Stan Wier emailed me and said he plans on returning to East Aurora for his senior year.
Wier, who earned second team All-Western New York honors with state Federation Class A champion Nichols as a sophomore in 2009-10 before transferring to La Lumiere of Indiana for his junior year. He played for EA as a freshman.
"I just wanted to let you know that I plan on coming back to East Aurora for my senior year," Wier stated in his email.
This is certainly interesting news for the 2011-12 boys hoops season. More to come from me when I'm not on vacation :-).
Hello from All High Stadium in Buffalo for the Section VI girls lacrosse championships. Class B gets us started with Lake Shore and Hamburg; Class C follows with six-time defending champion Amherst trying for a three-game season sweep of East Aurora at 5:30; at 8 p.m. six-time defending champion Lancaster takes on Frontier in the Class A showdown.
Great venue for all sports -- and it's a wonderful weather day for the action. Should be a great two days here as the boys championship tripleheader is tomorrow.
3:43 p.m. Lake Shore is off to a quick start, as Lauren Scanlan has three goals and the Eagles have a 4-1 lead with 20:13 left in the first half.
3:45 p.m. Another Scanlan goal, off a nice feed from Vivian Curry, makes it a 5-1 lead for Lake Shore.
3:49 p.m. Two quick goals from Hamburg cut it to 5-3, but another Scanlan goal on a breakaway makes it 6-3 Lake Shore with 16:04 left in the first half.
4:01 p.m. Timeout on the field with 11:01 left in the first half -- the players left their sticks in their places on the turf; ostensibly it is a water-break timeout mandated by officials. It is certainly a hot one here. Lake Shore has teh ball and its 6-3 lead.
4:03 p.m. A great feed from Curry from the right side, a great catch by Scanlan cutting down the middle, and she scores her sixth goal as Lake Shore goes up, 7-3, with 10:08 left in the first half.
4:05 p.m. Solo rush from the right side of the cage for Hamburg's Amanda Obenshain -- her second of the game -- make it 7-4 with 8:59 left in first.
4:07 p.m. Lake Shore answers that with a Curry goal inside to make it 8-4 with 7:56 left in the first half.
4:12 p.m. Obenshain takes a very nice feed from Taylor Wolff on the left doorstep of the cage and she scores to make it 8-5 with 4:08 left in the first half. That came just after a nice save by Lake Shore goalie Kachine Lay.
4:13 p.m. A draw control win and another goal by Obenshain, who made a few dodges in front of the cage before scoring and we're at 8-6 Lake Shore with 3:38 left in the first.
4:18 p.m. Big goal late for Lake Shore, who had been pressuring Hamburg but goalie Lauren Courteau came up with four nice saves in the final two minutes. Shelby Stevens then came up with a big steal of a Hamburg clear; she passed to Scanlan, who found a slashing Alie Jimerson for a nice catch and score for a 9-6 lead with 11.4 left.
4:22 p.m. We are at HALFTIME and Lake Shore leads Hamburg, 9-6.
Obenshain went down with an injury with 5.2 seconds left and was writhing on the field for a few moments before trotting off the field.
Lake Shore seems to be overpowering with Scanlan playing a big part of draw controls and the offense, but Hamburg continues to keep hanging around.
4:38 p.m. Curry comes back with her third goal to answer one by Obenshain; Lake Shore leads, 10-7, with 22:08 left.
4:42 p.m. Curry on a clear breakway from midfield -- she sprints to the cage and fires an overhead shot under the crossbar to make it 11-7; 30 seconds later Scanlan makes a great catch of a feed, then whirls in front of the cage to score for a 12-7 lead with 19:45 to go in the game.
4:44 p.m. Obenshian up the middle after a penalty and Hamburg pulls within 12-8 with 18:23 left.
4:45 p.m. Official-mandated water break with 18:18 left in the game and Lake Shore up, 12-8.
4:54 p.m. Hamburg got a great goal from Megan Mikolajek, who went coast-to-coast after a steal deep in the Hamburg end. ... but Curry scores two straight to push the Lake Shore lead to 14-9 with 14:18 left.
4:58 p.m. Lake Shore scores again as Scanlan fires it in for her eighth goal -- the lead is now 15-9 with 11:57 left and Hamburg takes a timeout.
5:03 p.m. Obenshain scores her seventh goal in front to make it a 15-10 lead for Lake Shore with 9:21 left.
5:04 p.m. Curry comes right back -- a familiar theme there for Lake Shore. She goes to the goal, has her shot stopped but she scoops up the rebound and fires it in for a 16-10 lead with 8:55 left.
