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   Welcome to the Connors & Ferris High School Sports Show, the only talk show in the Rochester area that covers Section V sports, and we've been doing it for two decades! You can watch each show on the RocSportsNOW YouTube channel Archived versions of the show are available right here on our website.

   We feature interviews with coaches and players, previews of games, and highlights of the biggest contests each season. Plus, we hand out awards for our Bob Johnson Auto Group "Athletes of the Week," the G&G Fitness Equipment "Coach of the Week," and showcase a Pittsford Pub "Game of the Week," too! The show also tackles the issues facing teenage athletes, such as proper nutrition, recovery from injury, and how to balance academics and athletics.

   More than 5,000 coaches and athletes have been on the show since 2003. Special thanks to Connors & Ferris, Salvatore's Pizza and all of our sponsors. Without their support, our athletes and coaches wouldn't have a chance to be showcased on the show and social media on Jeff DiVeronica's @RocDevo Twitter account. Combined, he and co-host Steve Bradley, have more than 60 years of experience covering high school sports.

   DiVeronica founded the show and has hosted it since 2003. The St. John Fisher College graduate covered high school sports for the Democrat and Chronicle for nearly 25 years, departing in 2018 to become the Director of Public Information for West Irondequoit schools.

   Bradley joined the show as co-host in 2020 and is a former Section V athlete himself. The Pavilion native and Syracuse University graduate's career includes stints as a sportswriter at The Daily News (Batavia), sports editor at The Daily Messenger (Canandaigua) and more than 20 years at the Democrat and Chronicle, including 10-plus as sports editor.


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Watch previous episodes of the show

Episode 40: Newark girls basketball coach Diane Kirnie shares more about her return to coaching after a 10-year hiatus and becoming the second woman in Section V history to win 400 games. Sophomore TaKyla Vaughn, senior Ciana Galvin and former star Alyssa Fenyn also joined us. Watch it now.

Episode 39: New Aquinas football coach Maurice Jackson tells us about becoming the Little Irish's new boss and the first black head coach in school history for a program with more state titles than any other. Watch it now.

Episode 38: Oakfield-Alabama girls basketball coach Jeff Schlagenhauf and senior captains Brooke and Makena Reding and Emma Wray talk about the Hornets' season, coach's 400th win and the chance to bring a Section V title back home again. Watch it now.

Episode 37: Victor girls basketball coach Ashley Zahn, assistant coach Blake Smith and players Abbie Murphy, Emily Neenan and Maryn Savage joined us to talk about the team and the impact the late Scott Zahn, Ashley's father and the former Victor/Canandaigua coach, had on them. Watch it now.

Episode 36: York boys basketball coach Ed Orman and top scorer Maddox Timothy discussed the Golden Knights' strong start, defending their Section V Class C3 championship and a basketball life in a small town. Watch it now.

Episode 35: Churchville-Chili hockey coach Brian Young, our G&G Fitness Coach of the Week, defenseman Gavin Carr and and forward Parker Farnham talk about the Saints' hot start to the season. Watch it now.

Episode 34: Byron-Bergen Boys Basketball is off to a 7-0 start under sixth-year head coach Roxanne Noeth. We interviewed her and senior guards David Brumsted and Ryan Muscarella. The Bees have never won a Section V title and yes, Noeth, is believed to be just the second woman to coach a boys' varsity basketball team. Watch it now.

Episode 33: Pittsford Sutherland girls hoops coach Dan Judd and seniors Dylan Madigan and Lara Brandt tell us what it's like to play in the Rainbow Classic and discuss the Knights' prospects upon the return of AGR forward, Ellie Bergin. Watch it now.

Episode 32: East Rochester track and field star Manny Sepulveda and Bombers coach Bob Hendy shared with us more about Sepulveda's success in multiple sports, including football and soccer, and his future at the University of Buffalo. Watch it now.

Episode 31: Greece Athena boys basketball coach Mike Setzer and junior guard Khorie Reaves and Connor Osier joined us to talk about the Trojans' solid start and huge upside to contend for a Section V title. Watch it now.

Episode 30: Pittsford hockey is coming off an uncharacteristic 10-9-1 season, but the Panthers learned from it. Forwards Griffin Storrar, Cole Mann and Lucas Procious talked about their season. Watch it now.

