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Monday, October 20, 2014 at 10:20 am

Sign-ups announced for Junior Blue Devils hoops program

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Junior Blue Devils, sports, youth sports

The Batavia Junior Blue Devils Boys Basketball program, for grades one through six in City Schools, opens Nov. 8.

The Saturday programs at John Kennedy School are free, though there is a fee for league play.

The program is coached by Jim Fazio, youth coaches, and current Blue Devils varsity players. It will focus on offensive fundamentals, including shooting, passing, dribbling and ball handling. There will be contests with full and half-court games. 

Participants will have the option to join league play, which runs January through March.

For more information, contact Jim Fazio at (585) 356-0901 or [email protected].

Download: Sign-up form (pdf)

Sunday, October 19, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Bolt The Duer locks up Kane victory at Batavia Downs

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

Bolt The Duer with driver John Cummings Jr.

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

It was the biggest night of the year at Batavia Downs Saturday (Oct. 18) as the track presented the 12th edition of the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial Invitational pace. One of the largest live crowds was on hand to see the action and after the most anticipated race of the season hit the wire, world champion Bolt The Duer bested a stellar field of top Open pacers to take the trophy.

When the car pulled away, the Ron Burke stablemates Aracache Hanover (Kevin Cummings) and Easy Again (Aaron Merriman) found themselves sitting one-two at a :26.3 quarter with Bolt The Duer (John Cummings Jr.) tracking a close third. The positions remained unchanged to the half when Apprentice Hanover (Anthony MacDonald) pulled first over and led Aslan (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) and Wazzup Wazzup (Drew Monti) in the outer flow.

Apprentice Hanover cleared and took the lead at the three-quarters in 1:24.1 when Aslan and Wazzup Wazzup fanned three-wide to take their shots around the turn. But Bolt The Duer, who had been riding the pylons waiting for his chance, got it at the top of the stretch when the passing lane opened up and Cummings Jr. shot him through the gap and outpaced a game Aslan to the wire to win in 1:53.4. Aslan finished second and Wazzup Wazzup finished third.

It was the fourth win in 18 starts this year for Bolt The Duer ($11) and pushed his career earnings to over $1.82 million for owners All Star Racing, Inc. The 5-year-old son of Ponder is trained by Peter Foley.

After the race driver John Cummings Jr. said “I was hoping to be on the lead or have the two-hole but I got away third. But we were following the two best horses in the race and we were lucky to slide out up the backside and get back to the rail at the head of the lane and then he did the rest. There is no question this is the best horse I’ve ever driven and I would like to thank Pete (Foley) for giving me the drive.”

You can watch the replay of the race by clicking here. Insert this link http://youtu.be/i2GjbuZY3hk

BZ Glide with driver Mike Caprio

The co-feature of the night was the $12,500 Brian Schroeder Memorial trot that was won by local star BZ Glide. After the heavy favorite Money On My Mind (Aaron Merriman) made a break, Sailer Eddie (Jack Flanigen) took the lead and dictated the race until BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) pulled at the half and started his trek on the outside. He overtook the lead at the three-quarters and trotted away to an easy three-length victory in 1:58.2.

It was the eighth win in 20 starts for BZ Glide ($5.90) and inflated his bankroll to $60,667 for the trainer/driver team of Alana and Mike Caprio, who owns the horse.

It was an emotional winners circle after the race as Caprio, who was a friend of the late Schroeder, commented “It was an honor for me to win this race because Brian (Schroeder) was a good friend of mine. He helped me straighten out some horses years ago and was always willing to help anyone out.”

In the overnight feature $10,000 horse and gelding Open pace, Caprio doubled his pleasure by winning with Fireyourguns in 1:55. After getting away fifth, Fireyourguns waited until the top of the far turn to pull and swing wide before unleashing his patented pacing flurry down the lane. After making up about five lengths while streaking down the center of the track, Fireyourguns beat Best Ears (Jack Flanigen) who was on the rail, by a nose. There were four horses across the track at the wire and a mere neck separated first through fourth place.

It was the 13th victory of the year for Fireyourguns raising his earning total to $90,335 for owners Jennifer and Robert Lowe and Terrence McClory, who also trains him.

Aaron Merriman, who is currently the leading dash winning driver in North America, made a rare western New York appearance and put on a driving clinic for the fans. He registered a grand slam winning with Set Me Up ($4.40), Whata Donato ($3.10), Cheyenne Cam ($19.40) and Mondatta ($13).

