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Notre Dame

January 23, 2020 - 11:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Scholastic Bowl, pembroke, Notre Dame, news.

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In the Scholastic Bowl on Wednesday night, Notre Dame won the first match with a score of 270.

Alden scored 200 and Oakfield 160.

In the second match, Pembroke scored 230 points, edging out Attica with 210. Elba came in third with 90 points.

Submitted photos and information.

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January 10, 2020 - 11:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, Notre Dame, oakfield-alabama.

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Oakfield-Alabama beat Notre Dame on the Fighting Irish home court on Thursday night 68-56.

For the Hornets, Travis Wiedrich scored 25 points and Joey Burdick scored 18. They each hit three three-pointers.

Gabe Macdonald scored 18 for ND and Cody Henry scored 10.

Photos by Kristen Smith, click here. For JV photos, click here.

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January 9, 2020 - 11:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, basketball, Notre Dame, video.
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The #1 ranked Class D team in the state, the Elba Lady Lancers, didn't get to play at home until their eighth game this season, making it a big one against archrival Notre Dame, and they walked off the court with a 56-44 win to remain undefeated.

Taylor Augello scored 14 points for Elba. Maddie Muehlig scored 11. Leah Bezon and Brynn Walczak had 10 each.

For Notre Dame, Amelia McCulley led all scorers with 26 points. Morgan Rhodes scored six. Lindsey Weidman scored seven and had 10 rebounds.

January 8, 2020 - 10:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, elba, Notre Dame, video.
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It took two overtimes but in the end, Notre Dame prevailed over Elba in a fiercely contested match on Tuesday night.

The Fighting Irish came out on top 58-53.

Gabe Macdonald led the Fighting Irish with 18 points. Mark Sanders scored 12. Cody Henry and  Keith Szczepanski had 10 each, and Colin McCulley
scored eight.

For the Lancers, Colton Dillion led Elba with 23 points. Zach Marsceill hit four three-pointers and had 15 total points. Jaden Hughes scored seven.

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January 4, 2020 - 3:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, video, Notre Dame, batavia.
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The Batavia Blue Devils fought through a couple of lead changes against local rival Notre Dame on Friday night in the championship game of the 31st Annual Rotary Tournament but prevailed in the end, 53-46.

Mackenzie Reigle scored 22 points on the night and was named the tournament's MVP.

Reigle's scoring included a pair of three-pointers while Bryn Wormley added 13 points, hitting four three-pointers in the second and third quarters. Emma Krolczyk scored nine points.

For Notre Dame, Morgan Rhodes scored 20 points, hitting a pair of threes along the way. Amelia McCulley, who fouled out with about 1:30 left in the game, scored 15. Lindsay Weidman scored six points.

In the consolation game, Pembroke beat Le Roy 59-49. It's the most points the 7-1 team has scored on the season. It is also the most points the Lady Dragons have allowed. Serene Calderon scored 17 points as did Nicole Von Kramer. Von Kramer hit five three-point shots. Mackenna Johnson scored 11 points. Jillian Curtis scored 12 points for Le Roy. Bryn Luckey added 11 and Kailyn Tresco scored nine.

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January 3, 2020 - 3:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, sports, basketball, Notre Dame.

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The Notre Dame Girls Basketball Team, ranked number 19 in the state in Class D, upset the Pembroke Lady Dragons, ranked #4 in Class C, in a first-round Rotary Championship game at Genesee Community College on Thursday night.

The Lady Irish won 33-28.

Amelia McCulley (top photo) scored 20 points for ND. Morgan Rhodes scored six.

For Pembroke, Serene Calderon, MacKenna Johnson, and Emily Peters, all scored six points each.

Photos by Philip Casper.

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Mackenna Johnson

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Serene Calderon

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Dekari Moss

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Montana Weedman

December 31, 2019 - 8:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, elba, Notre Dame.

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The small-school championship game of the Pete Arras Lions Tournament came down to the final play as Elba beat Notre Dame 64-62.

