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Village of Corfu unveils new welcome signs created by Pembroke students

By Howard B. Owens
corfu signs
Ileana Draper and Mayor Tom Sargent with one of the new Village of Corfu entryway signs that she and her classmates at Pembroke High School created for the village.
Photo by Howard Owens.

The welcome mat, in the form of entry signs into the village, will be a little brighter in Corfu beginning this summer.

After 15 years, the entry signs along the main thoroughfares into Corfu have become a bit faded, so the village board invited art students at Pembroke High School to design and paint new signs.

They wanted color, flowers, especially tulips, and a welcoming message.

That's what they got, and students involved in the project said they got to work on an exciting, meaningful project.

"It was a cool experience because we could kind of shape how things in our community look," said Kayla Reynolds, who just finished her senior year and is heading off in the fall to Roberts Wesleyan. "It was a fun project. We could be creative and try to represent our town in the best way possible."

Junior Sophie Crandall is thinking about making a career in art so the project was especially fascinating to her, she said.

"I just think it was really interesting getting to do such a big project with very little restriction," she said. "We kind of got to do whatever we wanted with those designs."

Fifteen years ago, a group of Pembroke students designed the outgoing signs, and when the village's maintenance supervisor Norm Waff noticed the signs were showing their age, he approached the village board about designing and painting a new set of signs.

Waff said he thinks the students are really talented and did a wonderful job.

"I think that it really gives the students an opportunity to get involved in activities of the village around Pembroke," Waff said.

Deputy Mayor Michael Doktor said the students were given only a little direction -- incorporate village history, which means flowers.

"Other than that, it was just really leaving it up to the kids' imagination and their creativity," Doktor said.

About tulips: In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there were five greenhouses in Corfu. The florists mainly grew tulips and the tiny village was one of the largest exporters of tulips in the nation. Changing tastes and the Great Depression led to the eventual demise of the tulip, but a couple of the greenhouses survived until just the past decade or so (both were heavily damaged by the 2009 tornado that blew through town) by growing mums.

Mayor Tom Sargent said the project both helps beautify the community as well as builds community spirit.

"This is something that keeps the kids involved in our community," Sargent said. "It's a way for them to give back. Now every time that they come into the village, even 10 years from now, the signs will still be here. They can say, 'I did that sign.'"

The fact that the students knew everybody entering the village over the next 10 or 15 years would see the signs really motivated them to do their best work, Reynolds said. 

"We really wanted it to be the best quality possible because people are gonna see it for -- we don't really know how many years -- and everyone that drives into Corfu is going to see these signs. We wanted them to be as finished and as professional looking as possible."

corfu signs
Kayla Reynolds with the sign she was most involved with creating.
Photo by Howard Owens.
corfu signs
Sophie Crandall with the sign she was most involved with creating.
Photo by Howard Owens.
corfu signs
Photo by Howard Owens
corfu signs
Jonah Martin and Lily Martin with Mayor Tom Sargent.

Pembroke Unified team offers players with disabilities a chance to shine

By Howard B. Owens
pembroke united basketball assembly game
D.J. Hale points to the basket to assist Cooper VonKramer with his shot on Thursday for an Assembly Game between the Pembroke Dragons and the City Honors Centaurs in the Unified Basketball League, which brings together teams comprised of players with intellectual disabilities and players who do not have disabilities so that players might not otherwise get the opportunity to represent their schools in sports are able to take the court in school colors.

It's about sportsmanship. It's about understanding. It's about working together for a common goal. It's about giving opportunity to those who might not otherwise get an opportunity.

That's why Pembroke has, for the second season in a row, brought together a Unified Basketball team and held an Assembly Game at the end of the team's regular six-game schedule so the whole school can join in and cheer for fellow students who don't often get opportunities to hear the applause and pep songs rooting them on.

The Unified Basketball team is comprised of students with intellectual disabilities and students who do not have those disabilities so they can all enjoy competing together.

"I think it teaches them understanding," said Pembroke HS Principal Nathan Work, who is also one of the team's coaches. "I think it teaches them commitment. I think it teaches them to help one another."

The players on the unified team gain popularity during the season because of the recognition they get.  Their baskets after games are announced over the PA system at the school. They get to wear jerseys.  They know what it means to represent their classmates.

