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Mike Wertman, Sports Writer
sports@orleanshub.com

 

N-O grapplers place third at Battle for the Belt outdoor tournament

Contributed Photo
Three mats were in action on the Barker High football field Saturday for the inaugural Battle For The Belt outdoor summer wrestling tournament.

 

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 28 July 2014

Going 3-2 on the day, the Niagara-Orleans League team placed third at the inaugural Battle for the Belt outdoor wrestling tournament held Saturday on the Barker High football field.


The Niagara Frontier League team took top honors with a 5-0 record as the Falconer/Southern Tier squad placed second at 4-1.


Three mats were used on the football field for each of the five rounds of the tournament.


"It was a great day for outdoor wrestling," said Barker/Roy-Hart wrestling Coach Keith Jones who organized the event. "There was some great competition and we're hoping to make it an annual event."


The other competing squads included Clarence and two from

Williamsville/Tonawanda/Amherst.

Contributed Photo
Six teams from around Western New York competed in the Battle for the Belt.


The N-O team included Cade Aina (106 lbs.) and Aaron Burnside (152) from Albion, Tom Fisher (113) from Akron, Joe Velez (132) from Medina, Dylan Thompson-Cox (220) from Wilson, Julian Nixon (120), Cyrus Simmons (160) and Jake Kubala (189) from Newfane along with Brent Bachman (126), AJ Schafer (138), Cameron Swick (145) and DJ Gardner (170) all from Barker/Roy-Hart.


"All of our N-O schools were represented on the team which was great," said Jones who noted that the winning Niagara Frontier League team received a championship belt which they will bring back to defend next summer.

 

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Sand volleyball teams back in action

Orleans County YMCA Happenings

 

Contributed Story Posted 27 July 2014
This week in sand volleyball teams were back in actions, throwing everything they got as they fought hard for playoff position.

 

Starting with A division SWAT Team took on Froman Ink. These teams have both taken sets from one another but overall Froman Ink has looked like the better team. This day was no different. Froman started out slow as they dropped the first game 25-16. Dan Ward helped turn their fortune around as they won game two 25-19. Game three each team pulled out all the stops. Froman Ink was able to get a 24-18 lead but SWAT wasn’t going away. They battled to get it back to 24-24. Points were traded but in the end Froman Ink was able to squeak it out 28-26 for a 2-1 victory with a score of 70-69.


Moving over to our B division How I Set Your Mother took on Peanut Butter Cups. With first place on the line . Both teams took this game personally. Coming out strong Riley Welker spiked his team to victory the first game. Austin Bane matched his effort and more by killing several balls to sand. Peanut Butter Cup couldn’t keep their first game win going as they fell 2-1 with a score of 70-57. How I Set Your Mother takes a commanding lead in the league.

 

Our second game saw Bridget’s Bashers taking on BHP Custom Patios. The first two games BHP romped them with a total score of 50-25. Bridget’s looked lost but game three they battled back and played great ball, and were able to take game three even though they fell 2-1 with a score of 73-50. I’d Hit That took on Bump + Grind in our third game. Brooks Boyle came out hot. Slamming sets to the ground. Mike and Steve Crane showed poised as they weathered the storm and were able to win game one. Bump + Grind would answer back strong as they put everything together and won the remaining two. Winning them the match 2-1 with a score of 72-64.


Lastly in our C division, Growmark FC took on Mundion Watts. Mundion Watts came out roaring, as they bumped, set and spiked like never before. Growmark had no idea how to stop it. Addy Watts showed great skill with on point passes and get sets for his teammates. Growmark was able to bounce back after two loses and took game three behind the serving of Nicci Morre. In the end Watts still took the match 2-1 with a score of 66-61.

 

In our last match of the Watch it Drop played Huck it. Carissa Streams led her team to a strong opening. Her play alone helped propel them to game one victory. Emily Oakes wasn’t having it as Huck It just went all out and was able to take the second and third game barely but still able to take them for a 2-1 victory with a score of 71-67.

 

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Albion U17 wins finale shorthanded

 

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 27 July 2014

Playing shorthanded throughout, Albion blanked Attica 2-0 at Genesee Community College this afternoon in the Rochester District Youth Soccer League girls U17 Division season finale.


Going with only 10 players, Albion grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first half on a goal by Emily Blanchard.


A second half goal by Nicole Eldred, off an assist from Mandy Covis, then helped put a lock on the victory.


Aleah Foos earned the shutout in goal for Albion whose defense was also anchored by Crystal Quintana, Nicole DiCureia, Shelby Restivo and Covis.


"The girls really played hard. We played with only 10 players but they really hung in there," said Albion Coach Paul Zeppetella whose lineup for the day also included Vivian Rivers, Alyce Miller and Maddy Coville.


