Sectional title victory caps special season for senior members of the Mustangs squad

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 15 May 2021 at 6:42 pm

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Medina Coach Eric Valley meets here with senior members of the squad after the Mustangs captured the Section VI Class C championship with a 21-13 victory over Southwestern at Vets Park Friday night. In front are Michael Bitsas, Robert Morehouse and Mitchell Silversmith. In back are Tyler Chinn, Miles Hartway, Brian Fry, Valley, Lennon Meacham, Donte Rhim and Corey Saj.

Cancelled last fall due to Covid-19 Pandemic restrictions, high school football across New York State got a reprieve when restrictions were eased enough to allow for a shorter “Fall 2” season sandwiched between the winter and spring sorts seasons.

It was a reprieve that probably meant the most to the senior members of the football squads who finally got that opportunity to play one more time.

And for the Medina seniors it proved to be a season to truly be remembered as the Mustangs went undefeated (6-0) capturing  the C North Division title and then the Section VI Class C championship. That sectional title, which was eared by positing a hard fought 21-13 victory over Southwestern Friday night, ended a long 33 year long playoff championship drought for the Mustangs.

The Mustangs senior group included Tyler Chinn, Corey Saj, Brian Fry, Donte Rhim, Miles Hartway, Lennon Meacham, Mitchell Silversmith, Robert Morehouse and Michael Bitsas.

“I’m just so proud of these kids. They really work hard and it was so nice for them to get the title,” said Coach Eric Valley. “It’s just very impressive what they have achieved.”

And for the second time in four months the Mustangs also proved what the value of earning a high seed for the playoffs means this year.

Due to the Pandemic situation there are no neutral sites for the sectionals this school year meaning the higher seeded team gets home field (or home court) advantage throughout the playoffs including the finals.

And Medina has fully taken advantage of that first in basketball and now in football.

The Medina boys basketball team captured the Niagara-Orleans League title and earned the No. 1 seed for the Section VI Class B2 playoffs. The Mustangs took full advantage of that top seed by scoring three straight home court victories to capture the sectional championship, the school’s first since 1971.

Interestingly Chinn, Rhim and Fry were also all regulars on the Mustangs championship basketball team.

And on the football field Medina earned the No. 2 seed for the Class C football playoffs.

Again capitalizing on the opportunity, the Mustangs first defeated No. 3 Eden/North Collins in the semifinals and then No. 4 Southwestern in the title contest to earn their first sectional title since 1988.

To be sure the Mustangs are no doubt thanking the Trojans for that home field advantage in the finals as Southwestern bested No. 1 seed Clymer/Sherman/Panama  (CSP) 24-21  in the other semifinal. A CSP win would have sent Medina deep into the Southern Tier to Clymer for the title contest.