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February 21, 2009 - 11:25pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, Attica, Sports, holley, wrestling.


Attica's Luke Pariso wasn't supposed to beat defending New York State Public High School Athletic Association champion Cody Hutcheson of Bath. Pariso has won a couple of sectional titles, but Hutcheson was a monster.

Pariso won the 171-pound title at SuperSectionals Saturday at Rochester Institute of Technology, but that was far from the biggest upset of the day.

Holley's Kyle Steadman has a season record of just 35-10 after the weekend, but he's moving on to states after shocking the thousands of people there to watch the SuperSectionals. He beat Genesee Region League foe Dave Jennings of Attica at 189 pounds, 3-1 in overtime, to move on.

"It feels really good, coming back from sixth place and taking the title," Steadman said.

Steadman wasn't even ranked in the top five by armdrag.com and was seeded sixth in his weight class. It was the second Holley grappler to win the championship on Saturday and could be the fourth to advance to states next weekend.

"I hope Tim (Banks) goes because he has a lot of points," Holley coach John Grillo said. "He should go to states because of his past reputation and history of going to states. Quinton Murphy had an electrifying match, but Kyle Steadman was a surprise. He had a lot of losses, but has wrestled quality kids all year. We knew he had it in him and we just had to get it out of him."

Steadman had an escape early in the second period of the finals and Jennings had one early in the third, but there wasn't much offense in the title round. But Steadman had a takedown in overtime, beating the fourth-ranked wrestler in the weight class.

"I wrestled him before and I know he's really strong on top," Steadman said. "I just had to go my hardest and give it all I had - never quit."

Steadman had a pin and a decision in Friday's opening two rounds before winning a 7-2 decision over Caledonia-Mumford's Jon Grann in the semifinals.

The other Holley wrestler to win a championship was Murphy at 119 pounds. The defending state champion at 103 pounds didn't need much time in the finals to get a return ticket to the big show. 

After a technical fall and two pins earning him a trip to the championship match, he dropped Palmyra-Macedon's Tyler Marlow in 1:36.

"It felt great," Murphy said. "I'm really known for that move so when I knew it was there, I went for it."

Banks was the other Holley finalist at 130 pounds, but lost to Pal-Mac's Matt Hausbrouck 3-1 in overtime.

Murphy says that he "just wants to re-win" a state title, while it is a different story for Steadman. He will be working with 2004 state champion Andrew Grillo - John's son - over the next week to prepare for another shot at an upset.

"Coach has to get me prepared because I've never been to states before," Steadman said.


 Hutcheson will get to states with a wild card, but his loss to Pariso definitely stung. 

The Attica senior was ranked second but very few gave him a shot to knock off a state champion because he had never advanced past sectionals. But Pariso scored early and then got defensive to earn the title and a trip to Albany next weekend.

"I knew I had to go hard," Pariso said. "He has really good endurance so I knew I had to push the pace on him. I had that inside trip and put him on his back."

Pariso got that 2-point takedown with just 15 seconds left in the first period and then had an escape midway through the second to make it 3-0. He simply hung on in the third period to get the 3-0 decision.

"I didn't want him to get a reversal and put me on my back," Pariso said. "It could be 4-0, 4-3 or maybe a pin. I just rode him real tight and kept on at his cross-wrists and rode him for the rest of the match."

Pariso had two decisions on Friday and then topped Batavia's Anthony D'Aurizio 3-1 to advance to the finals. Now he looks forward to facing an even bigger challenge than what he's seen in Section 5 next week.

"I can't wait," Pariso said. "There is a real tough kid from Section 4, Kyle Beckwith, who has won a couple of national titles. I'm going to have to push the pace and beat him to, win a state championship."


 The Batavia wrestling team had nine grapplers compete in SuperSectionals, but end up with just one champion.

Nick Lazarony was the second ranked wrestler at 112 pounds and won three decisions to make it to the finals, where he was paired up with top-seeded Joe Smaldone of Geneva. 

Both were going to get a trip to states via wild card, even if they lost. That was enough reason for Smaldone - who took second at 112 last year - to forfeit his finals match. 

Lazarony had a crack at states last year and will have another one this season. 

"He's looking good," Stewart said. "There are a couple of good kids we've scouted so far. He is in the top six there for sure. He still has to wrestle, but it's well deserved. He's given us four good years."

Ryan Darch was seeded No. 1 at 160 pounds and three easy decisions en route to the finals, where he was paired up with Brandon Mills of Canisteo-Greenwood, who was the No. 2 seed.