Colton Dillion (top photo) was tournament MVP after scoring 22 points in the finale.

Collin O'Holloran scored 16 points. Caleb Scoten hit three three-point baskets for nine points.

For Notre Dame, Gabe Macdonald scored 19 points. Cody Henry and Colin McCulley scored 15 points each with McCulley hitting three three-point shots.

Photos by Philip Casper.

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December 28, 2019 - 1:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, Lions Tournament, sports, Notre Dame.

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Gabe Macdonald (top photo) scored 25 points to go with 18 from Collin McCulley to propel Notre Dame to a 65-59 win over Perry in a first-round small-school game at the annual Pete Arras Lions Tournament at Genesee Community College.

Photos by Phillip Casper.

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Mark Sanders

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November 21, 2019 - 8:42pm

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Students at Notre Dame High School will perform "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" in the auditorium at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 22, and at 12:30 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23.

Tickets available at the door for $8 each.

The high school is located at 73 Union St. in the City of Batavia.

"You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" is a 1967 musical comedy based on the characters of the beloved comic strip "Peanuts" by Charles M. Schulz.

Joseph Condoluci is Notre Dame's Instrumental / Vocal Music teacher.

Here's the Notre Dame cast list:

  • Charlie Brown -- Owen Mileham
  • Snoopy -- Grace Mileham
  • Lucy -- Judah MacDonald
  • Linus -- Amanda Bergman
  • Schroeder -- Nathaneal Brew
  • Sally -- Lily Gaylord
  • Ensemble -- Justice YorkowskMarylin KruppaAmanda Doan

Photos by Howard Owens.

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November 16, 2019 - 3:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, Notre Dame, video.
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The Fighting Irish dominated Section V Class D all season but when it came time to meet the Section XI champs, and defending state champions, Clymer/Sherman/Panama, Notre Dame found themselves facing a tough opponent.

While Notre Dame was able to pick up yards on offense -- 328 total yards -- scoring points proved difficult while the Wolfpack had little difficulty crossing into the end zone. 

The final score was 47-14.

The Irish were without Head Coach Joe Zambito, who was ejected during the Class D sectional last week because of a personal foul by one of his personnel on the sideline. By rule, he had to sit out the next game.

Sophomore Colin McCulley took most of the snaps from center and put on an impressive performance, going 15-26 passing for 176 yards.

Jed Reese rushed for 84 yards on 17 carries. Gabe Macdonald scored a TD on 10 rushes for 21 hards and had four receptions for 33 yards. Mark Sanders had two receptions for 77 yards and a TD.

The Wolfpack had 332 total yards on offense. 

Macdonald had 10 tackles, Anthony Zambito, eight, Sanders, seven, Cody Henry, six, and Reese, five.

November 9, 2019 - 7:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, Notre Dame, video, football.
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In a rare match between local teams for a Section V championship, Notre Dame and Alexander clashed in Brockport on Friday night with the Fighting Irish holding on for a 14-7 victory to become the new Class D champions.

The Trojans were trying to defend their 2018 crown.

Jed Reese was named the game's MVP after gaining 57 yards on the ground and scoring a rushing TD in addition to returning a flubbed punt for a touchdown.

Irish QB Gabe Macdonald rushed for 108 yards.

On defense, Chad Henry had 12 tackles, Anthony Zambito, eight, plus two pass deflections, Dakota Sica had nine tackles and a sack.

The game was a defensive battle with Alexander holding ND to 197 total yards and the Irish throttling the Trojans at 189 yards.

For Alexander, Ty Woods carried the ball 24 times for 104 yards and completed 2-4 passes, including TD pass to Kam Lyons, who had six catches for 65 yards. Dylan Busch was 8-15 passing for 55 yards.

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November 3, 2019 - 12:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, football, video.
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The Fighting Irish advanced to the finals of the Class D sections on Friday with a 52-6 win over Bolivar-Richburg at Cal-Mum.