Episode 29: Brighton boys basketball went 13-9 last winter, has a rising star in explosive junior Reggie Smith Jr. and a veteran team that knows its roles. Sixth-year coach Dave Tisa and players Smith Jr., Andrew Kotrides, Troy McPherson and Trygve Watkins joined us. Watch it now.

Episode 28: Webster Schroeder girls basketball hasn't won a Section V title since 1976, but the young Warriors have a star player in Mariah Watkins and a strong supporting cast that makes them a contender with perennial power Bishop Kearney. Coach Codi Mrozek, Watkins, her sister Bria and junior center Ava Gallup joined us. Watch it now.

Episode 27: In 2006, Jason “J-Mac” McElwain won hearts across the world as a highly-functioning autistic Greece Athena basketball manager. In his only game, he made six 3-pointers in the final minutes on Senior Night. That feat won him an ESPY. Now, he’s 34, a veteran marathoner and a passionate assistant basketball coach who has started a social media platform to showcase local college athletics. Watch it now.

Episode 26: Aquinas football has been part of Derek Annechino's life for 25 years as a coach and a few more as a player. But after a 3-6 season, his sixth as head coach after 19 as an assistant, he stepped down last month. Watch it now.

Episode 25: Irondequoit girls volleyball was far from a favorite to win sectionals this fall, but the resourceful Eagles found ways to keep winning. Coach Marc Callari, junior hitter and his daughter, McKenna Callari, and junior setter Laney Flynn shared with us more about their 21-1 season which is on to the state semifinals. Watch it now.

Episode 24: Hilton football hadn't won a Section V title since 1994, but the Cadets ended the drought this fall with a 40-7 shellacking of previously unbeaten Webster Schroeder for the Class A1 crown. We checked in with 34th-year coach Rich Lipani and standouts Jeff Broadnax, Karl Khuns and Ameer Alsafadi.  Watch it now.

Episode 23: Byron-Bergen girls soccer's second straight championship season has the Bees (22-0) headed back to the Class C state semis looking to write a different ending. Coach Wayne Hill and seniors Ava Wagoner, Kendall Phillps and junior Mackenzie Hagen joined us. Watch it now.

Episode 22: Pittsford football pulled off the shocker of the Section V playoffs, shutting down top-seeded UPrep 6-0 to reach the title game. Can they do it again vs. three-time defending champion McQuaid? Defensive coordinator Steve Marriott and LBs Nathan Rodi and Ignat Fomin joined to talk about it.  Watch it now.

Episode 21: Spencerport soccer enjoyed a historic season! For the first time ever, the girls AND boys teams went to the state semifinals. We talked with coaches Jamie Schneider and Jody Wyant and standout juniors Cate Burns and Kyle Milburn. Watch it now.

         Episode 20: Victor football coach Geoff Mandile, QB Brady Robinson and lineman Ty Rader revisit their 7-1 regular season with us, including a win at McQuaid, and preview Friday's Class AA semifinal showdown with three-time defending champion Knights. Watch it now.

Episode 19: Eastridge football coach Jasson Jobson and players Loyall Mouzon, Brennen Russo and Sherman Carson recount the Lancers' wild 50-48 upset over #3 Greece Athena to open the Section V football playoffs and preview Friday's semifinal at Canandaigua. Watch it now.

Episode 18: Webster Schroeder girls soccer players Megan Fry, Abby Herbst, Alyssa Doody, Ellie Ockrin and Maddie Peterson, along with coach Kent Brown, talk about the Warriors winning their third Section V Class AA title in five years. Watch it now.

Episode 17: Sister Act! Section V girls golf champion Julia Zigrossi of Mercy shares with us details about the march to her third straight crown and her sister, Emily, a Spencerport eighth-grader, also joined us to tell us what it felt like to make the state team with her big sister. Watch it now.

Episode 16: Brighton sophomore tennis star Leyla Tozin, winner of a third straight Section V Class A1 singles title, and her mother, Anna, a two-time Section V champ in the 1990s, joined us to share their story. Leyla is also the Bob Johnson Auto Athlete of the Week. Watch it now.

Episode 15: Jeff and Steve give their insights and forecast the first week of the Section V football playoffs. From Class AA all the way down to 8-man, they cover it all. Watch it now.

