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2016 in review: Mustangs have triple title year

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 December 2016 at 9:07 am
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Photos by Cheryl Wertman – In action during Medina’s Niagara-Orleans League tennis and basketball championship seasons are Kristian Snyder, left, and Tyler Ames.

Celebrating a championship in each season, Medina High had a big 2016 high school sports year as the Mustangs claimed the Niagara-Orleans League boys basketball and tennis titles as well as the B East Division football crown.

After finishing in the runner-up spot the previous two years, Medina claimed the N-O basketball title for the first time since the 2008-09 campaign by compiling a near perfect 13-1 record. Starting the season with a 10-0 mark, the Mustangs title quest was keyed by a pair of victories over runner-up Roy-Hart (12-2) by scores of 50-34 and 73-62.

In the spring, Medina captured the N-O tennis championship for the fourth time in the last five years by posting an 11-1 record. The Mustangs were led by the first and second singles combination of Kristian Snyder and Tristan Sanders who both earned first team All-League honors.

This past fall, the Mustangs claimed a division football title outright for the first time since 1988 by compiling a 5-0 record to claim the B East championship. A 42-28 victory over runner-up Alden (4-1) keyed that Medina/Lyndonville title quest which was capped off by a championship clinching 48-6 win over rival Albion.

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Jake Cotter and his Medina/Lyndonville teammates captured the B East Division football title.

Roy-Hart captured the N-O baseball title for the first time since 1953 by compiling a 12-2 record. R-H also claimed a 10th straight N-O boys swimming championship by going 10-0. The Channel Cats are 99-0 during that title run.

Barker captured the N-O boys cross-country championship for the fourth straight year and the eighth time in the last nine years. The Lady Raiders also won the Section VI Class C field hockey title by nipping N-O champion Akron 1-0 in the championship game to avenge a pair of regular season losses.

In addition to the field hockey title, the Akron girls also claimed both the N-O volleyball, softball and track championships.

Wilson also had a three N-O title year winning the N-O girls basketball, golf and boys track championships.

However, Newfane led the N-O with five championships including the boys soccer, girls soccer, wrestling, girls cross-country and girls swim titles. The swim title was the seventh straight for the Lady Panthers.

The recent trend of merged school teams also continued as rivals Holley and Kendall joined forces to field merged teams in both wrestling and varsity baseball. The Holley-Kendall diamond squad captured the Genesee Region League Division 1 title.

Lyndonville has a very successful spring season as the Tigers baseball and softball teams both captured G-R League Division 2 championships. However, both teams were eliminated from the sectional playoffs by G-R rival Notre Dame as the baseball squad lost 8-3 in the semifinals and the softball squad 7-6 in the finals.

On the links, Kendall senior Evan Gaesser captured both the G-R League and Section V Class C titles for the third time. Gaesser, who earned a golf scholarship to LaSalle University, also was co-medalist at the Suprsectionals and qualified for the state meet for the fourth time.

Medina freshman Ian Wagner earned medalist honors at the N-O All-League golf tournament. He earned All-League honors for the third time.

In youth baseball, Barre successfully repeated as Albion Midget League playoff champions by downing Sandstone 11-5 in a repeat of the 2015 title matchup. In the semifinals, Barre defeated Rotary 6-4 and Sandstone downed St. Marys 14-6.

The Roy-Hart/Medina/Lyndonville league playoff title games saw the Twins blank the Yankees 2-0 in the Minor Division and the Lyndonville Tigers down the Somerset Dodgers 3-2 in the Major Division.

At Shelridge Country Club, Brett Decker captured the club championship while Brian Branka and Tom Bova teamed up to win the Shelridge Open. Two Shelridge junior golfers, Ian Wagner and Melanie Green, both had winning seasons on the Western New York Junior PGA Tour.

The 27th annual Mr. Ed’s 5K sun on Super Bowl Sunday saw Roy-Hart graduate Vince Donner cross the finish line first for the second year in a row.