5:08 p.m. Officials timeout for a water break with 6:22 left.
5:12 p.m. Hamburg cuts it to 16-11 with 5:56 left on Mikolajek's second goal.
5:13 p.m. Hamburg back to within four as Obenshain scores her eighth goal to make it 16-12 with 4:23 left.
5:15 p.m. As has happened many times today, Lake Shore comes up with a big goal just when Hamburg is thinking of making a game out of it. Kiersten Kennedy scoops up a loose ball on a turnover by Hamburg, goes to the goal and her backhand shot trickles over the line to make it 17-12 with 3:21 left.
5:18 p.m. Amanda Patrone scores on the doorstep for Hamburg to cut it to 17-13 with 2:30 left. Lake Shore's Melissa Haring was down on the play due to cramping. She remained down through an official timeout before walking to the bench.
5:23 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Lake Shore 17, Hamburg 13.
Lake Shore wins its first sectional title. Interview time for me.
And the Class B postgame show:
6:04 p.m. The Class C game is underway and Amherst, expectedly, jumps on top of East Aurora on an Ivy Timlin goal less than two minutes in.
6:06 p.m. EA ties it up on a Addie Ohler goal with 21:32 left in the 25-minute half.
6:12 p.m. Hmmmm. EA, which lost twice to Amherst during the regular season, gets another Ohler goal to take a 2-1 lead with 16:49 left.
6:15 p.m. EA scores again, with Victoria Budzyn scoring after a foul call right in front. EA takes a surprising 3-1 lead and Amherst calls a timeout with 15:13 left in the first half.
6:24 p.m. Amherst gets one back as Alana Rockoff wheels around from the right side to the left and scores to make it 3-2; that's followed by an officials timeout for a water break with 10:20 left in the first half.
6:29 p.m. Moments after a big save by EA's Rachel Hallnan, Katie Daminski scooted coast-to-coast, accelerating nicely in the Amherst half before scoring to push the Blue Devil lead to 4-2 with 7:32 left in the first half.
6:33 p.m. Alanna Rockoff scores 85 seconds after Sara Bischof and Amherst has tied it at 4-4 with 5:33 left in the first half; timeout EA.
6:38 p.m. Rockoff scores on a free shot in front -- moments after a yellow card was issued to an EA player after a collision -- to give Amherst its first lead of the game at 5-4 with 3:43 left in the first half.
6:40 p.m. Sophie Nieschur circles the cage, comes around the right side, waits a step against her defender and wheels and scores for a 6-4 lead.
6:43 p.m. After a nice save by EA goalie Hallnan, a scramble results in Sara O'Brien left open in front of the cage and she converts a pass to make it 7-4 Amherst with 1:12 left in the half.
6:46 p.m. At HALFTIME, Amherst leads East Aurora, 7-4.
Nice surge by Amherst to score the last five goals of the half; the last three came after the yellow card was issued to EA.
7:09 p.m. Amherst has kept rolling in the third quarter, scoring the first four goals to take an 11-4 lead with 18:42 left. I'm starting to write my story. Three games in one story and the Class A game is an 8 p.m. start, which puts us in a little deadline danger.
7:22 p.m. EA gets on the board but Amherst answers shortly thereafter as Ivy Timlin scores her fourth goal of the game to give the Tigers a 12-5 lead with 12:08 left.
7:26 p.m. A highlight goal from EA's Ohler, who goes coast to coast and finished it off by jumping to the left of the cage and shooting across her body to score at a very tough angle. Amherst's lead is 12-6 with 9:55 left.
7:33 p.m. EA gets two quick ones to cut it to 12-8 with 4:11 left. After Ashley Friess scored, Nikki Schneider scored right off the draw control win to cut the lead to 12-8.
7:39 p.m. Myriah Magaris with a goal off a free position shot for Amherst to make it 13-8 in the final minute.
7:40 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Amherst 13, East Aurora 8.
Seventh straight title for the Tigers, first for coach Kristy Grossman who took over for Janet Battaglia this year.
The Class C postgame show:
8:19 p.m. The Class A game has started with some great play -- by the goalies. Lancaster's Brooklyn Schilling and Frontier's Mia Wagner have exchanged saves on the first two trips by each team. Wagner then stopped two straight free position shots from near point-blank range. Whoa.
8:26 p.m. After some more great defense, Sarah Lorusso sprints in alone on a fast break and scores to put Frontier up, 1-0, with 14:14 left in the first half -- that's 10 minutes-plus of scoreless play, and it was very good stuff, not what you would automatically think of a scoreless start.