"It's palpable on campus," Work said. "You can feel it. Some of the students are mostly in self-contained classrooms, but they walk around the halls, and they're legends right there with the announcements of their scores.  You see the other players in the stands today. They're cheering for kids that otherwise wouldn't have a chance to wear the Pembroke uniform or the Pembroke colors."

On Thursday, the Unified Dragons played in front of the entire school against the City Honors Centaurs from Buffalo. The game had all the hoopla of a homecoming game with the pep band, cheerleaders, and the school's mascot.

Pembroke Superintendent Matthew Calderon said the Assembly Game is an amazing event.

"It's one of those events that you root for both sides, no matter what happens," Calderon said. "You know, kids with special needs are important. We're happy that we've got some people willing to invest the time and make this happen for them."

Right now, Pembroke competes against teams from Section VI because there aren't enough schools in Section V participating in this program of the Special Olympics.  He's hoping that will change.  Work and the other coaches recently made a presentation about the program to Genesee Valley BOCES, and Calderon said he thinks other schools in Genesee County are considering forming united basketball teams.

"Because of Pembroke's leadership, other teams are getting interested," Calderon said. "Hopefully, if every school in  Genesee County gets involved, we could be closer together and play each other and have like a Genesee Region League.  I think that could happen in a couple of years."

Photos by Howard Owens.

pembroke united basketball assembly game
Pembroke's united team coaches, Nathan Work, Matt Lingle, and Alex Kaminski.
pembroke united basketball assembly game
pembroke united basketball assembly game
pembroke united basketball assembly game
pembroke united basketball assembly game
pembroke united basketball assembly game
pembroke united basketball assembly game
pembroke united basketball assembly game
pembroke united basketball assembly game
pembroke united basketball assembly game

Pfalzer and Suro recognized for historic basketball careers at Pembroke

By Howard B. Owens


Two members of the Section V Champion Pembroke Dragons were honored on Wednesday night at the team's season-ending banquet.

Cayden Pfalzer, left, was recognized for becoming the team's all-time leading scorer with 1,180 points and the team's all-time leading three-point shooter with 180 baskets from behind the arc.  Jon Suro was also recognized for becoming the school's all-time assists leader with 360.

Photo and info submitted by Coach Matthew Shay.

Pembroke boys win spot in sectional finals

By Howard B. Owens


The Pembroke Dragons will play for a Class C2 Section V title at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester on Friday after beating Bolivar-Richburg on Monday, 61-39.


  • Cayden Pfalzer, 21 points
  • Tyson Totten, 14 points
  • Chase Guzdek, 9 points 11 rebounds
  • Avery Ferreira, 8 points
  • Jon Suro, 5 assists

"Bolivar-Richburg went into half up by one, then we used a great defensive second half holding them to just nine points to pull ahead," said Coach Matthew Shay. "I was really pleased with how we responded to adversity and stepped it up defensively in the second half."

Photos by Kristin Smith.








The cost of freedom highlighted in Purple Heart ceremony at Pembroke High School

By Howard B. Owens


Sacrifice and service of the men and women who served in the U.S. military to protect this nation were highlighted in a Wednesday afternoon ceremony at Pembroke High School.

The event honored the Village of Corfu, Town of Pembroke, and Pembroke High School as Purple Heart Communities, and honors were bestowed by members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart in recognition of Pembroke's commitment to honoring veterans and the U.S. military.

These awards are the Order's way to ensure the sacrifices service members made are not forgotten, said Ron Krul, representing the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

"When people see that Purple Heart plaque displayed (at the school), it unites students and adults of all races, religions, ages, genders, national origins, and nationalities as one united people to keep our American freedoms safe," Krul said.

In accepting the award for the Village of Corfu, Mayor Thomas Sargent recognized community members who have honored veterans in the community over the years, including Richard Beale, who organized the Memorial Day Parade; Vinnie Schollard, who ensured Main Street was lined with flags; and Mr. Spring, who distributed poppies in the community. 

"For them, and the rest of the veterans, I thank you, and I thank you for this honor," Sargent said.

