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Thursday, March 19, 2015 at 3:34 pm

Photos: Farmers visiting local schools for Ag Literacy Week

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, byron-bergen, education, schools

It's Ag Literacy Week and farmers from throughout Genesee County are participating by going to their local schools and sharing about their careers and reading from a book picked especially for the occasion.

The book is "Weaving the Rainbow," by George Ella Lyon and Stephanie Anderson. The picture book is the story of a young woman who raises sheep, shears them, cleans, cards, spins and dyes the wool, using it to create works of woven art. The story is aimed at helping students make the connection between agriculture and its many uses and influences.

Above, Sharon Fuerch reads to a group of second-graders at Byron-Bergen Elementary School this morning.  

Below, Colleen Primm and her daughter Madelynn introduce a pair of their lambs to Byron-Bergen students.

Saturday, March 7, 2015 at 5:10 pm

Mynderse defeats Byron-Bergen to take Class C1 championship

post by Howard B. Owens in basketball, byron-bergen, high school sports, sports

Team quickness and heavy use of a press defense helped Mynderse secure a 43-26 victory over Byron-Bergen in the girls basketball Section V Class C1 championship game played today at Rush-Henrietta High School.

A 15-1 first quarter set the stage for the Bees defeat. It was a hole Byron-Bergen never climbed out of despite scoring 12 points in the second quarter, which turned out to be a higher total than the one scored in the second half by the Bees.

Lindsey Lovett had 11 points for Byron Bergen, and Abbie Kelley scored 10. Sam Donnelly had five.

Lovett and Kelley were named to the All Tournament team.

Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 6:30 pm

A championship weekend for Genesee County

Genesee County will have four teams playing for Section V championships in their respective classes this weekend.

Elba's Lady Lancers plays Jasper-Troupsburg for the Class D1 crown at Letchworth at 8 p.m., Friday. Elba beat Arkport last night 68-36.

Byron-Bergen's Lady Bees take on Mynderse at 1 p.m., Saturday, at Rush Henrietta after winning last night 42-38 over Gananda.

The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame take on Genesee Valley in the boys Class D1 championship at 7:15 p.m., Saturday, at Blue Cross Arena. Notre Dame beat Mt. Morris 62-45 to advance. Head Coach Mike Rapone asked that fans be advised that officials are going to clear out the stands at Blue Cross Arena following the completion of the 4:15 p.m. game Saturday. Doors will open for the 7:15 game at 6:45 p.m.

The Batavia Blue Devils go for the Class A2 title at 5 p.m., Sunday, against School of the Arts at Blue Cross Arena. (Click here for coverage of their semi-final game). 

Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 12:57 am

Byron-Bergen tops Notre Dame in hard fought girls hoops playoff game

It was a nifty little move under the basket, a no-look reverse layup from Byron-Bergen's Abbie Kelley. The kind of play good players make.

In this case, it couldn't have come at a more opportune time. Head Coach Rick Krzewinski said it was perhaps the difference maker in the game.

The Lady Bees got to that point by allowing Notre Dame to go on an 11-0 run at the start of the third quarter to erase a 10-point lead for Byron-Bergen in the Section V Class C1 playoff game.

The reverse of fortunes had a familiar ring to the Bees, who lost a home game earlier this season to the Fighting Irish after blowing a first-half lead.

Krzewinski told his players in the locker room at the half, "looks familiar doesn't it?"

One of his girls said, "don't even talk about it."

"Oh, we're going to talk about it," Krzewinski told his team, "because we're not going to let happen what happened last time."

The Bees apparently got the message, and Kelley's nifty basket provided the spark they needed to beat back Notre Dame's momentum.

"Players make plays and that was the perfect time for it," Krzewinski said. "We got our composure back, I thought, and started hitting some shots."

That basket and a three possession change of defense to a 2-3 zone, seemed to break the rhythm of the Irish girls.

Kelley, who has 393 points on the year, did more to carry her team than drop that one score. She was the game's leading scorer with 23. Nobody else on her team was in double digits.

