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Monday, June 2, 2014 at 9:29 pm

Jim Kelly present in spirit at 28th annual charity tournament at Terry Hills

Jim Kelly wasn't at Terry Hills today for the 28th annual charity tournament that carries his name because he's weakened by chemotherapy and radiation treatment for cancer.

At the start of the tournament his brother Dan had his head shaved both to honor his brother and to raise money for the Kelly for Kids Foundation. He challenged all of the golfers -- donors, athletes and celebrities to follow his example and over the course of the day, many of them did. (Cutting his hair, above, Michelle Napierala).

The Hall of Fame quarterback may not have been at his event this year, but he was there in spirit. Blue "Kelly Tough" T-shirts were everywhere and friends, such as ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman, spoke of Kelly's toughness and said that toughness is why he'll beat cancer and be back at Terry Hills next year to host his tournament. 

Former Bill and CBS Sports broadcaster Steve Tasker said much the same thing.

“We miss Jim being here,” he said, “but at the same token, it’s because of Jim’s presence and the quality of this event and what this event means – this is more than just a bunch of guys getting together for another event; this is like a reunion, not just a team reunion, but a family reunion for a lot of guys who’ve known each other for a couple of decades. The tournament’s been going on for 28 years and these guys are lifelong friends. The fact that Jim can’t be here today won’t change that.”

A fan gets her picture taken with the Bills 2014 #1 draft pick Sammy Watkins.

Former NBA star Gus Williams stops for a free brownie on the ninth hole, where a group of Batavia residents hang out every year to hand out treats to the stars and maybe get an autograph or picture.

Tasker talking with the media.

Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone with a group of Bills fans.

Berman talks with the media.

Actor Dan Baldwin, center, with his group on the first tee.

Tasker teeing off to start the tournament.

Mike Ziegler, a professional golfer and long-drive champion, would, for a donation, hit the drive for golfers on one of the back holes.

Monday, June 2, 2014 at 3:36 pm

City Schools will build girls softball field as part of settlement of lawsuit

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

Press release from the Empire Justice Center:

The Empire Justice Center is pleased to announce that a settlement has been reached in the class-action suit Myers v. Batavia City School District. Three female softball players and their families filed the case in April 2013 seeking equal treatment to their male classmates in the provision of practice and competitive facilities and equipment. Among other things, the players alleged that the District’s policy of renting a professional minor league stadium for all boys’ varsity baseball home games, while providing the girls with substandard playing fields at the school, violated Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972.

“More than anything, I am so proud of these young women for having the courage to stand up for themselves,” said Kristin Small, attorney for Empire Justice Center. “They saw that the way they were being treated was unfair and decided to do something about it, knowing full well they might face backlash from their community and that they themselves might never see the benefit of their efforts.”

As part of the agreement, the District has agreed to build a brand new varsity softball facility with permanent dugouts, good drainage, outfield fencing, a permanent electronic scoreboard and other amenities. The improvements are projected to be completed in time for the 2015 softball season. The District has also committed to making significant improvements to the junior varsity and modified softball fields, and affirmed its commitment to ensuring that boys’ and girls’ sports receive equal benefits, even when that requires the District to compensate for donations made by third parties, such as booster clubs.

After hearing that the District had agreed to the settlement, plaintiffs Elizabeth and Rebecca Myers said, “We are proud and thankful that the Batavia City School District has recognized the importance of female athletics and the need for equal treatment. We look forward to a bright future for Batavia girls’ softball, as players will now be able to enjoy and be proud of the fields that they will be playing on. We would like to thank Empire Justice Center for helping us resolve these disparities.”

“We hope that other school districts will take note of this settlement and be reminded that the movement to achieve equality in athletics between boys and girls is far from over,” noted Jonathan Feldman, a senior attorney at Empire Justice Center. “Many districts face similar challenges leftover from an earlier time when equality in sports was not seen as important. We congratulate the Batavia City School District for stepping up to the plate and working with us to find a solution that will ensure fair and equal treatment of all student athletes, regardless of gender.”

Monday, June 2, 2014 at 1:26 pm

Baumeister and Mandia set to compete at golf national championships

post by Andrew Crofts in GCC, golf, sports


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, NY. 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-ten 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.

Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 7:51 am

ND conquers Arkport, wins Class DD Title

post by Nick Sabato in sports

It has been quite a week for Notre Dame senior Alec Covel.

On Thursday he signed to play for Division II Mansfield University, and the very next day, he pitched the Fighting Irish past Arkport 11-5 to win the Class DD Section V Championship.

“It’s a good way to go out,” Covel said. “There isn’t really much left to do, but hopefully we can finish the season off and keep it going as long as we can.”

Oh, and by the way, he will receive his diploma on Saturday evening.

Things got off to a rocky start for Covel and the Irish, as Arkport took a quick 2-0 lead after the first inning after Brandon Stephens drove in the first run on an RBI triple, and then scored on a passed ball.

The Blue Jays would let Notre Dame back into the game, as they tied the game at 2 on the heels of four Arkport errors.

“We got some gifts early and then later I thought we earned them,” said Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Rapone. “Early in the game they certainly gave us some and we gave them some. We didn’t play well defensively and I think it affected Alec a little bit because he never really got into a rhythm.”

In the second Notre Dame would start to get things going at the plate.

Jarrod Wall scored the tying run after getting on base on an error and then advancing to third on two passed balls before third baseman Jordan Wood committed his second error of the game (scoring the first two runs of the game) on a grounder by Tyler Prospero.

The Irish took the lead after pitcher Nate Warzcok walked Tyler Stroud with the bases loaded.

On the very next at bat, Andrew Mullen would drive in his second and third runs of the game on a 2-out 2-run double.

The defending Class DD champs would continue to battle, not allowing Covel to get into a groove on the mound.

Arkport scored two more runs to cut the lead to 5-4 in the third after Josh McDaniel knocked in a run on an RBI single and Wood scored on an errant throw by Mullen.

“They kept me off balance,” Covel said. “They kept taking their time, untying their shoes and all that. They were in my head a little bit. I was frustrated for awhile but then I found it and finished off well.”

The senior hurler would finish off well, allowing just one run in the final four innings.

The Irish would shake off the surge by the Blue Jays as they broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth.

Jason Hart got things rolling with a one-out walk, followed by a walk by Covel and a single by Tyler Stroud to load the bases.

Mullen would strike again, driving in another run on a single before Cal Tygart drove in two on a double.

If you recall, it was Hart who hit five three-pointers in the Section V championship game not three months ago. Well, in the Section V baseball title game, he reached base safely in all four plate appearances and scored three times.

“Jason just gets on base,” Rapone said. “He walks, he gets on with an error, a flare…he just seems to have that knack of being able to get on base. With Covel hitting behind him, he’s scored a lot of runs this year.”

Notre Dame got two more runs after the shortstop bobbled a Louis Reynolds ground ball that plated Tygart and Mullen.

It looked as if the five-time Section V champions were going to make a run, down 10 to 4 in the fifth.

Covel looked as if he was struggling, allowing three hits to load the bases after errors in the infield.

After Stephens struck out, Craig Lewis drove in a run on a sacrifice fly and Warzcok singled to reload the bases.

But, Rapone stuck with his senior ace and, as great players do, he dug himself out of the hole.

On a 3-2 pitch with two outs Covel faked a pitch and caught McDaniels stealing to end the inning.

“Alec is a seasoned pitcher,” Rapone said. “He’s not going to get rattled because of what’s going on. He made a heads-up play with a 3-2 count, knowing the runners were going to running. He did the fake with a swing-around pick-off. He’s just a smart baseball player.”

Covel would finish off the final two innings 1-2-3 to end the contest and finally get the Irish over the hump after losing to the Blue Jays in the finals in 2001, 2005 and 2012, while being eliminated in the semifinals in 2009.

“We’ve been the bridesmaids a lot of the time,” Rapone said. “Arkport has been on the other side a lot of the time, too. It was nice to come out on top, especially for our seniors.”

Stroud was named the Class DD tournament Most Valuable Player after going 5-for-7 with four RBIs in three games, while also striking out 13 batters and allowing just one run on three hits in the semifinals against Jasper-Troupsburg.

