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Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Program can stem the tide of rising flood insurance costs, but only to a point

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, flood insurance program, Gretchen DiFante

Here's what residents living in flood-prone areas in Batavia need to know: The city can help lower the cost of flood insurance, but nothing can stop it from going up.

Assistant City Manager Gretchen DiFante, hired primarily to help the city get a comprehensive flood insurance program going, said the cap on annual insurance-rate increases is 18 percent (it used to be 25 percent). If the city's program works as intended, the best result would be 15-percent lower premiums for local homeowners.

Rates will rise, she explained after the Monday City Council meeting, until an insurance company reaches 100-percent coverage for an individual property according to its actuarial tables.

"Not everybody is going to go up and not everybody will go up at the same rate," DiFante told the council.

This is an important issue, she said, because the rising cost of flood insurance will make it harder and harder for property owners to sell their homes. That leads to more sub-par rentals, more abandoned houses, higher crime and less tax money for local schools.

"When you look at the map, you have to realize, this is more than a thousand homeowners who are not going to be able to sell their homes if something doesn't change," DiFante said.

"I don't care where you live, it ought to be a concern," she added. "If it's not, it should be."

DiFante's job is to work with FEMA to get the city into community rating system (CRS) of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Cities accepted into the program get class ratings. A Class 7 community gets a 5-percent reduction in flood insurance rates, and a Class 9 community gets 15 percent.

There are two main components to the ratings:

  • Reduce a community's flood exposure through mitigation activities;
  • Obtain individual flood insurance reductions for residents in flood map areas.

But the process is far more complex than those two simple points, DiFante said.

"It is a daunting process, which is why I think there's only 27 communities in New York who have taken this on," DiFante said. "There's so much information you have to put together and in such a specific way you have to do it. Then every time you've got different reps from ISO who come in, everybody's kind of got their own way interpreting what you've done."

On a broad scale, the city will need to review zoning and building codes and make adjustments to mitigating flooding issues.

On an individual homeowner basis, the city can provide guidance and perhaps secure grants for elevation certificates that could lift some homes out of the flood map, or improve an individual property's rating.

The elevation certificate process can also provide property owners with guidance on improving their property from a flood exposure perspective.

It will be at least 16 months before the city realizes any benefits from its flood insurance efforts.

Red areas are floodplain.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 11:28 am

Gift from Liberty Pumps puts new technology in the hands of every Byron-Bergen student

post by Howard B. Owens in bergen, business, byron, byron-bergen, liberty pumps

There's a selfish reason Charle Cook got behind the idea of his company donating money to help the Byron-Bergen School District buy 1,100 tablet computers for all of the district's children: He wants potential future employees to have the technical skills to work for the Liberty Pumps of tomorrow.

But the donation is also a good deed that will benefit his and his son's alma mater and perhaps encourage other rural companies to be as generous with their local school districts.

"We felt it's important as kids progress through school that they become knowledgable and comfortable with technology," said Charlie Cook, CEO of Liberty. "It's going to be part of their future employment. To have that as a kind of leg up to students who might not have access is an advantage.

"Somewhat from a selfish standpoint," he added, "we're going to need a certain segment of those graduates, and we're interested in keeping as many kids as we can in the community."

Superintendent Casey Kosiorek said the gift was timely. The district had recently cut a staff position from its library and New York's formula for aid to district continues to disportionately favor affluent suburban districts over rural districts.

"This allows us to do something that most of the school districts in the more affluent areas of the state are able to do," Kosiorek said. "We're very thankful for that."

That was part of what motivated Liberty to seek out a way to assist the district, said Jeff Cook, who initiated the talks with the district that led to the donation.

"The reason Liberty Pumps thought the Learn Pads were a good idea was that we hear a lot about how wealthier, suburban districts seem to have advantages over poorer, more rural districts in terms of course offerings and opportunities for their students," Jeff Cook said. "We were looking for a way to help give our students an edge while minimizing the overhead burden of the district and therefore the taxpayer."

Charlie Cook didn't want to reveal the total monetary amount of the donation, but it's roughly 30 percent of the cost of the 1,100 tablets, which cost a few hundred dollars each. That donation made Byron-Bergen eligible for a technology grant from the state education department that covered the remaining 70 percent of the cost.

There will be no new local spending as a result of the program.

The tablets are known as LearnPads. They are Droid-based tablets with modifications to suit the needs of an educational institution.  

