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Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 10:32 pm

Photos: An inning of Little League baseball

post by Howard B. Owens in baseball, batavia, little league, sports

While I was out and about this afternoon, I thought it would be fun to take in an inning of Little League baseball.

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Friday, May 9, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Western OTB picks Belmont Stakes winner, giveaway sponsor is local businessman

post by Billie Owens in belmont stakes, business, OTB, sports

Press release:

Officials from Western Regional Off-Track Betting and Turnbull Heating & Air Conditioning announced the winner of this year’s Belmont Stakes Trip Giveaway at the OTB Corporate headquarters in Batavia this afternoon, May 9.

The winner was chosen from the 8,000 OTB customers that signed-up at their local OTB branch on derby day for a chance to win the Belmont Stakes trip. The winner was Ron DiRose of Webster.

Ron wins hotel accommodations for two nights at the Courtyard Marriott, located 12 miles from Belmont Park and $1,000 in expense money.

“Western OTB would like to thank Bill Hayes, president of Turnbull Heating and Air for sponsoring the Belmont stakes giveaway,” said GM of Live Racing at Batavia Downs, Todd Haight. “It’s something we do each derby day and the number entries and interest in the giveaway grows every year.”

Western OTB posted record wagering handles on this year’s run for the roses, at it’s OTB locations, at Batavia Downs Gaming and it’s on-line wagering platform, Batavia Bets.com.

Owned and operated by 15 Western New York counties and the cities of Rochester and Buffalo, Western Regional OTB is a public benefit corporation with headquarters in Batavia. WROTB owns and operates 30 branches, as well as Batavia Downs Gaming, a standard bred racetrack and gaming facility.

Pictured are trip giveaway sponsor Bill Hayes, president of Turnbull Heating & Air Conditioning, and Ryan Hasenauer, director of Marketing at WROTB, with the lucky drawing slip.

Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Single-game Muckdogs tickets go on sale Monday

post by Billie Owens in batavia, muckdogs, sports

Press release:

Single-game tickets for all 2014 Muckdogs’ home games at Dwyer Stadium go on sale Monday, May 12 beginning at 9 a.m. at the Dwyer Stadium Box Office or over the phone by calling (585) 343-5454. Normal box office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The same great, affordable ticket prices are back again in 2014. Tickets range from $7.50 for box seats to just $6.50 for adult General Admission tickets and $5.50 for kids and senior General Admission tickets.

During the season, the ticket office opens on game days at 9 a.m. Monday-Friday and closes at the end of the fifth inning. On Saturday and Sunday, the ticket office will open at 10 a.m. and close after the fifth inning.

Season tickets, coupon books, ticket packages, and group tickets are on sale now.

For more information, visit Muckdogs.com or call (585)343-5454 and press zero, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Muckdogs open their 2014 home schedule on Saturday, June 14 vs. the Auburn Doubledays at 7:05 p.m. The annual Independence Day celebration is on July 3rd this year.

In addition to their Pinckney Division rivals, the Muckdogs will welcome the New York Yankees (Staten Island), Boston Red Sox (Lowell), New York Mets (Brooklyn) and the Detroit Tigers (Connecticut) farm teams to Dwyer Stadium in 2014.

Friday, May 2, 2014 at 10:06 pm

Buffalo 716ers stop by T.F. Brown's to meet local hoops fans

Members of the Buffalo 716ers, a professional basketball team in the American Basketball Association, made a personal appearance at T.F. Brown's tonight. Jerry Smith, proprietor of the Showtime Sports Academy in Batavia, organized the event. Smith is taking on several projects to promote basketball locally and throughout the region.

From left are, Darnell Boswell, Devon Dawson, Anthony Hodge, Tawan Slaughter (the team's owner and coach), Jerry Smith Donald Felice (media agent) and Mario Williams.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 8:58 am

Local basketball promoter signs agreement to bring pros to town for camps, clinics

post by Howard B. Owens in basketball, batavia, sports

Press release:

The Showtime Sports Academy has partnered with the Buffalo 716ers (Buffalo, N.Y.) and Erie Hurricane (Erie, Pa.), who participate in the Premier Basketball League (PBL). The objective of the Showtime Sports Academy is to provide high quality AAU basketball programs, which service the youth in grades K-12, throughout Western New York.