Pembroke Town Supervisor Thomas Schneider recalled the Farewell Speech of President George Washington, whose likeness is on the medal, and who warned the people of the nation to avoid foreign entanglements. The Purple Heart, he said, is the high price we pay when we go to war.

"This type of recognition is important, so we recognize the sacrifices of all Purple Heart recipients and all people who served so that we understand the cost of the freedoms that we cherish so greatly in this nation," Schneider said. "I hope our leaders who vote to go into conflicts understand that cost on so many families and so many veterans and current active service members, because there is a true cost, and we can't forget that."

There are 13 former Pembroke students who have received the Purple Heart. They were each honored during the ceremony.

  • Charles Arnold, 1965,  Army, Vietnam
  • Merelle Austin, 1950,  Army,  Korea
  • Roger P. Bartholf, 1949,  Marines,  Korea
  • Lloyd Blood, 1942, Army/Air Force,  WWII
  • Roger Ditzel, 1943,  Army,  WWII
  • Jerry Dusel, 1964,  Army,  Vietnam
  • Clarence Hall, 1967,  Army,  Vietnam
  • Dennis Hoffman, 1940,  Marines,  WWII
  • Roger Kimmel, 1961,   Army,  Vietnam
  • Thomas Mattice, 1963,  Army,  Vietnam
  • Roy Schlagenhauf, 1931,  Army,  WWII
  • Wayne Snyder, 1967,  Army,  Vietnam
  • Werner C. Ziehm, 1946,  Army,  WWII

Closing remarks were delivered by Dr. John B. Long, who noted at the start of his speech, that he turned 96 two days prior.  He is a World War II veteran, a Purple Heart recipient who served in the European Theater as part of the Big Red One (The legendary 1st Infantry Division of the U.S. Army).

The full speech by Dr. John B. Long:

Today, I'd rather be right here because this is America at its very best.

I want to direct all of my remarks to the young people that are here this afternoon, because they are the ones that are going to lead America and carry the torch that we're leaving with the leadership for this great country. I need the young people to understand, I remember so very clearly -- I was 18 years old, in high school. One day I came home -- this was back in 1944 -- my mother handed me a little card. It was my draft notice letting me know I had been inducted in the United States Army.

Shortly after that, I was on my way down to Cape Wheeler, Georgia, for intensive infantry training.

Along the way, of course, a lot of things happened. Fortunately, for whatever reason. God spared my life as he did with some of the rest of us that are here on the stage today. But we need to understand something: We paid a huge price for the freedoms we have today. Four hundred thousand of my fellow soldiers never returned back home. The fact of the matter is, because of that, we have what we have here today in America.

My remarks to the young people here today is this: you have the greatest opportunity of your lifetime. This is America. It is the greatest country in the world. We want you to know that you can be everything that you are able to be. You have all these great opportunities in this country. You can be doctors. You can be lawyers. You can be electricians, whatever it is, because of the freedoms that you have today, because of the service of all of us from World War II, and the wonderful Purple Heart recipients over here.

I want you to understand that you have freedom of speech, you have the freedom to assemble, you have the freedom to worship as you please -- all of these great freedoms are because of what we accomplished and what happened in World War II.

I just want these young people to remember today, when you leave school today, take something home worthwhile with you. Remember, that you can be all you can be, you have the opportunity to do that, and we here today want you to do that because you need to carry out the torch of leadership for the greatest country in the world that God has ever been able to create. Thank you so much. God bless all of you, and above all, God bless America.

The event also included a moment of silence to honor Pembroke teacher Kevin Steffan, who passed away unexpectedly this week.

Photos by Howard Owens. Top photo, Mayor Tom Sargent delivering his remarks. Inset photo, Dr. John B. Long.


During the playing of the National Anthem.


Russell Ward and Ron Krul, Military Order of the Purple Heart.


Supervisor Thomas Schneider with the certificate for the Town of Pembroke presented by Ward and Krul.


The plaque presented to Pembroke HS to display at the school.


Zach Hartz and Sam Pfeiffer honor Charles Arnold, a Pembroke graduate who received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star while serving in Vietnam.