And not to be outdone by the National season’s leader, local driving favorite Drew Monti also scored a four-bagger with Rock To Glory ($5.90), Deuces And Jacks ($16.20), Machman ($5.50) and Bandicoot (6.50).

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Oct. 22) with post time set for 6:35.

Sunday, October 19, 2014 at 9:53 am

CONGRESSMAN ACKNOWLEDGES BATAVIA RAMPARTS PEE WEE III SUCCESS

post by Rhonda Pangrazio in sports

Head Coach Jeff Bower smiles with pride as he reads a note he received from United States House of Representatives Congressman Chris Collins.

Congressman Collins, of New York’s 27th District, sent a letter to Coach Bower congratulating him and his team on their championship win over Brockport.  Congressman Collins’ letter contained praise for the team’s performance and wished the Reed Eye Associates Batavia Ramparts Pee Wee III team continued success.

Continued success is exactly what this team has had.  The team started their season strong with the tournament championship in Brockport.  Since then, they have continued to add victories to their undefeated record including the 9-0 win over the Niagara Coyotes last Saturday.

Yesterday, the Reed Eye Associates Batavia Ramparts Pee Wee III team hosted a rematch against the Brockport team they defeated in the championship round of the Tri-County Youth Hockey “Breakin’ the Ice” tournament a few weeks ago. 

The energy from the players, coaches, and fans packed the arena as both teams hit the ice craving the victory.  Both teams were solid, playing strong defense and offense, and taking shots on the opposing goalies.  The game was scoreless at the end of the first period.

Forward, Max Hutchins, changed the game when he outskated Brockport’s defense in the second and netted a hard shot, putting the Ramparts on the board.  With little time remaining in the second, Brockport pulled their goalie, allowing Hutchins to burst out of the pack and score on their open net.  Ramparts were up 2-0.

Late in the third period, defenseman Jedidiah Reese, lifted the puck to net a top-shelf slap shot from the blue line. 

Goalie, Joshua Barber, gave another exceptional performance for Batavia, blocking shots low, catching shots high, and diving to cover his net.  Barber picks up another shut-out with the 3-0 score yesterday and helps to add another victory to the Reed Eye Associates Batavia Ramparts Pee Wee III currently flawless season.

Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 8:33 pm

Football Round Up, Saturday: Week #7

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

C.G. Finney 37, Pembroke 18. Pembroke finishes the season 0-7. No stats available. Photos from the Pembroke game by Rick Franclemont.

Notre Dame 40, Holley 13. Notre Dame scored 20 points in the second quarter to pretty much put the game away before the half. Joe Zickl was six of nine passing for 103 yards and two TDs. Peter Daversa rushed for 53 yards on 11 attempts. C.J. Suozzi gained 42 yards and scored on seven carries. Jack Sutherland had two TDs in eight carries for 42 yards. Josh Johnson had two receptions for 27 yards, including a TD. Luca Zambito had a six-yard TD reception. For Pembroke, Nick Passarell was eight for 21 passing for 87 yards. He was intercepted twice. Colin Papaj rushed for 87 yards on six carries. Touchdowns were scored by Nick Passarell, who had 43 yards on the ground, and Glenn Robb.

Alexander 21, Elba/Byron-Bergen 0. Game store coming.

Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 12:40 pm

Kane Memorial tonight at Batavia Downs features Aracache Hanover, Easy Again

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

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

The 12th annual $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial Invitational pace will be held tonight (Oct. 18) and the star-studded group of Open class performers competing is led by Ron Burke stablemates $1.7 million winner Aracahe Hanover and Easy Again.

The race is named in honor of the former chairman of the Western Regional Off Track Betting Corporation (WROTB) and his vision for a defunct racetrack. In 1998 Robert Kane saw the opportunity for WROTB to keep harness racing alive in Western New York and convinced the group to purchase the shuttered Batavia Downs. He then worked diligently for four years to obtain a racing license from the State of New York in order to reopen the track in 2002.

With the improvement of the live racing product and the multiple expansions of the gaming floor in the years since the acquisition, what once was an empty building is now the preeminent attraction in all of Genesee County and that is due to the vision of Robert J. Kane.

The race has played host to many great horses over the years including the six-million-dollar man, Foiled Again, who won it twice. But it was also won by one of this year’s entrants and he set the all-time track record for pacers there when he did it.

