 6 to 13 years old by Dec. 1st. Birth certificate is required.

Camp is a stationed-based training where campers are divided by age and experience level so each athlete receives the right level of instruction and support. The Bulldawgs staff and volunteers will teach techniques, skills, and appreciation for all football positions and cheerleading in a fun, positive way!

For more information, please contact:
Extreme Streetwear at 585-344-4411
League Commissioner John Reigle – 716-228-5787
Cheer Director Sherri Wahr – 585-356-0639
Or by e-mail at [email protected]

April 17, 2014 - 2:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, football, sports, Le Roy.

On a cruel April morning in 2011, Craig Tiberio looked at himself in the mirror. The man he faced stood accused of dealing drugs and assaulting a police officer. Looking at that mirror affixed as it was to a jailhouse wall, Tiberio didn’t like what he saw.

“I was at the end emotionally,” Tiberio said. “I knew there wasn’t anyplace to go but up unless I wanted to keep living the life that I was living. I obviously knew that if I got back on track, I had the potential — if I was motivated enough — to play sports again.”

As a high school junior, Tiberio had been a standout receiver for the Le Roy Oatkan Knights. He was at least a legitimate Division III prospect entering his senior season. All he wanted to do, or so he thought, was play football at the collegiate level.

Craig describes his childhood as challenging, chaotic, as anything but stable. Sports, especially football, was an escape.

“I always clung onto sports,” Craig said. “It was my time free from thinking about what was going on in my life.”

An injury changed everything. 

In the sixth game of his senior season, Craig Tiberio suffered a stress fracture in his spine.

That meant pain medication. It meant time away from the field, from his teammates, from everything that had kept him anchored.

It’s a familiar story in sports — injury, pain medication, followed by a need to self-medicate with whatever street drugs might be available. The pattern killed former Padres pitcher Eric Show. There are countless cases of high school and college athletes you never hear of whose lives were altered by drug use after an injury.

The story of Craig Tiberio is the story of a once-promising athlete who hit bottom and then turned his life around. He entered guilty pleas May 27, 2011 in Genesee County Court to assault, 3rd, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 4th, and to DWI. As he stood before Judge Robert C. Noonan that day, he faced a near certain four-year prison term. Back in court weeks later with positive progress reports, Noonan gave him a second chance. Step by step since, he’s made the most of it. He’s on the dean’s list at Buffalo State University. He volunteers with third- and fourth-graders in Buffalo. His assigned practice squad includes Buff State’s best players, and if he avoids injury, he has a shot of starting at tight end for the Bengals.

A passion for sports
It’s been long path paved by determination and family support since Tiberio gazed into the jailhouse mirror that April morning in 2011, with just the glimmer of a thought that maybe, maybe, he could rekindle his dream of playing college football and pursue a career in coaching.

He’s made it this far.

“You’ve got to ask yourself 'how bad do you want to be successful?' in any aspect of life,” said Tiberio after an early morning spring practice at Coyer Field.

He sat on a near-side bench under an optimistic blue sky while teammates who missed an earlier practice pushed 50-pound weights on their hands and knees up and down the sideline, from the 50 to the goal line and back, 10 times each.

“Some people are just completely content with working a minimum-wage job and being able to do anything they want, but for me, I appreciate freedom more than I ever did. Some people take that for granted. It comes with how much pain are you willing to deal with before you want your life to get better.”

When Craig was but a few months old, his mother moved him from Fairfax, Va., where he was born, to Le Roy. She started living with Art Nicomento, an electrician, and the couple stayed together until Craig was 5.

Then things started to unravel. According to Nicomento, Craig’s mother got hooked on drugs. The couple separated, but Craig stayed with Nicomento. Eventually, Nicomento became Craig’s legal guardian.

“He was a good kid, a smart kid,” Nicomento said. “I wanted to take care of him.”

Tiberio said he gravitated to sports at an early age. It was his salvation through years of turmoil. He doesn’t go into much detail, nor does Nicomento, but Craig clearly loves Nicomento, whom he calls “Dad.”

Talk to anybody in the community about Art and Craig and they will tell you, Nicomento was always there for his son.

By his sophomore year in high school, Craig Tiberio was turning heads on the gridiron, the hardwood and in track and field. Any sports story previewing Le Roy’s chances in the football or basketball seasons included Tiberio as integral to the team’s potential success.

As a junior, Tiberio stood 6’ 3” and weighted 175 lbs. He was athletic and fast. His junior year, he was the Section V champ in the long jump and the triple jump. He also ran on the team’s 400-meter relay team and won a few meets in the 3200 and the 100-meter dash. In basketball, there isn’t a game story that doesn’t list the strong forward as pouring in at least a dozen points and pulling down four or five rebounds.

In Le Roy, football is king and football was Tiberio’s passion. He combined speed, height and agility to haul in passes no defender could touch.

“I always had the attitude in high school, standing on the field across from another player, they can’t stop me,” Craig said.