"Today was Bergen's day," said Irish Head Coach Dave Pero. "In the fourth quarter, Abbie Kelley took the game over. We missed way too many free throws. We probably missed 14 free throws (10, actually) and in sectional play, in any game, you can't miss 14 free throws and think you're going to struggle to win. Sometimes you'll get lucky, but the luck of the Irish wasn't with us today."

B-B's diamond defense held Notre Dame's top two scorers to totals a shave below their season PPG averages. Becca Krenzer had 12 points and Shea Norton, 11.

Emma Francis didn't hit a single three and was held to seven points for the game.

"We had the shots we wanted," Pero said. "You have days when they're not going to go in and today was one of those days. But we fought to get back in third quarter and I don't know if we ran out of gas a little bit, we might have, but I've got to take my hat off to Bergen. They played a great basketball game. They played for 32 minutes and that's why they're moving on and we're not."

The Bees had 13 days off before the game and Krzewinski said the team used that time to work on the diamond defense thinking it would be effective against Notre Dame.

"We were hoping maybe we could force some turnovers, worst case maybe slow them down," Krzewinski said. "I thought the girls worked it well and the message was, it will work if you move and they moved. We got out of it what I wanted."

It's been 2008 since Byron-Bergen beat Notre Dame in a girls basketball game, and the Irish seem to be a chief rival for just about every team they play.  The win certainly made Bees fans happy, who whooped it up in the closing seconds of the game.

"Yeah, everybody wants to beat Notre Dame, obviously,"  Krzewinski said. "Year in and year out they're a team that everybody wants to beat and to be able to do this in a sectional game just makes it really sweet. I'm so proud of the way they (his team) played and hung in there and did this. I don't even know what to say."

Next up for Byron-Bergen, the #3 seed in the tournament, is #2 seed Gananda (16-3) at 6 p.m., Tuesday, at a location to be determined.

Pembroke, also a C1 team, lost today to East Rochester.

Oakfield-Alabama and Alexander also lost playoff games today, leaving Byron-Bergen, Batavia and Elba as the three Genesee County girls basketball teams still alive in the postseason. All three have games scheduled for Tuesday.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 11:34 am

Pembroke and Byron-Bergen open tournament play with battle to the end

post by Howard B. Owens in basketball, byron-bergen, high school sports, pembroke, sports

Two teams, evenly matched, made for action-packed basketball at Byron-Bergen Tuesday night, but a 14-2 run in the second quarter made all the difference for Pembroke as the Dragons pulled out a 51-45 win in a first-round Section V playoff game.

Byron-Bergen and Pembroke came into the game as the #8 and #9 seeds, both with 7-12 records and having split their two regular season contests.

"We know everything that they're running," said Chad Smith, Bees head coach. "I mean, he had to change up his pace and we were able to adjust to it. We figured it out. We did a great job. He knows pretty much what we're doing. We worked them down to five seconds on the shot clock a lot throughout the night, but they had guys come up big."

Smith and Pembroke Coach Matt Shay agreed that the turning point was the second quarter, when shots stopped dropping for the Bees and the Dragons got hot.

"We really locked down defensively and that was huge because they made some shots in the first quarter and I told the guys after the first quarter, I thought we were playing solid defense, but they were just making tough, good shots, good offensive plays. I told the guys, 'stick with it.' I think the defense looked pretty good and eventually those percentages even themselves out."

The game wasn't really decided into the closing second, but Byron-Bergen wasn't able to run its plays to get some scores.

Smith realizes he has a young team and he's eager to start off-season work with his returning players with an eye toward a stronger 2015-16.

"We've got a great group of kids," Smith said. "They work their tails off for me. I knew it was going to be a fight. They weren't going to give up at all until the end. I'm very proud of our guys.
I think we're moving in the right direction."

For Pembroke, Ryan Cansdale had 16 points, Zack Von Kramer, 10, and Kyle Ludwig hit three triples on his way to a 10-point game.

For the Bees, Steele Truax had 11, and Brandon Burke and Adam Strassner had 10 each.

