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January 8, 2009 - 11:00am
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, sports, wrestling.

 Batavia wrestling coach Rick Stewart figured the school uniforms were coming for state competition. But he thinks the possible $300 charge for Empire State Games participants is going to kill the event.

"It is what it is, but I think there must be another way the state can raise money," Stewart said. "As a coach, if my kid were to make Empires, and it cost $300 to get uniforms and stuff when it was free before, I would still encourage him to do it."

Stewart agrees with most that the hefty cost will deter many athletes from even trying out for the games, but has a good idea on how to keep the numbers up for the scholastic grapplers.

" There is an adult (open) and kids (scholastic) competition," Stewart said. "I would be more than willing to say that the state should furnish the kids, but once you are an adult and have your own job and make money, you can pay to participate - split it in half rather than everybody paying for it. When you are an adult, it is a hobby for you."

As far as schools wearing their own singlets for the state competition and the possibility of having just one champion, Stewart believes New York State is the only one that still has team uniforms for each section - and that small school wrestlers can compete with the big schools.

"Back when I was in school, that's how it was," Stewart said of having a single state champion in each weight class. "I don't think it makes that big of a deal in wrestling. It makes all the difference in the world, but it matters in dual meets. A school like Spencerport or Fairport has twice the number of kids to fill their weight classes."

The Blue Devils are 14-5 and have several potential sectional champions that could contend for a state title.

January 7, 2009 - 1:48am
posted by Brian Hillabush in basketball, sports, wrestling.

 How close is Genesee Region League girls basketball?

Pretty close.

Both Pembroke and Byron-Bergen have solid squads, but the Bees improve to 5-4 with a 49-47 win over the Dragons, who fall to 5-3.

The game was within five points the entire way, with Pembroke missing a pair of shots to win at the end.

Mary Cocking led Byron-Bergen with 16 points with Rory Partridge chipping in eight

Nicole Sharick led the Dragons with 10 points, six boards and four steals. Kelsey Lewis also had 10 points and Jackie Dubois dished out five dimes.


Geneseo flat out shocked Elba 40-36.

The Lancers are highly ranked in the state and came into the game 7-1. But it was Geneseo that jumped out to a 5-2 first quarter lead and held on the rest of the way.

Kat Olverd scored 14 points with five dimes and hit the critical shot, a 3-pointer with two minutes left that gave Geneseo an eight point advantage.

Katie Dewar had three points with eight rebounds.

Nobody took over the scoring for the Lancers, with Sarah Schwartzmeyer leading the way with just nine points. Cassy Engle and Julie Webster had seven points apiece.


Julie Brooks had a huge game for the Hawks as Holley beat Attica 38-23.

Brooks dropped in 20 points with 16 rebounds and four steals. Sh was helped out by Emily Troupe, who had 10 points.

Margaret LaFleur had 10 points for the Blue Devils.

Holley is now 2-5.


Batavia wrestling continues to win.

The Blue Devils thumped East Irondquoit/Eastridge 72-6 and are now 14-5.

Scott Shea, Troy Ireland, Ryan Darch, Anthony D'Aurizio, Josh Mase, Will Ely, Trey Hendersonm Matt Leaton and Joe Muoio all had wins for  Batavia.


January 6, 2009 - 9:49am
posted by Brian Hillabush in basketball, sports, volleyball, wrestling.

This very well could be the beginning of the end of the Empire State Games.

It was announced by The Buffalo News this morning that the Empire State Games might be downsizing, and in fact starting to charge athletes up to $300 each to participate in the summer games.

"I would say that this is a very unfortunate thing because it would keep a lot of scholastic athletes that are trying to play in Empires out," said Batavia coach Buddy Brasky, who has coached the last three Western squads. "There are a lot of kids that couldn't afford to pay that feed. It could lead to the end of the Scholastic Empire State Games." 

Western Regional director Lou Reuter also doesn't feel very good about the future of the games.

“I can understand that everyone is having to take a hit,” he told Buffalo News reporter Niki Cervantes, because of the weak economy and state budget crisis. “But it’s almost like the demise of the Empire State Games.”

Reports are that some sports - assuming the non-spectator sports - could flat out be eliminated, but without help from the state, this year's games in the Hudson River Valley could be in serious trouble.

Brasky can only keep 10 players on his scholastic boys basketball team, but can see where it will be a problem for him to attract quality players that are from lower income families.

