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Xzavier Janczylik of St. Francis has been selected as The Buffalo News Football Player of the Week for Week 8. Janczylik amassed more than 300 total yards in offense for the Red Raiders during their 38-27 triumph over Canisius. The triumph secured a bye into the Monsignor Martin High School Athletic Association championship game for St. Francis. Janczylik rushed 30 t…

High Schools

Jake Ritts remembers waiting with anticipation for his father to arrive home from work. The St. Francis High School junior can recall the excitement of seeing his dad walk through the door. Michael’s arrival at home meant that 6-year-old Jake was much closer to being able to indulge his football craving. It was in the family’s driveway where Michael, a former West Se…

Bills

NFL cut-down day was a big day for Western New York football, with a number of players making NFL rosters. Former St. Francis quarterback Jake Dolegala has made the Cincinnati Bengals' 53-man roster as an undrafted free agent. The record-setting quarterback from Central Connecticut State solidified his case to be the Bengals’ third quarterback behind Andy Dalton and R…

High Schools

Tim Maciejewski knows he is near the finish line as a scholastic athlete. He also knows he is that much closer to starting a much more important endeavor. The St. Francis distance runner is fine with wearing his school colors in competition for a final time. For Maciejewski, that could be during the All-Catholic Championship meet at his home track Saturday and Sunday. …

Bills

ELLICOTTVILLE – A parent lives for a day like this. “You’re absolutely right,” Greg Dolegala said, 11 different NFL hats stacked in the corner. His wife, Tia, is wearing a white Central Connecticut State jersey, the name Dolegala printed in blue across the back. Her father, Al Bemiller, who won a national title with Syracuse and played on the Bills’ offensive line fo…

High Schools

With star point guard Noah Hutchins nursing an injured foot back to full strength, his Park School teammates proved they could hold up against a strong local challenge without him. The News’ No. 1-ranked large school stifled fifth-ranked St. Francis in a 47-34 victory on Thursday night in Athol Springs. Park parlayed a methodical offensive approach with disciplined defens…

High Schools

Crosstown rivals took a trip downtown Monday for a quintuple-header of Western New York Varsity Hockey Federation games at HarborCenter. “It was really great to have all these games here during the entire day, a lot of entertainment, a lot of fun,” St. Joe’s senior William Redding said after scoring the winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Canisius in the final game of the …

High Schools

By Bond Brungard, Special to The News WHITE PLAINS — St. Francis reached the Catholic High School Athletic Association football title game against Archbishop Stepinac and the Red Raiders ran into a state defending champion with no desire to give up any ground on its home turf. St. Francis quarterback Jake Ritts, a sophomore who threw for more than 3,000 yards in his …

High Schools

Who: Canisius Crusaders (5-4) vs. St. Francis Red Raiders (4-6) When: 5 p.m. Saturday Where: UB Stadium Tickets: $10 Audio only: mixlr.com/wnyathletics Rankings: Canisius is ranked No. 5 in the News Large Schools poll. St. Francis is honorable mention in the News poll. Canisius in final: The Crusaders are 6-3 in title games under the current league playof…

High Schools

CJ Ozolins said it was just an “instinct play.” Canisius can call it a game-saving act. St. Francis can point to it as another example of its potential with a reminder of just how difficult it is to win football games. The key play of Saturday’s Canisius versus St. Francis clash serves as a reminder of just how close competitively the three large-school teams in the …

High Schools

Julian Cunningham is on the move again, but instead of bouncing from one Monsignor Martin High School Athletic Association program to another, he is heading to prep school. Cunningham, the second team All-Western New York selection, announced on Twitter he's leaving Bishop Timon-St. Jude to attend Orangeville Prep in Ontario. That is the same prep school team that featu…

High Schools

Jerry Hickson. Mike Radon. Jim Kubiak. They are just three of the many top-notch quarterbacks to have played at St. Francis over the years. It may seem a wee bit early to add Jake Ritts' name to the list, especially after just three career varsity starts. The sophomore, however, appears to be on course toward doing just that. He's already become the answer to the …

High Schools

Canisius | St. Francis | St. Joseph Canisius Crusaders (8-4) Coach: Rich Robbins, eighth season Home field: Stransky Complex Program founded: 1913 Outlook: The Crusaders have won five of the last six league titles. The reigning state Catholic runner-up graduated a lot, but the cupboard isn’t bare. Seniors Joe Jamison and Joel Nicholas are fast but physical r…

High Schools

Brett Hilton's path toward earning more playing time as a junior for St. Francis came at the expense of St. Joe's. During that regular-season victory, Hilton's pinch-hit, two-run homer proved to be the game-winner. It also proved to be the shot that put him in position not just for more playing time but also in a spot to deliver quite possibly the biggest hit of his car…

High Schools

Lucas Beyer had about three minutes to celebrate a rare trifecta before his feeling of accomplishment deflated into dejection. The Canisius sophomore was trying to become the first runner since 2000 to sweep the 800 meters, one-mile and two-mile races at the All-Catholic Track and Field Championships, and the only underclassman in Monsignor Martin High School Athletic Ass…