Local Sports

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Seybold honored Lucky Lanes Junior Bowlers

Lucky Lanes Junior Bowlers held a special event on March 18, as “Priscilla Seybold Day” was celebrated. Seybold has been very involved with the youth bowling program at Lucky Lanes for more than 40 years. She also helped run the Grape Belt USBC Youth Association as secretary for close to 30 ...

Fredonia senior guard Alexis  Cheatham was named to the All-Region team recently.

Cheatham garners post-season honors

Fredonia women's basketball guard Alexis Cheatham, a senior, was named to the All-Region Team. She was Third Team East Region, her second post-season award this year. She was previously named First Team All SUNYAC. Cheatham averaged 16.9 points per game — tops in the SUNYAC. ...

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Pictured is an artist’s rendering of Austin Hill’s No. 2 truck, which he drives in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The truck is sponsored by Portland native Matt Jacques’ company Victory Wear.

Matt Jacques, Portland native, sponsoring NASCAR truck

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Officials with Austin Hill and Young’s Motorsports announced on Friday, March 17, that Victory Wear, a division of Victory First, has partnered with the No. 02 Ford F-150 team for the remainder of the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season. Victory Wear ...

One more game

The annual Chautauqua County Exceptional Senior All-Star games will be played this Wednesday at Fredonia Central School. The girls will play at 6 p.m. and the boys will play at 8 p.m. Pictured above are members of the girls Blue Team. They are, in front from left to right: Sydney Burke ...

Seniors ready to shine

Photos by Scott Reagle The annual Chautauqua County Exceptional Senior All-Star games will be played this Wednesday at Fredonia Central School. The girls will play at 6 p.m. and the boys will play at 8 p.m. Pictured are participants of the boys game. Above is the Red (North) Team. They ...

Pine Valley’s Zoe Nelson (24) guards Cassadaga Valley’s Kelly Butcher during a non-league girls basketball game earlier this season. Nelson was named to the CCAA East 2 First Team recently by coaches in the divisions.

Pine Valley’s Zoe Nelson earns First-Team honors

The Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association East 2 girls basketball all-star teams were announced recently by coaches within the division. Franklinville freshman sharpshooter Danielle Haskell was named the Player of the Year while her coach, Allan Dunlap, earned Coach of the Year ...

Beat the champ

Jenna Lipka, left, and Elliott Pohlman, right, compete during “Beat the Champs” “High School Challenge” on Sunday at Lucky Lanes, in Fredonia

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Fredonia diver Arron Carlson, right, receives his award for earning All-American status during the NCAA Division III 1-meter diving event in Shenandoha, Texas, on Thursday. Carlson competed in the 3-meter event on Saturday and finished third.

All-American honors

Special to the OBSERVER SHENANDOAH, Texas — The end of Fredonia’s winter sports season turned out to be a successful one. Blue Devil senior diver Arron Carlson finished third in men’s 3-meter springboard diving Saturday night at the NCAA Division III. The top-eight finish resulted in ...

