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Vets Park renovation; softball sectional title highlighted Medina’s 2017 sports year

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 December 2017 at 10:11 am

Photo by Mike Wertman – Medina’s Veterans Memorial Park had a major face lift in 2017 with new artificial turf and scoreboard.

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – The Medina softball team made history capturing its first ever sectional championship.

Phase 1 of a major renovation project at Veterans Memorial Park was a very visible highlight of 2017 in Medina.  The summer long project saw the installation of a new drainage system, new artificial turf and a large new video scoreboard. Unlike the previous turf, the new artificial surface completely covers the field including the baseball and softball infields. Phase 2, which is scheduled for the summer of 2018, will feature the installation of a new permanent grandstand on the south side of the field.

The Medina varsity softball team made school history by capturing its first ever sectional championship nipping top seeded Eden 5-4 in the Class B-2 title game after edging past No. 2 Fredonia 1-0 in the semifinals. However, the Mustangs bid for a spot in the playoffs was dashed when B-1 champ Depew topped Medina 6-1 for the overall B title. The Mustangs also ended a 12 year league title drought by earning a one-third share of the Niagara-Orleans championship with Akron and Roy-Hart at 9-3.

The Medina boys varsity basketball squad captured a second straight N-O title posting a 12-0 record. Junior Jalin Cooper scored a school record tying 458 points on the season. He also surpassed the 1,000 point career scoring milestone in late December.

Cooper, who accepted a Division 1 football scholarship from the University of Toledo in December, also had a big spring on the track as he successfully defended his Section VI titles in the 100 and 200 meter dashes and went on to place in the top four in both events at the state championships.

The Medina girls basketball squad had a strong postseason run advancing to the sectional finals for the first time since 1998 where the Mustangs bowed 60-33 to N-O champion Wilson for the B-2 title. Sophomore Je’ne Brown scored a school record 427 points. Sophomore Maddie Williams also set a school single game record with 54 points including a state record 16 threes.

The Medina volleyball team also advanced to the sectional finals for the first time since 1995 where the Mustangs lost to Alden in the B-2 finals three sets to one.

The Medina tennis team captured a second straight N-O title and the fifth in the last six years by going 12-0. Mustangs tennis Coach Chris Horgan also earned the state Coach of the Year award.

On the baseball diamond, Wilson downed Medina 11-5 in the inaugural Jeff Evoy Memorial Scholarship game at Vets Park.

The Medina golf team likewise went undefeated to claim the N-O championship as sophomore Ian Wagner won the N-O individual championship and went on to place third at the sectionals to earn a spot in the state championships.

Medina sophomore Melanie Green likewise had a big year on the links as she captured the Section VI championship, placed third at the state championships and won the Western New York Junior PGA title.

The Medina varsity lacrosse team had two players, senior Jake Cotter and junior Brendan Luthart, earn All-Western New York and All-State honors. Both signed Division 1 scholarships, Cotter to Canisius and Luthart to St. Bonaventure.

In Medina Women’s Softball League action, Bane’s Plumbing/Banes Machine Shop captured both the regular season and playoff ‘A’ Division titles downing Orleans Vets 12-8 in a tie breaker game for the regular season crown and Jr. Wlson 8-6 in the playoff final.

The Woodroe Realty Blue Jays captured the N-O Youth Baseball Minor Division playoff title.