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Notre Dame

July 20, 2021 - 1:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in hockey, sports, schools, news, batavia, Notre Dame, Batavia United.


A Batavia City School District trustee who held up approval of a merger between the Batavia and Notre Dame hockey teams at the district's school board meeting on Thursday afternoon met with the schools' athletic directors and coaches and said he had his questions answered and looks forward to the agreement being on the board's next agenda.

The Batavian has attempted to clarify with John Marucci that his statement means he intends to vote in favor of the merger but he has not responded to two emails.

Three Four other members of the board have responded to emails and said they intend to support the measure. One hasn't responded.

Previously, The Batavian emailed five questions to Marucci about his apparent objections to the merger, trying to clarify his position and didn't get a response until yesterday. He didn't provide answers to the question but did make this statement:

I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. Just so you know that today at 3:15, I was able to meet with BCSD BOE President Alice Ann Benedict, BCSD AD Mike Bromley and hockey coaches Marc Staley and John Kirkwood. We had a very lengthy and thorough discussion about the proposed merger between Notre Dame and Batavia as it pertains to hockey. I feel very satisfied that I had my questions and concerns answered and look forward to having this item on our agenda for our August 5th BCSD BOE Meeting. 

At last week's meeting, Marucci expressed concern about other schools in the county being eased out of a combined hockey program with Batavia and that once current players from those districts have graduated, students at those schools would have to attend Notre Dame if they wanted to play hockey. He suggested Notre Dame recruits athletic students and that he was concerned the merger wouldn't be fair to Batavia students.

Our questions to Marucci included trying to find out how the merger wouldn't be fair to Batavia students. He didn't answer that question.

At the meeting, he said, "I just want clarification," and, "I'm not trying to be that guy but I guess I'm being that guy."

With two seats vacant on the board due to resignations and one person absent, Marucci's unwillingness to vote to approve the agreement meant there wasn't a quorum, so the board had to table the matter until its Aug. 5 meeting.

The merger would mean Notre Dame, which has won two sectional championships in recent years under Head Coach Marc Staley, and Batavia players would form a single unit.

Last week the schools announced the new team would be known as Batavia United.

Advocates of the merger argue that the merger would allow both schools to have a JV program, which will help produce a more successful program and end the dangerous practice of including JV-aged and -sized kids on varsity rosters.

And yes, students at schools such as Le Roy, Alexander, Oakfield-Alabama, and Pembroke, who want to play hockey in the future, will need to attend a private school such as Notre Dame. Which is how it was for those schools before Batavia, in a bid to increase its hockey numbers seven years ago, accepted those schools into its hockey program.

Since that realignment, Batavia has won 13 games with only two of those wins coming against Section V opponents and no wins against teams with winning records.

The merger is going to get the support of at least three trustees.

Statement from Alice Benedict:

I wholeheartedly support the Batavia Notre Dame Hockey merger. It will help both schools be able to offer hockey opportunities for grades 7 through 12.

Statement from John Reigle:

Thank you for reaching out to me regarding the hockey merger. 

As you are aware we tabled the agenda item at our last school board meeting for some final clarification and questions. It is a big decision for our district and I’m glad our board of education is putting in so much collaborative thought and consideration into the topic. Unfortunately, our athletic director and/or the coaches were unable to attend the last meeting to have more discussion on the topic. However, it is my understanding they were able to meet with our board president and Vice President yesterday to discuss. 

After speaking with some hockey families from both schools, along with learning more of Coach Staley’s & Coach Kirkwood’s goals and intentions for the United program, I am in favor of the merger. I look forward to bringing back a competitive hockey program to our city that the student-athletes, our schools, and our community are proud of. 

Statement from Barbara Bowman:

I am in complete support of the hockey merger because it will be advantageous to BHS and ND students and the community in general.

Newly elected Trustee Jennifer Lendvay did not respond.

UPDATE: Lendvay's statement: 

I am in favor of the merger of the BHS/ND hockey teams and look forward to seeing them play.

