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Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Batavia Downs holds special Columbus Day matinee, honors Italian-American of the Year

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

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

A special matinee card of harness racing will be held on Columbus Day (Monday, Oct. 13) at Batavia Downs and the afternoon will do more than offer the finest racing in Western New York. A complete slate of activities to honor the Italian-American heritage that is so prevalent in Batavia starts at noon and runs through the last race.

When the 12-race card kicks off at 1:15, there are two special races to watch for that will honor some very special people.

The sixth race is the Italian-American driver’s race which is also known as “the dash for the cannolis.” All eight drivers in the race are of Italian descent and will vie for bragging rights for the coming year. Rock Vinci, Denny Bucceri, Andy Torre, Rich Mays, Mike Caprio, Paul Zambito Jr., John Mungillo and Drew Monti will go postward to vie for the coveted Italian pastry prize (as well as the purse money).

Then after the seventh race, Batavia Downs Gaming will honor their 2014 Italian-American of the Year, Laurie Napoleone. An instructor at the Health Careers Academy of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, Napoleone (along with her husband Mark) founded the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation in honor of their 8-year-old son who died of Burkitt’s lymphoma. The foundation is designed to help families facing the challenges of pediatric cancer and to assist youth sports and activities in the community.

For racing fans who attend the live card, there are plenty of food and beverage specials throughout the facility.

The clubhouse will feature their famous $9.95 chicken barbeque. And for every dinner purchased you will receive a voucher back for $5 of free-play in the casino. So it’s like getting your dinner for $4.95. This offer is good from noon to 3 p.m. and reservations are strongly recommended.

On the track apron you will find $1 draft beer, $1 Sahlen’s hot dogs and $1 sodas. All will be available from noon through the last race.

If you want to get your weekend started early, Batavia Downs Gaming is giving away a free trip to Las Vegas on tonight (Oct. 11) sponsored by Trade Winds Travel. That’s all you have to do is swipe your Player’s Club card once when you get there and you are automatically eligible to win. That's all you need to do to have a chance at this $950 vacation.

Another great deal being offered this evening is the “Match Play” quinella wager in the sixth race. For every two $5 quinella bets you make you will receive $10 worth of free-play on the gaming floor. So it’s like getting a free $10 wager.

The Columbus Day matinee will be the last afternoon card of racing for 2014. Our racing schedule for the remainder of the meet will be Wednesday, Friday and Saturday with post time at 6:35.

Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 11:03 am

Football Roundup: Week #6

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

Alexander 17, Pembroke, 6. Pembroke held close through the first 24 minutes of football, trailing by only a point, 7-6 at the half. Trojans running back Jacob Wozniak gained 208 yards on 28 plays and scored a TD. Tristan Aldinger had 10 carries for 24 yds and a TD. Kicker Zach Shilvock was perfect again on PATs at 2 for 2 and he hit a 36-yard field goal in the fourth quarter after having missed a 48-yard fielder earlier in the game. Defensively, Alexander had two interceptions, one by Cody Trzecieski and one Aldinger. Derrick Busch led the Trojans in tackles with seven and a sack.  Dustin Schmeider had seven tackles and one fumble recovery. Wozniak had six tackles and a sack. 

Oakfield-Alabama 54, Holley, 19. Alan Catt was eight for 12 and 230 yards passing, connecting on three TDs for Oakfield-Alabama. Ryan Emery rushed six times for 137 yards and two TDs. Reice Woodward had five receptions for 168 yards and three TDs. Jake Velletta had eight tackles and a sack, Casey Arnold, seven tackles, Woodward an interception and Sal Schwable returned a fumble recovery 60 yards for a touchdown.

Elba/Byron-Bergen 16, Cardinal O'Hara, 7. In the first varsity football came ever played on the campus of Byron-Bergen, the Elba/Byron-Bergen Lancers benefitted from the 94 yards rushing of Steele Truax, who also had 15 tackles and a sack.

Batavia 52, Wayland-Cohocton, 0. On homecoming night, the Blue Devils trounced Wayland-Cohocton. Greg Mruczek was  nine for 10 for 124 yds and two touchdowns. He also carried one in for a score. Anthony Gallo had 145 all-purpose yards and two TDs. Ahdeosun Aiken rushed nine times for, 66 yards and a TD. Dominick Mogavero had six carries for 105 yards and two TDs. Jarrett Laskett scored a TD as part of a three-reception night for 18 yards. Trevor Rittersback had seven tackles.

Photos by Rick Franclemont. For more, click here.

Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 10:25 am

Le Roy beats a good team to stay undefeated on the season

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

Early in the second quarter, down 14-0, Bishop Kearney faced fourth down with 30 to go on the Le Roy 33.

