Athletes of the Week
Boys Varsity Tennis Sophomore Lucas Bush fills the leadership role of Co-Captain and plays in the 1st Singles position for the team. This week, he represented Alden in the ECIC Tournament. In the first round of 32, he beat Lancaster’s player 6-1, 6-0. His next opponent in the Sweet 16 was against West Seneca’s 1st Singles and Lucas played tough the entire match though losing to this top player in WNY. His off-season preparation and continuous improvement over the past 3 seasons has made him unbeatable in Division IV at 1st Singles helped the team achieve their 8-0 Divisional Record to clinch the Division Championship for the 3rd consecutive year. Relentless work ethic, acceptance of criticism, and competitive spirit earn him recognition as this week's Alden High School Male Athlete of the Week.
In the sectional Quarter Finals game against Depew on May 17th, 9th grader Maddy Abbott went 3 for 3 batting 1000. She also had one RBI and a triple. Since being called up to the Varsity team, Abbott has played in five games and batted 500 overall, going 9 for 18. Maddy also hit a homerun out of the park at Depew last week.
Jeremy Jeziorski does not accept second place. Repeatedly through his track and field career, he blazes down the home stretch of the 400m dash to defeat an opponent who built a supposedly insurmountable lead. His effort and drive led to his election by teammates to the captainship. On 5/8, the team faced the East Aurora Blue Devils to determine the division championship. Jeremy knew that his competitor had run a time significantly faster than his own personal record. A challenge drives Jeremy. Not only did he pass his opponent in the last leg on the way to the finish line, he set a school record in the process. Jeremy’s time of 50.25 seconds broke Kevin Jarazewski’s 24-year-old school record by almost a second. The new time is good for second best in all of Western New York’s schools, big and small. Adding to his haul this week, Jeremy also earned a first place medal in the 400m dash out of 16 teams at the Pembroke Invitational on Friday.
Over six days, in which Varsity Softball played six games, Sara Pasternack batted 565 and had an OB% of 720. Sara had four assists on pickoffs from the catcher’s position. She had sixteen RBI's, seven doubles and two triples. Sara is a 4-year starter and a captain on the Varsity Softball team and the leader on the field. She will be catching at RIT next year.
Alex Leigh was selected as a captain in both his junior and senior years on the track and field team. His work ethic and leadership has made him a role model on the team. He not only leads by example but also encourages his teammates to be their best. On 4/28, the team competed at West Seneca against 15 other schools on a rainy, cold April day. Many of these schools were from Division I (large schools). Alex earned 20 points for the Bulldogs by winning both the long jump and triple jump. Alden won the meet with 67 points. Second place finisher and host, West Seneca West, took second with 64 points. Leigh’s huge day helped power the Bulldogs to victory. On Tuesday, 5/1, Leigh was back to leading his team by sweeping the long and triple jump in addition to leading off the winning 4x100m relay team. He helped to earn the team 15 points.
Senior captain Jenna Wlostowski is a four year starter and Captain on the Varsity Softball team. Jenna over the past 3 games helped our team win 2 out of 3 games. On defense Jenna had zero errors and had 6 assists and 1 putout over these 3 games. Jenna has only 2 errors in 11 games this season. On offense Jenna went 4 for 10 and had 3 RBI's. Jenna had a batting average of 400 over the last 3 games and an OB% of 545 too.
Quinn Keller had an outstanding week as the leader of the boys track and field throwing team. On Saturday, April 20th, Quinn finished in first place at the Alexander Invitational among large school shot putters. He followed that up with a 5th place finish in the discus. Keller was also part of the 2nd place 4x100 throwers’ relay. On Tuesday, April 24th, the team competed in its opening division meet against Springville. Keller pulled in eight points for the Bulldogs. He threw his personal record in the shot put of 40’ 2.5” to take first place. In the discus throw, he finished second with a throw of 102’ 9”. Quinn is the definition of a good teammate and a leader. He helps lead practice drills and assists his teammates to achieve their personal bests.
Senior Brittany Jordon is a 4-year starter. Varsity Softball played 5 games, starting Friday against Depew 4/20 (win for Alden) and two games 4/21 Alexander Tourney (wins for Alden over Barker and Alexander) and Monday against JFK 4/23 (win for Alden) and Tuesday against Eden 4/24 (loss for Alden). Alden won 4 out of 5 games & and won the Alexander Tourney. Brittany played exceptionally during these games and is the spark that makes the offense go, with an OB% of 730 and a batting average of 611. Brittany is the lead-off hitter. She scored 17 runs, stole 10 bases and had 8 RBI's Brittany has 3 home runs this season. She was named the MVP of the Alexander Tourney.