June 7, 2021 - 10:07pm


On Sunday, at Resurrection Parish, Notre Dame High School held its 67th commencement exercises for the Class of 2021. 

Principal Wade Bianco and Assistant Principal Michael Rapone presented senior awards, academic honors, scholarships and diplomas. 

Valedictorian Amanda Mary Bergman addressed the 2021 class. Class President Bernard Skalny presented the senior class gift.

Anne Del Plato received an honorary diploma from the Class of 1971 honoring their 50th anniversary. Eric Ricks Jr. provided concluding remarks.

To view or purchase photos, click here.


Principal Wade Bianco


Valedicatorian Amanda Mary Bergman


Class President Bernard Skalny


Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Michael Rapone






Anne Del Plato recieivng the honorary diploma Class of 1971.


Concluding remarks, Eric Ricks Jr. 



May 26, 2021 - 7:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, hockey, video, batavia, Notre Dame.
Video Sponsor

At Falleti Ice Arena last night we were able to talk with seven members of the Genesee Ice Devils and Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey teams about the proposal to merge the two teams. We also spoke with Mike Rapone, ND's athletic director since we hadn't spoken with him yet about the proposal.

May 6, 2021 - 12:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, schools, education, batavia, news.


As part of its ongoing 70th Anniversary Celebration, Notre Dame High School today commemorated the laying of the school's cornerstone with a reenactment by Principal Wade Bianco.

The school opened in 1951 as one of 18 high schools in the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. Today, Notre Dame is one of eight remaining Catholic high schools in the region.


Photo: Deacon Walt Szczesny, Kate Edwards (Director of Advancement), senior Ben Skalney ‘21, Mike Rapone (Vice Principal and AD), Joe Teresi (Board President), Kristen Gomez (Director of Academic Advisement), Wade Bianco (Principal), Tom Rapone (Business Manager), John Dwyer, Jennifer Tomm Petosa ‘82, Jim Fix ‘69 


Maria Prattico lays a wreath on the head of Mary during morning Mass at Notre Dame in an annual tradition, the crowning of Mary, at the school. Deacon Walter Szczesny looks on.

April 16, 2021 - 10:03am
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Notre Dame, alexander, football.


In a game marked by strong defense, numerous false start penalties and fumbles, nine punts and just one completed pass, the visiting Alexander Trojans turned back the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 14-6, in Section V varsity football Thursday night at Van Detta Stadium.

Alexander raised its record to 4-1 as junior running back Brayden Woods ran the ball 20 times for 131 yards, including a six-yard touchdown run with 30 seconds left in the third quarter.

The scoring play and junior kicker Eric Cline’s extra point gave the Trojans that eight-point lead and from there they were able to hold off the Irish, who fall to 1-4.

Notre Dame opened the scoring late in the first quarter as senior running back Dylan Warner capped a six-play drive with a one-yard TD plunge. Sophomore quarterback James Fanara’s pass attempt for the two-point conversion fell incomplete.

The Irish had taken possession of the ball at the visitors’ 26-yard line when Alexander’s punter muffed the snap. A six-yard run by junior Vin DiRisio and a 19-yard scamper by senior Alonso Storey advanced the ball to the 1, setting up Warner’s touchdown two plays later.

The Trojans came right back, however, marching 58 yards on 14 plays to knot the score at 6-6 on junior quarterback Nick Kramer’s 1-yard plunge with 8:36 left in the half. Cline’s extra point gave Alexander a 7-6 lead.

Key plays in that drive were a 13-yard run by Woods to the ND 15 and a 13-yard scramble by Kramer to the Irish 6.

In the fourth quarter, Notre Dame capitalized on a 59-yard punt by junior Cody Henry to pin the Trojans back to their own 7. Five plays netted only seven yards and Alexander was forced to punt.

Storey fielded the punt around the 45 and bolted up the field to the Alexander 27, putting the Irish in position to tie the game with a touchdown and two-point conversion.

On third-and-13 from the Alexander 30, Fanara hit senior wide receiver Anthony Zambito over the middle for 17 yards – the game’s lone pass completion. A run by Fanara and two by Warner gained eight yards, making it 4th and 2 from the Alexander 5-yard line.