First, there are limits on how students can use them. There's access to YouTube, for example, but they can only watch teacher-approved videos. They can only visit approved Web pages. They can only download and install teacher-approved apps.

Teachers control the entire LearnPad environment according to the education needs of the class.

From a desktop computer program, teachers can customize how the LearnPads can be used, develop each day's lesson plan, then provide a QR code that can be posted to a wall. As students enter the class that day or that hour, the student scans the QR code to receive the lesson plan. As class progresses, teachers can monitor student activity to ensure they're staying on task.

However, Kosiorek stressed, LearnPads don't replace lectures and class discussions.

"This is a great tool for students and for teachers, but it doesn't replace quality education," Kosiorek said. "It's a tool, it's a supplement, an addition to a teacher's toolbox."

There are educational books available on the LearnPad and Kosiorek said the district hopes to someday replace all of its text books with tablets. That would save the district money as well as end the days of one-ton backpacks and multiple trips to lockers for students.

And yes, there are games available to students. Math games and vocabulary games, for example.

"Many students have access to video games and those games are very engaging," Kosiorek said. "There are goals that are set and you work toward those goals, so whatever we can do to provide relevance and engagement for students (we will do)."

Every student, starting this week, gets a LearnPad, from kindergarten through 12th grade. The younger students don't get a keyboard and will just use the touch screen, but starting in about third grade, keyboards will be introduced.

At younger grades, the LearnPads stay in school -- at least until the summer, when they can go with the summer reading program already installed -- while older children can bring the LearnPads home for homework once permissions slips and guideline acknowledgments are signed.

"We're very excited to be doing it," Charlie Cook said. "I've got four grandkids in the system right now and when I come to an event, which I do as often as I can, it's amazing to me to watch these kids work with the technology, even what they have currently. I think even in preschool years, they were up operating the touch screen, so this is a natural progression for them."

Jeff Cook said he hopes other business owners will look at this initiative and contact their own school administrators and ask "How can we help?".

Education, after all, is everybody's business.

"My hope is that what Liberty Pumps is doing will gain traction in the business community and others will join in on supporting our schools," Jeff Cook said. "If you are a business that is passionate about something you would be willing to help fund or support, I would suggest talking to the school administration about your idea and see if it is feasible. 

"In the case of Byron-Bergen, they did all the leg work and presented us with their vision based on our ideas. This could be anything from supporting sport programs and class offerings, to equipment for the district. Anything that could enhance a student's learning opportunity."

Photo: Casey Kosiorek, left, and Charlie Cook.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 8:24 am

Law and Order: Oakfield resident accused of growing marijuana

post by Howard B. Owens in Alabama, alexander, corfu, crime, Darien, Oakfield, Pavilion, pembroke, Stafford

Daniel C. Frey, 50, of Oakfield, is charged with unlawful growing of cannabis and criminal possession of marijuana, 4th. Frey was arrested by State Police at 12:57 p.m. Friday on Klossen Road, Alabama. No further details released.

Jason A. Perry-Murray, 20, of Jackson Street, Batavia, was arrested on warrant for an unpaid parking ticket.

Juan A. Roman, 36, of Portland Avenue, Rochester, is charged with criminal contempt. Roman is accused of violating a stay away order of protection.

Caitlin A. Hayes, 26, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for failure to appear on a parking ticket. Hayes was arrested following police contact on an unrelated incident.

Elliot R. Sandoval, 38, of Spencer Court, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Sandoval is accused of kicking another person in the back while that person was walking down a flight of stairs.

Joseph J. Kostanciak, 24, of unspecified address, is charged with petit larceny. Kostanciak is accused of shoplifting at Walmart.

Sanders A. Kelsey, 27, of Batavia, and Michelle L. Franks, 33, of Batavia, are charged with petit larceny. Kelsey and Franks are accused of shoplifting at Walmart.

Carol A. Bartucca, 55, of Stafford, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Bartucca was stopped at 10:16 p.m. Saturday on Horseshoe Lake Road by a trooper.

Jeremy D. Eck, 27, of Hornell, is charged with DWI, driving while impaired by drugs and unlawful possession of marijuana. Eck was stopped by State Police at 10:27 p.m. Sunday on Route 20 and Browns Mill Road, Alexander.

Lawrence E. Rutkowski, 50, of Orchard Park, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Rutkowski was stopped at 12:11 a.m. Monday on Route 20, Alexander, by State Police.