Joshua Jeziorski is a competitor. He has been scoring points for the Varsity Track & Field team since he was a freshman. On 4/14, the team competed at Cheektowaga against a handful of other schools hardy enough to handle the below freezing wind chill. Josh provided the highlight of the meet as the anchor for the boys 4x800 meter relay. The relay team of Josh along with Jeremy Jeziorski, Matt Schuh, and David Andrzejewski, took first place in the relay after a hard push by Josh to overtake two runners (including host Cheektowaga) in the last 100 meters. Additionally, Josh teamed up with Alex Leigh to grab first place in the long jump relay. When it came time for the team to vote for captains, Josh (along with his brother Jeremy) were selected in a landslide by their teammates. He is a team-first competitor who pushes himself and his teammates to be their best.
Junior Emma Lux is a second-year Varsity Softball player who is the leader of the outfield (Center Field). After Varsity Softball's first three games of the season last week (April 2nd, 4th and 6th), she led the team in hitting with a 556 batting average. Emma had key hits in all three of these games.
ECIC champion Sean Mahaney went in with the fastest butterfly time and finished 1st over all beating his previous best time. He is seated 1st going into the class C championship. On top of all of that he was also part of the 200 medley relay that brought home a 3rd place patch and he also received a 4th place patch in the 500 free. He is Alden's only swimmer to bring home 3 patches and 1 ribbon from the meet. Not many swimmers bring home the patches as you need to place in the top 4 in each event.
Senior Captain Rachael Kueker recorded the Bulldogs 1st double double of the season Thursday night against division rival Tonawanda, scoring 12 points and collecting 12 rebounds. She also played all 32 minutes of the game as well. Rachael’s hard-working, team-first attitude is not only visible in games but every day in practice too. Rachael’s trademarks are the fact that she is consistent, smart and tough..these make her a role model and valuable asset to this year’s Varsity Girls Basketball team.
Sam Cansdale has been part of the Varsity Boys’ Swim team since the 8th grade. He has now qualified in three relays for sectionals. When our last two league meets were so critical he helped the 200 medley relay improve their time for sectionals and they placed first. He was also part of the 200 free relay that also took first and improved their sectional qualifying time. Individually, Sam won the 50 free swimming (his best time of the season), putting him in the top 10 for the Class C championship. He swam his top 100 free time placing him in the top 7 for the Class C championship. He is a captain who is well liked on the team.
Natalie Jennings had a terrific performance on January 31st, at the Airport Lanes in a match against Cleve-Hill. She had the high game of the match with a 177 and the high set for Alden with a 470. She also bowled a 176 to give her one of her best matches of the season. Her kind nature and good work ethic have made her a valuable asset to the Varsity Girls’ Bowling team. Natalie's average has improved this year by 16 points. She always has a positive attitude and gives it her all.
Alex Rzepka had an amazing week of bowling, culminating on Friday, January 19th. Alex bowled his first ever perfect game and finished the night with a 744 set. He currently leads the division with this high set of 744 and high game of 300. He is a terrific bowler, teammate, and overall person.
Junior post player Emma Diebel was an offensive force this past week leading the Bulldogs in scoring with 16 points against two very tough opponents. After a somewhat slow start due to injury, Emma has elevated her play recently to become a threat offensively and on the glass as well. Against Holland, she was given the assignment of defending one of WNY’s premier players and did an admirable job. Emma’s determined play on both ends of the floor has been a key component in the team’s elevated play as of late.
Michael Sheehan, an 8th grader and 2nd year member of the Boys’ Varsity Bowling team, had an unbelievable performance against the Maryvale Flyers on January 18th. Michael bowled a whopping 266 and helped his team win this very exciting match, giving the Flyers their first loss of the season. The match was tied after 3 games and came down to the total pin count. Michael played a huge roll in this outcome.
Cassidy Funk is a four-year member of the Girls’ Varsity Bowling team. Her competitive nature makes her a true asset to the team. This week Cassidy bowled her personal best, twice. She bowled a 204 in a match against Cheektowaga and then a 209 against Maryvale.
Ben Krysczak, at our last meet, improved his Butterfly by 3 seconds qualifying him for Class championship and also improved his Beaststroke time which has also qualified him for Class Championship. In both of these events he is only 2 seconds away from qualifying for sectionals. Ben is also part of the 3 relays that are qualified and going to sectionals this season. Ben never gave up his races last meet, sustaining a superior attitude throughout!
Sydney Skimmer, an 8th grader and 2nd year member of the Girls' Varsity Bowling Team, had her top performance of the season against the Depew Wildcats on January 11th. She bowled a 546 set with games of a 180, 218, and 148. Sydney is a valuable member of the team both with her performances and assistance to her teammates.