The Department of Environmental Conservation recently announced that 2016 is the safest year on record for New York Hunters. That statistic is pretty amazing considering that close to 500,000 licensed hunters spent an estimated 10 to 15 million days afield. There were, however, four fatalities. 
Across the entire state, New York had only 13 hunting-related shooting incidents, which is the lowest number on record since the DEC began compiling hunting/shooting statistics in 1958. DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos attributes the safety record due to the Sportsmans Education Program and the efforts of over 3,000 volunteer instructors that teach the hunters’ safety courses every year. 
Of the 13 hunting/shooting incidents that occurred in 2016, seven incidents were self-inflicted and six incidents involved more than one person. In 2015, there were 23 incidents. Back in 1966 there were 166 incidents and 13 were fatal.  Despite the low numbers in 2016, there were two, two-party incidents and two self-inflicted incidents that resulted in fatalities. The 2016 report indicated that eight of the people involved in multi-party incidents were NOT wearing hunter orange. 
Note that the DEC’s Sportsman Education Program is mandatory for all hunters. The program began in 1949 and has significantly reduced the number of accidents. In 2016 the DEC instituted new course home work requirements for ALL hunter and trapper education courses. Students are now required to review course materials and complete homework prior to attending classroom and field sessions. Note that these courses provided by DEC volunteers are all free of charge. One final comment. Only incidents involving firearms, bows, and cross bows are included in the annual report. Incidents that involve falls from tree stands or hunter health related issues are not included. All related shooting incidents are investigated by the DEC’s Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs). 
Cassadaga resident Rich Lazarczyk was recently awarded at the Erie County Sportsmen Federation banquet. His recognition award was presented by the Erie County Trappers Association  as the “Trapper of the Year!” This award goes to members who have shown dedication to the heritage of the sport of trapping and have been active participants in all the associations activities. Lazarczyk was also given a Life membership to the Erie County Trappers Association. Note that both Rich Lazarczyk and Gary Dudek have won this award and have been recognized for their achievements in  both Erie and Chautauqua Counties. Congratulations!  
The WNY Heroes. Inc. presents Monster Whitetail event, Guns & XBows. There will be a main event on Saturday, April 22 held at the Knights of Columbus in Cheektowaga. The event will feature 60 outdoors-themed prizes. There will also be two pre-events including one held on April 1 at the American Legion in Cassadaga, with the doors opening at 4:30 p.m. Your admission ticket will include food drinks and automatic entry into the April 22 event. You do not have to be present to win. Sponsoring the Cassadaga event are Jay Hattaway and Troy Forbes. The pre-purchase of one ticket for $40 allows you to attend all three events. Go to, or call Ken at 818-8075 or log on to for more information. The other pre-event is on April 8 at Hidden Valley Animal Adventures, Royce Road, Varysburg N.Y.
A  preview of coming activities at the Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club include: April 8, Rimfire spinner target shoot; May 3, 3-D archery; May 7, 3-D archery shoot; and May 20, Rimfire spinner target shoot. Registration for archery events are from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. and gun events are from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. All events are open to the public. For more information, contact Rod Becker at 485-2773. The Bear lake Rod & Gun Club is located at 4391 Cassadaga-Stockton Road, Stockton.   
There will be a pistol permit course offered at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on Wednesday, March 22, from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. There is a mandatory $75 fee for this course. Call Gary at 366-3397 for information.
The Eastern Lake Erie Charter Boat Association will conduct a meeting on Friday, April 7 at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club located at Mullet Street in Dunkirk. Agenda will include the Dunkirk Air Show on July 1 & 2, Boats for the 2017 VIP day on August 09, Canadian Border water Issues, and more. The meeting starts at 7 p.m.
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to 
 There will be a hunter safety training course at the Con Club on April 19-20 from 5-10 p.m. Two-day attendance is mandatory. Register with the DEC online starting on March 10. There will also be a hunter safety course at the Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club on April 4-5 from 6-10 p.m. Two-day attendance is mandatory. The hunter safety courses are free. 
There will be gun shows coming up at the following areas: 
Harborcreek, Pennsylvania, at the Harbor Creek Fire Department Social Hall, located at 7275 Buffalo Road, US Route 20 (located between North East Pa., and Harborcreek). Dates are March 18-19  from 9 a.m. until 4p.m. and 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., respectively. 
 Ashtabula County Sportsmen’s Gun Show at Saybrook Banquet Centre, located at 3116 North Bend Road (off Route 20) Ashtabula, Ohio, 44004. Dates are Saturday, April 22, and Sunday, April 23, from 9 a.m. until 4.m. and 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., respectively. For more information on any of the shows, contact Larry Spicer at 792-9972, visit, or write to Larry Spicer at P.O. Box 294, North East, Pa. 16428.
If your club or organization is holding a hunter safety training/trapping course or a turkey shoot or other outdoors event and would like to see it posted in the calendar, send information to the OBSERVER, 10 East Second St., Dunkirk, N.Y. 14048 or call the Sports Dept. at 366-3000 ext. 5 after 6 p.m.   
Note: If you have a big-game fishing or trapping success story you would like to share, call 366-1772, or 467-2079 and leave a name, phone number and a time you can be reached. You can also call 366-3000 after 5 p.m. at ext. 5.