Brett F. Dieter, 36, of Basom, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing. Dieter was arrested following an investigation of an alleged incident at 8:10 p.m. Sept. 1 on Lewiston Road, Alabama.

Michael R. Sigl, 21, of Batavia, is charged with petit larceny and possession of a hypodermic instrument. Sigl was arrested by State Police following an incident report at 3:32 p.m. Sunday. No further details released. 

Tyler E. Deleys, 20, of Corfu, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th, petit larceny and possession of a hypodermic instrument. Deleys was arrested on Hartshorn Road, Pembroke, by State Police following a report of an incident at 3:32 p.m. Sunday. No further details released.

Steven R. Ryan, 36, of unspecified address, is charged with DWI and refusal to take breath test. Ryan was stopped by State Police at 10:10 p.m. Sunday on Route 77, Pembroke.

Lindsey N. Burdick, 32, of Pavilion, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Burdick was stopped by State Police at 11:29 p.m. Sunday on Route 20, Alexander.

Todd L. Frocione, 50, of Syracuse, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Frocione was stopped by State Police at 11:51 p.m. Sunday on Route 20, Alexander.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 6:55 am

Primary Day 2014

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, Elections

It's Primary Day in New York.

Here's what you can vote on at your local polling place.

Countywide Democratic Primary, Governor (vote for one)

  • Zephyr R. Teachout
  • Andrew M. Cuomo
  • Randy A. Credico

Lt. Governor (vote for one)

  • Kathy C. Hochul
  • Timothy Wu

Countywide Independence Party Primary

8th Judicial District Delegate (vote for one)

  • Carol A. Sheehan
  • Debra M. Buck-Leaton

Town of Bethany (Republican), Supervisor (unexpired term) (vote for one)

  • Carl L. Hyde Jr.
  • Edward F. Pietrzykowski Jr.
Monday, September 8, 2014 at 10:09 pm

Photos: Trees and barns and plants in Pavilion and Stafford

post by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion, photos, Stafford

This afternoon, I headed out to Le Roy by way of Pavilion and came back to Batavia through Stafford.

Above, a barn at Linwood and Black Street Road.

Below, two shots of a tree on Linwood, and finally, the hedgerow along Route 5 at the Hanson property.

Monday, September 8, 2014 at 9:54 am

Six arrests at Tom Petty concert

The following people were arrested by the Genesee County Sheriff's Department during the Tom Petty Concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Sunday.

Jennifer L. Bishop, 26, of Harmony Avenue, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd, after allegedly getting evicted from the concert venue and advised not to return, then reentering the concert venue. Bishop jailed on $100 bail.

Julie A. Biamonte, 37, of Harmony Avenue, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd, after allegedly getting evicted from the concert venue and advised not to return, then reentering the concert venue. Biamonte was jailed on $100 bail.

Charles T. Diorio, 30, of Brookwood Drive, Derby, is charged with trespass after allegedly getting evicted from the concert venue, advised not to return, then was said to be climbing the fence to get back into the venue. Diorio was jailed on $500 bail.

A 16-year-old, of Country Road 12, Andover, is charged with possession of a loaded rifle in a vehicle and unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly possessing a loaded .22 rifle in his vehicle and possessing a quantity of marijuana.

Louis E. Sorendo, 57, of East Albany Street, Oswego, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected from the concert and advised not to return.

Daniel A. Howe, 50, of Astor Drive, Rochester, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, after allegedly possessing a quantity of cocaine.

Monday, September 8, 2014 at 9:44 am

Law and Order: Man spotted trying to hide bin of alleged stolen merchandise behind Target

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Jason Daniel Lang, 30, of North Bennett Heights, Batavia, is charged with grand larceny, 4th. Lang is accused of stealing $1,260.37 in electronic equipment from Target. A caller reported seeing a male matching Lang's description hiding a storage bin filled with suspected stolen merchandise in a wooded area behind Target. Deputy Joseph Corona responded and secured the merchandise. He later located Lang hiding behind a garbage dumpster in the parking lot by the Clarion Hotel. Lang was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Kelsey Anne Sanders, 27, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Sanders is accused of shoplifting from Walmart.

Daniel DelPlato, 59, of Chandler Avenue, Batavia, is charged with assault, 3rd, and unlawful imprisonment, 2nd. DelPlato is accused of striking another person in the head four or five times with a frying pan and restricting that person's movement without consent during a domestic incident.