The obvious play is to settle for a field goal attempt, but that's not the way of the Kings. Rather, QB Todd LaRocca drops back, fires a bullet and hits Ardell Brown in full stride at the 10. Brown glides into the end zone.

Even without a successful two-point conversion, the score, the entire touchdown drive, in fact, was enough to make Oatkan Knight supporters nervous.

A 14-6 lead is nothing against a team that is fearless about throwing the ball and has athletes who can score from anywhere on the field.

Brown would remind everybody of that again when he returned the opening half kickoff for a touchdown, making the score 22-12.

Even if you liked Le Roy's chances against Bishop Kearney, 22-12 still didn't feel safe.

Head Coach Brian Moran stuck with the game plan -- grind the clock away with a relentless ground attack and bend, but don't break, on defense.

In the end, Le Roy remained undefeated, moving to 6-0, and the previous undefeated Kings dropped to 5-1. The final score, 29-20.

It was the fewest points the Knights have scored in a game this season, and the most points the team has given up.

The win also secured Moran's 199th career victory.

"That's a good football team, and when you start getting towards the end of the year, you want to play good football teams, because you want to see where you are and I really thought our kids did a good job today," Moran said.

The win over a good football team was a big confidence boost for the Knights, running back Tom Kelso said.

"We've actually proven that we're a good team this year," Kelso said. "In order to be the best, you've got to beat the best, and that's one of the best teams out there right there."

Early on, it was easy to see how Moran planned to win this football game. He kept the ball on the ground on seven of the first eight plays, and of the 12 plays of the opening drive, only one (an incomplete pass) failed to gain yards.

That drive gave Le Roy a 7-0 lead and took 7:15 off the clock.

The Kings tried to strike back quickly. Brown darted for a 25-yard gain on a running play and LaRocca snapped off a 20-yard pass, and within four plays and a little more than a minute off the clock, the Kings were inside the red zone.

It would be the first of four times in the game where the Kings found themselves in the red zone, but failed to score.

"Like I told our guys, when you get in the red zone, it's about hunger and who wants it more," said Bishop Kearney Head Coach Eddie Long. "It's about hunger and manning up and beating the next man. They put a lot of pressure on you. They blitz you from a lot of different angles. They disguise their coverages. You can tell that they work hard and they practice a lot on their schemes. And they're a physical team. At the end of the day, they man up, they beat you and they want it."

LaRocca is a tough quarterback to beat. He gets rid of the ball fast, throws accurately and throws long. For most of the night, Le Roy went with only a three-man front, which meant LaRocca faced little pressure, but even when he managed to hit an open receiver, Le Roy's backfield swarmed on the ball carrier and limited positive yardage.

This made it hard for the Kings to sustain a drive.

"I thought our defensive coordinator, Andy (Andrew Paladino), did a great job, rotating back and going to a three-man front, and putting us in a situation were we had some extra secondary help," Moran said. "That really proved crucial for us today."

For all the ball-control offense, there was still McMullen to McQuillen in the playbook.

Le Roy's first TD came when Mike McMullen, facing a fourth down, hits Mike McQuillen on the five, after McQuillen bobbed and faked Brown to give himself space and an open lane for a score.

Near the end of the half, the Knights found themselves in another fourth down situation close to the end zone after a long drive. A penalty dropped them back five yards, making it fourth-and-nine.

McMullen dropped a lob over McQuillen's right shoulder, where only he can catch it. McQuillen's so fast, there's nobody between him and the end zone. The 39-yard pass play gives Le Roy a 22-12 lead.

In a manner of speaking, one of the most crucial moments in the game came on the extra points for this touchdown. Le Roy's point-after attempt failed, but there was a penalty on the play, giving the Knights another chance from the one-yard line.

Tom Kelso dove over the white line for two points, two very important points, as it turned out.

At the close of the game, after a TD for Bishop Kearney set the score up at 29-20, and then the Kings recovered an onside kick with 1:20 left on the clock, Le Roy's nine-point lead was still seemed reasonably secure. A seven-point lead would have been precarious in this situation and even eight points would have been a nail biter.

Coach Long, having seen Le Roy up close now, thinks the Knights are the team to beat this year in Section V Class C.

"First and foremost, they're so disciplined, so well coached," Long said. "They don't make a lot of mistakes. From what I've seen, they've put a couple of wrinkles into their offense that's going to make them tougher. In the past, you could just key in on their run and put eight, nine in the box, but they spread it out a little bit more, which opens up their run and you have to worry about their pass. They're well coached, they're disciplined, they play hard. You have to beat them. They're not going to beat themselves."

