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The #preptalkpreseason tour continues: PrepTalkTV interviews from Sweet Home, Jamestown, Randolph, Fredonia and Springville

Buffalo News photographers Harry Scull and Mark Mulville logged some serious miles in the last 24 hours to bring you more training camp reports. 

Mulville toured the Southern Tier to check in with Randolph, Jamestown and Fredonia

Scull visited with Sweet Home and Springville

Check them out: 

Check back for more coach interviews and reports from high school football training camps, and watch more video reports at our video home page

Live from Championship Week's tipoff at Buffalo State: Fredonia knocks off CSAT in B-2 (with video); Olean, Lackawanna roll in B-1

By Keith McShea

Today is the first of four straight days, and a total of five days this week, of Championship Week at Buffalo State. 

I'll provide play-by-play updates in the live blog below and I'll have periodic #preptalkscores updates via Twitter which will also appear in the blog. 

Your tweets with the hashtag #preptalkscores are welcome -- as they will appear in the live blog as well. You can comment on these games or others. Every night, scoring update tweets (in any sport) are welcome to those on Twitter -- just use the #preptalkscores hashtag. Today is also Super Monday for boys hockey while there are boys hoops semifinals at Jamestown Community College in Class D as well. 

Check our scoreboard page for a complete schedule of tonight's games; the scoreboard will be updated as we receive game reports throughout the evening.

Continue reading "Live from Championship Week's tipoff at Buffalo State: Fredonia knocks off CSAT in B-2 (with video); Olean, Lackawanna roll in B-1" »

Bennett forfeits Week One win; Lafayette forfeits Week Two game

Buffalo Public Schools athletic director Aubrey Lloyd just notified me that two city schools have had to post forfeits in what is a very young football season.

Bennett has forfeited its impressive, season-opening 44-16 nonleague victory Saturday over Grand Island because it used an ineligible player. A player who had transferred from Lafayette participated in the game; while some of the player's paperwork had been completed, it had not been completed in its entirety, thus making him ineligible, Lloyd said. 

The paperwork has been completed and the player is now eligible to compete in Week Two. 

Lafayette has forfeited its Week Two game with Fredonia, which had been scheduled to take place at 7 p.m. Friday at All High Stadium. That forfeiture is a result of the suspension of 12 players for academic reasons.

"We have to do things the right way," said Lloyd. "It was a great game for [Bennett] the kids to win, a morale booster, and they're turning things around with a new administration and a new coach -- but the kids have to be eligible."

Regarding Lafayette's situation, Lloyd said: "It's about academics, that's what we're here for. We all support the principal [Naomi Cerre]. Academics come first. Students need to know that. If they don't achieve certain grades, they can't play or will be put on probation."

This is certainly a bummer for Bennett after starting the season with such a good win, but it was a nonleague game so it doesn't affect their playoff chances. It was merely a clerical error, and the player is now eligible, so one would think there wouldn't be any issues going forward. The re-enthused Tigers should still optimistic about the season.

The news regarding Lafayette is not totally surprising, considering the on-again, off-again status of not just the athletic program but the school itself. Here's hoping that the students involved improve their academics and earn their way back on the field. The forfeit doesn't affect Lafayette's playoff status either; the Mighty Violets were already ineligible for the playoffs this year because it was added to the Section VI schedule well after the leagues and schedule were set up. Lafayette's athletic program was thought to be defunct following last season. 

One aspect of Lafayette's forfeit this week that should be considered is that Fredonia is now without a game. I doubt they would be able to schedule some sort of contest at this juncture, and that is unfortunate for them.

Many a football coach has stressed to his team that players only have a certain number of opportunities to be a football player, to take the field with your teammates. In Section VI, the regular season lasts just seven weeks. Fredonia has unfortunately lost one of those opportunities due to a situation beyond their control. 

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

buffalonews.com/highschools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

PrepTalkTV: Preseason interviews with Niagara Falls, Hutch-Tech, W. Seneca East, JFK, Fredonia, Pioneer and Gowanda

PrepTalkTV photographer/videographers John Hickey and Mark Mulville caught up with some more football coaches during their preseason travels.

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

Also check out previous posts loaded with videos:

* Olean, Salamanca, Allegany-Limestone, Cassadaga Valley, Cattaraugus/Little Valley, Maple Grove, Portville, Clymer.

* 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.

Niagara Falls coach Don Bass (Class AA North):


Hutch-Tech coach Chris Gelsomino (Class AA North):


West Seneca East coach Jim Maurino (Class A South):


Pioneer coach Jim Duprey (Class B South):


Fredonia coach Bob Ball (Class C South):


JFK coach Mark Ostempowski (Class C South):


Gowanda coach Sean Gabel (Class C North):


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)

buffalonews.com/high-schools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Prep Talk Live's B state semifinal replay: Fredonia vs. III-General Brown

Go to the Prep Talk Live page for blogging, video and photos from the key games of the football postseason. 