Episode 14: Pittsford Mendon girls soccer players know all about the program's tradition of winning. After an unbeaten regular season (14-0-2), they want to repeat as a Section V champion. Coach Eric Pritchard and team leaders Merin Manske, Sophie Tomassi and Elena Barr joined us. Watch it now.

Episode 13: Webster boys volleyball hasn't won a Section V title since 1997, but the Lakers are a contender to do so this fall. Coach Greg Kennedy, junior setter Bodey Groff and junior hitter Joey Preische joined us to share more about the team. Watch it now.

Episode 12: Pittsford Sutherland girls volleyball coach Taylor Rivera, senior libero Ryan Kotalik and junior hitter Lila Keating joined us coming off a big win over Irondequoit and shared with us more about the streaking Knights, who take a 15-1 record into the postseason. Watch it now.

Episode 11: A two-time Section V soccer champion in coach Nino Pilato's six seasons as coach, McQuaid is 12-0-2 and a Class AA contender once again. Pilato, his son and the Knights' top assist man, Marco; goalie Niyen Ruffin; and senior Andrew O'Neill joined us. Watch it now.

Episode 10: Avon lost 1-0 in last year's Section V Class C1 championship match, but the boys soccer Braves are 13-0 ranked #1 in the state and are pumped to again try to win the school's first sectional brick. We caught up with coach Tony Patti and senior midfielders Hudson Volpe and Lee Hartke to learn more. Watch it now.

Episode 9: Palmyra-Macedon's rise to the top of Section V Class B1 girls soccer last fall actually started when COVID cut short its bid to win in 2020. Now coach Mike Karns' team has the talent to repeat. The 24th-year veteran and seniors Maya Ikewood and Molly Seither joined us to share more about the Raiders. Watch it now.

Episode 8: We learned about the evolution in recent years of Oakfield-Alabama/Elba, a 2021 Class D state semifinalist, how the "Aggies" nickname was born and how much this team loves playing football. Coach Tyler Winter, junior QB Bodie Hyde and senior OL/LB Brayden Smith joined us. Watch it now.

Episode 7: Coach Ray Maxwell, senior Jackson McEnerney and goalie Peter Tonkery joined us to talk Livonia tradition and more! The Bulldogs shared what it's like to play for a legendary coach like Maxwell and what it's like to play at soccer-loving school like Livonia. Watch it now.

Episode 6: Scott Deuschle's world turned upside down last May when a growth in his neck was malignant. After a summer of treatment, he relied on his staff and players to carry the Webster Thomas football program this fall. Deuschle shared his story and senior leaders Brad Coleman and Jack Roetker told us how his cancer battle has impacted the Titans. Watch it now.

Episode 5: The story behind the PickinSplinters.com website: Former teacher turned sportswriter/editor Paul Gotham is the founder of the popular, online-only platform that covers local sports, from pros to high schools and some colleges. Gotham gave us an in-depth look at the site's genesis, what the name "Pickin' Splinters" means and much more. He also tells us how hard work and collaboration with young writers has helped him build the popular site and launched a couple of their careers to ESPN and NBA.com. Watch it now.

Episode 4: The Fairport girls volleyball team should contend with perennial power Penfield and star hitter Nicole Bell for the Section V Class AA crown. Coach Trisha Forgensi and captains Meghan Clifford and Kiera Cornman joined us to describe the team's developing culture of winning. Watch it now.

Episode 3: Churchville-Chili stopped Spencerport's 40-match win streak against Section V foes with a 3-2 win on Sept. 8 over the six-time defending Class A sectional girls soccer champions. Second-year coach Brooke Elnicky, a Spencerport grad, and captains Amelia Breton, Olivia Hogan and Emily McCane joined us. Watch it now.

Episode 2: Avery Rennoldson owns a place in school history. The junior is the first girl to score a point for Honeoye Falls-Lima football, booting four extra points through the first two weeks of the season. A dual-participation athlete, she is also on the soccer team this fall. She joined us with football coach John Russ and athletic director Brian Donohue. Watch it now.

Episode 1: Defending Section V Class A1 champion UPrep went into McQuaid and knocked off the three-time defending Class AA champions 36-30 in Week 2 and announced to all that it is a contender in a new weight class. Coach Isiah Jones, RB Chris Jean and QB Nolan Hill joined us. Watch it now.