Darch took a 1-0 lead in the first period when Mills was called on a technical violation, then scored another point in the second period on an escape.

But Mills had a takedown at the mid-point of the frame and tied the match at 2. He had an escape in the third period and then kept Darch from making a move the rest of the way. He tried, making a few attempts to lunge and get ahold of Mills, but the Canisteo grappler was too slippery.

"It was a very defensive match," Stewart said. "He got caught in that little scramble there and tried to battle back from it. It is what it is."

Darch should get a wild card trip to states, but we will not know until it is announced Monday night.

Batavia's Troy Ireland lost to Mills in the semifinals, but won his wrestle-back to take third. He won a 7-6 decision over Wellsville's Ethan Lamphier.

After losing to Pariso in the semifinals, D'Aurizio lost his bid for third place against Byron-Bergen's Zack Green. Green won the third-place match with a pin at 3:53.


The highlight match of the Division II card was at 135 pounds, where two three-time defending state champions and NCAA Division I scholarship recipients squared off.

Warsaw's Ian Paddock - who will attend Ohio State next year - won a 3-0 decision over Pal-Mac's Alex Ekstrom - who will attend Oklahoma. 

Two other Genesee Region League wrestlers made the finals but lost as Kendall's Jake Requa took second at 96 pounds and Lyndonville's John Brabon was second at 140.


February 17, 2009 - 4:12pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, Sports, wrestling.

When Rick Stewart took over the Batavia wrestling team in 2002-2003, there were only six kids on the roster and the city had very little interest in the sport.

 But Stewart started a youth program and recruited some good athletes that had the potential to be good wrestlers. Now there are 27 wrestlers listed on the roster and the Blue Devils ended the season with an 18-6 record.

Stewart was named Monroe County League Division III Coach of the Year this week because of the record-setting year for the program.

"It is nice being recognized for the year that we had," Stewart said. "It isn't just me, it's the entire coaching staff. Kenny (Darch) was as big a part of this as I am. This is a team thing here. I was kind of surprised when I found out we were given the award."

It really has been an amazing year for Batavia as the team had a Monroe County League champion in Nick Lazarony for the first time in 23 years and both he and Ryan Darch repeated as sectional champions last weekend.

"This group of kids we have now, I have to thank Kenny for that," Stewart said. "They came up through the youth program and Kenny grabbed these kids and got them into wrestling. He was down coaching modified and he came up with them. He's a big part of this class."

But winning was far from the norm when Stewart became coach.

With just six wrestlers on the roster, wins were impossible and it looked like the sport was on the verge of being dropped at the school because of a lack of interest.

"We started with just six kids and we had very little success," said Stewart, who is a 1996 graduate of Batavia that finished his wrestling career with a 117-16 record. "We had six tough kids with Bobby Darch winning sectionals and Rich Lovria and Brian Greening. We had tough kids, but not a lot of them. We were going into dual meets knowing we weren't going to win. It was an individual sport then. Now it is a team thing."

Getting the young kids involved is how Stewart is going to keep the program growing and hopefully produce more sectional champions in the future. The kids in the youth program get to work with the top wrestlers on the varsity squad.

"The youth program we are running has 36-37 kids from ages five through 11," Stewart said. "We have some good athletes out there and seeing Batavia wrestling doing so well is going to spark more interest. Hopefully we can keep replenishing the youth and keep a nice feeder program going."

A total of nine Batavia grapplers are going to be competing in the SuperSectionals this weekend at Rochester Institute of Technology. That is the highest number the school has ever sent to the event and there are several wrestlers with a chance to move on to the state tournament.

Those numbers show why Stewart won the award, and shows the progress Batavia wrestling has made since he became coach.

"This is the most amount of kids Batavia has ever sent to Supers and we have high seeds and kids with a legitimate shot to go to states," Stewart said. "There are vetarans like (Josh) Mase, Darch, (Troy) Ireland, (Anthony) D'Aurizio, Lazarony and (Dylan) Goodsell as well as the younger kids like (Will) Ely that are going to get good experience wrestling at this level. They are getting a taste of the big show and they know they can get there based on this week's performance."

February 15, 2009 - 2:35pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, Attica, Le Roy, Sports, holley, wrestling.

Ryan Darch and Nick Lazarony were sectional champions last year for the Batavia wrestling team and the two were favorites heading into the Section 5 Class BBB Tournament this weekend.

They didn't disappoint and won individual championships, helping to lead the Batavia wrestling team to a third-place finish overall. Palmyra-Macedon won the team title with 272 points with Bath taking second with 190 and Batavia third with 160.