Le Roy's offensive stats:

Mike McMullen, 6 for 11, 95 yards, 2 TDs.
Tom Kelso, 21 rushes, 89 yards, one reception, 28 yards
Nick Egeling, 19 rushes 74 yards, 1 TD
Jon Pierce, 7 rushes, 33 yards
Ryan McQuillen, 4 rushes 35 yards, 1 TD, 3 receptions, 57 yards, 2 TDs

On defense:

Jake Henry, 6 tackles and a sack
Tom Kelso, 6 tackles
Mike McMullen, 5 tackles
Nick Egeling, 4 tackles
Reed Kacur, 4 tackles
Ryan McQuillen, 2 tackles and an interception

Bishop Kearney had 383 yards total offense, with only 68 of those yards coming on the round. LaRocca was 19 for 38 passing for 315 yards and one TD. Brown had nine receptions for 151 yards. Jalen Long had seven receptions for 110 yards. Dahmir Pross rushed for 27 yards and a TD on 11 carries.

Top photo: McQuillen with a reception for Le Roy's first TD of the game.

Brown with a touchdown reception on a fourth-30 play in the second quarter.

Bishop Kearney QB Todd LaRocca

Tom Kelso with the ball.

McQuillen ready for a McMullen pass to drop into his hands for a 39-yard TD reception.

Brown with the ball starting his run for a touchdown to open the second half.

Brown scoring to open the second half.

McMullen handing off to Kelso.

To purchase prints, click here.

Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 10:47 am

Bazooka Terror shoots down foes in Batavia Downs feature

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

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

Employing her patented late brush after tracking an early speed duel, Bazooka Terror ($4) dismantled a field of top distaff pacers in the $8,500 mares Open at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Oct. 8) night.

Fiftyonefifty (John Cummings Jr.) and Soaring Honey (Dave McNeight III) battled each other hard for half a mile, each taking a lead through fractions of :27.1 and 56. By the time those two decided to play nice, last week’s winner Infrontigo Hanover (Jim McNeight) came first over with Dontch Remember (Shawn McDonough) and Bazooka Terror (Kevin Cummings) in tow. Just as Infrontigo Hanover took the lead halfway up the backside, Cummings tipped Bazooka Terror three-deep and paced around the field like they were tied to a post. Once the mare cleared, Cummings put the whip on his shoulder and let his charge close out the race. Bazooka Terror paced away to a devastating six-length wrapped-up victory in 1:53.4.

Dontch Remember was second and Mondatta (Mike Caprio) was third.

It was the ninth win in 35 starts for Bazooka Terror and pushed her 2014 earnings to $71,307 for owner Leonard Segall. Although the clocking was not a lifetime mark for the 5-year-old daughter of Western Terror, it was the fastest she had ever paced over a half-mile track. Bazooka Terror is trained by James Clouser Jr.

Kevin Cummings, John Cummings Jr., Ron Beback Jr. and Shawn McDonough all scored driving doubles on the night.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Oct. 10) at 6:35.

Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 10:20 am

Batavia Downs accepting entries for the $50,000 Kane Memorial Pace

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

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

Each year Batavia Downs signature event is the $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial invitational pace. The race has played host to some of the biggest names in harness racing. It is named for the former chairman of the board of the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation, owner of Batavia Downs Gaming.

The six-million-dollar man, Foiled Again, won the race twice in 2009 and 2013 and Aracache Hanover set the all-time track record of 1:51.1 with his victory in 2011.

This year’s edition will be held on Saturday, Oct. 18, and the condition sheet has already been released so that any interested horsemen can enter their horses as early as today.

Besides the $50,000 Kane Memorial Pace, there are many other premium racing opportunities that night, including the $12,500 Brian Schroeder Open trot, $10,000 horses and geldings Open pace, $10,000 filly and mares Open pace and $7,500 mares Open trot. The box for all races for that night closes at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct.15.

Entries can be made and inquiries can be placed by calling Race Secretary Joe Zambito at 585-344-6161.

Monday, October 6, 2014 at 7:31 pm

Cougars shut out SUNY Adirondack

post by Andrew Crofts in GCC, soccer, sports

Winners of five out of its last six contests entering Monday night, the Genesee Community College men's soccer team improved its overall season record to 6-6 with a 6-0 shutout win over SUNY Adirondack.

Neither team registered a shot during the first 15 minutes of the contest, until Jake Miller cashed in GCC's first goal in the 20th minute, converting a pass from Darius Johnson to put the Cougars in front.

Johnson struck in the 30th minute as the rain fell to give Genesee a 2-0 lead and Sam M'buru made it 3-0 in the 40th minute, scoring his second goal of the season.

