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Countdown to Friday Night Lights: Class D

By Keith McShea

Who’s who: The six-team division consists of the Cassadaga Valley Cougars, Ellicottville/West Valley Eagles, Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake Red Dragons, Portville Panthers, Randolph Cardinals and Westfield/Brocton Wolverines.

Continue reading "Countdown to Friday Night Lights: Class D" »

PrepTalkTV: Preseason interviews with nine Southern Tier football coaches

PrepTalkTV photographer/videographer Mark Mulville caught up with several Southern Tier coaches at a Section VI preseason meeting.

Check out what they had to say about their teams and divisions below.

Also check out previous posts loaded with videos:

* St. Francis, Burgard, Sweet Home, Hamburg, Wilson, South Park and St. Mary's.

* Lancaster, Cheektowaga, Cleveland Hill, Amherst, Maryvale and Lake Shore.

* Our first PrepTalkTV episode of the season from Clarence, Iroquois and St. Joe's.

* Or browse through the videos by clicking "PrepTalkTV" on our video player page.

Olean coach Mike Kane (Class B South):

Salamanca coach Jason Marsh (Class C South):

Allegany-Limestone coach Chad Lyter (Class C South):

Cassadaga Valley coach Nick Spitzer (Class C South):

Cattaraugus/Little Valley coach Tim Miller (Class C South):

Maple Grove coach Curt Fischer (Class D):

Portville coach Gary Swetland (Class D):

(Our apologies for the incorrect screen graphic - this is really Swetland).

Pine Valley coach Chris Buczek (Class DD)

(Our apologies for the incorrect screen graphic - this is really Buczek).

Clymer coach Mark Heiser (Class DD)

Be sure to check back to the PrepTalk blog for more videos as we continue to gear up for the 2011 season.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

Live from the C & D girls volleyball state finals: City Honors wins in a sweep; C/LV loses in five

GLENS FALLS -- We're ready to go with our second live blog.

Click on the box below to monitor the match.

Afterwards, feel free to comment below.

Check out match point as City Honors wins the title.

Here's a shot of the state champion Centaurs ...

The Class C state champion City Honors girls volleyball team. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)

... and here's a shot of the runner-up Timberwolves.

Cattaraugus/Little Valley with its state finalist trophy and awards. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)

---Keith McShea

Eden, City Honors, Catt/Little Valley volleyball to play for state titles Sunday

All three Section VI teams at the state volleyball final four have moved on to their respective final two.

Eden, City Honors and Cattaraugus/Little Valley will all play for state championships on Sunday after advancing in Saturday morning's pool play.

These results come thanks to the outstanding sports section of the Glens Falls Post Star (both in its sports section and volleyball blog).

Eden went unbeaten in six games of pool play, including a 25-15, 25-9 sweep of Hendrick Hudson. The matchup with Hudson was the last of pool play and was meaningless because both teams had already clinched a berth in the final. The teams will meet again at 10 a.m. Sunday.

Check out the Post Star's Class B live blog here 

City Honors also went unbeaten in six pool play games to move to Sunday's noon final against Section II (Albany area) champion Loudonville Christian.

Check out the Post Star's Class C live blog here.

Cattaraugus/Little Valley went 4-2 in pool play to earn a berth in Sunday's noon final against Thomas A. Edison of Section IV (Binghamton/Ithaca area). The teams split two games Saturday.

Check out the Post-Star's Class D live blog here.

---Keith McShea

Fall sports head to state final fours

If you haven't seen them already, check out Pete Simon's front-page story on Grover Cleveland boys soccer and Mary Jo Monnin's wrapup of all of the non-football teams searching for state titles this weekend.

So who comes home with a plaque?

As always, let us know how and why you voted in the comments section below.

---Keith McShea

Live from Far West Regional volleyball: Eden, City Honors, C-LV win; Hamburg, NT fall

City Honors earned its first trip to the state tournament in 10 years Saturday by sweeping Section V Class C champion Nazareth, 25-18, 25-19, 25-7, in the Far West Regionals before an estimated 300 at Lockport High School.

Natalie Southard had 18 kills and five blocks, while senior Alysia Negron added 18 digs and 10 kills as the Centaurs (18-0) advanced to next Saturday's state gathering at the Civic Center in Glens Falls.

"It's a great accomplishment," Negron said. "It's taken us 10 years to get back to where we belong. ... It means a lot to us being a [Buffalo] city school."

"It feels amazing," Southard said. "It's indescribable almost."

City Honors is making its seventh state tournament appearance and has won four state titles, the last coming in 1995. The Centaurs lost in the state final in 1999.

* * *

Eden advanced to its 11th straight state tournament, cruising to a 25-10, 25-6, 25-12, win over Section V champion Wayne in the Class B regional.

Hannah Herc led the Raiders (53-1-1) with 10 kills and six digs, while Katie Eschner had eight kills and four aces.

