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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.


January 19, 2009 - 1:28pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in sports, byron, wrestling.

Former Byron-Bergen standout Mike McInally won all five matches he wrestled over the weekend and was the only Division III grappler to win a championship at the New York State Championships Saturday at SUNY Oswego.

McInally's RIT team was seventh out of 18 teams in the team tournament. 

McInally was the No. 2 seed at 125 pounds and dropped Columbia's Kyle Gilchrist 6-2 in the semifinals and University at Buffalo's Dan Bishop 3-1 in the finals.

McInally is ranked fourth in Division III at 125 pounds and has a 22-0 record.

January 16, 2009 - 10:20pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in basketball, sports, Empire State Games, volleyball, wrestling.

 The Empire State Games have officially been canceled.

The Democrat & Chronicle just reported that because of all the financial cutbacks we wrote about last week, the games have been called off.


Joseph Spector writes:

Organizers of this summer’s Empire State Games in the Hudson Valley announced today that they will not host the games because of a cut in state aid.

The state announced last week that because of budget constraints they will be unable to spend the $2.7 million to run the annual games, which date back to 1978 and include 30,000 youth and adult amateur athletes.

The games have become a huge event each summer for athletes from all over New York State and were scheduled to be in Hudson Valley from July 22-26. But it looks like the event, which averages 6,000 athletes and 24,000 spectators per year, is finished.

The D&C story says there was no immediate comment from the state Parks Department as to whether the games would be moved to a different location. But with the amount of preparation involved, it is highly unlikely.

With Hudson Valley putting an end to the this year's games, and with no promise of state funding in future years, this looks like the end of the Empire State Games.

“The Hudson River Valley LOC arrived at this regrettable decision based on an overwhelming feeling that the participation fee violates the spirit of the Games and that objections to this approach are so strong among our host site partners, sponsors and volunteers that maintaining the support necessary to successfully host the games has become untenable,” Steven V. Lant, chairman of the games and CEO of CH Energy Group, wrote to Parks Commissioner Carol Ash

January 16, 2009 - 12:21pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in basketball, sports, wrestling.

 The Batavia girls basketball team is 11-1, defeated every Monroe County League team its faced other than Pittsford Mendon, took down every non-league opponent and still is getting no love from the Democrat & Chronicle

The new polls are out and still no Blue Devils in the large or small school category for girls basketball. People question Batavia's non-league schedule, yet they have defeated Dansville, which is ranked sixth. They also beat local powerhouse Elba, which received a No. 9 ranking.

Alexander got an honorable mention.

The Batavia boys basketball team is 9-1, and also not ranked. The only loss for the boys was at Pittsford Sutherland, which they will get a chance to avenge next week at home.

We do have a couple of ranked small schools.

Oakfield-Alabama is at No. 7 and Notre Dame is at No. 9. The two battled last night, with the Hornets winning 9-1.

We have tons of schools ranked in the small school category for wrestling.

Attica is having a great season and is currently at No. 3, Holley is No. 6 and Batavia is No. 7.

Wheatland-Chili is ranked eighth for small school swimming.

January 15, 2009 - 10:47pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in sports, wrestling.

There is no easy way to put this. The Batavia wrestling team had a 34-23 lead with two matches to go, meaning they could lose the final two by anything less than a pin they win the match.

The Blue Devils received an honorable mention and a victory over Letchworth would have given the team a state ranking.

But the Indians won the final two matches with pins and came away with a 35-34 win, crushing a Batavia team that had came back from a large deficit early on to take the big lead.

Batavia's Garrett Egglebrecht matched up with Letchworth's Anthony Harding at 119 pounds and Egglebrecht fell behind 2-0 early. He trailed 5-0 after two periods, but had not been pinned, even though he was saved by the bell in the second period. But Harding got him on his back in the third period and made the score 34-29.

The Blue Devils had a solid grappler in Will Ely going at 125 pounds, and Letchworth put Austin Hedges out there with him in the final match.

Hedges led 5-0 at one point before Ely battled back to make it 5-4, but was avoiding the pin. Ely was just trying to hang on and take the decision loss, giving his team a victory.

Then, Hedges flipped him and put him on his back, scoring the pin with just 30 seconds left in the match.

Letchworth's big lead had a lot to do with the victory as it was 23-3 before you even knew it.

Batavia started well at 130 pounds with Trey Henderson winning a 10-8 decision over Anthony Harding. But Letchworth's Bucky Hendrickson captured an easy 16-0 win over Joe Muoio.

Mike Nevinger pinned Matt Leaton in 1:08, Frank Day downed Scot Shea in 1:12 and Chris Nevinger dispostd of John Pestillo in 1:33 to give the Indians the huge early lead.

But one of the best wrestling teams in the history of Batavia wasn't going to get crushed. They battled back.

Ryan Darch kicked things off with a 12-3 win over Dave Woolley to start the comeback.

Anthony D'Aurizio followed with an epic battle against a strong Evan Sylor. D'Aurizio nearly had a pin in the second period, but didn't get it and had a 7-2 advantage after two frames. Sylor scored some late points, but D'Aurizio walked away with a 9-6 victory.

Darch and D'Aurizio are two of Batavia's top grapplers and if either would have had a pin, the dramatics at the end would not have been an issue. So while both picked up victories, a few more points from either one of those two could have been huge, something coach Rick Stewart hopes his team learns come sectional time - every point matters.

Troy Ireland scored a pin and then Dylan Goodsell pinned Cody Waite with just 14 seconds left in the match. After Josh Mase took care of his opponent in 32 seconds and Nick Lazaroni had a pin in 54 seconds, Batavia was up 34-23.

That was before the Indians had the final two pins for the shocking victory.


January 15, 2009 - 2:19pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in basketball, sports, Empire State Games, volleyball, wrestling.

 Last week I wrote about the cutbacks and possible $300 charge for the Empire State Games.

Keith McShea followed up with a great story in the Buffalo News today, basically saying the games are dead and should just be canceled.


Hopefully some sort of funding can be restored. State funding for the Games went from $2.7 million to zero. The Games can certainly be streamlined — a scholastic-only competition isn’t the worst thing. But making athletes pay? No way. How about cutting funding in half? Since when does Albany work this quickly and decisively?

The state’s announcement included the caveat that for the 2010 Games, scheduled to be held in Buffalo, that there is “hope of reinstating the suspended competitions, as well as revisiting the new fee structure.”

But we know how that goes. Once something is cut from a budget, good luck getting it back.


The story is a good read and makes some great points. As one of many Empire State Games fans, I am sad to hear about all these cut-backs. But I hate to say it, this is the beginning of the end.


January 13, 2009 - 12:53am
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, sports, wrestling.

It's time to sign up for the Batavia Youth Wrestling Clinic.

The Blue Devils are having an amazing season and the program is on the verge of becoming a powerhouse program. Now is the time for the kids to get involved and start learning.

The sign-ups are on Thursday from 5-7:30 p.m. at Batavia High School, and is for kids ages 5-11 in the Batavia public schools. 

The cost is just $10 and includes a t-shirt and an entree into the tournament.

Practices are on Sunday from 2-4 p.m. and Thursday from 7-8:30 p.m. in the auxillary gym. 

Kids will receive direct instruction from head coach Rick Stewart as well as assistants Ken Darch, Vinny Romanatto, Kelly Boyle and Rich Lovria.

For questions or concerns, please contact coach Rick Stewart at 409-1742.

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