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September 24, 2022 - 3:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, elba, sports, football, Le Roy.

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The Oakfield-Alabama/Elba Aggies scored 38 unanswered points through four quarters on their way to a 38-6 over Le Roy at home on Friday night.

Connor Scott opened the scoring with a 57-yard run at the start of the game to ignite the Aggie's offense.  Brodie Scott completed a pass to Noah Currier for the next score, then hit Connor Scott in the second quarter and scored himself twice in the third.  OAE's final score came early in the fourth quarter when Hyde connected with Kyle Porter on a 51-yard TD reception.

OAE compiled 475 yards in total offense to 188 for the Oatkan Knights.

Hyde completed six of 12 pass attempts for 156 yards and three TDs.  He was intercepted once.

Currier gained 134 yards on 19 runs, Hyde 93 on 16 attempts.

Kyle Porter had two receptions for 70 yards.

On defense, Nate Finta had five tackles.

For the Knights, Adrian Stephens was 5-13 passing for 41 yards. Jackson Fix rushed eight times for 70 yards and a TD. On defense, Tony Piazza had 9.5 tackles.

"A win like this against an opponent like LeRoy is huge for our team," said Aggies Head Coach Tyler Winter. "While the first half still was not the cleanest on our end, the way our guys came out of halftime and kept the pedal down on a good opponent speaks to what we are capable of, both physically and mentally.  They are really taking to our 'process over product' approach, and doing a phenomenal job of taking each opponent as they come.  For them, the next challenge is the biggest one."

Top photo: Le Roy’s Xavien Walker (44) holds on to Connor Scott (22).

Photos by Ed Henry

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OAE’s Connor Scott (22) scores a TD early in the game.

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OAE’s Noah Currier (20) snags a TD catch.

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Le Roy’s Jack Tonzi grabs a reception in the flats.

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Le Roy’s Drew Strollo (34) turns the corner.

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OAE’s Aiden Warner holds on after an Antonio Martinez collision.

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OA-E’s QB Bodie Hyde

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OAE’s Angelo Penna (55) and Connor Scott (22) celebrate up top. 

Additional photos below by Kristin Smith.  For more, click here.

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September 22, 2022 - 12:24pm
posted by Press Release in oakfield-alabama, news.

Press release:

The OACS Alumni Hall of Fame Committee will be honoring the Class of 2022 during an Alumni Hall of Fame weekend on Oct. 15 at 6 p.m. in the OACS High school Cafeteria.  The 2022 OA HOF Inductees are:

  • Daniel Gilbert - Class of ‘87
  • Dr. Cory Merkel - Class of ‘05
  • Gary Nanni - Class of ‘73

On Saturday, October 15, 2022 there will be a community dinner and ceremony (held in the OACS High School Cafeteria) to induct our newest members.  Doors will open at 5:30pm.  The event will begin at 6:00pm.

Tickets are on sale through Oct. 1 and are available at the following:

  • Oakfield-Alabama Elementary School (7001 Lewiston Road, Oakfield  NY 14125)
  • Oakfield-Alabama Middle and High School (7001 Lewiston Road, Oakfield  NY 14125)
  • Oakfield Family Pharmacy (40 Main Street, Oakfield NY 14125)
  • By contacting committee member Liz Conway at: [email protected]
  • By mailing a check (made payable to “Dollars for Scholars”) to:
    OA Hall of Fame, PO Box 35, Oakfield NY 14125
    Note: Please be sure to add “HOF Tickets” in the memo line of your check and include   your email address so confirmation of your order can be sent. 

Ticket Prices:  $30 for Adults (ages 11 and up), $15 for Children (ages 4-10) and no charge for ages 3 and under.

The Hall of Fame recognizes outstanding OACS alumni who have achieved distinction in their lives and chosen field after high school through significant contributions to their career, community or through personal achievements; providing incentive for current and future students.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, October 15, 2022!

Daniel Gilbert ‘87:
Dan was a leader, coach, and teacher, on the playing fields, in the classroom, and in the community.

