Barker harriers look to extend reign

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 22 September 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo by Mike Wertman – Veteran members of the defending champion Barker boys cross-country team meet here with their coaches as the Raiders prep for Tuesday’s Niagara-Orleans League opener. In front are Sergio Cruz, Carter Pisarski, Jack Hopkins and Brent Bachman. In back are Coach Sharon Lamb, Dustin Walters, Casey Webb, Christopher Sweeney, Doug Bachman, Tanner Gregoire and Coach Paul DerSarkissian.

Anchored by a solid core of returnees, including six All-League honorees, the Barker boys cross-country team is getting set to begin defense of its Niagara-Orleans League title Tuesday.

The Raiders in fact have claimed the N-O title five of the last six years and have captured seven straight Section VI Class D titles and have placed in the top three at the state meet each of the last five years taking top honors in both 2009 and 2011.

Senior Sergio Cruz, who won last year’s N-O All-League meet, heads Barker’s veteran contingent.

The Raiders also return seniors Casey Webb and Doug Bachman who both earned first team All-League honors along with a trio of second team All-League honorees including seniors Christopher Sweeney, Dustin Walters and Tanner Gregoire.

Barker’s top nine runners also looks to include senior Carter Pisarski and sophomores Brent Bachman and Jack Hopkins.

“We’ve got a good group back and they certainly have the capability to make it another banner year,” said Coach Paul DerSarkissian.

The Raiders roster also includes senior Sean Benoit; sophomores D. Garrett Dwyer, Kyle Moeller, Matthew Pestinger, Collin Stevener, Ryan Voss; freshman Joseph Baronich, Evan Echer, Andrew Jenks, Aidan O’Shea, Rocco Spagnolo, Collin Webb; eighth graders Domenic Clementi, Louis Fazzolari, Zachary Richbart, Andrew Schafer and seventh grader Joshua Weakland.

Barker will face Medina and Roy-Hart in the N-O opening tri-meet Tuesday at Roy-Hart.

Photo by Mike Wertman – Veteran members of the Barker girls squad meet here with their coaches. In front are Katie Przybyl, Gabrielle Baker and Natalie Regling. In back are Coach Sharon Lamb, Emma Jenks, Alaina Israel, Melissa Pestinger and Coach Paul DerSarkissian.

Senior Katie Przybyl, who earned second team N-O All-League honors last fall, heads Barker’s veteran group which also includes senior Melissa Pestinger, juniors Alaina Israel and Emma Jenks and eighth graders Gabrielle Baker and Natalie Regling.

The Lady Raiders underclassmen dominated roster also includes juniors Mary Rounds and Elise Zapp, eighth graders Chloe Goodlander, Alexis Greene, Jessica Haseley, Carolyn Merlin and seventh grader Rebecca Pisarski.

“We’ve got a good young squad with some experience,” said DerSarkissian.

Barker’s Schedule

Sept.23 – at Roy-Hart vs. Medina and Roy-Hart, 4:45 p.m.
Sept. 30 – Home vs. Albion and Newfane, 4:45 p.m.
Oct. 7 – Home vs. Akron and Wilson, 4:45 p.m.
Oct. 14 – at CSAT, 4:45 p.m.
Oct. 25 – All-League meet at Lakeside State Park, 11 a.m.