Miracle at the Max is 2012 Local Sports Story of the Year
By John D'Onofrio Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Max D. Lederer Field will never forget — and neither will the Lockport or Clarence high school football fans who stood or sat nervously watching the see-saw Saturday, Oct. 20 Section VI Class AA quarterfinal it hosted.
In the press box, only moments into the second quarter, play-by-play man Danny Sheehan from Lockport Community Television was doing his best to stay positive and keep hopes alive as the grid Lions found themselves trailing the formidable Red Devils, 27-0.
“I was thinking, ‘What do we do? What do we say?,’” said Sheehan, a veteran LCTV sports broadcaster, who called the game with the help of homespun commentator John Lombardi.
A mixed extra point, ironically, was the turning point. Moments after Red Devils junior running back Emaure Williams scampered around the left side for a 14-yard touchdown, senior teammate Austin Zymroz missed the point after kick.
“That could come back to haunt them,” Lombardi said, half joking, half serious. The Lions were losing badly and it was a cold, wet, gray day at the Max, especially for those wearing blue and gold, and that included Lockport head coach Greg Bronson.
“The waves of emotion we experienced was like a roller coaster,” coach Bronson said. “Here we had finished first in AA North and having our only losses to state-champion Orchard Park and St. Joe’s, two respected teams, we were pretty confident that we had a strong and capable team that could compete for a sectional championship.
“Then for Clarence to come out at the beginning of that game and to see them score that number of times in the first quarter and early in the second quarter, you really start to wonder, ‘Wow, is there really that much of a difference between the AA North and AA South divisions?’”
But then it started ...
Lockport junior quarterback Dan Bronson marched his team to a quick score, tossing a 31-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver R.D. Hillman. Senior Kyle Few’s extra point made it 27-7, but most importantly, the Lions’ defense woke up out of its slumber after that.
“It was amazing to watch the defense start to pick up after we scored. We played a completely different game defensively after that,” coach Bronson said. “We were much more intense, more physical and more confident. With every score our offense got, you could see the guys on the other side of the ball were playing like, ‘We can do this. We’re not going to let this get away from us.’”
Moments after Lions senior Seth Anderson recovered a Clarence fumble, Dan Bronson again marched the offense in for another score, as senior running back James Chambers (34 carries, 136 yards, 4 TDs) plowed in from a yard out. Few’s PAT made it more respectable by halftime, 27-14 Clarence.
“It’s truly a testament to the kids that they kept playing when we were down 27-0,” coach Bronson said. “They could easily have given up and said, ‘It’s not our day,’ but they didn’t and as things started to go better for us — once we got that first score — they hung in there and kept playing and eventually we took the lead.”
After a scoreless third quarter, the Lions marched 80 yards on 21 plays, capped by a Chambers 4-yard TD run. After the Lions’ D forced another Clarence punt, the electrifying Connolly Cup finalist Chambers made them pay, taking the boot 80 yards for a score. Few’s PAT — with Lockport fans jumping out of their pants — gave the Lions an improbable 28-27 lead.
With the sun finally peaking through the clouds, the Red Devils responded with a final TD and two-point conversion, but the Lions tied the game on a spectacular 37-yard catch and run by unsung senior wide receiver Tevye Maslowski — one of the greatest clutch catches this sports editor has ever seen in almost 20 years of covering local high school sports — looking directly into a blinding sun, game on the line, using good hands and great balance and concentration while his defender falls next to him, taking off like a deer and into the endzone. It was spectacular.
Few’s right foot on the PAT made it official as the fourth quarter clock ticked down to 0:00. It was Lockport 35, Clarence 35.
In OT — where teams trade possession with starting drives at an opponent’s 20 — Chambers plowed in from a yard out to give LHS the lead. A final defensive stand was inevitable and the school’s greatest football comeback in history was complete in a 42-35 win.
“The further you get away from it, the more you’re able to put that game in perspective,” coach Bronson said. “It was a pretty amazing situation that the kids pulled off.”
Jim Slowey, who normally broadcasts football games for LCTV, was out of town for the game. He still got a call from coach Bronson.
“He called me to see if he could get 50 copies of the game on DVD,” Slowey said, laughing. “He was serious. Everyone on the team — all the players, coaches — wanted one.”
Sheehan called it, “a game for the ages.”
“I’ve been broadcasting games for the past 20 years and that by far was the best comeback I’ve ever seen — youth or high school sports, any sport,” Sheehan said.
“The pleasure part was calling the game. Witnessing it was another thing.”
Here’s a look back at the second half of 2012 in local sports.
1 — The Sixth Annual Catholic Cup Golf Tournament is just two weeks away at Oak Run. Co-chairmen of the event are local high school swim official and Lions volunteer Betty Newton and Fred Felix.
2 — Sheri Finn, Leigh-Ann Hildreth, Robin Hoch and Kathy Cassion are the Women’s Division winners at the Tee Off Against Breast Cancer Golf Tournament at Oak Run. The Buffalo Sabres trade center Derek Roy to the Dallas Stars for forward Steve Ott and defenseman Adam Pardy.
3 — Organizers announce that the Swinging For A Cure Golf Tournament to be held in honor of Lockport’s Jack Langdon, is slated for July 23 at the Lockport Town & Country Club.
4 — Retired Buffalo Sabres defenseman Bill Hajt places first in his class in the Men’s Fourth of July Golf Tournament at the Lockport Town & Country Club. Rochester’s Danny Johnson wins the Battle of the Border DIRT race at Ransomville Speedway.
5 — Lockport’s Tyler Winslow is the Kids Division catfish leader in the 2012 Erie Barge Canal Fishing Derby, which runs through July 15.
