With championship showings in several sports, Catholic high schools in the diocese amassed an abundance of team and individual trophies this fall.
Recent winners were:
* Bishop Kearney football, which earned the Section 5 Class C title and advanced to the state Class C semifinal round. The Kings scored a 36-34 win over East Rochester/Gananda in the sectional final Nov. 5, as Dahmir Pross ran for 281 yards on 35 carries, including three touchdowns, and Matt LaRocca hooked up with Asfa Sill on TD pass plays of 52 and 43 yards. Kearney went on to another close win, 40-38, over Cleveland Hill of Section 6 in state quarterfinal play Nov. 12, rallying from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit. Pross scored all six of Kearney's touchdowns in that game, finishing with 165 yards on 28 rushes. The Kings' season was finally ended by Newark Valley of Section 4, 34-14, in state semifinal action Nov. 19. BK's final record was 11-1.
* Elmira Notre Dame girls' soccer, which earned the Section 4 Class C championship with a 4-2 victory over Lansing in the title game Oct. 29 behind two goals from Laurel Vargas and single goals from Mackenzie Mahajan and Jillian Perreault. The Crusaders had reached the final by winning 5-1 over Unadilla Valley in quarterfinal play Oct 22, as Taylor Gray had three goals and Vargas added two, and 2-0 over Groton in semifinal action Oct. 26, as Perreault scored both goals. ND's season was halted in the state quarterfinals by Little Falls of Section 3, which scored a 2-0 win Nov. 5. The Crusaders ended up with a 17-3-1 record.
* Notre Dame boys' soccer, which shared the Section 4 Class B title. The Crusaders played Oneonta to a 0-0 tie in the final Oct. 29, then advanced to state-tournament play by winning a shootout 3-2. ND then lost 1-0 to Syracuse Westhill of Section 3 in the state quarterfinals Nov. 5. The Crusaders' final record was 16-1-2 as their 57-game unbeaten streak, dating back to 2013, finally ended. Notre Dame was last year's state Class C titlist before moving up to Class B this year. In earlier post-season play, ND won 5-0 in the sectional quarterfinals over Waverly Oct. 21 behind two goals from Nick Steed and 7-0 in the semifinals over Windsor Oct. 25, as Mitchell Vargas had three goals and Aidan Sharma added two.
* Kearney girls' volleyball, which captured the Section 5 Class D1 championship. BK opened the playoffs with wins over Harley Allendale-Columbia Oct. 29 in the quarterfinals and Campbell-Savona Nov. 2 in semifinal play, then outlasted Cuba-Rushford in five games Nov. 5 to bring home the title. The championship-match scores were 27-25, 25-14, 16-25, 17-25 and 25-19. That win advanced the Kings to the state Class D qualifier Nov. 8, where they scored a 25-23, 25-12, 25-17 win over Honeoye. In the state quarterfinals Nov. 12, BK dropped a 25-13, 23-25, 25-16, 25-15 decision to Panama of Section 6 to finish with a 19-3 record.
* Our Lady of Mercy's Julia Andreach, who advanced all the way to the state girls' tennis singles final. She earned her way into states by winning the Section 5 state-qualifying final Oct 22 over Pittsford Mendon's Sarah Bodewes by scores of 6-1, 4-6 and 6-3. Andreach then reached the state championship match before falling 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 to Caitlin Ferrante of Yorktown (Section 1) in the singles final Oct. 31. Andreach, a freshman at Mercy, was a state semifinalist last year.
* Notre Dame boys' cross-country, which won the Section 4 Class D title Nov. 3. Matt Karee also placed first individually, posting a time of 17 minutes, 14.4 seconds; and two Crusader teammates also finished near the top, with Frank Vassallo placing third (17:41.5) and Andrew Finnerty finishing fourth (17:45.0). Meanwhile, the ND girls finished second at sectionals, with Payton Yoder fifth (20:41.7) and Hayley Cronin sixth (21:06.2). Notre Dame's boys went on to place fourth at the state meet Nov. 12, with Karee's seventh-place finish of 16:29.5 topping the Crusaders that day.
* Notre Dame girls' swimming, which captured five events at the Section 4 Class C championships Nov. 5 to place fourth in team scoring. First-place finishers were Molly Craig in the 200-yard individual medley (2:05.0) and 500 freestyle (5:06.6), Catherine Craig in the 200 freestyle (1:59.0) and 100 breaststroke (1:08.1), and the 200 medley relay (1:54.6). At the state championships Nov. 19, Molly Craig went on to place fourth in the 200 IM with a Section 4 record time of 2:03.9, and also placed seventh in the 500 free (5:01.7). Catherine Craig placed 14th in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.7) and 27th in the 200 IM (2:11.0).
* Notre Dame girls' tennis, led by doubles champions Madeleine Meier and Chloe Stemerman, earned a second-place finish at the Section 4 Class C championships Oct. 14.
* McQuaid Jesuit boys' volleyball finished as runner-up in the Section 5 Class A playoffs. The Knights recorded a pair of three-set sweeps -- in the quarterfinals over Churchville-Chili Nov. 1, and in the semifinals over Fairport Nov. 5. McQuaid then fell to Penfield in a five-set thriller in the title match Nov. 10 by scores of 25-15, 16-25, 18-25, 25-22 and 25-16. The Knights, who were defending state champions, posted a final record of 16-4.
* Aquinas Institute girls' soccer reached the Section 5 Class A title match despite only being the No. 7 seed. The Little Irish won 3-0 over Irondequoit in first-round action Oct. 19, 2-1 over Pittsford Sutherland in the quarterfinals Oct. 22 and 5-0 over Pittsford Mendon in semifinal play Oct. 26 before their Cinderella bid was halted with a 2-0 loss to top-seeded Spencerport in the title game Oct. 29. AQ's final record was 10-6-4.
* Aquinas cross-country's Megan McMullen (fifth in Class C girls, 20:34.4) and McQuaid's Joe Doerr (eighth in Class A boys, 16:50.2) were top-10 individual finishers at the Section 5 championships Nov. 5. McMullen went on to place 14th in the state Class C girls' race Nov. 12 (19:50.1).
* Mercy girls' swimming's Paige Eaton led her team at the Section 5 Class A meet Nov. 5 by finishing third in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:08.51).
* Aquinas' cheerleaders placed second in the Division 2A small-schools classification at the Section 5 fall championships Oct. 29.