Kenmore East forfeits grid opener
Ken-Ton Athletic Director Brett Banker announced Wednesday Kenmore East will forfeit its season-opening game at Grand Island on Friday night due to lack of players.
Apparently, a rash of injuries during the past two-plus weeks of practices have left the Bulldogs with only 12 players deemed healthy enough to play. The state requires its football teams have at least 16 players available on game day.
The varsity team only has about 20 players on its roster, according to first-year coach Pat Veltri. While the numbers at junior varsity and modified are in excess of 30 players on each team, the district said it doesn’t believe the candidates they have on the junior varsity team are ready to play at the varsity level.
“This action is extreme but after several meetings with our coaching staff, the Kenmore East administration and medical team, we do not feel it is in the best interest of student safety that we compete Friday,” said Banker. “We feel terrible for our athletes, coaches, our school, Grand Island’s players and coaches and every other competitor in the A Division North. This decision was certainly not made without first examining every option available to us. We discussed the issues with the Football Federation and Section. I credit the Grand Island staff for being understanding, ethical and professional even though they are very disappointed as is Kenmore East.”
Banker said Ken East is committed to playing the rest of its schedule.
Grand Island will be granted a win.
Clarence girls start with a win
Clarence defeated Orchard Park, 6-0, in ECIC I girls soccer, taking the lead early when Lauren Cullinan scored in the fourth minute with an assist from Sydney Cerza. Meghan Boyer set up the next two goals by the Red Devils, serving up a ball for Riley Bowers a minute after Cullinan’s tally, then setting up Anna Davis for a header in the seventh minute. Cerza scored off a throw-in by Amanda Burns and Shannon Carr scored before the first half ended. Bowers had the only second half goal on a long kick.
Molly Barden and Gabby Keller shared the shutout for the Red Devils, combining for three saves.
Cerza and Carr are returning first-team All-WNY performers for Clarence, which went 20-1 last season with the loss coming in the semifinals of the state public schools championships.
ECIC I rivals Lancaster and Williamsville North also won their openers.
Aubrey Billitier scored three goals and Molly Preston had four assists in Lancaster’s 8-0 rout of Jamestown.
Samantha Diamond scored three times as Williamsville North defeated visiting West Seneca West, 5-2.
In ECIC II, Autumn Terhart scored two goals, Grace Kulniszewski had a goal and assist and Sam Carey picked up two assists for Iroquois in a 3-1 triumph over Lake Shore.
McCaley O’Rourke had the game-winning goal for Nichols (2-1) in a 2-1 nonleague victory over visiting Frontier.
Kaitlyn Paulus and Abigail Andriaccio scored first-half goals for Chautauqua Lake in a 2-0 triumph over Westfield.
Morgan Zlockie scored four times for Ellicottville in a 5-0 triumph over Franklinville. Robin Freaney needed just two saves for the shutout.
I-Prep wins league soccer opener
After playing Canisius to a 1-1 draw on Tuesday, International Prep/Grover opened its D’Youville Cup boys soccer schedule with a 3-1 victory over McKinley Wednesday.
Abdirahman Sabtow, Pa Lu and Sway Mug scored for the Presidents, last year’s state Class D champions.
Ah Lam had the McKinley tally.
Mohammed Bassam and Bawi Thang each had a pair of goals in Lafayette’s 6-0 triumph over Bennett in another Buffalo Public Schools opener.
Burgard edged MST Seneca despite three goals by Mazur Ah of the Bulldogs.
Jacob Duggan, Colin Witman and Nathan Gora had two goals apiece for St. Francis in the Red Raiders’ season-opening 6-1 victory at Eden. Jacob Victor and Thomas Espinosa each had a pair of assists for St. Francis.
Quaker girls win in volleyball
Orchard Park opened ECIC I girls volleyball play, sweeping West Seneca West, 25-14, 25-16 and 25-11. Jaimee Glendenning led the Quakers, with four aces and six kills. Madelyn Rominger had eight kills.
Erica Bradley had 14 digs and Meagan Welsh had four kills and eight digs in Starpoint’s nonleague victory over Wilson in straight sets, 25-14, 25-14, 25-15.
In ECIC I boys volleyball, Lancaster wore down Williamsville North in the fourth set to win its league opener.
Jay Baumann and Kenny Rudz had 14 kills each for the Legends. Lancaster won the fourth set, 25-12, after three close sets.