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Sidelines (April 23): Coaches softball and baseball polls along with news & notes

WNY Coaches Polls

As compiled by area coaches

Softball poll

Large school                                             Pts

1 Lancaster (5)        91

2 Williamsville North (2) 87

3 Orchard Park (2) 85

4 Williamsville East (1)     70

5 Williamsville South        44

6 Niagara Wheatfield        42

7 West Seneca East           37

8 Clarence    29

9 Frontier     18

10 Lew Port*           11

10 Sacred Heart*   11

Others receiving votes: Amherst (10), Kenmore West (9), Hamburg (5), Grand Island (1), Niagara Falls (1).

Small Schools (No point totals provided)

1 Eden

2 Cleveland Hill

3 Fredonia

4 RoyHart

5 Medina

6 Dunkirk

7 Olean

8 Alden

9 Franklinville

10 Chautauqua Lake

Baseball poll

Large schools                                          Pts

1 Clarence (4)          67

2 Lancaster (3)        66

3 Williamsville East           49

4 Canisius     46

5 St. Joe’s     43

6 Williamsville South        32

7 Grand Island         31

8 St. Francis 19

9 Kenmore West    17

10 Niagara Falls*    4

10 Maryvale*          4

* indicates tie in points

Others receiving votes: Williamsville North, Orchard Park,  Sweet Home, Lew Port.

Fischer takes over Ch. Lake

Curt Fischer is back and he’s taking control of a program he’s familiar with in Chautauqua Lake.

The veteran football coach and Chautauqua County Athletics Hall of Famer was appointed to the post last week by the school board. He takes over for Rich Morton, who moves to modified after guiding C-Lake to a 4-6 mark.

Fischer guided Maple Grove to two state titles in four championship-game appearances and nine Section VI titles. He stepped down in January as football and basketball coach at Maple Grove. Shortly after the decision, Fischer’s son Zach transferred from Maple Grove to Chautauqua Lake.

In football, Fischer amassed a 221-45 record at Maple Grove. Some of those wins, though, came when Maple Grove and Chautauqua Lake were a merged outfit from 2013-15.  Maple Grove/CL won back-to-back Class C Section VI titles in 2014-15 before going their separate ways again.

Chautauqua Lake will be merged this season with Westfield.

Fischer also coached boys basketball at Maple Grove and coached softball and baseball during his long affiliation with the school.

Sunday fun day

It was a nice day to play sports Sunday.

With the New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association recently announcing that it’s waived the “seven consecutive day” rule for the remainder of the spring, area teams were allowed to take advantage of it, whether it was practice or playing some make-up games.

The state made the call to waive the rule that prohibited teams from playing seven straight days due to the wet/dreadful weather that has drenched the state this month.

Orchard Park baseball crushed Depew, 12-2, as Tom Evans finished with a single, double and home run for the Quakers. Jake Gawronski and Ryne Deitz had two hits each.

In the Monsignor Martin High School Athletic Association, Canisius swept a doubleheader from Bishop Timon-St. Jude, 7-0 and 11-2.

Coming attractions

Althought there is some wet weather in the forecast for the week, Today is supposed to be sunny with temperatures in the mid-60s. There are some dandy games on the docket.

* In baseball, one of the best rivalries in the area resumes as defending Section VI Class AA champion Clarence visits Lancaster in an ECIC I clash between the top two ranked teams in the Western New York Coaches’ poll.

That’s not the only rivalry game on deck for today as Class A-1 champion Williamsville South hosts Williamsville East in a rematch of last year’s final. In CCAA West 1, defending Class B champion Fredonia hosts neighbor and rival Dunkirk.

On Wednesday, Lancaster has another tough one as it visits perennial contender Orchard Park. On Thursday, Wilson hosts Newfane in a clash of Niagara-Orleans League rivals.

* In softball, clashes between Southtowns and Northtowns rivals are on the docket for today. Frontier hosts Orchard Park in an ECIC I clash between Southtowns neighbors. Defending Section VI Class A champion Williamsville East visits league and village rival Williamsville South. In CCAA East I, Ellicottville makes the short trek to face old friend Franklinville. On Tuesday, Orchard Park hosts Clarence in the first of back-to-back ECIC I contests between contenders. On Wednesday, OP then welcomes Lancaster into its lair.

* In boys lacrosse, one of the biggest games of the season is marked down for Thursday at St. Joe’s as the Marauders host rival Canisius. Before the Crusaders can focus on St. Joe’s, they have another tough one on tap as they hosts St. Francis on Tuesday. Orchard Park has a stiff nonleague test on its schedule for Saturday as perennial Section V contender Canandaigua visits at 3 p.m.

* In girls lacrosse, Orchard Park hosts Hamburg in a Class A vs. Class B clash today. Mount St. Mary hosts Sacred Heart on Wednesday in a battle between Monsignor Martin foes.

* In track and field, Friday and Saturday offer a variety of options. The West Seneca West Early Bird Meet is at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. The Depew Relays are also on tap for Saturday. Allegany'/Limestone and Dunkirk host meets on Friday.

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