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Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Alexander muscles way to opening-game victory over Elba/Byron-Bergen

post by Howard Owens in alexander, bergen, byron, elba, football, high school sports, sports
Dylan Scharlau heads toward the end zone in the fourth quarter.

One year makes a big difference in high school football.

To start the 2012 season, Elba/Byron-Bergen had the size and experience over Alexander. The final score that opening game was 40-13.

The way Lancers Head Coach Michael Cintorino sees it, the Alexander players didn't forget that smackdown.

Yesterday in Alexander, the tables were turned and the Trojans came out on top 23-6 victory after dominating a rain-drenched second.

"I think the key to the game is Alexander returned an awful lot of guys who are very well coached," Cintorino said. "Their guys came ready to play. Not that we didn't, but they had a little fire in them from what happened to them last year against us. I think that stayed with those young guys and they put their time in during the off season."

The Lancers were powered last season by the legs of Zach DuBois and the arm of Zac Gillard. Both players graduated.

All but three of Alexander's 19 varsity players hit the weight room hard during the off season, said head coach Tim Sawyer. This year, the Trojans may lack the roster size of some other teams, but they can put some big guys on the field.

Senior running back Dylan Scharlau is 6' and 195 lbs. Quinn Furlong, at TE and LB, is an inch shorter, but the same weight. Alton Rupp and Will Burke check in on offense and defense at 190 and 195 lbs. On the offensive and defensive lines are anchored by Kelsey Patten (225 lbs.), Jonathon George (230 lbs.), Damien Hargraves (200 lbs.) and Alex Jewett (245 lbs.).

With Nelson Burke at QB and Zach Laird at wide out, the Trojans can also run and catch.

"Elba is a physical team," Sawyer said. "But we have some pretty good size this year combined with strength. I thought it was a good, even match-up."

The key to the game may have been the start of the second half, which didn't result in a score for Alexander (penalties killed their drive), but it did help turn the tide.

Up by three after Scharlau's 30-yard field goal gave Alexander a 9-6 lead to end the second quarter; the Trojans had the first possession of the third.

"This doesn’t show on the scoreboard but I think this is huge," Sawyer said. "To start the third quarter, we’re going into a strong wind into a driving rain and possessed the ball for seven minutes. We didn’t get any points, but it chewed up their offensive advantage of the wind and all."

The rain and the wind stayed steady throughout the fourth quarter, when the Lancers offense was facing the western end zone. With the wind at their back, the Trojans were able to engineer two touchdown drives.

Burke hit Laird for a 17-yard pass for a TD and Scharlau pushed the pile forward on a goal line TD run, followed by a two-point conversion pass from Burke.

Elba/BB's lone score came on a pass from Garrett Chapell to Kyle Dougherty, giving the Lancer's a quick 6-0 lead.

Last season the 2-6 Trojans had a tendency to get down early and then find it difficult to battle back, so Sawyer as much pleased with the way his team won as he is with a 1-0 start to the season.

"They boys believed in themselves and kept battling," Sawyer said. "To be down early and finish the game 23-6, that’s a big step for our football program."

Both coaches said they have work to do with their teams.

For the Lancers, there's no one glaring issue, Cintorino said. There's a lot of little things, but mainly the mental errors need to be addressed.

Two fumbles in the second half were costly for the Elba/BB.

"I have confidence in this group and I think we can work on those kinks, coach them up, and get them were they need to be," Cintorino said.

It feels good, Sawyer said, to go into the next week trying to improve the team coming off a win.

"We made some mistakes," Sawyer said. "We have some things to work on. It's nice to get the win, but when I got into the team room, it's going to be like, 'Hey, we've got to shore some things up here.' "

On the game Scharlau carried the ball 26 times for 157 yards and two TDs, plus the 30-yard field goal. Burke was six for 11 for 178 yards and one TD pass. Burke also gave up an interception. He ran the ball four times for 29 yards. Laird caught the ball three times for 44 yards and a TD.  He had six carries for 36 yards. On defense, Patten had two sacks and four tackles. Laird had a sack, four and a half tackles and a forced fumble.

For Elba, Brandon Naylor gained 78 yards on 17 carries. Chapell was 4-13 for 40 yards and one TD. Austin Yockel caught two passes for 25 yards and Dougherty's one catch was the nine-yard TD reception in the first quarter. On defense, Naylor had 16 tackles and one forced fumble. Andy Underhill had 13 tackles and a forced fumble. Austin Hynes Fisher had six tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Dougherty had four tackles and an interception.