Attica was fifth with 136.5 points.

 Lazarony was a Monroe County League champion for the Blue Devils and remains hot this postseason. The 112-pounder rolled to the sectional championships.

Lazarony first won a major decision of Midlakes' Max Peters 16-1, in 6:00. After that it was a 10-1 win over Ryan Howes of North Rose-Wolcott, earning him a trip to the semifinals.

He blanked Palmyra-Macedon's Dylan Rifenberg 7-0 in the semifinals. Lazarony had a tough match with Bath's Kyle Conrad in the finals but pulled through with a 4-3 decision, earning his second consecutive title.

Darch had a pair of pins at 160 pounds to get to the semifinals. He dropped Pal-Mac's Chris Argus in 2:33 in the first round and Hornell's Zach Bacon in 1:55 in the second.

He won a 7-2 decision over Brad Vecellieo of Wayland-Cohocton in the semifinals before defeating Ethan Lamphier of Wellsville, 9-2, in the championship round.

Troy Ireland almost got a shot at his teammate in the finals as he made the semifinals at 160 pounds, where he lost to Lamphier via pin in 1:30. Ireland went on to take third by beating Vecellieo 10-2 in the consolation finals.

Batavia also had three second place finishes.

Josh Mase knocked off Skyler Hendley of Way-Co in the semifinals before losing to top-seeded Bradley Mayville of Bishop Kearney 7-5 in the finals.

Anthony D'Aurizio was seeded third at 171 pounds, where Bath's Cody Hutcheson was expected to roll to the title. Hutcheson is the defending state champion.

D'Aurizio knocked off second-seeded Adam Slater of Sodus in the semifinals, 6-2, and nearly shocked everybody at the tournament in the finals. D'Aurizio took Hutcheson to the wire and wound up losing 3-2 to take second.

Dylan Goodsell finished second at 215 pounds as he made the finals with a 5-4 win over Lester Fanton of Wellsville in the semifinals. He lost a 4-3 decision to Pal-Mac's Pat Krenz in the finals.

 Attica's Doug Beitz won the 285 pound championship.

Beitz beat Mike Pryce of Sodus in the opening round 4-2 and pinned Bryan Wood of Dansville in 3:51 in the quarterfinals. He then pinned Waterloo's Zach Brown in 3:27 to earn a trip to the finals.

In the finals, Beitz held on for a 1-0 decision over Pal-Mac's Mason Judd.

Vinnie Napierski made the finals at 119 pounds with an 11-0 win over William Wells of NR-W in the semifinals, but was pinned by Tyler Marlow of Pal-Mac in 3:31 in the championship.

Dave Jennings pinned Tyler Deuel of Waterloo in 2:54 at 189 pounds to make the finals, where he lost to Zack Simons of Bath 4-1.

Lance Compton took third at 125 pounds and Spencer Ford took third at 152.


Letchworth brought home the team title in Class BB with 243 points, topping Holley, which finished with 191.5 points. Le Roy took fourth (148), Byron-Bergen was sixth (102.5), Pembroke was 10th (78) and Alexander was 15th (42).

Defending state champion Quentin Murphy won for the Hawks at 119 pounds, pinning Pembroke's Adam Hill in 2:30 in the finals.

Jessi Kimmerly won the title at 112 pounds and Tim Banks is the champion at 130.

Pembroke's Graham Jensen won a 9-4 decision over Holley's Kyle Steadman to win the 189 pound title.

Jake Harvey, Tyler Fenstermaker and Ed Cigno all had runner-up finished for Le Roy with Colby Sanner and Travis Taylor having second place finishes for Pembroke. Byron-Bergen's Zach Green was second at 171 pounds.


There was no question that Warsaw was going to win Class B and the Tigers easily won the team tournament.

Lyndonville took second and Kendall was fifth.

Josh Brabon took home the 119 pound title and John Brabon won at 160 pounds for Lyndonville.

Jake ReQua won at 96 points for the Eagles.

(Thank you to Tony D'Aurizio for the photos)

February 10, 2009 - 7:29pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, Attica, Sports, holley, wrestling.

 There are not any major changes in this week's New York State Sports Writers Association wrestling rankings.

Batavia is our highest ranked team in the small school division and remains at No. 17, even with a win at the Ken-Ton Tournament this weekend.

Attica dropped from No. 23 to No. 24 and Holley went down from No. 32 to No. 33.