"(If I were going to recommend) that a player tries out for the games, I would leave it up to the individual athlete," Brasky said. "I still think it is a worthwhile experience, but they have to see if it is worth a $300 experience. With all the AAU basketball out there, I don't know if kids would pay that kind of money to play in the Empire State Games."

Brasky has 10 roster spots to worry about. Imagine what the track & field coaches and wrestling coaches would have to worry about if those larger squads. 

As somebody that has covered these games before, I know that there is funding by the New York State Office of Parks and other organizations, but I have never noticed a lack of corporate sponsorships. It really is never a problem to get a $6 hot dog or $4 bottle of water either.

Times are tough for everybody as we are dealing with this economic downswing, but having a chance to get the best athletes in the state together during the summer time for a chance to compete is something worth fighting for. 

And it might not be just athletes that would feel the frustration if the student athletes are charged to participate. Some coaches just don't know if the extra effort of trying to get good enough talent to compete will be possible, or even worth it.

"I'd have to think about (coming back to coach this summer," Brasky said. "This is the first time I've heard about this, so I'm going to get in touch with director Lou Reuter. This is something I'm going to have to think about, if I want to keep going under these circumstances."

January 5, 2009 - 9:29pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in sports, wrestling.

 The newest team rankings are out for the New York Sportswriters Association and there are some intriguing choices. 

While Section 5 is well represented, Warsaw is 15-3 and ranked eighth while Waverly of Section 4 is the top small school with a 7-4 record.

Attica is 16th at 9-9, Letchworth is 21st (13-5) and Holley comes in at 25th (17-5). I would think that the history Holley has would get the squad a higher ranking.

And how does Batavia get just an honorable mention? The Blue Devils are loaded with sectional contenders and just went 6-3 in the Brett D. Dixon Memorial.

December 30, 2008 - 4:46pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in sports, Warsaw, wrestling.

 We don't do a lot on Warsaw here at The Batavian, but I must congratulate one of the most classy athletes I've covered in my years of local sports journalism.

Warsaw's Ian Paddock pinned Spencerport's Roy Daniels in just 50 seconds in the second round of the Teike-Bernabi Tournament, making some serious history.

The three-time state champion tied the state's all-time record for wins. He jumped one ahead of Webster Schroeder's Gregor Gillespie - another stud grappler - for career wins at  No. 239. That is the largest amount of victories anybody has had in Section 5.

"It's a pretty good feeling, and it's a nice record to hold because there were a bunch of good wrestlers before me who held the mark," Paddock told the Democrat & Chronicle

Paddock has gone 25-0 so far this year, was 53-1 last year and has compiled an insanely impressive 239-6 record seventh-grade.

Ian broke the school record of 235 earlier in the year, a mark that was originally set by his brother Paul.

Ian will be wrestling for Division I powerhouse Ohio State next year on a full ride.

He is continuing his run in the Teike-Bernabi Tournament at Spencerport today. Paddock will be honored in a ceremony before the final round today.

December 17, 2008 - 10:07pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, Attica, basketball, sports, Notre Dame, wrestling.

 Tate Westermeier continues to be one of the top guards in the Genesee Region League, and he delivered a huge win for his Attica boys basketball team over their biggest league rival, Alexander.

Westermeier scored 10 of his game-high 21 points in the first quarter and added 6 rebounds in the game as the Blue Devils won 42-36.

The win helps Attica improve to 3-0 in the league - keeping them right with Oakfield-Alabama at the top of Division I - and 4-2 overall.

Craig Wolfley added eight points for Attica.

Troy Shulnut led the Trojans (2-4) with eight points, with Kyle Woodruff and Andy Bittner adding six each.


Pat O'Keefe dropped in 15 of his game-high 27 points in the fourth quarter as Pittsford Sutherland outscored Batavia 25-17 to take home a 69-57 win.

Wayne Dillworth had 12 boards and eight assists to go with his four points and Dylan Sherwood added 20 points for Sutherland (4-0).

Andrew Hoy had 24 points and Josh Budlong added 11 for the Blue Devils, who fall to 4-1.


The Lancers gave Notre Dame its stiffest test of the season so far, but the Fighting Irish still came away with an impressive 65-41 win on the road.

Kevin Francis had 20 points and Matt Thompson added 12, including three 3-pointers in the second quarter as the Fighting Irish had a 22-11 advantage.

Gregg Barr added 10 points for Notre Dame (3-0).

Phil Ostroski had 12 points and Sonny Giuliano added nine points with eight boards for the Lancers (2-3).


