On the boards and in the field, Wildcats continue to defeat Barons

On the boards and in the field, Wildcats continue to defeat Barons

Dr. Gregory Cotton (Ph.D, MBA and DML) is perhaps Wilson’s biggest booster. He avidly follows Wilson sports and academics and was up and down the sidelines taking pictures. [Photo: David Kramer]

Exactly seventeen years ago yesterday, the Wilson Wildcats came to Reifsteck Field only to lose to the Brighton Barons, 21 -7.  Last night the Wildcats came back in full force.

I was worried about the game as Wilson is the defending Class A champs and last week shut out Leadership Academy.  I was keenly hoping WE Barons could avenge the title game lost two years ago.  I saw WE because I am a proud Baron, captain of the 1981 championship team.

Desi Floyd (1) takes Wilson’s first play from scrimmage 75 yards for a touchdown. (Photo: PAUL GOTHAM/PICKIN’ SPLINTERS)

Desi Floyd (1) takes Wilson’s first play from scrimmage 75 yards for a touchdown. (Photo: PAUL GOTHAM/PICKIN’ SPLINTERS)

Alas, my fears were confirmed.  As described by Paul Gotham in Floyd paces Wilson onslaught (PICKIN’ SPLINTERS), the Wildcats scored on their first possession and never looked back.  46 – 7.

WildcaTS 2

These Wilson ladies were especially rooting for #’s 4, 14, and 15

OK, so I was not the football captain back in 1981, but the chess team captain when we won the title.  And that match when Wilson beat us two years ago was chess. (SEE BELOW).  Although chess is not as popular as football, for all students, being on the chess team is an experience generating memorable moments lasting a lifetime.

Two years ago, the football Barons made it to the title game.  We extensively covered  their great run (SEE AT END).  This year the team is off to a tough 0-2 start. But analysts at the Democrat and Chronicle predict a solid season for the Barons as they have many returning seniors.

Wildcats strike out our undermanned Barons  4/23/16

Wilson Magnet High School junior Sam Cherin, a Mets fan. Down by a rook, but as 1973 Mets manager Yogi Berra said: It ain’t over till it’s over. 4/23/16

Barons, Barons, what’s your cry?



from Introductions 1981 Brighton vs. Webster (Democrat & Chronicle) Caption; “Dave Kramer of Brighton concentrates on his next move. He lost.”

— Brighton High School sports chant

For several years now, we’ve given our love many times to city chess and the Wilson Wildcat’s dynasty including last year’s win over SOTA in the playoff finals.

chess team

That championship season. Row 1: Mark McDonald, Regina Olshan, Ramy Nahas, David Siegel Row 2: Victor Barocas, Robert Rodic, Justin Gastel, Tim Elliott Row 3: Michael Weiss, Dave Silverman, Sandy Goldstein, Meyer Stolberg, Matt Wagman Row 4: Alan Sun, Alan Crane, Phil Ghyzel, Jeremy Salesin, Steven [sic] Shapiro, Dave Kramer [from Crossroads 1981, courtesy Brighton Memorial Library]

But this year was to be Brighton’s. The 35th anniversary of that championship season when we Barons wore the Monroe County Chess League crown (now the Upstate New York Interscholastic Chess League.) The Fab Five: Andre, Alan, Phil, Dean and myself.


Final round. Brighton (left) v. Wilson (Eastridge High School, 4/23/16)

When I arrived today at Eastridge High School, the final round Wilson v. Brighton was underway. Despite playing undermanned, Brighton was ahead. Throughout the tournament, Brighton had only fielded three players, meaning boards 4 and 5 were automatic forfeits.

At first it was suggested the two players were missing because of Passover. Fair enough. But not true. One unnamable Baron had overslept. Baron, back in the day, we set multiple alarm clocks the night before that championship. The second Baron had another activity. No comment.


Brighton was awarded 1st place on points. Provided by Ron Lohrman of the Rochester Chess Center

Brighton’s 2016 chess trophies

But those two unnamables appeared to have dodged checkmate. On pivotal board 3, Wilson’s Sam Cherin was down a rook.

wilson w trophy

Wildcats with well deserved trophy

Moving to the Brighton table to take pics of our vast display of hardware, I felt secure. But then a flurry of excitement on the Wildcat side.

Cherin had rallied — and won. Wilson had successfully defended its crown. V-I-C-T-O-R-Y.

In the post match interview, I asked Sam if he had seen it coming. When down a rook, he was hoping for a stalemate draw. But Sam was able encircle Black’s king with queen and rook. Then winning back a rook. Then, pressing his attack, the game.

From Avalon to Westland to Claybourne to Edgemoor, disappointment reigns.

Tournament scoreboard. Provided by Ron Lohrman of the Rochester Chess Center

At first, I considered downgrading the two overactive oversleepers from Barons to Vassals. But upon reflection, understandable stuff happens. We all oversleep. We all have prior commitments to which we are bound. Seriously, your participation on the team is much appreciated. Next year.


Lev’s favorite player. Paul Morphy (1838 – 1884)

Besides, the Brighton chess world has phenomenal news to celebrate. A couple of months ago, junior Lev “Baron von Richtofen” Paciorkowski [my nickname] became a Master, his rating eclipsing the 2200 threshold. And who is Lev’s favorite player? It’s Paul Morphy from the 19th century! Good call, Lev.


Congrats, Master Paciorkowski! The D & C only very so rarely reports that Lev lost, unlike this red Baron [Photo: Becky Wiggins (BHS teacher)

Only still in high school, Lev is unsure of his chess future, although he definitely plans to compete in college. Playing at the professional level takes a great deal of time and dedication. But there is no reason why Grandmaster can’t be next.


Congratulations Barons on a magical season.

Barons prevail in first televised football game at Reifsteck Field

Pygmies of ’69 remain Brighton’s last undefeated football team

Working on the Chain Gang at Reifsteck Field

About The Author


Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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