John Preisach, on the left, was friends with Purple Heart recipient Dennis Henry Hoffman, who graduated from Pembroke in 1940 and served with the U.S. Marines during WWII.  Before he died, he gave Preisach his Purple Heart, and Herzog donated it today to the Veterans Outreach Club and Pembroke High School.  Also pictured are Lily Senko, vice president of the Veterans Outreach Club, Amelia Geck, president, Arianna Hale, VP and secretary, Isla Czechowicz, treasurer. 

Pembroke's Shooting for a Cure tops $26K in donations

By Press Release


Press release:

On Friday, it was an extremely cold winter’s evening, with wind chills dropping well below zero outside; however, it was a heartwarming evening inside Pembroke Jr./Sr. High School as the community came out by the hundreds in support of the twelfth annual Shooting For A Cure! game.  The hallways, gymnasium, and cafeteria were packed with people throughout the evening who were looking to make a difference in the battle against cancer. On Friday night, by game’s end, the twelfth annual Shooting For A Cure! game had raised over $26,000 to help fund cancer research at Roswell Park. Over the weekend and even early this morning, donations have continued to trickle in, ensuring that the total keeps growing by the day.

In 2011, the original team decided to use their passion for playing basketball as a platform from which to host a fundraiser for breast cancer research at Roswell Park in support of community member Toni Funke.  As a result, the girls, their coaches, and several dedicated community members organized an annual event, naming it Shooting For A Cure!, through which they have now raised a total of over $250,000 in contributions for Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. This game remains at the top of the independent fundraising events list sanctioned by Team Roswell.

Mary Russo, Team Roswell Coordinator, continues to be amazed by the players and families in the community. “The Pembroke Girls basketball team truly knows how to rally a community together for such an incredible cause. In their twelfth year of hosting their Shooting For A Cure! game, the girls raised over $26,000 for critical, life saving treatments at Roswell Park,” noted Russo. “We are all so incredibly grateful for the passion and dedication this team, the students, the families, and the Pembroke faculty has for the Roswell Park community. We truly admire their commitment to be champions for a cure,” said Russo.

Anyone who would like to support the cause is encouraged to do so by visiting the Shooting For A Cure! donation page.

According to Arron K. Brown, a Pembroke 6th grade teacher who worked tirelessly all evening running his famous Snack Shack, “The fans this season were again extremely generous. As we sold pizza logs, slices of pizza from Homeslice 33, barbecue from Burnin’ Barrel BBQ, chips and queso from Salsarita’s, sandwiches and cookies from Buttercrumbs, donuts and coffee from Tim Hortons, ice cream sundaes from Hershey’s, people weren’t even asking us for change,” shared Brown. “The true spirit of the Pembroke community carried over into the Snack Shack, as we had an army of volunteers ready to help in any way they could! From cooking pizza logs, going on supply runs, scooping ice cream or just cleaning up tables, our Dragon spirit was on full display,” added Brown. “This night is my favorite night of the school year. I love seeing how this community rallies around each other the way they do. You can just feel the energy and love in the air,” said Brown.

DJ Jickster from 97 Rock was in attendance to energize the crowd and to share his sincerest appreciation for what the Pembroke community continues to do for cancer research at Roswell Park. During game breaks, he hosted six separate check presentations, sharing the court with students from both the Primary and Intermediate Schools who held coin drives, as well as the Oakfield-Alabama and Attica school districts who held their own coin drives in support of the event. Teachers and students were recognized by Jickster for their efforts. Each group presented their funds to the Pembroke Girls Basketball team in support of funding research efforts at Roswell Park. Additionally, Mr. Brown presented Mr. Wilson with a check from the Can Jam Redemption center’s bottle and can drive which raised $900 in returns from scores of generous supporters. Community member Billy Burd, owner of Billy The Kid Automotive, sent in a $500 donation with Jickster, accompanied by a personal note sharing some kind words for the team and the Pembroke community and memorializing family members and friends.

Later on that evening, during an emotional halftime ceremony hosted by Pembroke Superintendent Mr. Matthew Calderon, the girls team memorialized 25 community members and honored 31 cancer survivors (virtually as well as in person) personifying their dedication to this cause. White roses were placed in a vase in memory of those we’ve lost and pink roses were placed in that same vase in honor of survivors in our community. Nine community members stood on the baseline and were recognized by name. Each survivor who joined us on the court was honored with a hug from a player or family member, handed a single rose, and cheered by the hundreds of fans who packed into the gymnasium.