The Cougars held possession for most of the game and the Genesee defense kept the Timberwolves to just three shots on goal.

Ikuma Hirano added goals in the 66th and 70th minutes and Dell Storey tallied his first goal of the year in the 88th minute to round out the scoring.

Connor Halstead and Bradley Paserk split time in net for GCC. Halstead made one save and Paserk stopped two.

The Cougars are now .500 for the first time this season and will return to action on Wednesday at Jamestown Community College.

(#7 Jerrold Davies and #17 Brad Rodda brace the rain after #8 Sam M’buru’s first half goal on Monday night)

Monday, October 6, 2014 at 6:18 pm

BARBER ADDS ANOTHER SHUT OUT TO HIS COLLECTION

post by Rhonda Pangrazio in sports

In the official opening game of the Reed Eye Associates Batavia Ramparts Pee Wee III season, goalie, Joshua Barber adds another shut out to his collection while helping to post a 8-0 victory Sunday morning against Jamestown.  Using his quick glove, accurate stick, and athletic skills, Barber collected three shut outs in last weekend’s “Breakin’ the Ice” tournament in Brockport and quickly added another shut out in Jamestown to further his already striking season. 

Adding to Barber’s success are the solid defenseman in front of his net.  Exploding from the blue line are defenseman Katie Carmichael, Derek Fedus, Chase Pangrazio, Connor Peterson, and Jedidiah Reese.  The defensemen, assisted by the strong forwards, make use of each other to pass, dig for pucks, eliminate opponent’s scoring chances, and create scoring opportunities of their own. 

Forward, Max Hutchins, cashes in on that opportunity and takes credit for netting the first goal during the Pee Wee III’s 2014-2015 regular season game.  Playing tough beside him and adding one point each were forwards Dominic Peracciny, Sean Pies, and Drew Bower.  Forwards, Alex Totten and defenseman, Jedidiah Reese, added two points each to Jamestown’s scoreboard on Sunday.  Defenseman Reese and Fedus, along with forwards Dominic Peracciny and Colin Dodge each recorded assists for this weekend.  Forwards Matt Frieday, Zackary Geitner, and Levi Grimm add their talents to round out this effective team. 

The Reed Eye Associates Batavia Ramparts Pee Wee III team is undefeated at 6-0 after completing a successful scrimmage, comfortably winning a tournament championship, and recording this weekend’s season-opening win. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014 at 1:12 pm

What The Sheik, Fireyourguns dead heat in Batavia Downs feature

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

Fireyourguns and What The Shiek tie for win, just ahead of Western Alumni.

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

The Saturday night (Oct. 4) Open pace at Batavia Downs provided one of the most exciting finishes racing fans have seen at the oldest lighted harness track in North America this year. The top three horses finished a neck apart and when the photo was examined, What The Sheik and Fireyourguns tripped the light at the exact same time.

When the race got under way, Western Alumni (Jim McNeight) took an early lead as What The Sheik (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) got away fourth and sixth, respectively. The order stayed unchanged to the half when Fireyourguns pulled from the rear and flushed What The Sheik for live cover. That outer flow made minimal progress pacing toward the three-quarters as Western Alumni was sitting on a two-length lead. At the top of the lane it appeared as if the leader was home free, but when Fireyourguns tipped three-wide he prompted What The Sheik to pace on and the pair hit the wire in tandem just a head in front of Western Alumni, who hung on for third. The mile was timed in 1:56.1.

It was the sixth win of the year for What The Sheik ($2.90) who is trained by Gerry Sarama for owner Mike Torcello and the 12th win of the year for Fireyourguns ($2.50) who is trained by Terence McClory who owns the horse with Jennifer and Robert Lowe.

A pair of drivers accounted for seven of the 12 winners during the night. Jim McNeight recorded a grand slam with Maradona ($9.50), Hopskipanajump ($8.70), The Maniac ($4.20) and Flight Crew ($19.40) and Jim Morrill Jr. had a three-bagger with Unicorn Hanover ($20.00), What The Sheik ($2.90) and Muncie ($4.30). It was a natural hat trick that occurred in races six, seven and eight for driver Morrill, trainer Gerry Sarama and owner Mike Torcello.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Oct. 8) at 6:35 and kicks off the Downs new racing schedule of Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights, all with a 6:35 post time.

Saturday, October 4, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Justgottogetthere takes top trot at Batavia Downs, Jim Morrill Jr. pilots five winners

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

Justgottogetthere with driver Jim NcNeight

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

The winds of change blew through Western New York Friday night (Oct. 3) and the rain fell along with the temperature. But the inclement conditions did not dampen the performance of Justgottogetthere as he won the $9,250 Open trotting feature at Batavia Downs.