This is freshman Tony Cometto's second year with Rifle. He has continually worked hard and has shown great potential as he increased his scores every week. Last week we went against our rivals, the Lancaster Legends, and even though we suffered a loss to them, Tony had a high score for the match of 280 which was his personal best and puts him in the top 4 for the team overall. In addition to being a great athlete, Tony has committed himself to going to GCC and taking college courses, which shows his dedication to both Academics as well as Athletics
Carissa Fisher had one of her top performances at the Tonawanda Bowling Center on January 3rd, against the tough Tonawanda Warriors. Her high games of 201, 168, and 158 were well above her average. Carissa continues to be a valuable contributor to the Lady 'Bowl'dogs. She is a positive role model for others and a terrific teammate.
Andrew Gabalski is a 3rd year member of the Varsity Bowling Team and a valuable contributor in each match. He had a remarkable performance against Depew having the high set on the night with a 684. His games were a 245, 247, and a 192. Andrew helped lead the 'Bowl'dogs to a 6 - 1 victory over the always-tough Wildcats.
Emily Szymanski has been with the rifle team since she was in 8th grade and is now a captain of our team and consistently the top shooter. She has consistently pushed to get better, which is evident as this week she has consistently strived to get a higher score at each match this week, which there were three of. She pushes her self during every practice by staying focused and prepared every day while helping the others on the team do the same. Emily has not only succeeded on the range, but in her schoolwork as well achieving 90’s in most classes. Her work ethic shows by her dedication to become a better student and athlete.
Alex Rzepka is a valuable member of the Alden Varsity Bowling Team. As a captain, he always sets a great example for others and he assists them in improving their game. On December 12th, Alex bowled a 651 set, with a 221, 210, and a 220. His outstanding performance in the match against Depew helped lead the team to its first victory of the season. His devotion and passion for bowling make him a true asset.
Senior Jenna Wlostowski was the Alden girls basketball team’s leading scorer against undefeated Holland last week. A reluctant shooter, Jenna’s scoring was an added bonus to the many unnoticed attributes she brings to this year’s basketball team. Her knowledge of every position on offense and defense combined with her ability to get her teammates in the proper position make her an invaluable asset. Competitive, compassionate, and a natural leader, Jenna’s being selected to captain by her teammates was an obvious choice. Her positive, encouraging attitude sets a great example on how to be a great competitor and teammate.
In Alden’s first invitational at Lockport this season, Sean Mahaney was part of 2 relays which qualified for the sectional meet. He placed the highest individually with a 4th place finish in the 50 Fly. On Tuesday, Sean was a huge part of Alden’s victory against Tonawanda. He had two individual first place finishes in the 100 Fly and the 200 IM. He was also part of two relays which took first place. In his events, he qualified for sectionals in the 100 free, the 100 Fly and qualified for the class meet in his 200 IM. He is one of this season’s captains, and he leads very well by example.
Junior Maddie Gadd came off the bench on Friday, 12/1, to lead the girls Varsity Basketball team in scoring against the Pembroke Dragons with 8 points. Her strong performance earned her a start for the game against Pioneer on Saturday and once again Maddie made her presence felt. She finished second on the team in scoring with 7 points and led the team in rebounding with 6. Maddie’s fine play on both ends of the court for both games of the Alden State Bank Tip Off Tournament earned her a spot on the All-Tourney team. As a first-year Varsity participant, Maddie has been a consistent performer in the early part of the Bulldog season and should only get better as she gains valuable Varsity experience.
Jeremy Jeziorski is a Senior and Captain on the Boys Varsity Soccer Team. He is a dominant goal scorer and leads the division with 20 goals this season. He has scored critical goals in the last 5 games. This week, Jeremy put away goals against Hutch Tech (2), Riverside, Eden (3), and Lewiston Porter. His composure under pressure and dedication to yearlong self-improvement gave Alden the offensive power they needed to finish the season in 2nd place in Division 4. Jeremy’s valuable contributions to the team have earned him recognition as this week's Alden High School Male Athlete of the Week.
Leah Weisbeck is a captain and shows great leadership and motivation for her teammates. She switched from being a flyer for 3 years into being a base for her final year. This was a difficult transition which she willingly accepted and is working at improving in this new role.
Not many teams have a weapon like Christian Snell to move around the gridiron like a chess piece. To help his team stop Newfane’s triple option, Snell lined up as a defensive end this week. After tying for the team lead in tackles with eight, you wouldn’t know that it was his first time playing the position in his school career. Two of those tackles were for a loss and one was a sack.
Offensively, Snell has been the most dangerous receiver in the league. On Saturday, September 30th, his stat line would be the envy of any NFL receiver. He caught nine passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns. Many of these catches were the result of pure athleticism and willpower, jumping up above two or more defenders to grab the ball at its high point.