6 — Hunter Jurek smacks three hits, including a triple and a double, leading Hillman Automotive to a 16-11 win over Pies Furniture in the championship game of the Lockport Little League’s AA Division.
7 — Serena Williams wins her fifth Wimbledon singles crown.
8 — Three tagged fish are caught so far in the Erie Barge Canal Fishing Derby. Roger Federer wins his record-tying seventh Wimbledon singles title.
9 — The Buffalo Sabres sign third round pick T.J. Graham. Prince Fielder wins the Home Run Derby title at a pre-All-Star Game event in Kansas City.
10 — The National League routs the American League, 8-0, in the 2012 MLB All-Star Game in Kansas City. Nancy Woods of Lockport leads the Adult Catfish Division in the Erie Barge Canal Fishing Derby.
11 — The Buffalo Bills announce that ticket prices for this year’s “Toronto Series” home game at the Rogers Centre will be slashed. Lockport’s Lee Kelkenberg leads the Adult Bullhead Division in the Erie Barge Canal Fishing Derby.
12 — The Buffalo Sabres announce that their famed “French Connection” line of Gilbert Perreault, Rene Robert and the late Rick Martin will have a 10-foot bronze statue of themselves unveiled Oct. 12 at the First Niagara Center.
13 — The Buffalo Bills say they will keep games that don’t completely sell out from the local airwaves because of the potential loss in revenue and having to increase ticket prices as a result.
14 — Official Erie Barge Canal Fishing Derby winners include Lockport’s Richie Blackburn (bullhead) and Gasport’s George Frombgen in the Adult Division and Lockport’s Lee Kelkenberg (bullhead), Stephanie Wise (Northern Pike) and Chris Akers (walleye) in the Kids’ Division.
15 — Lockport seniors Ezra Nwachukwu and Luke Hinton are named to the North squad for next week’s 37th Kensington Lions Club All-Star High School Football Classic in Depew.
16 — Michael Hayes has two hits, including a home run, leading the McDonald’s Lugnuts past the Mulvey Construction Clippers, 21-3, in an An-Jo American Division baseball game.
17 — Lockport coaching legend Norman Steblein talks about the creation and early years of Lockport Little Loop Football in a US&J feature story. Lockport’s Bob Soemann displays a variety of Attitudes after he records a hole-in-one at the Sheridan Golf Course.
18 — Eleven-year-old Lockport motocross talent Sydney Allen, a seventh grader at DeSales Catholic Middle School, is one of just 1,386 riders nationwide to qualify for the upcoming 31st Red Bull AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.
19 — Blaze Brinley goes 4-for-4 with a home run as Advantage Physical Therapy Aqua Sox beat the Redmen Club Red Hawks, 7-5, in an An-Jo Baseball League. Lockport’s “commish” Doug Rehm gets ready for the start of the 2012 Lockport Flag Football League season.
20 — Karen Burtch and Kelly Bucolo win three games apiece for the Moose Club I in a loss to Singer Farms, topping Lockport Horseshoe League action at Outwater Park. London welcomes the Olympic Flame.
21 — Richy Werenski wins the 54th Porter Cup golf tournament at the Niagara Falls Country Club. His four-round total of 263 (-17) is the second lowest in tourney history.
22 — The Lockport Town & Country Club hosts 160-plus golfers participating in the Kuntzman Memorial. Ernie Els wins the British Open in a shocking collapse by Adam Scott, who bogies the final four holes at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. Britain’s Bradley Wiggins wins the Tour de France cycling race.
23 — The Lockport Soccer Club girls U-11 team — Hanna Mullen, Francesca Pellicano, Kayleigh Daniels, Julia Brockman, Alyssa Edbauer, Sarah Campbell, Alyssa Scheib, Jenna Bernaer, Megan Krulisky, Jade Brenon, Michaela Kurbs, Hannah Anderson, Lauren McNichol and Lila Mauer — wins the Wilson Soccer Tournament. The team is coached by Darren Campbell and Tom Edbauer.
24 — Lockport’s Joe Schultz takes home some well-deserved hardware at the 2012 Bullshooter Soft Tip Darts Championship in Chicago, featuring some of the best shooters in the world. Schultz teams up with Mike Graton of Niagara Falls to place third in the Doubles 501 event.
25 — Buffalo Bills training camp opens in Pittsford with a lot of optimism from the players and the media. The Buffalo Jr. Sabres are seeking households interested in serving as billets for the 2012-13 Ontario Junior Hockey League season.
26 — High school football practices across the state will begin in two weeks. Lockport varsity head coach Greg Bronson looks forward to playing Orchard Park, St. Joe’s and Starpoint in their three non-league contests this coming fall.
27 — The 2012 Summer Olympic Games open with royalty and rock at the Opening Ceremony in London. Among the performers is former Beatle Paul McCartney.
28 — Middleport native Lou Rosselli returns to the Olympics as an assistant coach on the United States Wrestling Team. Rosselli wrestled on Team USA at the Atlanta Summer Games in 1996. Rosselli is the head wrestling coach at Ohio State University.
29 — The Lockport Girls Basketball Camp is set to start next week, under the direction of Lockport coaches Bill Shaw, Pete Dickinson and Jill DiTullio.
30 — Contributing sports columnist Ethan Randall of Lockport lambastes Penn State University over its lack of action during the Jerry Sandusky child molestation incidents.
31 — Fr. Joe Vatter of Lockport hits a divine shot — a 134-yard hole-in-one on the No. 1 hole at the Gothic Hill Golf Course on Niagara Street Extension. Witnesses are Rose Lutz and Cliff and Rita Depp. The Sabres re-sign Patrick Kaleta to a three-year, $3.85M contract.