Zeppetella also added a thanks to his assistant coach, Bruce Blanchard for his help this season. " He really helped me grow as a coach," said Zeppetella.


Albion ends the season in third place in the division with a 7-3-2 record.

 

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Medina U19 booters top rival U17

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 27 July 2014

Continuing a recent tradition, Medina’s U19 and U17 boys soccer teams met in a non league contest Friday night at Vets Park.

 

Up 2-1 at the half, the U19 squad emerged with a 4-1 victory.

 

Thomas Goetze and Anthony Pane scored for the U19 team in the first half while Brian Anderson answered with the U17’s lone tally to keep the contest close.

The U19 team put a lock on the win in the second half on a pair of goals by Josh White.

 

Both teams conclude their Buffalo and Western New York Soccer League season on Wednesday as the U17 team hosts Amherst and the U19 squad visits West Seneca, both at 6:30 p.m.

 

Girls Soccer
The Greece Cobras nipped host Kendall 1-0 Friday evening in a Rochester District Youth Soccer League girls U14 Division game.

 

Kendall finishes the season at 5-3-4.

 

Holley finished second in the Rochester District U16 girls Division as the result of Hilton’s 5-2 victory over Churchville in the season finale this past week.

 

Hilton finishes at 8-2-2 (26 points) while Holley winds up second at 7-2-3 (24 points) and Churchville third.

 

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Baseball fans delight in meeting Hall of Famers at Cooperstown

Photos by Cheryl Wertman
New Hall of Fame inductee, former New York Manager Joe Torre, waves to the crowd during a parade in Cooperstown on Saturday.


(Editor’s note: Orleans Hub sportswriter Mike Wertman and his wife Cheryl, a Hub sports photographer, have been at Cooperstown since Friday for the Hall of Fame Induction weekend.)

 

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 26 July 2014

COOPERSTOWN – The crowds ballooned at the Hall of Fame, along Main Street and at the golf course Saturday during our second and final day at the 75th annual Baseball Hall of Fame weekend.

 

With a good vantage point just off the ninth tee, Cheryl and I spent the morning watching the annual Hall of Famers golf tournament at the Leatherstocking Country Club. 


One of this year's Baseball Hall of Fame inductees, former Atlanta Braves pitcher Tom Glavine makes a shot during this morning's golf tournament at the Leatherstocking Country Club.


It was a treat to see several of the new inductees including former Atlanta Braves pitchers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux, former Chicago White Sox slugger Frank Thomas and former Cardinals', A's and White Sox Manager Tony LaRussa as well as some Hall of Fame favorites including Phil Niekro, George Brett and Lou Brock.


Hall of Famer George Brett signs for a very enthusiastic group of “autograph hounds” during the golf tourney. 

 

However, the biggest entertainment of the tourney was in watching the antics and reaction of the scores of “autograph hounds” who lined the stone wall every time a Hall of Famer would come by.

 

And boy if one of the players stopped to sign a few autographs, look out, you might get trampled. It was a feeding frenzy like sharks going after blood in the water as the over enthusiastic fans surged to try and get a precious autograph. 

 

And while most of the players ignored the calls and pleas for them to sign and just concentrated on their golf game things at times did get interesting when a player stopped. One such instance happened when Maddux halted his golf cart to sign before crossing the road to get to the next hole. It took only seconds and the cart was surrounded and engulfed by swarming autograph seeking fans who raced to the scene at full speed. 


Hall of Famer Jim Rice was a very congenial signer for a small group of fans.

 

We enjoyed watching these scenes from a safe distance satisfied to just take photos. However, our patience did pay off once as Hall of Famer Jim Rice stopped for a water break near where we were standing with about a half dozen other fans. When one of the fans asked if he would sign, Rice gladly responded and we all were able to get a signature of the Red Sox great without any stampede.

 

From the golf course we walked to downtown and along the way enjoyed checking out the many interesting buildings at the Farmers Museum.

 

While downtown we took a bit of a break from baseball and checked out some of the village's rich heritage including the local Indian sites of Council Rock and the burial mound, a marker to the Clinton and Sullivan Revolutionary War campaign as well as the James Fenimore Cooper Park and statue.


The plaque rotunda area of the Hall of Fame was named with fans on Saturday afternoon.

 

By early afternoon the crowds trying to get into the Hall of Fame were more than a block long stretching around the corner and fans had already placed chairs along Main Street to reserve spots to watch this evening's parade of Hall of Famers.

 

And not surprisingly with such a large crowd there were lines for everything from ice cream to the trolley.


The line of fans waiting into get into the Hall of Fame stretched for over a block. 