8:32 p.m. It is 2-0 Frontier as Ashley Bandt-Hunter loses the ball after a check, but then scoops it up and scoots to the goal to score on an overhand shot with 9:49 left in the first half.
8:38 p.m. We definitely have a situation here. Frontier's Lorusso scores again to give Frontier a 3-0 lead over the seven-time defending champions with 6:10 left in the first half. Lancaster called a timeout after the goal.
8:43 p.m. BIG goal for Lancaster as Alexis Ruggiero, a freshman midfielder, scores on a free position shot with a bounce shot that is the first to get by Wagner. Lancaster cuts the Frontier lead to 3-1 with 3:01 left in the first.
8:45 p.m. A big draw control violation gives the ball to Lancaster, and they capitalize as Brittany Delano scores to make it 3-2 with 1:54 left in first. Great surge here late in the half by the Redskins.
8:50 p.m. Frontier with several chances deep in Lancaster territory in the final minute, but Schilling made two big saves, one on a free position shot and one on a bang-bang pass play, and another free position shot went wide.
8:52 p.m. At HALFTIME, Frontier leads Lancaster, 3-2.
The low score is not a surprise considering the team's two meetings this year. Lancaster won both by scores of 5-4 and 9-5.
9:18 p.m. Working on my story so updating when I can.
Frontier made it 4-2 with 18:52 left on a transition play by Bandt-Hunter, who went coast to coast and fired it in after accelerating near the cage. The Falcons just made it 5-2 on another Bandt-Hunter goal with 12:22 left, prompting a Lancaster timeout.
9:33 p.m. Timeout Frontier with 3:31 left to play. Teams have exchanged goals in the last 23 seconds with Frontier leading, 6-3.
9:41 p.m. HUGE win for Frontier.
We have a FINAL SCORE: Frontier 6, Lancaster 3.
Lancaster's reign as Class A champions ends after six straight titles.
Stan Wier, who helped Nichols win a state Federation boys basketball championship last season as a sophomore, will transfer to La Lumiere, a private school located in LaPorte, Indiana.
Wier had already decided that he would not be returning to Nichols in June. The East Aurora native was considering returning to his home district, where he played his freshman season, and also received attention from New England prep schools.
Wier told me via email that he accepted a full scholarship to the boarding school because its "combination of academics and athletics made it a clear decision."
"The school itself is very challenging academically with two-to-three hours of homework per night. The basketball program is a perfect fit for me. The team consists of a solid frontcourt with a 7-foot center and two 6-10 forwards -- all have Division I offers. I round out the frontcourt due to their need of a physical shooter/scorer, and the team is being built for the future seeing as how there are four players on the team in my 2012 graduation class that are top 100 players.
"Not to mention they have a new coach who was formerly at Culver Academy and is known as one of the best player development coaches in the country. This program will simply challenge me to my limits daily to assure that I maximize potential. Also, the school is giving me a full-scholarship so for economic reasons it was a great fit as well."
Wier was a second-team All-Western New York selection in helping Nichols to one of the best seasons in recent Western New York basketball history. The 6-2 guard is an excellent shooter who also provides physical, intense play on the boards and on defense.
After a little google-ing, one of the players Wier was apparently referring to is Hanner Perea, a 6-8 forward who is reported to be deciding between Indiana and Baylor.
One would think that Wier's outside shooting would come in just as handy for La Lumiere as it did for a Nichols team led from the inside by now-University at Virginia 6-8 freshman Will Regan.
This will be Wier's third school in three years. That certainly isn't the most traditional route for a high school athlete in Western New York (although recent WNY examples of three schools in three years do come to mind), but it's hard to argue with any of the steps Wier and his family have made, whether it was to go from EA to a great team at a great school in Nichols, or to now go from Nichols to a program that seems to be at another level -- in a state renowned for basketball.
Wier told me in June that he had scholarship offers from Rhode Island and Colgate; one would think that playing alongside major D-I recruits would only help him gain more experience and exposure.
Stan Wier, a standout sophomore for the Nichols boys basketball team as the Vikings won the state Class A Federation tournament this past season, won't be returning to the Buffalo private school.
Stan's father, Todd Wier, stated in an e-mail to me that Stan, as well as younger brother Cam, would not be returning to Nichols. Most likely they will be transferring back to their home district of East Aurora; however, Stan also has offers from prep schools.