Other football action:

  • Pembroke beat Charles Finney 41-0. The Dragons gained 300 yards on the ground. Dakota Swimline had 14 carries for 150 yards and three TDs. Cal Neurhor had eight tackles, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
  • Batavia beat Edison Technical 22-0 taking command of the game in the first quarter, scoring 16 points. Nick Canzoneri carried the ball 16 times for 81 yards and two TDs. Brandon Stevenson gained 215 all-purpose yards. Dominick Mogazero and Trevor Rittstersback each had 12 tackles.
  • Notre Dame crushed Holley 52-0. Tim McCulley came up big throwing for 229 yards and four TDs. He was seven for 10 passing. McCulley ran the ball eight times for 92 yards and one TD. Andrew Mullen taking over as lead man out of the backfield gained 151 yards and scored three times. The Irish had a total of 270 yards on the ground. He had one catch for 49 yards. Notre Dame scored 39 first-half points and notched one TD on Mullen runs in the third and fourth quarters. Cam Chamberlain gained 25 yards on eight carries. Josh Johnson had two TD receptions and gained 83 yards. Luca Zambito caught the ball twice for 47 yards and scored once. Chamberlain had eight tackles. Joe Zickl had five and a half.
  • Oakfield-Alabama lost to Attica 45-6. Chris Nanni carried the ball 21 times, gained 72 yards and scored once. Chase Manzella notched 17 tackles. Attica, part of the Genesee Region League, returns with workhorse running back Matt Perry, now a senior, who ran for 228 yards and two TDs on 28 carries.

Football next Friday and Saturday:

  • Finney is at Alexander, Friday, 7 p.m.
  • Notre Dame at Oakfield-Alabama, Friday, 7 p.m.
  • Le Roy at Bishop Kearney, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
  • HF-L at Batavia, Friday, 7:30 p.m. (we'll cover this game)
  • Pembroke at Elba/BB, Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

To purchase prints of photos, click here.

Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Truck on fire on westbound I-490

post by Billie Owens in bergen, fire, Le Roy

A truck fire is reported on the westbound I-490 near mile marker 2.8. Le Roy Fire Department is responding. The occupants are out of the vehicle.

UPDATE 3:08 p.m.: The scene is close to a small body of water near that mile marker, which is actually in Bergen's fire district. Le Roy is put back in service and Bergen has command. A witness indicated the fire was in the back of a pickup and that the occupants "were seen running from the scene." A Sheriff's deputy is also responding.

UPDATE 3:18 p.m.: Bergen command reports the truck has a blown transmission and that the fire department is not needed. The assignment is back in service.

Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Updates on four critically injured people

post by Howard Owens in batavia, bergen, corfu, Darien

In the past few weeks, we've had four people hospitalized with serious injuries. Here's what we know about them today.

  • Jason McNeil: McNeil's health is improving according to a Facebook post by his wife. He may be able to return home soon. McNeil was hit following the Kid Rock concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on July 6. Craig Lawson was recently indicted on a charge of assault, 2nd, and is scheduled to be arraigned on the charge next week.
  • Benjamin L. Falker, 16, was critically injured in an ATV accident Aug. 3. He remains listed in serious condition at ECMC.
  • Ashley M. Stillwell, 19, was a passenger on a motorcycle driven by her boyfriend Derek Sheldon when the bike struck a car at the intersection of Selden and West Bergen roads. Sheldon was killed in the accident. Stillwell was transported with serious injuries by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital. As of today, Strong does not have Stillwell listed as a patient and we have no further information.
  • Scott Baker, 51, was critically injured during an apparent fight Sunday night on Harvester Avenue. He remains in a coma, listed in critical condition, at ECMC. Shane M. Bell is accused of hitting Baker and is charged with felony assault.

UPDATE 5:05 p.m.: We were contacted by State Police and told Stillwell remains a patient at Strong, regardless of Strong's patient record which does not list her.

UPDATE: Since the last update, I had another conversation with Trooper Victor Morales, Troop A's PIO. He said Stillwell is doing well. She's listed in good condition at Strong and could be released from the hospital soon. She suffered a broken pelvis, broken back and fractured knee cap. The accident reconstruction is not complete, but investigators believe that speed was not a factor. Stillwell does not remember them speeding prior to the accident, but even if they were, the other driver had clear visability for at least a mile down the road. At this point in time, no citations have been issued.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Grand Jury Report: Alleged assailant at Kid Rock concert now charged with felony

post by Howard Owens in batavia, bergen, crime, Darien, Grand Jury

Craig M. Lawson is indicted on one count of assault in the second degree, a Class D felony. The indictment accuses Lawson of hitting another person with intent to cause serious physical injury. Lawson allegedly hit Jason McNeil following the Kid Rock concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on July 5. McNeil suffered a serious head injury when he fell to the ground and remains hospitalized at ECMC. Lawson, a Canadian who was originally arrested on a misdemeanor charge, is out of jail on $1,000 bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned on the felony charge Sept. 3.

