It was a year of fond farewells in the Lockport area, for both people, institutions and in many cases, records themselves, in 2018.
It was also a year of new beginnings, as Lockport said hello to a new, artificial-turf football field at Max D. Lederer Stadium and the construction of two turf baseball fields on Beattie Avenue.
Lockport High School said hello to several new coaches, including Trait Smith (football), Bill Morello (wrestling), Lou Cercone (golf), Erik Musto (ice hockey), Stephen Kojsza (tennis, girls volleyball) and Alexa Barrancotta (cross country assistant), while we said goodbye to some important local records, thanks to guys like J.J. Napoli (golf) and Malik Brooks (high school football).
Buffalo’s professional football and hockey franchises said goodbye — hopefully, for a long time — to their perennial losing ways. The Bills returned dramatically to the NFL playoffs in 2018 and the Sabres have opened their 2018-19 season with a winning record, including a head-turning, record 10-game winning streak.
Liz Smorol’s LHS boys volleyball team said goodbye to losing for a second straight year, going unbeaten and capturing another Section VI title. Roy-Hart earned a trip to the state Final 4 in baseball and head coach Al Cavagnaro’s football Spartans, led by quarterback Aaron Chase’s outstanding season, returned to the Class A postseason.
Speaking of Starpoint, Anthony Robinson earned a state Division 2 wrestling title (285 pounds), while across town at Newfane, the Blue Zone hardwood produced not one, not two, but three 1,000 career basketball point scorers in Kyle DeVoogel, Paige Emborsky and Max Weber.
And the DeSales swim Knights had another spectacular, record-breaking season, while bidding a fond farewell to its history-making eighth grade class.
But one local goodbye this past year was most significant, putting an end to the amazing career of arguably, Lockport’s greatest professional fighter ever, World Kickboxing Association Cruiserweight Champion of the World Amer “Al Mahseer” Abdallah.
Abdallah’s retirement in October wasn’t as much of a surprise as it was a necessary next step in his career as a fighter/trainer, to trainer/promoter.
No single man has done more to connect Lockport with the professional sports world than Abdallah, who went undefeated as both an amateur and professional kickboxer.
In 1998, Abdallah opened a downtown gym at Main and Pine streets, but his itch for competition never went away and in 1999 he decided to return to the ring and challenge the North American Champion for his ISKA Light Heavyweight crown. Abdallah earned a second-round TKO victory in front of a sold out crowd in Lockport.
While competing successfully within the ring, Abdallah blossomed equally out of it and he started promoting local boxing and kickboxing events that drew thousands of fight fans to a variety of Lockport venues, but most notably the Kenan Arena on Beattie Avenue, the site of the biggest international fight cards in this city’s history.
Abdallah’s promotion company quickly gained much publicity, attracting huge names from across the country, including MMA stars Sam Stout, Chris Hordecki, and Mark Hominick; boxing superstars Verquan Kimbrough and Monty Clay; kickboxing standouts Jim Andrello, Kim Andrello, Kevin Van Nostrand and Ed Burris. And among Abdallah’s special guests at the Kenan for a fight card included former heavyweight boxing champion of the world Mike Tyson and his trainers, former champion Dewey Cooper and Jeff Mayweather.
Amer’s first professional fight was in October of 2000 with a four-round victory over Canadian superstar Shawn Tompkins, who would later go on to become the most recognized MMA coach in UFC history. He also defeated state champion Frank “The Goodfella” D’Ambra twice in front of sold out crowds in Lockport.
In 2003, Abdallah claimed his first national title by beating Ronnie Deleon for the KICK Light Heavyweight United States championship. He went on to fight Cameroon native and Muay Thai/ kickboxing superstar Francois “Bang Bang” Ambang to claim the WKA United States Light Heavyweight crown in 2011. Eventually, a convincing 10-round unanimous-decision victory over WKA European and IKF World Champion James Wallis put Abdallah in position to contend for the WKA cruiserweight (light heavyweight) world title.
A title match in 2015 between Abdallah and Gareth Richards of England fell through, but that set up a new title match which would take place in Lockport on May 14, 2016, at the SRO Kenan Arena. Abdallah earned an emotional, second round TKO over Daniel Hughes of Swindon, England, giving him the title he had spent a career working towards.
Abdallah, 41, and his wife, Al-anoud are the proud parents of two girls. He finished his pro career with an unblemished record of 18 wins, zero defeats, with 10 knockouts.
Here’s a look back at top local sports stories during the first six months of 2018. The second half of 2018 will be featured in the Wednesday, Jan. 2 issue of the US&J:
1 — Newfane’s cross country dominance in 2017 is selected as the 2017 Union-Sun & Journal Local Sports Story of 2017. Just 12 months after head coach Mike Heitzenrater’s Lady Panthers won the girls Class B cross country state championship, Newfane’s boys and girls cross country teams swept the Section VI championship. Both teams placed high in the state championships last fall at Wayne Central School in Ontario, N.Y.
2 — The Winter Classic allows the last-place Buffalo Sabres to experience the NHL’s grand stage. Seven years removed from their last playoff appearance, the Sabres hadn’t been in the spotlight for a long time. That culminated with their afternoon 3-2 overtime loss to the New York Rangers before a packed house of 41,821 fans at Citi Field and millions more on national television.
3 — The Buffalo Bills are going to the playoffs for the first time in 18 years, and a little early morning chill wasn’t going to keep fans from celebrating. With the temperature at 2 degrees, fans gathered this week to sing the Bills’ “Shout!” song and chant “Let’s Go Buffalo!” as they greeted the postseason-bound Bills at Buffalo Niagara International Airport.
4 — College Football Playoff finalists Alabama and Georgia have multiple representatives on the 2017 All-Bowl Team. Injured Bills running back LeSean McCoy’s status remains uncertain for Buffalo’s AFC wild-card playoff game at Jacksonville on Sunday.
5 — Bill Morello returns to Lockport High School as the new varsity wrestling head coach. Morello, who takes over for Joe Scapelliti, is an LHS Sports Hall of Famer, Morello garnered 215 career wins in his amazing Lions’ mat career, a school record that stood for 14 years.
6 — Niagara-Wheatfield’s Warren McDougald is named Most Outstanding Wrestler at the 37th Niagara Frontier Wrestling Officials Classic at Niagara County Community College in Sanborn. Among other top local finishers, Grand Island heavyweight Jaquan Johnson, won the 285-pound title, Lockport’s Steven Daskavitz is fourth at 182 and Newfane’s Jayden Heers is fourth at 220.
7 — Blake Bortles puts together one decent drive all day, doing as much with his legs as his arm, and the defensive- minded Jacksonville Jaguars eke out an ugly 10-3 victory over the Buffalo Bills in an AFC wild-card game. Sean Couturier scores the go-ahead goal in the second period and adds an empty-netter to put it away as the Philadelphia Flyers beat the visiting Buffalo Sabres, 4-1.
8 — At the Bills’ end of season press conference, Buffalo GM Brandon Beane says he’s is keeping his options open and intends to take his time determining whether quarterback Tyrod Taylor will return for a fourth season
9 — The LHS basketball Lions finally find the antidote for Grand Island’s lights out shooter Cam Sionko — LHS senior forward Luke Lawrence. Lawrence’s three, 3-point baskets in the second half take the edge off of Sionko’s impressive, game-high 30 points as head coach Dave Gilson’s Lions improved to 3-0 in Niagara Frontier League boys basketball with a 68-63 victory over the visiting Vikings.