Joining the faculty of his alma mater in 1998, he preached "confidence, not cockiness" in making the Hornets a dynastic force on the baseball diamond.  His teams won 12 Genesee Region League baseball titles, and Section V championships in 2000, 2001, 2003, and 2009.  In each of those sectional title years, he was also honored as Section V Coach of the Year.

When Hornet softball needed a coach in 2011, Dan stepped up and led that team to a sectional title, and was honored as Genesee Region Coach of the Year.

Dan amassed a 284-58 record coaching baseball, softball, JV and varsity football, and modified basketball.

At Oakfield, he taught health and physical education, creating and shaping the district's Adaptive PE program for students with special needs.

In the community he coached Little League baseball and youth football.

Dan's memory lives on in his players, students, wife, and children, and in Dan Gilbert Field, the OACS baseball diamond.

Dr. Cory Merkel – Class of ‘05:
Cory is an internationally-recognized figure in brain-inspired computing research.

After earning his PhD in Microsystems Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology where he also earned his Master's and Bachelor's, Cory spent three years at the Air Force Research Lab before joining the RIT faculty in a research and teaching position.

His RIT research lab focuses on "brain applications" - Artificial Intelligence security, improved accessibility for "smart assistants" like Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, etc. for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals; and designing integrated circuits that replicate the functionality and behavior of the human brain.  Cory chairs the Computer Engineering department's Social and Awards committee, which recognizes promising students for their above-and-beyond academic excellence and teaching and other support for the department.  He also teaches courses in the areas of digital integrated circuit design and brain-inspired computing.

He has been involved in a number of outreach programs such as the Project Fibonacci STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) conference, which engages students from middle school through college, in intensive workshops to foster and cultivate interest in STEAM disciplines.

At the time of his induction, Cory held three US patents, published over 50 peer-reviewed research articles, and advised dozens of students on their MS or PhD research.

Cory met his future wife while he was at OACS; they married in 2012.  In his spare time he continues his passion for percussion - he has been in musical groups since he was 12 - and sports, including rank achievement in kung fu and karate.

Gary Nanni – Class of ‘73:
Gary started his working career mowing and doing grounds at Carl Petronio Construction in Albion, where his father worked.  By the time of his retirement, he was president of Allied Builders, the $35 million company Petronio had grown into, with Gary playing a major role in its successes and expansion.

The capping project of his career was the $21 million Richard C. Call Athletic Facility and Student Success Center at Genesee Community College.  The firm's accomplishments, even just in Western NY, are too numerous to cite, but include the tennis courts and other renovations at OACS, the Oakfield Wastewater Treatment Plant, several projects for US Gypsum; plus Western Region Off-Track Betting Casino and Thurman Thomas Sports Bar in Batavia, Roberts Wesleyan's Life Fitness Center, RIT's Imaging Science Center, and at least 14 school districts in Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming, and Monroe Counties.

Under Gary's leadership, in 2002 Allied was ranked #2 in the Rochester Business Alliance/Democrat and Chronicle list of fastest growing companies, and Buffalo Business First's list of Top Ten Private Companies.

September 10, 2022 - 6:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Dash in the Dark, Oakfield, oakfield-alabama, news.

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Oakfield-Alabama High School hosted its annual Dash in the Dark on Friday evening.

Photos by Laura Luft.

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September 10, 2022 - 3:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in oae, oakfield-alabama, elba, football, sports.

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The final score was lopsided but it didn't necessarily look like it was going that way early in the game said OAE Head Coach Tyler Winter following the Aggies 70-6 win over the Geneseo Blue Devils.

"Contrary to the final score, we faced a little bit of adversity early in the game," Winters said. "It was good to see this group respond the way they did.  After our opening score, Geneseo came right back down the field and answered with a score of their own.  We needed to see if we could take one on the chin and not waver.  I'm proud of our guys for keeping their composure and keeping the pedal down for the remainder of the game."

Noah Currier helped lead the way with 132 yards rushing on 11 carries. He scored four touchdowns and also had an interception on defense.

QB Bodie Hyde tossed a 10-yard TD pass and gained 138 yards and scored two touchdowns on seven carries.