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Our weekly Section V award recipients

Bob Johnson male athlete of the week
Male athlete of the week

Jan. 22, 2023: Josh Harter Jr., Avon basketball. The sophomore guard broke the Section V record with 14 three-pointers and also scored a school-record 42 points in an 88-57 win over Mount Morris. The 3-point total is tied for 2nd in state history. Northstar’s Ryan Garwood had held the Section V mark since 2020 with 13. Three-time defending Section V champion Avon is 11-2.

Jan. 15, 2023: Tim Fan, Pittsford swimming. The junior broke a pool record for the second straight week in the 100 butterfly and this winter has recorded the fastest time in the state in that event (49.81 seconds). His :51.08 clocking at Penfield on Jan. 12 toppled a 20-year-old record. A week earlier, his :51.14 clocking broke the pool record at Fairport for the Panthers (8-0).

Jan. 9, 2023: Ethan Welch, Marion track and field. The junior pole vaulter is off to a flying start this season. He recently set a school record for the second time this winter when he cleared 13 feet during a Wayne-Finger Lakes League meet at RIT. The effort eclipsed his previous mark set on Dec. 16 by nine inches. He is the reigning Section V Class A3 pole vault champion (10-9).

Jan. 2, 2023: Cooper Hamilton, Batavia/Notre Dame hockey. The junior had a pair of assists in a 6-2 win over Bethlehem and two goals and two assists in an 8-2 shellacking of Albany to help lead his team to the Albany Academy Holiday Tournament title . He has 7 goals and 10 assists for 7-1 BND.

Dec. 14, 2022: Manny Sepulveda, East Rochester track and field. The senior star set school and facility records (Section V or college) in the season-opening event at Nazareth College. He won the long jump (21 feet, 6.5 inches) and triple jump (47-10). The University of Buffalo recruit is the reigning Section V Class A3 champ in both events for the defending-champion Bombers.

Dec. 7, 2022: Keaton Ostrowski, Rush-Henrietta bowling. The junior and reigning All-Greater Rochester Bowler of the Year is at it again. Through nine games this season, he's averaging 261 and just rolled his second 300 game.

Nov. 15, 2022: Tysheed Crockton, Canandaigua football. The senior RB powered the No. 3 seeds to a fourth straight Section V title by racking up 310 yards on 20 carries. He scored on runs of 67, 92, 5 and 55 yards in a surprising 28-6 rout of top-seeded East/WOIS for the Class A2 crown.

Nov. 2, 2022: Nathan Rodi (LB) and Nick Wilson (DE), Pittsford football. The defensive leaders powered the Panthers to a stunning upset in the Section V Class AA semifinals, as the No. 4 seeds shut out explosive and No. 1 UPrep, 6-0. Rodi made nine tackles and Wilson had eight along with a sack and fumble recovery.

Oct. 25, 2022: Landon Scott, Brockport football. The sophomore signal-caller followed up a five-TD effort with three scores as the No. 5 seeds stunned #4 Irondequoit, 34-21, in a Section V Class A2 quarterfinal after trailing 21-7. He was 10-for-21 passing for 189 yards. In last week's regular-season finale, Scott was 21-for-34 for 326 yards in a 43-42 win over Spencerport.

Oct. 17, 2022: Amari Young, East/World of Inquiry football. The senior running back scored five touchdowns and rushed for 227 yards on 21 carries in a 54-26 win over Greece Athena. East/WOIS, ranked eighth in the state, beat Olympia 42-8 on Thursday to close the regular season 8-0.

Oct. 10, 2022: Manny Sepulveda, East Rochester/Gananda football. The senior wide receiver's four catches, including three for TDs, in the Bombers' 44-14 win over Waterloo set records for career receptions (107) and TDs (30). He has caught 28 balls and scored nine TDs this fall for ER/G (4-1), the defending Section V Class C champion. He's 10 catches shy of the Section V career receptions record.

Oct. 3, 2022: Simon Lamparelli, Attica/Alexander soccer. The senior forward is on one of the greatest scoring binges in Section V history. In four matches over the past six days, he has 13 goals and one assist. He pumped in four goals in wins over Kendall (Wednesday) and Lyndonville (Friday), then posted a hat trick vs. Albion on Saturday before scoring both goals in Tuesday's 2-0 win over Wheatland-Chili. His 33 goals and 66 points, including 3 assists, for A/A (12-0) leads Section V.