10 — The Lockport Hockey Family Tree continues to produce outstanding players, coaches and contributors. Former player and former Lockport Lions assistant coach Erik Musto takes over the reigns this year as the new head coach of the varsity hockey Lions.
11 — Among the many key members of the 2017-18 Lockport High School boys varsity swim team are seniors Brandon Rivers, Sebastian Lasher, Matthew O’Donnell, Benjamin Flaherty, Brett Dunlap, Ethan Heim, Dan Fogle, Christian Martin and Owen Krieger. Head coach John Sullivan’s swim Lions are 7-0 in the league.
12 — The Bills fire offensive coordinator Rick Dennison after the team finishes 29th in offense this season. The team’s running attack fell to sixth after leading the league the past two seasons and Buffalo’s offense topped 300 yards just nine times in 17 games, scoring only eight touchdowns in its final seven games.
13 — Mother Nature manages to keep several top-ranked teams and competitors away, but 10 teams do arrive to put on an impressive Lockport Wrestling Tournament, including Grand Island, which claims the tourney team championship with 163 points. Head coach Bill Morello’s host Lions earn a second-place team finish with 95.5 points and produce two champions in Josh Gill (113 pounds) and Shyref Payne (138).
14 — The Buffalo Bills hire Brian Daboll as offensive coordinator Sunday. Daboll, 42, was the offensive coordinator for national champion Alabama. It was the sixth time he was part of the coaching staff for a national championship team.
15 — Matt Scott breaks out of a slight slump, scoring a game-high 23 points as the Niagara Purple Eagles men’s basketball team beats Saint Peter’s, 73-70, for their fourth consecutive victory.
16 — Buffalo Bills/Sabres owner Terry Pegula donates more than $100M eight years ago to Penn State University to fund the creation of men’s and women’s Division I hockey programs and now, those teams, which began competing in 2012-13, have quickly achieved success. The women’s team won 17 games in its third season, and the men’s team won the Big Ten Tournament title and fell one victory short of reaching the NCAA Frozen Four last season.
17 — Lockport’s Ethan Perkins (99 pounds), Joshua Gill (120), Joshua Rolon (126), Shyreef Payne (138) and Kevin Daskavitz (145) all earn wins by fall as head coach Bill Morello’s Lions post five pins in a 52-36 Niagara Frontier League win over visiting Ken-Ton.
18 — Members of coach Liz Smorol’s 8-0 Lockport Volleyball Club 17 Travel Team are Kaleb Luton, Tivon White, Zach Schneider, Sean Denniston, Elliot Becker, Adam Gulick, Tom Frain, Alec Roy, Rhees Perry, Brendan Leong, Matt Wiepert and John Miller.
19 — Lockport bowlers beat North Tonawanda, 4-3. Brandon Pardee tosses a 666 series as the Lions improve to 10-1 in NFL play this year with a 3,513-3,453 pin victory. Pardee has a high game of 246, while Thomas Loveric was next best for LHS with a 236-620.
20 — The Lockport Flips Gymnastics Team puts on a strong showing at the 22nd annual Graffiti Meet held recently at the Niagara Falls Conference Center. The Flips’ Level 3 Team is led by Sian Powell, who won both the bars (9.45) and floor exercise (9.05), en route to a third-place all-around overall with a total score of 35.90.
21 — Charles Whitbourne, 29, a construction project manager in Lockport, opens the only kung fu academy in Middleport — Taoist Kung Fu Training Academy at 1 Vernon St. The Pats beat the Jags and the Eagles down the Vikings in their respective conference title games, setting the stage for this year’s Super Bowl on Feb. 4 in Minneapolis.
22 — The wrestling Lions post five pins in a non-league victory over the Will South Billies. Joshua Gill (120), Joshua Rolon (126), Kylaan Barnes (138), Connor Regis (220) and Eric Stone (285) all earned wins by fall for Lockport. Meanwhile, Brandon Larkin of the Lions posts a major decision-win, 12-2, over Will South’s Rashad Ahmad. Earning wins by decision for the Lions were Ethan Perkins and Steven Daskavitz.
23 — Head coach John Sullivan’s Lockport swim Lions earn an impressive 106-80 victory over visiting Kenmore at the LHS Natatorium. Lions’ junior Ethan Menges was in on three blue and gold victories, winning the 200 freestyle in a sectional-qualifying time of 1:56.95. Menges also joins Lions senior Dylan Robb and sophomores Carsons Tatro and Mark Crocker to win the 200 freestyle relay in a sectional-qualifying time of 1:34.36.
24 — While surpassing 1,000 career collegiate points last weekend, Lockport’s Colin Dougherty is named Liberty League Men’s Basketball “Performer of the Week” by the conference office. The former Lockport High School all-star averages 22 points per game, 4.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists, as the Hobart College Statesmen extends their winning streak to seven games with a pair of victories in the North Country.
25 — The emergence of freshman goalie Brian Wilson and the Niagara University Men’s Hockey Program’s turnaround this season are not a coincidence. Wilson (.905 save percent, 2.65 goals against avg.) has made 21 straight starts for NU and his 22 total are the most for any freshman in the nation.
26 — Royalton-Hartland senior Madeline Keyes, 18, is headed to the prestigious American Quarter Horse Youth Association World Show in Oklahoma City in August. She’s ranked first in the nation in youth equitation over fences and youth working hunter, and second in the nation in youth hunter hack.
27 — Sophomore stars Donel Cathcart (22 points, seven rebounds) and LaTerrance Reed (18 points, six rebounds) lead the way for the Niagara County Community College men’s basketball team (14-7, 3-4 Region III), which has won 11 of its last 13 games. Head coach Bill Beilein’s Thunderwolves bounce back in the second half to score a 79-74 victory at nationally-ranked Monroe CC.
28 — Matt Mobley drains five 3-pointers and scores 24 points, 16 in the second half, as St. Bonaventure defeats George Washington 70-52 on Sunday, topping local men’s basketball action. Former Sabres’ defenseman Mike Weber, 30, plans to retire (again) at the end of the season.
29 — Head coach Mike Gendrue’s small, but feisty Barker Raiders boys varsity swim squad has managed to find that elusive winning formula in 2017-18 en route to not only a Niagara-Orleans League co-championship (with largeschool Albion) this season, but several record-setting performances by individuals along the way, including senior co-captains Colin Webb and Andrew Jenks.
30 — Taylor Hall scores in his first game after missing three with an injury to his right hand, and the visiting New Jersey Devils snap a four-game skid with a 3-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe spoils back-up goalie Keith Kinkaid’s shutout bid by scoring a power-play goal with 5:02 remaining
31 — Head coach Erik Musto’s Lockport ice Lions celebrate “Senior Night” at the Cornerstone Arena by beating rival Niagara Falls, 2-1, for the third straight time this season. Ben Shanley nets his first career varsity goal, assisted by Drew Borek, to open the scoring for LHS. Jared Stahli of the Lions scores the game-winner, assisted again by Borek.
1 — Harri Sateri stops the final 19 shots he faces and 30 overall, and Keith Yandle has a goal and two assists in leading the Florida Panthers to a 4-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Ryan O’Reilly and Zemgus Girgensons score goals for the Sabres.