Jed Reese set a new single-season school record for yards rushed at 1,723 with 232 yards on 21 attempts. He scored three touchdowns.

QB Gabe Macdonald rushed for 37 yards on nine carries and scored a TD while passing for 52 yards and a TD. He was 6-10 and had two 2-point conversions.

Mark Sanders rushed for 96 yards on two carries and scored a TD. He had four receptions for 46 yards and a TD.

Cody Henry carried the ball nine times for 72 yards and a TD.

On defense, Henry had 10 tackles and a pass deflection. Macdonald had eight tackles. Reese and Connor McWilliams had five tackles each, one sack. Mason Randall had six tackles and a sack.

In all, Notre Dame notched five sacks and held B-R to 74 total yards.

Next, Alexander at Brockport for the Class D championship.

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October 26, 2019 - 6:01pm
posted by James Burns in batavia, sports, Notre Dame, football.

 
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Notre Dame took on York in playoff football this afternoon in Van Detta Stadium. The Fighting Irish had a rather strange first half with a lot of ball movement but no points put up on the board. At the half the game was tied at zero.

At halftime whatever the coaching staff said to the payers must have hit home because they came out and dominated York. They quickly put points up on the board and kept going. They were able to convert on third downs and complete passes with great consistency.

The Irish were unrelenting in the running game, hammering York’s front line and punching holes for their running backs on almost every play. Even a fumble in the red zone turned out to be a scoring play for Notre Dame as they recovered their own fumble in the end zone, moving the ball another 13 yards further once it popped loose. 

The Fighting Irish’s defense had to get into the act with their own offensive yardage after they made a late interception thrown by York. The interception, with 5 minutes left, made sure there was no way York could possibly have enough time to get back into the game.

The final score was Notre Dame  26, York 0.

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October 19, 2019 - 2:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, alexander, Notre Dame.
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In the battle of unbeaten Class D teams, Notre Dame beat Alexander on Friday night 40-0. This means the Fighting Irish will go into the postseason as the #1 seed in Class D and Alexander will be ranked #2.

Notre Dame's QB Gab Macdonald was 7-10 passing for 213 yards and a TD. He rushed 11 times for 49 yards and a TD. Jeb Reese carried the ball 20 times for 118 yards and a TD. Tony Zambito had two receptions for 93 yards.

For Alexander, Dylan Busch and Josh DeVries had solid games but the Trojans couldn't sustain a drive. Busch was 11 for 21 passing for 121 yards. Devries had five receptions for 87 yards. Ty Woods led the Trojans with 11 tackles.

Also on Friday:

  • Batavia beat Newark 38-15 to finish the regular season at 5-2.
  • Le Roy beat Wayland-Cohocton 43-12 to finish the regular season 7-0. The Knights are the #1 seed in Class C. Kyler LaCarte rushed for 109 yards and scored a TD while passing for 188 yards and two touchdowns.

Before Friday's game in Alexander, players Nathan Luker and Evan Whitmore did a fine job singing the National Anthem. Video below.

October 16, 2019 - 3:47pm

("JUUL gets our goat, too!" says Dot.)

Submitted photo and press release:

As part of Truth Initiative’s National Day of Action, Reality Check high school champions from Warsaw in Wyoming County and Notre Dame in Batavia took action on Friday, Oct. 11, with a Safari tour and rally at Hidden Valley Safari Adventure in Varysburg titled “Animals Against Human Testing.” 

Just as humans speak out when companies test their products on animals, the Reality Check students "interviewed zebras, deer, geese – and even a camel named Randy – to get their support." To a critter, they all came out in favor of telling JUUL that their pod-based vaping devices and flavor pods present unknown health risks and are not safe for testing on humans. 

While mingling with their friends from another species, the teens also promoted “This Is Quitting,” the first-of-its-kind text-to-quit-vaping service that gives youth and young adults the motivation and support they need to ditch JUUL and other e-cigarettes.

The Safari continued on social media, as Warsaw and Notre Dame youth took selfies and videos with their new animal friends and posted them on social media using Truth Instagram stickers and the hashtag #DontTestOnHumans.