Sept. 26, 2022: Bodie Hyde, Oakfield-Alabama/Elba football. The junior quarterback tossed 3 TD passes and ran for 2 more as the Aggies (4-0) routed LeRoy, 38-6. He was 7-for-11 passing for 153 passing yards, rushed 14 times for 87 and as a linebacker made 11 tackles.

Sept. 20, 2022: Jacob Grams, Webster volleyball. The Schroeder junior and middle blocker had 9 kills and 3 blocks as the unbeaten Warriors handed McQuaid its first loss; he also had 10 kills in another sweep of Fairport, as Webster improved to 7-0.

Sept. 13, 2022: Myles Palmer, Fairport soccer: The All-Greater Rochester senior forward had a goal and assist in a 4-2 win over Aquinas, converted again in a big 2-0 win at rival Hilton and then scored 2 more goals with 2 assists in a 5-1 rout of Brighton. He has 7 goals & 3 assists for the Raiders (4-0).


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Female athlete of the week

Jan. 22, 2023: Mady Kelly, Webster Thomas. The senior guard scored a career-high 40 points in a 61-55 win at Brighton on Friday and 33 points in a 57-50 win over Greece Athena/Odyssey. The Titans have won four of five games to improve to 7-5. Kelly is averaging 28.5 points in that stretch.

Jan. 15, 2023: Mallory Heise, Hilton basketball. The sophomore guard scored 19 points with 10 rebounds, 7 assists and 4 steals in a win over Rush-Henrietta, had 16 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals in a victory over Pittsford Mendon and 10 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists in a loss to unbeaten Webster Schroeder. The Cadets are 8-4.

Jan. 9, 2023: Grace Alexander, Penfield basketball. She scored a career-high 27 points in a big win over Fairport, 72-64, making four 3-pointers. The senior guard also led the Patriots in scoring in a runaway victory over East Rochester. The Patriots are 10-1 and host Victor (3-5) on Friday.

Jan. 2, 2023: Sydney Postell, Churchville-Chili basketball. The senior forward had 32 points and 6 rebounds in a 49-40 victory over Brighton to follow up a 19-point, 5-board effort in a 65-50 win over Dansville as the resilient Saints won two straight starting the season with four losses.

Dec. 14, 2022: Kylie Buckley, Livonia basketball. The senior forward had 35 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Bulldogs to a 60-51 win over Pittsford Sutherland on Saturday and had 39 points and 15 boards in a 64-38 romp over Clyde-Savannah. Livonia is 6-0 and she's averaging 28.8 points and 12.7 rebounds.

Dec. 7, 2022: Sadie Scott, Brighton girls basketball. The junior forward had 22 points, 10 rebounds and 4 steals to lead the Bruins to a 56-24 win over the host school in the championship of the Katie Sweeting Memorial Tournament. She also had 17 points and 7 boards in a 50-35 win over Spencerport.

Nov. 15, 2022: Tori Colosimo, Harley-Allendale Columbia volleyball. The senior setter had 19 assists, 12 kills and 25 digs as the Wolves (23-0) beat Chautauqua Lake in five sets to reach the Class D state semifinals for the first time. She also had 21 kills, 14 assists, 8 digs, 6 aces and 3 blocks in a four-set win over three-time defending champion Pavilion in the sectional final.

Nov. 2, 2022: Ari Reback, Fairport cross country. The junior won the Section V Class A Championship in 18 minutes, 44.6 seconds to lead the Red Raiders to a second title in three years. She edged Rush-Henrietta sophomore Haylie Smith by nine seconds.

Oct. 25, 2022: Nicole Cruz, Gananda soccer. The junior scored a pair of goals as the top seeds beat No. 3 Holley 3-1 to win the Section V Class C1 championship. Her first strike came inside the first two minutes and set the tone for the match. She has 19 goals and 10 assists this fall for the Blue Panthers (20-0).

Oct. 17, 2022: Julia Zigrossi, Mercy golf. The senior and two-time All-Greater Rochester Player of the Year shot a 74 – eight shots clear of the field – at windy Webster Golf Club to capture a third straight Section V golf championship. The future James Madison University player also won sectional titles decisively in 2021 (13 shots) and 2020 (19 shots).