Sectionals are being held this Friday and Saturday at Bath Haverling, Warsaw, Byron-Bergen, Wayne and Fairport.

February 8, 2009 - 3:35pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, Sports, wrestling.

 It looks like the Batavia wrestling team is ready for the post season.

The Blue Devils traveled to Section 6 territory on Saturday and captured first place in the Ken-Ton Tournament.

Batavia scored 148.5 points to top host Kenmore West, which scored 125.5 points. Pembroke took third with 86 points in the 12 team field with 86 points.

Dylan Goodsell of Batavia won the Aggregate Pin Award as he rolled to the title at 215 pounds. He pinned Alex Fumerella of Kenmore West in the finals at the 5:34 mark.

Ryan Darch and Troy Ireland also won titles for the Blue Devils.

Darch won a decision in the 160 pound finals and Ireland pinned Kenmore's Joe Amoia in 3:23 in the 171 pound finals.

Adam Hill (119 pounds), Colby Sanner (125) and Graham Jensen (189) had titles for Pembroke.

February 6, 2009 - 3:21pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, basketball, Sports, elba, Oakfield, wrestling.

 The Democrat & Chronicle released its newest polls today and several of our local teams are listed.

The Batavia boys basketball team is ranked ninth in the large school poll while Oakfield-Alabama is ranked No. 10 in the small school version.

The Elba girls basketball team received a spot at No. 9 in the small school poll with Notre Dame also getting votes, but not making the list. Jasper-Troupsburg is one spot ahead of the Lancers, even though Elba is currently the No. 1 ranked team in Class DD with J-T coming in second.

Attica is tied with Letchworth at No. 4 in the small school wrestling poll, with Batavia coming in at six and Holley coming in at eight.

Batavia's hockey team did not crack the top 10, but did receive votes in this week's poll.

February 4, 2009 - 2:00pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in Attica, Sports, wrestling.

 Attica captured the Genesee Region League wrestling title for the second straight season last night, beating Holley 41-33.

Vinnie Napierski pinned Tim Butler in 48 seconds at 125 pounds and Spencer Ford took down Nathan Jenks at 152 pounds in 4:37.

Troy Colton won a major decision over Jessi Kimmerly at 112 with a score of 14-5.

Quinton Murphy and Sean Baylor had pins for the Hawks.

Both squads are state ranked.

February 3, 2009 - 8:32pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, Attica, Sports, holley, wrestling.

 The Batavia wrestling team jumped up a spot in this week's NYSSWA polls.

An impressive showing at the Monroe County Championships, that included four wrestlers in the finals, must be the reason why. The Blue Devils (18-5) moved up from No. 18 to No. 17.

Attica dipped from No. 19 to No. 23 and has an 18-11 record. Holley (19-5) fell from No. 29 to No. 32.

February 1, 2009 - 4:48pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in baseball, basketball, Sports, volleyball, wrestling.

 The cuts made by the NYSPHSAA this week are upsetting a lot of people. 

I went through the details of the cuts yesterday and the one that is upsetting the most is the cuts in amount of games being played.

5. Support the reduction of the maximum number of contests permitted during the regular season. Sports with 24 contests will be reduced to 20, sports with 20 contests will be reduced to 18 and sports with 18 contests will be reduced to 16. Wrestling will be reduced to 20 points. Football will be reduced from 10 to 9. The 9th game is permitted, with section approval, for teams who do not qualify for sectional play. For the teams involved in the sectional tournament the maximum number of contests shall be 10. For the sections involved in the state championship three additional games are permitted for a total of 13 games for the season: 1 game for regionals, 1 game for semifinals, and 1 game for championships. Effective for 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. APPROVED

I know that coaches Mike Rapone of Notre Dame and Jim Burke of Prattsburgh were upset that if the cuts went through it would end the home-and-away tradition between the two programs.

The 500-plus win coaches were very much against cutting the number of games from 20 to 18.

But in John Moriello's blog today, he goes into more detail and has quotes from all over the state.

   Grand Island AD Jon Roth: "I really don’t know what two or four contests is going to do for anybody. I don’t think they should penalize the kids. I know cuts have to be made somewhere, but cutting games is not the answer.”

   Section 2 football chairman Gary VanDerzee: "In all honesty, football made out the best of all of them. It's just a horrible, horrible decision, made by people afraid to make the decision in their own (leagues or sections).

   Section 2 boys soccer chairman Jim Gillis: "I'm not surprised by this, but I think it is absurd. There are other things that could have been done state-wide, section-wide and league-wise that could have avoided cutting of games. Unfortunately, we weren't given that opportunity. We had no say in these moves."

