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Posted 6 June 2020 at 9:13 am

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MHS Valedictorian is a four sport athlete

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 6 June 2020 at 9:12 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Medina High Valedictorian Nate Sherman and Salutatorian Margaret Klotzbach.

Medina High Valedictorian Nate Sherman has not only had an outstanding scholastic career in the classroom but this year became a four sport athlete for the Mustangs.

Under the Niagara-Orleans League’s new dual participation rule, Sherman played both soccer and football last fall.

A multi year starter at midfield on the soccer team he helped lead the Mustangs to the N-O title earning first team All-Leagee honors. On the football field he handled the place kicking duties.

Sherman was also a three year starter on the Mustangs basketball earning first team All-League honors this past season.

On the baseball team he was the starting centefielder and helped the Mustangs win league, sectional,and regional titles and a berth in the state semifinals last spring. A first team All-League honoree he will continue his baseball career at Canisius College.

Medina’s Salutatorian Margeret Klotzbach has also been a competitor in the Mustangs athletic program. She was a multi year starter on the swim team regularly posting wins in the 200 and 500 Freestyle and 100 Backstroke events.

A member of the Mustang Band, she was also a member of one of Medina’s two teams which competed in the Destination Imagination’s Global Finals last year in Kansas City.

First N-O title for Albion girls track team sparked a string of championships

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 5 June 2020 at 8:06 am

Contributed Photo from Photos by Bruce and Associates – Albion’s 2006 Niagara-Orleans League champion girls track squad included, in front, Shunieka Williams, Porsche Taylor, Tibreya Grace, Michaeli Moffett, Lisa Skrypnik, Catherine DiBella, Jamie Chappius, Kit Lyman, Liz Rosario, Rahema Quddus and Katie Forder. In the middle row are Frances Taomina, Shelby Murek, Amber O’Kussick, Kelsey Moffett, Anna Metcalf, Hannah Moffett, Camri Taylor, Kenyetta Oliver, Kristina Kasper, Robin Rosecrans, Michele Kasper, Ashley Neibert, Valerie Livingston, Emilie Edwards, Ashley Walter and Nancy Rosario. In the back row are Coach Pat Uveino, Coach Julie Garlock, Coach Dave Carson, Melissa Fromm, Madeline Bensley, Shardae Hadick, Staci Waters, Morgan Eastlack, Chelsea Bokman, Liz Lyman, Josephine Rivera, Coach Wayne Wadhams and Coach Jon Priset. Missing from the photo are Shawna Albright, Amber Skrip, Rebecca Deegan and Betesha Thompson.

After finishing in the runner-up spot two of the previous three years, the Albion girls track team claimed its elusive first Niagara-Orleans League championship in 2006 going 6-0 in dual meet competition and taking first place honors in 10 events at the All-League meet.

The milestone achievement sparked Albion to a strong run which saw the Purple Eagles win or share the N-O title five more times over the next six years.

Albion’s closest call during the season was a 25 point (83-58) win over Newfane. The other meets saw the Purple Eagles down Wilson 108-33, Akron 97-44, Roy-Hart 101-40, Barker 103-34 and Medina 105-35.

At the All-League meet, Madeline Bensley swept the 100, 200 and 400 while Lisa Skrypnik captured the 800, Anna Metcalf the 1500, Hannah Moffett the 3000 and Jamie Chappius the Triple Jump.

The Purple Eagles also swept all three relays as Bensley, Chappius, Skrypnik and Catherine DiBella took the 400; Skrypnik, Morgan Eastlack, Kit Lyman and Liz Lyman the 1600 and Skrypnik, Metcalf, Liz Lyman and Kelsey Moffett the 3200.

The Albion boys squad also captured its third straight N-O title that spring.

The Albion girls repeated as N-O champs in 2007 again going 6-0 and claiming 10 wins at the All-League meet.

Bensley repeated in the 100 and 200 while Hannah Moffett swept the 800, 1500 and 3000. Eastlack also took the 400 Hurdles and Staci Waters the Triple Jump.

Again the Purple Eagles swept the three relays with Bensley, Chappius, Kit Lyman and Shawna Albright in the 400; Bensley, Eastlack, Lyman and Chelsea Bokman in the 1600 and Bokman, Lyman, Eastlack and Baylee Hapeman in the 3200.

After finishing in the runner-up spot in 2008, Albion reclaimed a one-third share of the title in 2009 sharing it with Roy-Hart and Akron at 5-1.

The Purple Eagles concluded their big run by claiming the championship outright in 2010, 2011 and 2012 going 6-0 each year.