Snell’s season already sits at fifth on the all-time single season receiving list. With another 211 yards, he will take over the number one spot on the all-time list.
Emma Wlostowski is one of three captains for Alden’s varsity volleyball program which began its season with a 9-1 record. Emma is an outside hitter who is responsible for not only attacking offensively, but defensively she passes the ball the most as well. Emma’s on-court awareness and versatility make her an offensive nightmare to opposing teams because she can attack the ball with power or finesse. Her high skill level of play sets the standards for the rest of the team. Through 11 games, Emma accounted for 101 kills (2nd on team) and 74 digs (team high). Emma is a perfect example of a captain, she always puts the team first, and is willing to help anyone.
Christian Frank is a senior captain on the varsity golf team. He leads by example and is always willing to help out his teammates. This week he led the team to a victory against Tonawanda shooting a 43. He was also the medalist at the match against Amherst with another 43. This helped the team score their lowest of the season….a 284!
This past weekend Sarah Golas won the Victor Invitational. She took 1st out of a field of 50. She was the fastest female of the day. By taking first she put herself and her teammates in a great position to claim the first place TEAM Trophy. She lead the race the entire time and dominated the field.
Justin Evoy is a Junior on the Boys Varsity Soccer Team. He is a dominant goal keeper who coordinates a solid defense in front of him. His composure under pressure and dedication to yearlong self-improvement earned shutouts vs. Akron and Oracle-Maritime to help his team win the Amherst Tournament. Another big shutout vs. Holland is a key reason the team is starting with a 6-2 record. Justin’s valuable contributions to the team have earned him recognition as this week's Alden High School Male Athlete of the Week.
Junior Shelby Kersten is one of the main reasons the varsity volleyball team has started the year with 6 wins and only 1 loss. Shelby is the starting outside/middle of the Bulldogs and is leading the team in kills and blocks. Through 7 games, Shelby has racked up 58 kills and 15 blocks. She is a very versatile player who is playing two positions, depending on the rotation she is in throughout the game. This unique ability shows her thorough knowledge of the game and her true athleticism. In addition, Shelby has been playing club volleyball for the NFVB club for the past two years where she travels on weekends competing with the area’s best talent. She has a very bright future ahead of her.
It was a Don Beebe-Super Bowl XVII type moment. The Roy-Hart runner sprinted down the far sideline. Chasing the kickoff returner from behind for 40+ yards, the Alden quarterback—Bryan Cybulski—caught up, bringing the ball carrier down on the 10-yard line. This type of unrelenting, uncompromising attitude has made Cybulski a leader on the football team. On Thursday, September 7th, Cybulski accumulated five tackles. Offensively, he was the team leader. He ran for 151 yards on nine carries with two touchdowns. He threw for an additional 177 yards and was nine of 14 through the air with another score. When your quarterback physically lays it on the line for his team, every other member of the team plays with an extra sharp edge.
Sara O'Connor is deserving of this week’s Athlete of the Week for leading the team to victories this week in her defensive play. The lady Bulldogs only allowed one goal against in three games. Sara also scored two goals this week and led the team to a victory over Holland when Alden traveled there. The team won three games in a row in a three day stretch!!
Jordan took first place in the high jump on Monday, May 15th at Maryvale and again, on Tuesday, May 16th at Depew. Though he was fighting illness, he ran the longest race on the track (the two mile) and scored a key second place finish for the Bulldogs. Servos has been a four-year member of the track and field team. He has been a mentor to our high jumpers for two years, working with the athletes to solidify a key event for the team. He also willingly jumps at the opportunity to run some of the toughest events, the 3200m run and the steeplechase. Jordan has taken first place in the high jump at every single dual meet this year.
Anne Kocher is a Senior, Captain and 3-year starter. She had 1 of the 2 hits against Depew in the B1 Championship game and played solid defense making 7 big plays. On Offense, Anne had an OB% of 833 tops on the team getting on base 5 out of 7 times. Anne also hit a triple in the Sectional game against City Honors to help Alden's team defeat City Honors for the 3rd year in a row in the Semi Finals.
Boys Varsity Tennis Senior Captains, Everett Gilbert and Dylan Kiener, just capped off their regular season with a win over Tonawanda at 1st Doubles and 5-0 team score. As a pair, the team has not been beat in a divisional match in the past two seasons. Their tremendous effort and consistency has helped earn the Boys Tennis Team back-to-back Divisional Championships. Earlier in the week, they beat Springville in a close two sets (6-4, 70-5) that gave Alden a 5-0 win and beat their Eden opponents (6-2, 6-0). Top notch leadership, acceptance of criticism, and competitive spirit earn them recognition as this week's Alden High School Male Athletes of the Week.
