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Purple Eagles have new volleyball coach

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 20 August 2017 at 8:43 am

Photo by Mike Wertman – New Albion varsity volleyball Coach Melody Beecher meets here with the Purple Eagles veteran trio of Caitlyn Snook, Haley Smith and Isabella Gibbs.

Facing a bit of a rebuilding task, the Albion varsity volleyball squad is prepping for the upcoming season under new Coach Melody Beecher.

Senior Caitlyn Snook, along with juniors Haley Smith and Isabella Gibbs, return the lead the way for Albion. Junior Sierra Newton, who was a regular last year, is out with an injury.

“We are rebuilding so we are looking for some of our young kids to step up,” said Beecher. “We plan on teaching a lot this year. It will be a building process but the kids are excited. They are willing, excited and they want to learn.”

The Purple Eagles key losses to graduation include first team Niagara-Orleans All-League honorees Chanyce Powell and Emilie Barleben.

Albion, which went 7-3 in N-O action last year, is slated to host non league matches against Attica (August 28) and Alexander (September 1) before beginning the league campaign at Roy-Hart on September 6.

August: 28 – Attica, 6:30 p.m.

September: 1 – Alexander, 6:30 p.m., 6 – at Roy-Hart, 6:30 p.m., 8 – Byron-Bergen, 6:30 p.m., 9 – Albion Tournament, 8 a.m., 12 – at Wilson, 6:30 p.m., 14 – Newfane, 6:30 p.m., 16 – at Starpoint Tournament, 8 a.m., 18 – Medina, 6:30 p.m., 21 – Akron, 6:30 p.m., 28 – Roy-Hart, 6:30 p.m., 30 – at Buffalo Niagara Court Varsity Tournament.

October: 2 – Notre Dame, 6:30 p.m., 4 – Wilson, 6:30 p.m., 6 – at Newfane, 6:30 p.m., 10 – at Alexander, 6:30 p.m., 12 – at Medina, 6:30 p.m., 17 – at Akron 6:30 p.m., 20 – at Batavia, 6 p.m.

New coach at Kendall boys soccer helm

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 19 August 2017 at 7:01 am

Photo by Mike Wertman – New Kendall boys varsity soccer Coach Rich Esposito meets here with the Eagles veterans. In front are Miguel Aquirre, Jeremy Browe, Chris Butlin and John Rath. In back are Coach Esposito, Mickey Gardner, Allen Tonas, Hunter Menze and Nate Warters.

With a good nucleus of eight returnees leading the way the Kendall boys varsity soccer team is prepping for the season under new Coach Rich Esposito.

That veteran contingent includes seniors Jeremy Browe, Allen Tonas, Miguel Aquirre, and Chris Butlin along with juniors Mickey Gardner, Nate Warters, John Rath and Hunter Menz. Warters, who had 6 goals and 9 assists last season, is the Eagles top returning scorer.

The Eagles also look for contributions from a senior exchange student from Hungary, Tihamer Keresztes.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said Esposito of his first season at the Eagles helm. “We have a young team but it looks very promising. I look forward to a strong season from our juniors.”

Graduation losses include 30 goal scorer Jake Adams, goalie Cameron Zinsmeister, midfielders Collin Lewis and James Longrod and defenders Joe LoSapio and Ben Frasch.

Kendall, which went 3-6-1 in Genesee Region League competition and 8-8-1 overall last fall, is slated to host Albion in the non league season opener on September 1.  The Eagles then begin G-R action at Pembroke on September 7.

September: 1- Albion, 6 p.m., 7 – at Pembroke, 6:30 p.m., 9 – at Cal-Mum, 3 p.m., 12 – Attica, 4:30 p.m., 14 – Byron-Bergen/Elba, 6:30 p.m., 18 – at RAC, 4:30 p.m., 20 – Pembroke, 6:30 p.m., 23 – Marion, 11 a.m., 26 – Wheatland-Chili, 6:30 p.m., 28 – at Attica, 4:30 p.m., 30 – Holley, 11 a.m.

October: 2 – at Marion, 6:30 p.m., 4 – at Byron-Bergen/Elba, 6:30 p.m., 6 – RAC, 5:30 p.m., 10 – at Holley, 6:30 p.m.. 13 – at Wheatland-Chili, 6:30 p.m.

Medina’s Fry receives special diamond invite

Contributed Story Posted 18 August 2017 at 10:44 am

Contributed Photo – Brian Fry

Medina High freshman shortstop Brian Fry has been selected to participate in the 12th annual World Power Showcase which will be held at Marlins Park in Miami December 27-31.

