THE BEAUTIFUL GAME — A DREAM SEASON Those in the know describe soccer as “the beautiful game” and during the 1992 soccer season a group of beautiful young ladies played the beautiful game beautifully for a whole season. To be competitive in Section VI was always a goal, but to advance beyond that, to the NYS playoffs, was a dream. No Section VI, Class A, girls soccer team had ever taken the giant step to “The States.” This ’92 team was made up of six seniors and a bevy of underclassmen. From day one, co-captains, Heather Williams and Jolie Mandell, took the reins of leadership. The other seniors, Molly Sheehan, Chrissy Metzger, Jennifer Funke and Robin Barris bought into the process. The rest of the team also “bought in”. They had no choice, as the positive attitude passed on by the upperclassmen became contagious. As the season progressed it was easy to observe a good team chemistry and team trust being built. Practices had purpose and it showed in games. If there was an individual hero in a game it was because of a team effort. Being the runner up in Division I did not deter the Bulldogs. While Williamsville North took the Division title, they lost to Lockport while the Bulldogs were besting Orchard Park. That set up the Section VI Finals between Hamburg and Lockport. In the finals, it was the “never give up” Bulldog attitude which prevailed. The Hamburg Bulldogs were now headed for uncharted territory. Hornell High School hosted the States and it was the first time the Bulldogs played on an artificial turf field. The Bulldogs were pitted against Webster, Section V Champs. More Bulldog heroics! Being outplayed throughout the game, Hamburg kept Webster off the scoreboard. Goalie, Jennifer Funke, made some outstanding saves during regulation. Overtimes proved fruitless by both teams and it came down to penalty kicks for a berth in the Semi Finals. Forward, Lyneve Lauria, stepped into goal for the Bulldogs PK session and made a key save, while freshman, Mary Watts, tied the contest with a well-placed shot. That set up the winner by another freshman, Kate Dziedzic. She calmly placed a neat shot passed the Webster Goalie and the Bulldogs were off to the Semi’s.
Shenendehowa was a totally different story. National polls had them ranked #10 in the country and the school was more than twice the size of Hamburg. A “David and Goliath” ending was not in the works and a “Dream Season” came to an end. Coach John Thomas had the highest praise for the play and conduct of his payers and felt that this team was not the most talented, but it was the blend of players and the way they played that created the success. The Hamburg ladies were awarded the state playoffs “Sportsmanship Trophy” for their positive attitude. Thomas stated, “I would invite every Hamburg athlete to have an attitude that our kids have. The more they overcame odds the more they believed they could overcome anything. They are a bunch of kids playing for each other. If someone faltered, someone else would step up and it would be someone different each time. Co-Captains Williams and Mandell came together and summarized the season this way. “The team worked on pride, determination and played for the love of the game. We worked together like a unit, a family. We were “All In.” We played through physical and emotional challenges and persevered through it all to be the best team we could be.” “Truly a “Dream Season.”
Front Row: Moira Sheehan, Laurie Giumento, Christine Metzger, Heather Williams (Co-Captain), Jolie Mandell (Co-Captain), Robyn Barris, Nicole Abramo, Maggie Schreier, Jennifer Funke. Second Row: Amy Tomaszewski, Melissa Reinagel, Kristen Kummer, Chun Yu Liu, Lyneve Lauria, Jennifer Stockmeyer, Jennifer Errington, Brooke Catarella Back Row: Tara Manteghi, Sandra Gullo, Laura Sheehan, Mary Watts, Kate Dziedzic, Coach John Thomas
T.J. was a 4-year letterman on the varsity soccer team under Coaches Bill Utter and Jim Brown and captain of the 1964 Section VI Championship team. He was named “All-ECIC” in 1963 and 1964 r.is junior and senior years. T.J. also played baseball and golf at Hamburg. He went on to play soccer at SUNY Brockport where he was named an All-American in 1968. He was on the All-New York State Soccer Team in 1966, 1967 and 1968, and was later inducted into the SUNY Brockport Hall of Fame. In 1969 he was drafted by the professional North American Soccer League’s Rochester Lancers. T.J. went on to have a successful coaching career at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Dean College and Louisiana State. At Dean he led the tennis team to a 6-1 record, was undefeated in Region play and had a number of his players named to All-Region teams. As soccer coach, T.J. was, in the words of a former player, “coach, counselor and mentor; he was professional, yet had a great sense of humor.” Following collegiate coaching, T.J. began a long successful association with Newton North High School in Newton, Massachusetts, first as coach and then as athletic director. He coached golf, tennis, and both women’s and men’s soccer. In 1989 and 1992 he was voted Coach-of-the-Year by The Boston Globe and was first runner up, National High School Coach-of-the-Year after his women’s soccer team was voted #1 in the country and won the state championship. He compiled an impressive overall record of 211-14-14. T.J. served on the Executive Board of the Massachusetts Athletic Directors Association and was a member of the 1994 World Cup Steering Committee. Coach Williams retired in 2007. T.J. resides in Clearwater, Florida. His mother is a graduate of the HHS Class of 1940 and his brother was a member of the Class of 1962.