Oct. 10, 2022: Leyla Tozin, Brighton tennis. The sophomore is already a three-time Section V singles champion. Tozin downed Cassie Spencer of Webster Thomas 6-0, 6-0 in the sectional final, completing a perfect tournament run. She did not lose a single game in sectionals, and the Bruins won the Class A1 crown, their eighth straight Section V title.

Oct. 3, 2022: Maya Ikewood, Palmyra-Macedon soccer. The senior broke the school's career scoring mark (88 goals) with a goal and assist in a 5-0 win at Penn Yan. The fifth-year varsity player also had a goal and assist in a 3-0 win over Wayne. She ranks 4th in Section V in goals (24) and points (60), including 12 assists for the reigning Class B1 champion Raiders (11-1-1).

Sept. 26, 2022: Julia Petry, Batavia football/soccer. The super senior pulled double duty Saturday. She went 7-for-7 on point-after kicks as the football Blue Devils beat Monroe to improve to 3-0. She has made 18 straight. Later in the day, the she made eight saves in goal in 2-2 tie against Honeoye Falls-Lima for the 4-1-2 soccer team. For the season, she has 49 saves.

Sept. 20, 2022: Maria Karipidis, Honeoye Falls-Lima soccer. The senior midfielder has 11 goals and 3 assists in four games since returning from a stint with the Greek national team. She had 4 goals in a win over Wayne, 3 goals and 2 assists vs. Greece Arcadia, a goal and assists vs. Eastridge and a hat trick in Monday’s 4-1 win over Olympia.

Sept. 13, 2022: Emily McKane, Churchville-Chili soccer: The senior goalkeeper made 16 saves in a 3-2 win at Spencerport as the Saints ended the Rangers' 40-match winning streak against Section V opponents. C-C (3-1) has won three straight matches, including a pair of shutout by McKane, who is a team captain with Amelia Barton and Olivia Hogan.


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Coach of the week



iane Kirnie Jan. 15, 2023: Diane Kirnie, Newark girls basketball. She returned to coaching last season after a 10-year hiatus and on Jan. 13th became the 10th coach and second woman in Section V history to win 400 career games. A 1977 graduate of Greece Athena in her 27th season, Kirnie (formerly Abrey) is a former intermediate school physical education teacher. She guided teams to Section V crowns in 2002, 2007 and in 2009 and in 2009 the Reds won the Class A state title. Her husband, Bill, coaches Newark's junior varsity, so basketball is a family affair in Newark. In an era when we still need more female coaches to be role models, it's great to have Kirnie back. Congrats!

Brian Young Jan. 9, 2023: Brian Young, Churchville-Chili hockey: At 9-1-1, the Saints are off to one of their best starts in Young's 16 seasons as head coach. A Section V Class B contender, they've won three division titles under Young, who is keen on building strong relationships with his players. A Technology Education teacher at C-C for the past 20 years, on the ice his teams have a career mark of 160-142-23. Young is a 1999 graduate of LeRoy. He owns degrees from Genesee Community College, Oswego State and RIT. His wife, Lisa, is a teacher at Attica HS and son, Blake, is a sixth-grader at C-C middle school. Congrats, coach!

Jan. 2, 2023: Dan Judd, Pittsford Sutherland basketball: In his 23rd season at Sutherland, Judd is one of the few Section V coaches in any sport whose teams have won multiple state titles (2006 and 2014). Both squads featured players who knew their roles well and played them to perfection. They "bought in," which is a product of good teaching and coaching. The Knights are 5-2 this winter and coming off a big win over rival Pittsford Mendon, 58-40, in the Rainbow Classic. It ended a seven-year losing streak to Mendon in the annual charity game. An Oswego High School and University of Massachusetts graduate, his career record is 290-187. Judd also has contributed greatly to the Monroe County League as a co-chair for many years.

Mike Hendy Dec. 14, 2022: Mike Hendy, East Rochester Track & Field: Coaching and teaching at ER is all Hendy has ever known -- and that's worked out well for both parties. He started coaching outdoor track in 1997 and hasn't stopped. Two years later, he started the indoor track program. Last winter, the Bombers claimed an indoor Section V title, one of three under Hendy, and he was named All-Greater Rochester Coach of the Year. He also coached two state individual champions last school year (Ian Szemcsak and Manny Sepulveda) who also competed in the New Balance Nationals. He has taught in ER for 27 years and currently teaches 12th-grade Government and Economics.

