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Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 12:44 am

Hornets savor win over Notre Dame after years of frustration

NOTE: The information we were given about how long it's been since O-A beat ND was wrong.

It's been nearly 20 years since Oakfield-Alabama beat Notre Dame, and after holding on for a 16-13 win against the Fighting Irish on their home turf, Hornet players celebrated like they had just won a sectional title.

"It feels great," said wide receiver Reice Woodward, a sophomore starting his first game on varsity. "We haven't beaten Notre Dame in a long time and we're starting the streak now."

With seconds left on the clock and Notre Dame in possession of the ball well into O-A territory, a Hornet's victory was far from assured. Then Woodward scooped up a Josh Johnson fumble and Hornet's captain Allen Chatt jumped high in the air, knowing at long last, a win was a cinch.

"With everything my team has been through this pre-season, and my being on the squad since eighth grade and losing to Notre Dame every year, I can't explain it," Chatt said. "It's the best feeling ever."

The first half of the game was all Oakfield-Alabama. The Hornet's defensive line was pushing around the smaller Irish offense seemingly at will. QB Connor Logsdon tasted turf several times. Fans and coaches kept yelling for him to throw the ball away, throw the ball away. After a play where a wall of white jerseys descended on him, the 5' 9" Logsdon yelled that he couldn't see anything over the line.

The Hornets would have ended the half up by four touchdowns instead of just two, except for wide open receivers twice dropping catchable balls.

It was looking like it was going to be a long afternoon -- if not a long season -- for Coach Rick Mancuso and his squad.

Then Logsdon, from deep in Irish territory completed a pass. RB Peter Daversa gained some ground and the Irish got another reception down field.

It was starting to look like a drive, then a short little run that ended in an apparent fumble (ND's coaches insisted the whistle had already blown, but to no avail) was recovered by the Hornets.

Whatever adjustments Mancuso made, they seemed to stick in the second half. Logsdon played with more confidence, feeling less pressure from O-A's defensive line, and Notre Dame showed it could move the ball down field

"We got a little flat right before the half," said O-A's Head Coach Brian Palone. "And Notre Dame did a great job of making adjustments."

Palone said his team has developed a new defense this season, and he expected the defense to struggle and the offense to do well, but the opposite happened he said. It was really the defense that won the game, so he was proud of his team in that regard, and at how hard they worked to protect their lead even as the team struggled in the second half.

"The way we ended the game here shows a lot about their character and never giving up," Palone said. "We had the lead the whole time, but momentum shifted over to Notre Dame the whole second half and I felt like our defense really stepped it up."

Senior linebacker Casey Arnold said the win was a real team effort. 

"The defensive line couldn't have been better," Arnold said. "We played as a team. We flew to the ball. I'm really proud of this team."

Chatt said all along, he's thought this year's Hornet's squad is something special, but nothing is more special than coming out on top against Notre Dame to open the season.

"I have a good feeling about this squad," Chatt said. "They're 27, 28, whatever we have, strong. They come down with the pads, loading the balls on the bus, whatever it is that needs to be done. I'm as proud as I can be about these guys today. Nothing tastes sweeter than to beat Notre Dame."

Chatt was 12 for 31 passing for 166 yards with two TDs and two INTs. Woodward led the receivers with two catches for 66 yards, including a 56-yard TD reception. He had one fumble recovery. Sal Schwabble had one catch for 41 yards. Ryan Emery, two for 30 yards, and Trent Stack, two for 26.

On defense, Jon Harris had one sack and 10 tackles. Schwable had eight tackles and a sack. Jacob Natalizia had two interceptions.

We didn't receive stats for Notre Dame.

UPDATE: Notre Dame stats: Peter Daversa, 18 carries, 76 yards, 1 TD; Jack Sutherland, 15 carries, 37 yards; Joe Zickl, 3 receptions, 27 yards, 1 TD; C.J. Souzzi, three receptions, 26 yards; Zickl, 8.5 tackles; Souzzi, five tackles; Ethan Osborne, sack.

Touchdown, Joe Zickl.

Appearances can be deceiving. Despite a great effort by O-A's Ryan Emery, Casey Midwick did catch this pass for Notre Dame.

To purchase prints, click here.

Saturday, August 30, 2014 at 10:31 am

Football Preview: O-A looking for young receivers and backs to step up and make plays

Hornets fans have much to be hopeful about in the 2014 season: A third-year starter at QB with a strong arm, a strong offensive line, experienced coaching leadership, but there's also a couple of question marks.

The big issue is who among a young group of receivers and running backs is going to step up and be the playmaker to complement QB Allen Chatt.