2 — It’s been a stellar, undefeated season so far for LHS super sophomore diver Jake Minnick, who is followed by Niagara Wheatfield’s bright-eyed eighth grade sensation Joseph Dyer (329.9) and Lewiston-Porter sophomore Jack Bailey (315.0) to round out the top three finishers at the 2018 Niagara Frontier League Diving Championships at the LHS Natatorium.
3 — The host Lions picked up league titles in the 100 butterfly by super sophomore Mark Crocker (:53.26) and the 500 freestyle by junior stalwart Ethan Menges (5:04.05) at the 2018 Niagara Frontier League Boys Swimming & Diving Championships at LHS. Kenmore juniors Matthew Walker and Benjamin Harper each posted two individual wins.
4 — In a record-setting shootout between Nick Foles and Tom Brady, the backup quarterback leads a pressure-packed 75-yard drive to the winning touchdown, 11 yards to Zach Etrz with 2:21 left in the game. Then the defense that had been shredded throughout the second half makes two final stands as the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New England Patriots, 41-33, in Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis.
5 — The Lockport Lady Lions honor their departing girls basketball seniors with typical class, but the visiting Niagara-Wheatfield Lady Falcons literally “steal the show” in an impressive 52-34 Niagara Frontier League girls’ hoops victory. With all those “steals” on the LHS hardwood by N-W, it’s a good thing that three of Lockport’s finest, Denny Sobieraski, Dave Barrancotta and Dan Barrancotta, are working security at the game
6 — Adam Henrique scores 1:36 into overtime and the Anaheim Ducks snap a three-game skid with a 4-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres. The Ducks rebound in the extra period after allowing the Sabres to tie the game on Ryan O’Reilly’s goal with 15 seconds remaining in regulation.
7 — Newfane’s fleet-footed, goal-scoring machine Kayleigh Daniels is among six student-athletes who sign letters of intent, confirming earlier verbal commitments to join the Daemen College women’s soccer program, Lady Wildcats head coach Dan Dolan announces the list of freshmen-to-be, that also includes Madeline Emmi and Grace Stranahan of Grand Island, Elise Williams of Clarence and Katelyn Sidoti of Section V’s Greece Athena and out-of-state recruit Alexis Hayes of Goodyear, Ariz.
8 — Senior forwards Luke Kenyon and Mike Jozwiak each score a goal to help the Starpoint Spartans to a 2-1 ice hockey victory over the Williamsville East Flames. The Buffa,o Sabres squander a three-goal lead, but Sam Reinhart pokes in a rebound with 4:14 left, and the Sabres edge the New York Islanders, 4-3 .
9 — The Bruning brothers, Jake and Charles, score 21 and 12 points, respectively, and Noah Kindron adds 10 more as the boys varsity basketball Rams improve to 10-9 overall and 5-6 in N-O play with a 60-37 victory over the Akron Tigers. Skyler Munnikhuysen scores 12 points and Emily Kelly, Anna Frerichs and Shea Munnikhuysen add eight apiece as the Wilson Lakewomen cruise to a 62-23 non-league girls hoops win over Maryvale.
10 — Eighth grader Roddy Gayle scores a game-high 24 points to lead host Niagara Falls to a 71-56 boys basketball win over rival Lockport at the Wolvarena. The win locks NF in as the league’s Niagara Division champion, setting up a date with Lewiston-Porter in the NFL crossover game to determine the overall champ. That game is slated to be played at neutral Niagara-Wheatfield.
11 — The Indianapolis Colts hire Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich — the legendary Buffalo Bills’ back-up quarterback — as their new head coach. Reich is best known for rallying the Buffalo Bills from a 35-3 deficit to a 41-38 overtime victory over the Houston Oilers in January of 1993 — the biggest comeback in NFL playoff or regular season history.
12 — Mark Crocker and Jake Minnick are the top LHS finishers, but it’s a great day all-around for head coach John Sullivan’s Niagara Frontier League-champion swim Lions as they head later this week to the biggest meet of all locally, the annual Section VI Championships at the University at Buffalo. The Lions place second at the class championships, just two points behind winner Williamsville East (289). Crocker wins the 100-yard butterfly finals in a blazing, state-qualifying time of :57.27.
13 — The worst beats first. Ryan O’Reilly scores a goal and added two assists in the Buffalo Sabres’ 5-3 win over the Eastern Conference- leading Tampa Bay Lightning. Back-up goalie Chad Johnson stops 26 shots to pick up just his fourth win and first in nine home appearances this season. Sam Reinhart scores twice, including an empty-netter with 8 seconds left.
14 — Newfane senior Kyle DeVoogel is presented with a special basketball recently to commemorate him becoming the first ever Newfane varsity boys basketball player to eclipse 1,000 career points in a season. DeVoogel is coached by Eric Klumpp, assisted by Pete Dickinson.
15 — Roy-Hart sophomore Kayla Hagen finishes with the highest varsity point total on the Lady Rams swim team this season with 164 points, achieving this high point honor for the second consecutive year for her team.
16 — Lockport freshman Ashlynn Johnson hops off the bench to air mail four, 3-point baskets special delivery en route to 13 points, leading the Lady Lions to a 47-35 victory over Kenmore East to claim the 2017-18 Niagara Frontier League girls basketball championship at neutral Niagara-Wheatfield in Sanborn.
17 — Falling behind 1-0 while getting outshot 19-8 in the first period, the Buffalo Sabres are beaten by the visiting Los Angeles Kings, 4-2. “They were dialed in early, we weren’t,” says Sabres winger Jason Pominville.
18 — The No. 3 is No. 1 again at Daytona, on a day, in a race and at a place forever linked with the great Dale Earnhardt. Austin Dillon wins the Daytona 500, driving the iconic No. 3 Chevrolet that Earnhardt piloted for most of his career. Earnhardt was behind the wheel of No. 3 when he won his only Daytona 500 in 1998
19 — North Tonawanda native Dina (McCumber) Allen is currently living the dream, serving as a hockey referee in the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. Elizabeth Bradley scores 25 points and April Chambers adds another 12 as Starpoint beats Cheektowaga, 54-48, in a sectional Class A-2 girls hoops quarterfinal.
20 — Wilson soccer/basketball star Emily Kelly is named the best female prep athlete at the 2018 Niagara PAL Awards Dinner at the Como Restaurant in Niagara Falls. Elizabeth Bradley scores 25 points and April Chambers adds 12 to help the No. 9 Lady Spartans advance to the A-2 girls hoops quarterfinals with a 54-48 victory over Cheektowaga.
21 — MacGregor Musall, Nate Fox, Jake Miller and Steve Frerichs combined to score all 20 points in the second quarter to help the Wilson Lakemen beat Riverside, 60-54, in a boys basketball playoff game. Najee Scott scores 19, Donel Cathcart’s 20 and Laterrence Reed adds 16 points and 10 rebounds, as head coach Bill Beilein’s NCCC Thunderwolves beat Jamestown CC on the road, 100-81.
22 — Roger Cordle, Greydon Barnwell, Jessica Slye-Butz, Gabriella Gonzales, Tanner Schultz, Henry B. Hughes, Riley Bell, Gracie Cordle and Williams Rahill are crowned district free throw champions for ages 9-14 in the recent Knights of Columbus competition at DeSales Catholic School.