Next up for Pembroke at 7 p.m., Friday, is #1 seed Mynderse (15-4). 

Shay knows it's going to be a tough game for his young team.

"We're definitely the underdog, which is OK with us because we've been an underdog team for most the season," Shay said. "I don't try to focus too much on the other team. We will get focused on what we do and execute on what we do rather than concentrate on what they do."

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Monday, December 29, 2014 at 3:55 pm

Audit critical of online banking security for Byron-Bergen schools

The Byron-Bergen Central School District needs to improve its online banking security, according to a NYS comptroller's audit released this month.

While the district informed the auditors that some of the report's recommendations were already being complied with or will be met, the board rejected one of the recommendations.

Auditors said that while the district has online access to all of its accounts -- including high-balance savings accounts -- such access is unnecessary.

The board countered: Actually, online banking for all district accounts is unavoidably necessary, thanks to the state.

"Due to the remote location of our school district," the district board responded, "and limited district office staff due to the ever-increasing budget constraints caused by the property tax cap, freezing of state aid and the Gap Eliminate Adjustment, we are unable to do banking transactions on a regular basis at our banking institution's branch locations due to distance and time away from other duties district office staff perform. We must be as efficient as possible in the use of our existing office staff. That efficiency is increased with the ability to our banking functions online."

The audit found that two employees were keeping their usernames and passwords on a piece of paper and while one document was locked in a filing cabinet, the other was kept in a cabinet that wasn't always locked.

Online-banking users also do not properly log out of their banking sessions and then delete their browsing history, cache and cookies, according to the audit.

The audit also knocked the district for not having copies on file of its banking agreements, but district officials said they felt the confidential information contained in these documents were best secured at the bank and not in district offices.

The district is not taking full advantage, the report states, of their bank's notification alerts for high-threshold transactions.

The district said it has instituted additional staff training in these area were best practices were not already in place.

Friday, December 19, 2014 at 3:35 pm

Byron-Bergen students, faculty and staff come through for the community for the holidays

post by Howard B. Owens in bergen, byron, byron-bergen

Press release:

The Byron-Bergen Central School District community has been doing an amazing job of providing assistance to some of our community families during the holidays for many years. 

The B-B community members, administrators, faculty, staff, and students donated toys and games, clothing items, rolls of wrapping paper, and more than 1,000 nonperishable food items. 

The B-B winter sports teams donated more than 500 nonperishable food items and assisted with packing fruit bags! Also, close to $2,400 was donated by the community, administrators, faculty, and staff so we could purchase gifts for families in need from our school district. 

All the food items will be picked up by the local Hesperus Lodge No. 837 Free & Accepted Masons for sorting and packing into 90-plus food baskets for local families (as they have done for many, many years), with several community, Board of Education, and school district members pitching in to help. 

Sponsors of this holiday goodwill were organized by Hesperus Lodge No. 837 Free & Accepted Masons and coordinated by Dick Sands; and include the faculty, staff, and students of Byron-Bergen CSD; the Byron-Bergen community members, and area businesses. 

Food baskets and gifts will be delivered on Saturday, Dec. 20, by the Masons, community, and school volunteers. All involved truly believe in the magic of the holiday season!

Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 11:49 pm

In clash of 4-2 teams, Alexander comes out on top, 21-0

post by Howard B. Owens in alexander, byron-bergen, elba, football, high school sports

Before facing off against Elba/Byron-Bergen, Alexander's Head Coach Tim Sawyer offered an assessment of what it would take the Trojans to beat the Lancers.

"We need 48 minutes of perfect football," he said.

After the game, Sawyer said his team got pretty close.

"I feel like we get maximum effort out of our boys, a good effort, but we still continue to make some mistakes," Sawyer said. "Today we played a pretty complete game. I'd say 42, 44 minutes of pretty good football."

The result was a 21-0 win, giving Alexander a 5-2 record on the season and carrying them into sectional play on a four-game win streak.