Head Coach Brian Palone is looking to improve on last year's 5-3 record in what promises to once again be a tough Genesee Region.

"It all depends on how those guys coming in at skilled positions do for us," Palone said. "We've got some guys who are really competing at those spots for us. It will be interesting to see how we perform in the first game."

Chatt has continued to improve at QB and has become a true team leader, Palone said. He's stepped up, providing leadership to his young receivers.

"He knows what I expect of him and what we expect of the offense," Palone said.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 9:36 pm

Oakfield-Alabama election results

post by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama

Voters approved the Oakfield-Alabama budget today, 226 to 70. 

There were three vacancies on the school board.

Results: 

  • William Snyder, 217
  • Bonnie Woodward, 213
  • Tim Edgerton, 212
  • Joel D'Alba, 195
Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 12:40 am

Photos: Oakfield-Alabama winter carnival

Four-year-old Ethan Pritchett watches a marble roll through a track as part of a game at Oakfield-Alabama's annual winter carnival.

More than 1,500 people who attended the event were able to enjoy more than 40 carnival games, music, food and entertainment during the carnival Friday evening.

The carnival is hosted by Oakfield-Alabama Elementary Community School Organization and is a major fundraiser for the group.

David Schichler, 5.

Kadeen Cusmano, 10.

Ashley Ostrander, 8.

Amora Mabon, 5, watches as Deputy Snyder and Deputy McCarthy create a child identification card for her little brother.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Oakfield-Alabama middle-schoolers compete in 'Turkey Bowl'

post by Howard B. Owens in football, Oakfield, oakfield-alabama, sports

A cold, cold night, the ground frozen, what better conditions could there be for a flag football game among middle-schoolers?

Last night Oakfield-Alabama held its Turkey Bowl. There was no trophy, just a chance for students to a unique football game -- a chance to play under the lights of the varsity football field.

The event was the brainchild of teacher Dan Gilbert and was put together with the help of James Patrick and Katie Hilchey.

"We thought something like this around Thanksgiving might promote the family feeling of a small school," Patrick said.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 5:26 pm

O-A students participate in National Make a Difference Day

post by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, oakfield-alabama

Saturday was National Make a Difference Day and 32 JV and varsity athletes at Oakfield-Alabama Central School along with six teachers participated in a community clean-up day in Oakfield. Participants raked leaves, picked up branches and cleaned up the village.

Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 12:12 am

Alexander rips Oakfield-Alabama on Senior Night

Alexander kept their hopes alive for a share of the Genesee Region League crown with a 36-8 victory over Oakfield-Alabama on Senior Night.

The Trojans used their muscle to dominate the tempo right from the start, marching 55 yards on 11 plays on the opening drive before recovering a Dylan Scharlau fumble in the end zone to take a 6-0 lead.

Oakfield-Alabama got off to solid start as quarterback Allen Chatt completed his first two passes for 34 yards. The drive, however, was derailed after Alexander recovered a Chris Nanni fumble on their 36-yard line.

From that point on, the Trojans rode their senior Scharlau for the rest of the night.

Scharlau capped off an eight-play drive that took over four minutes off the clock with a 10-yard touchdown run to go up 14-0.

Following a Hornet three-and-out series, Alexander marched 80 yards on 16 plays, taking nearly nine minutes off the clock before Scharlau plunged in from three yards out for his second touchdown of the night, sending the Trojans to halftime with a 22-0 lead.

The senior running back finished the night with 187 yards on 40 carries and three touchdowns in his final home game.

After holding the Hornets to a three-and-out to start the second half, Scharlau finished another 12-play, 65-yard drive that took over seven minutes off the clock, with his third touchdown of the night.

“We always joke about giving [Scharlau] the ball 40 times, but we hadn’t done it yet,” said Alexander Head Coach Tim Sawyer. “By giving him the ball, we were able to dominate time of possession and the first down total in the game.”

Alexander held the ball for over 34 out of 48 minutes of the game, including 18 out of 24 in the first half. The Trojans also out-gained Oakfield-Alabama 363 to 110 for the game.

In a battle of two of the top quarterbacks in the Genesee Region League, Alexander’s Nelson Burke went 5-of-7 passing for 94 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown pass to Sam Browne, while also rushing for another 40 yards on the ground.

Hornet sophomore Chatt, struggled to find his rhythm all night, finishing 5-for-17 for 90 yards, with a 16-yard touchdown to Jon Korzelius, and an interception.

Oakfield-Alabama drops to 3-3 on the season and will play at Holley next Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Alexander (5-1) keeps their hopes alive for a share of the Genesee Region League crown and possible top seed in Class D.