Conor Scott scored a touchdown and gained 49 yards on four caries. He had five tackles on defense.

Avery Watterson scored a touchdown on an 11-yard run.

On defense, Austin Pangrazio had seven tackles and a sack.  Brayden Smith had seven tackles as did T.J. Andrews.

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

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September 4, 2022 - 1:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, elba, sports, football.

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The Oakfield-Alabama/Elba Aggies started off the 2022 season with a convincing win over Cardinal O'Hara, 76-6.

Noah Currie had six carries for 114 yards and four touchdowns.  QB Bodie Hyde carried the ball three times for 78 yards and three TDs. 

Aiden Warner scored on a 66-yard run and on defense had four tackles and an interception that he returned for a 25-yard TD.

Connor Scott returned a kickoff 75 yards for a score and had five tackles and an interception on defense.

Jake Walczak also returned a kickoff 75 yards for a TD.

T.J. Andrews had six tackles and a sack and Brayden Smith had six tackles.

Head Coach Tyler Winter said:  "It's always good to start the season off with a win. It's even better when you can do it with this type of performance.  We had a high level of execution on all three sides of the ball, we came out healthy, and a lot of our guys got to eat today.  We'll take what we can from the film and look to get ready for the next opponent."

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

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June 19, 2022 - 8:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, news, education, schools.

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 Marsha Riggi chest bumps Oakfield-Alabama Superintendent John Fisgus during the high school's graduation ceremony on Saturday.  Riggi may have gotten the idea from Gaige Armbrewster, who chest bumped Fisgus when he accepted his diploma. 

Photos by Debra Reilly.

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June 3, 2022 - 4:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, sports, baseball.

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The Hornets continued to dominate the area baseball landscape on Thursday with a 14-6 win over Letchworth in a battle of Class C champions to see which team will represent Section V in the regional championship game.

Kyle Porter, Bodie Hyde, and Brayden Smith each picked up three hits.  Hyde had three RBIs and scored three runs. Smith scored three times and drove in a pair of runners. Getting two hits apiece were Colton Yasses, Aiden Warner, and Cooper Colantonio, who also drove in three runs.

Yasses picked up the win, tossing  6 1/3 innings, giving up five earned runs (of six) and striking out eight.

Photos by Kristin Smith.  For more, click here.

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June 1, 2022 - 4:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, oakfield-alabama, Notre Dame.

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Oakfield-Alabama was able to hold off Notre Dame in an 8-7 battle to win the Class C Section V title in baseball on Tuesday.

Bodie Hyde was 2-3 with a walk and two runs scored for the Hornets. David Schnaufer knocked in three runs on one hit and Brayden Smith scored twice while collecting one hit and one walk.

For Notre Dame, Bryceton Berry was 3-3 with three RBIs and a run scored. Gavin Schrader had two hits and scored three times. Cody Henry was 2-3 with two RBIs. 

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

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May 29, 2022 - 11:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, sports, baseball.

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Brayden Smith's five RBIs and home run keyed Oakfield-Alabama's semi-final Section V playoff win over Warsaw on Saturday, helping the Hornets to a 16-8 win.

Smith had four hits and scored twice.

Bodie Hyde had three hits, an RBI and scored three times. Cooper Colantino had two hits, an RBI and scored twice. David Schnaufer was 2-2 with two walks and scored twice. 

The winning pitcher was Kyle porter. He gave up three hits, three runs and struck out 10 over 5 2/3 innings.

Notre Dame and O-A will play for the sectional crown in Class C on Tuesday.

Photos by Kristin Smith.  For more, click here.

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May 26, 2022 - 10:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, oakfield-alabama, golf, sports.

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Article submitted by Mike Cintorino.

It has been quite the run for the Elba/Oakfield-Alabama Lancers Golf Team. 

On Thursday, at a blustery Livingston Country Club in Geneseo, the Lancers earned their 4th Section V Class C Boys Golf Championship in the last 6 seasons. 

The day started with a semi-final match against the top-seeded Gananda Blue Panthers.  The Lancers were led in that match by their stalwarts, CJ Gottler and Brayden Smith who shot 39 and 45 respectively on the par-36 front nine. 