Cookie Altieri set three personal records for the year on her last dual meet of her high school career. High Jump -5'2" which is a state height.
Long jump- 16'0" Tripled Jumped - 33'10". All three events qualified her for the sectional meet. With this performance, Alden was victorious over Depew.
Tom Bednarski, Jr. – Varsity Baseball Pitcher/DH in Monday’s game against East Aurora, Tommy pitched a complete game 2-hitter with 16 strikeouts. He also had two hits. Against Cheektowaga he had 2 hits and 4 RBI. Tommy has had an outstanding season and is one of three team captains.
Junior Captain and two a time division 4 first team All Star, Jenna Wlostowski had a sensational three-game stretch for the Lady Bulldogs Softball Team. Jenna had zero errors on defense over the three games. On offense she helped lead the team to 2 wins out of three games. She had hits in all three games. Jenna batted 555 and had an OB% of 666. She had 6 RBIs over that span and a home run against Cheektowaga. Jenna is a three year starter and a warrior on this team!
TIM PELLITTIERI; SR.; VARSITY BASEBALL
IN TWO GAMES, TIM BATTED .571 ( 4 for 7); SCORES 4 RUNS AND DROVE IN 3 RUNS. DEFENSIVELY, TIM HAS BEEN OUTSTANDING, THROWING OUT 90% OF BASERUNNERS ATTEMPTING TO STEAL. A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF TIMS ATTITUDE AND EFFORT WAS IN THE 7Th INNING OF OUR STARPOINT GAME, AN ERRANT THROW WENT BY THE FIRST BASEMAN AND WITH HIS HUSTLE TIM BACKED UP THE THROW AND THREW THE RUNNER OUT GOING TO SECOND. TIM IS A GREAT LEADER AND ONE OF THREE CAPTAINS OF THE TEAM.
Achievements: Senior Olivia Palizay is being nominated for Athlete of the Week for excellent play on offense and Defense during our 2 wins over Starpoint 7 to 5 and Pioneer 9 to 0. Olivia made 4 catches in Centerfield against Starpoint, 2 were outstanding golden glove plays. Olivia has been our leader in the outfield this season. On Offense Olivia went 3 for 5 during those two games. She had a 600 batting avg. Olivia also had an OB% of 714 during that span. Olivia has helped our team achieve a record of 9 wins and 2 losses on the season because of her experience as a 2 year Varsity Softball Athlete.
Boys Tennis Senior and Captain Timothy Tur is leading the team to a remarkable season. His dominant play at 1st Singles has earned the undefeated team a 7 match win streak. He has beat his opponents in the division: Springville (6-0, 6-1), Cleve Hill (6-0, 6-0), Tonawanda (6-0, 6-0) and JFK (6-0, 6-0). He also took on Clarence’s best player and battled back to win in 3 sets (4-6, 6-1, 6-4) to give the team an impressive win over a tough Division 1 team. Tim’s impressive work ethic, excellent attitude, and desire to help the entire team improve earned him the honor of this week's Alden High School Male Athlete of the Week.
Sara, Captain of the team, led us to a victory over Springville this Tuesday. She led the team in scoring placing 2nd in the 100 meter dash with a personal record of 13:53, 1st in the long jump-personal record with a 16'2.5" which is a qualification jump for sectionals, 1st in the Pole Vault. - Personal record of 10' which qualifies her for the State Meet. She was anchor for the 4x100 relay team that ran 53.01-best time of the year so far.
Bryan Cybulski - Varsity Baseball- Jr.
In two games, Bryan had 5 hits drove in 4 runs and scored 4 runs. He's been asked to play a new position (shortstop) and has done a great job . Bryan is also a captain. Congratulations Bryan!
Brooke Strausbaugh had a batting average of 400 over the 3 games against Newfane , Depew and Cheektowaga. She had key hits in the win over the Warriors.
On the mound Brooke pitched all 3 games over a 5 day period. Brooke struck out 27 batters in the 3 games. Which puts her career total up to 160 K’s. Brooke’s ERA is 1.67 so far this season. She has helped guide the Softball team to a 3 wins and 1 loss on the season thus far. She has pitched all 4 games this season. Congratulations Brooke.
Owen Kissell won the class B championship at 120 last Saturday, 2/4 at Cheektowaga. He won his three matches by pin. He will compete this weekend on 2/11 at the state qualifier tournament at the Salamanca Convention Center.
Ally has been a dedicated member of this team for the past few years, participating in both Fall and Winter seasons. She helps teach her teammates proper stunting techniques and always works her hardest. She has switched positions on the team in order to go where she was needed, and has done so with enthusiasm.
Josh Chester scored a career high 14 points and chipped in a career high 9 rebounds as well. Josh is a senior and one of the leaders on the basketball team. He brings a very high level of intensity, heart and determination to each and every practice and game.