For a number of years, little Joey was often seen standing directly on the sidelines next to either the players or the coaches, watching his older brother Frank play for Hamburg lacrosse teams at all levels. A typical little brother looking up to his big brother, just waiting and hoping to someday be like him. When that opportunity came, Joe played hard, becoming a 5-year varsity starter. He was named All-Western New York three times in 2006, 2007 and 2008, always giving his teammates credit for his success. Joe was also named High School All-American in 2007 and 2008. As an attackman, Joe participated in the Empire State games in 2007, and was also named an Under Armor All-American in 2008. By the time he finished his career at Hamburg, Joe had set the Section VI record for goals in a season (98) and points in a season (166), leading the Bulldogs to the Class B NYS Semi-finals in 2008. At that time, Joe ended up the second leading goal scorer in New York State history with 318 goals. Subsequent to graduation from Hamburg, Joe went on to become a Division I All- American playing lacrosse for the University at Albany. After being selected in the first round of the 2012 National Lacrosse League, Joe played professionally for the Calgary Roughnecks, Buffalo Bandits, Rochester Knighthawks, the Mann Cup Champion Brampton Excelsiors, Hamilton Nationals and the Ohio Machine. Joe joins his brother in being elected to the Hamburg Sports Wall of Fame.
Sarah was a tenacious swimmer excelling in distance freestyle, breaststroke, individual medley, as well as relays and sprints. Her ability to contribute in a diverse range of events kept the lineup unpredictable and helped the team secure undefeated seasons in 1986 and 1987. The team earned ECIC and Sectional Team Championships in 1986, 1987 and 1988. Sarah dominated Section VI swimming as a New York State meet finalist and ECIC 500 freestyle record holder. As a junior, she was elected team captain. Sarah held school records in the 200 medley relay, 400 freestyle relay, 200 freestyle, 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke and 500 freestyle. The 100 breaststroke record stood for three decades and the 1986 400 freestyle relay record and the 1987 500 freestyle record still stand today. As a scholarship athlete at Fordham University, Sarah was a two-year team captain and Patriot League Champion in the 400 individual medley and 1650 freestyle. After graduating with honors, Sarah continued to contribute to the swimming community as the Aquatics Coordinator at Erie Community College Flickinger Center, proudly hosting the U.S. Open, her own Fordham Rams at the Atlantic 10 Championships and the Hamburg Bulldogs at the Section VI and New York State meets. Sarah currently works for Jetblue Airways which affords her the opportunity to travel with husband Justin (1990), Luci (2019), Grace (2021) and Logan (2024), all proud Bulldogs. She was awarded the Jetblue Community Connection Presidential Award for exceptional volunteer work in our community, including Roswell Park Cancer Institute and BetheMatch.org, a national bone marrow transplant donor registry. Sarah’s most treasured memory is joining her legendary Coach, Dave Evans, on the pool deck as his Assistant Coach for the Hamburg Girls Varsity Swim Team from 2007-2013.
Tim enjoyed sports in Hamburg from an early age, first playing Little Loop Football and later working with the Recreation Department coaching basketball and baseball. His father played professional basketball and also served as coach of the Buffalo Braves, while both of his brothers were college basketball players. Tim was equally talented and a two-sport varsity athlete in high school, where he served as captain of both the football and basketball teams his senior year. In the fall, Tim played quarterback for the Bulldogs that year with an overall record of 5-3, and then led the varsity basketball team to an ECIC Division III record of 19-3 and into the playoffs. He averaged 18 points, 7 assists and 3 steals per game, earning All-WNY 2nd team honors. Tim went on to play basketball at Buffalo State, where his teams had 20-win seasons all four years. Tim was awarded the coveted Hub Coyer Award for Outstanding Male Athlete-Career to end his Buffalo State career. Tim currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts and is the Program Manager in the College of Professional and Continuing Education at the Wentworth Institute of Technology. Some of his fondest memories at Hamburg include scoring 25 points in one game against Depew and playing among talented athletes like Ron Smolinski, Ward Johnson, John Bates and Linda Wilson. “I am proud of my fellow athletes at Hamburg. 1983 was a great year for sports teams in Hamburg.”