Brian Mitchell guided his Holley basketball team to its first victory of the season with 24 points and four blocked shots, giving the Hawks a 50-36 victory over Byron-Bergen.

John Wharram and Chad Barhytt did the work on the boards, grabbing 10 rebounds apiece.

Kurtis Fannon had 11 points for the Bees (1-4).


In what Batavia coach Rick Stewart called the battle for the league title, his Blue Devils fell short.

Brighton beat host Batavia 35-28 in Batavia to knock the Blue Devils out of the ranks of the unbeatens.

Josh Mase, Nick Lazarony, Joe Muoio, Troy Ireland, Anthony D'Aurizio and Ryan Darch had the Batavia wins, but it wasn't enough.

December 16, 2008 - 5:57pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in sports, wrestling.

I just stumbled upon something that might be of interest to local wrestlers, who are looking to peak before sectionals.

Keith Lowrance, one of the top wrestling coaches in the country, will be hosting a clinic in Brockport on Sunday, Dec. 21.

The cost is $75 per wrestler and appears to be well worth it when you see Lowrance's resume.

  • Granby State Champion
  • Two-time Big Ten Champion
  • Two-time All-American
  • Coached State Champion teams at Granby and Kempsville High Schools
  • Virginia and National Coach of the Year
  • Record 271-33-2
  • Coached 35 State Champions, 102 Place-winners
  • Several High School and College All-Americans
  • Produced the nationally renowned Granby System Videos

December 14, 2008 - 9:16pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, sports, wrestling.

 For the second straight year, the Batavia wrestling team won its own Christmas Tournament.

The Blue Devils scored 186 points to easily down second-place finisher Fulton, which had 164.5 points.

Nick Lazarony (135 pounds), Ryan Darch (160), Anthony D'Aurizio (171) and Dylan Goodsell (285) all had victories for the Blue Devils.

December 12, 2008 - 2:36pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, Attica, sports, wrestling.

 Daily News sportswriter Alanna Stage previews all of the local wrestling tournaments this weekend on the Daily's Web site today.

Batavia will be hosting its 35th Christmas Tournament and is looking to repeat after winning it for the first time in 16 years last season.

Attica hosts the 2nd annual Sgt. Richard Romesser Attica Blue Devils Dual Meet Challenge. Nine teams will compete in a dual-meet, round-robin style tournament.

Holley swept the Holley Team Tournament last year and has won the tournament 13 out of 15 times.

December 12, 2008 - 2:28pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in sports, wrestling.

The Democrat & Chronicle reports today that  the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Wrestling Tournament will not be held in Rochester again, until at least 2013.

Last year's tournament was held at the Blue Cross Arena and was a treat for area wrestling fans, that had a much shorter drive than Albany to watch the event.

Section 5 officials were pushing to have the state rotate the tournament each year with Albany, but the NYSPHSAA just accepted a bid by the Times Union Center in Albany to host the event until 2013.

I can guess that money was a huge reason why, but the NYSPHSAA might have had some other reasons why Rochester won't get another shot to host the tournament for a while.

The Blue Cross Arena is a great place to host large events, but there were a couple of major issues that upset a lot of people last year. 

The biggest was the parking and traffic.

The most common complaint people that attended the tournament had was that there was simply no place to park. In order to get a decent parking spot (which I believe cost $15 per day), you had to arrive well before the opening round matches and leave your vehicle where it was. If you showed up even an hour after the first match of the day, you were looking at a 20 minute walk in freezing cold conditions.

Rochester vastly underestimated the amount of people that are high school wrestling fans and did not prepare for the amount of vehicles that were in the city. There weren't enough police officers to direct traffic and people often had to sit and wait for traffic problems to be resolved by officers, which were understaffed and were doing all they could in order to try to maintain order.

Another issue that was not a problem for fans, but was for state officials and the media was the wireless Internet was down on both days. The state site was supposed to be updating results as each match ended and because of an unexplained lack of Internet access were not able to do that.

Media members from all over the state that were reporting the event could not get updates and stories out in a timely manner. We were told that our options were to go find a coffee house with free Internet or go over to the hotel across the street and pay for wireless access. I drove back to Batavia to submit my stories, but wound up pushing deadline for some stringer work I was doing for Varsity 845.

It is a shame that a great tournament will not be in Rochester for a long time, or possibly ever again. Money and mismanagement are the reasons.


December 11, 2008 - 10:40pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in sports, holley, kendall, wrestling.