Junior Syd Thompson had a career night on Tuesday against Eden and her team needed every bit of her efforts as they had to go to overtime to earn a 53-51 victory. Syd was the leading scorer with 14 points [she scored 6 of the teams 10 pts. in overtime.]She also led the team in rebounding with 10 [8 on the offensive glass] and an incredible 9 steals [the team had 14]. Syd’s efforts were instrumental in the Bulldogs comeback from a 11 point halftime deficit to pull out a much needed victory. Syd practices hard every day and it translates to success on game days. This season she either is 1st or 2nd in every major statistical category on the team. A 2-year starter and only a junior, Syd unselfish play and tireless work ethic sets her up for many more future successes! Congrats, Syd!
This week’s athlete of the week is Sam Cansdale from the swim team. Sam is a freshman and a sprint swimmer for our team. He bring new drills and strategies to the team to always help us improve. Sam has been a part of three relay teams that has already qualified for the Section VI championship, the 200 Medley relay, 200 free relay and the 400 free relay. Individually he has qualified for the Class C championship in 2 individual races the 50 free with a time of: 24.79, and the 100 free, 54.86. Sam’s two individual times and the 200 free relay qualified for championship meets just during our last meet against Tonawanda. As our swim season comes to an end within these next two weeks, Coach Bennett is proud of Sam’s talents and how they shined the last couple dual meets. As a freshman, Sam will only get better and stronger through his high school years. Nice job Sam and Good luck to the boys swim team as they compete in the three championship meets.
Anne Kocher is a 4 year member and 3 year starter for the girls varsity basketball team. On Monday versus JFK , Anne did what she does best and that is nailing the 3 pointer. She connected on 3 from downtown, giving her 12 on the season, far and away the leader on the team. While her marksmanship from the floor is relied on heavily, her intangibles are just as important to the team. Leadership and competitiveness are qualities she has demonstrated throughout her career and those qualities led to Anne being named to captain by her teammates for the second consecutive year.
Congratulations to Adam Wood for an outstanding performance on January 18th, in a bowling match against Cheektowaga. Adam had the high game and high set of the match with a 237 and a 625 set. Each week, he continues to work hard and improve his game. He is a co-captain and an extremely valuable member of the team. Terrific job, Adam.
Emily Szymanski has been with the rifle team since she was in 8th grade. She has consistently pushed to get better, which is evident as this week she had the highest combined score during a match in many years by any athlete. She pushes herself during every practice by staying focused and prepared every day. Emily has not only succeeded on the range, but in her schoolwork as well achieving 90’s in most classes. Her work ethic shows by her dedication to become a better student and athlete.
Nick King has been with the Rifle team since he was a freshman. He has continued to make strides each year, which has now put him in the top 4 shooters for every match this year. He has been focused during practice and continually trying to be the best athlete he can be. In addition to rifle, Nick also is an athlete with football and is a reporter for WACS news. His commitment to the team and his school is shown through his participation in every event, the extra help he seeks out, and his willingness to do anything to help the team as a whole. He is an integral part of our team.
Cailyn Bennett has been with the Rifle Team for many years and has consistently proven herself to be a strong athlete with the focus and determination that will allow her to succeed at anything. This year she has consistently been in the top 4-5 shooters for each match and has participated in every match and been at every practice. She is the co-captain this year for her passion and continued determination to help the team be the best it can be. She is an inspiration to the rest of the team every day. Cailyn also is extremely involved with other organizations and sports at the school including the National Honor Society. Her academics are outstanding which shows how dedicated she is to being the best she can be.
Andrew Gabalski had a great performance on December 27th at the Festival of Lights Bowling Tournament. The Bulldogs traveled to the Tonawanda Bowling Center and competed against 23 other teams. Andrew started the morning session with a 205, 211, and 209. He averaged a 188 for the day after bowling 6 games. His scores helped to land Alden in 10th place out of the 24 teams that participated. Congratulations, Andrew!
Veronica Froman- Varsity Cheerleading Freshman Veronica Froman is dedicated to improving as a cheerleader and pushes herself to becoming a better athlete. She is a great team player and helps motivate her fellow teammates.
This week’s athlete of the week is Ryan Mahaney from the swim team. Ryan is a senior and an all around swimmer for our team. He is our team captain and his dedication to his sport truly shows. Ryan has been a part of two relay teams that has already qualified for the Section VI championship, the 200 medley relay and the 400 free relay. Individually he has qualified for the Section VI championship in 2 individual races the 200 IM with a time of 2:14.65, and the 100 fly. His 100 fly time is :59.97 which he did Wednesday against Eden. The words of encouragement I hear him give his team mates makes me proud to have him as part of our team. The boys swim season is really just starting and according to Coach Bennett, Ryan’s times will only improve. Good luck to Ryan and the boys swim team as they continue this season.