As cases of lung disease and death resulting from the vaping epidemic continue to sweep across the nation, including the recent death of a 17-year-old male in Bronx – the state’s first vaping-related fatality -- Reality Check youth and their adult leaders wanted more than ever to take a stand against JUUL and vaping.

“Truth Initiative has a long history of calling out Big Tobacco for its deadly exploits, and Tested on Humans is the latest example which exposes just how little is known about the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes,” said Brittany Bozzer, Reality Check Youth Engagement coordinator of Tobacco-Free Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties (TF-GOW).

“We join them in delivering a clear message to JUUL and the entire tobacco industry: the safety and well-being of our region’s youth is not for sale.”

About Truth Initiative                                                                    

Truth Initiative is America’s largest nonprofit public health organization dedicated to making tobacco use a thing of the past. Their mission is clear: achieve a culture where all youth and young adults reject tobacco.

About Reality Check

Reality Check empowers youth to become leaders in their communities in exposing what they see as the manipulative and deceptive marketing tactics of the tobacco industry. The organization’s members produce change in their communities through grassroots mobilization and education.

Efforts are evidence-based, policy-driven, and cost-effective approaches that decrease youth tobacco use, motivate adult smokers to quit, and eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke. Reality Check in this area is affiliated with Tobacco-Free GOW and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

October 13, 2019 - 12:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, football, Notre Dame, alexander.

 

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Notre Dame went on a romp Saturday afternoon against Canisteo-Greenwood gaining 526 rushing yards and scoring seven touchdowns to remain undefeated on the season with a 49-6 win over the Redskins.

Jed Reese scored three of the TDs on 12 carries for 237 yards. Gabe Macdonald rushed for two TDs. He carried the ball seven times for 149 yards. Alex Totten and Dylan Warner each had second-half touchdowns, with Totten gaining 80 yards on seven carries and Warner picking up 39 yards on four carries.

Canisteo managed only 178 total yards, 87 on the ground and 91 passing.

Dakota Sica led the defense with 12 tackles. Macdonald had 10 and Reese had eight. Reese also intercepted a pass in the end zone to thwart a Redskins' drive.

Do you know who else is undefeated in Section V Class D? The Alexander Trojans.

The Trojans also had a big win this weekend, beating Cuba 56-7, setting up a big end-of-the-season showdown Friday night under the lights at Alexander High School. The two teams will be battling to become the number one seed in sectionals for Class D.

On Friday, the Trojans jumped to a 21-0 first-quarter lead and kept the ball rolling in the second quarter to go into the half up 42-7.

Dylan Busch was 15 for 20 passing for 287 yards and four touchdowns. He threw one interception. Kam Lyons caught six of those passes for 95 yards. Josh DeVries had two for 69, Ty Woods, three catches for 53 yards, and Connor Hollands had a big night at tight end, filling in for the injured Devin Dean, with two catches for 41 yards.

In the ground attack, Alexander spread the ball around with eight ball carriers picking up a total of 231 yards and scoring four TDs.

Hayden Walton led the team with 10 carries for 64 yards and two touchdowns. Ty Woods had three carries for 45 yards and one TD. Jay Morrison had six carries for 50 yards and one TD. Josh DeVries had two carries for 41 yards.

Defensively, Ethan Heineman had eight tackles. Hayden Walton had six tackles. Ty Woods and Nolan Quackenbush each had fumble recoveries on defense.

The Trojans Sophomore kicker Eric Cline was once again perfect going eight for eight on the PATs.

Also on Saturday, Batavia lost to Greece Arcadia 26-7.

In eight-man football, Oakfield-Alabama/Elba beat Dundee 56-6. Joshua Cramer gained 147 yards on 19 carries and scored one touchdown.

September 13, 2019 - 12:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, Notre Dame, football.

The Fighting Irish trounced the Perry Yellow Jackets in Thursday night football action in Perry, 64-3.