   Section 2 baseball chairman Al Roy: "I know when we just had a baseball meeting, everyone felt this is something that leagues, sections and individual schools should address. This vote seems like a knee-jerk reaction."

 Section 4 interscholastic sports coordinator Ben Nelson: "I'm not really surprised they reduced the number of games, it just doesn't make a lot of sense to me, or to most of the AD's (in Section 4)."

It is evident that these changes are upsetting to people all throughout the state, not just Section 5. The NYSPHSAA is taking away some great experiences that high school athletes could have. Next year, Notre Dame and Prattsburgh will probably not get a chance to play. That is a shame and not the only traditions that are going to die because of these cuts.

February 1, 2009 - 2:25pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, Sports, wrestling.

Nick Lazarony did something that hasn't been done for Batavia in a very long time. 

The 112-pound grappler won an individual title at the Monroe County League Championships, getting the first county title for the school in 23 years.

Lazarony was knocked out of the tournament early as a freshman and sophomore, then was injured last year. Finally, as a senior he made Batavia history.

Joe Amico and Kelly Boyle won Monroe County League titles back in 1986.

Lazarony pinned Chris Kauffman of Greece Olympia in 1:18 in the opening round Friday, then dropped Churchville's Jason Dey in the second round in 1:42.

He beat Pittsford's Brady Bason with a 5-1 decision in the semifinals.

He won the title with a win over Rush-Henrietta's John Northrup 8-2 in the finals.

"Breaking a 23-year old steak is pretty good," coach Rick Stewart said. "He's put in a lot of hard work and deserves this."

Lazarony wasn't the only Batavia wrestler to have a good Monroe County League tourney.

That is evident as Batavia had its best-ever finish in the tournament - where they are going up against the biggest schools in Section 5 - taking fifth. The teams ahead of them were all state ranked teams.

Spencerport won the tournament, followed by Penfield, Fairport and Hilton. A winner, three second place finishers and a third was good enough for fifth.

"Those four teams ahead of us are ranked high in the state in Division I," Stewart said. "We did well, putting four in the finals is an accomplishment."

It is the first time the Blue Devils have ever placed four wrestlers in the finals.

Ryan Darch's undefeated season at 160 pounds came to an end in the finals. He had two pins and a major decision, pushing his season record to 33-0 before matching up with Hilton's John Velieri in the finals. The match was tied at 1 before Darch made an aggressive move in the second period. He wound up losing a 7-1 decision, but placed second. 

Troy Ireland also had two pins and a decision in getting to the finals at 171 pounds, where he was matched up with Spencerport's Nick Baxter. Baxter won a hard fought 10-6 decision.

Josh Mase was on fire at 103 pounds. He had three straight pins in getting to the finals. But, he was pinned in the finals in just :59 seconds by Penfield's Brandon Ling.

Anthony D'Aurizio had a major decision and a decision to make the semifinals, but lost to Brockport's Christian Boley - the eventual champion - 7-1.

But he made up for the loss in the consolation round, beating Greece Olympia's Zack Shotwell 2-0 for a third place finish.

The Blue Devils have one match and a tournament left before sectionals.

"It lets the kids know they can wrestle with the best in the Section 5 and the state," Stewart said. "This is one of the toughest tournaments in the state. The kids are excited for sectionals and states. They have big goals."

(Thanks to Tony D'Aurizio for the photos)

January 29, 2009 - 9:29pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, Sports, wrestling.


 Ryan Darch is perfect on the mat this season, and he hopes to keep it that way.

Darch has compiled a 30-0 record this season, including 10 pins and four technical fall victories, as he heads into Friday and Saturday's Monroe County League tournament.

He is the top ranked wrestler at 160 pounds in the small school division of Section 5 by armdrag.com.

 Darch's love of wrestling started at a young age, thanks to his father Ken.

Ken had been a star wrestler in high school and college and started teaching Ryan and placing him in tournaments - at the age of five.

Ryan had continued to wrestle but finally started taking it serious after his freshman season when he lost early on in sectionals. Darch realized his season was over and hated it. So he dedicated himself to learning the sport and lifting weights.

He became a student of the game, as his father puts it.

Ryan's hard work paid off as he had a solid sophomore season, advancing all the way to the Section 5 SuperSectionals, where he lost to John-Martin Cannon of Brockport, getting pinned in 2:25.

That was the last match that Ryan - now a junior - lost.

