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High Schools

By Francis Boeck, Special to the News There’s a difference between believing and knowing. The Barker field hockey team relied on believing last season, falling behind by one or two goals before coming back to win multiple times on its run to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association semifinals. This time around, the Raiders know they can win and l…

High Schools

Williamsville East officials on Monday announced that the school's girls varsity soccer team will forfeit the remainder of the 2019 season. Team members and their parents were informed by school officials during a private meeting held Monday evening. The decision comes after an internal investigation found that 13 team members violated the district’s interscholastic …

Local News

When the local chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society was considering a new fundraising concept in 2017, it bounced the idea off of people in Western New York philanthropic circles: How about high school students? "We were kind of told we were crazy," said Michael Crisona, executive director of the society's Western New York chapter. "We were told no student in …

High Schools

SOUTH GLENS FALLS – Clutch two-out hitting from eighth-grader Ella Wesolowski and senior Rachel Steffan have put the nationally ranked and unbeaten Williamsville East softball team in position to secure the perfect ending to what has been a flawless season. The Flames will play for the New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association Class A championship against …

High Schools

It’s no secret the Southern Tier of Section VI has girls basketball talent. Word has spread across the state as Danielle Haskell of Franklinville and Sara Pfeiffer of Olean earned state Player of the Year honors in each’s respective classifications from the New York State Sportswriters Association. For Haskell, it’s the second consecutive the junior has earned Player…

High Schools

In 27 years coaching three seasons at Williamsville East, Chris Durr says he has never seen a collection of talent quite like this. It's not just the Flames' coach who has noticed. Following a 6-0 no-hitter on the road against defending state Class AA champion Victor on April 17, the Flames were ranked No. 1 in Class A in the first New York State Sportswriters Associatio…

High Schools

West Seneca West endured plenty of drama that tested its mettle this season. It’s made the Indians tougher and stronger – all the attributes possessed by a champion. And a boys basketball season that started with West struggling to find itself has once again reached the point in which the Indians are one win away from returning to the New York State Public High Schools …

Gusto

There’s a great piece written by educator, writer and Steam Donkeys leader Buck Quigley on the Sportsmen’s Americana Foundation web site, wherein Quigley recalls the time his former band, the legendary Jacklords, opened for Roy Orbison at Kleinhans Music Hall. I was profoundly touched by Quigley’s recollections of meeting one of his idols and one of 20th century American m…

High Schools

Quinn DeCicco and Kaitlyn Higby provided the finishing touches each’s respective girls soccer team needed Tuesday night to earn spots in the New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association Tournament. DeCicco’s second goal of the game late in the second half broke a 1-1 tie and enabled Amherst to defeat longtime nemesis Williamsville East, 2-1, in the overall Se…

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

Jerry Gasz has coached high school baseball for nearly 50 years and has worked with a lot of talented players, including three who were drafted by major league teams. Of those three players, the Williamsville East skipper says Charlie Mack is the best of the lot. "What sets him apart from the other players I had is I've never had a player who is driven like he is," G…

Bisons and Baseball

Former Williamsville East baseball star Charles Mack has signed his contract with the Minnesota Twins. Mack, chosen in the sixth round, had until Friday's deadline to decide between turning pro or attending college. He had signed to play at Clemson. “They were both wonderful options,” his mom said. “However, once he was drafted by the Twins, the decision was clear.” …

High Schools

It's going to be pretty tough to ignore Iroquois softball from here on out. That's because after years of struggling to attain postseason success, the Chiefs have done nothing but find ways to follow up big wins with triumphs of even more significance this spring. Tuesday night at Williamsville North, the Chiefs secured their biggest win in decades. Behind the clu…

High Schools

Iroquois softball slayed the dragon of Class A-2 on the biggest stage. Chiefs pitcher Brooke Plonka held Lew-Port to two hits, backing Iroquois in a 5-0 victory against the previously undefeated Lancers in the A-2 final at Williamsville North. "There's been many people who kept on asking me, 'Why aren't you guys in the rankings?'" Iroquois head coach Aaron Vanderlip …

High Schools

The baseball remains unmarked with about two dozen others in a white bucket in the Macks' garage in Williamsville. Well, there should be a smudge from Joe Mack's wooden bat, left before it sailed over the right-field fence on the grass field last year at Williamsville North High School. Allan Mack knew his role the moment Joe made contact. He quietly walked past the out…