It’s a true student/athlete Top 10 at Kendall

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 4 June 2020 at 9:09 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Kendall Valedictorian Katie Pearson, left, and Salutatorian Hailee Mitchell

Competing in high school athletics is often also reflected in a student’s academic success in the classroom and an outstanding example of that is this year’s Top 10 seniors at Kendall High.

All 10 of the Eagles academic leaders have also enjoyed successful athletic careers, most in multiple sports.

Valedictorian Katie Pearson and Salutatorian Hailee Mitchell, who have both been key members of the Lady Eagles very successful varsity soccer team, lead the academic standouts.

In fact, all four senior members of the girls soccer team, which won the state title in 2018 and reached the sectional finals last fall, are on the Top 10 as Lizzie Sutphen and Olivia Reed round out that quartet.

Pearson manned the key goal position while Sutphen and Reed were on defense and Mitchell led the team in goal scoring.

Pearson and Sutphen have also been multi year regulars on the Lady Eagles varsity basketball and softball teams.

Pearson will attend the University at Buffalo and major in Aerospace Engineering. Mitchell will attend the University at Rochester to pursue Psychology and Nursing degrees, Sutphen will be enrolled in the Physician Assistant program at Daeman College. Reed plans to attend college for Forensic Criminology.

Mason Kuhn was a multi year starter for the Eagles in soccer, basketball and baseball serving as team captain in each. He will be attending the University at Buffalo to major in Exercise Science to become a chiropractor.

Olivia Caldwell has been a multi year member of both the volleyball and softball teams and served as captain for both squads. She will attend Nazareth College majoring in Communication Science and Disorders to become a speech therapist.

Noah Rath was a multi year member of the soccer, basketball and baseball teams. He plans to attend Alfred State College for Business and Marketing.

Victoria Weed served as captain of the cross-country team for three years and was also a member of the softball team. She will attend The College at Brockport for a Secondary Education degree in English.

Tristyn Moyer was a member of the variety soccer team for two years and has competed in wrestling since eighth grade. He will attend the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry pursuing a degree in Landscape Architecture.

Jayden Pieniaszek was a multi year member of the soccer, wrestling and baseball teams. He plans to join the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and to continue working for Micro Instrument Corp. where he is currently employed.

For these 10 Eagle seniors their high school education has been a very successful combination of academics and athletics.

No hitters highlighted Kendall’s 1994 G-R Division II baseball championship season

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 3 June 2020 at 9:52 am

Contributed Photo – David Hilner hurled a pair of no hitters during Kendall’s 1994 Genesee Region League Division II title season

A pair of no hitters highlighted Kendall’s 1994 Genesee Region League Division II baseball championship campaign.

Senior David Hilner hurled both shutouts first blanking Elba 10-0 with 15 strikeouts early in the season and later nipping Pavilion 2-1 with 13 K’s.

In the narrow win over Pavilion, the Eagles scored what proved to be the game winning run in the fourth inning on an RBI single by Joe Gursslin. A hit batter and a double by Bill Pearce set up the tally. Hilner retired the last 14 batters he faced, 10 via the strikeout route.

Kendall also had a key late season 9-8 10 inning win over Lyndonville before locking up the G-R Division II title with a doubleheader sweep of Notre Dame by scores of 7-3 and 9-4 in the league finale.

Against Lyndonville, Kendall pulled out the win by rallying for three runs in the bottom of the 10th inning on an RBI double by Jason Cole and run producing singles by Tony Trimm and Brett Robinson.  Lyndonville had scored twice in the top of the 0th on an error, three walks and a wild pitch for an 8-6 lead.

Earlier in the game, the Eagles had erased a  4-2 deficit by scoring four times with two out in the sixth inning on a two-run single by D’Agostino and RBI singles by Jim Marion and Keith Akers. However, Lyndonville sent the contest into extra innings by scoring twice in the seventh to knot the contest at 6-6.

In the first game against Notre Dame a four-run fourth inning on an RBI triple by Trimm and run producing singles by Hilner, Phil DAgostino and Gursslin keyed the win. A double by winning pitcher Cole ignited the uprising.

In the second contest, Kendall took the lead for good by scoring four times in the third inning on a two run single by D’Agostino and RBI doubles by Cole and Gursslin to erase a 2-1 deficit.

The Eagles went 10-0 in the division and 12-3 overall in G-R competition.

Cole, Hilner and Trimm all earned G-R first team All-Star honors.

Keeping the momentum, Kendall then scored three straight sectional wins 7-1 over Letchworth, 4-2 over Warsaw and 10-6 over Geneseo before bowing to East Rochester 11-2 in the Class C championship game.

