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Monday, September 1, 2014 at 10:41 am

Muckdogs, Marlins extend affiliation agreement through 2016

post by Billie Owens in Batavia Muckdogs, sports

Press release:

The Batavia Muckdogs and Miami Marlins have announced a two-year extension of their Player Development Contract through at least the 2016 season. A joint announcement was made by Marlins Farm Director Brian Chattin and Brian Paris, President of the Genesee County Baseball Club, the not-for-profit that owns the Batavia Muckdogs Franchise.

“The Genesee County Baseball Club is pleased to announce that we will be extending our working relationship with the Miami Marlins for two more years," said Brian Paris, president of GCBC.

"The Marlins have proven to be a great organization that brings with them solid baseball experience and good people. They've been a first class organization to work with and we’re fortunate to have them as our affiliate in Batavia. On behalf of the entire community and the Genesee County Baseball Club, we are anxious to get started with another year of professional baseball in Batavia."

Naomi Silver, president and CEO of Red Wings Management, LLC, the company which has managed the Muckdogs since 2008, said “We’re very pleased to see the working relationship between Batavia and the Miami Marlins extended.

"The Marlins have done everything a Minor League franchise could hope for in an affiliation. They also understand how important small town Minor League Baseball is to the Batavia Community and they deserve a lot of credit for providing the baseball fans of Batavia with extremely talented young players."
 
Brian Chattin of the Marlins said "The Miami Marlins are very excited to continue with our affiliation with the Batavia Muckdogs. With its rich baseball history, supportive front office and loyal fan base, Batavia is an ideal place for our players and staff to call home each summer. The Marlins are proud to have Batavia as our player development partner and look forward to a long and productive partnership together."

The Muckdogs are one of seven affiliates in the Marlins’ player development system, along with the New Orleans Zephyrs (AAA/Pacific Coast League), Jacksonville Suns (AA/Southern League), Jupiter Hammerheads (Advanced A/Florida State League), Greensboro Grasshoppers (A/South Atlantic League), Dominican Summer League Marlins (Rookie) and Gulf Coast League Marlins (Rookie).

Monday, September 1, 2014 at 10:27 am

Ken Doll J upsets in NYSS action at Batavia Downs

post by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports

Upset victor Ken Doll J breaks ahead with driver Aaron Byron.

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

It was bombs-away at Batavia Downs Sunday (Aug. 31) when the heavily favored Major Dancer came up just short at the wire as 40-1 Ken Doll J pulled the surprise in a $39,900 division of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies.

Off the gate Sweetnsinful (Jimmy Whittemore) took an uncontested lead around the turn and up the backside before the 1-2 Major Dancer (Jonathan Drury) rushed and took over the top as they hit the quarter in :27.1. After a pedestrian second split of :30.1, Table Talk (Jim Morrill Jr.) started the outer flow and Ken Doll J (Aaron Byron) followed in swift fashion.

Feeling the heat, Drury stepped on the gas and tried to pull away to the three-quarters with a :28 flat third panel. But the strategy was ineffective as the chasing pair continued to make up ground through the turn and into the stretch. From that point on it was a real horse race with a tiring Major Dancer coming back to Table Talk, who was outside of her and Ken Doll J, who was three-wide. When they hit the wire, Ken Doll J just got up in the final stride to win in 1:54 and light up the board. The winner paid $83.00.

Table Talk was second and Major Dancer hung on to be third.

This was the second win of the year for Ken Doll J (Bettor’s Delight-Normajeankillean) and also a seasonal mark. The victory brought her earnings up to $74,882 for owner Ken Jacobs. Ken Doll J is trained by Linda Toscano.

After the race, Byron said “Everything just worked out. I got a great trip and I didn't really have to do much to half. The filly was real good down the lane.”

Just Add Vodka pulls away to victory with driver Jim Morrill Jr.

In the first $39,900 division, Just Add Vodka (Jim Morrill Jr.) was the beneficiary of a patient steer and came away with a three-quarter length victory as a result.

Up Front Elizabeth (Mark MacDonald) flew off the wings and led the field through a quick and gapped :27 quarter in post-position order. The story remained the same to the half in :56.3 when Carlota Blue Chip (Jack Flanigen) pulled and tried to apply some heat. She was only able to get up to third on the outside before stalling with two other horses behind her at the three-quarters in 1:25.