1 — Local amateur fighters Brian Montes and Eric Pulmeri, earn recent ring wins. Lockport’s Maria D’Addeo is just one of 30 cheerleaders selected to represent Team USA.
2 — Bob Roth cards a 38 for individual low gross and teams up with Dennis Covell to card a 79 and claim low team gross in the Reid’s Two-Man Golf League at Oak Run.
3 — Barker’s Emma Dewart, an indoor and outdoor track phenom at Ithaca College, is awarded a post graduate scholarship from the NCAA.
4 — A preview of fall sports at Niagara County Community College is featured. NCCC athletics director is Bob McKeown. Maureen Mahaney cards a 69 to place first in the Lockport Town & Country Club’s 18-hole Women’s Tournament.
5 — The annual Harbor Hoops 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament is set to go next weekend at Clark’s Park in Wilson. The New Orleans Saints beat the Arizona Cardinals 17-10 in the NFL’s Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio. Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt strikes again, repeating as the 100 dash champion at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
6 — Top finishers in the annual The Danny Memorial Golf Tournament with a 61 at the Niagara-Orleans Country Club in Middleport are the foursome of Tod Main, Bill Graney and Lynn and Gary Sumple.
7 — Austin Dick and Julia Frank capture respective 10-Under victories at the Lockport Tennis Tournament. The Kenan Center is accepting registrations for its fall youth soccer program.
8 — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces the appointment of a sports expert to advise the state in its efforts to secure the Buffalo Bills’ future in Western New York. American Allyson Felix wins a gold medal in the women’s 200 dash at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.
9 — Rookie Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins heats up in his NFL pre-season opener with a TD drive in a 7-6 victory over the Buffalo Bills. “The World’s Greatest Athlete” is a healthy Leading Off debate topic for locals, including contributing columnist Ethan Randall and contributing photographer Stephen Wallace.
10 — In a rematch of last year’s 12-Under boys finals, Greg Hastings of North Tonawanda edges Lockport’s Nick Gay in three sets to win the 14-Under boys singles title at the 2012 Lockport Tennis Tournament. Lockport Siblings Hannah and Adrienne Folby claim the 18-Under girls doubles title.
11 — Play Ball! Ransomville’s Steve Geltz, 24, a former pitching star at Wilson High School, then the University at Buffalo, gets called up to the majors by the Los Angeles Angels. “This is what every ballplayer dreams about growing up,” says his dad, John.
12 — Lockport’s Bobby Holmes does it again at Dunn Tire Raceway Park, winning the 35-lap Sportsman feature race. Ireland’s Rory McIlroy wins the PGA Championship by a record eight strokes.
13 — The 20th Dr. Dy Memorial Golf Classic attracts 112 people to the Lockport Town & Country Club. Lockport High School is hosting cheerleader tryouts for varsity and junior varsity football.
14 — Anthony Delisanti and J.J. Parete each sock grand slam home runs to lead the Riverdogs over the Clippers, 16-3, in an An-Jo American Division playoff game.
15 — NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman warns that there’s a “wide gap” between owners and players in current NHL labor talks.
16 — The sale of the former South Transit Lanes to Lockport pro bowler Brad Angelo closes. An Aug. 31 opening is anticipated. Retired Lockport teacher and LHS golf coach Jack Ioannone wins his seventh Oak Run Club Championship.
17 — Ransomville native Steve Geltz makes his Major League Baseball pitching debut with the Los Angeles Angels, striking out Tampa Bay Rays veteran Jose Molina, walking one and giving up no hits in a relief appearance in Los Angeles. Minnesota spanks Buffalo, 36-14, in Minneapolis, as the Bills fall to 0-2 in the preseason.
18 — Teams from Curacao and Connecticut avoid elimination at the 2012 Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa.
19 — Greg Biffle wins the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway, taking the race lead — and ultimately the driver’s points lead — away from Jimmie Johnson, whose engine falters with just six laps to go.
20 — Local professional wrestler and promoter Brett Stymus announces that WWE legend Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Matt Hardy and Pepper Parks are among those on an Oct. 6 Kenan Arena fight card.
21 — Buffalo head coach Chan Gailey says Vince Young has the edge so far to be the Bills’ back-up quarterback. Making its first Little League World Series appearance, Uganda wins its final game.
22 — Newfane native Meaghan Puff is named captain of the Oswego State women’s volleyball team. Puff, a Lady Lakers junior, is the daughter of Christopher and Catherine Puff and a 2010 graduate of Newfane High School.
23 — Don Vergils cards a 240 to win the 2012 Lockport Town & Country Club’s Men’s Club Championship. Six shots back is retired Buffalo Sabres defenseman Bill Hajt. Cynthia Herberger is the LT&CC Women’s Club Champion.
24 — The United States Anti-Doping Agency strips American cyclist Lance Armstrong of his record seven Tour de France titles. Roger Clemens, 50, makes his pitching debut with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League.
25 — Lockport High School hosts Grand Island, Niagara-Wheatfield, St. Francis, Sweet Home and Williamsville South in a six-team high school football scrimmage. It’s Kids Day at Ralph Wilson Stadium for the Bills’ preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh wins, 38-7.
26 — It’s a day of great memories for Lockport’s Jack Langdon as he throws out the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park in Boston, as part of his Make-A-Wish dream come true. Langdon also got a special tour of the ballpark’s famed “Green Monster” and works the scoreboard. The Red Sox beat the Kansas City Royals, 8-6.
27 — Lockport’s Bobby Holmes takes another checkered flag in the Sportsman Division at Dunn Tire Raceway Park. The Buffalo Stars Empire Junior hockey team wraps up training camp in Cheeltowaga.
28 — Brad Priebe cards a three-day total of 218 to win the 2012 Chestnut Meadows Club Championship at the Niagara County Golf Course. The seniors champion is Dave Stein. Dave Milliman wins A Flight, Pete Anderson takes B Flight and Stein the C Flight.