Aracache Hanover (Dragon Again-Armbro Cachet 1:48.1 = $1,726,616) was a multiple stakes winner at two and three, including the $525,000 Confederation Cup. As an aged horse, he has been one of the most consistent free-for-all pacers in North America. He comes into this race off two consecutive wins at Yonkers Raceway and looks to be the one to beat. Although he is owned locally in Clarence Center by Bill Switala and James Martin, he has only ever raced at Batavia Downs once before. That was in when he won the 2011 Kane Memorial and set the all-time track record of 1:51.1. Aracache Hanover is 3-1 morning line and will be driven by leading Downs driver, Kevin Cummings.

Easy Again (Dragon Again-Kuklapanandollie 1:50.1 = $712,381) came into the Burke stable 10 months ago and immediately turned into a win machine. Since that time he has 11 victories in 26 starts and posted a lifetime mark of 1:50.1 at Scioto Downs while banking $264,360 in purse money. He currently has four wins out of his last seven starts, although he finished eighth last week. That was because he got parked the entire mile at Yonkers in Open handicap company. North American leading dash-winning driver Aaron Merriman makes the trip to the oldest lighted harness track in America to team Easy Again who was made the morning line favorite at 5-2.

Also in the race is $1.8 million winner Bolt The Duer (Ponder-Wonderbolt 1:47.4 = $1,801,995) Bolt The Duer won the $500,000 Adios and the $415,000 Messenger Stake at three and has faced the toughest older pacers each week ever since. This year he has battled Sweet Lou, Foiled Again and Captaintreacherous just to name a few. Last week at Pocono Downs he drew the rail after six consecutive outside posts, only to get locked in behind a stalled horse while the eventual winner was pacing away. He brings ability and back class to the table here and will be heard from for sure. John Cummings Jr. and his aggressive driving style will be in the bike for trainer Peter Foley.

Scoring from the outside is Aslan (Mach Three-Skyview 1:49.2 = $207,377). He does not have the lofty stakes resume or million dollar earnings of some in this field because he was lightly raced at two and three. But he does have a lot of speed and it would appear that he comes into this race in his best condition ever based on his performance at Pocono Downs on Sept. 20. He just got beat a neck in 1:47.3 and that clocking is two seconds faster than his lifetime mark taken in 2013. Plus this horse is handy; he can leave or he can come from behind. Ronnie Wrenn Jr. who is currently second in North America in dash-winning drives is at the lines for trainer Tony O’Sullivan.

Here is a look at the entire field:

1)              Wazzup Wazzup                   Drew Monti                        9-2-8      8-1

2)              Easy Again                            Aaron Merriman                8-1-4

3)              Bolt The Duer                       John Cummings Jr.           4-6-2      4-1

4)              Aracache Hanover                Kevin Cummings              1-1-2      3-1

5)              Apprentice Hanover              Anthony McDonald           1-6-3      7-2

6)              WhatTheSheik                    Dave McNeight III             3-1-3      12-1

7)              Aslan                                     Ronnie Wrenn Jr.              1-2-1      6-1

The Kane Memorial Pace is carded as the seventh race of the night. The program also includes the $12,500 Brian Schroeder Memorial Trot, a $10,000 horses and geldings Open pace and a $10,000 mares Open pace. Post time for the evening is 6:35.

Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 11:15 am

Friday Football Roundup, Week #7: Batavia hands Bath first defeat of season

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

Batavia 49, Bath-Haverling 30. It was a seesaw battle through three quarters, and then Batavia put the game away with 14 unanswered points to close out the game. It was a big night for Anthony Gallo, who posted 265 all-purpose yards and scored five touchdowns. Malachi Chenault had four receptions for 128 yards and a TD. Jarrett Lasket had seven receptions for 94 yards, including a two-point conversion catch. Dominick Mogavero had 12 carries for 65 yards and a TD. Greg Mruczek was 18-27, 306 yards and two touchdowns. Trevor Rittersback had 10 tackles; James Cryer -- seven; Adonis Davis -- seven; and Noah Dobbertin had a sack and an interception. Bath came into the game undefeated.

Attica 49, Oakfield-Alabama 32. Alan Chatt was 21 for 52 passing for 316 yards and three touchdowns. He had one interception. Reice Woodward had seven receptions for 134 yards; Sal Schwable, seven for 68 yards and a TD; Ryan Emery four for 15 yards and a TD; and Trent Stack, three for 34 yards and a TD. Jon Harris had eight tackles and Jake Valletta and Devin Schroeder had six each.

Pembroke, Notre Dame, Elba/Byron-Bergen and Alexander all play this afternoon.

For coverage of the Le Roy game and Coach Brian Moran's 200th win, click here.

Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 7:35 am

Moran credits the entire Le Roy community for his 200th win as Oatkan Knights head coach

post by Howard B. Owens in football, High School Football, Le Roy, sports

Coach Brian Moran will tell you, he feels fortunate to run a football program in a place like Le Roy, where the kids are tough, the community cares and parents understand he always has the best interest of their children at heart, even when he's trying to instill in them the discipline necessary to win at football and win at life.

He doesn't take credit for his career milestone of 200 wins. He shares it.

"It really is just a credit to our coaching staff," Moran said, after an emotional meeting with his team near the western end zone of the Perry football field following Le Roy's 45-6 win over the Yellowjackets. "I'm proud of everybody who's worked with us, our community, our school. You know, you don't get to 200 by yourself. We had great people along they way and I really appreciate what they've done for our program."

Moran is the fourth coach in Section V history to reach 200 wins, and only the second to get all 200 wins with the same school.

Gene MastIn, who retired after the 2012 season, is the Section V record holder at 236, and all his wins came at Hornell. Earlier this year, Fairport's Dave Whitcomb, who has coached five different teams, got his 200th win. Rounding out the 200 win club is Don SantIni, with 206 victories, including 50 notched in the years he coached Le Roy.

Moran's milestone victory was helped along Friday night by some of the same names who have carried the team all year. Mike McMullen, Ryan McQuillen, Tom Kelso, Nick Egeling and Jon Pierce, who all had big nights to help propel Le Roy to a rout of a young, but talented Perry team.

McMullen, who went over 3,000 yards passing for his career and set a new school record, said he was proud to be part of Moran's milestone victory.

"It feels great," McMullen said. "I've been with him four years. I can't put it in words right now. It's just awesome. I know it means a lot to him. It means a lot to everyone around here. Le Roy football. Coach Moran. You know, everyone knows who we are because of coach."

The Yellowjackets are a team with a couple of quick strike weapons in QB Andrew Hollister and RB Wisezear Pries, both juniors, so Moran came into the game knowing the Oatkan Knights couldn't afford to let Perry score early. (Hollister ended the season with more than 1,000 yards rushing.)

On Perry's first drive, a fumble on the Perry side of the field helped bat away that concern early. Two plays after Egeling recovered the fumble on defense, he was back to carry the ball 14 yards for a touchdown, giving Le Roy a quick 7-0 lead.

It was all Le Roy the rest of the half and the Knights built up a 42-0 lead by intermission. The scoring bonanza included a pair of TD passes from McMullen to the speedy McQuillen of 40 yards and 62 yards.

McMullen finished 5 for 5 passing for 138 yards and three TD.  

Through seven regular season games, McMullen did not throw a single interception and Le Roy has lost only one fumble all season, for a +16 turnover ratio.

Moran said he's proud of how McMullen has developed as a team leader.

"Obviously, from where he was three years ago to where he is today, I believe at the start of the season, he was 16-4, so add it up, put another 7 on that, so I think that's pretty good," Moran said. "That says a lot about him as a leader of our program."

Kelso had 11 carries for 74 yards. Kelso also had two catches for 23 yards. Pierce carried the ball twice for 72 yards and a TD. Egling, three carries for 32 yards and a TD, plus a 13-yard reception for a touchdown. 

Le Roy is the top-ranked Class C team in the state, but needed some help to go into sectional play as the #1 seed, which they got from the Batavia Blue Devils, who beat Bath in Bath 49-30.

While a lot of folks on the sideline were keeping up with the score in Batavia's seesaw battle with Bath, Moran downplayed the importance of seeding after the game. He said a team has to focus on the opponent ahead of it, whoever that might be.

"You get yourself focused and you really have to be ready to play next Friday night, because if you don't play well, you go home," Moran said. "I think that's something we'll really work on all week and get ourselves ready that way."

Pierce scores in the third quarter.

Hollister on his run that put him over 1,000 yards for the season.

To purchase prints, click here.

Friday, October 17, 2014 at 8:42 pm

Le Roy to celebrate Moran's 200th win back at home field

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

With Le Roy's 45 to 6 win over Perry minutes ago, Brian Moran became the fourth head coach in Section V history to notch 200 victories in his career.

Rather than celebrate the milestone in Perry, the players and coach are heading back to Hartwood Park to commemorate the accomplishment.

The entire community is invited to the celebration.

UPDATE: Photo added of Coach Moran back at Hartwood Park being honored for his 200th win.  

