WNY Softball Shines at State Finals | News
QUEENSBURY, N.Y. - Clarence brought home the big trophy, while Western New York softball's top teams all shined at the State Finals.
"We have teams come here every year, we compete hard. We do very well in regionals from year to year," said Clarence head coach Todd Banaszak. "It's a combination of the entire community buying into softball."
Clarence beat Cicero-North Syracuse 3-1 to win the Class AA State Championship. It's the first title for the Red Devils program and the first championship for a Section VI team since 2006.
"The kids have worked really, really hard. The teams that were before this team set it up, and this team wasn't going home without it," said Banaszak.
Both Hamburg and Frewsburg also advanced to the state finals this year, but both teams fell short in the state semifinals.
The Bulldogs had their undefeated season come to an end, falling to Jamesville-Dewitt 2-1 in the Class A Semifinals.
"This is the first team that's gone this far, there are thousands of people back home that are cheering for us and I told them it doesn't leave us less of a team, they are still champions," said Hamburg head coach Lisa Palma.
For the second straight season Frewsburg lost in the Class C Semifinals, falling to Greene 3-2. With three teams reaching the state finals, Western New York proved the strength of the regions' softball talent.
"I think that Western New York has some of the best softball in the state," said Frewsburg head coach Jon Blanchard. "We've shown that consistently and hopefully we will bring some more teams here next year and get it done."
Clarence won the title this year, but both Hamburg and Frewsburg return strong teams next season. All three schools proved they belong among the states elite programs, and plan to return next season.
"I think Western New York softball is right there with any other section in the state," said Banaszak.
"Hopefully this is just the beginning," said Palma. "Hopefully this is a dynasty."