Rodriguez wins hardware
The 2006 football season continues to get better for Gil Rodriguez of Frontier.
Rodriguez was selected Wednesday as the winner of the Trench Trophy, which goes to the top lineman in Western New York. The presentation was made at the Lancaster Elks Lodge.
Rodriguez, a 250-pounder, was part of a Frontier team that made a breakthrough in his senior year. He suffered through two losing seasons with the Falcons before they finished 5-3 in 2006.
"He plays both ways, whistle to whistle," said Phil Rizzi, co-chairman of the selection committee. "He's known for his pancake blocks. He hustles and enjoys blocking."
The other finalists were: Mike Appenheimer (Maryvale), Andy Apperson (Maple Grove), Anthony Benson (Grover Cleveland), Carlton Byrum (Depew), Joe Depalma (Silver Creek), Abdullah Hadi (Lackawanna), Nick Kakavand (Iroquois), Chris Skubis (Clarence) and Harrison Steinwald (St. Joe's).
Beck closes within one
The countdown is about over for Lancaster wrestling coach Dennis Beck, who is closing in on the Western New York record for victories.
No. 333 -- one short of the mark -- came against a good West Seneca West team. The Redskins recorded a 41-15 victory in the match.
Billy Ellis (135) of Lancaster defeated Aaron Crowley, 6-2. Teammate Keith Stoerr (171) downed Alex Petrusek, 8-2, while the Redskins' Nick Lopez (heavyweight) pinned Sean Painter.
Beck can match former Niagara-Wheatfield coach Armand Cacciatore's record Wednesday when the Redskins host Sweet Home.
Brown takes charge
With the Hutch-Tech boys basketball team clinging to a 25-22 halftime lead over Akron, it was time for Ahmed Brown of the Engineers to get to work.
Brown did exactly that, as he scored 15 of his 24 points in the third quarter. His Hutch-Tech teammates chipped in with five more points as part of a 20-8 burst in the eight-minute span. That was enough to propel the Engineers to a 65-37 win.
Elsewhere, CCIAC I power Fredonia dropped a 51-44 decision to Lake Shore. Jake Fladd had 23 points and six steals for Lake Shore, and he added three free throws in the fourth quarter.
Henderson too much
Final score: Shayne Henderson 22, da Vinci 21.
Henderson was all Grover needed in a victory over da Vinci. However, three other teammates chipped in with some points to give the Presidents a 35-21 win in their girls basketball season opener.
"Henderson was in charge," said Grover coach Telly Forcucci. "She's our go-to-girl, our team captain."
The Monsignor Martin-ECIC Challenge in boys basketball opens tonight at St. Mary's of Lancaster. The doubleheader starts at 6:30 with an excellent opener: Niagara Catholic and Depew are both ranked (NC is No. 4 among small schools; Depew is ninth in the large school poll). Canisius and Lancaster will follow in Game Two.