BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The soccer lads from East Aurora won the NYSPHSAA Class B championship on Sunday, following state title conquests by both of the Blue Devils’ cross country teams this weekend.
East Aurora is the fifth boys soccer team from Western New York in history to claim a state championship, the first since International Prep won Class D in 2014, and the first Section VI side to secure a state title in Class B or higher. North Collins won in Class D in 1994, and Holland was co-champion in Class C in 1982.
All-WNY selection Sam Evans scored both goals for East Aurora in the second half of the 2-1 title game victory against Spackenkill from Section IX at Faller Field in Middleton. The Blue Devils (22-0-1) broke through after losing state championship games in 2008 and 2015. Amar Culov and Owen Mack scored in Saturday’s 2-0 semifinal win over Chenango Forks, as East Aurora had a 38-7 goal differential in the postseason.
At the NYSPHSAA Cross Country Championships in Verona on Saturday, junior Emilia O’Leary won the Class C race for her second individual state title following a Class B victory in 2021. Finishing almost 42 seconds before the runner-up, with a time of 18:42.7, O’Leary led the Blue Devils to their fourth consecutive team title, and 12th since 2005. Kaitlyn Houghton (19:25.9) placed third for EA, Catherine Schoeneman (19:29.5) was fifth, Reiley Pierce (19:29.9) took seventh, Hope Owens (20:23.5) was 23rd, and Evelyn Hoak (21:05.4) was 37th.
East Aurora senior Owen Rung, who will run for Cornell next year, placed second in the boys Class C race with a time of 16:26.6, leading the Blue Devils to their first state title since 2015, and sixth since 1985. Shane Fraser and Gus Hoak finished in the top 13 with identical times (16:52.1). City Honors freshman Henry Peterson (16:40.1) took sixth.
Jonah Bronstein joined the WIVB squad in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. The Buffalonian has covered the Bills, Sabres, Bandits, Bisons, colleges, high schools and other notable sporting events in Western New York since 2005, for publications including The Associated Press, The Buffalo News, and Niagara Gazette. Read more of his work here.