Batavia (17-5) has the Monroe County League tournament this weekend, then a match at Greece Olympia and the Ken-Ton Invitational tournament left before sectionals.

Darch is a top seed as is Troy Ireland. Josh Mase and Nick Lazarony are second seeds while Anthony D'Aurizio is a fourth seed in a very tough 189 pound weight class.

The Blue Devils will be wrestling in Class BBBB on Feb. 13 and 14. After that is SuperSectionals and then the state tournament.

Check out this interview with Ryan and Ken Darch:


January 29, 2009 - 7:42pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in baseball, basketball, Sports, volleyball, wrestling.

 The petition to try and save the Empire State Games doesn't mean a thing to the organizers of the games in Hudson Valley.

There are currently 3131 signatures on the online petition, but there will still be no summer games for area athletes to compete in.

But Alan Wechsler of The Times Union reports that the petition will not save the games:


The state has paid about $2.7 million per year to run the annual games, but balked this year due to budget problems. The $285 pays for entry fees, food and dorm rooms at colleges near the venues.

The petition is addressed to Gov. David Paterson and Carol Ash, commissioner of the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and seeks to reverse the changes.

"The Summer Games as a whole entity brings in $10 to $15 Million to the local economy of the host city," the petition says. "At a cost to the state of only $2 million, we feel this is a very wise investment."


Local volunteers had even raised $300,000 to keep the games alive, but it that didn't matter to Hudson Valley either.


"That was very troublesome to all of the volunteers that were involved," said committee member Denise VanBuren of Poughkeepsie. "We felt unable to stage the games as we had committed."

The decision was made despite having raised about $300,000 from local sponsors. The petition wouldn't change their minds, she said.


January 29, 2009 - 10:32am
posted by Brian Hillabush in baseball, basketball, Sports, volleyball, wrestling, track & field.

A few weeks ago, we wrote about a petition out there to try and save the Empire State Games. The petition is growing and now has 3003 signatures. I signed it in hopes of saving the games, which have been a tremendous thing for a lot of people for three decades.

Messenger Post writer Mike Bailey jumps on board in the fight today and writes a very good column on the topic.

There will be no Empire State Games in 2009 as of right now, as state budget cuts are forcing the annual Olympic-style competition to the back burner. The word “unfortunate” is an understatement when it comes to this decision.

It’s more like a travesty. 

Apparently, I am not the only one who feels this way, and one woman, Arlene Feil, decided to do something about it. She has set up an online petition at www.petitiononline.com — a link also can be found on the wrestling site www.armdrag.com — aimed at New York Gov. David Paterson pleading with him to re-institute the games immediately.

Basically the letter states that events such as the games help stimulate the economy rather than hurt it, due to all the travel and expenses that athletes face over the course of the weekend. She says that the ESG generate $10 million to $15 million for the local economy of the host city and points out how much of that revenue is returned to the state.

It took me about a minute to sign the petition and if you are a supporter of local sports or giving kids a chance to compete during the summer, I would recommend spending a minute to sign the petition.

January 27, 2009 - 1:17pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in baseball, basketball, Sports, volleyball, wrestling, track & field.

In John Moriello's blog today, he is talking money and sports. 

New York has already lost the Empire State Games as Hudson Valley said there was no way they could host the game this summer if athletes are going to be forced to play $300 each to participate and there will be cuts in some of the "smaller sports".

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association is also looking into cuts, a story that was broken on The Batavian. There is talks of regionalizing state games, eliminating the amount of games played in the regular season and post season for some sports and cutting down on the amount of champions in individual sports.

Moriello thinks that the NYSPHSAA is moving too fast:


More often, however, issues are resolved incrementally and painfully. Quick, easy fixes just do not exist.

   That's where the state of New York stands today. The economic downturn has shredded the economy, and elected officials in Albany face a deficit in excess of $15 billion in next year's budget. Among the casualties is the education budget, with proposed state aid being pared back considerably from what local school districts were anticipating when they started the annual planning process in the fall.

   And that has everything to do with why the executive committee of the state Public High School Athletic Association will vote on more than a dozen cost-cutting proposals at its quarterly meeting at the end of the week.

    The NYSPHSAA officials are trying to be proactive in dealing with financial issues. They rightly recognize that cuts are coming in virtually all aspects of the education budget and want to take the initiative in setting priorities and finding solutions lest someone not as well informed try doing it for them. That's their right, and I would even say it's their responsibility.


Moriello also talks about the cost of teams that travel to our border states for games. It is a good read, well worth checking out.

January 24, 2009 - 12:23am
posted by Brian Hillabush in basketball, Sports, wrestling.