When the outer flow faded around the last turn it allowed the rail-riding Barefoot Beauty (Jimmy Whittemore) to come off the pylons and that in turn left a spot for Just Add Vodka (Jim Morrill Jr.) to shoot up inside. At the head of the stretch, the bearing-out Up Front Elizabeth was in the middle with Barefoot Beauty to her right and Just Add Vodka to her left. The three battled to the wire with Just Add Vodka getting the advantage at the end to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.2.

Barefoot Beauty was second and Up Front Elizabeth was third.

It was the third win of the year for the Julie Miller trained filly that also happened to be a new lifetime mark. The victory boosted the seasonal earnings of Just Add Vodka (Art Major-Regal Wish) to $94,233 for owners Blue Chip Bloodstock, Inc., Steven Demeter, Herbert Burns III and Nahuel Agosti.

Morrill praised both the horse and trainer saying “I can't believe how much better she was today. Julie did a great job getting her ready.”

Spreester with driver Jason Bartlett

In the second $39,200 split, Spreester (Jason Bartlett) made quick work of a short field and two breaking horses to register a five-length romp in the fastest of the three divisions.

As the field went into the first turn, Delightful Dragon (Mark MacDonald) made an uncharacteristic break and watched as the rest of the field pulled away. Sky Artist (Kevin Cummings) was on the point but Medusa (Aaron Byron) was pushing the issue outside at the quarter in :26.4. But Medusa appeared to get foul-gaited and Byron took her back to the wood fourth. Then Blush Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.) pulled from second to challenge but also made a break before the half in :56.1.

So with two of the three favorite guilty of miscues, Spreester, who had been sitting second through it all, pulled past the five-eighths, circled and cleared the leader before they hit the three-quarter pole in 1:25.3. When she got back to the pylons, Bartlett popped the plugs and became a passenger as Spreester shifted gears and simply paced away from everybody. She hit the wire a five-length wrapped-up winner in 1:53.3. The winner paid $5.60 to her supporters.

Delightful Dragon recovered from the early break to be second and Sky Artist hung on for third.

This was the sixth win in 14 starts for Spreester (American Ideal-Rodeo Spree) and the Paul Zabielski trained filly topped off her bank at $134,680. Spreester is owned by Kimberly Zabielski.

Bartlett commented “I really didn't want to sit in the two-hole but they kept blowing up around me. She just exploded down the lane.”

The results of today’s NYSS contests were important in the point’s standings leading into the Night of Champions finals. Spreester took over the top spot, Just Add Vodka moved from fifth to third and Ken Doll J vaulted herself from 12th to seventh.

There was also an Excelsior leg contested and was won by Expose who was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. in 1:56.3. The winner paid $6.80. Expose is trained by Linda Toscano and is owned by Linwood Higgins, Stake Your Claim Stable, Brittany Farms and Val D’Or Farms.

Driver Jim Morrill Jr. registered a four-win afternoon and Mark MacDonald scored a double.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs today (Sept. 1) with a special Labor Day matinee card slated to start at 1:15.

Sunday, August 31, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Best Ears made himself heard in Batavia Downs feature

post by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports

Best Ears and driver Jack Flanigen

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

With an eighth of a mile to go, two lengths separated the seven horses that competed in Saturday night’s (Aug. 30) $9,500 Open pace at Batavia Downs and the final result came down to the wire. But when they crossed the line, Best Ears used his head as the margin of victory in the night’s feature race.

When the man said go in the seventh race, Big Unit (Kevin Cummings) bolted from post two and took an immediate lead off the gate. Best Ears (Jack Flanigen) left from the four hole and was parked, but methodically worked his way towards the leader through a :27.3 first quarter. After not being able to take control at the point, Flanigen tucked Best Ears in second behind the hard-rolling leader before the pack hit the half in 55.3.

Then Ready To Work (Jim McNeight) came barreling from behind to take his shot at the top. He led a dull outer flow to the three-quarters in 1:25 before actually drawing near the leader. As they started to bunch around the far turn, Burton Blue Chip (Lee Dahn) swung three-deep around Ready To Work and Best Ears was sitting cool in the pocket behind Big Unit. But Big Unit fell victim to his own fast pace at the head of the lane and started to fade. When they headed down the stretch, Ready To Work took over the lead before Best Ears found the passing lane and shot through in time to win by a head in 1:55. The post time favorite returned $3.40.

Ready To Work was second and Burton Blue Chip was third.

It was the sixth win in 29 starts for Best Ears who now has a total of $42,017 earned for 2014. The 5-year-old Shark Gesture gelding is trained by Frank Mastrodonato for owners Joe Amico and Joe Amico Jr.

