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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."

To purchase prints, click here.

Saturday, September 6, 2014 at 1:01 pm

An easy ride for BZ Glide in Batavia feature trot

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

BZ Glide pulls ahead to victory with driver Mike Caprio.

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

Sometimes victory is hard fought and other times it comes without effort. This week, BZ Glide cruised from second last to the winners circle in the $9,000 Open trot at Batavia Downs with nary a nudge from driver Mike Caprio.

At the start of the race, Armed Dangerously (Shawn McDonough) made a break almost immediately as the rest of the field pulled away in post-position order. Dartmouth Hall (Kevin Cummings) then led the troops through a pedestrian :29.1 quarter and 1:00.1 half, where Caprio pulled BZ Glide just before that station.

The 5-year-old son of Yankee Glide slowly and methodically gained ground on the leader without much urgency displayed from his driver. As the bunch hit the three-quarter pole in 1:29, BZ Glide had pulled even with Dartmouth Hall and then forged ahead from that point forward. Caprio hand-drove the gelding from there winning by a widening two-length margin in 1:58.2. The 1-2 favorite paid $3 to win.

Sack Full of Gold (Jim McNeight) who had followed the winner second over was second and Serious George (Jack Flanigen) snuck up the rail to be third.

This was the fifth win in 16 starts for BZ Glide and raised his yearly earnings to $42,605 for his owner Mike Caprio and trainer Alana Caprio.

Reinsmen Ron Beback Jr., Jack Flanigen, Shawn McDonough, Jim McNeight and Drew Monti all scored driving doubles on the card.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 5) and features the $109,000 New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Post time is 6:35.

Saturday, September 6, 2014 at 12:04 am

Big game in Le Roy interrupted by weather, will resume at 9 a.m., Saturday

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

The threat of lightning played havoc with the Section V football schedule Friday night, including perhaps the biggest game of the night (certainly, all the Rochester media thought so, turning out in force at Hartwood Park), Cal-Mum and Le Roy.

Officials suspended the game after the half-time show and play will resume at 9 a.m., with the Oatkan Knights leading 21-0.

In all, 12 Section V games were postponed due to weather.

Batavia is down 0-7 to Livonia and play will resume in Livonia at 1 p.m. Elba is beating Pembroke 17-7, and play will resume at 5 p.m.

Top photo: Le Roy's Jon Pierce breaks up a pass by Jake McEwen.

Photos from the first half in the slideshow. To purchase prints, click here.

Friday, September 5, 2014 at 3:12 pm

NYSS 2-year-old pacing colts at Batavia Downs Saturday

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

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

The last chance to see the best bred standardbreds in the Empire State race at Batavia Downs this year occurs on Saturday night (Sept. 6) when the New York Sire Stakes makes its last stop at the Genesee County oval for 2014. The 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings are featured as the stars of tomorrow and will compete for $109,000 in purses.

The first $54,500 NYSS division goes as the fifth race and features seven pacers going postward.

Americanprimetime (American Ideal-Prime Example A) is currently ranked second in points for the Night of Champions finals for his sex and gait and boasts a 1:52.4 lifetime mark at Tioga Downs this year. This Rick Dane Jr. trained colt likes to be on the front end and will get his chance here scoring from post three. He has made two breaks in his six starts but when he is on his game he’s hard to beat. Brent Holland will sit behind Americanprimetime for the first time in this race.

Betting Exchange (Bettor’s Delight-Cheeky Hanover) beat Americanprimetime last week at Vernon Downs en route to taking his lifetime mark of 1:51.1. He has been lightly raced due to an injury in July and has only four starts this year. But he’s made the most of the opportunities he has had and appears to be improving with every start. Betting Exchange needs points to move up in the standing in order to make the final and this will be his last chance to do it. Top NYSS reinsman Jim Morrill Jr. is aboard for trainer Tom Fanning.

Azorean Art (Art Major-Dancin Barefoot) is trained by Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter and looks to be coming into this race sharp as a tack. Also coming off a lifetime mark of 1:52.3 at Vernon last week, Azorean Art overcame road trouble the entire race and still found a way to win. Driver Mark MacDonald drove him for the first time in that victory and is back in the sulky here. Azorean Art is currently fifth in the standings but could move up substantially with a win.

The second $54,500 NYSS division goes as race nine and has the top horse in the series competing in it.