23 — Newfane senior guard Max Weber is honored for getting 500 career assists, scores 14 points and grabs a couple of steals as Newfane defeats the Fredonia Hillbillies, 66-41, in a Section VI Class B-1 quarterfinal in the Blue Zone.
24 — Niagara County produces two state wrestling champions in Albany. Niagara Falls sophomore Willie McDougald and Starpoint senior Anthony Robinson win championships in their respective weight classes, and three other locals earned top-3 finishes. Robinson earns the Division II (small school) title at 285 pounds, entering as the top seed and edging No. 2 Jayson Gomez from Eagle Academy in the Bronx 6-5 in the final.
25 — Evander Kane is traded by the Buffalo Sabres to the San Jose Sharks shortly before Monday’s 3 p.m. deadline. The Buffalo Bills agree to terms with veteran cornerback Vontae Davis on a one-year contract.
26 — Niagara-Wheatfield defeats Williamsville North, 2-0, to win the Section VI Division I hockey title at the KeyBank Center. Chace Woods scores both goals and junior goalie Peyton Siegmann earns the shutout.
27 — Saving their best for last, head coach Joe Catalano’s Lockport Lady Lions go on an unforgettable 16-4 run in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, but still fall to visiting Clarence, 66-53, in a Section VI Class AA quarterfinal contest.
28 — An extensive Lockport School District academic and sports facilities upgrade — including the long-awaited installation of new, artificial turf football and baseball fields — will begin within weeks at Lockport High School, Emmet Belknap and on Beattie Avenue, across the street from Charles Upson Elementary School.
1 — No. 5-seeded Fredonia got a game-high 20 points from Katie Price in a 46-32 Section VI Class B-1 girls basketball semifinal victory over top-seeded Newfane at neutral Kenmore West High School. The Lady Panthers’ sharp-shooting senior captain Paige Emborsky finishes her record-setting Newfane career with 16 points and three rebounds.
2 — Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly is once again diagnosed with oral cancer. Aleksander Barkov scores his 24th goal of the season, James Reimer makes 24 saves in his first start in six games and the surging Florida Panthers beat the Buffalo Sabres, 4-1.
3 — Two time-New York State Swim Meet qualifier Collin Webb of Barker finishes his Raiders swim career at the NYSPHSAA Federation Championship Meet in Nassau County. Collin swims a :22.34 in the 50-yard freestyle for a 44th place finish and a :50.27 in the 100 freestyle for a 57th place finish, narrowly missing returning for the finals. He’s the only swimmer this season from the Niagara-Orleans League to qualify for the state meet. The swim Raiders are proudly coached by Mike Gendrue.
4 — Southwestern bounces back to beat the defending Class B-2 champion Wilson Lakewomen, 45-42, at the Buffalo State Sports Arena. Roger Bannister, the first man to run a sub 4-minute mile, dies at age 88.
5 — Lockport sophomore Mark Crocker places 21st in the 100-yard butterfly finals at the New York State Swimming & Diving Championships. Crocker’s time of 52.27 ties his personal best. In addition, he places 40th in the 50 Freestyle. Crocker’s Lions’ teammate, sophomore diver Jake Minnick, becomes the first male diver to represent LHS at the state championships in close to 40 years, placing 29th.
6 — The Lock City Golf League wants you. Founded in 1957, Lockport’s oldest and most successful league plays a nine-hole, four-man team match play handicapped format every Thursday evening at the Niagara County Golf Course. For more information, captains are asked to contact league president Rich Napoli.
7 — Construction of a new, 20,000-cubic foot volleyball/ recreation center is being discussed for a vacant lot on South Transit Road, at Donner Road. Margo Weber scores nine of her game-high 25 points in overtime, leading Community Bible to a 53-48 upset over formerly undefeated St. Mark in Lutheran Women’s Basketball Association action
8 — The Cleveland Browns agree to acquire Buffalo Bills starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor in exchange for a third-round draft pick.
9 — Defensive end Owa Odighizuwa is getting an opportunity to resume his NFL career by signing a one year-contract with the Buffalo Bills. Odighizuwa missed all of last season after being cut by New York Giants in August shortly after the NFL suspended him for four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
10 — The Bills’ defensive front quickly takes shape, as Star Lotulelei agrees to sign with Buffalo, and Kyle Williams choses to return for a 13th season by saying the he never entertained any thought of retiring.
11 — Kevin Harvick races to his third straight NASCAR Cup Series victory, holding off Kyle Busch for his record-extending ninth win at ISM Raceway. Veteran middle linebacker Paul Posluszny retires after 11 NFL seasons with Buffalo and Jacksonville.
12 — The Buffalo Bills sign former Cincinnati Bengals backup AJ McCarron to a two-year contract. Buffalo center Jack Eichel won’t be ready for the Sabres’ home tilt against the Toronto Maple Leafs and will miss his 15th straight game.
13 — Nick Baptiste keys Buffalo’s 5-3 come-from-behind win over the Chicago Blackhawks in center Jack Eichel’s return from an ankle injury.
14 — For the first time in franchise history, the Beauts host a playoff game. They welcome the Boston Pride to HarborCenter. Sarah Casorso saves her first goal of the season for the biggest moment, scoring a power play goal 80 seconds into overtime as the No. 2 Buffalo Beauts hand the No. 3 Boston Pride a 3-2 loss in their NWHL semifinal game in front of 1,800 fans at HarborCenter.
15 — James van Riemsdyk scores two goals and adds an assist to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Connor Carrick, Tyler Bozak and Patrick Marleau also score for the Maple Leafs, and Curtis McElhinney stops 38 shots.
16 — Speculate all you want Bills fans. Bills general manager Brandon Beane insists it’s premature to suggest he’s trading up to select a quarterback in the first round of next month’s draft.
17 — Kentucky puts an end to any upset talk on its watch, getting 27 points, six rebounds and six assists from Gilgeous-Alexander in a 95-75 pull-away win over a scrappy, veteran 13th-seeded Buffalo Bulls basketball team at the NCAA Tournament.
18 — Sabres winger Kyle Okposo will return from a concussion for Buffalo’s home tilt against the Nashville Predators. Okposo has missed the last three Sabres games. Martin Truex Jr. cruises to victory at Fontana, claiming the first win of the season for last year’s NASCAR Cup Series champion.
19 — Lockport YMCA Stingrays swimmer Leah Gaskill earns a state title at the annual YMCA New York State Championships, hosted by the Rochester YMCA Swim League. Competing in the 8-Years-Old & Under Division, Leah places first in the 25-yard backstroke in a time of 17.58 seconds.
20 — Niagara County Community College baseball coach Matt Clingersmith earns his 400th win with the program in a doubleheader sweep over Dakota County Technical College in Florida. The Bills sign center Russell Bodine and offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse.
21 — The Orange Team competed with distinction in the Sunrise Optimist Club Youth Basketball League at Emmet Belknap. Head coach David Owens’ team is comprised of John Oliver, Caleb Barry, Brandon Boyd, Ryan Winters, Taj Young, Vernon Henry, Achilles Riggs, Jamari Pilgran, Koen Bailey and William Ott.
22 — Penn State may have a new starting middle blocker in redshirted sophomore Jason Donorovich of Lockport. Donorovich has become an active and impactful player on the court, scoring 10 of his 41 kills this season in Penn State’s last two games against Ohio State and Saint Francis.