“From Little League it’s something you dream of,” Stroud said. “Now it’s finally here.”

Covel finished the game allowing five runs on nine hits and striking out eight batters to pick up the win.

Mullen went 3-for-3 at the plate with four RBIs, while Louis Reynolds had two RBIs and reached base three times.

Warzcok allowed eight runs on six hits and walked seven batters in four and one-third innings pitched for Arkport (14-5).

Notre Dame (15-3) will play Class D winner Whitesville on Tuesday at a site to be determined for the opportunity to play in the Far West Regional.

To purchase prints, click here.

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 12:21 pm

NY-Penn League announces 2014 scholarship contest

post by Billie Owens in announcements, baseball, sports

Press release:

The Class-A Short-Season New York-Penn League and its member clubs are proud to announce that the league's philanthropic arm, the NYPL Charitable Foundation, will once again award more than $10,000 in scholarships this summer to deserving high school graduates from the league's 14 markets.

Now in its sixth year, the 2014 NYPL Scholarship Contest is open to any graduating senior from a public or private high school within the league's footprint. Any student who has been accepted at a two or four-year college or university, vocational school, or technical education institution is eligible.

Applicants will be judged based on academic performance, volunteer and extracurricular activities, and the impact their local NYPL club and Minor League Baseball have had on their lives. The scholarship contest will consist of two stages -- a local round and a divisional round. In the local stage, students will apply directly to their local NYPL team, with one applicant chosen by each of the 14 teams to advance to the divisional/final round.

The 14 finalists will then be separated by the division of the team they represent. The winning application from each of the NYPL's three divisions (McNamara, Pinckney and Stedler) will receive the top prize of a $2,500 scholarship. All other finalists will receive a $250 book award.

High school seniors interested in entering the 2014 Scholarship Contest can obtain the official application from their local NYPL club, or by visiting the league's official Web site, NewYork-PennLeague.com.

The deadline to submit applications to the nearest NYPL team is June 27. Each club's winner, including the three $2,500 scholarship recipients, will be selected in late July and honored at a game in August.

The New York-Penn League and its 14 member clubs created the New York-Penn League Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, in 2003. The mission of the Foundation is to provide focus and support for the collective and individual charitable and community efforts of the New York-Penn League, its Clubs, and their staff.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Muckdogs in need of housing for baseball players

post by Billie Owens in batavia, muckdogs, sports

Press release:

How would you like to live with the next Ryan Howard or Chase Utley this summer? The Batavia Muckdogs are again seeking local families to assist in housing players during the 2014 baseball season.

Anyone can help provide lodging for this year's Muckdogs by either providing space or renting a room, apartment, or home. While many host families come back year after year, the team is always looking to add to their list of available options for the players and coaching staff.

Host Families play a crucial role in helping young players feel comfortable in a new environment. Many who have hosted players in the past have had incredibly wonderful experiences. However, with players coming and going throughout the season, we have constant needs as far as housing.

The 2014 season runs from June 13 until Sept. 1 and players typically range from 18-23 years of age. The team will arrive in Batavia the week of Monday, June 9.

If you are interested, need more information or know someone in the Batavia area (within just a few miles of Dwyer Stadium) who might be interested in hosting a player, please contact Travis Sick at (585) 343-5454 or [email protected]. You can also call our housing coordinator Shirley Fanara directly at (585) 356-3411.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Seven Cougars named All-Region in men's lacrosse

post by Andrew Crofts in GCC, lacrosse, sports

Seven members of the Genesee Community College men's lacrosse team were recently named to the 2014 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region III All-Region team. Sophomore midfielder Pete DiLaura (Chili, NY) and sophomore defenseman Johnny Astrologo (Mahopac, NY) were both selected to the first team and freshman attacks Dana Ray (Allegany Territory) and Joshua Wester (Livonia, NY), sophomore midfielder Tyler Skowronski (Clarence, NY), freshman defender Jesse Jimerson (Six Nations, ON) and sophomore goalkeeper Craig Seneca (Cattarugus Territory) were selected to the second team.

DiLaura had the sixth highest ground ball total in the country this year with 90, which led the team. He scored five goals, added five assists and led the team in takeaways with 60.