29 — Among the top players on head coach Al Cavagnaro’s Starpoint Spartans varsity football team are co-captains Andrew Majewski, Joe Nye and Andrew Rankie. The Fred Jackson Shaw premiers on WBBZ-TV, co-hosted by veteran area sports broadcaster Bob Koshinski.
30 — The Bills finish 0-4 in preseason after losing at Detroit, 38-32. Chuck Nagel is set to open his varsity football coaching career at Newfane this weekend. Panthers captains in 2012 are Chris Hannah, Connor Sears, Jake Bow, Bryan Gertz and Todd Capen.
31 — Brad Angelo Lanes, the former South Transit Lanes, opens.
1 — Holly Rudolph scores off a corner kick from Kaitlyn Chapman with just six minutes left in the game, sparking Wilson past Tonawanda, 3-2, in a non-league girls soccer game. The Georgia Bulldogs defeat the University at Buffalo Bulls, 45-23, in a college football game in Athens, Ga.
2 — Lockport senior tailback James Chambers rumbles for 180 yards and two touchdowns, but it isn’t enough as the visiting Orchard Park Quakers down the Lockport football Lions, 42-21, in AA action at Max D. Lederer Field. John Rudes’ TD with 1:50 left sparks Starpoint past Williamsville North, 23-20, in an Class A North showdown.
3 — Lockport Lady Lions girls soccer senior co-captains for 2012 are Emma Yates, Lauren Wager, Emily Hillman, Carly Shank and Kayla Guay. The Lady Lions are coached by Mike Finnerty.
4 — Senior co-captains on head coach Jeff Hulshoff’s defending NFL-champion Lockport Lions are Alex Reid, Jerry West, Kurtis Maloney and Nick Sammarco.
5 — Lockport golf Lions co-captains for 2012 are J.J. Napoli and Brandon Le’. Eighth grader Brett Stern nets two goals to lift the Newfane boys soccer team over Medina, 3-2, topping Niagara-Orleans League action.
6 — Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula announces plans to construct a $123M facility in downtown Buffalo that will include two ice rinks and a 200-room hotel. Construction is set to begin in March.
7 — Lockport senior Alex Reid nets three goals in a 4-0 soccer Lions win over Nichols. Medina quarterback Jason Hellwig tosses for 249 yards and two TDs to spark the visiting Mustangs over Barker/Roy-Hart, 38-22, at Bruno Pacini Field in Middleport.
8 — Lockport increases its rivalry series lead over Starpoint 4-1 with a 31-6 victory over the host Spartans at Shirley Tudor Stadium in Pendleton. Junior Evan Majewski rumbles for 185 yards and a TD for coach Al Cavagnaro’s Spartans.
9 — The Buffalo Bills drop their 2012 NFL opener to the New York Jets in New Jersey, 48-28. Lions senior Alex Reid is the Most Valuable Player at the 2012 Lockport Soccer Tournament. LHS beat McDowell of Erie, Pa. in the title game, 3-0.
10 — Co-captains of the 2012 Lockport Lions volleyball team are juniors Eamon Yates and Jack Whalen. Lauren Wager and Kayla LaForest net second-half goals to spark the LHS girls soccer team past Lewiston-Porter, 2-0.
11 — Sophomore Elizabeth Connolly is a double winner for the Lady swim Lions in a tri-meet victory over Niagara-Wheatfield and Williamsville North before a standing room only crowd at Lockport High. Junior Ryan Guyton has a team-high 11 kills as head coach Joe Whalen’s boys volleyball Lions down visiting Ken East in four sets.
12 — Barker junior Nick Provencher is the match medalist, helping head coach Tim Daley’s golf Raiders beat Newfane at the Niagara-Orleans Country Club on Telegraph Road. A spike kill by Newfane’s Jenn Molisani is the winning point in the Lady Panthers’ four-set girls volleyball win over visiting Medina.
13 — The visiting Niagara Falls girls volleyball team makes history with its first ever win over Lockport, in four sets. Junior Brittany Sanford has eight kills for Lockport. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says a lockout is looming.
14 — Inducted into the Lockport Sports Hall of Fame are Doug Langdon (1971), Kenneth Smith (1952), Donn Dunn (1949), John Fuerch (1966), Beth Crossett-Smith (1986), Kevin Crawford (2002) and beloved coaches Dick Crossett and Ron Main.
15 — Lockport senior running back James Chambers scores four touchdowns and junior quarterback Dan Bronson throws for 204 yards and three touchdowns as the Lions rout visiting Hutch Tech, 38-8 in their Section VI Class North opener at Max D. Lederer Field. Playing without their top two QBs, the Starpoint Spartans fall to Grand Island, 31-14.
16 — Lockport Bowling Association Hall of Famer Dave Poole tosses a perfect game at Brad Angelo Lanes. The Bills beat the Chiefs, 35-17, in their home opener, improving to 1-1. Lauren Wager nets four goals in Lockport’s 8-1 girls soccer win over visiting Niagara Falls.
17 — Jonathan Reid earns his first TQ Midgets US Open title at Dunn Tire Raceway Park in Lancaster. Jason Donorovich has seven kills and three blocks, while teammate Shawn Moore adds eight straight service points in the final game as the volleyball Lions down visiting Kenmore West in straight sets.
18 — Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams introduces his new cereal, MariO’s. LHS foreign exchange student Yves Luginbuehl nets a goal in the soccer Lions’ 9-1 win over visiting Ken West. NFL Films pioneer Steve Sabol dies at 69.
