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The Section VI Football Federation is studying a merger with the Msgr. Martin Association that could begin next season.

The seven Catholic and private schools that play football -- Canisius, St. Joe's, St. Francis, Timon, O'Hara, St. Mary's of Lancaster and Turner/Carroll -- long have stated their wishes to join Section VI for football, in part to help ease scheduling difficulties.

Jerry Stockman, director of the Msgr. Martin Association, requested such a merger in a letter to Section VI football chairman Chuck Funke Jan. 30. In response, the football federation has sent inquiries to all Section VI schools, requesting their stances on the matter.

"At this time, we're simply in an information-gathering procedure," said Silver Creek Athletic Director Archie Bradley, who has been collecting the responses from Section VI schools. "After our next football federation meeting (in early January), we'll be forwarding schools' preferences and concerns to the Section VI Athletic Council."

Bradley, the Division VIII chairman, said an official vote can be undertaken only at the direction of the athletic council. In any event, a decision will need to be reached by the spring to facilitate any realignment of divisions and to devise the 1991 schedule.

"It (combining the Msgr. Martin Association and public schools) is being done now in hockey," Stockman said in reference to the WNY Varsity Federation, which opened last week. "We'd like to think the next move is football. It would alleviate a lot of problems for a lot of people."

Pastor cage tournament opens tonight

Twelve schools will participate in this week's Al Pastor Memorial Basketball Tournament, with the four girls teams opening play tonight.

There is no admission charge for any games of the week-long event, which culminates in championship contests Saturday at Memorial Auditorium.

All preliminary and consolation-round games will be held at Buffalo State's Houston Gym.

In tonight's girls games, defending champion Mt. Mercy meets O'Hara at 6:30, with Villa Maria playing Lafayette at 8.

Wednesday's boys double-header matches St. Francis and Burgard at 6:30 and Turner/Carroll and Grover Cleveland at 8.

Thursday night, Timon plays Buffalo Arts at 6:30. That game will be followed by a meeting of defending Section VI champions, Class B-2 winner Lackawanna and Class C champion Traditional, in what promises to be the best game of the early rounds.

The girls consolation game is Friday at 6 p.m., with boys consolations at 7:30 and 9:15. Saturday's championship schedule has the girls final at 11 a.m. In boys play, the St. Francis-Burgard winner meets the Timon-Buffalo Arts winner at 1, and the Grover-Turner/Carroll winner meets the Traditional-Lackawanna winner at 3.

The tournament's primary sponsors are the Pepsi-Cola Buffalo Bottling Corporation and the city's Division for Youth.

Three tied for hockey lead at 2-0

Timon, St. Joe's and Williamsville North emerged with 2-0 records after the first week of study
play in the Western New York Varsity Hockey Federation.

Perhaps the bigger news was that there were several hundred fans at two rinks attending Thursday's opening night of play and no major penalties in eight games.

"There were no real bugs, the crowds were good and the play was clean," said John Mickler, league secretary and director of amateur hockey development for the Buffalo Sabres. "We were very pleased."

One of the better games was Saturday night when St. Joe's beat St. Francis, 4-2, as Ken Kwasniewski snapped a 2-2 tie on a goal with 2:04 left and added an empty-netter with 12 seconds left.

Kwasniewski has seven goals and eight points, both league highs.

He scored four in an 8-1 opening-night win over Canisius.

Timon got six goals from Rodney Ratajczyk and four from Pat McMahon in wins over Williamsville South and Amherst. Williamsville North held off Amherst, 7-6, behind three goals and three assists from Jamie Cosentino, and beat Williamsville East, 5-3, as Steve Acquilino added a pair of goals.

Canisius rebounded from its loss to rout Williamsville South, 9-0, behind two goals and four assists from Norm Greene and four-point performances by Chris Meszaros and John Licata.

A battle of unbeatens takes place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Audubon when Timon meets Williamsville North.

Bulletin board

The Kensington boys basketball team needs opponents for scrimmages and/or non-league games. Contact coach Bob Mitchel at 833-3416.

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