The short field of six got even shorter after Live Jazz (John Cummings Jr.) made a break leaving in the first turn. That left Justgottogetthere (Jim McNeight) a clear path to the front. But co-favorite Armed Dangerously (Jim Morrill Jr.) who left right behind the leader was trotting side-by-side with him, giving Serious George (Kevin Cummings) a perfect garden spot trip. After hitting the half in :58 flat, the parking ticket took its toll and Armed Dangerously started to falter. That left Justgottogetthere a gapped leader waiting for a bid from the pocket-sitting Serious George. That challenge came down the lane but it was too little, too late. Justgottogetthere got there by a diminishing one-length lead to win in 1:58.3. Serious George was second and a late closing Keystone Bernard was third.

It was the second win in 10 starts for Justgottogetthere ($4.80) and boosted his 2014 earnings to $20,815 for owners Antonietta Landi and North Creek Racing LLC. The lightly raced 5-year-old son of Valley Victor is trained by Jerry Nugent Jr.

Jim Morrill Jr. was on hand Friday to put on another driving clinic. He rendezvoused with owners five times in the Purple Haze winners circle as he scored with Medicine Ed ($7.30), Release The Terror ($6.10), Missmaximus ($7.00), The Bronx Bumper ($7.50) and Story Book ($5.30). Morrill is currently second in North America among all drivers for percentage, sporting a gaudy .401 UDR. And on the strength of the night's performance, he drew even closer to the top-spot.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on tonight (Oct. 4) at 6:35. The Pick-6 carry-over pool has grown to $2,296 and will be up for grabs starting with race seven.

Saturday, October 4, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Football Roundup: Week 5

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

Le Roy 53, Canisteo-Greenwood 13. Le Roy once again proved unstoppable, tallying 527 total offensive yards while holding C-G to 264. Employing six different backs, Le Roy rushed for 353 yards. QB Mike McMullen threw for three TDs. He was 10 for 16 for 219 yards and was not intercepted. Nick Egeling,10 rushes for 156 yards and a TD, Jon Pierce, eight rushes for 79 yards, and two TDs, and Tom Kelso, nine rushes 69 yards and two TDs. Kelso also had a TD reception. Ryan McQuillen had five receptions for 134 yards and a TD. Jake Henry caught a touchdown pass of five yards. McQuillen had seven tackles (all solo) and two interceptions. Kody Lamkin, seven tackles and Kelso, five tackles and an interception. Next week at home, Le Roy faces Bishop Kearney, sharing the lead with Le Roy in Livingston County Division II. Both teams are 5-0.

Alexander 31, Oakfield 24. For the Trojans, Tristin Aldinger had 123 yards and a TD on 24 carries. Jake Wozniak scored a TD and QB Jared Brown connected with his brother Samuel Browne on a 21-yard TD. Derrick Busch had a TD grab on a 37-yard pass from Samuel Browne. Zach Shilvock was 4-for-4 on PATs and kicked a 19-yard field goal, but missed a 48-yard attempt. Wozniak had three tackles and an interception and Jake Riggs have five tackles and an interception. Busch registered his fifth sack of the season. For O-A, Alan Chatt was 16 for 32 passing for 192 yards and three TDs. He was picked twice. Reice Woodward had five catches for 44 yards and a TD. Sal Schwable had seven catches for 116 yards and a TD. Ryan Emery, two receptions, 23 yards and a TD. Chatt, seven tackles, Emery, seven tackes and an interception, Jon Harris, seven tackles and a sack and Jake Velletta, seven tackles.

Attica 34, Elba 6. We haven't received Elba's stats.

Notre Dame 34, Charles Finney 6. Both teams came in 2-2, but the Fighting Irish dominated the contest. ND had 292 total yards compared to 126 for Finney. Joe Zickl was 4-7 passing for 43 yards and one TD.  Jack Sutherland rushed for 125 yards on 18 carries and scored. Peter Daversa also carried the ball 18 times. He had 112 yards and a TD. Sutherland also had two catches for 21 yards and a TD.  Josh Johnson had one reception for 23 yards. Spencer Misiak returned a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown. Ethan Osborne had 6.5 tackles, as did C.J. Suozzi. Joe Zickl had 5.5

Holley 37, Pembroke 19. Pembroke suffered its fifth loss in five games while Holley picked up its first win of the season. Zack Ewert and Dylan Miserantino both scored on the ground for the Dragons.

Alexander/Oakfield-Alabama game photos by Rick Franclemont. For more photos, click here.

Pembroke photos by Rick D. Franclemonth.

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