Felipe R. Fernandez is indicted on a count of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree.  Fernandez is accused of driving a motor vehicle on May 8 in the Town of Batavia while knowing that his license to operate a motor vehicle was revoked with 10 or more suspensions.

Hector A. Leon-Figueroa is indicted on a count of criminal possession of marijuana in the third degree, a Class E felony. Leon-Figueroa is accused of possessing more than eight ounces of marijauna March 10 on the Thruway in the Town of Bergen.

Jimmy T. Garcia Jr., is indicted on a count of grand larceny in the fourth degree. Garcia is accused of of stealing $3,010 sometime between Aug. 24 and Aug. 29 in the Town of Batavia.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 9:28 am

Law and Order: Seven Springs resident charged with harassment after argument with neighbor

post by Howard Owens in batavia, bergen, Bethany, corfu, crime, Oakfield

Joseph Andrew Hernick, 64, of Seven Springs Road, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Hernick is accused of being verbally abusive and attempting to be physically intimidating toward a neighbor.

James A. Hancock, 44, of 318 E. Main St., Apt. 6, Batavia, is charged with aggravated criminal contempt. Hancock allegedly violated an order of protection while having a prior criminal contempt conviction within five years.

Patrick O. Spikes, 32, of 16 Hutchins Place, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd. Spikes is accused of damaging property of another person valued at more than $250 during an alleged incident on Holland Avenue at 2:30 a.m., Saturday.

Keluan B. Williams, 24, of 109 Summit St., Apt. 2, Batavia, is charged with acting in a manner injurious to a child less than 17 years old. The alleged incident was reported at 3:30 p.m., Saturday. No further details released.

Danny D. Williams, 24, of 18 East Ave., upper, Batavia, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation and consuming alcohol in a motor vehicle on a public highway. Williams was allegedly found driving at 6:54 p.m. Saturday on Hutchins Place by Officer Chad Richards. At the time of the traffic stop, Williams allegedly had an open can of Natural Light beer in the driver's side cup holder.

Brandi A. Watts, 32, of Indian Falls Road, Corfu, is was arrested on a warrant yesterday following a court appearance on an unrelated matter. Watts is accused of failure to pay a fine on an overnight parking ticket in the City of Batavia.

Eric Alexander Ion, 40, of Brant Road, Brant, was arrested on bench warrants related to charges of criminal contempt, 1st, and assault, 3rd. Ion is accused of failing to appear on these charges. Ion is currently being held on bail in the Genesee County Jail on matters in Family Court.

Faith Brenda Obeirne, 45, of Mt. Read Boulevard, Rochester, was arrested on warrants for alleged petit larceny and criminal possession of a controlled substance. Obeirne was arrested by Rochester PD and turned over to the Sheriff's Office. Obeirne was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Conor Patrick Wilkes, 25, of Lewiston Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and failure to keep right. Wilkes was stopped at 1:31 a.m. Saturday on Veterans Memorial Drive, Batavia, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Justin Joseph Caryl, 26, of Maple Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Caryl is accused of stealing $25.94 in merchandise from Walmart.

Jake Philip Myers, 23, of Maple Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08, failure to keep right and no or inadequate headlights. Myers was stopped at 1:48 a.m. Saturday on Edgerton Road, Elba, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Evelio Rodriguez-Santiago, 46, of Bergen, is charged with petit larceny. Rodriguez-Santiago is accused of stealing an item of value at a location on Church Street, Bergen, at 6:15 p.m., Saturday. Rodriguez-Santiago was arrested by State Police. No further details released.

Timothy J. Poblocki, 24, of East Bethany, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Poblocki was stopped at 1:45 p.m. Sunday on Route 20, Alexander, by State Police.

Jennifer N. Bujnowski, 39, of Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Bujnowski is accused of shoplifting at Walmart.

Sunday, August 11, 2013 at 11:08 am

Motorcycle wreck on Lyman Road, Bergen

post by Billie Owens in accidents, bergen

A motorcyclist has crashed and is injured at 7162 Lyman Road in Bergen. Mercy medics and Bergen fire are responding. The location is between West Bergen and Beaver Meadows roads.