Jennifer Wilson, a Pembroke 5th grade teacher, organized the halftime ceremony again this season. “For the team to continue to play this game each year in memory of and in honor of members of this community whose lives have been affected by cancer means a lot to me. We’re a community, we’re all in this together, and no one fights alone,” said Wilson. “The list of people we honor and memorialize continues to grow each season. It’s important that we all give back as much as we can and be as supportive as we can be. So many teachers, parents, grandparents and even former students have all been affected by this disease in some way,” added Wilson. “Showing our love and support to these members of our community is what this night is all about,” shared Wilson.

Recent alumna Allie Schwerthoffer made it a priority to be in attendance on Friday night in support of the game that still means so much to her. As a player, Allie enjoyed the opportunity to support those battling the disease, to celebrate survivors, and to remember those we’ve lost. With her playing days now behind her, she circled this date on her calendar and made sure to be back in town for the game to help out. “I was excited to come back and see the hallways full of people. You could just feel the positive energy! It was a different experience to be on the other side of the game now as a volunteer,” shared Schwerthoffer. “The pink game is a sign of hope. It is a reminder to devote ourselves to something bigger. Our community is filled with love and support for one another and the pink game gives us all a chance to come together in support of those in need,” Schwerthoffer added.

The generous support of local benefactors has made the event possible. In addition to individual supporters, the 2022-2023 Shooting For A Cure! business and organization donor list includes 189 Burger, 26Shirts, ADPRO Sports, Alex’s Place, Aquarium of Niagara, Arcade-Attica Railroad, Arrowhead Golf Club, Baldwin’s Country Store, Batavia Country Club, Batavia Muckdogs, Batavia’s Original, Billy The Kid Automotive, Bourbon & Burger, Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Bisons, Buffalo Sabres, Burnin’ Barrel BBQ, Buttercrumbs Bakery, C.B. Beach & Son Mortuary, Cedar Street Sales & Rental, Chestnut Hill, Cinquino’s, Coffee Press, Coca-Cola of Rochester, Crickler Vending, Delta Sonic, Dinosaur Barbecue, Dixon Ticonderoga, Dollars for Scholars, Dry Creek Group

Eli Fish, Empire Realty Group, Five Guys, Foxprowl Collectibles, Game of Throws, Genesee County DSS, Great Clips of Lancaster, Green Mountain Electric, Hershey’s Ice Cream, Holiday Valley, Homeslice 33 Pizzeria, Insty-Prints, Jim’s Steakout, Jimbo’s Construction, Knockaround Sunglasses, Linda’s Family Diner, M&T Bank, Mighty Taco, Mosquito Hunters of Buffalo, Mugs & More, New Era, NYSCOPBA, OnCore Golf, Original Pizza Logs, Oxford Pennant, Pembroke Youth Association, Pesci's Pizza & Wings, Pink Cow, Reeds Jewelers – Jenss Décor, Roman’s, Roswell Park Alliance Foundation, Russell’s Steaks, Chops & More, Salsarita’s, Salvatore’s Italian Gardens, Sincerely Kayla Photography, Stan’s Harley-Davidson, Store716, Terry Hills, Tim Horton’s, ULTA Beauty of Batavia, Vivify Hydration, Yancey’s Fancy, and YMCA of Batavia.

Businesses and organizations still wishing to make a donation for this year’s event should contact Mike Wilson, the Shooting For A Cure! coordinator at Pembroke, by calling 716.949.0523.

Submitted photos.









Pembroke's annual Shooting For A Cure game slated for Feb. 3

By Press Release


Press release:

The­­­ Pembroke Jr./Sr. High School Girls’ Basketball Team will host its 12th annual Shooting For A Cure! event versus Oakfield-Alabama on Friday, Feb. 3, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. at the high school gym located at the corner of Routes 5 and 77 (8717 Alleghany Road) in Pembroke, New York. Admission is free. The team asks that attendees make a donation of any amount as they enter the facility, and all donations go to Roswell Park to support research efforts. In addition to donations at the door, all proceeds from raffle tickets, concession sales, and apparel sales go directly to Roswell Park. To date, Shooting For A Cure! has raised over $227,000 and has remains Roswell Park’s largest independent, community-based fundraising event.