After an ND timeout, a false start penalty on the Irish offensive line pushed the ball back to the 10. From there, Fanara fired a pass over the middle that was intended for Storey but was a bit high and went off the receiver’s hands with 3:46 to play.

Alexander was then able to run out the clock as Woods collected 30 of his rushing yards in the closing minutes.

Kramer added 61 yards on the ground on 14 carries while fullback Devin Dean chipped in with 17 on five carries. Kramer was 0-for-10 passing.

Dean, from his linebacker position, made nine tackles to lead an Alexander defense that held ND to 104 total yards. Lineman Gavin Smith-Crandall had five tackles and recovered a fumble while Kramer had two sacks and forced a fumble for the winners.

For ND, Storey gained 43 yards on 10 carries and Fanara rushed for 29 yards on nine carries. He was 1-for-8 for the 17 yards through the air. Defensively, Henry, with 13 tackles, and Donato Fiorentino led the way.

Photos by Philip Casper.

Top photo: Nick Kramer (#3)


QB Fanara (11) DiRisio (24)


RB Storey (6) breaking his way through the Alexander Defense.


Wuest (52) leading the way for Kramer (3).


Kramer (3) with the carry as Zambito (2) goes for the tackle.


Woods (5) heading out to open field.


Fanara (11) scrambling through the field. 


Woods (5) with Alexander’s final touchdown of the game.

March 21, 2021 - 1:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, Notre Dame, football.


Notre Dame was dominant Saturday against a disorganized and discombobulated Lyons at Van Detta, beating the visiting team 46-0.

Collin McCulley was 12-20 passing for 119 yards and a TD. Anthony Zambito caught seven passes for 38 yards. He also had 165 yards in kickoff returns and six tackles on defense.

Alonso Storey had the seven-yard TD reception.

Dylan Warner rushed for 105 yards on 10 carries and scored TDs on runs of 23 yards and six yards. On defense, he had four tackles and a sack.

Connor McWilliams had four tackles, five sacks, and a blocked punt that was returned for a TD.

Donato Fiorentino had seven tackles and two sacks.

Notre Dame had 312 yards total offense to 52 for Lyons.

Photos by Jim Burns.















March 13, 2021 - 11:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, sports, basketball.


Notre Dame traveled to South Seneca today as the #2 seed in the Class D1 tournament, with two losses on its record, and proceeded to upset the unbeaten #1 seed 55-48 to win a Section V title.

The Lady Irish were once again lead by sophomore Amelia McCulley who scored 30 points.  Lindsey Weidman scored 14 points. Emma Sisson had 12 rebounds, Maylee Green, 11, Weidman, nine, and McCulley, eight.

Submitted photo.

March 12, 2021 - 1:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, sports, girls basketball.
Video Sponsor

If you just looked at the score (67-50), you would think the Lady Irish had a pretty easy time of it against C.G. Finney in their Class C2 Section V semifinal game played at Notre Dame.

If you took that view, you would be mistaken. The Falcons are a small, fast, aggressive, scrappy team led by a diminutive sophomore (her height isn't listed on the roster), Jahniya Johnson, who is as dangerous outside the arc as she is driving the lane and tossing up one of her stock-in-trade floaters.

Johnson scored 35 points. But with no other Falcon presenting much of a scoring threat, Johnson couldn't carry the team alone, especially against one led its own young stars, such as Amelia McCulley and Lindsey Weidman. 

McCulley, herself just a sophomore, was also hard to stop and she scored 29 points. Weidman scored 16. Sarah McGinnis scored nine and Judah Macdonald added seven.

Maylee Green led the Irish with 16 rebounds. Weidman and Emma Sisson, who also scored six points, had 12 apiece.

The D1 championship will be decided Saturday at 7 p.m. in South Seneca. South Seneca is 13-0 and #1 seed in the division. Notre Dame is the #2 seed.

March 10, 2021 - 3:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, Notre Dame, video.
Video Sponsor

Notre Dame handily beat Alfred on Tuesday, 52-24, to advance to the semifinals of the Class D1 Section V tournament.