Hannah Minard-Varsity Cheerleading
As a captain of the Varsity Cheer team, Hannah continuously models good sportsmanship and teamwork. She always tries her hardest and goes above and beyond what is expected of her.
Owen Kissell won the Batavia wrestling tournament outscoring opponents 42-0. Owen also won Most Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament and is currently 7-0 on the season.
Junior guard Syd Thompson scored a career high 15 pts. Monday night against visiting Holland. The Bulldogs needed every one of those points to secure a thrilling victory over a Holland team they haven’t beaten in seven years. A 2- year starter, Syd also led the team in rebounding with 6. Her contributions didn’t end there. She had 3 steals as well, none bigger than the one in the closing seconds of the game with her team clinging to a 1 point lead. She connected on 1 of her 2 foul shots providing the final margin of victory 44-42 for the Bulldogs. Syd is a humble, tireless worker on both ends of the court whose only desire is to help her team win. After a successful sophomore season, Syd ‘s ceiling for success is limitless, due to her hardworking, team first attitude. 12/2/16-12/8/16
This week’s athlete of the week is Sean Mahaney from the swim team. Sean is a junior and a distance swimmer for our team. He has worked hard and it is finally paying off. Sean has been a part of one relay team that has already qualified for the Section VI championship the 200 medley relay. Individually he has qualified for the Section VI championship in 3 individual races the 200 free, 50 free and the 100 free. He has qualified for the Class C championship for his 500 free. All of this has been accomplished in our first two meets. In our last meet against Amherst where the boys almost beat a team of 18 guys with their 7, Sean earned his team 3 first place finishes (including relays) and one second place finish in the 100 fly an event he doesn’t always get to swim. Sean is a true leader who definitely leads by example.
Cookie Altieri is off to a fast start, in this her senior year. In last weeks’ Alden State Bank Tournament she scored 27 pts. and collected 20 rebounds to lead her team in both categories. Her efforts earned her all- tournament honors for the second consecutive year. This week she picked right up where she left off, spearheading Aldens’ 4th quarter comeback versus Roy-Hart. In this contest Cookie paced the Bulldogs in scoring with 18 pts., 13 in the 2nd half, when her team needed them the most. Her 17 rebounds were indicative of her dominance inside. Thursday against Lackawanna, she continued her torrid pace on the boards grabbing a career high 19 caroms. Her 9 pts. were good for 2nd on the team. The only thing that prevented her from her 4th consecutive double digit scoring game was limited playing time as the Bulldogs were cruising to victory. Cookie’s play will be instrumental to the teams’ success as the team progresses through the season.
It takes guts to play cornerback. Riley Pastuszynski has guts in high supply. Tasked with defending the opposing team’s top receiving threat on a week to week basis, Riley is often on an island in one-on-one coverage. Not once has he ever shied away from this responsibility. He has done an outstanding job of limiting the opponent’s passing attack all season long.
On Friday, October 21st, the Alden Bulldogs traveled to Olean to take on the Huskies in the first round of the playoffs. Olean returned the opening kickoff to the Bulldog 25-yard line. Seven plays later, they put up the first score of the game and took a 7-0 lead. Three plays later, the Bulldogs responded with a score of their own. Riley streaked down the far sideline, running to catch up with the heave from quarterback Bryan Cybulski. Riley just beat his defender, secured the catch, and outran the Olean defense for a 58-yard touchdown. He finished with three catches for 103 yards.
Riley is also the team’s placekicker. He made both of his extra points on the day and hasn’t missed a single extra point kick since the first week of the season (92% success rate).
The game was tied at halftime (14-14). Late in the third quarter, Riley’s number was called to put the Bulldogs ahead. He nailed a 22-yard field goal to give Alden a three-point lead that would hold until the last two minutes of the game.
This past Friday Savannah Warner ran one of her last Invitational for Alden High School. Savannah has been a varsity starter for five straight years and has been a leader on and off the field. This past Friday Savannah ran her best race of the year. The cold and rain could not stop her. Despite slipping into a gully, she was able to pull herself out and continue the race. She placed 2nd in a the 3.1 mile race with a time of 20:27. Her leadership was what the lady bulldogs needed to place 1st overall in the Alexander invitational.
Owen Kissell is a junior on the Boys Varsity Soccer Team. Owen is a central defender and a critical piece of the defensive leadership of the team. Against Albion, in the sectional pre-Quarter Final, Owen led the defense to a shut-out 1-0 victory. While missing another starting defender and working to develop a sophomore goal keeper in his first varsity start, Owen led the implementation of a new formation designed to improve the success against tough teams in the sectional playoffs. This requires high levels of confidence, trust, and communication to be successful. Owen’s leadership throughout the season and especially in this critical game make him this week's Alden High School Male Athlete of the Week.