Christina A. Deluna, 34, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and possession of a hypodermic instrument. Police responded to Deluna's residence at 2:12 p.m. Sept. 2 after neighbors reported that she appeared to be acting strange. Officers observed alleged drugs and paraphernalia in her home.

Tyler J. Henderson, 26, of Franklin Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear in City Court.

Joseph C. Jeffords, 23, of York Road, Leicester, is charged with petit larceny. Jeffords is accused of stealing a laptop and returning it to a local retail store in exchange for a gift card.

Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 4:44 pm

Photo: Yesterday's evening sky over Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

Ken Mistler sent in this interesting photo of the sky over Batavia yesterday evening.

Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 4:36 pm

Photos: Snowy Egret, Tonawanda Creek

post by Howard B. Owens in Tonawanda Creek

Chris Hausfelder spotted this egret on the Tonawanda a few days ago and was able to snap a couple of pictures of this elusive bird.

Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Photo: Sun over DeWitt

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, DeWitt Recreation Area, weather

A reader sent in this photo Friday (and I've not had time to post it until now) of the sun over the lake at DeWitt Recreational Area when it was 89 degrees locally.  

Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 4:18 pm

Local buses named after local children

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, RTS Genesee

Transportation company RTS Genesee (formerly Batavia Bus Services) introduced three new buses yesterday, all named after local children.

Hallie Wade stands next the bus named after her.

Photo submitted by Kellie Wade.

Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Photos: Marshall Tucker Band at Frost Ridge

post by Howard B. Owens in entertainment, Frost Ridge, music

The Marshall Tucker Band played Frost Ridge on Saturday. Photographer Peggy Barringer shared these photos.

Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Photos: GLOW Ducks first home game

post by Howard B. Owens in football, GLOW Ducks, sports

The GLOW Ducks youth football program played its first home game today at Notre Dame.

Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Missing chocolate lab in Indian Falls area

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, indian falls, pembroke, pets

Deb Hill's chocolate lab Maggie has been missing since yesterday.

Deb said Maggie may have been scared of yesterday morning's weather and tried to follow her husband to work.

In the Indian Falls, Route 77, Phelps Road area.

She has a silver chin.

UPDATE: A reader has helped reunite Deb and Maggie.

Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 2:06 pm

Fatal pedestrian accident at Flying J in Pembroke

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Flying J, pembroke

Photos and information from Alecia Kaus/Video News Service.

A woman from out of the area died today after being struck by a box truck pulling in for diesel gas at the Flying J off Route 77 in Pembroke.

The woman had apparently just left the restaurant at the travel plaza and was heading back to her truck when she was hit.

She was traveling with her husband, who was not injured.

The box truck is from Aberstar Freight.

The driver apparently did not see the woman.

She was pronounced dead at the scene by a county coroner. 

Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments were dispatched at about 12:15 p.m. with a report of a woman struck by a vehicle who was unconscious. Mercy Flight was put on ground standby, but never dispatched. Dispatchers were told that Mercy Flight wouldn't be needed, once a chief arrived on scene.

UPDATE: The deceased is identified as Carolyn V. Baltzell, 61, of Hot Springs, Ark. The driver is identified as Serge Guindon, 56, of Dorval, Quebec, who was driving a 2012 Peterbuilt box truck. The investigation is on going, but not charges are pending at this time. The investigation is being handled by Deputy Joseph Corona, Deputy Dana Richardson, Sgt. James Meier and Investigator William Ferrando.

Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Football Round Up: Week #1

post by Howard B. Owens in football, high school sports, sports

Pembroke vs. Elba/Byron-Bergen. The Elba/Byron-Bergen Lancers started the season in fine feather with a 21-7 win over Pembroke. Head Coach Mike Cintorino summed up the game: "Improved Pembroke squad came out fired up and played hard for their home opener scoring on the first drive. Lancers responded with a score of their own to tie it up and never looked back. Took the lead on a Mike Shanley 89 yard TD run. Interesting 2-day game scenario with some work to do. Looking forward to getting back to work next week and coming home to face the Holley Hawks next Saturday." Stats: Mike Shanley: 15 carries 199 yards, 3 TDs (8,89,21); Richard Flores: 8 carries 95 yards; Andrew Gottler: 7 Tackles, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble; Steele Truax: 10 total tackles; Lancer Total Yards: 374; Dragons Total Yards: 132.

