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Canisius and South Park are off and rolling again. Niagara Wheatfield, which suffered through a 3-6 season last season, put on an offensive show against North Tonawanda on the first Saturday of the Western New York high school football season. Nonleague Canisius 42, Maritime/Health Sciences 14: Newcomer Christian Veilleux hit Jason Martin for a 63-yard bomb in the first …

High Schools

Emotion is a powerful motivator in football. Especially when a team is determined to honor a loved one. That’s Niagara Wheatfield’s goal this season, to pay tribute to Mike Ziegler by playing for him and winning for him. Ziegler, a three-sport athlete at the school, passed away last winter. He had just turned 18. He’s a lad who had been part of a group hoping to l…

High Schools

Top performers -- Jake Ritts completed 31-of-48 passes for a school-record 485 yards and four touchdowns for St. Francis in a road loss at McDowell in Erie, Pa. -- Aaron Chase threw for a Starpoint single-game record 419 yards and four touchdowns in leading the Spartans to victory over Grand Island, 35-7. -- Shaun Dolac threw for a touchdown (54 yards), ran 76 yar…

High Schools

Tristian Vandenberg has witnessed how childhood cancer has affected his 3-year-old cousin. In less than two months since he was diagnosed with childhood cancer, Jack Baer has lost his light brown hair, and he has grown a bit more "puffy," as Tristian described it. Sometimes chemotherapy saps Jack of his energy, and he isn't his typical spunky self. Tristian can't wav…

High Schools

Before Aaron Chase is through playing football for Starpoint, coach Al Cavagnaro expects he will have shattered every one of the Spartans’ passing records. Already the career leader in passing yards and touchdowns, the fourth-year starting quarterback pocketed another record in Friday night’s season opener, gouging Grand Island for 419 yards to break the single-game mark …

High Schools

Lackawanna quarterback Jeremiah Caviness didn’t look like a player suiting up for his first varsity game on Friday night. He looked like a Connolly Cup candidate. The senior set single-game school records for yards (372), touchdowns (four) and completions (21) as the Steelers rolled to a season-opening 35-15 nonleague victory against Frontier. “He made all the right …

High Schools

East Aurora’s cross country teams dominated the team competition at the Knox Invitational. The Blue Devils won both the boys and girls events at the 2.5-mile course at Knox State Park Polo Grounds. Eighth grader Megan McLaughlin from East Aurora won the girls event, covering the course in 15:13.26. She beat out her teammate, sophomore Karis Ertel, who finished in 15:46.…

High Schools

The last four meetings between friendly Cheektowaga town rivals Maryvale and Cleveland Hill had come down to the last play of the game, so one could have easily expected another close one Friday night at Maryvale Stadium. Even more so, considering both teams have key personnel back who helped each go on lengthy playoff runs in 2017. That trend didn’t just get bucked.…

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The rain was coming down hard Wednesday and Iroquois' girls varsity soccer players were getting nervous. Their first game of the season against Cheektowaga looked like it was going to get canceled. It wasn't just any game. It was to be their first since one of their beloved teammates, Rachel LoFaso, died at the age of 16 in a car accident in January that devastated h…

High Schools

Devils win battle of champs Taha Ahmed scored in the sixth minute and Ross Showalter in the 46th as the defending Class AA boys soccer champion Clarence defeated Monsignor Martin champion St. Joe’s, 2-1, in the final of the Clarence Tournament. The Marauders’ main rival, Canisius, kicked off its season and Monsignor Martin slate with a 3-0 home victory against Bishop…

High Schools

How beloved is the local weatherman? Some viewers were concerned and wondered where Spectrum News' weekday morning meteorologist Dan Russell was during a recent two-week stretch in which he wasn't on the air. Russell reassured those who inquired via social media that there's no cause for alarm. He's still doing Weather on the Ones and would return. He did earlier thi…

Nichols and Nardin, the top two teams in the Monsignor Martin girls soccer A League last season will face each other in a nonleague game today in the Clarence Tournament. It should be a good one. The schools met three times last season, a 0-0 draw, a 5-4 overtime victory for Nichols and a 2-0 triumph in the Monsignor Martin playoffs for the Vikings. "We're very young this…

High Schools

In the  final minutes of the first half of a 1-0 win against Williamsville North, Frontier goalie Nathan Hohl made a daring decision. He sprinted from the goal crease to challenge forward Dario Tringali, and covered the ball, taking away a potential scoring opportunity. It was especially daring when you consider that Hohl did so against a player a few years older tha…

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Paul Gagliardi and Pat Dempsey have already experienced one golden anniversary. They have been married to their brides, Cindy and Carol, 56 and 53 years, respectively. Gagliardi and Dempsey are about to experience another golden moment. They begin their 50th season as high school football officials on opening night. Gagliardi, 77, and Dempsey, 76, are the longest-ten…