McCulley scored 22 points, hitting two three-point shots, and McGinnis scored 18, hitting a trio of three-pointers. She also had seven rebounds.

The Fighting Irish (10-2) will play C.G. Finney (11-2) at home, 7 p.m., tomorrow.

Tonight's schedule:


  • Bolivar at Pavilion, 7 p.m.
  • Alexander at East Rochester, 6 p.m.


  • Pal-Mac at Batavia, 6 p.m.
  • Notre Dame at Belfast, 7 p.m.
March 2, 2021 - 1:15pm
posted by Press Release in news, Notre Dame, Black History Month, Just Kings, batavia.

Submitted photo and press release:

Notre Dame High School is pleased to announce a donation of $345 to Just Kings.

Just Kings is a Batavia-based organization whose mission is to provide a voice for the local Black community. They work to educate and mentor the youth, our neighbors and ourselves as we continue to fight to end racism.

Nya Thomas, a senior at Notre Dame, led the donation drive in honor of Black History Month.

Check out the important work they do at their Facebook page.

Photo: front row, from left: Alonzo Story, Mark Sanders, McKenzie Nenni, Nya Thomas, Ben Skanly, and Principal Wade Bianco; back row: Just Kings -- Eric Ricks, Victor Thomas, Robert Thurston, Oraid Edwards, Terry Smith, Otis Thomas and Brandon Armstrong.

February 21, 2021 - 11:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, Notre Dame, basketball, sports.


Brynn Walczak notched another double-double and Leah Bezon scored her 1,000th career point Saturday afternoon as the Lady Lancers beat archrival Notre Dame 52-38.

Walczak scored 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.

Bezon's 1,000th point came on a free throw in the third quarter. She scored nine points.

Taylor Augello scored 12 points. Maddie Muehlig scored five and grabbed eight rebounds.

For the Lady Irish, Emma Sisson, Maylee Green, and Amelia McCulley each scored eight points and Lindsey Weidman scored seven. McCulley had 14 rebounds.

Photos by Debra Reilly.







February 10, 2021 - 1:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, Notre Dame, oakfield-alabama.


Sparked by 33 points from Mark Sanders, Notre Dame opened a COVID-shortened basketball season against Oakfield-Alabama with a 65-62 win at home.

For the Fighting Irish, Jordan Welker was the only other player to hit double digits, scoring 10 points. Ryan Fitzpatrick had six and Jimmy Fanara had six.

Travis Wiedrich led the Hornets with 31 points. Gaige Armbrewster scored 18 and Kaden Cusmano scored 14.

Also on opening night for boys basketball:

  • Byron-Bergen beat Alexander 47-42
  • Batavia beat Eastridge 52-48
  • Pembroke beat Lyndonville 56-54

In girls basketball, Elba beat Albion 63-22.

Photos by Kristin Smith. For more, click here.







November 20, 2020 - 12:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Girls Soccer, sports, Notre Dame, Section V title.


Notre Dame High School dominated Jasper-Troupsburg all game, winning 4-0. Autumn Mathisen earned game MVP, and scored 3 of the 4 goals of the game.

It is the first Section V title in girls soccer for Notre Dame.

Photos by Philip Casper.


Captains Arabella Rogers #23, Autumn Mathisen #22, and Rachel Nickerson #15.


Notre Dame is the Section D2 champion.


Autumn Mathisen #22 kicking her third goal of the game.


Hannah Tenney


Arabella Rogers


Coach Jarrod Clark


Autumn Mathisen #22 with a front flip throw in.


Sophi Johnston

November 19, 2020 - 10:15pm
posted by Press Release in GCC, Notre Dame, batavia, sports.


Nya Thomas, softball standout at Notre Dame High School, has signed with Genesee Community College. Thomas is the daughter of Otis and Nicole Thomas.

Photo*: Teagyn Thomas, Nya Thomas, Nicole Thomas, Gunnar Thomas; Back row. JC Kabel Edge (her coach on her travel team), and Mike Rapone, ND's athletic director.