Sophomore Shelby Kersten is one of the main reasons the varsity volleyball team has started the year with 9 wins and 1 loss only. Shelby is the starting middle of the bulldogs and is leading the team in kills and blocks. Through 12 games Shelby has racked up 122 kills and 65 blocks. In addition, Shelby plays volleyball at the NFVB club for the 17-1’s travel team, a year above her age level. This young lady has a very bright future ahead of her.
Curtis Petschke led the team to it's first division championship since 2009. He also shot well at ECICs which qualified him for Sectionals in the Spring. Curtis was again this year the only one in our division to qualify for sectionals!
Mekenna Walter is a senior and a captain of the cheer team. She is always enthusiastic and supportive of her teammates. She works very hard to be the best athlete and takes constructive criticism well. She does all of this with a smile
Lightning-fast Christian Snell has been leaving would-be tacklers grasping at air since he first laced up the cleats. This season, he leads the Alden Bulldogs Varsity Football team with 67 points scored and is the main offensive weapon in their arsenal.
Going up against the number one ranked large school in New York State is no easy task. On Friday, September 30th, the Bulldogs took on Canisius High School for their Homecoming game. The Bulldogs demonstrated grit, resolve, and refusal to quit. Christian led the team in this respect. Halfway through the fourth quarter, Snell got the Bulldogs on the board with a 76-yard touchdown run. He finished the night with 127 yards on 21 carries.
Carly Hopcia- Varsity Cheerleading
As a captain on the cheer team, Carly has a positive attitude and strong work ethic. She is always helping out her teammates and providing a good example of what it means to be a role model.
Nathan Nuwer (Varsity Boys Soccer)
Nathan Nuwer is a senior and captain for the Boys Varsity Soccer Team. Three divisional games and 3 game winning goals sums up Nate’s performance in the past week. Against Holland, Nate scored a hat trick plus an assist in the 4-1 victory. At Springville, he assisted in the overtime goal for the 2-1 win. Finally, Nate scored the game winner against Eden to clinch the 2-0 win and move the Bulldogs into 2nd place with an incredible 10-2 overall record. Nathan’s leadership throughout the season and especially in recent critical games make him this week's Alden High School Male Athlete of the Week.
Anna Dussault (Varsity Volleyball)
Senior Anna Dussault is one of three captains for Alden’s varsity volleyball program that began their season with a 8-1 record. Anna is a setter in the back row and a right side hitter when she rotates to the front row. Anna’s versatility to play all positions demonstrates her true athleticism and knowledge of the game. Her high skill level of play sets the standards for the rest of the team. In a six match span, Anna accounted for 88 assists (team high) and 27 kills (3rd on team). Anna is a perfect example of a captain, she always puts the team first, and is willing to help anyone.
Jeremy Jeziorski (Boys Varsity Soccer)
Jeremy Jeziorski is a Junior and starting striker on the Boys Varsity Soccer Team. He scored a goal and two assists against St. Mary’s this week and has earned a point in almost every game so far this season. While he credits the team behind him for the sustained offensive attack, his aggressive style of play and generosity with scoring opportunities for teammates is critical to the team’s success and current record of 8 wins and 2 losses. Jeremy’s exemplary performance throughout the season and especially in recent critical games make him this week's Alden High School Male Athlete of the Week.
Martin (Girls Varsity Soccer)
Freshman Emma Martin has stepped on to the varsity soccer team and proven to play an integral role in the success of the team’s defense. This week she was tasked with shutting down the division’s best player. Emma did a tremendous job limiting the opponent’s chances. Emma is a smart player who uses her physicality and vision of the field to help prevent opponents from scoring. She is part of a defense that has shut out opponents three times, and has only allowed 10 goals against all season.
Next to the word football in the Alden High School dictionary is a picture of Brandon Windnagle. The single-minded pursuit of excellence on the gridiron is the hallmark of Windnagle’s game. He won’t be outworked or “out-toughed” by anybody on the field. Teammates are family to him and he will stop at nothing to protect them. As the team’s starting fullback and middle linebacker, Brandon plays two positions most often associated with hard-nosed football. On Friday night, September 9th, at Albion High School, Brandon made the play that turned the game around when he picked off an Albion pass and returned it 47 yards for a touchdown. It was late in the second quarter and the Bulldogs were in a tight ballgame separated by two points. The score turned out to be the difference maker in the Bulldog victory. In addition, Windnagle tied for the team lead in tackles with 10. Brandon’s leadership and work ethic represent the very best qualities of an Alden Bulldog.