Let us know what you thought of the game in the comments section.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/high-schools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Prep Talk Live's C regional replay: Fredonia vs. V-Letchworth

Go to the Prep Talk Live page for blogging, video and photos from all of this weekend's Far West Regionals from All High Stadium. Go here for Mark Mulville's photos from this game.

Let us know what you thought of the game in the comments section.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/high-schools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Prep Talk Live's Class C replay: Southwestern vs. Fredonia

Go to the Prep Talk Live page for blogging, video and photos from all of the Section VI championships at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Let us know what you thought of the game in the comments section.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/high-schools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

More from the Far West Regional softball games

With limited print space, plenty of interesting quotes (and a few notes) didn't make today's story. Here they are:

- Big thanks to Olean Times Herald sports editor Chuck Pollock for the juiciest stat of the night: Mynderse pitcher Courtney Johnson throwing 66 of her 78 pitches for strikes. Of course, the Blue Devils lost, 4-0, but still.

- Pitt-Mendon coach Maureen Kempski celebrated her birthday Tuesday in grand style. Her team looks poised to take a shot at the state title. Winning pitcher Brittany Grage improved to 15-0 on the season with a 0.24 earned-run average. She's allowed just five earned runs in more than 120 innings pitched this season.

- Great job by Kempski and her team for having a printed roster with the team's record, phone numbers and all the other pertinent facts and figures about the team. Section VI coaches: take note.

- As you'll read in the quotes below, Amherst got aggressive on the basepaths late in their game, but it cost them. The Tigers had a player tagged out at home after a passed ball and at third base. Looking back on those outs now may not prevent an entirely accurate picture, however. The Tigers were desperate to score runs and we're trying to make something happen. Hard to fault them for that.

- Remember, state semifinals and final are Saturday down the Thruway in Waterloo. Not a bad drive.

And here's some quotes from Tuesday's action:

Pittsford-Mendon coach Maureen Kempski

On if her team was ready for the next step: “Yes, but they’ve worked really hard and this was their goal at the beginning of the season. Most of these kids have been on my team at least three years. The girls have believed this is their time and they’re working hard. They believe in each other.”

On Amherst’s aggressive baserunning: “I was surprised with the score that they did that. I have a very strong infield. … I think because we had a few mental lapses maybe in the inning before, they thought maybe we’ll jump on them and see if we can rattle them, but with this group, they’re always ready. They believed they could get it and made the plays.”

Amherst coach Mike Chatelle

On going for extra bases:“We always talked about being aggressive, whether it was at the plate or in the field or on the basepaths. They made some decisions and went with them. They ran the bases hard and were looking to take the extra base."

On nerves: “I think we were a little tight, tighter than we’re normally used to. That’s understandable, it’s a different level.”

Olean coach Dan Brooks

On getting a lead: “One of our goals this year is to score first. If we can score first, we feel pretty comfortable. Chelsea has been throwing outstanding during sectionals. If we can score first we settle in a little better.”

On Calabro: “She was working hard, you could see it. She got a little frustrated at times, you could see it in her body language. It was her fastball that got her out of jams tonight."

On the team’s schedule:“Our league prepares us for this. One of the things I decided to do this year was upgrade our nonleague schedule. We played North Tonawanda, we played Kenmore West, we played some outstanding teams. And on top of that our division one [schedule]. The Fredonias, Falconers, Dunkirks, Allegany-Limestones, they’re outstanding. We played the perfect schedule for where we’re at right now. We’ve faced teams like this before. Our league is outstanding and it proves it year in and year out.”

Clarence coach Todd Banaszak

On taking an early lead: “It just gives the pitcher a little bit more confidence. Yeah, I guess you could say it put the team at ease.”

On missed opportunities: “I thought we should have scored more runs. We threatened quite a bit, but we just couldn’t get that big hit.”

On finishing the deal: “The first thing I said when we went to right field [after the game] was we’ve been there three times already, now we’ve got to win it. They’re a good group. They’re focused, they’re intense … hopefully we have all the ingredients to get it.”

Clarence pitcher Jen Sansano

On her defense: “They’re always there. I know the girls are behind me. They’re always stellar in the field.”

On taking an early lead: “It shows that the girls are in the game and they’re just ready to pounce on every team.”

---Jay Skurski

Wrapping up the Section VI wrestling championships

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).

---Jay Skurski






More from the Section VI Division I wrestling championships

The champs. Section VI provided the photo (but not the who's who :-).

SANBORN -- Greetings from Niagara County Community College, site of the Section VI wrestling championships this weekend. Division I (large schools), finished a couple hours ago, while Division II (small schools will wrestle all day Saturday, with finals set to start at 4:30 p.m.