Notre Dame picked up 585 total yards on offense, including 512 rushing.

Jed Reese carried the ball 21 times for 250 yards and three touchdowns. He also had five tackles on defense.

Dylan Warner rushed eight times for 103 yards and three TDs.

The defense dominated with seven sacks and two interceptions and held Perry to negative 10 yards of rushing offense.

QB Gabe Mcdonald was 3 for 5 passing for 75 yards and two TDs. He also ran for 95 yards on three carries, scoring twice. He also caught a pass on a two-point conversion.

Cody Henry led the defense with 10 tackles. He also had a pass reception for a touchdown.

Anthony Zambito caught a pass for a 62-yard TD and had three tackles.

September 10, 2019 - 12:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Notre Dame, pembroke, girls varsity soccer.

From Jarrod Clark:

On Monday (Sept. 9) the girls varsity soccer team from Notre Dame won the match against Pembroke 2-1. The game was played at Notre Dame.

Emma Sission, an eighth-grader from St. Joe's, scored her first varsity goal, assisted from Morgan Rhodes in the first half at the 15-minute mark.

Ava Reinhart scored unassisted in the second half at the 5-minute mark.

Notre Dame keeper with the win -- Rebeka Nickerson, five saves.

September 8, 2019 - 1:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, football, sports, alexander, Le Roy, batavia.
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With QB 1 Colin McCulley out of action for six weeks after suffering a broken collar bone in a preseason scrimmage, Notre Dame called on Gabe Macdonald on short notice to take over the reins of the team's offense and Macdonald delivered in a 35-16 win at home Saturday over York/Pavilion.

Macdonald, taking snaps for the first time in a regular-season game, was 6 for 7 passing for 153 yards and two TDs. He also rushed for 37 yards on eight carries and scored a two-point conversion.

Jed Reese and Mark Sanders also helped pick up the offense. Reese rushed for 208 yards and two touchdowns on 22 attempts. Sanders caught two passes for 127 yards and two TDs and rushed three times for 39 yards and a TD. He also had an interception on defense and eight tackles.

Macdonald had nine tackles and two interceptions on defense.

The Fighting Irish surged to an early 19-0 lead but in the middle of the third quarter, York/Pavilion made some adjustments stopped ND's momentum, making the score a more competitive 19-16 at the half.

Reese also sat out several minutes of game time during this stretch with an injury.

"We came out so high and we have high expectations and they were doing a great job early on," Head Coach Joe Zambito said. "Then Judd got a little nicked up and it hurt us a little bit there for awhile but he came back, and he's a tough kid, and he came back into the game.

"York did a good job. I told their coach they could have quit and hats off to him because they did an awesome job and we just came out and our kids played a good football game in the second half."

The Notre Dame game was the only local game on Saturday.

On Friday:

Alexander beat Lyons 48-14. Hayden Walton had 11 carries for 86 yards and two TDs. Jay Morrison, six carries, 72 yards and a TD. Ty Woods, seven carries, 54 yards, and two TDs plus 25 yards receiving. Dylan Busch 4-for-4 and 127 yards passing, with two TDs. Devin Dean had 10 tackles and two sacks. Nick Kramer, eight tackles, one fumble recovery. Eric Cline 6-for-7 on PATs.

Batavia 42, Wayne 12 (click here for game coverage)

Le Roy 46, Wellsville 14: Andrew Englerth carried the ball for 88 yards on nine rushes and scored at TD. Nate Andrews, seven times on the ground for 75 yards and a TD. Kyler LaCarte, nine carries, 55 yards, and a TD. Alex Panepento, three carries, 34 yards, and a TD. Jake Hill was 5-6 passings for 82 yards and two TDs. Cody Lytle had two receptions for 14 yards and two TDs. Tom Saunders had 10 tackles.

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September 8, 2019 - 8:00am

St. Mary's School first grade 1952. Dave Reilly was sick that day and is not included in the photo. His infamous pal Charlie is fourth from the left in Row 2.