Gananda's Carter Lathrop fired a 47, but behind solid efforts from the Lancers' Jake Walczak and Aiden Warner, they were able to defeat the Blue Panthers 194 to 234 in the first of two Class C semi-final matches. 

In the second semi-final, the Byron Bergen Bees had a nail-biter against the Geneseo Blue Devils that came down to the final pairing of the match. 

Ryan Muscarella, Brendan Pimm, and David Brumstead all fired 50's on the front nine, all lower than the top four golfers for the Blue Devils. 

The medalist of the match would come from the third pairing with a Geneseo golfer (name not submitted) who shot the low round of the match with a 48. 

However, the steady and consistent rounds of the Bees allowed them to edge out the Blue Devils 202-207.  

For the second consecutive season, the Byron Bergen Bees matched up with the Elba/Oakfield-Alabama Lancers in the Section V Class C Boys Golf Finals. 

Last year the Lancers defeated the Bees 172-199 at Caledonia Country Club.  This year, the conditions, specifically the wind blowing over 20b mph at times, proved for much tougher conditions on a difficult Livingston Country Club back nine. 

Although the conditions were different, the results were similar as the Lancers defeated the Bees by a score of 189-206. 

CJ Gottler once again medaled in the finals with a round of 41 while teammate Brayden Smith and Byron Bergen's Ryan Muscarella fired a round of 47.  The Lancer's Jake Walczak (46) and Kaden Cusmano (55) rounded out the scoring for the Lancers as they successfully defended their Class C title.  

The win was the Lancers' 4th Section V Golf Title in the last 6 seasons (2016, 2017, 2021, 2022 - there was no season in 2020). 

In 2018 the Lancers finished 2nd. 

With the win, the Lancers end the season 13-3 overall while the Bees fall to 12-3. 

This was a fantastic season for the Lancers as for the second consecutive year they swept both the team title and individual title (CJ Gottler in 2021 and Brayden Smith in 2022) in Section V Class C Boys Golf. 

This group of young men (and women) have grinded all season to live up to the legacy set for them by previous teams. 

For Elba/OA Senior, CJ Gottler, he finished his 6th year as a varsity golfer as a 3-time team and 2-time individual Section V Champion, along with back-to-back Genesee Region League Player of the Year honors.  Gottler's leadership on and off the course will be sorely missed, and his personality and ability to make not just teammates, but competitors laugh during a round of golf.  

Reader-submitted photos.

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May 25, 2022 - 10:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, oakfield-alabama.

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The Hornets went into their Class C sectional quarterfinals game against Cuba-Rushford today with their hitting shoes on.

The final score in their favor was 21-1.

Oakfield-Alabama knocked out 19 hits in the lopsided victory.

Aiden Warner had four hits and scored three times. Brayden Smith knocked in five runs on three hits and scored three times.  Kyle Porter also collected three hits along wth two RBIs and two runs scored.

Notching two hits each were Bodie Hyde, Cooper Colantonio, Gaige Armbrewster, and David Schnaufer.

Porter picked up the win.  He threw for 3 1/3 innings giving up one unearned run, no hits, walking four and striking out eight.

O-A plays Warsaw next.

In other sectional baseball games:

  • Norte Dame beat York 4-0 to advance in Class C.
  • Alexander lost to Letchworth 6-1 in Class C.
  • Batavia beat Geneva 16-2 in Class B.

Photos by Kristin Smith. For more, click here.

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May 23, 2022 - 5:20pm
posted by Press Release in oakfield-alabama, news, Batavia Downs.

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Press release:

Western Region Off-Track Betting (WROTB) / Batavia Downs Gaming President and CEO Henry Wojtaszek presented representatives from the Oakfield Alabama Little League with a check for $2,000.  The funds will help maintain the baseball fields and will help keep registration fees low for families.

The Shopping for Mom Craft and Gift Showcase, held at Batavia Downs on May 1st, was organized by Ted Hanes and Mary Bucceri, Group Sales Manager at Batavia Downs.  100% of collected vendor fees and accepted donations by attendees totaled $2,000. 