Editor's Note: Racing is under way now, Aug. 31; it started at 1:15. The card features three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies.

Saturday, August 30, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Batavia Downs hosts New York Sire Stakes Sunday

post by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

On Sunday afternoon (Aug. 31) the New York Sire Stakes 3-year-old pacing fillies come to town to compete for their cut of $119,000 in purses.

The group is highlighted by Major Dancer (Art Major-Two Steppin’ Sally), who is currently the fourth highest money earning 3-year-old pacing filly in North America with $201,644 in the bank. She is a seven-time winner in 12 attempts and has only finished out of the money once this year. She won the $46,248 Town Pro stake at Mohawk Raceway earlier this year in her lifetime best time of 1:51.2 as well as an elimination of the Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs in 1:51.4. She finished second in the $244,875 final to Precocious Beauty in a 1:51.1 mile.

Major Dancer will be driven by Jonathan Drury for trainer Casie Coleman. She is listed as the 8-5 morning line favorite in the third $39,900 NYSS division carded as the eighth race that also features A La Notte Hanover driven by Matt Kakaley and Table Talk with Jim Morrill Jr. at the lines.

A La Notte Hanover (Art Major-All Night Long) starts for the powerful Ron Burke stable and is a two-time winner in 2014. She won her last outing at Yonkers in NYSS action with an impressive 1:55 wire-to-wire victory that brought her bankroll up to $87,733 for the year. She also competed in the Empire Breeders Classic and finished close despite having a lot of traffic to deal with in both of those races.

Table Talk (Bettor’s Delight-Place At The Table) took an early seasons mark of 1:51.4 at Mohawk and has competed in the $420,900 Fan Hanover Stake and $212,150 Mistletoe Shallee where she paced back-to-back 1:49 miles for driver Tim Tetrick. She has been plagued with some bad posts and a breaking issue of late but looks to be in a good spot here for trainer Brad Dalious.

In the first $39,900 division carded as the fourth race, Ron Burke and Julie Miller have the one-two punch going to post. Burke sends out Jaded Dream and Miller counters with Just Add Vodka.

Jaded Dream (If I Can Dream-Jaded Gal) put forth a handy effort at Yonkers in her last, winning a NYSS leg there in 1:54.4. It <http://54.4.it/> was a welcome sight after a series of poor post draws and the resulting tough trips. She has three wins in 13 starts and $62,586 in the bank. Matt Kakaley is back in the bike behind her for the first time since June 18.

Just Add Vodka (Art Major-Regal Wish) only has two wins this year but has been consistently in the money; 13 out of 16 starts and that made her $74,283 for the year. Her mark of 1:55.3 was at Monticello but she has paced considerably faster than that in defeat on several occasions. Jim Morrill Jr. who has driven her several times over the summer gets the assignment.

The second $39,200 division which goes as the seventh race has three very tough competitors going post-ward and looks to be the most closely contested event. It features the first, second and fourth leading points leaders for this sex and gait in the NYSS this year.

Blush Hanover (Art Major-Brissonte Hanover) currently tops the leader board and comes into this race sporting five 2014 wins for trainer Linda Toscano. She finished a strong third in the Empire Breeders Classic final after a very rough parked-out trip. She has a 1:52 mark at the Meadowlands and has only failed to hit the board once out of 14 starts this year. Her $168,831 in earnings is tops in this field and she looks to add to that total in here with Jim Morrill Jr. at the helm.

Spreester (American Ideal-Rodeo Spree) is second in points despite also having recorded five victories. This filly can race on the front or from behind and that versatility makes her a formidable foe. Her $115,080 in earnings is also second highest in the field and driver Jason Bartlett who has driven this filly twice before with winning outcomes, opted to driver her today for trainer Paul Zabielski after having been down to steer two horses in this same race.

Medusa (Bettor’s Delight-Mythical) ranks fourth in points among the group but is not that far behind the leaders. She has seven wins in 14 starts and $102,723 stashed away. The Paul Kelley trainee has a lifetime mark of 1:51.2 at Vernon Downs and also had two good efforts in the Empire Breeders Classic races. Tioga Downs regular Aaron Byron gets the drive tonight from Tim Tetrick who had been at the lines for her last three starts.

Post time for Sunday's races is 1:15.

Batavia Downs also has a special Labor Day matinee 12-race card on tap for Monday (Sept. 1) with a 1:15 post.

