N-O holds annual athletic banquet

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 25 June 2023 at 9:03 am

Contributed Photos – At left are N-O League Foundation Award honorees Randy Knaak and Doug Ames. At right are Coaches Sportsmanship Award recipients Grace Swick and Eric Gross.

Two former long time coaches and athletic directors -Randy Knaak from Albion and Doug Ames from Newfane – received the league’s Foundation Awards at the annual Niagara-Orleans Athletic League banquet this past week.

Knaak served as athletic director at Albion from 2009-2019. He coached swimming for 23 years, track for 20 and softball for 3.

Ames began teaching at Newfane in 1985 and became Athletic Director in 2005. He coaches golf for 33 years, wrestling for 20 and softball for 19.

The N-O Coaches Sportsmanship Awards were presented to Grace Swick from Roy-Hart and Eric Gross from Medina.

Swick has taught at Roy-Hart for 14 years and has coached basketball for 10 years and volleyball for 6.

Gross has taught at Medina for 23 years. He has coached wrestling for 27 years, football for 15, track for 10 and cross-country for 5.

Wilson Athletic Secretary Roxanne Benton was presented with the league’s Distinguished Service Award.

The 20 year coaching honorees were Pat Uveno who has coached wrestling, football and track at Albion and Justin Gerstung who has coached boys basketball at Akron.