Southwind Masimo (Bettor’s Delight-Max’s Leading Lady) is a perfect four-for-four this year and all in NYSS action. He has won both on the front and from behind, and on both small and large tracks. The Pat LaChance trained colt took his lifetime mark of 1:54 at Tioga Downs, but he actually paced faster last quarters in his two starts at Yonkers. However Southwind Masimo is coming into this race off a scratch at Vernon last week when he reported sick, so the colt has not raced in 18 days. Whether or not this will affect his performance remains to be seen, but having Hall of Fame driver Mike LaChance on board will certainly help his cause.

Cartoon Daddy (Art Major-Ask Alice) has four wins in seven starts this year and oddly enough, all four wins were on half-mile tracks. He has a sparkling lifetime mark of 1:53.4 at Yonkers Raceway which is considerably faster than any other horse in this race has paced over a half-mile track. He is currently third in points and could vault to number one with a victory. Cartoon Daddy hails from the powerful Ron Burke stable and will be driven by Jim Morrill Jr.

Bet You (Bettor’s Delight-Armbro Amoretto) has two wins and three seconds in six starts this year and the only time he finished off the board was due to an interference break. Also a Takter trainee, Bet You has displayed racing versatility on the track and seems to be brave on the front end. His mark is 1:55.1 at Yonkers but he paced considerably faster in a just-beaten mile at Tioga Downs in 1:52.4. Bet You is right behind Cartoon Daddy in the points standing and could also take the top spot with a win. Mark MacDonald gets his second straight ride behind him in here.

There are also three divisions of the Excelsior series to be contested in races one, two and seven going for a total of $37,800. Post time for the first race is 6:35.

One other highlight for the night is the return of popular and second leading driver Shawn McDonough who was injured in a spill at Batavia Downs during a race on Labor Day. Only three days removed from the incident, McDonough will be back in the sulky on Friday night and is slated to drive the full card on Saturday.

McDonough said "I'm doing pretty good. My ankle is still sore but not too bad, and I have been taking it easy the last few days. But now I'm ready to come back."

Friday, September 5, 2014 at 11:38 am

Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, four Sopranos cast members among the guests at Expo at Batavia Downs

post by Billie Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, sports

Great athletes and "4 actors from The Sopranos" will be at the Western New York Sports Card Expo at Batavia Downs on Sept. 20-21.

In addition to the unspecified cast members of The Sopranos, the event will feature: Dave Bing, Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Lou Piniella, Jose Canseco, Gayle Sayers, and Ric Flair.

The Expo runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Parking is free. Admission is $5 and includes $5 in free play for those 18 and older. Children under 8 get in free.

Friday, September 5, 2014 at 11:24 am

The 2014 Section V football season starts tonight

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

Big game in Le Roy tonight as archrival Cal-Mum visits to kickoff the 2014 season.

Batavia is at Livonia and Elba is at Pembroke. The complete Section V schedule can be found here.

Below are links to all of our Genesee County football preview stories. The slideshow above is a roundup of all our pre-season photos. To purchase prints, click here.

Best of luck to all of our local teams for a great 2014.

Also, if you love football and have the journalism training to cover sports, we could use the help of a free-lance football writer this season. It's really time consuming for me to take all the pictures and write the game stories. We can't afford to pay a lot, but being out on the gridiron is a lot of fun and the community appreciates the coverage. If you're interested, e-mail me at [email protected]

Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Two GCC student golfers in national college athletic Division lll tournament this week

post by Billie Owens in GCC, sports

Press release:

Genesee Community College's Adam Baumeister (Lancaster, NY) and Chris Mandia (Highland, NY) will take aim at the 2014 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III Golf National Tournament this week at the Chautauqua Country Club in Chautauqua. The four-round tournament begins on Tuesday and will conclude with the final round on Friday.

Baumeister brings experience to this year's championships after finishing 23rd in last year's national tournament as a freshman. He medaled three times this spring and finished in the top-ten of every event, including a fourth place finish at the Region III Championships. He was an All-Region selection for the second year in a row this season, shooting an average round of 75.3.

Mandia earned his entry to the national tournament after winning a playoff at the Region III Championships. The freshman finished 15th and was selected to the All-Region team. He shot an average round of 80.5 this spring and had four top-10 finishes including two in the top-five.