UPDATE 11:13 a.m.: The rider of the black Suzuki is a male who is conscious and alert but has numerous scrapes and scratches to his head and legs.

UPDATE 11:18 a.m.: One of the lanes of traffic is blocked.

UPDATE 11:36 p.m.: The patient is being transported to Strong Memorial Hospital. Someone is coming to remove the motorcycle from the roadway. The Bergen assignment is back in service.

Thursday, August 8, 2013 at 7:05 am

Accident reported on Buffalo Road, Bergen

post by Howard Owens in accident, bergen

At least one person is injured following a motor-vehicle accident in the area of 21 Buffalo Road, Bergen

A person is reportedly down in the roadway.

Bergen Fire Department and Mercy EMS responding.

Two ambulances requested to the scene. Both vehicles had air bag deployment. No obvious injuries.


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Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 11:11 am

Derek Sheldon remembered with tears, laughter and duck calls

post by Howard Owens in bergen

Derek Sheldon lived life wide open.

Among some friends, he was known as WFO (what the F means should be obvious).

In his 19 years, to hear his friends and family tell it, he lived more of life than many of us will live in 80.

He was a teller of tall tales who loved to hunt. He loved his red truck and red tractors ("if it's not red, it belongs he the shed"). He endured more than one trip to a hospital emergency room after one accident or another.

But he always came out smiling.

Sheldon was remembered Tuesday night during in a candlelight memorial at the intersection where he lost his life Sunday. He was remembered with tears, laughter and duck calls.

"Derek, we love you," the 150 or so friends and family yelled toward the heavens, candles held high, near the end of an hour of stories about his life's adventures.

"I've thought of texting him and telling him 'you don't know how many people are here who miss you so much and love you so much,' " said Amy Fagan, who recalled meeting him while ice skating in 7th grade.

"He was shorter and had braces and he asked everybody for my number," Fagan recalled. "We've been inseparable ever since."

His stepfather, Steve Lashbrook, said Derek was fearless with a gift for calling in geese and ducks and hitting his limit.

One winter day, Lashbrook recalled, he and others in his blind hadn't gotten their limit and Derek called him on his phone and said he had his, so Lashbrook told him to come over and help them out so they could get out of the cold weather.

Derek climbed in the blind and said, "Dude, I've got this. Go back to the truck."

Lashbrook didn't even get back to the truck before Derek had three kills.

There were other stories of Sheldon taking over the blinds of other people and quickly hitting the limit.

"He was lucky and he was good and that makes a hell of a combination," Lashbrook said. "Like I said, he had no fear. He had all the confidence in the world that he was going to get his birds every day. He didn't get his birds every day. Nobody does, but he did it more often than a lot of us. The kid had a gift. There's no doubt about it."

Derek was the kind of guy who was a better softball player in work boots than he was in baseball cleats, one friend said, or would strip down to his shorts on a winter day and cross a creek to retrieve a deer he had just killed.

Several people remembered the time he rolled his blue pickup truck. He wasn't seriously injured, but he still was taken to the emergency room.

When a friend arrived, Derek was smiling and said, "I need my phone. I'm looking for my phone."

"What, you need to get ahold of your family?"

"No, my family's here. I need to find a new diesel. I'm looking for a new diesel. That truck's totaled."

His hunting prowess was displayed both in his kills and in the tales he told.

His brother, Trevor remembers being out with him one time bow hunting and they were talking on radios. Neither had seen anything. Five minutes later, Derek radios, "I just killed a buck."

Trevor was incredulous. Five minutes ago, there was nothing, and now you're saying you killed a buck? "Yeah, dude, I put my radio down and looked down and there was this buck right under my stand. I put the radio down and picked up my bow and I shot him."

Sure enough, when Trevor came over to Derek's location, there was Derek cradling a big rack.

"Another time he asked me, 'how many did you see?'  I said, 'one or two,' and he said, 'I had this whole herd come right under my stand. There was like this 10-point and then this 12-point right next to him.' 'Why didn't you shoot? 'Well, that's the thing ...' and there was always a story."

"There was always a story," added his mother Karen Lashbrook.

Which brings us to the story of the woodchuck on Cockram Road.

Derek and some friends were out riding around in a red Neon when Derek spotted a woodchuck by the side of the road. He wanted to shoot it, and Trebor asked, "well, what's your plan." 

Derek wouldn't say, but Trevor said, "He always had a plan. He just wouldn't always tell you."