 Holley's Ken Ryan and Kendall's Cody Lansberry were both stud wrestlers in the Genesee Region League for two of the more storied programs in the area.

Ryan, a freshman at Niagara County Community College, won a 16-4 major decision over Lansberry, a freshman at Alfred State, Thursday night  to help his team to a 42-3 victory.

NCCC coach Eric Knuutila earned his 356th career win, passing Iowa's Dan Gable on the all-time wins list by a college coach, at any level. He is the second all-time leader in wins at the NJCAA level. Dale Thomas of Oregon State is the all-time wins leader with 616 victories.

Ryan had a 168-50 career record for the Hawks and Lansberry went 112-48 for the Eagles.

December 10, 2008 - 11:15pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, sports, wrestling.

 After Keiffer Phillips pinned Batavia's Brandon Shea in 1:11 at 152 pounds at 152 pounds, Greece Arcadia had a 24-3 lead and looked to have the Monroe County League match in hand.

But Troy Ireland turned the momentum with a decision win, then there were three forfeits, and the lightweights came through as the Blue Devils downed the visiting team 29-24 Wednesday.

Ireland's match only got three points for Batavia, but after 24-straight points for the Titans, it was three points that changed the way the Blue Devil grapplers looked at the situation.

The biggest moment of Ireland's 3-2 win came late in the second period, when he slammed opponent Alex O'Brien to the mat with some serious force. Ireland was not rewarded with any points, but that single move might have been the reason Arcadia never scored another point.

Ryan Darch, Anthony D'Aurizio and Dylan Goodsell each received a forfeit, and the score was tied at 24 when Josh Mase was ready to take on Nick Baker at 103 pounds.

Mase, who took fourth at SuperSectionals last season as a sophomore, made very quick work of Baker, pinning him in just 58 seconds.

Vin Klimjack received a forfeit at 112 and Nick Lazarony wrapped up the match with a 7-5 victory over Matt Ellis at 119 pounds, which was the final match of the night.

The Blue Devils downed Victor 35-28 in the opener and after Wednesday's home opening win over Arcadia, are 2-0 in the league and 7-0 overall.


Here are some more photos from the Batavia/Arcadia match.



Sorry for the delay with the video. My new laptop has imovie08 on it and I couldn't figure out how to use it. But the problems are solved and there won't be a delay like this again.

December 10, 2008 - 2:36pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in Attica, sports, wrestling.

Attica's Dylan Dabolt made it to the quarterfinals at the University at Buffalo Open to start the season.

The UB sophomore lost to Joe Langel of Rutgers in the quarters, but has not had any results posted on the UB Web site since.

He had a 3-4 dual meet record and an 8-10 overall record as a freshman according to Dabolt's UB profile. 

He won the B bracket at the NYS Collegiate Championships at 125 pounds with a win over Army's Lance Penhale.

Dabolt - a pharmacy major - was a three-year captain for the Blue Devils and had a 40-6 record as a senior. He had 172 victories while wrestling for Attica. The three-time sectional champion earned All-American honors in high school twice.

December 10, 2008 - 12:00am
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, basketball, sports, elba, Notre Dame, hockey, wrestling.

Jared Quinn recorded his first career double-double to lead Alexander to a 58-49 road win over Holley in a boys basketball game Tuesday night.

Quinn had 13 points and 10 boards to lead the Trojans, who improve to 2-2.

Kyle Woodruff connected on all 11 free throw attempts and scored 15 points, with Troy Shelnut adding 11.

Guy Hills had 16 points and Brian Mitchell added 10 for the Hawks (0-3).


 The Elba boys basketball team had a rough start to its league schedule, getting thrashed by visiting Kendall 62-36.

Colt Tooley hit five 3-pointers in scoring a game-high 21 points and Josh Laureano helped out with 16 points.

Sonny Guiliano led the Lancers (1-2) with 14 points.

Kendall is 2-1.


Notre Dame had an impressive first showing of the season, whipping visiting Lyndonville 92-36.

Kevin Francis scored 14 of his game-high 22 points in the opening frame as the Fighting Irish jumped out to a 24-2 lead. He also had six steals in the game.

Greg Barr had 12 points and 12 rebounds and Tommy Rapone added a dozen points. Vinny Zambito pitched in 11 points.

Andrew Hydock led the Tigers with 13 points.


Noah Seward dropped in 15 points while pulling down 12 boards as Oakfield-Alabama easily downed Byron-Bergen 65-38.