19 — The National Hockey League cancels its entire September pre-season schedule. John Godfrey announces tryout dates for the Lockport Little League 11-12-year-old “select” baseball all-star team.
20 — Head coach John “First Lt.” Beatty’s LHS Lady Lions tennis team drops its first match of the season, 4-1, to Niagara-Wheatfield. Lockport is 6-1, led by senior co-captains Katie Britt and Adrienne Folby.
21 — Lockport’s Elizabeth Bradley and Cole Harrington, along with Newfane’s Connor Hill, are among the local winners in the NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition at Altro Park on Willow Street.
22 — Lockport senior James Chambers scores a school-record seven touchdowns in the Lions’ 49-9 Class AA North win over visiting Niagara Falls. Head coach Paul DerSarkissian’s state-ranked Barker cross country team wins the Queensbury Adirondacks Invitational. Jordan Bender is fourth overall for the Raiders.
23 — The Buffalo Bills win their second straight game, improving to 2-1 with a 24-14 victory at Cleveland. Abbey Lang is seventh overall in the girls’ race and Dan Jones is seventh in the boys’ race as the LHS cross country Lions place second at the East Aurora Invitational.
24 — Juniors Jack Whalen and Bryce Perry combine for 13 kills as the LHS volleyball Lions down visiting St. Francis in four sets. Alex Reid scores with just one second left in the first half, propelling the LHS soccer Lions past visiting Kenmore East, 4-0. Lockport senior midfielder Sam Greco scores his first varsity goal
25 — Karly Hartz is a double individual winner for head coach Kristen Smith’s Lady swim Lions in a 133-51 win over visiting Grand Island. Senior diver Paige Kelkenberg remains undefeated this season for LHS.
26 — Five different Newfane girls soccer players, Savannah Jonathan, Alexis Moreland, Kaylee Heschke, Sophie Connor and Chelsea Dunn, net goals in the Lady Panthers’ 5-0 win at Medina. Shannon Shaw gets the shutout.
27 — Sophomore Brad Schneider has 10 assists in Lockport’s straight set boys volleyball win over visiting North Tonawanda. Jessica Cinelli and Elizabeth Connolly win an individual event and are part of a winning relay in Lockport’s 58-34 girls swim victory at Kenmore East.
28 — Barker/Roy-Hart and Wilson both earn Friday night football wins. Brett Cole rushes for 223 yards and scores four touchdowns in Barker/Roy-Hart’s 32-31 over West Seneca West, while Nick Bell recovers a fumble in the endzone late in the game, lifting the Lakemen past Akron, 32-29, on Homecoming at Walter J. Hutchison Athletic Field.
29 — Lockport junior quarterback Dan Bronson throws for 255 yards and three touchdowns as the visiting Lions clinch the AA North football title with a 36-21 win over Kenmore West at Crosby Field. Evan Majewski rumbles for four TDs in Starpoint’s 48-7 Homecoming grid win over North Tonawanda at Shirley Tudor Stadium in Pendleton.
30 — The New England Patriots rout the Buffalo Bills, 52-28, at the Ralph. Europe wins another Ryder Cup.
1 — Among the top runners on head coach Bob Eberhardt’s LHS boys and girls cross country team are Abbey Lang, Hannah Kurbs, Dan Jones, Mitch Loiacano and Matt Kaczmarek.
2 — Local pro wrestler and promoter Brett “Beef” Stymus of Lockport brings in WWE great Hacksaw Jim Duggan to highlight a pro wrestling card at the Kenan Arena this weekend. Stymus and Duggan will work together in a tag team match.
3 — Shawn Moore has 10 kills, but the Lockport boys volleyball Lions drop a five-setter at Kenmore East. The Oakland A’s are the final team to qualify for pro baseball’s postseason.
4 — The NHL cancels all regular season games through Oct. 24. Head coach Tim Daley’s Barker Raiders golf team clinches the N-O title by winning the annual N-O Tournament at Willowbrook. Mitch Luckman cards an 85 and Brad Wilson 89 for the Raiders.
5 — Lockport sophomore Liz Connolly shatters the 29-year-old girls 500 freestyle pool record at LHS. Connolly splashes home in 5:18.23. The old record, held by Mo Donato, was 5:20.06. It’s an emotional win for the visiting Barker/Roy-Hart football team. They beat Albion, 33-30, dedicating the win to teammate Tyler Miller, who recently passed away.
6 — St. Joe’s edges Lockport, 30-25, in a non-league football contest at Max D. Lederer Field. Lions senior James Chambers rushes for 221 yards and three TDs on 20 carries.
7 — The Buffalo Bills give up a franchise-record 621 yards in a 45-3 loss at San Francisco.
8 — Tom Paisley drives in two runs for DeSales, but the Knights bow to St. Christopher’s, 3-2, in their 2012 Parochial Baseball League finale.
9 — Lockport senior Karly Hartz is a double individual winner for head coach Kristen Smith’s Lady swim Lions in a 111-72 victory over visiting Kenmore West. Josh Beshaw nets a three-goal hat trick as head coach Jeff Hulshoff’s soccer Lions down visiting Niagara Falls, 7-0.
10 — Setter Lindsay Bryer leads the way with 41 assists and seven kills as the Lakewomen remain undefeated in N-O girls volleyball with a straight-set victory over visiting Akron.
11 — Shawn Moore finishes with 16 kills, Jack Whalen adds 12 and Jason Donorovich chips in with eight, but the LHS boys volleyball Lions bow to visiting Grand Island in five sets.
12 — Lockport senior running back James Chambers breaks the school’s single-season touchdown record in the grid Lions’ 34-18 victory at Riverside to close out their 2012 Section VI Class AA North slate a perfect 4-0. Chambers now has 25 TDs, with a playoff game coming. The old record was 22, set by Jhamal Fluellen in 2003.