*Otis Thomas was in quarantine and couldn't attend the signing.

Submitted photo and information.

November 18, 2020 - 1:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in soccer, sports, Notre Dame.


The Notre Dame Girls Soccer Team will play for a sectional title tomorrow night for the first time in program history.

Last night, the Fighting Irish beat Andover 3-0. Sky Colontonio, Emma Sisson, and Arabella Rogers each scored goals. Goalkeeper Rebecka Nickerson had seven saves.

The team plays Jasper-Troupsburg at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Van Detta Stadium in Batavia.

Photo and info provided by Jarrod Clark.

October 9, 2020 - 10:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, Notre Dame, Oakfield.

NOTE: Laurie Call helped lead Notre Dame to a 2013 state championship.

Press release:

Eastern Nazarene College head women's basketball coach Sacha Santimano has announced the hiring of Laurie Call as assistant coach.

A 2018 graduate of Houghton College, Call played three seasons with the Highlanders' women's basketball program. She served as a team captain during her senior season and helped the team reach the Empire 8 championship game in the program's first-ever Empire 8 postseason appearance. She was an NCCAA All-American Scholar-Athlete and was named to the President's List and Dean's Honor List at Houghton.

Call joins the collegiate coaching ranks following a stint as an assistant coach with the WNY Rebels, working with the AAU basketball team's 8th-10th grade squad.

A native of Batavia, New York, Call has worked as a staffing manager at TalentBridge in Rochester, New York since 2018. At TalentBridge, she was named the company's 2019 Rookie of the Year and was responsible for recruiting candidates for various companies' hiring needs. Call also interned in the Houghton College Alumni Office and at the University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia during her undergraduate academic career.

"Laurie is a great addition to this program and family. She's incredibly smart and hard-working. She brings a lot of energy and new ideas! We cannot wait to get her here," commented Santimano.

July 2, 2020 - 2:29pm

Top photo: Macayla Burke (right) receives the first-place Holowach Scholarship from Jon Sanfratello, executive principal, GV BOCES Batavia Campus. Macayla is a Health Careers Academy student from Batavia City School District.

Submitted photo and press release:

The Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center is proud to announce the achievements of its seniors. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this awards ceremony event that was scheduled to be held in June was canceled.

The 25 Genesee County award winners, their programs, home schools and scholarships received, are noted below.

  • Chase Bordonaro -- Building Trades, Le Roy CSD, Home Depot Award
  • Juliana Branche -- Culinary Arts, Batavia CSD, Culinary Arts Club Award
  • Jesse Bray -- Metal Trades, Batavia CSD, Dan Bender Award
  • Alexander Brumsted -- Building Trades, Byron-Bergen CSD, Home Owner Award
  • Macayla Burke -- Health Careers Academy, Batavia CSD, Holowach Memorial Scholarship – first place
  • Casey Felski -- Building Trades, Pembroke CSD, Building Trades Alumni Award
  • Wyatt Gaus -- Culinary Arts, Batavia CSD, Batavia Rotary, Chef Russell Bugbee Memorial Award, Culinary Arts Club Award, Holowach Memorial Scholarship (Alternate), Josh Mouery Memorial Award
  • Madison Heaney -- Health Dimensions, Le Roy CSD, UMMC Clinical Excellence Award, UMMC League Award
  • Paige Haile -- Health Careers Academy, Batavia CSD, AM Highest Academic Average, Holowach Memorial Scholarship – second place
  • Nicole Hume -- Metal Trades, Alexander CSD, Dan Bender Award
  • Jacob Humes -- Health Careers Academy, Batavia CSD, AM Clinical Excellence Award
  • Noah Kutter -- Culinary Arts, Pembroke CSD, Extra Mile Award
  • Benjamin LaBombard -- Metal Trades, Le Roy CSD, Gene Haas Foundation Award
  • Kyler LaCarte -- Building Trades, Le Roy CSD, Home Depot Award
  • Benjamin Lemley -- Building Trades, Notre Dame HS, Roy H. Turnbull Memorial Award
  • Dylan Pehrson -- Building Trades, Batavia CSD, Paul Levins Memorial Award
  • Paola Perez -- Justice Academy, Oakfield-Alabama CSD, Outstanding Achievement Award
  • Emma Sallome -- Cosmetology, Batavia CSD, Cosmetology Teacher Award
  • Wyatt Sando -- Metal Trades, Byron-Bergen CSD, Don Abramo Jr. Memorial Award
  • Dan Santullo -- Health Careers Academy, Alexander CSD, PM Highest Academic Average
  • Gavin Schmidt -- Collision Custom & Restoration, Batavia CSD, Select Collision Top Gun Award
  • Lauren Schmieder -- Health Careers Academy, Alexander CSD, PM Clinical Excellence Award
  • Tyler Stevens -- Collision Custom & Restoration, Elba CSD, Car Quest Auto Body Skills Award
  • Charlotte Wright -- Animal Science, Le Roy CSD, FFA Service Scholarship
  • Braeden Zimmerman -- Collision Custom & Restoration, Byron-Bergen CSD, Car Quest Auto Body Skills Award
June 6, 2020 - 3:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in livestream, video, news, Notre Dame, schools, education.
Video Sponsor