Showtime Sports Academy is owned and operated by Batavia native, Jerry Smith, who is committed to providing opportunities for the youth in Batavia.

“I am thrilled to be working with professional organizations that are just as dedicated to helping the youth as we are,” Smith said.

The Buffalo 716ers and Erie Hurricane will be working to provide camps and clinics for the youth of Batavia this summer, tournaments, and assisting with Showtime Sports Academy events.

“We are excited about the opportunity to mentor, volunteer, and work with youth of the Showtime Sports Academy,” said Buffalo 716ers and Erie Hurricane team owner, Tawan Slaughter. 

For more information on the Showtime Sports Academy please visit www.showtimesa.com. Also, for more information on the Buffalo 716ers and Erie Hurricane, please visit www.buffalo716ers.net or www.eriehurricane.net.

Saturday, April 19, 2014 at 6:35 am

Batavia baseball bounces back to beat Akron

post by Nick Sabato in baseball, batavia, Batavia HS, high school sports, sports

After winning the first two games of the season, the Batavia baseball squad was handed its first loss of the season in an emphatic fashion, losing to Honeoye Falls-Lima 15-2 on Thursday afternoon.

Twenty-four hours later, the Blue Devils got back on track, beating up on Akron, 15-8.

“I thought it was a good comeback win for us,” said Batavia Head Coach Rick Saunders. “We got lit up pretty good yesterday by a good HF-L team. Today we came out and jumped out on top and got those three runs in the first.”

Batavia opened up the game with three runs on three hits in the bottom of the first inning on a bases-clearing hit by Zeke Lynn.

The Tigers would battle back, loading the bases with one out in the second inning.

Akron would score on a fielder’s choice by D.J. Carlson, then on a passed ball, and they then tied it up on a RBI single by Zach Pfentner.

Quinten Weis would settle down after that, pitching two more scoreless innings and allowing just one more hit before Greg Mruczek relieved him.

“He was a little wild to start the game,” Saunders said of Weis. “I thought he settled down the rest of the game and he threw well that last two innings he was in the game.”

The Blue Devils regained the lead in the third after Nick Bauer was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Steve Borowczyk appeared to get himself out of the jam, ending the inning with the bases loaded and just one run allowed, but it was not to be.

Batavia exploded for four runs on four hits in the bottom of the fourth inning to extend the lead to 8-3.

Luke McComb was walked with the bases loaded, followed by an RBI single from Rich Francis before Bauer drove in two runs with a double to right field.

Akron appeared to make a bit of a comeback in the top of the fifth, getting two runs off of Mruczek (helped by a few defensive miscues), but he settled down to strike out the side in the sixth.

“I thought he threw the ball real well,” Saunders said of Mruczek. “I think our defense let him down a little bit. That happens, these are high school kids. If we played tight defense like we did in the first three games, we probably only would have let up a few runs.”

The Blue Devils' batters went to work in the bottom of the frame to put the game out of reach as they sent seven runners across home plate, including a two-run single from senior reserve Pat Wrobel.

The Tigers got three runs in the seventh, but it wasn’t enough to get close.

“The biggest difference between yesterday and today was that we hit better,” Saunders said. “We got the bases-clearing hit by Lynn and that was clutch for us today.”

Lynn finished the game 2-for-5 with four RBIs, while Bauer went 1-for-4 with four RBIs. As a team, Batavia combined for 14 hits on the game.

Weis picked up the win for the Devils, allowing three runs on three hits in four innings pitched.

Borowczyk took the loss for Akron, allowing eight runs in six innings pitched.

Batavia improves to 3-1 on the season, and next travel to Aquinas on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

Friday, April 18, 2014 at 9:28 am

Young girls basketball team ready to roll into Ohio for first traveling tournment

post by Howard B. Owens in basketball, batavia, sports

A group of fifth- and sixth-grade girls are about to embark on a new adventure -- playing in a basketball tournament in another state for the first time.