We're finished with our print responsibilities for the night and have plenty of notes left over to share. First, an observation: The simple finalist information sheet each coach fills out for his wrestlers is a valuable tool for the announcer and media in attendance. One of the toughest aspects of covering high schools sports is the availability of (reliable) statistical information, so when coaches have stuff like that prepared, it helps journalists write a better, more complete story on their student-athletes.

On to the winners and some information about them, as well as additional quotes that didn't make the paper.

96-pound champion: Steve Michel, Lancaster: Michel beat teammate Eric Lewandowski, 4-3, in a match I'm not sure either wanted to wrestle. Lewandowski was emotional after the loss, while Michel didn't seem to take much happiness out of his second straight 96-pound title. Here he is on the move that gave him the deciding points: "I shot a sweep single, then I hooked his leg and I stepped over."

103: Ronald Rodriguez-Spencer, Cheektowaga: The Class AAA winner improved his record to 32-5 and was the youngest competitor (eighth grade) to win a sectional title.

112: Tim Schaefer, Lancaster: Schaefer is 3-for-3 in sectional tournaments. He won at 96 in seventh grade, 103 last year and now 112 as a freshman.

119: Dylan Caruana, Kenmore West: One of the best matches of the night, Caruana held off Daiquann Burney of Sweet Home with a late reversal for a 6-3 decision. Here's Caruana on the fantastic finish: "The end was really exciting. I just didn’t want to give up that take down. He was about to get behind me and I couldn’t let him do it. I was only up by a point, so it was real close." Caruana has won two most outstanding wrestler awards this season, at the Orchard Park Tournament and last week at the AAAA tourney.

125: Joey Malvestuto, Niagara-Wheatfield: Plenty on this match in the print product, but a quick note: Malvestuto has overcome a broken hand and knee injury this season. He's rounding into form and improved to 31-3. Opponent Ben Mikac lost his first match of the season, falling to 34-1.

130: Joe Kalinka, Iroquois: The first of three Iroquois champions on the night, Kalinka (46-2) will make his second straight tip to states. He won the AAA tourney last week, while his opponent, Mike Feeney of Lockport, won the AAAA tourney.

135: Pat Mix, Lake Shore: Both Mix and opponent Zack Fummerelle had just one loss entering the mach. Mix took control with an early takedown, then held on for the win. Nice celebration by the Lake Shore coaches and Mix after the match, too. A school not known for its wrestling program made nice strides this season.

140: Jimmy Kloc, Iroquois: Kloc, who is a pitbull on the mat, looked like he was going to cruise, but Gage Bateman of Sweet Home gave him all he could handle. A fitting final for a weight class my wrestling go-to guy, Fredonia assistant coach Ross Conti, called the deepest of the tournament.

145: Jacob Beichner, Williamsville East: Beichner was the only wrestler not seeded first or second (he was third) to win. His reaction after winning showed all that's right with high school sports: a tearful hug with his parents. Here's Beichner on what the win meant to him: "He was beating me up pretty good in the beginning, but I’ve been training my whole life for this moment. I just wasn’t going to let that stop me. I knew he was getting tired and he was breaking. It’s my senior year, I just went full force." The loss was the first of the season for Irvin Buck of Niagara Falls.

152: Kris Duge, Clarence: It was the 38th win of the season for Duge, a senior.

160: Raleigh Defields, Iroquois: Defields was struck with pneuomia during the season and didn't start to get healthy until the end of January. He had dropped an earlier decision by one point to his opponent Friday, Lancaster's Sean Woods. Defields was a fun interview after his match. Here's some of what he had to say: "I set a goal as a freshman that I always wanted to at least win [a] class [tournament] and going to states is just an awesome bonus." On his recovery: "I've been busting my hump in practice getting my conditioning levels back and it paid off because I could have gone another minute if need be." On the end of the match, which went to overtime: "I looked up at the clock with five seconds left, held on for dear life and smiled."

171: Tony Lock, Pioneer: A sophomore who has progressively improved this season, Lock picked up his 40th win.

189: Angelo Malvestuto, Niagara-Wheatfield: Falcons coach Rick Sweney called him the best wrestler ever to come through Niagara-Wheatfield, which sums up Malvestuto's career well. He was the only one to record a pin Friday night.

215: Kyle Colling, Pioneer: A 2009 national champion, the only surprise in Colling's title is that it didn't come by pinfall. According to Conti, it's believed Colling could become the first wrestler in state history to win class titles in Division I and II, due to Pioneer moving up to Division I this season (he won Division II last year).

285: Jim Donner, Niagara-Wheatfield: Donner gets a chance to build on his fifth-place finish at last year's state tournament.

Talk to you tomorrow from the Division II tournament.

---Jay Skurski

 

 

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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 | [email protected]

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