Story by Dave Reilly.

I'm sure there has been plenty of research done about memory. Why do some people have better memories than others? How do our memories change as we age? Why do some people have vivid memories of their childhood while others' recollections are scant at best?

Of my elementary school experience at St. Mary's School in Batavia, grades 1-8 from 1952 to 1960, I only seem to recall funny or unusual happenings. What we were taught, projects we did, and most day-to-day classroom experiences elude me.

It's the silly or odd stuff that somehow has remained in my brain all these years. I guess that might be some kind of clue about my personality, but that would be for the experts to figure out.

St. Mary's was still being constructed when I started there, so for first and second grade we were housed in the lower floor of Notre Dame High School next door, which itself had just been built.

I started first grade at the age of 5 and didn't turn 6 until January. My teacher was a nun, a Sister of the Holy Cross, and that was the case seven of my eight years at St. Mary's. I do not remember her name or that of my second-, fourth- or sixth-grade teachers either.

I missed the first week of first grade due to illness. Not only did I not get to know the teacher and kids, I apparently also was left out of a group class photo taken on the steps of the school. We didn't have on uniforms, but we subsequently had to wear them.

A Howdy Doody Lunchbox and Terrifying Teens

For some reason on my first day of first grade (Maybe my mom brought me for my grand entrance later in the morning?), the nun sent me to the lunchroom all by myself.

So, there I was -- probably in a striped shirt with a clip-on bow tie and dark blue corduroy pants carrying my Howdy Doody lunchbox -- surrounded by high school kids. I do recall being intimidated by those huge, adult-like creatures and staring at them with a wide-eyed kind of terror.

I still can't believe the sister sent me alone. Knowing how shy I was I bet my mom had to work some magic to get me back there the next day.

Second grade (inset photo, left) is also a blur except for the time I got sick. I must have had a fever and recall shaking with the chills. Nonetheless, I was too afraid to tell the sister. When it came time to go to lunch, the nun lined us up and off we went down the hall.

I must have sneaked to the end of the line and as the class went one way, I went the other. Out the door I flew and on down the street.

It was probably about a mile from the school on Union Street to our house on Thomas Avenue, but despite being ill I made it. Imagine my mom's surprise (good thing she was home) when I walked in the door. “What in the world...?”, she probably said.

It's fortunate that she wasn't prone to any profanity until her elder years. After I was put to bed she must have called the school and reported my escape. I should have saved that skill for high school when I could have used it more beneficially.

The Lifelong Influence of Miss Marguerite Horgan

For Grade 3 we got to move into our now completed school. This was my only year with a secular teacher and it was my best and favorite one. Our teacher was the kind and gentle Miss Marguerite Horgan. Every day she would read to us and I enjoyed that. I like to think that she was a big influence on my lifelong love of reading.

When I became a fifth- and sixth-grade teacher myself for 33 years I made sure that every day after lunch I would try to choose some good example of children's literature and read an excerpt to my class.

The beginning of fourth grade is kind of foggy, but I think the nun who was supposed to be our teacher became incapacitated and as a result the fourth and fifth grades had to be combined.

Anyone who attended Catholic School in the '50s and '60s remembers that we always had classes numbering more than 40 students. I wish I had a class photo from that year because we must have been bursting at the seams with two classes joined together.

At lunchtime we were allowed to go outside to get some fresh air and play.

Fighting Dirty

That year some kind of construction was still going on and there was a big hill of dirt on the Union Street side of the school. This mound turned into a battleground of “king of the hill” between the fourth- and fifth-grade boys.

After about a week of torn and dirty clothes, bruises, cuts, several fistfights and most likely a bunch of parent phone calls, the principal put us on lockdown. Eventually the dirt hill was removed and we got to see the light of day again.

First and Lasting Impression

My only real memory of fifth grade happened on the first day before class even began. As we were milling about in the hall greeting our friends and looking for our classroom we heard some kind of commotion. Voices were rising, kids were laughing, and the queue of children and parents parted like the Red Sea.

