Recalling the Medina MACs first and last wins

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 11 October 2020 at 9:26 am

Contributed Photos – The Medina MACs blanked visiting Oakfield 12-0 for their first win in the Bulldogs inaugural season of 1946. Roger Houseman, who scored the first touchdown, is shown here picking up yardage during a 1946 home contest.

It took just two games into their inaugural 1946 season for the Medina Athletic Club (MACs) semi pro football team to earn their first victory.

Rebounding from a 13-0 loss at Batavia in their debut game, the MACS claimed that first ever victory by blanking Oakfield 12-0 at Oak Orchard Park (now Veterans Memorial Park).

Roger Houseman scored the only touchdown the MAC Bulldogs, as their were called, would need as it turned out on a 15 yard run late in the first quarter.

The MACs later added an insurance score on a 29 yard touchdown pass from Walt Wanecski to Fred Oremus late in the third quarter. A fumble recovery by Dave Whipple on the preceding play set up the opportunity.

The MACs offensive unit that day included Houseman and Ovid Punch at the ends, Whipple and Ed Cotriss at the tackles, Homer McPherson and Ray Punch at the guards, Bob Garrett at center, Oremus at quarterback, Joe Albone at fullback and Wanecski and Francis Moriarty at the halfback spots.

The MACs went on to win four more games in a row over the Lockport Essos 7-0, LeRoy 3-0, the Rochester Benns 7-0 and the Rochester 19th Warders 34-0 and finished the season with a 6-3 record. The win over LeRoy was a most interesting one as the MACs three points came on a 15 yard drop kick field goal by Oremus.

The MACs went on to play 15 more seasons but the Bulldogs last victory came in the second to last season. That win was a 20-8 victory at Jamestown in the fourth game of the 1960 season.

The MACs touchdowns were scored on a 24 yard pass interception by Dick VanAuker  in the first quarter, a pass from Francis “Mo” Moriarty to Gene Ulianelli in the second quarter and on a one yard run by Cliff Fearby in the fourth quarter. Dan Cleary caught a two-point conversion pass from Moriarty after the final TD.

The Bulldogs offense that day included Russ Martino and Lynn Carson at the ends, Tom Pegelow and Wally Pegelow at the tackles, Bill Guzik and Mel Gruber at the guards, Gene Kujawa at center, Moriarty at quarterback and Ulianelli, Fearby and Keith Holman at the running back positions.

The MACs season was made even more interesting as with Vets Park being resodded the Bulldogs had to play their home games on an improvised field behind the Wise Middle School.

The MACs went 2-9 that season and with their number dwindling played just one more year going 0-7-1 in 1961.The tie was a 0-0 draw against Jamestown.

The MACs final home game was a 27-0 loss to the East Aurora Bills on October 20, 1961 at Vets Park. Interestingly two members of the MACs inaugural 1946 team, Wanecski and Moriarty, took part in the finale.

Walt Wanecski , at left, threw a touchdown pass to Fred Oremus for the other MACs TD in that first ever win in 1946.