The title campaign ignited a strong seven year run of diamond success for Kendall which included three more sectional final appearances (1996, 1999 and 2000). The Eagles captured their first sectional title in 1999 and went on to win the Far West Regional and gain a berth in the state semifinals.

Barker High honors Athletes of the Year

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 2 June 2020 at 9:53 am

Contributed Photos – Barker High’s Athletes of the Year Peter DiLorenzo and Katrina Clare

Two seniors, Katrina Clare and Peter DiLorenzo have been named Barker High’s Athletes of the Year.

Clare helped lead the Barker field hockey team to Niagara-Orleans League, Section VI and Far West Regional championships last fall and a berth in the state semifinals.

A three-time first team N-O All-League honoree and a two-time N-O Player of the Year, Clare also earned All-Western New York and All-State honors.

Clare, who will be playing field hockey at SUNY Geneseo, scored 18 goals and added 21 assists for the Lady Raiders last fall.

DiLorenzo is a three-time first team N-O All-League cross-country team honoree,

He placed third in the Section VI Class D race last fall and went on to earn third team All-State honors after placing 21st in the state Class D race.

DiLorenzo also took top honors in there 400 Hurdles at the N-O All-League track meet as a junior.

Barker’s recipients for the Niagara-Orleans Scholar Athletic League Scholar-Athlete are Kylie Annable and Alex Jenks who both received Honorable Mention Scholarships

Barker’s  Student/Athlete Award of $400 each is presented to Ciara Gregorie  and Jacob Harris who have maintained an average of 85% or better while earning varsity or junior varsity letters throughout high school.

Holley claimed back-to-back G-R Division II baseball championships in 1990 and 1991

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 1 June 2020 at 9:50 am

Contributed Photo – Members of Holley’s 1990 Genesee Region League Division II championship baseball team included, in front, Shawn O’Mara, Rune Hartman, Dave Gurzynski, Eric Sheffer, Brian Robinson, Dave Brooker and Scott Combs. In back are Coach John McGraw, Lee Dillenbeck, Chris Stiles, John Boyer, Jason Cook, Frank Mitchell, Keith Jarosinski and Mike Colucci.

Holley opened the decade of the 1990’s on the diamond in strong fashion capturing back-to-back Genesee Region League Division II baseball championships in 1990 and 1991.

Holley clinched the 1990 division title by handing Oakfield-Alabama its first league loss by a 10-3 margin.

Brian Robinson picked up the win on the mound scattering 6 hits with 7 strikeouts to  go to 9-0.

At the plate, Shawn O’Mara had three hits and Robinson and David Gurzynski two each.

Brian Robinson delivers a pitch for the Hawks.

Holley took the lead for good as a two-run third inning home run by Frank Mitchell snapped a 3-3 tie.

The Hawks added two runs in the fourth on a single by O’Mara and an error and then put a lock on the win and the title with three tallies in the sixth on an RBI double by David Brooker and RBI singles by Robinson and John Boyer.

Holley capped off a 10-1 division title season with a 7-2 win over Notre Dame, the Hawks 15th overall victory of the season.

Breaking away from a 3-3 deadlock, the Hawks took the lead for good by scoring four times in the sixth inning on a two run error, an RBI bunt single by Eric Sheffer and a fielders choice play.

Robinson went to 10-0 on the mound by hurling a 3 hitter with 7 strikeouts.

Holley finished the season with a 17-3 overall record as the Hawks dropped a narrow 4-3 decision to Canisteo in the semifinals of the Section V Class B playoffs.

The Hawks though kept the G-R title momentum going in 1991 by repeating as Division II champions going 9-5-1 in the league and 12-6-1 overall.

Holley locked up the title by romping past Pavilion 14-3 in the regular season finale.

The Hawks pounded out a total of 14 hits including four by Chris Mitchell, three by Keith Jarosinski and two each by winning pitcher John Boyer and Frank DiStasio.

On the mound, Boyer scattered 5 hits and struck out 4.

Holley took the lead for good by scoring three quick runs in the first inning on an error, a sacrifice by Boyer and a single by Chris Mitchell.

The Hawks later locked up the win and the title by scoring four times in both the fourth and fifth innings.

Frank Mitchell had a two-run double and Boyer and DiStasio RBI singles in the fourth while singles by Jarosinski and Lee Dillenbeck ignited the fifth inning uprising.

Overall that two year stretch proved to be an outstanding one for Holley as the Hawks boys soccer team captured the state Class D championship in both 1990 and 1991.