Jim Bonacquisti, an assistant coach for the Knights, remembers Tiberio as a big play maker. A Tiberio TD reception helped stop a long Hornell home-winning streak. One of Tiberio’s big scores against archrival Cal-Mum came on a fourth-down reverse in a sectional semi-final. Then he intercepted a pass to help seal the deal.

Tiberio was named to the Livingston County Athletic Association’s all-star team on both offense and defense his junior year. (Le Roy is in the Livingston County footbal league). He was also named to the all-state team. He averaged 20 yards a reception and picked off seven passes playing free safety.

“I would rank him behind Mike Humphrey and Brandon Fulmer as far as the best we’ve had in my tenure,” Bonacquisti said. “Ironically, Craig getting hurt his senior season opened the door for Mike’s increased playing time in 10th grade. In Craig’s junior year, he caught anything near him, plus he was a pretty good safety. He wasn’t a big hitter, but he was usually around the ball.”

Unsportsman-like conduct
In his senior year, Tiberio said he was already hampered by a minor back injury, but continued to play. In five starts, he only had eight catches for 88 yards and one TD. On defense, he only had three tackles and two assists.

Friday night, Oct. 6, 2006 was homecoming for the Perry Yellowjackets. Unfortunately for the Perry student body, the Yellowjackets were scheduled to play their homecoming game against an undefeated Oatkan Knights team who would go on to win the Section V Class C title.

Tiberio was having one of his best games of the season with three receptions, including one for a TD, when late in the 4th quarter, with the Knights up 48-0, Tiberio snagged Heath Henrickson’s pass for an interception and returned it 33 yards before being tackled by a Perry player.

... More after the jump ... click the headline or the link below the picture ...

April 7, 2014 - 9:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, Batavia HS.

Batavia Blue Devils Head Coach Brennan Briggs sent along this photo of members of the football team following a 7-on-7 scrimmage last night in Rochester. The team played non-scoring scrimmages against Rush-Henrietta and Churchville-Chili. "The team did a great job competing," Briggs said.

March 15, 2014 - 4:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia bulldawgs, football, sports.

Press release:

The board of directors and coaching staff of the Batavia Bulldawgs Youth Football & Cheer program are excited to announce the open registration dates for their upcoming 4th season. We look forward to welcoming new and returning athletes to the Bulldawg family.   

Registration will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 5, at the Batavia City Centre (east entrance, near Sunny’s Restaurant). Boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 14, 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 6-7; must be 6 by 12/1, can’t turn 8 prior to 12/1)
Mini (ages 8-9; must be 8 by 12/1, can’t turn 10 prior to 12/1)
JV (ages 10-11; must be 10 by 12/1, can’t turn 12 prior to 12/1)
Varsity (ages 12-13; must be 12 by 12/1, can’t turn 14 prior to 12/1)

Cheer divisions:
Beginner (ages 6-7; must be 6 by 12/1)
Mini (ages 8-9; must be 8 by 12/1)
JV (ages 10-11; must be 10 by 12/1)
Varsity (ages 12-14; 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
- full game day uniforms
- practice uniforms
- T-shirt & short apparel set
- accident & liability insurance
- Cheerzone competition
- end of season banquet
- participation trophy

**A multi-athlete family discount is available as well as payment plan options. Scholarships are also available for those who apply. 

The Bulldawgs eagerly anticipate the summertime announcement of our 2014 game schedule with locally affiliated NOFA teams in the surrounding areas of Attica, Alexander, Pembroke, Oakfield/Elba, Akron, Alden, Albion, Medina, Roy-Hart and 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 Heads-Up Football philosophy to reduce the risk of injury, will coach our athletes. In addition, certified coaches will help to train our current grand-champion cheer squads towards continued great success in the 2014 Cheerzone competition.    

Batavia Bulldawgs Football and Cheer is a family-oriented 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 high quality 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.

An informational meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. this Wednesday March 19th in the Batavia Middle School auditorium. Board members and coaches will be available to answer any questions and discuss the upcoming season.

A small number of volunteer football and cheer coaching positions are currently available to interested adults. To learn more about this opportunity, or to answer and questions, please contact John Reigle, league commissioner (716) 228-5787, or [email protected].

January 26, 2014 - 10:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, high school sports, Le Roy.

Brian Moran, with 194 career wins and 14 sectional titles, announced at Le Roy's annual football banquet Sunday evening that next year, his 26th leading the Oatkan Knights, will be his last as head coach.

"At the end of next year, I'll be 55 and I'll have either coached or played since I was 12," Moran said. "When we hired Brian Herdlein (left in photo), we had a conversation with him as a district about taking over for me. He's been in the program long enough and it just feels like it's time for him to take over the program."

Le Roy will return to the gridiron with a pretty talented team for the 2014 season, which should give Moran a great opportunity to notch his 200th career win, a milestone he said is in fact something he'd like to achieve.