“In these tough economic times, we are blessed with the ability to raise awareness and funds through our events,” said Wojtaszek. “Organizations like the Oakfield Alabama Little League support children being active and growing their social skills as they interact with each other.  We are pleased to help alleviate the financial burden on parents by partnering with this worthy organization.”

“The funds will be used to maintain the grounds and help OALL keep registration fees low, “ said Normand Fluet, Oakfield Alabama Little League Supporter.  “As the cost of things like uniforms, equipment for the kids, dirt, clay and paint (to name a few) continue to increase, contributions like this allow us to limit how much more we have to ask parents for to continue the program!”

Photo by Alecia Kaus/Video News Service.

May 20, 2022 - 8:51am
posted by Press Release in oakfield-alabama, schools, education, news.

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Press release:

Today was a day to celebrate some Oakfield-Alabama students. Senior class advisors Tracy Schlagenhauf and Kadi Hilchey organized “signing day” as a means to celebrate the future plans of Oakfield-Alabama seniors. Although not all seniors chose to participate in the event, those who did were called up to the podium and posed with family as they staged a “signing” off their future plans. 

Mr. Peterson, the principal at Oakfield-Alabama, remarked in his opening comments about the importance of this type of ceremony. Peterson told the students, “Some of you are off to colleges and universities where you’ll study a variety of fields. Some of you are off to the military to do your part to defend our nation and American values. Others are off to technical school to hone very specific vocational skills. Others will go directly to the workforce. ALL OF YOU will do your part to change the world and we’re proud to say that you got your start here at Oakfield Alabama.” Peterson, along with Elementary principal Lynn Gehlert, wrote personalized letters of congratulations to each student as part of the ceremony. 

Mrs. Hilchey remarked that “We just wanted to celebrate the kids and this was a fun way to do that. After two and half years of COVID, these kids have been through a lot. We were thrilled to invite parents to our school so that we could let the kids know that graduating and moving on to college and career opportunities is indeed a major accomplishment.” Mrs. Schlagenhauf, also a parent of two graduating seniors this year, remarked that, “As a parent, I cherish opportunities to celebrate my kids' accomplishments. We thought that an event like this would give parents a chance to do just that.” Hilchey and Schlagenhauf have also organized a host of activities for the class of 2022 as part of “Senior Week” beginning with a 2 p.m. Baccalaureate service on June 12th and culminating with Oakfield-Alabama’s commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. on June 18. 

Photos by Debra Reilly.  Top photo: McKenna Johnson

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Myia Lyons

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Evelyn Rebert

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Colbi Heineman

To view more photos, click the headline.

May 12, 2022 - 10:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, baseball, sports.

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Oakfield-Alabama (10-2) beat Webber High School on Wednesday, 8-3.

Colton Yasses pitched 6 2/3 innings, giving up three earned runs and striking out 12, to pick up the win.

He also had two hits, scored a run and drove in a run.

Kyle Porter had two hits in two ABs and a walk, also scoring once and driving in a run.

Brayden Smith was 2-3 and scored twice.

Photos by Kristin Smith.  For more, click here.

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May 8, 2022 - 7:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, sports, baseball.

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Oakfield-Alabama beat Royalton on Saturday 15-8.

Colton Yasses went 4-5, driving in four runs and scoring twice.  Bodie Hyde was 3-5 with four RBIs and two runs scored.  Kyle Porter had two hits in five ABs and scored twice.  Brenden Westcott collected three hits in five ABs and drove in four runs.

Porter was the winning pitcher, going 6 1/3 innings, giving up five hits and seven runs, but only three were earned. He struck out 8.  Yasses finished out the game with an inning and two-thirds work giving up three hits and an unearned run.  He K'd two.

In other baseball action: Elba Lancers lose to Northstar, 10-3

Photos by Kristin Smith.

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April 30, 2022 - 6:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, baseball, oakfield-alabama, byron-bergen.

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Colton Yasses tossed a five-inning no-hitter today to help lead Oakfield-Alabama to a 13-0 victory.

He struck out 14 of the 15 batters he faced. 