Notre Dame High School will honor its Class of 2020 graduates today in a socially distanced ceremony on its football field.

The school asked me to livestream it for them and, although I've never livestreamed an event remotely before, I'm giving it a try.

May 28, 2020 - 3:33pm

Press release:

The Batavia Career and Technical Education Center National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) Chapter announced the names of 33 career and technical student inductees this month. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this induction ceremony event was canceled.

These students met the rigorous criteria set forth by this national organization. The minimum grade-point average for acceptance is a 3.0. Students are also selected based upon credit hours completed, attendance, volunteer service, and membership in other student organizations.

2020 Batavia Career and Technical Education Center NTHS Inductees

Animal Science

  • Kasey Smith, Alexander

Building Trades

  • Quinten Betances, Batavia
  • Garrett Totten, Pembroke
  • Timothy Walsh, Batavia
  • Justin Wight, Oakfield-Alabama

Criminal Justice

  • Adriana Cauthen, Pembroke
  • Will Minkel, Attica
  • Scout Seelau, Pembroke
  • Jordan Waterbury, Akron


  • Delaney Ingles, Le Roy
  • Madison Masters, Le Roy
  • Rylie Merle, Alexander
  • Lilia Toland, Attica

Culinary Arts

  • Isaiah Merrell, Batavia Academy

Diesel Mechanics

  • Joshua Conrad, Attica
  • Dillon Weber, Alexander

Electro Mechanical Trades

  • Matthew Bills, Batavia
  • Devin Dean, Alexander
  • Adam Dulski, Pembroke
  • Troy Helsdon, Batavia
  • Henry Schafer, Notre Dame
  • Zachary Strzelec, Attica

Graphic Arts

  • Blake Paserk, Batavia

Health Dimensions

  • Keri Biggins, Le Roy
  • Krysta Hansen, Alexander
  • Skye Magoffin, Pembroke

Metal Trades

  • Jesse Bray, Batavia
  • Daniel Gerstiz, Attica
  • Nicole Hume, Alexander
  • Chase Pangrazio, Batavia

Programming and Interactive Media

  • Riley Atwood, Batavia
  • Dominic D’Agostino, Oakfield-Alabama
  • Quintin Konieczny, Batavia
March 4, 2020 - 12:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, Notre Dame.


Notre Dame fouls sent Fillmore to the line enough times in the closing seconds of the Class D1 Section V semifinal on Tuesday at Dansville that Fillmore was able to pull out a 55-49 win.

Fillmore will play Pavilion Friday for the championship at Letchworth at 8 p.m. (Pavilion coverage)

Morgan Rhodes scored 19 points for the Lady Irish. Amelia McCulley scored 12.

Hannah Roeske scored 20 points for Fillmore.

Photos by Steve Ognibene

To view or purchase prints, click here.





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