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Positional battles abound as training camp approaches for Bills

By Charles Roberts

With a new coaching staff in place – including head coach Rex Ryan, offensive coordinator Greg Roman and defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman – and a roster loaded with new names on the offensive side of the ball, there’s certainly a number of questions as the team heads to camp on July 31 in Pittsford, N.Y.


The [Florida State] kids are all right for the Bills

By Charles Roberts

After May’s NFL Draft, there were a handful of pundits – or “experts” – who dished out low grades to the Buffalo Bills for selecting Ronald Darby and Karlos Williams. Whoops.

Darby and Williams, both selected out of Florida State, have stepped in to make significant contributions at cornerback and running back, respectively.


From One Bills Drive to Canton

By Brian Michalek

The toughest part of being an NFL general manager has to be managing your emotions, with each high peak tempered by an equally low valley. After 34 years as a scout, general manager and team president, Bill Polian has been through them all.


The legend of Van Miller

By Ryan Esguerra

What does The Greatest Comeback in NFL history, four AFC title games, four Super Bowls and two AFL Championship games have in common? The man linking them all together is none other than the late Van Miller. Miller was more than just a Hall of Fame play-by-play announcer for the Buffalo Bills, he was a member of the Bills family.


The other Tasker

By Ryan Esguerra

The Sabres recent acquisition of Ryan O’Reilly was a classic draft weekend blockbuster trade.

Stepping out of a father’s shadow can be difficult for any son but consider what it’s like for Luke Tasker.

Luke’s father, Steve, is a Buffalo Bills legend; a seven-time Pro Bowler, 2016 Hall of Fame nominee and current CBS color commentator.

Luke, however, is well on his way to forging his own path and cementing his own legacy.

While attending St. Francis High School in East Aurora, Luke would spend every Sunday watching his father streak down the field catching touchdowns for the Bills. It’s a safe assumption that the expectations put upon the son of a hometown hero would be enormous but Luke was more than up to the task.


Fantasy baseball

By Mike Fox

The 2015 baseball season is over and owners across the fantasy world are either licking their wounds or clearing space on the mantle for the new trophy. But if you play in keeper or dynasty leagues it’s never too early to start preparing for the 2016 season. If you need an incentive, look no further than the amazing crop of future All-Stars that made their major league debuts this year. Then quit feeling sorry for yourself and get crackin.’


What did you do to get better today

By Mark Zarbo

As a skills coach I get many questions from parents and players, two of the most common being “how do I get better” and “what can I do to get to the next level?” The answer to those questions is not a statement but another question. What are you doing to get better?


Buffalo Beauts hockey begins (Buffalo edition)

By Dave Ricci

And with the drop of the puck history was made.

The Buffalo Beauts, the Queen City’s newest professional sports team, officially kicked off their season on Oct.11 at the HARBORCENTER.


Player development key to team success

By Mike Sorenson

A serious mix of rookies, young veterans and a couple of long time professionals will be the key to a successful (read reaching the playoffs) season for the Rochester Americans, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres.


NCCC ready for more Beilein basketball

By Landin Murphy

After back-to-back seasons of at least 20 wins, the Niagara County Community College basketball program has high hopes for another successful season just up ahead. And at the helm of that winning culture is head coach Bill Beilein.


A Twin two times over

By Mike Sorenson

If Taylor Rogers continues to develop at the pace he’s been going, he may soon one of the only twins to play for the Twins.

Confused? Rogers is a left-handed starting pitcher who spent 2015 with the Rochester Red Wings, International League affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. His identical twin, Tyler, spent 2015 as a right-handed submariner reliever with the San Jose Giants in the Class A Advanced California League.


Section V Football heads toward sectional play

By Paul ‘Mr. NFL’ Adamo

Late October is sectional football time in the Greater Rochester area as the elite Section V teams look to build on their seven game season records and make a run to a sectional title and qualify for the NYSPHSAA state playoffs. As we have passed the midway point of the season, with teams fighting for seeding position, the playoff picture in Section V is taking shape.


Drew Monti: The right stuff

By Mark Patrick Harzynski Sr.

Even though he’s only 20 years old, Drew Monti is already part of a proud tradition. Monti, a third generation horseman, owes his start and success in harness racing to his grandfather Carl Monti and his Dad Darrin Monti, both longtime horsemen, trainers and former drivers who are still in the business.

Exciting news at The Downs

Community Sports Report

Batavia Downs, North America’s oldest lighted Harness Racing Track, is adding an 80-room hotel only 30 feet from the gaming facilities.


Fall fishing finally on track

By Rich Davenport

Fall is in full swing, and fishing is starting to look like fall as well. Read more inside Doctari’s Fishing Forum.


Dates set for Gorges Classic Soccer Tournament in Niagara Falls

By Community Sports Report

The annual Gorges Classic Soccer Tournament in Niagara Falls, N.Y. is slated to take place on the weekend of May 6-8, 2016. Teams are invited to sign up right away on the tournament website: www.gorgesclassic.com before all the slots are gone. Teams will be competing for the “Viagra in Niagara” Cup and playing on nice soccer fields in and around Niagara Falls.


Lumberjack competition offers excitement and spectacle

By Landin Murphy

The sport of lumberjacking is not part of the life of most Western New Yorkers. Not classically seen around the average suburban neighborhood, the sport has a passionate following nonetheless.


Collecting Buffalo Bills Wall-of-Famers provides plenty of variety and challenges

By Randall Krolewicz

Established in 1980, the Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame honors former players, administrators and coaches who had significant roles in the team’s history. There are currently 30 members of the Wall of Fame and all but eight are players. In this and future columns I will provide a collector-focused history of the Wall of Fame members, starting with those from the American Football League.


Trivia quiz

By Mike Fox

October is when the Boys of Summer show they have what it takes to shine when autumn rolls around. As a tribute to the late great Yogi Berra, he is the correct answer to at least one of the following questions.


Local boxing happenings

By Bob Caico

Catch all the great local action in this edition’s installment of boxing happenings.


Commentary

TWENTY WRITERS, NO ORIGINAL IDEAS

By Ivan the Impaler

Everything old is new again in pro wrestling. And by that we mean that federations are “borrowing” each others’ ideas, for better or worse. Ivan discusses whether this amounts to Gimmick Infringement in this month’s cliff-hanger of a column.