Kendall athletic facilities getting upgrade

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 May 2020 at 9:14 am

Contributed Photos – Though school has been closed for over two months it has still been a very busy spring at Kendall Central where the Eagles athletic facilities are getting an upgrade. Both the Junior/Senior High and Elementary school gymnasiums are getting new floors and bleachers as well as new locker rooms. Here the old Jr./Sr/ High gym floor is being removed.

The varsity soccer field is also getting a major improvement with the construction of a new grandstand which is shown here being installed.

The nearly completed grandstand topped with a press box is shown here.

Medina’s first diamond sectional title was a controversial co-championship

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 May 2020 at 8:54 am

Contributed Photo – Medina players hoist winning pitcher Howie Bathrick onto their shoulders following the 1951 Genesee Orleans League title win over rival Albion at Batavia’s MacArthur Park (now Dywer Stadium). The win propelled Medina into the Section V Class A playoffs which ended in a controversial co-championship with Geneseo.

In a dramatic and controversial extra inning contest, Medina captured its first ever sectional baseball title in 1951 sharing the  Section V Class A championship with Geneseo.

A controversial sixth inning umpire’s call proved decisive in creating the co-championship.

Trailing 2-1 in the title contest played at Batavia’s MacArthur Park, Medina tied the game in the controversial sixth inning by scoring a run on an error.

The series of plays which resulted in a protest went as follows. Louie Foreman reached on a walk. Ed Jablonski then put down a bunt and the throw by the Geneseo infielder sailed over the head of the first baseman as Foreman rounded second base. Foreman kept running all the way around to score the tying run.

However, Geneseo protested that Foreman should have been limited to just one base and not two after the overthrow.  Because of the Geneseo protest Medina Coach Bob Schaefer offered to send Foreman back to third base but the umpire stayed with his decision,  over ruled the protest and allowed play to continue with the contest now deadlocked..

Medina later scored what the local believed was the winning run in the 10th inning  on a single  by Bob Winans followed by a wild pitch and an error for an apparent 3-2 victory.

Geneseo though followed through with the protest and the next day  the Section V baseball chairman upheld the protest.

It turned out that the umpire in making his ruling had been going by a National Baseball Association rule book which did allow two bases on an overthrow. However, that season a revised National Federation of High School Rules was in being utilized in the sectionals which allowed only one base on an overthrow.

Because there was no way for the schools to replay the game from the point of the sixth inning protest the teams were declared Class A co-champions.

Medina had advanced to the title contest by defeating Newark 7-2 in the semifinals at Rochester’s Red Wing Stadium.

Trailing 2-0, Medina exploded for all seven of its runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. John Hydock ignited the uprising with a leadoff double and later also contributed a single. Winning pitcher Joey Maryjanowski and Rich Turoski also banged out singles in the decisive inning which was also aided by three walks and two Newark errors.

On the mound Maryjanowski  hurled a six hitter.

Medina qualified for the sectionals by downing rival Albion 5-2 in a special playoff game for the Genesee Orleans League title at MacArthur Park.

Medina moved on top to stay by scoring three times in the second inning as Jablonski, Winans and winning pitcher Howie Bathrick all crossed home plate.

Medina later added two big insurance runs in the sixth inning as Albion scored its two runs in the bottom of the seventh.

Bathrick scattered 8 hits and struck out 6.

The two teams had split an interesting same day home-and-home doubleheader during the regular season with Albion winning the first 5-3 and Medina the second 2-1.

It would be 38 years before Medina would claim its first outright sectional diamond title when the Mustangs downed Grover Cleveland 7-3 to win the 1989 Section VI Class B2 championship.

Medina Women’s Softball League elects officers; still hoping to get the season in

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 29 May 2020 at 8:10 am

The Medina Women’s Softball League has elected a slate of officers for the upcoming season the start of which is now on hold because of restrictions imposed due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Kathy Allen was elected president and Jenn Thom was re-elected secretary-treasurer.

Jessica Rosenbeck was elected ‘A’ League vice-president and Jen Hughes “B” League vice-president.

And as for getting the season in, league officers and team captains are taking a wait and see attitude to see when the current restrictions on group gatherings are eased.

“We’re not canceling anything. We haven’t decided anything yet,” said Sue Seefeldt who captains the Bane’s Plumbing/Bane’s Machine Shop team. “We’re waiting it out. We’re not putting a deadline on getting the season started. We are going to play it by ear and see what happens. If the restrictions on gatherings are lifted so we can play games we are hoping to get at least some of the season in.”

The league’s regular season normally runs from mid May till the end of July with the playoffs in early August.

Last year the league had seven teams in the ‘A’ Division and seven in the ‘B’ Division.