The Thunder are a new girls basketball team aimed at giving the young players off-season experience and practice.

Coach Otis Thomas said the girls are really dedicated to the sport.

"We look pretty good," he said. "They work hard. Very enthusiastic. Great bunch of girls. Very disciplined. Just to have them in the gym now when it's softball season and baseball season shows how dedicated they are."

The nucleus of the Thunder is the Batavia Middle School team.

They will play in the King James Shooting Stars Classic (sponsored by Lebron James) in Ohio next week.

Pictured, from left, first row: Nya Thomas, Morgan Rohdes, Mckenzie Riegle, Brynn Wormley, Emily Janes, Kennedy Kolb, Destiny Griffin. Not pictured are Mia Rhinehart, Bella Phillips, Hailey Thornley, Nashiya Rhimm.

The team's sponsors are Big Pauly's Pizza and NYSCOPBA.

Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Drug days behind him, former Oatkan Knight gets another shot at life and football

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

On a cruel April morning in 2011, Craig Tiberio looked at himself in the mirror. The man he faced stood accused of dealing drugs and assaulting a police officer. Looking at that mirror affixed as it was to a jailhouse wall, Tiberio didn’t like what he saw.

“I was at the end emotionally,” Tiberio said. “I knew there wasn’t anyplace to go but up unless I wanted to keep living the life that I was living. I obviously knew that if I got back on track, I had the potential — if I was motivated enough — to play sports again.”

As a high school junior, Tiberio had been a standout receiver for the Le Roy Oatkan Knights. He was at least a legitimate Division III prospect entering his senior season. All he wanted to do, or so he thought, was play football at the collegiate level.

Craig describes his childhood as challenging, chaotic, as anything but stable. Sports, especially football, was an escape.

“I always clung onto sports,” Craig said. “It was my time free from thinking about what was going on in my life.”

An injury changed everything. 

In the sixth game of his senior season, Craig Tiberio suffered a stress fracture in his spine.

That meant pain medication. It meant time away from the field, from his teammates, from everything that had kept him anchored.

It’s a familiar story in sports — injury, pain medication, followed by a need to self-medicate with whatever street drugs might be available. The pattern killed former Padres pitcher Eric Show. There are countless cases of high school and college athletes you never hear of whose lives were altered by drug use after an injury.

The story of Craig Tiberio is the story of a once-promising athlete who hit bottom and then turned his life around. He entered guilty pleas May 27, 2011 in Genesee County Court to assault, 3rd, criminal possession of a controlled substance, 4th, and to DWI. As he stood before Judge Robert C. Noonan that day, he faced a near certain four-year prison term. Back in court weeks later with positive progress reports, Noonan gave him a second chance. Step by step since, he’s made the most of it. He’s on the dean’s list at Buffalo State University. He volunteers with third- and fourth-graders in Buffalo. His assigned practice squad includes Buff State’s best players, and if he avoids injury, he has a shot of starting at tight end for the Bengals.

A passion for sports
It’s been long path paved by determination and family support since Tiberio gazed into the jailhouse mirror that April morning in 2011, with just the glimmer of a thought that maybe, maybe, he could rekindle his dream of playing college football and pursue a career in coaching.

He’s made it this far.

“You’ve got to ask yourself 'how bad do you want to be successful?' in any aspect of life,” said Tiberio after an early morning spring practice at Coyer Field.

He sat on a near-side bench under an optimistic blue sky while teammates who missed an earlier practice pushed 50-pound weights on their hands and knees up and down the sideline, from the 50 to the goal line and back, 10 times each.

“Some people are just completely content with working a minimum-wage job and being able to do anything they want, but for me, I appreciate freedom more than I ever did. Some people take that for granted. It comes with how much pain are you willing to deal with before you want your life to get better.”