In an e-mail from Stan, the junior-to-be stated he is "leaning" towards returning to EA. He stated that Lollier of Indiana, Oak Hill Academy and "a couple of NEPSAC [New England Preparatory School Athletic Council] schools" were the prep schools interested in him.
"I've gotten full-ride scholarship offers from Colgate and Rhode Island," Stan Wier wrote, "but
I gotta keep grinding to be the best I can be."
Wier played for East Aurora as a freshman in the 2008-09 season while older brother Thad was a senior.
He transferred to Nichols and was a key component on one of the best teams of the last decade as the Vikings won just the second large-school state Federation title in Western New York history. Wier provided excellent outside shooting and grit to a starting lineup that included seniors Will Regan, Ron Canestro, Andrew MacKinnon and Connor Vandegriff.
* Another of Eden's fab four seniors in volleyball, Katie Eschner, is headed to Roberts Wesleyan in suburban Rochester.
* Check out the bios of Willie Ruiz of Canisius and Matt Fox of Maple Grove, who are both playing football at Robert Morris.
* Read up on five locals heading to Gannon football: Ian Kennedy, Bishop Timon-St. Jude; Keith Bykowski and Matthew Hornung, Cheektowaga; Ryan Sweet, East Aurora and Jeff Bellanca, St. Joe's (also baseball).
* Amanda Serafini of Frontier softball is off to Davis & Elkins in Elkins, W. Va.
* Kyle McLain of Canisius will play baseball at Washington & Jefferson, which is ranked in the Division III top 25.
* Jamie Nash of JFK will play softball atop South Hill with the Ithaca College Bombers, ranked in the Division III national top 25.
Have an update to the list or information like is posted here? See the top of the college list page for guildelines and e-mail me.
And yes, this is a post about the 2010-11 schedule.
One of the top early-season showcases is already set: the Cataract Classic at Niagara Falls. Event organizer Sal Constantino emailed the schedule to us today.
As always, a great mix of teams and some great matchups. Here it is:
Friday, Dec. 10
North Tonawanda vs. Lancaster, 5 p.m.
St. Joe's vs. Depew, 6:30 p.m.
Niagara Falls vs. Jamestown, 8 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 11
Wilson vs. St. Mary's/Lanc., noon
V-Charles Finney vs. Amherst, 1:30 p.m.
V-Batavia vs. Williamsville North, 3 p.m.
Williamsville South vs. Canisius, 5 p.m.
Niagara Catholic vs. East Aurora, 6:30 p.m.
V-Aquinas vs. Niagara Falls, 8 p.m.
I sure hope the Pastor-Cooper Tournament is the week before (Nov. 29-Dec. 3) -- that's the way things have gone down the last two years. I've covered a state championship football game on the last Sunday in November and then seen some hoops at Daemen the next day.
We won't have a building-the-schedule post up for a little while yet, but if anyone out there has some confirmed dates, please feel free to add them here or to email me at email@example.com.
Here are the Division I and Division II stories from the Section VI wrestling championship. And here are plenty of extras from the Division II meet Saturday night at Niagara County Community College. But first, a couple observations.
1. This was the second straight year NCCC served as host for the event, and it's a great venue. There's plenty of parking, and NCCC coach Eric Knuutilla (one of the nicest men you could ever meet) does a great job having the gym ready. The support staff, including announcers and officials, also do a good job of keeping everything moving as close to on time as possible.
2. Another thank you to Ross Conti, an assistant coach at Fredonia and committee member of the Wrestling Review of Western New York, the group that does such a great job seeding and ranking area wrestlers. Conti is a walking encyclopedia of wrestling knowledge.
112-pound champion Tom Page, Eden: Page moved ahead with a takedown in the second period to defeat teammate eighth-grade teammate Alex Smythe. Here's Page's father, also Tom Page, on what it's like for two teammates to wrestle each other: "It's extremely difficult because they're so familiar with each other's style. It's unfair to both, but some coaches say it's a privilege. I'm proud of both of the athletes, because they've done a fantastic job."
The elder Page said he wrestled both at 112 because they were the best at that weight class and deserved a chance to showcase what they could do at the sectional level. Nothing wrong with that logic.
119-pound champion Kevin Strong, Frewsburg: It's the second trip to states for Strong, who improved to 43-2 on the season. Here he is on his game plan from Saturday: "I was working on holding him down and taking it slow. Once I got my points I was very careful." Strong beat Newfane's David Ciaramella, 9-0.