Yasses was also 2-4 at the plate, scoring two runs.

Kaden Cusmano also had two hits. He also knocked in three runs and scored a run. 

Photos by Kristin Smith. For more, click here.

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April 30, 2022 - 12:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, sports, baseball.

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The Oakfield-Alabama Hornets shut out Attica in baseball on Thursday for a 6-0 victory.

The Hornets notched 14 hits with catcher Aiden Warner going for 4-4. Colton Yasses was 2-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Bodie Hyde also had two hits.

Hyde tossed a complete game (seven innings) shutout, striking out 13 batters and giving up only two hits. He walked to batters.

Photos by Kristin Smith.  For more, click here.

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April 23, 2022 - 6:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, oakfield-alabama, Notre Dame.

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Notre Dame beat Oakfield-Alabama in high school baseball at Dwyer Stadium today, 8-4.

The winning pitcher was Ryan Fitzpatrick, who worked all seven innings giving up five hits and one earned run while striking out 11.

For the Irish, Colin McCulley, Gavin Schrader, and Fitzpatrick all had two hits each and Fitzpatrick knocked in three runs while scoring twice.

For the Hornets, Bodie Hyde and Gaige Armbrewster each had two hits.  Hyde drove in four runs. He was also the starting pitcher and took the loss.

Photos by Kristin Smith. For more, click here,

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March 25, 2022 - 11:38pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, oakfield-alabama, drop-outs, education, notify, schools.

New York State’s high school drop-out rate has declined in recent years, to an all-time low of 5.6 percent, USAfacts.org says.

Still, nobody wants to see students drop out, even if it’s only one or two, as is the case at Oakfield-Alabama Central, Superintendent John Fisgus said during the district’s recent board meeting.

“We hate losing these kids at the last minute. They usually drop out by 17, as a junior, and they only have one year to go,” he said. “We want to see these kids leave with a high school diploma.”

He consulted with other school districts, including Batavia City Schools and Pembroke Central, about setting a legal drop-out requirement to age 17 for Oakfield-Alabama’s district, which has a legal age of 16 currently. The feedback from both schools led him to his proposal to the board: raise the legal drop-out age to 17.

“There were no negatives,” Fisgus said. “The board has the right to make it 17.”

A board member asked how many students this change would affect, and the answer was “maybe one or two.” But, according to the American Psychological Association, dropouts face “extremely bleak economic and social prospects” from not having a high school diploma. National statistics from 2012 showed more than 1 million high school students not graduating and earning that prized diploma. 

Those dropouts, compared to high school grads, are also less likely to find a job and earn a living wage, APA.org stated. 

“Poverty and dropouts are inextricably connected in the three primary settings affecting healthy child and adolescent development: families, schools and communities,” it stated.

Batavia City Schools not only has the higher age limit but also recently touted a 96 percent graduation rate and various educational and career-related activities being offered to upper-level high school students. Pembroke’s graduation rate is 92 percent, and both are higher than the state’s average of 86 percent. August 2021 data reported Oakfield-Alabama’s rate to be 86 percent. 

The remaining districts in Genesee County include Alexander Central, at 95 percent; Byron-Bergen at 98 percent; Elba at 80 percent; Le Roy at 90 percent; and Pavilion at 83 percent.

Lake Shore High School in Erie County made a move similar to Oakfield-Alabama in 2020, citing an 11 percent dropout rate. The school board adopted a new policy that would force students to remain in school until the end of the year in which they turn 17. The only exception is if they have a full-time job.

New York State law was revised in 2019 to extend the option, initially open to larger cities such as Buffalo and New York City, to rural and suburban districts. State law also exempts students who have full-time jobs.

Should Oakfield-Alabama’s board approve this policy change — something that “affects students and families to this extent” — families would be notified through ParentSquare, the district’s communication platform, Fisgus said. 

Board votes can take a while, however, since the group is entitled to up to three readings of a policy before taking a vote. This particular policy change has an expected timeline of approval in April, he said.

“We discussed it as an administrative team, and I am in full support of such a change moving forward,” he said.

March 25, 2022 - 8:08am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, capital project, oakfield-alabama, notify.