When Craig was but a few months old, his mother moved him from Fairfax, Va., where he was born, to Le Roy. She started living with Art Nicomento, an electrician, and the couple stayed together until Craig was 5.

Then things started to unravel. According to Nicomento, Craig’s mother got hooked on drugs. The couple separated, but Craig stayed with Nicomento. Eventually, Nicomento became Craig’s legal guardian.

“He was a good kid, a smart kid,” Nicomento said. “I wanted to take care of him.”

Tiberio said he gravitated to sports at an early age. It was his salvation through years of turmoil. He doesn’t go into much detail, nor does Nicomento, but Craig clearly loves Nicomento, whom he calls “Dad.”

Talk to anybody in the community about Art and Craig and they will tell you, Nicomento was always there for his son.

By his sophomore year in high school, Craig Tiberio was turning heads on the gridiron, the hardwood and in track and field. Any sports story previewing Le Roy’s chances in the football or basketball seasons included Tiberio as integral to the team’s potential success.

As a junior, Tiberio stood 6’ 3” and weighted 175 lbs. He was athletic and fast. His junior year, he was the Section V champ in the long jump and the triple jump. He also ran on the team’s 400-meter relay team and won a few meets in the 3200 and the 100-meter dash. In basketball, there isn’t a game story that doesn’t list the strong forward as pouring in at least a dozen points and pulling down four or five rebounds.

In Le Roy, football is king and football was Tiberio’s passion. He combined speed, height and agility to haul in passes no defender could touch.

“I always had the attitude in high school, standing on the field across from another player, they can’t stop me,” Craig said.

Jim Bonacquisti, an assistant coach for the Knights, remembers Tiberio as a big play maker. A Tiberio TD reception helped stop a long Hornell home-winning streak. One of Tiberio’s big scores against archrival Cal-Mum came on a fourth-down reverse in a sectional semi-final. Then he intercepted a pass to help seal the deal.

Tiberio was named to the Livingston County Athletic Association’s all-star team on both offense and defense his junior year. (Le Roy is in the Livingston County footbal league). He was also named to the all-state team. He averaged 20 yards a reception and picked off seven passes playing free safety.

“I would rank him behind Mike Humphrey and Brandon Fulmer as far as the best we’ve had in my tenure,” Bonacquisti said. “Ironically, Craig getting hurt his senior season opened the door for Mike’s increased playing time in 10th grade. In Craig’s junior year, he caught anything near him, plus he was a pretty good safety. He wasn’t a big hitter, but he was usually around the ball.”

Unsportsman-like conduct
In his senior year, Tiberio said he was already hampered by a minor back injury, but continued to play. In five starts, he only had eight catches for 88 yards and one TD. On defense, he only had three tackles and two assists.

Friday night, Oct. 6, 2006 was homecoming for the Perry Yellowjackets. Unfortunately for the Perry student body, the Yellowjackets were scheduled to play their homecoming game against an undefeated Oatkan Knights team who would go on to win the Section V Class C title.

Tiberio was having one of his best games of the season with three receptions, including one for a TD, when late in the 4th quarter, with the Knights up 48-0, Tiberio snagged Heath Henrickson’s pass for an interception and returned it 33 yards before being tackled by a Perry player.

... More after the jump ... click the headline or the link below the picture ...

Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 9:52 pm

Local HS teams hold first softball scrimmage

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Notre Dame, softball, sports

Medina, Notre Dame and Batavia softball teams played a scrimmage today at John Kennedy School. It's the first scrimmage of the year. Batavia HS student Zachary Lee submitted these photos.

Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 1:39 pm

SADD fundraiser -- bowling at Mancuso's

post by Billie Owens in announcements, sports

SADD -- Students Against Destructive Driving -- is holding a fundraiser night of bowling at the Mancuso Bowling Center from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, April 25.

Cost is $12.50 per person and includes two hours of bowling and shoe rental.

Pre-register by calling the Genesee County Youth Bureau at 344-3960.

Have the profits will go to the countywide SADD chapter, which is supported by GC STOP-DWI & the Youth Bureau.

 

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