 Something is up with state-ranked Oakfield-Alabama. 

They were upset earlier in the week and nearly lost to visiting Kendall 58-55 Friday night.

The Eagles poured in 23 points in the fourth quarter and nearly pulled the upset off. Josh Laureano scored 16 of his game-high 39 points in the final period to almost guide his team to victory. He dropped in two 3-pointers to turn a 15 point deficit to a 1-point deficit. 

After O-A's Sam McCracken hit a pair of free throws with 11 seconds left, Laureano had one last chance to tie the game. But he missed the three-point shot.

Noah Seward led the Hornets with 15 points with Tim Smith scoring 12 and Josh Athoe adding 10.

McCracken had eight points for O-A, which improves to 11-2.

Laureano had a dominant night, with just Chad Bently and Colt Tooley adding five points apiece. Kendall falls to 7-4.


Batavia never trailed in downing Victor 59-43

The Blue Devils were on fire from beyond the 3-point line, connecting on 10 of 18 attempts, with Andrew Hoy hitting three trifectas to score a team-high 15 points.

Marcus Hoy and Dakota Irvin added 10 points apiece as Batavia improves to 11-2.

Victor (10-4) committed 17 turnovers and was led by Lee Lomenzo with 12 points.


Kevin Francis had 17 points to lead Notre Dame to a 68-51 win over Attica's basketball team.

Gianni Zambito scored a career-high 11 points and Gregg Barr scored 10 of his 11 points in the first quarter, giving the Fighting Irish a 19-4 advantage.

Bryan Thompson had 13 points and Tate Westermeier added nine for the Blue Devils (6-6).

Notre Dame improves to 10-2.


Mike Humphrey scored 24 points with five rebounds, five steals and three dimes to lead Le Roy to a 54-47 win over visiting York.

Quentin Humphrey had five points and four assists while Eric Stella chipped in six points, nine boards and a pair of blocks for the Oatkan Knights (7-7).

Travis Fenstermaker had eight points and Jordan Casper chipped in seven.

Eric Hann had 19 points and nine rebounds for York (8-6).


Tyler Sass had a game-high 12 points to lead Byron-Bergen past Wheatland-Chili 39-33.

David Garnish had six points and a pair of blocked shots  with Kevin Rickard and Tess Schramm adding eight points apiece for the Bees (3-9).

Rick Agosto and Andy Lund each scored nine points for the Wildcats (3-10).


Holley's Tim Banks, Tim Butler and Ryan VanGuilder each had a pin for the Holley wrestling team, which dropped Kenmore East 65-15.

January 23, 2009 - 1:40am
posted by Brian Hillabush in Sports, hockey, wrestling.

The Batavia hockey team scored three times in the third period to come from behind and beat Brighton/East Rochester/Honeoye Falls-Lima 4-2.

Will Mulcahy, Tim Finnell and Corey Kocent had those third period goals. Pat Finnell scored the other goal and handed out two assists.

Erik Pokornowski had three helpers and Adam Kurek had 14 saves in net.

Batavia improves to 9-6-1. 


Le Roy crushed Dansville in wrestling action, 61-24.

Don Pangrazio had a pin over Andy Graves at 130 pounds in 1:12 and Tyler Fenstermaker added a pin in 4:37 at 145 pounds, over Jason Boots-Lovetro.


Batavia's wrestling team improved to 17-5 with a 66-24 thumping of Greece Athena.

Ryan Darch had no problem keeping his undefeated record with a pin over Mike LoFoso in :24.

Josh Mase, Nick Lazarony and Joe Muoio all won via pin.


Attica picked up a 51-24 victory over Alexander on the mat.

Lance Compton pinned Brandon Toporczyk in 1:10 at 135 and Doug Beitz dropped Dan Ognibene in 1:53 at 285 pounds.

Dave Jennings also had a pin at 189 for the Blue Devils.



January 21, 2009 - 11:47am
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, Sports, wrestling.

 I received some updated individual records for Batavia's wrestling team, which is ranked 18th in the state at 16-5. Wins come easy when you have a roster putting up individual records like this.

Ryan Darch easily leads the way with a perfect 29-0 record.

Joe Muoio leads the team with 17 pins and has a solid 23-8 record.

Nick Lazarony is 26-2 and Troy Ireland is 22-3, with Anthony D'Aurizio currently at 27-4 and Ryan Goodsell at 24-5.

Josh Mase is 23-5 and Trey Henderson is 20-9.


