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2013 had many special moments

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 1 January 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Medina/Lyndonville literally weathered a storm, a monsoon rain storm, in nipping Newfane 2-1 in double overtime to win a memorable Section VI Class B-1 championship. Here Steven Anderson advances the ball for the Mustangs as Anthony Pane moves in to help.

This morning, as the dawn breaks on the new year, here’s a brief look back at some of the special and eventful moments on the area sports scene in 2013.

Weather provided one of the most lasting memories. A monsoon like rainstorm made for a wild setting as Medina/Lyndonville captured its second boys soccer sectional championship in the last three years by outlasting Niagara-Orleans League rival Newfane 2-1 in double overtime in the Section VI Class B-1 title contest.

The most unusual setting for a sporting event came in June at Lyndonville’s White Birch golf course which hosted a sanctioned pole vault competition on one of its fairways featuring Olympic gold medalist Jenn Suhr and Janice Keppler of Medina who is ranked in the top 10 nationally. It was truly a most unusual sight watching Suhr sprint down the portable runway set up on the fairway for a 16 foot vault with the rest of the golf course as a very scenic backdrop.

The spring could easily have been called the Season of the Tiger as both the Lyndonville baseball and softball teams captured Section V championships with underclassmen dominated squads.

The baseball team earned its second Class D championship in the last three years but just missed out on a trip to the state semis losing by a narrow 3-1 margin to Pine Valley in the Far West Regional. The softball team claimed its first ever sectional championship by nipping Romulus in a 6-5 thriller for the Class D-1 title. However, the Lady Tigers bid for a spot in the state playoffs was ended by a 7-3 loss to Andover in the D state qualifier.

The fall then could just as easily have been called the Season of the Eagle as Kendall High teams captured the Genesee Region League boys soccer, girls soccer and Division II volleyball championships. The soccer teams both earned No. 1 seeds for the sectionals and the girls squad advanced to the Class CC finals losing a narrow 1-0 decision to Caledonia-Mumford.

Always a special event, the Medina vs. Albion football game lived up to its reputation in a free scoring affair at Spierdowis Field in Albion. Medina retained the “Doc’s Rock” trophy and earned its first berth in the sectional playoffs in several years by outlasting rival Albion 38-31.The Mustangs built up a big early lead but then had to turn back a determined Purple Eagles rally in the second half.

A very fitting honor was earned by former long-time Albion football Coach Dick Diminuco who was inducted into the Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in October. Diminuco guided Albion to 14 division and four Section VI championships during his 30 seasons at the helm from 1979-2008.

Barker’s field hockey and boys cross-country teams both continued very successful winning traditions qualifying to state level competition.

The field hockey team won its eighth straight Niagara-Orleans League championship and sixth straight Section VI title to gain a berth in the state playoffs. The Lady Raiders won the Far West Regional 1-0 over East Rochester but then dropped a narrow 1-0 double overtime decision to Cazenovia in the state semifinals at Cicero-North Syracuse.

The Raiders boys cross-country team claimed the N-O and Section VI Class D titles and went on to place third at the state Class D championship race held at Queensbury High.

Albion’s baseball squad continued its strong run in N-O competition capturing the league title for the second year in a row and the fifth time in the last six years. The Purple Eagles volleyball squad also had a big season claiming the N-O crown for the second time in four years with a perfect 12-0 record.

Roy-Hart’s boys swim team made it seven straight N-O championships and in December the Channel Cats surpassed the 100 straight victory mark.

Holley’s wresting squad likewise continued a long league title run as the Hawks captured the Genesee Region crown for the fourth straight year the 14th in the last 17 years. The Hawks had two wrestlers advance to the state championships as Mike Silvis placed third and Andrew Flanagan fifth.

Roy-Hart senior Drew Hull capped off an outstanding varsity wrestling career by capturing the state 145 lb. championship to complete a perfect 44-0 season.

And not to be forgotten were N-O titles won by the Medina tennis and Barker golf and boys track teams.