Jamestown native Ted Wyberanec Jr. was in the area last week to play in the 43rd annual Italian-American Charity Golf Tournament.
Before he headed to Ellicottville, however, Ted dropped by the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame on West Third Street in Jamestown. For it is there that Ted's father, Ted Sr., is enshrined, a member of the Class of 1990. A former outstanding baseball player in the 1940s and 1950s, including a stint with the Jamestown Falcons, Ted Sr. also played with a number of local semi-pro teams, most notably the Steel Partition Bombers, Marlin-Rockwell and the Jamestown Merchants.
So when pulled up in front of the Hall of Fame last week he was in possession not only of his golf clubs for use in the I-A, but also of one of his dad's 1950s-era, wool Merchants uniforms, which he donated to the Hall. CSHOF board members Russell E. Diethrick Jr., Russ Ecklund and I spent close to an hour with Ted Jr., reminiscing about his dad and his place in that golden era of baseball in our city.
Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame board member Russ Ecklund, left, accepts from Ted Wyberanec a jersey his father wore as a member of the Jamestown Merchants.
P-J photo by Scott Kindberg
It was a nice way to spend part of an afternoon.
Thanks, Ted, for your time and your donation.
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The first Big Fish Triathlon was held on Saturday and, if first impressions mean anything, the event was a hit.
For the record, Dan Pierce of Erie and Sandy Ruhlman of Frewsburg were the top overall men's and women's finishers. And based on Ruhlman's post-event comments, she left Camp Onyahsa and the shores of Chautauqua Lake impressed with the Big Fish Coalition's attention to detail.
Noted Ruhlman, who was a multi-sport star during her high school days at Brocton Central (remember Sandy Zirkle?) and, later at Gannon University: "I thought it was great. They had a ton of volunteers. The course is well marked with people. Every turn there were people there. I loved it. I thought it was a challenging bike. It was good.''
Asked if she would return, Ruhlman said: "Absolutely!''
Fifty-four competitors hit the water early on a cool Saturday morning. I'm guessing the numbers will only grow in the future.
To Patty Gabreski and her committee, I have one word: Bravo!
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The Fredonia baseball and Frewsburg softball teams came home from their respective New York State Public High School Athletic Association final fours last weekend with championships.
Those impressive accomplishments will only confirm their lofty ranking in Business First's annual breakdown of high school sports programs in Western New York's eight counties. Released last week, the list, compiled by Business First's projects editor G. Scott Thomas, has Fredonia ranked No. 4, Silver Creek No. 7 and Frewsburg No. 10.
According to Thomas, Business First tabulated the champions in 18 team sports to rank the best high school athletics programs in WNY. A four-point formula was used to analyze each school's performance over a four-year span. Sectional champions in all size classifications were counted equally. Champions from the most recent year (spring 2012 through winter 2013) were awarded four points each down to one point each for the most distant champions (spring 2009 through winter 20010). Ties were broken by the total number of sectional championships.
The rankings were limited to schools within Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties. They do not include private high schools that are located within Section 6, since membership in Section 6 is limited to public schools.
Following are how schools from Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties fared in the rankings:
Fredonia, fourth; Silver Creek, seventh; Frewsburg, 10th; Olean, 12th; Forestville, 13th (tie); Maple Grove, 13th (tie); Randolph, 15th; Ellicottville, 23rd; Jamestown, 27th (tie); Pine Valley, 27th (tie); Sherman, 32nd; Falconer, 34th (tie); Westfield, 34th (tie); Ripley, 43rd (tie); Panama, 45th (tie); Clymer, 53rd (tie); Southwestern, 53rd (tie); Chautauqua Lake, 64th; Dunkirk, 69th; Cassadaga Valley, 72nd (tie); Cattaraugus-Little Valley, 76th (tie); and Gowanda, 76th (tie).
By the way, the No. 1 school in the rankings is Clarence.