23 — A former Bills assistant equipment manager, Newfane athletics director Doug Ames — featured in a US&J sports article — is still proud of the seven unforgettable years he spent working for Buffalo’s National Football League franchise. Ames’ first year with the Bills was O.J. Simpson’s last.
24 — Jimmy Vesey has two goals and an assist and Alexandar Georgiev stoped 43 shots as the New York Rangers beat the Buffalo Sabres, 5-1. The Buffalo Beauts are attempting to make NWHL history by becoming the first team to win back-to-back championships.
25 — One year after Brianne McLaughlin led the Buffalo Beauts to the Isobel Cup with a miraculous 60-save performance, Katie Fitzgerald posted a shutout as the Metropolitan Riveters edged Buffalo, 1-0, in the NWHL title game.
26 — The Lockport Lock Monsters 14U Bantam team wins the MOHL League championship, beating the Buffalo Stars, 6-3, in the title game. Scoring for the Lock Monsters are Keegan Walczak, Tom Hnat, Zach Rabinowitz, Charlie Degasperi, Hayden Burrows and Nate Milk, while Aden Benson stands tall in net. Sabres prospect Casey Mittelstadt signs his three-year, entry-level contract.
27 — Burt native John’s Beilein and his Michigan Wolverines will make a second, triumphant return to the men’s college basketball “Final Four” this weekend in San Antonio. It’s Michigan’s second trip to the Final Four in five years under Beilein and the second time that his presence there has his large, faithful contingent of Lockport-area family and life-long WNY friends celebrating in earnest.
28 — Instantly recognizable for his fiery orange hair and gregarious personality, Rusty Staub, the outfielder who charmed baseball fans in the United States and Canada during an All-Star career that spanned 23 major league seasons dies. He was 73.
29 — Sabres rookie Casey Mittelstadt’s first NHL point wasn’t created by his dynamic speed, adroit passing or supreme hockey sense. No, 4:51 in the third period of Thursday’s 6-3 loss to the hapless Detroit Red Wings, Mittelstadt, 19, simply won a draw back to linemate Evan Rodrigues, who beat goalie Jimmy Howard to get the Sabres within one goal.
30 — Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly is expected to be hospitalized for two weeks as he recovers from another cancer surgery. Dr. Mark Urken says he successfully removes cancer from Kelly’s upper jaw and lymph nodes and reconstructed his upper jaw during an all-day surgery. Urken operated on Kelly at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City.
31 — Moe Wagner helps lead Michigan past Loyola-Chicago, 69-57, in San Antonio, advancing to the NCAA Men’s Basketball title game. The Wolverines are coached by John Beilein, a native of Newfane.
1 — Locally, the debate over who the greatest men’s college basketball coach in America is today ended long before Michigan’s 69-57 victory over Loyola on Saturday in their national semifinal game in San Antonio. The name that comes up most in these parts is the same name teacher’s just down the road used to shout out during roll call, the same name that friends called out in the hallways of the former DeSales Catholic High School and the same name we once heard at local churches, stores and gymnasiums throughout Niagara and Erie counties — Newfane native John Beilein.
2 — Dozens gather as a family at Mike and Sara (Beilein) Capen’s big, beautiful home on Lake Road to watch John Beilein’s Michigan men’s basketball team compete in the national championships game against Villanova. The game is seen by more than 30 million people around the world. Villanova beats Michigan, 79-62.
3 — Thomas McCollum, a Niagara-Wheatfield native, is called up by the Detroit Red Wings. McCollum, a goalie, has appeared in three games for the Red Wings, posting a 1-0 record, 2.88 goals against average and a .879 save percentage.
4 — Matt Duchene scores his team-leading 27th goal in the Ottawa Senators’ 4-2 victory over Buffalo, assuring the Sabres of finishing dead last in the NHL standings. The Buffalo Bills agree to a one-year contract with free agent defensive end Terrence Fede.
5 — Newfane’s Paige Emborsky, Max Weber and Kyle DeVoogel, North Tonawanda’s Trevor Book, Niagara Falls’ Tazaun Rose and Wilson native and Canisius High Schooler Ryan Bradley are slated to take part in the upcoming inaugural Butler Mitchell Senior All-Star Classic basketball game at Canisius High School.
6 — Members of Lock 34, which captured the 2017-18 LAHL 18-plus A Division ice hockey playoff title with a best-of-three championship series sweep over the Penalty Box at the Cornerstone CFCU Arena, are Brian McEachon, Josh DeNardo, Mark Garris, Tom Castald, Jon Reid; Seth Hamilton, Bill Kenyon, Phil Allport, Jim Austin, Joe Frischholz, Steve LaTona, Ryan Neidrauer, Richie LaTona, Sean Hayden and Brian Shipley
7 — The Lockport Family YMCA’s new facility under construction on Snyder Drive begins to dominate the local skyline. The impressive 52,000-square-foot structure features a mammoth pool area and gymnasium. The $16M facility is expected to be completed in the fall.
8 — Patrick Reed, 27, is a Masters champion. Rory McIlroy came after him early. Jordan Spieth roared to life with a final-round charge and briefly caught Reed with a 35-foot birdie putt and lhe last challenge came from Rickie Fowler, who birdied the last hole to leave Reed no room for error, but the Texan calmly rolled in the par putt for a 1-under 71 and a one-shot victory.
9 — A hockey arena in of Humboldt, Saskatchewan, becomes the epicenter of grief for a small Canadian town as friends, relatives and those who housed members of a youth hockey team gathered to mourn 15 people killed when a semi-trailer slammed into the team’s bus. Fourteen were also injured, some critically, in a collision that left the country, its national sport and the hockey-obsessed town reeling.
10 — Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Richie Incognito said he’s “done” in a text to The Associated Press amid reports he is considering retirement after 11 NFL seasons.
11 — Lewiston-Porter product Vicki Waugaman tosses a no-hitter for the Niagara County Community College softball team, striking out eight over five innings in a 17-0 shellacking of Finger Lakes CC. The Lady Thunderwolves are coached by Nate Beutel.
12 — Jason Leblebijian hits a two-run home run and finishes with two hits, driving in three as the Buffalo Bisons beat the Indianapolis Indians 11-1 on Friday.
13 — Jim Kelly is progressing so “remarkably well” two weeks after surgery to have cancer removed from his jaw, his doctor expects the Hall of Fame quarterback to be released from the hospital soon.
14 — Senior 1,000-point scorers Kyle DeVoogel, Paige Emborsky and Max Weber lead their respective Newfane basketball teams to Niagara-Orleans League championship seasons.
15 — AJ McCarron can’t help but notice the number of draft-eligible quarterback prospects the Buffalo Bills have paraded through their facility in recent days. UCLA’s Josh Rosen was in town as was Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield. McCarron says that the possibility of Buffalo selecting one of them in the first round of the draft next week — isn’t distracting him.
16 — Wilson senior Sarah Yousett is joined by her family and members of the Lakemen athletics department during a ceremony recognizing her signing on to play NCAA Division III soccer next season at Alfred University. Jack Eichel’s ascends to the captaincy of the Buffalo Sabres.
17 — Jeremy Stopa, a 2004 graduate of Newfane High School and an Iraqi War veteran, is fighting for the vacant Full Contact Promotions Lightweight (155-pound) championship on April 28 against Tyler Coleman in Rochester.
18 — Fred Jackson returns to Buffalo to sign a one-day contract to retire as a member of the Bills. A visitor to Lockport on more than one occasion for autograph signings, Jackson ranks third on the team list all time with 5,646 yards rushing and 15 100-yard games, and fourth with 30 touchdowns rushing.