The event began over a decade ago when the team approached then head coach Mike Wilson with an idea; they wanted to show their support for Toni Funke, wife of former coach and Pembroke teacher Ron Funke, in her battle against breast cancer by hosting a game in her honor which would bring the community together to raise awareness and funds for cancer research at Roswell Park. This season, the team hopes to add to the more than $227,000 the event has generated and donated since 2011 by continuing this benevolent Pembroke tradition.

Direct online donations are now being accepted in support of this year’s Shooting For A Cure! game at: In addition, the team is seeking donations from the community in the form of items to include in various raffles.  Food and beverages, provided by local vendors and restaurants, will be for sale during the event.  All of the proceeds will benefit cancer research at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.  The 2022-2023 Shooting For A Cure! donors list already contains many businesses and organizations, including 26Shirts, ADPRO Sports, Billy The Kid Automotive, the Buffalo Bills, the Buffalo Sabres, Dry Creek Group, Five Guys, the Genesee County YMCA, Hershey's Ice Cream, Homeslice 33 Pizzeria, Jimbo’s Construction, Knockaround Sunglasses, Linda's Family Diner, M&T Bank, Mighty Taco, New Era, Original Pizza Logs, Oxford Pennant, Pesci's Pizza, Roswell Park Alliance Foundation, Salsarita’s, Salvatore’s, Sincerely Kayla, Terry Hills, The Pink Cow, and Tim Horton's.

There will be several other ways to support the cause this year. Currently, the team has partnered with 26Shirts from Buffalo, a local company that designs and sells apparel items to benefit those in need. To date, 26Shirts has raised $1,694,965 for local families, foundations, and organizations. All proceeds from this apparel sale will directly benefit cancer research at Roswell Park. If you’re interested in limited edition, 12th annual Shooting For A Cure! gear, please visit:

In addition to the apparel sale, Can Jam Redemption Center in Corfu has partnered with Shooting For A Cure! From today, up through February 3rd, you can donate your bottle and can return slips in support of cancer research at Roswell Park. When you bring in your returns, just let them know that you’d like to donate your slip to our Shooting For A Cure! mission.

Businesses and organizations wishing to make a donation for this year’s event should contact Mike Wilson, the Shooting For A Cure! coordinator at Pembroke, by calling (716) 949-0523.

Lady Dragons fall to Attica 56-39

By Howard B. Owens

Pembroke fell to 2-3 on the season with the team's third-straight loss in Girls Basketball on Monday, 56-39 to Attica.

Scoring for Pembroke: 

  • Karli Houseknecht: 16 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists
  • Olivia Breeden: 16 points
  • Izzy Breeden: 7 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists.

Veterans honored in day of remembrance and reflection at WNY National Cemetery

By Howard B. Owens


The men and women interred at the WNY National Cemetery were honored on Saturday as part of a national effort, Wreaths Across America.

Family members and community members placed a wreath on each headstone in the cemetery.

Wreaths were sold by members of the Veterans Outreach Club at Pembroke Junior-Senior High School, led by teacher Matthew Moscato.

Genesee County's veterans' services officer, Bill Joyce, was the keynote speaker during an opening service that included placing a wreath for each branch of the military by either a veteran or an active member of the Armed Forces, a 21-gun salute and the playing of taps.

Joyce recalled a speaker he had heard previously at another ceremony honoring veterans.  That speaker noted that when we are at a headstone of a dead service member, we tend to look at the birth date and the death date but rarely stop to consider the space between those dates -- the dash.  It is the dash that matters most.

"How did they live their lives? How did they live, in other words, the dash? We know how these individuals interred here at the Western New York National Cemetery lived part of their lives, serving in every military service. They served this great nation honorably," Joyce said. 

Joyce called the service a day of "remembrance and reflection," noting that he was honored as a retired Army veteran to be the day's featured speaker.

Families of service members buried in the cemetery were given several minutes to place wreaths at their loved one's headstones. Then community members were given numbered wreaths to place at the remaining headstones.