13 — Senior striker Ryan Doyle nets the game’s lone goal on a corner kick, booting the ball in himself, as head coach Bob Roach’s visiting Panthers knock Albion from the N-O boys soccer unbeaten ranks, 1-0, improving to 8-1-1 in the league.
14 — LHS student-athletes go door-to-door throughout Lockport collecting canned food to replenish local soup kitchens. The visiting Buffalo Bills beat the Arizona Cardinals in overtime, 19-16.
15 — The LHS boys soccer Lions get goals from Josh Beshaw and Mike Ford as they clinch their third straight NFL title with a 2-0 win over visiting Grand Island. Kayla Guay and Gretta Dry find the net as the Lady Lions clinch their first NFL soccer title with a 2-1 win at Grand Island.
16 — Mitch Loiacano wins the boys race and Abbey Lang wins the girls race as the Lockport Lions and Lady Lions sweep Niagara-Wheatfield and North Tonawanda in NFL cross country action.
17 — Members of the Barker cross country team which captured first place at the Alden Invitational, are Sergio Cruz, Casey Webb, Jordan Bender, Bryce Moeller, Doug Bachman, Nolan Bouchane and Hayden Hathaway. The Raiders are coached by Paul DerSarkissian, assisted by Lockport sports pioneer Sharon (Budde) Lamb (LHS Class of 1979).
18 — Newfane downs visiting Wilson, 3-2, clinching the N-O boys soccer championship. Skyler Maurer scores two goals for the Panthers (10-1-1 N-O) and Ryan Doyle gets the game-winner.
19 — Steve Szuba is credited with four of Wilson’s five turnovers with three interceptions and a fumble recovery as the Lakemen down visiting Westfield, 27-8, in their Section VI Class C quarterfinal contest at Walter J. Hutchison Field.
20 — What a comeback! The Lockport football Lions trail visiting Clarence, 27-0, in their sectional Class AA quarterfinal at Max D. Lederer Field, but bounce back in miracle fashion to beat the Red Devils, 42-35, in overtime.
21 — The visiting Tennessee Titans beat the Buffalo Bills, 35-34. The NHL and its player’s union are still at odds.
22 — Senior Jack Whalen has eight kills as the LHS boys volleyball Lions close out their league slate with a straight-set victory over visiting Niagara-Wheatfield, 25-20, 25-11, 25-10.
23 — Alexis Moreland and Sophie Connor net two goals apiece as the Newfane Lady Panthers soccer team beats visiting Olean, 5-1, in their Section VI Class B quarterfinal. Savannah Jonathan also scores for the Blue Zone (13-2-1).
24 — Jake Haight and Brad Bobbitt score two touchdowns apiece as Barker/Royalton-Hartland rolls past Lackawanna, 42-25, to close out their football season with six straight wins.
25 — Lockport dominates in winning the NFL girls swim championship at Niagara Falls High School. The soccer Lions down visiting Kenmore West, 7-0, in a Class AA quarterfinal. LHS senior striker Mike Ford nets four goals.
26 — LHS senior striker Lauren Wager scores twice and senior mifielder Carly Shank also finds the net as the Lady soccer Lions down visiting Clarence in a Class AA quarterfinal, 3-0. The NHL wipes out games through Nov. 30.
27 — Orchard Park eliminates Lockport from the Section VI Class AA football playoffs with a 33-16 victory over the Lions at soggy Max D. Lederer Field.
28 — The San Francisco Giants sweep the Detroit Tigers in the World Series, 4-0.
29 — Hurricane Sandy makes its way up into Western New York and forces the postponement of several Section VI playoffs games in soccer and volleyball.
30 — Among those named First Team N-O all-stars in cross country are Royalton-Hartland’s steady Eddy Pfeil and Barker’s Jordan Bender and Bryce Moeller.
31 — LHS junior keeper Bailey Reid makes one nail-biting save after another, sparking the Lions past Orchard Park, 1-0, in a Section VI boys soccer semifinal at Hamburg. Newfane advances to the Class B soccer finals, blanking Olean 3-0, as eighth grader Brett Stern tallies twice and Ryan Doyle adds the other for head coach Bob Roach’s N-O champion Panthers.
1 — Jason Donorovich has 13 spiking kills and fellow Lockport sophomore Brad Schneider adds four aces and five kills in head coach Joe Whalen’s No. 2 Lions 25-21, 29-27, 16-25, 28-26 win over No. 7 Lancaster in a Section VI Class A boys volleyball semifinal at LHS.
2 — Lockport’s Mitch Loiacano (boys, 17:09) and Abbey Lang (girls, 20:01) win their respective Niagara Frontier League cross country individual championship on a muddy, messy Beaver Island course. North Park seventh grader Gianni Kahle of Lockport wins the girls JV NFL title in cross country. Former MLB pitcher Pascual Perez is murdered in his Santo Domingo home.
3 — Section VI football championship scores from Ralph Wilson Stadium are AA — Orchard Park 35, Jamestown 20; B — Alden 42, Springville 7; C — Cleveland Hill 22, Fredonia 20; and DD — Ellicottsville 34, Clymer 16. LHS boys volleyball team loses to Frontier in four sets in a VI boys volleyball semifinal at OP.
4 — The Buffalo Bills’ offense sputters again in a 21-9 loss at the Houston Texans. Jimmy Johnson edges Brad Keselowski in a two-lap shootout to win the Sprint Cup series race at Texas Motor Speedway. It’s blah, blah, blah as NHL labor talks continue to go nowhere.
5 — Members of the Barker Raiders boys cross country team, which captured its sixth straight Section VI Class D title under Paul DerSarkissian, are juniors Bryce Moeller, Nolan Bouchane, Hayden Hathaway; and sophomores Casey Webb, Sergio Cruz and Dustin Walters.