Saturday, August 30, 2014 at 11:30 am

Football Preview: Alexander counting on team speed to make them a contender

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

With only one winning record in the previous six seasons, it's tempting to think of last year's 7-1 record and a three-way share of the Genesee Region League title was a bit of a fluke.

After all, in the previous two years the Trojans were 2-6 and 2-5.

Head Coach Tim Sawyer doesn't mind folks around the league thinking that way. After all, they might just be in for a surprise.

"We've had a good camp," Sawyer said. "We've had excellent attendance. They want to be good. It's a new team, but the same goal. Let's see if we can be GR champs. We've got to be perfect six, eight nights to do it, but we've got a chance."

Last year, the Trojans were big and physical. A year ago, Sawyer noted how several of his players hit the weight room hard during the off season. That training paid off.

There was no better proof of that than the season put together by Dylan Scharlau, with 1,663 yards rushing and 19 TDs.

But Scharlau graduated. So did his big offensive line and a strong, rugged QB in Nelson Burke.

At every position, the Trojans are smaller.

But they're also faster, Sawyer said.

Speed will change the nature of the offensive attack and Alexander might rely more on big plays.

Junior Jerad Brown will start at QB and he's got a great instinct for the game, Sawyer said.

Sharing the backfield will be a committee of backs, Sawyer said.

"Scharlau averaged about 27, 28 carries a game," Sawyer said. "We probably won't see that this year. We'll probably see a bunch of boys eight to 12, maybe 15 carries in a game, which I like, because all those boys will turn around and play defense."

Leading the defense will be Ty Laird, a returning starter, and a player Sawyer says is "probably the best football player in GR."

"He's crazy strong and he's running a 4.7 40," Sawyer said.

Perhaps the most interesting player on the squad is Zach Shilvock, a soccer player who last year chose tennis over football, so didn't kick for the Trojans until the last few games of the season (after tennis was over).

Shilvock gives Sawyer a weapon not to many high school coaches ever get to use -- a kicker who can put it through the uprights from as far as 45 yards out.

"I've seen him make 50s," Sawyer said.

Special teams overall could make the difference for Alexander, Sawyer said.  

"We hope that can help us get through some close games," Sawyer said.

It should be an interesting season for green and gold.

"I know people on the outside just glimpsing in think this will be a down year a little bit," Sawyer said. "Obviously, you can look and see, we don't have the size, but we've got some kids who can play."

 

Saturday, August 30, 2014 at 10:31 am

Football Preview: O-A looking for young receivers and backs to step up and make plays

Hornets fans have much to be hopeful about in the 2014 season: A third-year starter at QB with a strong arm, a strong offensive line, experienced coaching leadership, but there's also a couple of question marks.

The big issue is who among a young group of receivers and running backs is going to step up and be the playmaker to complement QB Allen Chatt.

Head Coach Brian Palone is looking to improve on last year's 5-3 record in what promises to once again be a tough Genesee Region.

"It all depends on how those guys coming in at skilled positions do for us," Palone said. "We've got some guys who are really competing at those spots for us. It will be interesting to see how we perform in the first game."

Chatt has continued to improve at QB and has become a true team leader, Palone said. He's stepped up, providing leadership to his young receivers.

"He knows what I expect of him and what we expect of the offense," Palone said.

Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 4:59 pm

Sassa Hanover smashes track record; Morrill sweeps NYSS at Batavia Downs

post by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports

Sassa Hanover driven by Jim Morrill Jr.

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

There was a lot of action on Wednesday night (Aug. 27) at Batavia Downs and as the New York Sire Stakes headlined the racing, both man and beast were in top form.

The Ron Burke trained Sassa Hanover (Rock N Roll Heaven-Sayo Hanover) rewrote the record books when she toured the facility in a blistering 1:54.2, erasing the old mark of 1:54.4 for a 2-year-old pacing filly set by Barefoot Beauty just last year. This was the fourth track record set at Batavia Downs in 2014.

Jim Morrill Jr. left the gate with Sassa Hanover from post five in the $35,867 division and dropped in third behind the early leader Devil Child (Jimmy Whittemore) and the pocket sitting Yes You Can (Mike Whelan). But when they headed up the backside for the first time, Morrill quickly came out and overtook the leader by the quarter in :28.1 and at that point, the race was over.

Sassa Hanover got to the half in :57.1 and the three-quarters in 1:26.2 and from there her only adversary was the clock. Morrill popped the plugs past the last station and the slick-gaited filly paced her hips off down the lane in a :28 flat last quarter and the record breaking final time of 1:54.2. Sassa Hanover paid $2.10 for the win.