Fry will compete in the Babe Ruth Classic Game which, along with a Major League Baseball (MLB) Scout Day, highlights the five day event allowing participants to demonstrate their diamond skills in front of baseball’s top evaluators. He will also represent New York in the Home Run Derby.

Each player was selected for the Showcase based on their abilities, power, scout references and high school and showcase tournament performances.

“I’ can’t wait,” said Fry. “I’ve dreamt of playing professional baseball like my dad since I was a little kid and receiving this honor gives me a chance to learn and play with the best in baseball.

His dad, Brian, was drafted by Cincinnati and played in the Reds organization.

Fry, who has played on the Medina varsity squad since seventh grade, plays travel ball with the Titans Baseball organization year round. The Titans traveled out of state this summer to compete in large tournaments along the east coast, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Fry had a fielding average of .924, including turning 24 double plays, and a batting average of .340 including 15 extra base hits,  for the Titans which compiled a 47-15-1 summer season record.

Albion, Medina golfers have veteran nucleus

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 18 August 2017 at 9:39 am

Photos by Mike Wertman – Getting set to lead Albion into next week’s Niagara-Orleans League season opening matches is this returning starting quartet of Patrick Ricker, Nick Penna, Nick Perry and Victor Benjovsky.

Albion and Medina will both be led by a good nucleus of veteran players when the Niagara-Orleans League golf season gets underway this coming Tuesday.

The openers will have Roy-Hart at Medina, Akron at Medina and Newfane at Barker as three time defending champion Wilson draws the bye.

This year for the first time the N-O will have both boys and girls competition.

Albion, which looks to improve upon last year’s 4-7-1 N-O record, is led by the veteran quartet of seniors Nick Penna and Victor Benjovsky and sophomores Patrick Ricker and Nick Perry. Penna earned N-O All-League honors and was a sectional qualifier.

The Medina lineup is led by sophomore Ian Wagner, a three-time N-O All-League honoree who went on to earn a spot on the Section VI team and compete in the state championships. The Mustangs lineup also includes seniors Dylan Sturtevant, Jake Bensley, Andrew Fuller, Carson Gates, Jake Kuhmann and Toby Kiebala along with sophomore Trevor Luthart and seventh grader Aidan Paul.

The Mustangs went 9-2-1 last fall to finish in second place behind undefeated (12-0) Wilson.

Sophomore Melonie Green, who won the Section VI championship and competed in the state championships last year will represent Medina in the girls competition.

Medina High golfers get set for the Niagara-Orleans League season. In front are Trevor Luthart, Aidan Paul and Dylan Sturtevant. In back are Ian Wagner, Melonie Green, Jake Bensley, Andrew Fuller and Toby Kiebala.

New league lineup for Holley football

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 18 August 2017 at 9:31 am

Photo by Mike Wertman – Anchoring the lineup for the Holley varsity football team this season will be this group of returning starters. In front are Brandon Dillenbeck, Dalton Moyer, Glenn Thrower and Brandon Gardner. In back are Mike Passarell, Nick Schutz, Cam LaBarge and Jeremy Mallett. Missing from the photo is Ryan Andrews.

The new season brings a new league lineup for Holley and the other five Genesee Region football playing schools which will now be competing in the Livingston County League.

Holley, Attica, Alexander, Notre Dame, Pembroke and Oakfield-Alabama/Elba will be in Division 4 of the now two dozen school strong Livingston County League along with Geneseo and York. Holley in fact will begin this new era with a home game against Geneseo on September 2.

“We could’t have asked for a better draw,” said Coach Wil Prince of the Hawks new division lineup.

Anchoring the Hawks lineup is the returning starting offensive line quartet of seniors Glenn Thrower, Brandon Dillenbeck, Nathan Towne and sophomore Jacob Norman.  Juniors Matt Hahn and Hunter McClean also return with experience on the line.

“We’ve got good competition on the line which is something we haven’t had and we’re excited about that,” said Prince.

Returning to direct the Hawks offense is senior quarterback Jeremy Mallett whose veteran weapons include senior receivers Ryan Andrews, Nick Schutz, Cam LaBarge, Mike Passarell and Brandon Gardner, junior receiver Zach VanAmaron, sophomore receiver Cody Tanis, senior running back Dalton Moyer and freshman running back Jacob Affronti.

The Hawks key losses to graduation were running backs Zach Day and Colin Papaj.

“We lost a couple of real good backs in Zach and Colin but we have some good experience back,” said Prince.

Holley went 2-3 in the G-R and 3-5 overall last year.