They were instructed to salute after placing the wreath if they were an active service member or a veteran, or place their hand over their heart if not, and say the service member's name.

"When we read the names on the headstones today, it symbolizes acknowledging the sacrifices that service members made on behalf of the country," Joyce said.

Photos by Howard Owens.


Bill Joyce


Matthew Moscato











Members of Notre Dame's Varsity Basketball team volunteered to place wreaths. Photo submitted by Susan MacPherson Woodruff

Dragons hand Hornets first loss of the season

By Howard B. Owens


Pembroke and Oakfield-Alabama had a shootout on Friday and the Dragons pulled out a big win over the Hornets, the defending Division C2 champions, 65-59.

It was the first loss of the season for the Hornets after opening the year 3-0.

Scoring by quarter:

O-A: 17 15 14 13
Pembroke:  14 14 24 13

Scoring for Pembroke:

  • Cayden Pfalzer, 23 points
  • Tyson Totten, 15 points
  • Chase Guzdek, 15 points


Scoring for O-A:

  • Kyle Porter, 23 points
  • Noah Currier, 8 points
  • Aiden Warner & Brayden Smith, 7 points

​Pembroke is now 2-1.

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





Pembroke beats Holley 60-34 in Girls Basketball

By Howard B. Owens

Eight different girls scored for Pembroke on Friday night to give the Dragons a 60-34 win over Holley in basketball.


  • Olivia Breeden, 23 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals
  • Karli Houseknecht, 16 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 8 steals
  • Izzy Breeden, 5 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists
  • Carly Cerasani, 2 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal.

Pembroke Dragons win 73-41 in Girls Basketball

By Howard B. Owens

The Pembroke Girls Basketball team got off to a fast start to the 2022-23 season with a 73-41 win over Hutch Tech.

Pembroke jumped out to an early lead, with Izzy Breeden hitting three first-quarter three-pointers.

The Dragons led by 10 at the half, 30-20.

Hutch Tech closed to within four in the third quarter, making it 28-32, but Pembroke broke open the game in the fourth quarter.

Elle Peterson and Onolee Easterbrook led the team with seven rebounds. Olivia Breeden had eight steals, and Seneca Calderon had three assists. Karli Houseknecht had four rebounds, four steals and two assists to go with her 11 points.

Dragons prove the obvious, Pembroke is the best eight-man football team in the state

By Howard B. Owens


The Pembroke Dragons beat Groton on Friday afternoon 38-18 at Union Ellicott HS near Binghamton to become the 2022 state champions in eight-man football.

Behind the blocking of JJ Gabbey, Octavius Martin, Jayden Mast, Madden Perry, Ben Steinberg, Chase Guzdek and Caleb Felski, Tyson Totten rushed 29 times for 276 yards and three touchdowns.

Cayden Pfazler added a rushing TD as well and a 24-yard pass to Chase Guzdek for another score.

Octavius Martin had 8 tackles, Caleb Felski had 10, Jeremy Gabbey Jr. had 12, and Chase Guzdek led the way with 14.

Coach Brandon Ricci said, "The team would like to thank Superintendent Matthew Calderon, the Board of Education, district administration, the Pembroke Teachers Federation, who led fundraising efforts, the local fire and police who provided home escorts and, of course, the fans and families who showed unconditional support all season. The Dragons are honored to represent Section V as the number one eight-man Team in New York State!"

Submitted photos.






Dragons win State semifinal game in eight-man football

By Howard B. Owens


The Pembroke Dragons, already the school's first-time-ever boys sectional championship team, kept right on winning Thursday night with a 54-38 victory over the Morrisville Eaton Warriors (Section III) in the NYS Regional Semi-Final game.

Behind the blocking of JJ Gabbey, Octavius Martin, Jayden Mast, Madden Perry, Ben Steinberg, Chase Guzdek and Caleb Felski, Tyson Totten rushed 40 times for a single game school record 400 yards and five touchdowns.

Caleb Felski added an 80-yard kick return for a touchdown, while Chase Guzdek caught a 14-yard touchdown reception.

The Dragons (11-1) were down 22-20 at the half but played good defense, forced several turnovers and "just pounded the rock, being a tough O-Line." said Head Coach Brandon Ricci.