125-pound champion Emory Rowe, Ripley: The smallest wrestling school in Western New York had two finalists, including one champion in Rowe. He scored a late takedown to earn a 5-3 decision over Jake Baer of Olean, a raw talent in just his third year of wrestling. Here's Rowe on the end of the match: "I was just looking for an opening and I saw him loosen up, so I dove for it and got it."
140-pound champion Devin Kramer, Depew: The Most Outstanding Wrestler of the meet scored three late points to break a 2-2 tie with Ben Haas of Salamanca and win his second sectional title (he won at 130 last year). The 130- and 140-pound divisions are packed with talented wrestlers. Kramer, a senior who is a member of the Cobra Wrestling Academy, is 36-4 on the season.
145-pound champion: Dominic Montesanti, Medina: Montesanti put forth a dominant performance despite being hampered by a knee injury. He's wrestling on a torn meniscus in his right knee. Here he is on competing hurt: "It's been a real bother, but it's my senior so I couldn't get surgery. It would put me out for the rest of the year. I have one last chance to be a state champion, so I have to tough it out."
Montesanti took sixth at the state tournament last year after dislocating his elbow and having to injury forfeit two matches at 140.
171-pound champion John Mistretta, Southwestern: Mistretta beat Greg Burroughs of Fredonia for the third time this season, never the easiest thing to do. Mistretta has a unique style that could make him a tough out at the state tournament.
189-pound champion Colin Palmer, East Aurora: Palmer is unbeaten on the season (24-0) after missing time early due to injury.
215-pound champion Pat Langworthy, Southwestern: Langworthy (33-6), a junior, won a wild weight class. Consider: the seventh seed, Panama's Cody DiDomenico, beat No. 2 Bashar Srouji of Lew-Port in the quarterfinals. Langworthy, the third seed, then beat DiDomenico. On the other side of the bracket, top seed Justin Taylor of Portville was upset by fourth seed Jake Eddington of Gowanda in the semifinals.
285-pound champion Theo King, Roy-Hart: King and 96-pounder Zach Bickle won titles for the Rams. Here's King on what he hopes it means for the Niagara-Orleans League school: "I hope it can inspire more people to come out for the team next year and continue to build the tradition of the program."
That's it for now, although we may have some video later of a few matches (if I can figure out the technology).
The Class B field is set, and there are favorites everywhere you turn -- Cheektowaga is tops in the polls, Depew is coming off a tremendous performance against No. 1 large school Lancaster, East Aurora might be the hottest team in the bracket, and Lackawanna is the defending champion.
Brenna Symoniak must really like the color orange.
The Amherst cross country/track standout announced at Saturday's Alden Bulldog Stampede that she's accepted an athletic scholarship to Syracuse. She said her scholarship will cover over 70 percent of her college expenses.
She had narrowed her choices down to Syracuse and North Carolina.
"I liked both coaches, but when I went to Syracuse I just felt like that was my school," she said. "I didn't think that was going to happen, but it made it a lot easier."
* * *
It's probably close enough to Halloween to describe the East Aurora girls as scary good. They are ranked No. 10 in the nation by dystat.com.
The Blue Devils were missing their top three runners at the Stampede due to illness and still managed to win the large school team title by 88 points.
"I don't think we're 10, but we're definitely a top-20 team," said coach Walt McLaughlin. "We don't talk about it that much because rankings don't win meets. We want to run really well at ECICs, Sectionals, states. We've got good strength, good speed up front. HFL [Honeoye Falls-Lima] is really a good team and we're going to need our best races to beat them."
Here are some additional notes on the eighth-graders as well as notes on all sorts of cross country topics:
* * *
Among the top 18 at the 15-team Bemus Point Invitational were more eighth graders (five) than seniors (four).
Caroline Benson of Maple Grove won the race, while two other fellow eighth-graders were teammates … Emma Verdonik (fifth) and Abby Sirwatka (18th). Falconer's Kirsten Holmberg was third and Fredonia's Micaela Tramuta was 11th.
* * *
Kiki Dy is an accomplished swimmer who came to the Newfane program from field hockey, while Sarah Ziemba and twins Kelly and Kate Bocknewetch all excelled in modified track and cross country last year.
Dy "fell into our lap," said Newfane coach Mike Heitzenrater. "Because of the way our league is run in swimming, with the girls competing in the winter, she could never qualify for states. So she said, "I want to do cross country and get to the states.' "
The youngsters have meshed well with senior Bethany Dewey and juniors Erin Hannah and Amy Lanighan.
It may have helped that Newfane had a significant amount of spots to fill in its lineup after graduating much of its team last year.
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.