“This is a turning point year for us,” said Prince. “And these guys want to turn Holley football around.”

Sept. 2 – Geneseo, 1:30 p.m.
Sept. 9 – Attica, 1:30 p.m.
Sept. 15 – at Alexander, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 23 – Notre Dame, 1:30 p.m.
Sept. 29 – at York, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 7 – at Oakfield-Alabama/Elba, 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 14 – Pembroke ,1:30 p.m.

New coach at Purple Eagles soccer helm

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 17 August 2017 at 7:27 pm

New Albion boys varsity soccer Coach Terry Wilbert meets here with several of the Purple Eagles veterans. In front are Preston Flugel, Kendyll Hadick and Devin Gaylord. In back are Nate Scanlan, Elliot Neidert, Nate Smith, Brad Sanford, Harrison Brown and Coach Wilbert. Missing from the photo is Noah Goudreau.

Bolstered by a good nucleus of nine returnees and with new Coach Terry Wilbert at the helm the Albion boys varsity soccer squad is prepping for the Niagara-Orleans League season opener at Akron on August 30.

Senior goalie Devin Gaylord, who earned second team N-O All-League honors last fall, anchors the lineup for Albion whose veteran contingent also includes senior defenders Brad Sanford ad Nate Smith, junior defender Elliott Neidert, senior midfielder Noah Goudreau, junior midfielders Nate Scanlan and Harrison Brown, senior forward Preston Flugel and junior forward Kendyll Hadick.

“We’ve got good experience and I think we’ll do pretty well,” said Wilbert who earlier in his coaching career guided the Albion girls varsity soccer team during its formative years.

The Purple Eagles went 3-7 in N-O action and 4-12-1 overall last year.


August – 30 at Akron, 4:30 p.m.

September: 1 at Kendall, 6 p.m.; 6 – Newfane, 6:30 p.m.; 8 and 9 at Byron-Bergen Tournament; 11 – at Roy-Hart, 6:30 p.m.; 13 – at Wilson, 4:30 p.m.; 16 – Medina, 10 a.m.; 18 – Byron-Bergen, 6:30 p.m.; 23 – Akron, 5 p.m.; 28 – at Newfane, 4:30 p.m.; 20 – Central Christian Academy, 2 p.m.

October: 4 – Roy-Hart, 6:30 p.m.; 6 – Wilson, 4:30 p.m.; 10 – at Medina, 7 p.m.; 12 – Avon, 6:30 p.m.

Roy-Hart/Barker gridders have new coach

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 16 August 2017 at 7:34 pm

Photo by Mike Wertman – New Roy-Hart/Barker varsity football coach Don Baker meets here with some of the team’s returnees. In front are Charlie Brigham, Ian Whitford, Baker, Ben Schwab and Walker Samanka. In back are Charlie Bruning, Malik Smith, Aaron Curry and Luke Sieler.

With new coach Don Baker at the helm and Roy-Hart now serving as the lead school, Roy-Hart/Barker is prepping for its seventh season as a merged varsity football team.

Junior quarterback Charlie Brigham will guide the offense which includes experience in senior running backs Malik Smith and Aaron Curry, junior running backs Gavyn Samanka and Walker Samanka, junior wide receiver Charlie Bruning, senior wide receiver Luke Sieler along with senior linemen Ben Schwab, Matt Steves, Sal Gioeli, Chase Keirn, Dan Eakes, Zach Dool and junior lineman Ian Whitford.

Fullback Patrick Dwyer and tight end Nick Branch are also vying for playing time.

“We want to establish the run and play solid defense. Those are big keys for us,” said Baker who has led the JV squad the past few years. “The ‘B’ Division is a tough one. There are no easy games on the schedule.”

Key graduation losses include Eddie Wasnock (QB/WR), Eric Fitch (RB), Noah Rocklein (kicker), Brandon Lee Woods (TE) and Nick Kubas (OL).

Roy-Hart/Barker is in the enrollment based B3 Division this season along with Medina/Lyndonville, Newfane, Tonawanda, Lackawanna and Alden. The team will tune up for the division schedule by hosting Akron in an interdivisional non league opener on September 1.

Roy-Hart/Barker went 0-5 in the division and 2-6 overall last fall.

Sept. 1 – Akron, 7 p.m.
Sept. 7 – at Alden, 6 p.m.
Sept. 15 – Tonawanda, 7 p.m.
Sept. 22 – at Albion, 7 p.m.
Sept. 29 – at Medina/Lyndonville, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 7 – Newfane, 1:30 p.m. at Barker
Oct. 13 – Lackawanna, 7 p.m.