The Chautauqua Country Club and host school Jamestown Community College have hosted the national tournament every year since 1999. Golfers from over 20 states and 40 colleges will compete for the national title and round-by-round results can be found online: http://www.sunyjcc.edu/student-life/athletics/njcaa/Tournament-Statistics or by following Genesee Athletics on Twitter: @GCCSports.

Genesee Community College athletics program endeavors to provide a quality and competitive intercollegiate athletics program consistent with the National Junior Collegiate Athletics Association (NJCAA) philosophy and the overall educational mission of Genesee Community College. Participation in collegiate athletics should be an extension of the total educational experience for the student athlete. The inherent philosophy emphasizes the athletic setting as a classroom used to teach character, commitment, work ethic, respect for differences, and the importance of sacrifice, teamwork, and cooperation.

For further information and pictures go to Genesee's Athletic webpage, which is updated regularly with game results, team rosters, photographs and information about Genesee's overall athletic program. http://www.geneseeathletics.com

Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 12:02 pm

She’s A Maniac is top mare at Batavia Down

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

She's A Maniac with driver Jim McNeight.

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

After three-straight starts from post two in the $9,250 mares Open pace at Batavia Downs without a win, the fourth time was the charm for She’s A Maniac on Wednesday (Sept. 3) as the 7-year-old bay went wire-to-wire for driver Jim McNeight.

She’s A Maniac circled Real Joy (Drew Monti) out of the gate and took a comfortable one and one-half length lead to the quarter in :27.4. With the rest of the field in post position order behind her, the outer flow started toward her at the half in :57.1.

McNeight stepped up the pace to escape the pursuers with a :28.1 third panel as closer and mares Open winner for the last two weeks, Bazooka Terror, was being wound up by Kevin Cummings to take her best shot of the night. But fast and furious came up a bit short this week as the race-long leader completed the circuit in front with a 1:54.4 clocking. She's A Maniac returned $15.60 to her supporters.

Bazooka Terror was second and favored Little Santamonica (Truman Gale) was third.

This was the ninth win in 28 starts for She’s A Maniac bringing her seasonal earnings up to $72,965 for owner North Creek Racing LLC and trainer Jerry Nugent Jr.

Leading dash driver Kevin Cummings scored another grand slam on Wednesday night, finishing first with Lucky Style ($5.40), Peaceful Prince ($5.40), Fiftyonefifty ($4.40) and Helena’s Hope ($9.10).

Racing resumes Friday at Batavia Downs with a 6:35 post.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 7:52 pm

Football Preview: Pembroke working hard to get ready for 2014 campaign

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

Pembroke Head Coach Dick Dimincuco has been working hard all pre-season to get the Dragons ready to take the field in 2014 and what he sees two days before opening kickoff against Elba is a team that's still a work in progress.

But the emphasis is on the word "work."

"We have nice group of kids who work hard and come every day and try to get it done," Dimincuco said. "Obviously, that's a strength. We need to get a little better at what we do on the field, and they're going to do that because they work hard and listen."

The Dragons are coming off a 2-6 season and the program hasn't had a winning record since 2010 (5-3).

The team will rally around QB Mitch Lewter, a senior in the role of offensive field manager for the first time. He won't be without weapons. Senior Dakota Swimline returns to wide out and running back and senior Cal Neurohr will share backfield time as well as play linebacker.

The offensive and defensive lines will be anchored by 6-foot, 225-pound junior Jack Thomas.

"He's a big tackle and good football player," Dimincuco said. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 6:49 pm

GCC men's soccer loses fourth straight game to start the year

post by Andrew Crofts in GCC, soccer, sports

 

The Genesee Community College men's soccer team fell to 0-4 this year after a 5-1 loss to visiting Monroe Community College on Wednesday afternoon.

The Tribunes scored twice in the first five minutes of the game and took a 1-0 lead just two minutes into the opening half.

Genesee got on the board in the 10th minute when Kazuyuki Nakane beat the MCC goalkeeper to draw the Cougars to within 2-1. Ikuma Hirano was credited with the assist.

Monroe added to its lead before the half with a goal in the 40th minute and held a 3-1 advantage at the break.

The Tribunes scored twice in the second half, once in the 55th minute and once in the 57th minute, and controlled possession throughout the rest of the match to drop Genesee for its fourth straight loss to begin the year.

Connor Halstead made two saves in goal for GCC and Brad Rodda and Hirano tallied two shots on goal apiece.

Genesee (0-4) will return to action on the road on Saturday at Mohawk Valley Community College for a 3 p.m. start.

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