2021 was The Year of the Mustang

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 1 January 2022 at 8:42 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – It was a most memorable November afternoon as Medina romped in a snowstorm at Highmark Stadium to down Fredonia 58-6 in the Section VI Class C title game. The snow came down heaviest in the first half as shown here with quarterback Xander Payne handing off to Noah Skinner as Chris Johnson blocks. Thriving in the snow the Mustangs jumped out to a commanding 32-0 lead in the first half and never looked back. Greg Thompson scored four touchdowns, Payne three and Skinner one to lead the Mustangs attack.

On the local sports scene 2021 proved to be the Year of the Mustang as Medina put together a remarkable run capturing both league and sectional titles in football, basketball and baseball.

On The Gridiron

After having the fall 2020 football season wiped out by Covid 19 restrictions, the Mustangs more than made up for it in 2021 by winning the C North Division and Section VI Class C championships during both the state’s first ever spring football season and the regular fall campaign compiling an outstanding 17-1 overall record.

Medina’s Brian Fry, shown here stiff arming a Southwestern defender scored three touchdowns as the Mustangs downed the Trojans 21-13 at Vets Park in the spring Section VI Class C title contest.

The spring season saw Medina go 4-0 to win the C North Division and then post two playoff wins at Vets Park to claim the team’s first sectional title since 1988.

In the sectionals Medina romped past Eden 54-6 in the semifinals and then trimmed Southwestern 21-13 in the title contest.

Keeping the momentum, the Mustangs went on to post a school record 11-1 in the fall including a 5-0 mark to repeat as C North Division champions.

The regular season was highlighted by a narrow 30-28 win over rival Albion before an overflow Homecoming crowd at Vets Park. It was the resumption of the century plus old rivalry which had been interrupted in 2020 by the Covid 19 restrictions. The special evening also included a reunion of the 1980 football team which captured Medina’s first sectional championship.

The Mustangs then made a successful Section VI Class C title defense by downing Eden 30-14 in the quarterfinals, Lackawanna 32-0 in the semis and then Fredonia 58-6 in a most memorable title contest which was played in a snowstorm at Highmark Stadium.

That win earned Medina its first ever berth in the state playoffs which saw the Mustangs drop a narrow 26-24 decision to East Rochester/Gananda in the Far West Regional at Williamsville South High School.

On The Court
Compiling an 11-1 record, Medina captured the N-O championship for the fifth time in the last six years.

The Mustangs then ended a 50 year sectional title drought by claiming the Class B2 crown with a 68-57 home court win over Lackawanna in the championship game as Brian Fry scored 22 and Tyler Chinn 19.

Medina’s Tyler Chinn drives to the basket against a Lackawanna defender during the Mustangs Section VI Class B2 68-57 title win over the visiting Steelers. .

It was the first sectional title since the 1970-71 season for Medina which advanced to the finals with home court wins over Alden 68-48 in the quarterfinals and N-O rival Newfane 64-55 in the semifinals.

On The Diamond

After having the entire spring 2020 season wiped out by Covid 19 restrictions, Medina picked right up where it left off in 2019 when the Mustangs captured N-O League and Section VI titles and advanced to the state semifinals.

This past spring the Mustangs posted a perfect 12-0 record to retain the N-O title.

The Mustangs kept rolling by scoring three straight wins at Vets Park to claim the Section VI Class B2 title downing Southwestern 10-0 in the quarterfinals, Akron 7-3 in the semis and Roy-Hart 7-0 in the finals. Zach Fike hurled a two hitter with 10 strikeouts and AJ Seefeldt hit a big three-run triple and Fry an RBI triple to highlight the Mustangs title win.

Because of Covid 19 restrictions the regional and state playoffs were cancelled so the sectional class tourney was as far as teams could go.

Also in 2021
– The Medina High Unified Bowling team captured a fourth straight sectional title.

– Medina’s Dominick Callara earned a Section VI wrestling title.

– Former longtime Medina High football Coach John “Pinky” Loughlin, who passed away in 2012, was inducted into the Section VI Hall of Fame.

Zach Fike delivers a pitch during Medina’s 7-0 win over Roy-Hart in the Section VI Class B2 title contest at Vets Park.

– The Medina Ponys youth football team won a Niagara Orleans Football Association (NOFA) playoff title by downing Roy-Hart/Barker 25-6.

– The Medina Rotary Club hosted the first local Pickleball Tournament on the Medina High tennis courts.

– The Niagara-Orleans American Legion baseball team, whose lineup included several local players (Fry, Seefeldt and Chris Goyette from Medina and Tom Russo from Roy-Hart) captured the Buffalo District Legion playoff championship. The N-O downed Jurek Post 5-1 in the title deciding contest.

– On the links at Shelridge. Ian Wagner and Jake Harris teamed up to win the Shelridge Open and James Tee captured the Shelridge Club championship.

– In Medina Women’s Softball League playoff action, Jr. Wilson downed Banes 15-2 to win the ‘A’ Division playoffs.