19 — The NFL’s 2018 schedules are out and the Buffalo Bills are rewarded for breaking their playoff drought. The Bills will host the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football on Oct. 29 at New Era Field, their first time hosting the national broadcast since 2008. Buffalo will open its season Sept. 9 at Baltimore before hosting the Los Angeles Chargers at 1 p.m. Sept. 16 in its home opener.
20 — Luke Kenyon goes 2 for 2 with an RBI and two runs. Erik Miller is 1 for 3 with three RBIs and Brad Shea and Josh Brooks both drive in a run as head coach Tim Racey’s Starpoint Spartans beat Hutch Tech, 13-0, in a non-league baseball contest.
21 — Lockport’s boys track team takes first and the girls team second at the Niagara Falls Wolverine Invitational. LHS junior Malik Brooks who earns wins in the 100 and 400 meter dashes. He runs the 100 in 11.37 seconds and the 400 in 51.25 seconds. Lockport’s Jaylin Jones takes second (11.49) in the 100. Also for LHS, Simon Powley adds another top-3 finish in the 3000 meter steeplechase event, finishing second (10:45.43). Jacob Szymanski finishes second in the discus with a throw of 126-09.
22 — Tonawanda’s “Baby Joe” Mesi is one of 15 set to be inducted later this year into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame. Mesi is also being inducted into the NYS Boxing Hall of Fame this year. Danny Jansen of the Buffalo Bisons hits an RBI double in the eighth, scoring Rowdy Tellez, but it’s much too late in a 6-1 loss to the Norfolk Tides.
23 — Showing the kind of poise usually reserved for upperclassman, Lockport sophomore Carson Tatro pitches a gem in a persistent drizzle, leading head coach Dan Petock’s baseball Lions past the visiting North Tonawanda Lumberjacks, 8-2, at Outwater Park, topping Niagara Frontier League action.
24 — Trailing visiting Kenmore West 5-1 on Monday, the Lockport Lady Lions brushed the lead aside like a speck of dust on their collective shoulders, bouncing back in a big way to defeat the Lady Blue Devils, 9-6, topping Niagara Frontier League softball action under sunny blue skies. Kendra Evans socks a three-run homer for head coach Megan Kowalski’s team.
25 — Erie Barge Canal Fishing Derby. Derby founder Steve Harrington passed away suddenly last November, but his widow, Lynn, and granddaughter Stephanie Flowers, plan to continue the derby this summer in his memory. The 28th consecutive canal fishing derby is slated for July 5-15 on canal waters between Albion and the Tonawandas.
26 — Hannah Sobieraski hurls a complete-game victory, sparking the visiting Lockport Lady Lions past North Tonawanda, 23-1. Sobieraski is in complete control, tossing seven complete frames, striking out 6 and walking 1, scattering 6 hits. At the plate, Asja Johnson and Kourtney Krchniak smack LHS home runs.
27 — University of Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen is selected seventh overall in the NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. Dan Butler hits a two-run home run in the top of the 10th inning to lead the visiting Pawtucket Red Sox to a 9-8 win over the Buffalo Bisons
28 — Ransomville Speedway’s only female driver this season is Ashley Blech, 28, who takes the Four Bangers Division green flag on Friday nights in her No. 6 car. Blech finished fourth in points last year and fifth the year before in a division that features close to two dozen male drivers each season
29 — NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly reveals that the Sabres are the winners of the first selection in the draft June 22 in Dallas and are expected to select defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, whose capable of helping turn the hapless team around.
30 — Lew-Port pitcher Riley Crum hurls a two-hit, complete-game shutout with 12 strikeouts under difficult conditions in the circle for head coach Chris D’Anna’s unbeaten team (6-0 NFL, 7-0 overall) in an 8-0 victory at Lockport.
1 — Russ Brandon abruptly resigns his dual role as president of the NFL Buffalo Bills and NHL Buffalo Sabres after being confronted by the teams’ owners regarding an inappropriate relationship with a female employee.
2 — One of Lockport’s greatest boxers ever, the late Pat Cuillo becomes only the fifth man in Lock City history to be elected to the Ring 44 Boxing Hall of Fame, joining the greats Jimmy Duffy (2002), Tommy Hicks (2004), Tony Ventura (2005) and Billy “Little Red” Hackmer (2010). Newfane native Jeremy Stopa earns a unanimous (30-26) victory over Tyler Coleman of Ontario, Canada, to claim the Full Contact Promotions Lightweight (155-pound) championship.
3 — Daemen College senior Gretchen Ringler of North Tonawanda is named a regional winner of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Arther Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award. Taylor Guerrieri, Conor Fisk and Justin Dillon combined for the shutout on the hill as the Buffalo Bisons beat the visiting Syracuse Chiefs 3-0.
4 — The Sweet Home gymnasium erupts in thunderous and sustaining applause for almost two full hours in mid-afternoon as the district plays host to a Unified Basketball League game pitting their beloved Panthers against our Niagara County namesake — the visiting Newfane Panthers.
5 — Justify splashes through the slop to win the Kentucky Derby by 2½ lengths. Trainer Bob Baffert wins his fifth title. Chris Rowley allows just an unearned run over seven innings and every Buffalo batter has a hit by the end of the fourth inning in a 7-6 victory over the Syracuse Chiefs at Coca-Cola Field.
6 — Lockport’s Brennan Bailey and Lewiston-Porter’s Emma Waechter are the announced winners at the 53rd annual Thomas E. Hewitt Sports Awards at a dinner at Antonio’s Banquet Center in Niagara Falls
7 — Ian Evans goes 3 for 4 with two doubles and three RBIs to lead Wilson to a 10-2 victory over Barker. Jackson Rotella pitches five innings allowed two hits and nine strikeouts. The Lakemen improve to 3-4 on the season.
8 — Jake Walters drives in two runs and scores the game-winning run to help the Starpoint Spartans to a 6-4 ECIC II baseball win over the West Seneca East Trojans. Adam Rankie goes 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored. Brad Shea is 2 for 2 with two RBIs.
9 — Madighan McGrath of the Lockport Flips wins the Level 2 bars competition with a score of 9.20 at the Honeycomb Gymnastics Invitational in Hamburg. In Level 3 action, Sian Powell of the Flips placed second overall in her age group with a core of 36.65.
10 — Patrick Sheelar, Madigan Lang and Evan Birkemeier swept singles for the Roy-Hart tennis Rams in a 5-0 victory over Barker. The Rams are 8-2. Newfane long distance specialist Kim Goerss sets a new school record in the 1,500 run, coming home first in 4:52 as the Lady Panthers clinch first place.
11 — Two local seniors sign Letters of Intent to compete in Division II track and study, beginning this fall, at Daemon College. They are Newfane’s Drew Boudeman, the son of Scott and Mary Boudeman; and Starpoint’s Ethan Majewski, the son of Paul and Jeanette Majewski.
12 — Third-generation driver Erick Rudolph of Ransomville is victorious in the modified division as VP Racing Fuels and Fantasy Island presented the 61st season opener at Ransomville Speedway.
13 — Newfane senior Zach Brown, commits to playing football for NCAA Division III Alfred University. Chuck Knox, the former NFL coach who took the Los Angeles Rams to three straight NFC championship games and also led the Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills, dies. He was 86.