Alexander at CG Finney. The Trojans came up short against CG Finney, 28-20. Cody Trzecieski led the Trojan defense with 8 tackles and 1 fumble recovery from his linebacker spot. Tyler Laird had 7 tackles defensively.  Dustin Schmeider had 4 tackles and 1 sack for the Trojans. Offensively QB Jared Browne hit Laird for a 41 yd TD pass to start the Trojans scoring in the 2nd quarter.  Late in the 3rd quarter, Browne scored on a one-yard run. Late in the 4th quarter tailback Tim Calkins scored on a 3-yard run to cut the lead to 22-20 but the 2-point conversion pass fell incomplete.  The Trojans then recovered an onside kick with 20 seconds remaining. Two plays later CG Finney intercepted a pass and scored it as time expired. Laird carried the ball six times for 54 yards. Tailback Alex Hadsall had 4 carries for 24 yards before getting hurt. Calkins had 78 yards on 15 carries and one touchdown. Alexander placekicker Zack Shilvock was 2 for 2 on PAT and had 2 touchbacks when kicking off.

Batavia at Livonia. Game still pending because of weather delay. The game will be completed Monday at 7 p.m. at Livonia. Batavia trails, 7-0.

Full game coverage from earlier:

Also, we covered Warsaw at Perry for the Wyoming County Free Press

Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 12:44 am

Hornets savor win over Notre Dame after years of frustration

NOTE: The information we were given about how long it's been since O-A beat ND was wrong.

It's been nearly 20 years since Oakfield-Alabama beat Notre Dame, and after holding on for a 16-13 win against the Fighting Irish on their home turf, Hornet players celebrated like they had just won a sectional title.

"It feels great," said wide receiver Reice Woodward, a sophomore starting his first game on varsity. "We haven't beaten Notre Dame in a long time and we're starting the streak now."

With seconds left on the clock and Notre Dame in possession of the ball well into O-A territory, a Hornet's victory was far from assured. Then Woodward scooped up a Josh Johnson fumble and Hornet's captain Allen Chatt jumped high in the air, knowing at long last, a win was a cinch.

"With everything my team has been through this pre-season, and my being on the squad since eighth grade and losing to Notre Dame every year, I can't explain it," Chatt said. "It's the best feeling ever."

The first half of the game was all Oakfield-Alabama. The Hornet's defensive line was pushing around the smaller Irish offense seemingly at will. QB Connor Logsdon tasted turf several times. Fans and coaches kept yelling for him to throw the ball away, throw the ball away. After a play where a wall of white jerseys descended on him, the 5' 9" Logsdon yelled that he couldn't see anything over the line.

The Hornets would have ended the half up by four touchdowns instead of just two, except for wide open receivers twice dropping catchable balls.

It was looking like it was going to be a long afternoon -- if not a long season -- for Coach Rick Mancuso and his squad.

Then Logsdon, from deep in Irish territory completed a pass. RB Peter Daversa gained some ground and the Irish got another reception down field.

It was starting to look like a drive, then a short little run that ended in an apparent fumble (ND's coaches insisted the whistle had already blown, but to no avail) was recovered by the Hornets.

Whatever adjustments Mancuso made, they seemed to stick in the second half. Logsdon played with more confidence, feeling less pressure from O-A's defensive line, and Notre Dame showed it could move the ball down field

"We got a little flat right before the half," said O-A's Head Coach Brian Palone. "And Notre Dame did a great job of making adjustments."

Palone said his team has developed a new defense this season, and he expected the defense to struggle and the offense to do well, but the opposite happened he said. It was really the defense that won the game, so he was proud of his team in that regard, and at how hard they worked to protect their lead even as the team struggled in the second half.

"The way we ended the game here shows a lot about their character and never giving up," Palone said. "We had the lead the whole time, but momentum shifted over to Notre Dame the whole second half and I felt like our defense really stepped it up."

Senior linebacker Casey Arnold said the win was a real team effort. 

"The defensive line couldn't have been better," Arnold said. "We played as a team. We flew to the ball. I'm really proud of this team."

Chatt said all along, he's thought this year's Hornet's squad is something special, but nothing is more special than coming out on top against Notre Dame to open the season.

"I have a good feeling about this squad," Chatt said. "They're 27, 28, whatever we have, strong. They come down with the pads, loading the balls on the bus, whatever it is that needs to be done. I'm as proud as I can be about these guys today. Nothing tastes sweeter than to beat Notre Dame."