So they drive by and pull along side the woodchuck. Derek pulls out his gun and starts blasting. Bang, bang, bang.

Just then, the driver looks in the rear view mirror and there's a car behind them. "He's grabbing all the gears," Trevor says of the driver.

"I'm like, 'Derek, are you crazy?' He's like, 'I think I got him. Let's go back. I think I got him.' I was like, 'We've got to hide the Neon. We've got to get out of town.' I'm like, 'this is absurd. What are you thinking?' I had no idea what he was going to do. I said, 'you're crazy.' He was like, 'No, I know I killed it. We've got to go back.'"

Amy asks, "is that when the Neon went into hiding?"

"Yup."

Trevor continues, "It was like two months later and I'm with Mr. Pollock, our substitute teacher. We were in the computer lab, and he comes up to me, 'Hey, you don't do any road hunting, do you?'"

"No, I don't road hunt, what are you talking about?"

" 'Craziest story,' he says. He said, 'I was with my wife, we're coming back from the mall, and you know Cockram Road, right?' I'm like, 'oh, no.'  He says, 'we're following this little red car and my wife says, 'there's guns in that car,' and this idiot has no idea we're behind him because someone just sticks a gun out the window and he just starts shooting.' "

"I'm like, 'NO WAY!' "

" 'Yeah,' he says, 'it was the craziest thing. He just kept shooting and then all the sudden they must have realized I was behind him because they took off. They had to be doing 100 miles per hour.''

"I'm like, "WOW!, no way.'" 

" 'I know you hunt and I thought it might be you, and I said, 'little red car? We don't drive little red cars. We drive pickup trucks.' " 

" 'Well, I didn't think it would be you.' " 

"No, I never heard of such a thing before."

It was another story that brought peals of laugher from Derek's friends and family. 

As the stories wound down, his mother said, "I appreciate all of you being here and sharing in his life. We should remember the good times."

Calling hours are today from 3 to 7 p.m. at H.E. Turner, 51 S. Lake Road Bergen. Derek's funeral is at 3 p.m., Thursday, at the First Presbyterian Church, Bergen.

Ashley Stillwell, Derek's girlfriend, who was a passenger on his bike at the time of the accident Sunday, remains in critical condition at Strong Memorial Hospital. She's been through 17 hours of surgery so far. She did receive visitors yesterday.

Derek Sheldon's family.

Derek Sheldon's close friends. "The Crew" is (not in order): Andy Underhill, Justin Beverly, Jake Maurer, Jamie Maskell, Amy Fagon, Austin Richardson, Mason Muoio, Trevor Wasman, Zachary Gillard, Steven Underhill, Cody Naylor, Evan Cole, Casey Cole, Andy Boyce, Khari Sabb, Josh Lathan, Mike Richard, Shawna Adams, Whitley Stefaniak and Clayton Lovelace.

Sunday, August 4, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Young man from Bergen killed in motorcycle accident in Le Roy, passenger seriously injured

post by Howard Owens in accident, bergen, Le Roy

A 19-year-old resident of Bergen died today, and his 19-year-old friend was seriously injured when the motorcycle they were on slammed into a seden at the intersection of West Bergen Road and Selden Road, Le Roy.

Derek K. Sheldon was pronounced dead at the scene.

Ashley M. Stillwell was transported by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital where she is listed in critical condition.

Sheldon was driving his 2005 Suzuki motorcycle north on West Bergen Road when a 2011 Chevorlet Cruze apparently made a left turn onto Selden Road from West Bergen Road.

The motorcycle hit the car on the passenger side and both Sheldon and Stillwell were ejected from the motor bike.

State Police said both Sheldon and Stillwell sustained multiple injuries.

The driver of the Cruze is identified as Marilyn A. Brassie, 50, of Bergen. She was uninjured but clearly distraught following the accident.

No further details about the crash have been released, which remains under investigation. No charges have been filed pending completion of the investigation.

Sheldon's Facebook page quickly filled with messages from grieving friends this afternoon. According to the page, Sheldon worked for MY T Acres and Triple P Farms.

The NYSP Collision Reconstruction Team responded to the accident.

The Sheriff's Office, Le Roy Fire andLe Roy Ambulance assisted at the scene.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Possible house fire reported off Route 33, south of Route 19, Bergen

post by Billie Owens in bergen, fire

A possible house fire is reported off Route 33, just south of Route 19. Bergen fire is responding.

UPDATE 8:40 p.m.: A call back reports that the fire appears to be a controlled burn at 7062 Route 19. The fire department is continuing to confirm.

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