Merged Medina/Lyndonville girls varsity soccer team preps for debut season

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 15 August 2017 at 7:43 pm

Photo by Mike Wertman – Returning starting Medina players and new Lyndonville players meet here with Coach Mike Lepkyj as the merged team sets set for its first season. In front are Melanie Hibbard, Kylie Bielak, Destiny Satkowski and Alana Drewery. In the middle row are Ashlee Howell, Haylee Seefeldt, Olivia Carter and Alexis Adams. In the top row are Coach Lepkyj, Stacy Buckland, Grace Hayes, Paige McDonald and Anna Lewis.

Having joined forces in boys varsity soccer for the past six years Medina and Lyndonville have now merged for girls varsity soccer this season and will compete in the Niagara-Orleans League.

“I’m really excited about it,” said Coach Mike Lepkyj. “”It gives us depth and makes us more competitive.”

The new Lyndonville players include Anna Lewis, Grace Hayes, Stacy Buckland and Paige McDonald, all juniors.

Medina’s returning starting nucleus includes seniors Destiny Satkowski and Kylie Bielak; juniors Alexis Adams, Melanie Hibbard, Alana Drewery, Haylee Seefeldt, Ashlee Howell and sophomore Olivia Carter. Satkowski scored a team leading 21 goals last season and earned first team N-O All-League honors.

The Mustangs, which went 3-8-1 in N-O action and 5-12-1 overall last season, also return varsity experience in juniors Mikayla Albone, Brianna McMullen and Chloe Adams.

The new Medina/Lyndonville squad will have an early season opener by competing in the Tonawanda Tournament on August 25 and 26. The N-O opener is slated for September 1 at Akron. Because of the renovation work at Vets Park the team’s early season home games will be played at Lyndonville.

August: 25 and 26 – at Tonawanda Tournament
September: 1 – at Akron, 4:30 p.m.; 5 – Barker, 4:30 p.m. (at Lyndonville); 11 – Roy-Hart, 4:30 p.m. (at Lyndonville); 12 – Newfane, 4:30 p.m. (at Lyndonville); 14 – at Albion, 6:30 p.m.; 20 – Wilson, 4:30 p.m. (at Lyndonville); 26 – Akron, 7:30 p.m.; 27 – at Barker, 4:30 p.m.
October: 2 – Notre Dame, 5 p.m.; 3 – at Newfane, 4:30 p.m.; 5 – at Roy-Hart, 6:30 p.m.; 7 – Albion, 10 a.m.; 11 – at Wilson, 6:30 p.m.; 13 – Maryvale, 4:45 p.m.

Albion High alums take helm for Purple Eagles varsity football, soccer teams

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 14 August 2017 at 7:14 pm

Photos by Mike Wertman – Albion’s new girls varsity soccer coach, Purple Eagles alum Maggie (King) Orbaker, is meets here with the team’s two returning seniors, Elisabeth Baker, left, and Natalie DiCureia.

Today was a very special one for two Albion High alums, Adam Krenning and Maggie (King) Orbaker, as they held their first practices as head coach of the Purple Eagles varsity football and girls varsity soccer teams respectively.

“It’s awesome,” said Krenning of his move into the head football coaching position after serving as an assistant coach the last couple of years. “It’s exciting and it feels great to be back at it,” he added of the initial practice.

Krenning’s Purple Eagles are slated to open the season at home against Springville on September 1.

“It’s definitely a dream come true,” said Orbaker of coaching the team she used to play on. “It’s pretty special.”

Orbaker’s Purple Eagles will open the season on August 29 with a Niagara-Orleans League home game against Akron.

New Albion varsity football coach, Purple Eagles alum Adam Krenning, right, meets were with veterans JaQuess Harrison, Ugene Harrison, Caleb Petit, Matt Kovaleski, Bryce Pritchard, Nate Moore and Demetrius Gardner.

Fall sports practices get underway

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 14 August 2017 at 7:05 pm

Photos by Mike Wertman – Area ball fields and gyms became beehives of activity today as high school fall sports practices got underway for football, boys and girls soccer, field hockey, volleyball, golf and cross-country. Here Albion girls soccer players go through a ball control drill. Albion is slated to host Akron on August 29 in the season opening Niagara-Orleans League game.

Linemen get their work in during the Medina/Lyndonville practice. The Mustangs open the season at Burgard on September 1.

Albion players drag tires as they work on a conditioning drill. The Purple Eagles are scheduled to host Springville in the season opener on September 1.

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