6 — Barker wins its sixth straight Section VI Class C field hockey title with a 1-0 win over Akron at Amherst. The new head coach of the Niagara County Community College Lady Thunderwolves basketball team is Sanborn’s Nate Beutel, a former award-winning sports writer for the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal and Niagara Gazette.
7 — Lockport native David Fluellen rushes for 200 yards on 34 carries, in a 34-27 Toledo loss to Ball State. Texas football coaching legend Darrell Royal dies at 88.
8 — Indianapolis rookie quarterback Andrew Luck rushes for two touchdowns as the Colts down the Jacksonville Jaguars, 27-10, on Thursday Night Football.
9 — Named to the All-N-O First Team for golf are Barker’s Alonzo St. Louis, Brad Wilson and Mitch Luckman, Akron’s Noah Diebel, Albion’s Jon Krieger, Medina’s Tyler Colonna and Brad Wilson and Gregory Deas of CSAT.
10 — Lockport pro bowler Brad Angelo wins his second PBA title in the PBA Viper Championship in Las Vegas. Starpoint freshman Sophia Tasselmyer lives up to her top billing at the state cross country meet at Elma Meadows, placing fifth overall in 18:32, the fifth fastest time ever run by a VI girl at Elma Meadows.
11 — Ryan Fitzpatrick throws another last-second interception as the Bills lose at New England, 37-31. Oregon is the latest No. 1 in the AP college football poll.
12 — Niagara-Orleans League First Team all-stars in girls volleyball are Royalton-Hartland’s Eliza Schwab, Wilson’s Lindsay Bryer and Jordan Glosser, Albion’s Eboni Taylor and Cady Messmer, Medina’s Abby Button and Akron’s Sada Logan.
13 — First Team all-stars in Niagara-Orleans League boys soccer include Wilson’s Isaiah Barrett, Liam McIntosh and Mike Thompson; and league-champion Newfane’s Chandler Knight, Patrick Eadie, Ryan Doyle and Brandon Henry.
14 — First Team all-stars in Niagara-Orleans League girls soccer include Wilson’s Angela Goodman, Mallorie Gagnon and Jamie Curry; and Newfane’s Katie Shaw, Alexis Moreland and Shannon Shaw.
15 — Four field goals by Rian Lindell lifts the Buffalo Bills over the visiting Miami Dolphins, 19-14. Martial arts phenom Brian Irr of Lockport earns a trip to the World Karate Championships in Paris.
16 — Lockport’s Jamison Stoness and Megan Guay win national Elks Club Soccer Shoot titles.
17 — Lockport’s Amer Abdallah earns a TKO win over Cleveland’s Tiawan Howard in the main event of a professional kickboxing card at the jam-packed Kenan Center Arena.
18 — Lockport senior running back James Chambers is named Section VI Class AA North Offensive Player of the Year and Lions veteran head coach Greg Bronson is selected as Coach of the Year.
19 — Alex Reid, Mike Ford, Josh Beshaw and Jerry West are named First Team all-stars in Niagara Frontier League boys soccer, while Lady Lions Lauren Wager, Emma Yates, Kerri Wertman and Gretta Dry are named First Team all-stars in NFL girls soccer.
20 — Carrying on in the tradition of the Lockport Essos, the Lockport Invaders and the Lockport Rage, a new city semi-pro football team, the Lockport Rampage, is gearing up for its inaugural season in 2013.
21 — Cole Harrington, 9, of Lockport, is a Buffalo Bills Team finalist in the 2012 NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition.
22 — Boxing great Hector “Macho” Camacho is brain dead after being shot in the face in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
23 — NHL commissioner Gart Bettman cancels regular-season games through Dec. 14.
24 — Chris Johnson nets a career-high 19 points as St. Bonaventure knocks off Niagara University, 80-75, in a men’s college basketball contest at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester. It’s the 152nd meeting of the local “Little 3” rivals.
25 — The visiting Buffalo Bills lose to the Indianapolis Colts, 20-13. Former Bills tight end Ernie Warlick dies at 80.
26 — Among the key members of head coach John Sullivan’s 2012-13 Lockport swim Lions are Cole Twomey, Derek Secord, Jack Whalen and Sean Kearns.
27 — Newfane’s Andrew Boudeman, 12, the son of Scott and Mary Boudeman, advances to the Buffalo Bills team championship in the NFL’s Punt, Pass & Kick competition. Andrew is the grandson of the beloved late former coach Bob Boudeman.
28 — Lockport’s David Fluellen, a star running back at Toledo, is a semifinalist for college football’s prestigious Doak Walker Award, given annually to the nation’s top collegiate rusher.
29 — Among the top players on this year’s Lockport High School girls basketball team are Allie Cavagnaro, Alexis Cheatham, Sara Franco and Carly Kane. The Lady Lions are coached by Bill Shaw.
30 — DeSales eighth graders participating in their final Neumann Catholic Swim League meet are Louie Surace, Joe Treanor, Robert Beaulieu, Erin Faxlanger, Maison Ross, Jessica Sacco, Noah Mullane, Katherine Keleher and Olivia Hansen.
1 — Alden’s Corey Barczykowski wins the Connolly Cup as the area’s top high school football player. Lockport senior James Chambers is a finalist.
2 — The Buffalo Bills keep their slim playoff hopes alive with a 34-18 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park.
3 — Kadyn Camper, the daughter of Lockport native Tania Koel Camper, a 1987 graduate of Lockport High School, qualifies for the Washington Redskins team championship in the NFL’s Punt, Pass & Kick competition. Derek Secord is a four-time winner for head coach John Sullivan’s Lockport swim Lions in a 103-55 victory over visiting Lewiston-Porter.