“This was a big win for us,” Sawyer said. “Had we lost, Oakfield-Alabama would have swapped places with us in the standings because of a tie-breaker, but the kids really worked hard this week and really wanted to win this game. It has been a pretty magical season so far.”

Alexander travels to Pembroke next Friday night.

Other Friday night games (update by Howard Owens):

Le Roy 13, Wellsville 0. Peter Privitera rushed for 113 yards and one TD on 30 carries and Nick Egeling carried the ball nine times for 92 yards. Kody Lamkin had 11 tackles. Le Roy is now 6-0 and plays Cal-Mum next.

Pembroke beat Holley 23-20.

To purchase prints, click here.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 12:06 pm

FT Building Maintenance Mechanic

post by tera bonner in employment, oakfield-alabama, school

Company Name

Oakfield-Alabama Central School

Job Type

Full-Time

Oakfield-Alabama CSD has an anticipated opening for FT Building Maintenance Mechanic. Job requirements include: knowledge of plumbing, steam lines, electrical, boiler operations, etc with ability to repair all including equipment and appliances. Other duties may include lawn mowing, maintaining athletic fields, snow and ice removal and painting. Salary: Negotiable based on experience but not to exceed $14/hour.  Minimum Requirements: Four years of full time paid experience in building maintenance activities or any equivalent combination of training and experience indicating ability to perform the duties of the job. Work Hours April 1-Oct 31: Monday-Friday 6am-1:00pm and Saturday 7:30am-3:30pm; Winter hours Nov 1 through March 31: Monday-Friday 4am-11am and Saturday 7:30am-3:30pm. Please submit application to Cindy Tretter, Business Administrator, Oakfield-Alabama CSD, 7001 Lewiston Road, Oakfield, NY 14125 no later than September 17, 2013. Non-instructional application can be found at www.oahornets.org.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Photos: Oakfield-Alabama football practice

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

Coming off a 5-4 record, a young Oakfield-Alabama Hornets team is hoping to show some improvement in 2013, but already the injury bug is starting to pinch, said Head Coach Brian Palone.

Three players will miss this Saturday's scrimmage, but it will also be a time for some players at key positions to show whether they're ready to step into starting roles.

"I'm pretty confident in two or three kids at each position now, but I just want to evaluate further as we go along in the week here and as this scrimmage rolls," Palone said.

The Hornets will lean heavily on captains Chris Nanni, linebacker, Chase Manzella, running back, and Hogen Mejia, a lineman.

"We started bring guys a couple of years ago when they were young and now I feel like we have some guys with years of varsity experience, especially at our skills positions, so I'm happy with what I'm seeing right now and how they're developing," Palone said.

Manzella is in line for a QB slot, but Allen Chatt, who finished out last season as QB, has the inside track as the starter.

"He's been working hard this summer and so far working hard in camp," Palone said. "We'd like to keep him at quarterback and Chase at running back.

Sunday, June 23, 2013 at 11:34 pm

Collins tells O-A grads to slow down and live life according to core values

post by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, education, NY-27, oakfield-alabama, schools

Rep. Chris Collins told graduating Oakfield-Alabama students Sunday: slow down.

Collins recounted all that might be taken for granted today that didn't exist when today's seniors were born: DVRs, GPS, iPhones, Google, Twitter, text messaging, satellite radio. The pace of life has quickened, but students can navigate the fast pace of 21st Century life if they have core values and take time to weigh their decisions against those values.

"With all of these advances in your lifetime, can you imagine what the next 18 years are going to bring?" Collins said. "Now that I've spent the past several minutes preparing you to think about the speed of life, I'm going to give you some advice that may seem counterintuitive: slow down."

The young men and women of the 2013 graduating class should take time to write a personal vision statement to guide them as they go forward in life, Collins said.

"As everything around us moves faster, or at least it appears to, I think it is all the more important that you take time for what really counts," Collins said.

Graduates should take time, he said, to ask themselves, "What do you stand for?"

"Life is all about choices," Collins said. "What you do, what you say, how you make people feel are all choices."

Collins closed with a quote from Elbert Hubbard, the WNY writer and thinker from the 19th Century.

The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.

Today's graduates should take action, get involved and make a difference, Collins said.

O-A's top 10 graduates: Paige Chatt, Jessica Cherry, Chelsea Cleveland, Jennifer Crossen, Brittany Denton, Kerry Mills, Teresa Natalizia, Alyse Shamp, Katie Spence and Morgan Zakes.

Valedictorian Jennifer Crossen

Salutatorian Brittany Denton

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