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MOORE LANDS NFL/BILLS COACH OF YEAR AWARD

It's about preparation.

Bill Moore's ability to get his team ready for the challenges of a 13-game season, and all the success he had along the way, helped the Lackawanna football coach earn The NFL/Buffalo Bills Coach of the Year award for the second straight year.

Moore was presented a plaque, and the $1,000 award that accompanies the honor, during the 13th annual Western New York High School football banquet earlier this month.

Lackawanna reached the New York State Class B title game before losing to Harrison of Section I, 28-26, at Syracuse University's Carrier Dome. The loss snapped the Steelers' 37-game winning streak.

"If you're in a situation where you're at home or in school or on the football field -- if you've prepared and try your best, there's no reason to hang your head," Moore said. "Our job was to get them prepared, and I think we did that."

In six seasons since taking over from the legendary Bill Pukalo, Moore has a 58-8 career coaching record, which includes the 1997 and 1998 state titles.

Moore said he'll use the $1,000 toward the purchase of equipment and matching team socks if there's anything left over. "It's a gratifying award, but it's more team oriented and staff oriented," he said. "It's real good for us. When our budget doesn't pass, I can use that money to purchase equipment, that's the big thing."

Other coaching finalists were: Tom Goddard (Clarence), Pat Braunscheidel (West Seneca East), Mike Capen (Newfane), Gene Tundo (Orchard Park), Larry Slanovich (Pioneer), Paul Fitzpatrick (Timon/St. Jude), Bill Johnson (McKinley), Len Jankiewicz (Lancaster) and Dan Troy (Canisius).

-- MARY JO MONNIN

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