But instead of Moses and the Israelites coming through, it was our classmate named Lenny. He had a wide grin on his face and a cigarette dangling from his lips.

Lenny didn't get too far before one of the nuns swooped in like a giant hawk and grabbed the cigarette in one hand and the collar of Lenny's shirt in the other. Away he went never to smoke up the halls of St. Mary's again. It was off to public school for him.

I was a student for 17 years and a teacher for 33 and absolutely no one ever made a more memorable entrance than Lenny.

Sixth grade must have been the year of boredom. One thing we had to do was memorize the Catholic catechism. The nun put a "Jeopardy!" like spin on this activity though by giving us the answer and we had to respond with the question.

A Pencil to Pass Time

To make the long day go by faster, I came up with a game to play. Did you realize that a pencil has six sides? Well, I made mine into a rolling die (as in the plural dice).

On a piece of paper I made a horseracing track divided into lanes of equal length. I would assign a famous horse (Citation, Whirlaway, Swaps) to a numbered lane and then roll the pencil to advance one to six spaces. I don't recall getting caught, but my mother had to have me tutored in math that year, so I guess one to six was my limit mathematically.

Grade seven (inset photo, left, doing homework) went pretty well for most of the year. Sister Mary Lourdes was young and seemed to convey a more relaxed and understanding atmosphere than my previous nun teachers. I really liked her and I think I started to actually enjoy school.

But, at some time in the spring that feeling went bad in a hurry.

One day we were playing outside at lunch and my friends Anthony, John and I wanted to know how much time was left. Not having a watch, we went around on the Woodrow Road side of the school to look in the window of our classroom and see the clock.

When we got back to the room, Sister Lourdes had a very sour look on her face.

As we took our seats she explained that she was horrified someone committed a grave sin by stealing the money we had been collecting for the “Missions” (poor Catholics in Third World countries) out of the container on the shelf by the windows.

If that wasn't bad enough, she said that someone had told her that they saw Anthony, John and David out there by the windows during lunch.

“Did you take that money boys?” she queried. Of course, since we didn't, all three of us adamantly answered “NO!”

Charlie -- Esquire, and a Jury of Peers

Well, the sister must have smelled a great teaching moment in the air because she told the class that since she had evidence she was going to put us on trial and the class would be the jury.

I only remember two things about the trial.

One, my friend Charlie, the costar of several of my previous stories, finagled the job of being our defense attorney. As a precursor to his later getting a law degree from Syracuse University, Charlie won the case. I think the vote to acquit was unanimous. Two, this was mostly because sister's “evidence” was solely the testimony of the informer whom she would not identify.

Afterward the nun tried to apologize and say that she really believed we were innocent, but she wanted to teach the class a lesson. Maybe, but I wasn't having it.

For the rest of the term I was disillusioned and never trusted her again.

Eighth grade was not an enjoyable year for me, or probably my classmates either. Our teacher in retrospect was not well suited or happy in her job and took it out on us on a daily basis. In my stories I try to find humor in my nostalgic remembrances and there wasn't much of that in our final year at St. Mary's.

Inventive, Perhaps, Amusing, No

I do recall one instance when I tried to be funny, but classmate Susan, who sat in front of me, was not amused.

The sister was teaching a history lesson and asked, “Does anyone know who invented the steamboat?” I whispered to the girl, “Stanley Steamer.” Immediately she raised her hand and called it out.

Now, I will give Susan credit, because when the nun reprimanded her for such a ridiculous answer she didn't rat me out. Maybe Susan had mercy on me because I was seemingly already the teacher's whipping boy. I hope I apologized to my classmate for embarrassing her, and if I didn't, I should have.

In June 1960 my elementary school career came to a close and it was on to Notre Dame.

My poor recall of any significant learning in those eight years at St. Mary's is a mystery to me. My hope is that over my three-plus decades of teaching, I provided my students with more substantial memories that they can look back on with fondness.

(Photos courtesy of Dave Reilly.)

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