4 — Key returning basketball players on head coach Dave Gilson’s Lockport basketball Lions are Omaro Luke, Kalen Mitchell, Ryan Lawrence, Colin Dougherty and Moziah Townsend. The Lions are set open their 2012-13 season this weekend at the annual Rotary Club Tip-Off Boys Basketball Tournament at LHS.
5 — Josh Steinman (160 pounds), Marshall Taylor (220), Marcellus Hinton (285), Mark Cye (106), Thomas Wendt (113), Anthony Orefice (120) and Brad Feeney (138) all record pins as head coach Joe Scapelliti’s mat Lions beat visiting Kenmore East, 73-6, to open their 2012-13 Niagara Frontier League season.
6 — Key members of the Lockport High School indoor track team are Josh Beshaw, Derek Dunlap, Alex Reid, Kasey Johnston, Keeley Ralyea, Abbey Lang, Faith Heal and Kailin Szymanski.
7 — The LHS basketball Lions blow a 7-point fourth-quarter lead, bowing to International Prep, 53-51, in their first round game at the 2012 Lockport Rotary Tip-Off Tournament. St. Joe’s beats Williamsville East in the other varsity opener, 80-48.
8 — St. Joe’s wins the Rotary Tip-Off Boys Basketball Tournament at LHS, beating International Prep, 87-43. Lockport beats Will East in the consolation game, 55-46, led by junior Ryan Lawrence’s 15 points.
9 — Lockport senior defenseman Alex Santana nets two goals, but the ice Lions lose to Lancaster, 6-3, in Federation action at the Northtown Center.
10 — Lockport native Sean Kugler is named the new head football coach at the University of Texas at El Paso. Kugler, a 1984 graduate of DeSales Catholic High School, is currently working as the offensive line coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
11 — Lockport senior Alex Reid is named as just one of 77 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) boys soccer All-American. Reid finished his career with head coach Jeff Hulshoff’s Lions with 60 goals and 30 assists.
12 — Football Weekly publisher Mark Adair of Lockport is selected to receive the 2013 Community Service Award from the New York State Athletic Administration Association. Quick pins by Marshall Taylor (220) and Chris Clay (126) leads the wrestling Lions over North Tonawanda, 77-4.
13 — Lil Masters, Allie DeBiase and Kiki Dy are double winners for the Newfane Lady Panthers swim team, which stays unbeaten in the Niagara-Orleans League with a 125-45 win at Medina.
14 — LHS juniors Ryan Lawrence and Mo Townsend dominate the boards at both ends of the floor, sparking head coach Dave Gilson’s basketball Lions past visiting Niagara-Wheatfield, 48-22, topping NFL boys hoops action.
15 — Derek Secord is a double individual winner as the LHS swim Lions improve to 6-0 with a 94-82 win over visiting Kenmore West.
16 — Empty seats, a quiet crowd and another lackluster Bills’ performance in Toronto as Seattle whips Buffalo, 50-17.
17 — Lockport junior Ryan Lawrence cans 17 points and adds 11 rebounds as the basketball Lions hit the road to beat Grand Island, 64-36.
18 — Junior Sara Franco nets 18 points and senior Alexis Cheatham adds 17 as head coach Bill Shaw’s LHS basketball Lady Lions down visiting Grand Island, 49-39, improving to 2-0 in the NFL and 2-1 overall.
19 — Buffalo Bills center Eric Wood calls the Bills-Toronto Series “a joke” earlier this week and today sticks to his comments made on Buffalo talk radio earlier in the week.
20 — Roy Phipps and Lyle Wagner are double winners for the undefeated Royalton-Hartland boys swim team, which stays unbeaten with a 101-77 win over visiting Medina, in Middleport. The defending-champion Rams are 4-0 in the Niagara-Orleans League.
21 — The Bills sign a new lease agreement with Erie County and New York state that will keep the team in Buffalo for at least another seven years.
22 — Abbey Lang (3,000), Kailyn Szymanski (600), Faith Heal (high jump), Dan Jones (1,000) and Mitch Loiacano (1,600) are among the winners for the LHS indoor track team in a meet at Fredonia State College.
23 — The Buffalo Bills lose to the Dolphins in Miami, 24-10. Lockport native Casey Oliphant shines on the indoor track oval for Daemen College.
24 — The Penn State Sex Abuse Scandal is named by the Associated Press as Story of the Year.
25 — Merry Christmas.
26 — Abbey Lang, Kailyn Szymanski, Dan Jones and Mitch Loiacano are individual winners for the Lockport indoor track Lions in a meet at Fredonia State College.
27 — Ryan Guyton nets a dozen points, but the Lockport basketball Lions lose to Niagara Catholic, 53-51, at the Starpoint Holiday Boys Basketball Tournament in Pendleton.
28 — There’s a ‘Cheetah’ loose at Holy Angels High School. Lockport senior point guard Alexis Cheatham plays her best all-around game of the season, sparking the visiting blue and gold to a 59-40 girls basketball victory. Cheatham finishes with 16 points and six assists.
29 — Starpoint wrestlers place second at the Sweet Home Tournament. Tyler Mack (120), Chris Williams (170), Dillon Thomas (182), Richard Duermeyer and Rion Elson (285) all place second.
30 — The Buffalo Bills blow out the N.Y. Jets, 28-9, at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, in their season finale. Buffalo finishes a disappointing 6-10 under Chan Gailey.
31 — Brad Angelo’s second career PBA Tour victory and purchase of the former South Transit Lanes in Pendleton is the US&J’s Runner-up Local Sports Story of 2012. Bills owner Ralph Wilson fires head coach Chan Gailey and staff.