January 21, 2009 - 1:10am
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, basketball, Le Roy, Sports, byron, wrestling.

 Jon Casper had a dominant performance Tuesday helping to lead his Le Roy wrestling team to a 59-27 win over Hornell.

Casper pinned Tyler Warriner in just 23 seconds at 215 pounds.

Jesse Brennan also had a pin for the Oatkan Knights at 119.


Batavia downed Kendall on the mat with ease, winning 59-30 to improve to 16-5.

Nick Lazaroni pinned James Klafehn in just 1:15 at 112 pounds and Will Ely droppe Lance Requa in 5:10 at 125 pounds.


Byron-Bergen (2-9) was able to hang with Northstar Christian, but a 21-8 third quarter allowed Northstar (9-3) to get the 56-40 boys basketball win.

Donald Harris had 13 points with seven rebounds, assists and steals while David Miller pitched in 11 points for Northstar.

David Garnish had a double-double for the Bees, scoring 11 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Tyler Sass added 10 points.

January 20, 2009 - 3:15pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in Sports, byron, wrestling.

 Mike McInally, a Byron-Bergen grad and current RIT junior was the only Division III grappler to win a state title over this past weekend.

Now, he's won the Empire Conference Wrestler of the Week for the second week in a row and third time this season.

McInally, seeded first at 125 lbs. at the 2009 New York State Championships went 5-0 the weekend. He was the only Division III wrestler to win a championship.  McInally opened Friday's action with a pin over Pete Cole of Alfred State in 1:34, then scored a technical fall victory over Anthony Lebbad of Ithaca, 17-0. McInally advanced to the semifinals after defeating Shawn Haney of Brockport by pin in 3:20. McInally defeated Kyle Gilchrist of Columbia, 6-2 in the semifinals. He defeated #2 Dan Bishop of Buffalo, 3-1 in the championship. McInally is now 22-0 this season and ranked fourth in Division III at 125 lbs. 

McInally is ranked fourth in Division III at 125 pounds, but that bound to change. With a state title and perfect record, he could become on of the top ranked D3 wrestlers.

January 20, 2009 - 2:47pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in basketball, Sports, volleyball, wrestling, trak & field.

The Batavian has been all over the Empire State Games problems and recently wrote that the games scheduled to be in Hudson Valley were called off for financial reasons.

We had previously reported that there was plans to cut sports and start charging athletes up to $300 to compete. 

 There is currently an online petition that is being sent to Governor Patterson and Commissioner Ash, trying to bring the games back.

We, the undersigned, believe that canceling the Open, Scholastic and Masters divisions, the Senior Games and the Physically Challenged Games of the Empire State Games is something that needs to be reviewed. We believe that ALL divisions of the Summer Games and Winter Games, along with the entirety of the Senior Games and Games for the Physically Challenged should be reviewed on their merits and what they provide to New Yorkers. 

We have a very good understanding of the economic crisis New York State and the entire country are facing. However, we do not feel that the programs offered through the Empire State Games are a drain on the economy, rather we feel they help increase revenue in the regions where they are held, and they promote a healthy living style to ALL New Yorkers, some of the reasons for this follow. 

The Summer Games as a WHOLE entity brings in $10 to $15 Million to the local economy of the host city. The Winter Games brings in $1.5 Million to Lake Placid. If we add the $10 Million (low end) to the $1.5 million, the State tax on this comes to $460,000 directly back to the State in tax revenue. At a cost to the State of only $2 million, we feel this is a VERY wise investment. The Senior Games are Vital to the health of our maturing population and the Physically Challenged Games are the ONLY avenue these special kids have to participate in. In a time where you, yourself have shown interest in a healthy NY, what better way than these Games? The Masters division and the Senior Games already have a participation fee which should cover most if not all costs associated with their competition. Let the Scholastic, Open and Physically challenged kids continue to be assured a spot in these Games with no fee, to assure NO NEW YORKER IS LEFT OUT due to financial situation. 

In conclusion, we the undersigned, are not asking New York State to reinvest tax dollars in an event which is detrimental to the states long term (or short term) economic future, however, we are asking that someone looks at the WHOLE program called the Empire State Games and truly measures the economic impact these Games have on New York States overall economic plan as well as providing an opportunity for ALL New Yorkers to train and stay healthy. We do hope you will do the right thing here and re-institute these GREAT Games!!

It is great to see that there is a group out there trying save the ESG tradition. 155 people have signed the petition so far, and if you feel inclined to help keep our local athletes competing for Western New York, here is the link to sign the petition.


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