By John Lemon
Let's look back at the best of Batavia-Geneva 2011 ...
Best player on the field: Tough call. That's something that's going to make this Batavia team tough to beat. They've got so many different ways to win games. I'm trying, but I don't think I can pick one.
Best statement: The one delivered by Batavia's offensive and defensive lines. They aren't going to get pushed around by Geneva any more.
Best moment: Seeing the embraces for injured Batavia quarterback Noel Gaspari from his teammates and coaches like Matt Holm, who has known Noel his entire life. You know how much this game meant to Noel after these last three years.
Best possibility: That like in 2006, this is just the first of two Batavia-Geneva games in the same year.
Best parking spot: I'm still looking for that.
Best quote: Who else but Batavia coach Dennis Piron.
After a bit of an ugly scene at midfield after the game with Geneva officials upset at Batavia students for storming the field, Piron went out of his way to praise Rob Wicinski and the Geneva staff.
"They are so difficult to prepare for. They are such a difficult program to beat. Geneva never gets the statewide respect they deserve. They X-and-O so well. They scout you, they prepare for you, they don't just line up and run plays. They try to beat you at your weaknesses."
Best scramble: That's a tough one with some of the plays both Matt Williams and Noel Gaspari made. But I'll go with Gaspari's first down pass to Evan Zeddies to set up a first-half Batavia touchdown.
Best wishes: To a speedy recovery to Noel Gaspari. I couldn't help but think of another QB whose dad is a Hall of Fame coach when I saw Gaspari leave the game Friday.
Back in 2005, ironically, it was Batavia that knocked out Kaneland's Boone Thorgesen. Like the Bulldogs did Friday, Kaneland rallied that night without its leader and won the game. But Thorgesen didn't return until the playoffs and wasn't the same physically -- so hopefully history doesn't repeat itself. Especially because at least with Thorgesen's injury he had his senior year still to come and was able to return in 2006 and lead the Knights to the state semifinals.
Best place to be on a fall Friday night in the Tri-Cities: Really? I don't need to even say it. Mark the Batavia-Geneva game on your calendar, and don't miss it.