Devil Child (American Ideal-Kattimon) was second and Yes You Can (If I Can Dream-Cantbuymehappiness) was third.

This was the fifth win in six starts for Sassa Hanover and it boosted her bank account to $125,992 for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, The Panhellenic Stable Corp, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Lawrence Karr.

Mosquito Blue Chip driven by Jim Morrill Jr.

In the first $35,167 division, Mosquito Blue Chip (Bettor’s Delight-Sandfly Hanover) made it two in a row for trainer Paul Jessop and driver Jim Morrill Jr. but not without a tenuous ending.

My Little Delight (Mark MacDonald) left swiftly in the four horse field and spearheaded fractions of :27.4, :58.2 and 1:28.4. But the action picked up at the three-quarters when Pop The Tags (Brent Holland) came with a rush to challenge the front running filly around the turn and down the stretch. However when the rail opened up as the group straightened out, Mosquito Blue Chip buzzed through the gap and nipped the leader at the wire by a half-length in 1:56.3. The heavy 2-5 favorite returned $2.80 for the win.

My Little Delight (Bettor’s Delight-My Little Dragon) was second and Pop The Tags (Bettor’s Delight-Breathe) was third.

It was the second win in seven starts for Mosquito Blue Chip, pushing her annual income to $101,302 for owners Our Three Sons Stable LLC, Donato Falchicchio and Paul Jessop.

Bettor N Better driven by Jim Morrill Jr.

The final $35,867 division was as good as it could be for Bettor N Better (Bettor’s Delight-Vanite Semalu) as she won easily in her preferred front-running style. This was the second NYSS win on the night for trainer Ron Burke and the third for driver Jim Morrill Jr.

Off the wings, One Hot Majorette (Mike Saftic) flew right to the front from post six and crossed over by the eighth pole. Jim Morrill Jr. played give-and-go with Bettor N Better off the rail and retook the front as soon as they straightened out up the backside. But Heavenly Bride (Mark MacDonald) was immediately at her again and established the third lead change as they passed the quarter in :29.

Morrill, not content to sit in second, once again pulled Bettor N Better at the top of the stretch and retook the lead once more before they hit the half in :58. From there the race was Bettor N Better’s to be won. She took the group to the three-quarters in 1:27.4 before On Hot Majorette came back for one more challenge. That was quickly rebuffed and Bettor N Better paced away down the stretch to a length and a half victory in 1:56. The winner returned $2.10.

Heavenly Bride (Rock N Roll Heaven-Native Bride) was second and Heavens Legacy (Rock N Roll Heaven-Unique Legacy) was third.

That was the fourth win in six starts for Bettor N Better and pushed her earnings to $117,125 for owners Our Horse Sense Stable and Blue Chip Bloodstock, Inc.

Jim Morrill Jr. put on a driving clinic, scoring five wins and three seconds on the night. He was employing incremental positioning in many races where he made several moves within the mile to improve his horse’s location during the race and the strategy was paying off. Morrill is the leading NYSS driver this year and has been annually for some time. In 2014, horses he drove have won 41 NYSS races and earned in excess of $1.6 million in those contests.

After the races, Morrill spoke glowingly of all his charges.

“Sassa Hanover is a very, very nice filly. She didn't really get over the track that well tonight but we got the job done anyway. She will definitely be one to beat in the final at Yonkers. Mosquito Blue Chip drew well and then had the race set up perfect for her. When the rail opened up, she sprinted to wire and got across. And Bettor N Better is just a sweetheart, but she is very professional, too.  We were on cruise control the entire mile.”

There were also three divisions of the Excelsior A series on the card that offered a total of $36,000 in purses.

The first $12,600 division was won by Moremercy Blue Chip (Rock N Roll Heaven-Mercy Mercy Mercy) who is trained by Julie Miller and was driven by Chris Lems. The winner paid $4.70. Moremercy Blue Chip is owned by the Andy Miller Stable and the Pinske Stable.

The second $12,600 leg was won by Rock My world (Rock N Roll Heaven-Love The Game) who is trained by Ed hart and was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. She returned $4.20 for the win. Rock My world is owned by Jeffrey Snyder.

The third $12,700 split went to Hey Kobe (Bettor’s Delight-American West) who is trained by Jean Drolet and was driven by John Plutino. The victor returned $8.10. Hey Kobe is owned by Stephen Schneider, William Siegel and Marthe Drolet.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Aug. 29) with post time set at 6:35.

Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 12:40 am

Football Preview: Lancers, a year older and a year hungrier

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

It's hard to find a high school football coach who will predict a winning season during an August practice session, and Elba/Byron-Bergen Head Coach Michael Cintorino is no exception.

But clearly, he has a lot to be excited about.

He's got a starting QB coming into his second year leading the varsity squad who's gotten bigger and stronger in the off season and put in the hard work to improve his skills.

He has two proven veterans to run the ball, and both his offensive and defensive lines are stocked with second- and third-year players.

Last year's 3-5 season was merely a chance to grow and learn for this group of players.

"This year, they're a year old, a year hungrier and they've been extremely competitive in practice and looking forward to the start of the season," Cintorino said.

The offense will be led by Garrett Chapell, who was shaky at times last year, but Cintorino said he's playing now with a whole new level of confidence.

"He looks fantastic this year, Cintorino said. "He put in a ton of work in the off season."

He'll have three first-year receivers, but Cintorino said they look like real weapons for Chapell so far.

The backfield will be bolstered with the experience of Steele Truax and Mike Shanley, who both proved last year they can run for positive yards and put points on the board.

So will this all add up into Ws for the Lancers, maybe a nice post-season run.

Cintorino dosn't want to go that far. Not yet.

"It's tough to say (how good the team will be)," Cintorino said. "Everyone else is probably saying the same things that we are right now, so we have to see what the league is going to look like once the season actually kicks off. Our goal is obviously to compete for a league championship and make it to sectionals and compete in the Class C sectionals, but there are a lot of good teams putting in the same work we are, so we have to wait and see until we get started."

Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 12:01 am

Football Preview: Young players already experienced in winning move into key roles at Notre Dame

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

 

With each turn of a new generation of football players at Norte Dame, Head Coach Rick Mancuso usually finds a way to mold the young players into a winning unit.

Mancuso, of course, stops short of making any predictions for the Fighting Irish in 2014, but he does say he has a good group of young men who have been working hard and putting in the time to get ready for another season.

"Last year, our JV team had a successful season, so they're coming in and they had a lot of experience last year towards the end," Mancuso said. "We pulled up some kids for sections who got some playing time, which is a big advantage for them. Hopefully, we can keep them motivated and learning every day."

The offense will now be in the hands of junior Connor Logsdon, who led that JV squad last year to its undefeated season.

He steps into the shoes of record-setting QB Tim McCulley, but Mancuso said Logsdon is now his own man with his own offense to run.

"We're not asking him to fill anybody's shoes," Mancuso said. "We're asking him to execute the offense and do what he can do. Everybody's got to do their 1/11th."

Not much about the offensive scheme will change from recent seasons. Notre Dame will run and it will pass and work at setting up scoring opportunities.

"Unless you've got all the horses up front, you can't run the offense one way or the other," Mancuso said. "We're going to mix it up. We'll pretty much run the offense we've been running right along. We won't be spread as much as we were. We'll be spread sometimes, but we've got the full confidence in this team being able to execute what we put in."

The Irish are coming off a 6-2 season that ended jarringly with a 28-0 loss to Alexander in the first round of Class D sectional play. 

Notre Dame opens the season at home against Oakfield-Alabama on Sept. 6 at 1:30 p.m.

"We've got a great group of guys," Mancuso said. "I think everybody is going to do their best to make the team successful."

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 10:57 pm

Photos: Bulldawgs and Blue Devils scrimmage at Van Detta

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Bulldawgs, football, sports

The Batavia Bulldawgs and the Batavia Blue Devils met in a scrimmage this evening at Van Detta Stadium.

Who won?

Who cares. The Mini-Division (8-9 years old) Bulldawgs were clearly thrilled to be on Woodward Field and get a pre-game pep talk in the Blue Devils' locker room from Batavia Head Coach Brennan Briggs.

Briggs told his team that he heard the Bulldawgs defense hadn't given up a score yet this season, so the Blue Devils offense might have a tough time of it.

In the first series, the Bulldawgs stopped running back Dominick Mogavero behind the line of scrimmage and sacked QB Greg Mruczek.

On the first play, the Blue Devils linemen didn't block. Rather they grabbed each of the Bulldawgs in front of them and lifted them in the air over their heads. Above, offensive lineman Gunner Rapone lifts an obviously thrilled Nathaniel Heusinger.

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