A little more than a year ago, Jamestown native and Falconer Central School graduate Billy Race was recognized by the New Mexico Business Weekly as one of its statewide "40 Under Forty" honorees.
Then a business development advisor for CliftonLarsonAllen, which is one of the nation's largest accounting firms, Race had a variety of responsibilities, including developing strong relationships in the Albuquerque market; playing a key role in branding, marketing and advertising the company's image; and developing relationships with current clients.
After five successful years in the Southwest, however, Race, now 40, is returning "home."
Falconer native Billy Race became the business manager for Greg Biffle Racing on July 1.
Photo by Roger D. Roselli
No, not to Chautauqua County, but rather his adopted home - North Carolina.
For earlier this summer, Race, his wife, Naomi, and two children moved from Albuquerque to Mooresville, N.C., after he accepted a position as the business manager for Greg Biffle Racing. The job, which he started July 1, reunites Race with NASCAR, a sport he came to love while spending five years working for Richard Petty Racing and Kyle Petty Development.
Biffle is currently No. 8 in the Sprint Cup standings.
- - -
Three Chautauqua County high school boys basketball players - all members of the 2012-13 Post-Journal all-star team - will be playing in the third annual Summer Hoops Festival on Aug. 2-4, in Johnson City.
Jamestown's Zack Panebianco and Quinn Lee Yaw, and Fredonia's Dylan Meyer help make up the Section 6 squad, which will be coached by Larry Jones of Depew High School. Together, they will play in a minimum of four games.
Sponsored by the Basketball Coaches Association of New York, the festival will also allow the players to participate in clinics from college basketball coaches and learn about the college recruiting environment.
Panebianco is a 5-foot-8 junior guard, while Lee Yaw and Meyer are a 6-5 forward/center and a 6-2 guard/forward respectively.
- - -
The Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association cross country season is still two months away, but, not surprisingly, the Maple Grove Lady Red Dragons are garnering plenty of attention.
And not just in Western New York.
In fact, tullyrunners.com has the Lady Red Dragons, the three-time defending Class D state champs, ranked No. 1 in its preseason poll, while sophomore Hope Pietrocarlo is rated the No. 1 Class D girl after finishing third at the states in 2012. Also returning are sophomore Megan Marsh, seniors Caroline Benson, Taylor Norris and Abby Sirwatka, and freshman Ally Saar.
The Sherman girls are No. 7 in the Class D poll while the Silver Creek girls are No. 10. In Class C, Fredonia, led by Lauren Reyda, is No. 2.
Among boys teams, Southwestern is No. 5 in Class C, while Maple Grove is No. 8 in Class D. Leading the way for the Red Dragons is Corey Wefing, who is ranked No. 2 in Class D after finishing fifth at the state meet in 2012.
- - -
Freshman Zed Williams (Silver Creek) arrived at the University of Virginia's summer transition program earlier this month.
Based on a story on UVA's website, the Cavaliers are thrilled to have him.
"This kid has the most potential to excel at the college level as any high school player I've seen,'' said Casey Vock of Inside Lacrosse. "He's athletic. He has tremendous stick skills. He is a ferocious competitor.
"Best of all, he's a humble human being. He's a great kid.''
Williams shattered the all-time New York high school record for career points, notching 175 more than the previous record holder.
According to the UVA website, Coach Dom Starsia is doing his best not to put too much pressure on Williams, a midfielder.
"It will be an adjustment for him,'' Starsia told the website. "He may not light it up right off the bat the first time he steps on the field because he's never done anything quite like this.
"But I think he's a terrific player. He sees the game at a high level. He's a really neat guy who I think will be really fun to play with. I think it will be fascinating to watch him as he acclimates himself.''
Vock, according to the website, believes Williams can be a "transcendent" player at the college level.
"If he can get into the flow of things and into the rhythm of college life,'' Vock said, "he's going to have a very, very memorable college career."