Mike Harnden Dec. 7, 2022: Mike Harnden says he learned how to coach volleyball over the past three decades by observing, talking with and coaching against some of the best in Section V. Now, he is among the best. Hilton's girls coach since 2019, when he was named Section V Class AA Coach of the Year, won his milestone 400th match last fall -- no small feat! The three-time Class B Coach of the Year has guided teams at Nazareth Academy (1993-09), Greece Olympia (1997-2004), Aquinas (2010-17) and now Hilton. He also has been a great ambassador for volleyball as the Private-Parochial League Coordinator (1995-2017) and a Section V Committee Member for the past 27 years.

Jody Wyant Nov. 15, 2022: Jody Wyant, Spencerport boys soccer: In his fourth season as head coach, Wyant guided the Rangers to their first Section V championship since 2012 and first berth in the state final four since 1979. The Rangers went 16-5-1. Wyant spent 18 years coaching in the Spencerport girls program before replacing longtime boys coach Tom Etsler in 2019. Wyant says he learned much from girls coach Jamie Schneider. That included winning four sectional and two state titles. A social studies teacher for 20-plus year at Spencerport, Wyant is a Hilton and SUNY Brockport graduate.

Nov. 2, 2022: Greg Mortier, Wilson football: How does a coach whose team went 1-8 win Coach of the Week honors? Because for Greg Mortier it was never about wins and losses. "Nobody remembers the championships and all that other stuff," Mortier told the Democrat and Chronicle last week after his final game on the sideline for Wilson Magnet/Early College. "It's the relationships that you have. My job is to try to create better men. I'm lucky." He did that. His players were the lucky ones because he was their coach. He coached Section V football for 33 years, the last 22 at Wilson Magnet. His 2017 squad won sectionals, becoming the first RCSD team to do so in more than a decade. In a city that needs role models who positively impact young people, Mortier did that year after year. Thank you, coach. Congrats and best wishes in retirement.

Rich Lipani Oct. 25, 2022: Rich Lipani, Hilton football: The Cadets' 45-14 win over Gates Chili in the Section V Class A1 quarterfinals moved Lipani into a tie for fourth place all-time in Section V with 206 wins. Retired Hornell coach Gene Mastin is #1 with 227. This is Lipani's 34th season as coach and #2 Hilton (8-1) is a contender for its first Section V crown since 1994. The Cadets' main man since 1989 and a SUNY Brockport graduate, Lipani lives and breathes "coaching." He credits two of his former coaches at Greece Athena, Don Hagreen and Don Brown, as influences. "We treat our kids like we treat our own kids," said Lipani, who also lauds his coaching staff. He also coached the ER girls basketball team to three sectional crowns in the 1990s.

Greg Kennedy Oct. 17, 2022: Greg Kennedy, Webster boys volleyball: Kennedy has dedicated his career to making Webster volleyball better. He has been in charge of the boys since 1990 and won his milestone 400th match earlier this fall. His Lakers are 16-1 and will be trying to win the school's first sectional title since 1997. Kennedy's teams reached eight Section V title matches in the 1990s, winning four times -- a run that included state championships in 1994 and '97. Beyond the numbers, he taught AP Environmental Science and Chemistry in Webster from 1989-2020. He still is active as a substitute teacher. A graduate of Penfield and Cornell University, where he played as a freshman and sophomore, he and his wife Kim have two children. Son Mitchell was an All-Greater Rochester player on Fairport's 2014 state title team.

Oct. 10, 2022: Nino Pilato, McQuaid soccer: A product of Section V himself, the Greece Olympia graduate owns a rare distinction as the only area coach to win state titles in girls and boys soccer (Greece Odyssey girls, 2012 Class C; McQuaid boys, 2017 Class AA). Now in his seventh year at McQuaid after 18 at Odyssey (eight sectional crowns), the Knights are 12-0-2 and a sectional contender again. They won sectionals (and states) in 2017 and 2019. A former Monroe CC, Canisius College and Rochester Rhinos (professional) player, Pilato is 98-11-8 at McQuaid and was 185-106-19 at Odyssey. This is also a special season because his son, Marco, is a key player for the Knights, who have outscored foes 55-3. A longtime city school district teacher, beyond all the winning, Pilato teaches the game and his players the right way and how to win with sportsmanship and humility.


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