Jul 11, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
After a series of woes, the Empire State Games have returned in 2010, set to go again next week in the Buffalo area.
From the July 21 opening ceremonies until July 25, thousands of athletes from six regions — Central, Western, Adirondack, Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island — will vie for medals in more than 20 spots.
That includes a large and diverse contingent of local athletes, many of whom will be spotlighted. Here is the rundown:
Baseball – Two great pitchers are expected to lead the Central scholastic squad. Kevin McAvoy (Westhill) is fresh off leading the Warriors to its second consecutive state Class B title, and Bishop Ludden’s Matt Pirro joins him in games at Amherst’s Audubon Complex and Erie Community College. Marcellus star Phil Zdanowski adds depth to Central’s batting order.
Basketball – On the Central scholastic women’s team that will play at Niagara University, Molly Hourigan (Jordan-Elbridge) brings a dominant inside presence and Ashley Cianfriglia (Bishop Ludden) looks to hit 3-pointers.
Ludden grad Molly Byrne joins Westhill great Carlee Cassidy on the open women’s team, while Solvay’s Dan Aiello made the Central scholastic men’s side that will play at Canisius College.
Lacrosse – As a sign of Jordan-Elbridge’s ascendance on the girls side, four of its players — Carrie-Jo Farrugia, Kelsey Richardson, Ella Thorpe and Amanda Wheeler — made the Central women’s scholastic squad to play at Niagara University, as did Marcellus star Nora Barry.
Over at Canisius, where the men’s competition will take place, West Genesee’s Dylan Donahue is a key player on the Central attack. Marcellus coach Jim Morrissey leads the squad.
Swimming – West Genesee’s outstanding boys swim team includes Ben Seketa and Carson Elias, both of whom are ESG-bound. Seketa is swimming in the 200 individual medley, plus the 100 and 200 breaststroke, while Elias goes in the 100 freestyle.
WG’s Kim Pedrotti also will swim up to three times — in the 200 breaststroke, plus the 800 and 1,500 freestyle — at Erie Community College’s Burt Flickinger Center in downtown Buffalo, often used in the past for state championship meets, boys and girls.
Diving – Meaghan Shea is back in the Empire State Games, diving in both the one and three-meter springboard events at University at Buffalo’s Alumni Arena, while Westhill/Corcoran standout Imani Williams hits the same events on the scholastic side.
Ice Hockey – Shawn Lynch, a key part of West Genesee’s state championship ice hockey team last winter, plays on the Central scholastic men’s side, with Marissa McNamara on the women’s team. All hockey games are at the Amherst Audubon Ice Facility.
Wrestling – In the ESG meet at Buffalo State College’s Ice Arena, WG graduate Jason Heggelke joins one-time Marcellus mat stars Vito Argese and Pat Cost, while two current Wildcats, Ian Coolican and Tyler Heggelke, go for medals on the scholastic side.
Volleyball – Lauren Fletcher, one of the greatest players in Marcellus girls volleyball history, will bring her spiking skill to the Central open women’s team that will play at UB’s Alumni Arena.
Soccer – Past and current Marcellus girls standouts are to play at the Amherst North French Soccer complex, with Emmy Lou Potter on the Central open women’s team and Jessie Nye on the scholastic side.
Track and Field – Joe Sullivan, from Jordan, returns to the ESG as a competitor in the open men’s javelin at UB Stadium, where current Westhill star Jack Honis is running in the scholastic men’s 400-meter dash.
Shooting – Camillus native Braden Farley heads to the Lockport Conservation Club for the ESG scholastic competition, where he will compete in air rifle and free rifle prone.