Astrologo started in all 15 games this spring. He was second on the team in ground balls with 59 and second in takeaways with 53. He also earned NJCAA All-American honors as a second team selection this year.

Ray scored a team-high 32 goals and 24 assits, totaling a team-best 56 points. He made 13 starts during his freshman season.

Wester was third on the team in total points with 47, scoring 22 goals and adding 25 assists. He totaled 30 ground balls and caused nine turnovers, playing in 13 games this spring.

Skowronski tallied 37 points. He scored 20 goals and had 17 assists. He also had 10 takeaways and collected 31 ground balls, appearing in every game this year for GCC.

Jimerson equaled the third highest ground ball total on the team with 49. He caused 38 turnovers and had two points offensively, scoring a goal and adding an assist.

Seneca had the third highest save percentage in the NJCAA this season at 64.3 percent. He made 184 total saves and held the sixth lowest goals against average in the country at 8.81.

Genesee finished the 2014 season ranked No. 4 in the NJCAA National Poll. The Cougars reached the Region III semifinals for the fourth consecutive year and had its three year run of national tournament appearances snapped after just missing out on an at-large bid.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Genesee softball receives four All-Conference selections

post by Andrew Crofts in GCC, softball, sports


The Western New York Athletic Conference (WNYAC) recently released its list of 2014 softball All-Conference selections and four members of the Genesee Community College softball team were included. Freshman outfielder Georgie Miller (Attica, NY), sophomore pitcher Ashley Covel (Oakfield, NY), freshman catcher Karissa Schuster (Perry, NY) and freshman utility/DH Chelsey Ruzewski (Attica, NY) were all named to the All-Conference second team.

Miller led the team in triples this spring with four and totaled seven extra-base hits. She batted .284, scored 15 runs and drove in nine. She appeared in all but one game for the Cougars as an infielder/outfielder.

Covel pitched 129.2 innings in 26 appearances, including 16 complete games this season. She had an earned run average of 4.70, struck out 68 batters and won nine games- all team highs. Offensively, she led the Cougars with a .474 batting average, three home runs, 27 runs scored and 18 runs batted in. She was also named to the Division III Region III All-Region second team this spring.

Schuster hit .333 at the plate and stole a team-leading 22 bases. She was tied for the second most runs scored and runs batted in on the team with 22 runs and 14 RBI's. She was one of only three Cougars to appear in all 37 games this spring.

Ruzewski batted .327 in a team-high 113 at bats. She tallied 37 hits, scored 22 runs and stole 19 bases. In the field, the third baseman committed just seven errors in 75 total chances. She played in all 37 games for Genesee this year.

Genesee finished the spring ranked ninth in the Region III standings and had a 14-23 overall record.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 9:38 am

Batavia girls, Le Roy boys pick up Section V titles in track

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, high school sports, Le Roy, sports, track and field

Batavia High School girls track team won the Section V Class B championship in a meet in Lyons on Saturday.

With 97.50 points, BHS topped Honeoye Falls-Lima at 82.50 and Wayne Central at 76 in a field with 14 teams competing.

Event winners include:

  • Marissa Dispenza, 100 meter hurdles, 15.87
  • Kaylee Cassidy, Alexis Kindig, Emma Eastridge and Claire Zickl, 4x800 relay, 10:02
  • Krystyn Mott, pole vault, 2.81m
  • Celia Flynn, shot put, 9.30m

Le Roy boys won the Class CC championship, with 94 points, topping Williamson Central at 88 and Wellsville at 85.

Event winners include:

  • Rubin Owens, high jump, 1.98m
  • Rubin Owens, long jump, 7.14m
  • Rubin Owens, triple jump, 14.75m
Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 7:52 pm

Photos: Michael Napoleone Memorial Baseball Tournament 2014

Michael Napoleone Memorial Baseball Tournament has returned to Batavia this weekend. The annual event started Friday and runs through the day. Most of the games are being played on the three fields at MacArthur Park, but there were games today at Dwyer Stadium (including a night game) and one this morning at Williams Park. Teams from throughout the region participate in the tournament.


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