Pre-game, the meeting of the two 4 and 2 Genesee Region rivals promised to be a close battle, and for the first 11 minutes of play, that's exactly what it was. But as the scoreless first quarter drew to a close, LB Derrick Busch cut in front of a Lancers receiver to snag a Garrett Chapell pass and dash 28 yards unimpeded for the score.

"That gave us the momentum that carried us through the game," said senior Tyler Laird.

In the second quarter, RB Tristan Aldinger scored on a 44-yard run and RB Jacob Wozniak scored on a 50-yard run.

"Running up the middle, my fullback, Al Hadsall, had a really good block on the inside, so I broke it off on the outside of him and the whole team really put it together on that play and helped me score," Wozniak said.

Sawyer said he knew coming into the game that the Lancers feature a strong, aggressive defense, and he came prepared.

Six different players took snaps and four backs took turns taking handoffs.

"We wanted to use our speed early to get out wide and get them to spread and they did," Sawyer said. "Then we started running zone run up the middle, and you guys saw the game kind of open up for us."

Wozniak and Aldinger shouldered most of the load out of the backfield. Wozniak had 23 carries for 108 yards and the TD, and Aldinger had 128 yards and a TD on 14 carries.

Elba/BB isn't an easy team to shut down offensively. It's a good team with Chapell, John Hochmuth and Steele Truax to power the scoring.

Yet, they were shutout.

"I give all the credit to (Defensive Coach Matt) McCracken," Sawyer said. "I think he's under 30, but he's (the) mastermind."

Laird said the defensive line really sparked the performance.

"Our guys were working hard," Laird said. "Our D-line has got a push and they were opening up the lanes for me to make tackles. That goes for me and the other linebackers Cody Trzecieski and Jake Wozniak. The linemen really opened it up for us."

This is the second year the Trojans have run a three-man front on defense, and it's kind of a secret weapon, Sawyer said.

"I think that confuses our opponents a bit and we're getting pretty good at it," Sawyer said.

On Saturday, Alexander travels to Honeoye Falls for a first-round sectional game against Avon.

Last year the Trojans made it all the way to Section V finals. This year's team is a very different kind of team, with more speed and not as much power, but Laird said that's the only difference between each year's teams.

This year's team is just as ready to challenge for a title.

"It was rough at the beginning of the year trying to adjust to a new scheme, but these kids are working just as hard as that team did last year and they just keep getting better every single week," Laird said. "It's basically the same atmosphere as last year. Five and one in the GR and I'm excited. It feels great."

Top photo: Jacob Wozniak breaks free for Alexander's third, and final touchdown -- a 50-yard run.

Elba/BB's Mike Shanley comes close to blocking Zach Shilvock second of three extra points.

Steele Truax dives for a few extra yards in the third quarter.

Tristan Aldinger comes close to a third-quarter pass interception.

Samuel Browne picking up yardage in the third quarter.

Mike Shanley on a run in the third quarter.

UPDATE: Rick Franclemont also took pictures of the game. You can view them here.

To purchase prints, click here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 11:25 pm

Ranzenhofer, Hawley on hand at Byron-Bergen to help celebrate passage of yogurt bill

post by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, yogurt

Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer and Assemblyman Steve Hawley just happened to be in Bergen this morning when they learned that Gov. Andrew Cuomo had signed legislation first conceived by students at Byron-Bergen School to make yogurt the official state snack.  

The two representatives who carried the bill through the legislature immediately headed over to the school to celebrate the bill's passage with the students who made it all possible.

Below, a recording of the announcement, with Principal Brian Meister.

Several of the students wanted to hug Sen. Ranzenhofer when they first saw him at the school this afternoon.

 

Friday, October 10, 2014 at 4:43 pm

Photo: Cornfields across the road from Byron-Bergen School

post by Howard B. Owens in bergen, byron-bergen

When I was out there today, I liked this early-fall-day scene I spotted across the road from Byron-Bergen School.

BTW: Byron-Bergen is hosting a first-ever Friday night football game tonight. It's a big local football night. Batavia HS has its homecoming and the 5-0 Le Roy team meets 5-0 Bishop Kearney in a homecoming game. (I'll be in Le Roy).

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