14 — Lace Up Promotions — Lockport’s longest running combat sports promotion — is set to host some of the areas top MMA fighters this weekend at the Kenan Center Arena. Headlining “HAVOC” is Lockport’s popular knockout artist Joe “Son of a Legend” Taylor,
15 — Lockport’s tandem of Jamie Stoness and Andrew Pencille lose to Lewiston-Porter’s David Reilly and Ben Warren, 6-0, 6-3, at the NFL Doubles Tournament
16 — The Lockport baseball Lions celebrate the careers of six of their teammates, prior to their 6-1 Niagara Frontier League loss to visiting Niagara Falls at Outwater Park. Playing their final league contest at home are Lions Jason Mucha, Alex Drake, Dylan Whitte, Steve Daskavitz, Brennen Stevens and Chaz Anderson.
17 — The Buffalo Bills announce that they plan to retire Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas’ No. 34 jersey Oct. 29 when the Bills host the New England Patriots.
18 — Hannah Sobieraski hurls a complete-game four-hitter, but this time she gets plenty of run support in Lockport’s 13-2 rout over visiting Jamestown in their Section VI Class AA pre-quarterfinal softball contest. With the win, head coach Meghan Kowalski’s No. 8-seeded Lady Lions improve to 7-10 on the season.
19 — Mr. Small Block,” Pete Bicknell of St. Catharines, Ontario, scores the main event at Ransomville Speedway. Syracuse’s director of recruiting operations is leaving the Orange for a position with the Buffalo Bills. Asil Mulbah announces on Instagram that has accepted a position in Buffalo’s scouting department.
20 — Showcasing the all-around kickboxing skills needed to compete at a higher level, Lockport’s Joe Taylor manhandled Cortland’s Mike Diorio in atypical fashion on Saturday night in the main event of “HAVOC” fight card at the Kenan Arena, earning a three-round unanimous-decision victory. Lockport’s Vahnessa Tankersley, improves to 2-0 in the 100-pound amateur kickboxing division with TKO win over Marcella Blythe (0-2) of Walkerton, Ontario, Canada.
21 — Anthony Robinson — Starpoint’s first state champion wrestler (285-pound weight class) — earns the Bill Hein Award at the 23rd Annual Ilio DiPaolo Scholarship Fund Awards Night at Ilio DiPaolo Family Restaurant and Banquet Facility.
22 — Joe Dell’oso pitches a complete game, allowing just three hits to help the No. 6 Spartans advance to the A-2 semifinals against Maryvale with a 1-0 A-2 quarterfinal baseball victory over Iroquois. The Niagara-Wheatfield baseball team, which hasn’t lost a game since May 1, beats the Lockport Lions at home, 5-1, in a sectional Class AA quarterfinal.
23 — Josh Brooks leads off the sixth inning with a double to get into scoring position for the No. 6 Starpoint Spartans, trailing by one run. Braden Zdrojewski bunts Brooks to third, which allows Jake Walters to bring Brooks home to tie the game against No. 2 Maryvale at 1-1. But it’s the Flyers that re-take the lead in the bottom of the seventh and win the Section VI Class A-2 baseball semifinal, 2-1.
24 — The San Jose Sharks re-sign former Buffalo Sabres’ winger Evander Kane, who would’ve become an unrestricted free agent July 1, to a seven-year contract worth $49M,
25 — She’s a Lobo! The greatest female swimmer of all time at Lockport High School, Katie Pollock, signs a National Letter of Intent to attend Division I-New Mexico University, beginning this fall on a swimming and academic scholarship. The heavily-recruited Pollock holds seven individual LHS school pool records.
26 — “The Tornado” Tommy Flannigan of St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, is victorious in the 40-lap modified feature race at the Ransomville Speedway. Wheatfield’s Pete Stefanski wins his second straight main event in the KiPo Chevrolet Street Stocks Division.
27 — Will Power captures his second straight Indianapolis 500 win, with pole-sitter Ed Carpenter finishing second. Adam Rosales socks a solo home run in the ninth inning, leading the Columbus Clippers to a 7-5 win over the Buffalo Bisons.
28 — LHS senior spark plug Kyley Fijalkowski, a High Honor Roll student, signs a National Letter of Intent to attend Division I Morgan State on a softball and academic scholarship. She plans to study architecture. Her LHS varsity softball coach Megan Kowalski and New York Inferno 18-U Elite Team coach Tim Frappa both describe her as a consummate utility player and student of the game.
29 — University at Buffalo women’s head basketball coach Felisha Legette-Jack agrees to a new, five-year contract through the 2023 season, UB director of athletics Mark Alnutt announces.
30 — Lockport High Schoool senior volleyball all-star Jesse Donorovich signs a National Letter of Intent to attend Daemon on an academic and volleyball scholarship. Among those attending a brief signing ceremony in the LHS Library are Jesse’s parents, Dino and Carolann Donorovich, as well as Lions’ athletics director Todd Sukdolak.
31 — The Lockport Soccer Club’s Girls U-15 team goes undefeated to take home the championship at the annual Memorial Day Challenge Soccer Tournament in Hershey, Pa. Members of the team are Maritina DiMillo, Michaela Reed, Angie DiTulllio, Lauren Mckay, Olivia Bruning, Cora Harding, Kara Choate, Olivia McKay, Megan Guay, Emily Croisdale, Brynn Wittcop, Lauren Wagner, Rachel Chunco, Taylor Heschke, Liberty Wendt and Cam Schiavetti. They are coached by Dan Heschke.
1 — Burt native John Beilein is back in the national news this week. The Michigan University men’s basketball head coach Beilein, a graduate of Lockport’s DeSales Catholic High School, interviews for the NBA’s vacant Detroit Pistons’ head coaching position.
2 — Lockport freshman Sydney Nowicki crosses the finish line well ahead of the pack in the Division I 1,500-meter finals at the 2018 Section VI Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Niagara Falls High School. Nowicki also wins the 3,000 and runs a leg of the victorious LHS 4x400 relay, along with Jada Fluellen, Alyssa Scheib and Kahniya James. Lions junior roadrunner Malik Brooks adds a running win in the Division 1 400 dash.
3 — The Royalton-Hartland baseball Rams make history, routing Midlakes High School, 10-1, in the New York State Class B Far West Regional at Frontier Field to advance to the state’s “Final Four” tournament in Binghamton next week — a first for the school’s long, proud baseball program. Head coach Mike Tarnowski’s Rams (19-2) will take on Seton Catholic Central (11-5) at Maine-Enderwell High School in one of two state Class B semifinals.
4 — “The Cobra” strikes again this week at Ransomville Speedway. Chuck Hebing of Ontario, N.Y., wins his sixth A-Main feature. In earlier action, Ransomville’s Kevin Wills and Cole Susice and Appleton’s Cody Wolfe all earn wins.
5 — The ESPN Network announces that Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly will receive ESPN’s Jimmy V Award for the toughness and perseverance he’s displayed during his ongoing battle with oral cancer. Kelly will be honored during the network’s ESPY Awards on July 18.
6 — The best Class B state high school baseball team this side of the Finger Lakes practiced like they always do — quietly and far from the big city lights of places like Binghamton, where destiny awaits. Head coach Mike Tarnowski’s Royalton-Hartland Rams (19-2) depart for the 2018 New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class B Baseball “Final Four.”