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Out of all the exciting upgrades and renovations happening at Oakfield-Alabama School District, it’s perhaps the middle-high school revamp that will be of most importance.

The Lewiston Road school hasn’t exactly stood out to folks up to now, Superintendent John Fisgus says.

“We really need a front entrance at the middle-high school. We're going to have a huge lighted sign out front that says Home of the Hornets, so it'll be branded, where you can't miss it. If you've never been to our campus, it's hard to find. So we wanted to really make it welcoming and obvious to people when they pull in here, where the front entrance of the Middle-High School is,” Fisgus said Thursday to The Batavian. “We’re excited about all this work —- Currently, right now they're in the process of demo’ing the front entrance to our Middle-High School. It is a mess, but it's progress.”

That “progress” is part of a $15.3 million capital project approved by district voters in 2020. After nailing down the blueprints, contractors and plan of action, the work has been evolving at both the elementary and middle-high schools, with a completion date of this August.

The district’s goals were to improve safety and security at the schools, meet building codes and Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, complete mechanical and electrical infrastructure, and landscape upgrades. 

District officials presented the plan as a “tax neutral” project, due in large part to state aid, with remaining costs paid for with capital reserves money. All of the dirt, commotion and periodic disruption from equipment will be worth it in the end, Fisgus said. 

“We are redoing our Middle-High School main office, the guidance and mental health suites, we're redoing the front entrance here, to make it a more secure vestibule. All of the windows in the middle-high school building are being replaced with tinted windows and brand new frames and colors. So it's not the old green 1950s stuff.

“A majority of the work has been completed at the elementary school,” he said, including cafeteria, stage and kitchen redesign and reconstruction and a new main office area with a secure vestibule and entrance so that visitors will remain behind a locked door once buzzed into the building. 

“There are still some minor things that, whether we're waiting on warm temperatures to finish the front entrance, or that we redid the elementary cafeteria and some of the flooring needs to wait to be done over the summer because it's a major project,” he said.

Bleacher replacements, a gym divider and acoustic improvements in the gym and reconstructed toilets in the fifth-grade wing, a repositioned playground with newly graded mulch, borders and rubber mattings, a reconfigured front campus parking lot and a new student drop-off and bus loop will complete the elementary school’s phase one scope of work.

How about some brand new, resurfaced and repainted tennis courts? They're outback, with a new basketball court. An atrium wall of windows with skylights and district branding will complement a safer entranceway for the middle-high school as well. In addition to the new welcome sign will be labeled for other community sites, such as the entrance to the aquatics area. 

Much of the work wasn’t about want, but about need, Fisgus said.

“The big thing was to increase the security,” he said. “It's construction and there's a lot of vehicles here and a lot of supplies and materials, but, it's moving right along. And we're happy with the work being done. It's intrusive, but, you know, it'll be great once it's completed.”

Top photo:  Art Teacher Kim Leupold puts the finishing touches on a mural created by students at Oakfield-Alabama Central School on Lewiston Road (Route 63).  The mural is on a temporary wall in a hallway next to the new main office for the Middle-High school. 

Photos by Howard Owens.

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District Superintendent John Fisgus holds renderings of exterior building designs.

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Construction in progress for the Middle-High school’s new main office.

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Newly resurfaced and painted tennis courts are part of O-A's capital project.

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The remodeled elementary school cafeteria is ready for hungry youngsters.

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Oakfield-Alabama Elementary School Principal Lynn Gehlert shows the new -- and more secure -- entryway for the elementary school.  

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An expanded parking lot at the Middle-High School allows more room for visitors.

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In addition to new stage lights in the auditorium, the rigging system has been upgraded.  Work will begin to replace the stage after the annual musical.

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The new Nurse's Office in the elementary school

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Acoustic tiles in the ceiling of the remodeled cafeteria in the elementary school will help dampen sound.

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The new bus lot for pick-up and drop-off is exclusively for buses during those designated periods, and it also serves as an overflow lot for special events at the school when buses are not transporting students.

Oakfield-Alabama's $15.3 million capital project is in full swing, with a completion date by this fall.

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