Last year was safest on record according to DEC

The Department of Environmental Conservation recently announced that 2016 is the safest year on record for New York Hunters. That statistic is pretty amazing considering that close to 500,000 licensed hunters spent an estimated 10 to 15 million days afield. There were, however, four fatalities. ...

Blue Devils’ baseball drops pair to SUNY Oswego

CHAIN OF LAKES, Fla. — The Fredonia baseball team opened its SUNYAC season with 4-1 and 4-2 losses to No. 16 Oswego on Friday. In Game 1, Steve Zaprowski had a pair of hits and the Blue Devils’ lone RBI. Starting pitcher Jake Harford scattered seven hits over six innings, allowing all ...

Magical run comes to end

TROY — Fredonia traveled to Troy with big dreams after winning the first Far West Regional banner in school history. But a poor first half proved too much to overcome as the Lady Hillbillies fell to Irvington, 69-57, in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class B ...

Price’s best game yet not enough in the end

TROY — Katie Price had the game of her life Friday afternoon. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to get Fredonia past Irvington in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class B semifinals. Price scored a career-high 29 points, including 20 in the third quarter alone, to ...

OBSERVER File Photo: Pictured are the Fredonia Lady Hillbillies after earning a trip to the Far West Regional. Today, at 11:45 a.m. in Troy, Fredonia battles for a spot in the Class B final.

Fredonia takes on Irvington in Class B final four today in Troy

The Fredonia Lady Hillbillies (20-6) take on the Irvington Blue Devils (24-1) in the New York State Public High School Athletic Associaiton’s Class B final four today at 11:45 a.m. “I think the girls are still floating around a little, but it’s starting to sink in,” Fredonia head ...

Submitted Photo: Senior Khee Nance (Dunkirk), pictured above, had two hits Thursday and raised her team-leading batting average to .396.

Blue Devils end Florida trip with Thursday split

CLERMONT, Fla. — Fredonia rallied Thursday morning for a 9-7 women’s softball win over Fairleigh Dickinson-Florham on the Blue Devils’ final day at The Spring Games. A two-run homer by senior Erin Mushtare triggered a three-run sixth and a two-run triple by senior Sarah Cuillo capped a ...

Maybe one last chance for ice fishing ahead

The month of March is still showing its fierce nature with frigid temperatures and incessant wind. What was interesting was watching the news reports of the storm that covered the entire state, and the reaction of residents in different locations. As expected, most local residents took it in ...

Beat The Champ finalists set for TV 

Lucky Lanes hosted the qualifier for the “Beat The Champ” television show on WBBZ-TV this past weekend. Out of the 161 entries, the field was narrowed down to the top 24 scores. From there, the top nine moved onto the finals, which will be held Sunday, March 26 and be televised on ...

Frontale strikes again for Fredonia baseball

AUBURNDALE, Fla. — Ciro Frontale’s game-winning RBI single in the eighth inning on Wednesday evening lifted Fredonia over RIT, 3-2. It was the senior second baseman’s third game-winning RBI in two days. Frontale also made a fine defensive play in the final inning. He smothered a bad ...

Blue Devils push ranked Valiants in 2-1 loss

LEESBURG, Fla. — Fredonia came one out away of upsetting nationally ranked Manhattanville during The Spring Games on Tuesday morning at Sleepy Hollow Athletic Complex. With Fredonia leading 1-0 and two outs in the last of the seventh inning, Manhattanville’s Brittany Deieso dropped a bunt ...

Fredonia’s Zoya Katta (14), who is nursing a twisted ankle, benefitted from the unexpected day off Fredonia had Tuesday when Governor Andrew Cuomo put New York in a state of emergency ahead of a winter storm.

Havoc wreaked

Practice make perfect. Coaches have been spouting that old coaching axiom for as long sports have been played. On Tuesday, however, very few, if any of the remaining teams or athletes still competing in a winter sport were able to do much of anything due to the fact that March has decided ...