Friday, October 17, 2014 at 5:33 am

Veteran Batavia police officer scores well at Fall Festival Highland Games

It was just after 9 a.m. and Claudia and I were working our way between an already growing crowd of vendors and onlookers when we spotted Batavia Police officer Frank Klimjack. He was standing in a roped off area at the base of Bristol Mountain with several men in kilts -- some bearded, some bald and all of them about the size of NFL linemen. 

They are known as the Buffalo Heavies, so-called not so much for their size but rather for the physical contests they engage in. Officially they are the Buffalo Heavies Kilted Throwers Club. traditional Celtic athletes from New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Canada. Their forte is throwing and heaving weighted objects around: they throw for height, distance and, in the case of the caber (pictured above), it's not so much the distance but accuracy -- pitching the caber forward as straight as possible.  

Frank Klimjack preparing to toss the sheaf, a straw-filled burlap bag weighing 16-18 lbs.

On this day Frank and his fellow Heavies were competing in the Bristol Mountain Fall Festival and Highland Games. The Highland Games are a series of athletic contests that originated in Scotland in the 11th Century. The events are the hammer throw, sheaf toss, caber toss, weight for distance, weight for height and weight over the bar, Braemer stone and open stone. The difference between the latter two is technique and stone weight.   

In one swift motion the sheaf is pitched upward....

and over the bar. After each round the bar is raised higher. It's kind of a last man standing deal.

Frank's interest in the Highland Games began a few years ago. "I was at Olcott Beach watching members of the Niagara Athletic Club competing when their athletic director said to me, 'you look big enough -- why don't you come out and give it a try?' A couple of weeks later at another competition they lent me a kilt and I was on my way." He fared pretty well on that first outing. "About middle of the pack," he said, "at least I wasn't at the bottom."

Frank Klimjack has moved up quite nicely since that initial outing. On this day he took second place overall. Competing in only his third full season, he is currently ranked #5 in North America in the Highland Games 45 to 49 age group.

A former paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne, he did a stint with the New York State Park Police before finding his niche with the Batavia PD, where he has served for the last 15 years.

Kellie Klimjack, left, watching her husband's efforts.

Nick Kahanic, Klimjack's friend and fellow "Heavy," is a world-record holder in the Braemar stone and Open stone.

Here's Nick competing in the Weight for Distance. He sent the 56-pound weight 87 feet on this try.

Bagpipers and drummers paying tribute to disabled vets. Whenever the Buffalo Heavies compete, all proceeds raised go to OASIS (Outdoor Adventures for Sacrifice in Service) a volunteer organiziation that provides sporting experiences to disabled veterans and their families free of charge. OASIS currently offers skiing, fishing, sailing, archery, ice skating, horsemanship, golf and rowing. This day's competition raised $4,500 -- awfully good considering admission was free.

This is Lou Iannone and I would venture to guess he's the sparkplug of the Buffalo Heavies. This was our first exposure to the Highland Games and we found the camaraderie between competitors evident and the athletes engaging the crowd with friendly banter as well as answering any questions onlookers may have had.

The atmosphere was festive, the scenery fantastic and with the chair lift taking an endless number of visitors leaf-peeping to the top of the mountain, the crowd was estimated at over 7,000.

The athletes were impressive, entertaining and outgoing. It was for sure a fun outing and Claudia and I look forward to attending the Highland Games again.

Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 7:07 pm

Genesee CC volleyball drops Jamestown in straight sets

post by Andrew Crofts in GCC, sports, volleyball

The Genesee Community College women's volleyball team closed out its regular season schedule with a straight sets win over visiting Jamestown Community College on Thursday night.

Ai Miyazaki tallied 16 digs, 10 kills and two aces on the night, Stephanie Toledo added 10 kills and Haley Case had three aces for GCC.

Genesee closed out the first set on a 6-2 run after not leading by more than four in the opening game, winning 25-16.

A JCC service error gave the Cougars the first of six straight points to begin the second set and a 6-0 lead. Despite giving up nine out of ten points late in the middle game, GCC held on to win 25-18.

Miyazaki tallied two of her three aces in succession early in the third game to put Genesee in front 5-2. After a Jamestown CC timeout midway through, the Cougars took five in a row and held a 20-11 lead. The Jayhawks battled back to within five at 24-19, but GCC ended the night with a 25-19 win.

Genesee (20-17) will host Mercyhurst North East on Tuesday night for the Region III Division II title. The Cougars have won the championship in each of the last 18 seasons. The match will begin at 6 p.m.

(GCC’s Kelsey Wright (#12 yellow) goes up for the kill against JCC on Thursday night)

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