Chatt was 12 for 31 passing for 166 yards with two TDs and two INTs. Woodward led the receivers with two catches for 66 yards, including a 56-yard TD reception. He had one fumble recovery. Sal Schwabble had one catch for 41 yards. Ryan Emery, two for 30 yards, and Trent Stack, two for 26.

On defense, Jon Harris had one sack and 10 tackles. Schwable had eight tackles and a sack. Jacob Natalizia had two interceptions.

We didn't receive stats for Notre Dame.

UPDATE: Notre Dame stats: Peter Daversa, 18 carries, 76 yards, 1 TD; Jack Sutherland, 15 carries, 37 yards; Joe Zickl, 3 receptions, 27 yards, 1 TD; C.J. Souzzi, three receptions, 26 yards; Zickl, 8.5 tackles; Souzzi, five tackles; Ethan Osborne, sack.

Touchdown, Joe Zickl.

Appearances can be deceiving. Despite a great effort by O-A's Ryan Emery, Casey Midwick did catch this pass for Notre Dame.

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Saturday, September 6, 2014 at 1:22 pm

Le Roy's offense and defense prove too much for Cal-Mum in game split over two days

post by Howard B. Owens in football, high school sports, Le Roy, sports

The rain may never have fallen in a deluge, but Cal-Mum was certainly swamped by a relentless Oaktan Knight offense and an immovable defense in a game that took consecutive days to complete because of stormy weather.

Final: Le Roy 40, Cal-Mum 0.

The win assured Head Coach Brian Moran with a career record on the plus side against Le Roy's biggest rival, at 17-15.

Moran said, yes, the winning record against the Red Raiders is important to him.

"I'm proud of that because that (Caledonia) is a great community and great football program," Moran said. "You forget sometimes that Caledonia makes Le Roy better and Le Roy makes Caledonia better. That's been evident over the last 25 years."

The game started on time at 7:30 Friday night under the lights of Hartwood Park, but after the halftime show, officials spotted flashes of lightning to the northeast.

The game was delayed and about a half hour later, it was postponed (along with 11 other Section V games). Play resumed at 9 a.m. today, and by 10, Le Roy officially had a 1-0 record on the season.

The split game didn't bother the players much, said QB Mike McMullen.

"It wasn't a distraction, but it was definitely different," McMullen said. "I don't think anybody on the team has ever done anything like this. I don't think any of the coaches have ever done anything like this, so it is different, but you've got to play through it. So we did and came out and played hard."

To start the half, Cal-Mum tried an onside kick, but the Knights were ready and covered the ball.

Moran thought it was the right call by John Walther. If it had worked, it could have given the Red Raider's a spark.

"That's the way you should start the second half," Moran said. "You're down 21-0 and who knows what the weather is going to do. I give them credit for doing that."

Rather than Red Raider ball, the Knights had possession on about the 50-yard line. Soon, the Cal-Mum defense was looking at the back of #16, Jon Pierce, sprinting toward the goal line for a score that all but sealed the visiting team's fate.

"That was huge," McMullen said. "I told them when we came out there, 'hey guys, we've gotta score first drive. We've got to show them what we're about, make a point.' "

Pierce was the star of the game, always around the ball on defense and racking up more than 100 yards of total offense.

He's emerged, at least in the first game, as the running back Le Roy's coaches always thought he could be. He charges at the line with exceptional lower body strength, quickness and speed.

"We've been expecting this from Jon for quite a while," Moran said. "I'll be honest with you. Jon is a great kid and he has a great ability to move in the hole and then accelerate. Last night we saw it and today, again, we saw it and we're proud of him."

To open the game, Cal-Mum keyed on the McMullen to Ryan McQuillen combination, which isn't a bad strategy. A more mature player in Pierce gives an already powerful offense another weapon.

"He does have great hips," Moran said. "If you just stand behind him at practice you see it. That's what makes a good running back, somebody who can get up into those little small holes and make that cut inside and out. Jon has the capability to do that."

Before the start of the season, Moran and other coaches expressed some concern about an inexperienced offensive line. Friday and Saturday, the line showed it had the ability to move the pile and open holes.

That doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement, even after a 40-0 win against a good team.

"There's a lot of things you can do better," Moran said. "You sit back and start to evaluate tape. This is only week one. As we're sitting there and looking at it a little differently on the film, you know there are people who need to read their keys a little better and their footwork needs to be better and the offensive line has to communicate better. We're always thinking about improvement. That's the name of the game."

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