Brad Riner pitched in five points and seven dimes while both A.J. Kehlenbeck and Sam McCracken had 10 points apiece.

Tyler Sass and Trevor Laurie had 11 points each while Bryan White added 11 boards for the Bees (1-1)

O-A is 3-0.


Joe Drummond scored 25 points and Jamell Johnson added 22 as C.G. Finney blasted host Wheatland-Chili 90-39.

Alex Stryker had 13 points and Andy Lund pitched in 12 for the Wildcats.

Finney is 6-0. 


The Batavia hockey team evened up at 2-2 with a 5-3 win over Geneva/Waterloo.

Will Mulcahy and Erik Pokornowski had a pair of goals each for the Blue Devils, with Corey Kocent pitching in a goal with an assist.

Pat Finnell handed out three assists with Tim Finnell helping out with a pair.

Rich Paganello made 14 saves in net.

Geneva/Waterloo falls to 2-3.


Holley got pins from Dillon Murphy (135 pounds), Quinton Murphy (125), Derek Fostano (189) and Kyle Steadman (215) in beating Kendall 42-33 in a GR wrestling match Tuesday.


Alexander downed Barker 47-29 on the mat Tuesday.

Dylan Shea pinned Garrett Fuerch in 3:41 at 152 pounds and Dustin Say dropped  James Lapp in 3:57 at 171.


The Notre Dame girls basketball team opened up with a 51-32 victory over host Lyndonville Tuesday.

Trisha Pike led the Fighting Irish with 15 points, five rebounds and six steals.

Jill Marshall had nine points with Nichole Hart and Liz Geandreau pitching in eight apiece.

Molly Burgess had 11 points for the Tigers (1-2).


Despite Jenna Merica's 15 points and Allison Macomber's 11 points and nine boards, Le Roy couldn't get past Dansville, losing to the visiting squad 53-36.

Margaret Infantino had 18 points, 11 rebounds and six dimes for the Mustangs (6-1).

Le Roy falls to 0-3.

December 5, 2008 - 1:13pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in sports, alexander, wrestling.

 The Alexander wrestling team topped Pavilion 48-30 last night.

The Trojans had four pins in the victory, topped by Steve Geyer, who pinned Ray Colvin in just 13 seconds at 119 pounds.

Lucas Trzecieski downed Mike Thayer in 47 seconds at 130 pounds, with Dylan Shea (152 pounds) and Dan Ognibene (285) also recording pin fall victories.

You can see complete results from the match here.

November 26, 2008 - 1:25pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in sports, alexander, kendall, wrestling.

 The first Genesee Region League wrestling match of the season took place on Monday as Kendall downed Alexander 51-27.

The quickest victory of the match took place at 112 pounds as Kendall's Gabe Sobiersky pinned Kyle Shea in 1:49. Complete results of the match can be found here.

November 26, 2008 - 1:17pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in sports, byron, wrestling.

 Byron-Bergen grad Mike McInally won all four of his matches at the 2008 Oneonta Red Dragon Invitation this weekend and because of that was named the Empire Conference Wrestler of the Week.

The RIT junior beat Niagara Community College's Jared Lemke in the finals, 6-1, to capture the tournament title.

McInally is 5-0 now on the season and has a career record of 73-17.

His RIT wrestling squad will be hosting the RIT Invitational this weekend. A full day of wrestling starts at 9:30 a.m. at Clark Gym at RIT.

November 10, 2008 - 3:56pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, basketball, sports, wrestling.

 The fall season has been coming to a close in recent weeks, and many of our local teams did very well. Le Roy footbal is, of course, still going and will be playing in the Far West Regionals on Saturday.

Starting next week, we will be featuring previews of some area squads and am hoping to give tons of quality, in-depth coverage of our winter teams.

The first thing I want to post in is the preseason state wrestling rankings. Thanks to a tip (please feel free to email me at brian (at) thebatavian (dot) com), I see that we have some local wrestlers that are ranked high in the state in the preseason poll.

Warsaw's Ian Paddock is the top-ranked wrestler at 130 pounds and teammate Zac Griffith is third at 171 pounds.

Holley's Quenton Murphy is second-ranked at 112 pounds and Letchworth's Mike Nevinger is top-ranked at 140.

Batavia's Ryan Darch is the No. 5 seeded grappler at 160 pounds.

We are always looking for tips, story ideas and blog contributions. Please send me an email any time, or register and share stories of what happens with your teams during the season.

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