Eden won its last state championship, its sixth, in 2007. Last year's title quest fell short in the final when a banged-up Raiders crew lost in five games to Hendrick Hudson.

* * *

It's not about quantity, it's about quality. Cattaraugus-Little Valley is the proof in the pudding.

The Timberwolves advanced to their first state tournament Saturday, beating Section V champion Lyons, 25-21, 25-16, 25-20, in the Class D Far West Regional clash before an estimated 250 at Lockport.

After rallying to win its first Section VI championship a week and a half ago, Cattaraugus/Little Valley -- which has just eight girls on its volleyball roster -- relied on solid serving and and made the hustle plays a team needs to make to earn a shot at the title in Glens Falls.

Eighth-grader Sara Crandall was a force with 19 kills and 18 digs, while her sister Erin, a sophomore, had eight kills and 16 digs. Shelby Ellis had 26 digs, while setter Casey Miller finished with 30 assists for the T-Wolves (20-2).

"It's great," said coach Joe Crandall, the father of both Sara and Erin. "It's kind of a 'pinch-me' to see if it's real situation. The kids played great. It's an unbelievable feeling."

Lyons finished 21-4.

* * *

The feel-good season for the Hamburg girls volleyball team came to an end at the hands of defending state Class A champion Victor on Saturday morning in the Far West Regionals.

The Section V champions beat the Bulldogs, 25-17, 25-18, 25-9, in a match played before an estimated 100 at Lockport.

Hamburg, which went from 1-13 last year to winning the program's first Section VI title under first-year coach John Crangle, didn't have the size or the talent possessed by Victor (20-4), which has all but one starter back from last year's team. The Blue Devils advance to the state tournament next week in Glens Falls.

Kiersten Krolikowski led Hamburg (14-10) with eight kills and five blocks, while Jessica Wood finished with 39 assists.

"We weren't on anyone's radar this year," Crangle said. "I think the girls have created a new identity for themselves and the program. ... The girls gained confidence on the court throughout the year and off the court, too. As a teacher and a coach that's the most important thing. They improved, they learned and they had fun."

Jessica Fessler led the winners with 13 kills, while Brigid Moore had 31 assists.

* * *

In Class AA, Canandaigua (19-1) ended the stunning run of North Tonawanda (16-3), sweeping the Section VI champions, 25-15, 25-15 25-12. The Braves' size and skill proved to be too much for an undersized NT crew to overcome as Canandaigua finished with 10 blocks, while 6-foot-2 Kymberly Gordon (19 kills, three blocks) and 6-footer Liz Scott (eight kills, three blocks) altered countless other shots. Adding to NT’s woes, Braves setter Marissa King (35 assists) did a wonderful job passing to keep their attack unpredictable.

Lauren Metzger led NT with seven kills.

---Miguel Rodriguez

Who's going to win Class D football?

Last year the Section VI champion won the state title? Before Maple Grove can try to repeat as a state champion, it has to do so as a sectional winner. Can they do it?

As with all of our polls, we want to hear how and why you voted. Let us know in the comment space below.

Be sure to vote in all of the polls: Class AA, Class A, Class B and Class C

---Keith McShea

Football schedule updates after the dropout fallout

These are the updates to the football schedule we have received, almost all a result of the dropout fall out caused by Brocton, Hinsdale and Walsh pulling the plug on their seasons:

Week One
Sherman vs. Forestville at Silver Creek - Friday, Sept. 4, 7:30 p.m.
Clymer at West Valley - Saturday, Sept. 5, 1:30 p.m.
Week Two
Portville at Silver Creek - Friday, Sept. 11, 7:30 p.m.
Falconer at Randolph - Friday, Sept. 11, 7:30 p.m.
Pine Valley at Westfield - Friday, Sept. 11, 7:30 p.m.
Week Three
West Valley at Pine Valley - Friday, Sept. 18, 7:30 p.m.
V-Charles Finney at Salamanca - Saturday, Sept. 19, 7:30 p.m.
Bishop Timon-St. Jude has a bye week (after being scheduled against Walsh)
Week Four
Cattaraugus-Little Valley vs. Forestville at Silver Creek - Friday, Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m.
Week Five
Randolph at Portville - Friday, Oct. 2, 7:30 p.m.
Week Six
Silver Creek at Franklinville - Friday, Oct. 9, 7:30 p.m.
Week Seven
Frewsburg at Ellicottville - Friday, Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m.
Niagara Catholic at Allegany-Limestone - Friday, Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m.

All of the changes have been made to the 2009 week-by-week schedule accessible via the high school home page.

---Keith McShea


About Prep Talk

Keith McShea

Keith McShea

Keith McShea has covered high school sports at The News since his hiring in 1999. The 1995 University at Buffalo graduate and Long Island native (North Babylon Bulldogs) covers — and live blogs — everything from scrimmages to state championships & helps head The News' All-Western New York selections.

@KeithMcSheaBN |