"You think about it when you're young, getting to 200, but when you get here what you think about most are the memories," Moran said. "People don't realize as you get older, those are the things that are important. I've had a lot of great memories with a lot of great coaches and players and the support of our community, which just makes it a privilege to coach here."

Each senior player, such as Brandon Van Grol, above, received a small football helmet on a plaque. In each case, Moran shared a word of praise for each player.

November 26, 2013 - 1:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, Oakfield, oakfield-alabama.

A cold, cold night, the ground frozen, what better conditions could there be for a flag football game among middle-schoolers?

Last night Oakfield-Alabama held its Turkey Bowl. There was no trophy, just a chance for students to a unique football game -- a chance to play under the lights of the varsity football field.

The event was the brainchild of teacher Dan Gilbert and was put together with the help of James Patrick and Katie Hilchey.

"We thought something like this around Thanksgiving might promote the family feeling of a small school," Patrick said.

November 17, 2013 - 12:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, football, sports, elba, high school sports.

In a room filled with friends, fans and supporters last night, former Elba Lady Lancers Head Coach Tom Nowak was all smiles.

"It's really special," Nowak said. "It's a little bit, I don't know, I want to say the word, 'imposing,' because you want to be in the background as a coach. It's difficult when you come out here and you're the person, but it's really nice to see."

Nowak was honored with a retirement party at the Elba Fire Hall that featured a collection of memorabilia and lots of memories from 26 years of serving the community by teaching young people how to compete and win.

In 1977, after two years at Dundee, Nowak joined Elba Central as a history teacher. He also became the varsity football coach and the varsity girls basketball coach.

His football record over 22 years was 130-60-6 with two sectional titles.

Leading the Lady Lancers, Nowak compiled a 457-132 record, eight sectional titles and, most significantly, a state title in 2012.

"Just that one precious one," Nowak said of the state championship. "It was special. We went in 2000 and lost in the finals. I always thought I'd never get a chance to go back and I got a chance to go back and the girls came through."

Teaching and coaching in Elba was a perfect fit, he said.

"I've always considered myself a shallow person," Nowak said. "I like history and I like sports. I first got to be a history teacher at Elba and then I got a chance to coach, so it really worked out well for me."

It takes time and dedication to be a successful varsity coach in any sport, and that means, Nowak acknowledged, that he maybe wasn't home as much as his wife might have liked over the years.

"We're going to do some things for my wife," said Nowak, who retired from teaching in 2009. "She spent so many years staying home on a Friday night watching Dallas and Falcon's Crest while I was out gallivanting around scouting football games. It will be nice to give her the opportunity to do some of the things that maybe we didn't get to do when I was a coach."

With all those wins and all those titles, surely young coaches could learn something from Nowak, and here's his advice:

"Find a mentor," Nowak said. "Find the people who are successes and spend some time and find out why they're successful.You will see something you can incorporate into your own plan. That's something I did. I looked at some role models because as a young coach you really don't know what to do and that was really beneficial to me."

November 15, 2013 - 8:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, high school sports, Notre Dame.

Notre Dame's Tim McCulley was honored Saturday in Rochester with the Section V Player of the Year award. McCulley, a senior QB, led his team to the Section V semi-finals this year and threw for 25 TDs, setting a school record and placing him at #5 in Section V single-season record list. He's 55 career TDs are #4 all-time in Section V. Tim is pictured with his father Michael and mother Carolyn.

Also honored in their respective classes were Curtis Haught from Cal Mum and Ritchie Welch from Avon, pictured below with McCulley and Section V officials.

UPDATE: Here's some of McCulley's stats and accomplishments. He made GR League all team in 2011, 2012 and 2013. He was the team's MVP 2011 and 2013. Team offensive MVP in 2012. His starting career varsity team record was 20-7 with the team making sectionals all three years, winning the title in 2012. In 2013, he completed 83 passes in 164 attempts for 1,390 yards and 25 TDs with only two interceptions. His QB rating was 170. He rushed for 471 yards and six TDs. career, he had 197 completions in 385 attempts for 3,441 yards and 55 TDs and only 11 interceptions over three seasons.  He had 216 carries for 970 yards and 14 TDs.

McCulley has served his church in a number of capacities; referring games and coaching at the now closed Holy Family School, St Joseph’s Elementary youth basketball program,  working at St. Peter’s Church and the St. Francis Cemetery. He has actively volunteered to complete his school service hours at a number of events and venues.  Tim is a 3.0 student and hopes to continue his playing career and is undecided in his major.

Photos submitted by Michael McCulley.

November 9, 2013 - 10:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, Le Roy.

Trisha Riggi sent in this picture of Le Roy elementary school students who lined Wolcott Street in Le Roy to give the Oatkan-Knights a hometown send off for their big game in Rochester.

The Knights lost to Wayland Cohocton, but the whole community is proud of what they accomplished in 2013.

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