And what a parade it was.

 

With thousands of fans lining the route, as much as eight to 10 deep at many places, over 50 Hall of Famers paraded riding in pickup trucks up the length of Main Street to the Hall of Fame.

 

The Hall of Famers paraded by their year of induction leaving the biggest part of the evening for the end - the arrival of his year's class of inductees.


Part of the huge crowd that lined Main Street for the Hall of Famers parade. The truck carrying Cal Ripken Jr. is shown here.

 

That was especially true for the huge number of Atlanta Braves in attendance.  With three of their own set to be formally inducted on Sunday the Braves contingent greeted Cox, Glavine and Maddux with the famous Tomahawk Chop and the Braves war chant which echoed throughout the downtown area.

 

We enjoyed our two-day stay at Induction Weekend which will conclude this afternoon with the formal induction of the six new Hall of Famers at the Clark Complex on the edge of Cooperstown. A crowd of over 40,000 is expected.

 

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At Hall of Fame, baseball cards come to life

Photos by Cheryl Wertman
One of this year's Hall of Fame inductees, former Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs pitcher Greg Maddux, plays a round of golf on Friday morning at the Leatherstocking Country Club.

 

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 26 July 2014

Cooperstown – It's the Mecca for baseball fans, especially this weekend when the Baseball Hall of Fame celebrates its milestone 75th annual induction ceremonies.

 

It's always a special weekend which we have attended almost every year since 1999 when Cheryl's favorite player, George Brett, was inducted along with Nolan Ryan, Robin Yount and Orlando Cepeda.

 

Crowds were modest on Friday, both at the Leatherstocking Country Club where many of the Hall of Famers and other veteran players in attendance enjoy a round of golf, and at the many card and memorabilia shops along Main Street.

 

Among the players we saw taking in a round of golf on Friday morning were two of this year's class of Hall of Fame inductees, former Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs pitcher Greg Maddux and Tony LaRussa, the former manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland A's and Chicago White Sox.


The Hall of Fame has displays for two of the new inductees: former Atlanta Braves teammates Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux.

 

A visit to the Hall of Fame later in the morning saw some nice displays of the uniforms and other momentos from the careers of Maddux and LaRussa along with the other four inductees: former Braves pitcher Tom Glavine, former Braves manager Bobby Cox, former New York Yankees Manger Joe Torre and former Chicago White Sox first baseman Frank Thomas.

 

A walk up and down Main Street to check out the shops was certainly easy as the sidewalk was quite literally as wide as the street, which is closed off to traffic for the weekend because of the large crowds expected. And as a footnote getting to and from the outlying parking areas outside of town is also easy thanks to the frequent trolley service.

 

It is a festive atmosphere and there is certainly no shortage of Hall of Famers and other former major leaguers as every card shop had a number of Hall of Famers and or other former major leaguers on hand to sign autographs – for a fee.


Former Los Angeles Dodgers manager and Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda signs an autograph for a fan.

 

It was fun to see the likes of Tommy Lasorda, Rickey Henderson, Pete Rose, Juan Marichal, Denny McClain, Dale Murphy and Bobby Valentine to name a few but one would have to be in a bit of a higher tax bracket to get some of those signatures, which went as high as $99 for Lasorda for instance.

 

Cheryl, who is a softball enthusiast and former player, though did get one reasonably priced autograph when she got to meet former team USA Olympic gold and silver medal winning star pitcher Jennie Finch. She expressed her hope that softball would soon be re-instated as an Olympic sport. “I hope it gets back in by the 2020 Olympics but it still has to go up for a vote,” Finch said.


Team USA Olympic softball team pitcher Jennie Finch displays her gold and silver medals.

 

The walk along Main Street also provided the opportunity to meet and visit a bit with former long time Major League umpire Bruce Froemming who worked games in both the National and American Leagues for some 37 years (1971-2007). When asked what he though about the instant replay system Major League baseball is now utilizing for games he quickly gave is a ringing endorsement. “Terrific,” he said of using replay. “We have the technology to do it and we should use it.”

 

The television media was also out in force along Main Street as at one point we had a chance to see MLB network's Peter Gammon doing a broadcast right across the street from the Hall of Fame.


Former Major League umpire Bruce Froemming, at left, talks were with former Detroit Tigers pitcher Denny McClain and former New York Met Frank Thomas.

 

To be sure, visiting Cooperstown on induction weekend is like seeing your collection of baseball cards come to life.

 

We are planning to spend a little more time in Cooperstown Saturday to check out the golf tournament in the morning which always attracts several dozen Hall of Famers, and hopefully if the weather holds to see the parade of Hall of Famers down Main Street to the Hall of Fame in the evening.

 

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