7 — Third in the state last year as a freshman, Medina sophomore Melanie Green captures the New York State Public High School Athletic Association girls golf championship in Bethpage State Park. Terrell Owens says his decision to skip his induction ceremony at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August will keep him far from the spotlight.
8 — Hometown favorite Seton Catholic Central (135) defeats the Roy-Hart baseball Rams, 7-1, in a state Class B semifinal in Binghamton. The Washington Capitals win the 2017-18 Stanley Cup, beating the Las Vegas Golden Knights, 4-3. The Caps clinched the best-of-seven series in just five games.
9 — Lockport’s Daniel Bronson, the multi-purpose back for the University of Rochester football team, is presented recently with top career honor for a male athlete — the Louis Alexander Alumni Award — at the school’s athletics banquet. Justify defied all the odds on his way to achieving Triple Crown immortality. The late bloomer wins the Belmont Stakes by 1¾ lengths, giving the sport its 13th Triple Crown champion overall and second in four years.
10 — The LHS Lions have two top finishers, freshmen Kahniya James and Sydney Nowicki, at the state track championships at Cicero-North Syracuse High School. James places sixth in the D-1 100 final (:12.29) before a shin injury forces her from competition. Nowicki is seventh in the girls federation 3,000 (10:14.30) and 16th in the girls federation 1,500 (4:41.26).
11 — The 2018 Women’s Porter Cup tees off at the Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston. Three international teams headline this year’s contestants. A jury in St. Louis orders the NFL’s Rams to pay former running back Reggie Bush $12.5M for a severe knee injury he suffered in 2015,
12 — Canadian Grace St-Germain leads the Women’s Porter Cup with a 3-under 69 opening round. Outgoing Niagara senior Cody Eckerson signs as a free agent with the Los Angeles Angels.
13 — Headed to the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, N.C. are Lockport sprinters, with A.J. Hill, Isiah Johnson, Jalyn Jones and Malik Brooks running 100, 200, 300 and 400 meters, respectively, Rashaun Johnson and Simon Powley joining Jones and Brooks in the 1,600-meter spring medley relay; and the Lady Lions Section VI champion 4x400 relay, with Alyssa Scheib, Jada Fluellen and Kahniya James handling the sprint duties and Sydney Nowicki following up with the 800-m leg.
14 — The Sabres gave up on Hudson Fasching, trading him to the Arizona Coyotes for defenseman Brandon Hickey and forward Mike Sislo. Zoe-Beth Brake is tied with Lei Ye at 3-under par heading into today’s final round of the Women’s Porter Cup in Lewiston.
15 — Mike “The Winfield Warrior” Marlar is the big winner in the the World of Outlaws Craftsman feature race in front of a packed crowd at Ransomville Speedway. Wilson’s Chris Burek is the sixth different winner in six races in the Sportsman Division for his first win of the season. New Zealander Zoe-Beth Brake becomes the first returning player to win the Women’s Porter Cup Golf Tournament in Lewiston when she shoots a 5-under 67 to finally break through in her sixth try.
16 — Fifty years ago today, eight Lockport High School student athletes set a world record, running a 100-mile relay in a time of 7:27:55.6, averaging less than 4:30 per mile. The eight men — in the order of their exchanges at Emmet Belknap on June 16, 1968, are Franklyn Pfeil, Jim Rycyna, Jeff Watkins, Bobby Brown, Jeff Hulshoff, Brian Brooks, George Bickford and Charlie Quagliana. The eight were coached by John Chew and Max D. Lederer. A plaque (pictured) commemorating the running achievement is located at the Max D. Lederer Stadium concession stand.
17 — Among those watching the U.S. Open golf tournament were recently drafted NFL First Round quarterbacks Sam Darnold (Jets) and Josh Allen (Bills). Allen brings his dad — his frequent golfing partner — with him to Shinnecock Hills,
18 — Reese McGuire hits a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning, driving in Rowdy Tellez with the go-ahead run, as the Buffalo Bisons defeated the Rochester Red Wings, 3-2.
19 — Newfane seniors Sam Auernhamer and Kim Goerss are selected as N-O boys and girls Players of the Year, respectively, having both finished undefeated in their historic league duel meet seasons. Auernhamer goes undefeated in the 3,200, likewise, Goerss is undefeated in league duel meets in both the 1,500 and 3,000 runs. The Panthers and Lady Panthers varsity track & field teams are coached by Mike Heitzenrater.
20 — Lockport native Lea Sobieraski is named director of basketball operations at Canisius College for the women’s basketball program. Dave “Pedro” Page earns four victories to lead the Redmen Club to a 19-11 victory over Attitudes in Week 1 action of the Lockport Horseshoe League at Outwater Park.
21 — Lockport youth basketball players Nasier Starks and Anderson Darrell participate in the 716’s 13-Under AAU basketball team, which punches a ticket to Nationals by winning a qualifying tournament. They will compete in the national tournament July 12-16 in Hampton, Va.
22 — The Buffalo Sabres officially select Rasmus Dahlin as the first overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly is released from a New York City hospital a day after having surgery to prepare for permanent dentures to be inserted into his reconstructed upper jaw.
23 — The Lockport Regals of the Greater Ontario Junior B Hockey League will host a tryout camp Aug. 4-5 at the Cornerstone CFCU Arena. The camp is open to players with birth years of 1998-02. Roster spots are limited and players must pre-register at buffaloregals.com to be considered. For more information, contact general manager John Evoy
24 — Lockport School District athletics director Todd Sukdolak says the community is invited to grand opening ceremonies for the new LHS football field behind Belknap on Oct. 6, then the Lions tackle the visiting Williamsville North Spartans.
25 — Well underway, the district’s 2018 Capital Improvements Project includes the construction of two artificial-turf baseball fields east of Beattie Avenue, across the street from Charles Upson Elementary School, the construction of a six-court tennis complex to replace the existing courts, extensive renovations at the pool area and creation of a half-mile walking path that will connect the various sports fields to Lincolnshire Drive on the west and Locust Street on the east.
26 — Returning camp director, veteran Lockport boys’ varsity soccer coach Jeff Hulshoff announces that the 2018 Lockport Soccer Camp is slated to begin in less than two weeks at the Kenan Center. Assisting coach Hulshoff are Jessica Hulshoff Mohr, the former Clarence girls modified coach; and former varsity players Meaghan King Hulshoff and Alexa Barrancotta, as well as some current LHS varsity and junior varsity players.
27 — The Sabres acquire winger Conor Sheary and defenseman Matt Hunwick. Three-time Canadian National Olympic team goaltender Shannon Szabados agrees to sign with the U.S.-based National Women’s Hockey League Buffalo Beauts.
28 — Rowdy Tellez smacks a two-run homer in the third inning, and Jon Harris allowed just four hits over six innings as the Buffalo Bisons top the visiting Pawtucket Red Sox, 8-1.
29 — Sabres’ rookie defenseman Rasmus Dahlin’s presence makes training camp crowds swell to more than 1,000 each day inside HarborCenter in Buffalo. Many fans already sported No. 26 Dahlin jerseys, which sell for more than $200 each.
30 — The legendary Lockport Rugby Club has fallen on hard times recently and is looking to get a new crop of players in the mix. “Our numbers are typically cyclical, but more recently we’re losing more bodies than we’re gaining, so we’re trying to do some recruiting,” says former player and now coach Mark Davis.