Dominic Boldt, Sean Pustkulla, and Avery Ferreira had to step into big roles with injuries to Section V and GR All-stars Cayden Pfalzer and Jayden Bridge.

Jayden Mast had 12 tackles, Octavious Martin had 11 and a forced fumble, Jacob Dulski had 6 tackles and an interception, and Chase Guzdek led the way with 15 tackles. 

The Dragons will represent Section V in the final eight-man football game in all of New York State (the New York High School Athletic Association apparently doesn't call it a State Championship but that is essentially what it is) on Friday, Nov. 25, at Union Endicott High School.  Game time is noon.

Photos by Guy and Elizabeth Gabbey





Pembroke wins 8-man semifinal, 49-18

By Howard B. Owens


The Pembroke Dragons will play for a Section V title in eight-man football next week after beating Bolivar-Richburg on Friday, 49-18.

A win next week would give Pembroke its first football Section V title in school history.


On Friday, Tyson Totten rushed for 270 yards and five touchdowns to become the all-time single-season rushing leader at Pembroke with 2,134 yards on the season.

Two interceptions and nine tackles by Cayden Pfalzer along with nine tackles by  Totten and Jeremey Gabbey lead the defense.

Next up: Canisteo-Greenwood, the only team that has beaten the 9-1 Dragons this year. Game time is noon on Saturday at Pittsford-Sutherland.

Submitted photos.








Pembroke continues winning ways in eight man football

By Howard B. Owens


Write-up by Coach Brandon Ricci

The Pembroke Dragons improved to 8-1 by defeating the Wellsville Lions 49-22 in the sectional Quarterfinals.

Behind the blocking of JJ Gabbey, Octavius Martin, Jayden Mast, Jayden Bridge, Ben Steinberg, Chase Guzdek and Caleb Felski; Tyson Totten rushed to become the all-time total yardage leader in school history.

Two interceptions by Cayden Pfalzer and an interception returned for a touchdown by Jacob Dulski helped lead a strong defensive effort.

Octavius Martin and Jacob Von Kramer led the Dragons in tackles while Sean Pustkulla was 7 for 7 on extra points. 

The Dragons host the sectional semifinal game this Friday at 7 p.m. against the Bolivar-Richburg Wolverines.

Submitted photos.




Pembroke Dragons finish eight-man regular season 7-1 with win on Saturday

By Howard B. Owens


The Pembroke Dragons improved to 7-1 by defeating CG Finney/Christian Northstar 47-12 Saturday.

Tyson Totten rushed for over 200 yards for the fifth time this season. Felski added three touchdowns while Sean Pustkulla caught a 48-yard pass from Cayden Pfazler for TD right before halftime. 

Nate Duttweiler had a sack and forced a fumble on defense while Cayden Pfalzer had an interception with Joe Gibson recovering a fumble. 

Tyson Totten, Jacob Von Kramer, Jayden Mast, Octavius Martin, Jacob Dulski, Caleb Felski, Jayden Bridge, JJ Gabbey and Cayden Pfazler all had five or more tackles on the day. 

Photos courtesy of Kim Dulski.






Pembroke opens season with 55-22 win

By Howard B. Owens


The Pembroke Dragons were in total control in their eight-man match up Saturday against C.G. Finney/North Star, leading to a 55-22 victory at home to start their 2022 season.

The Dragons amassed 460 yards on offense with the line of Chase Guzdek, Jayden Mast, Ben Steinberg, and Jayden Bridge leading the way.

Cayden Pfazler carried the ball 10 times for 193 yards and was 3 for 3 passing for 33 yards.  He scored four times. 

Caleb Felski and Sean Pustkulla also scored touchdowns.

Tyson Totten rushed for 190 yards and two touchdowns on 9 carries.

On defense, Cayden Pfalzer led the way with 10 tackles while Totten had 8, Jacob Von Kramer, Jacob Dulski, Chase Guzdek, and Nate Duttweiler, had six each.

Dulski had four fumble recoveries and snagged the ball on three separate successful onside-kicks to open the game.

Photos by Elizabeth Gabby.  Game information provided by Brandon Ricci.





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