Lancer News & Information

St. Mary's Names John Opfer to Athletics Staff

John Opfer has been named Sports Performance Director at St. Mary’s High School.  Opfer will work with student athletes to improve their on-field performance and promote techniques to prevent injury.  In conjunction with Opfer coming on board at the school, he will also be instrumental in designing the Lancer Sports Performance Lab, a brand new, state-of-the-art facility, currently under renovation in the St. Mary’s Athletic Center.

Opfer is the owner and Director of Performance Training at Proformance Sports Training, which operates out of the Northtown Center in Amherst.  Here, he works with male and female athletes of all ages, talent levels, and who play sports that range from track to football.  Opfer will bring the same skill set he uses to train these athletes to St. Mary’s and is thrilled to play a big role in the development of the student athletes at one of the best schools, both athletically and academically, in the state: “I am very excited to join a school community and athletic department that has a true commitment to these kids and the craft of athletics- the techniques and the science behind it,” Opfer said.

Opfer brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge of what techniques and drills make athletes their best, being the first real professional in dedicated sports performance training in the area.  He is certified by the CSCS- National Strength & Conditioning Association, USA Track & Field levels 1,2, and 3, and by the Weightlifting Federation.  He is also one of only forty coaches to hold a Masters in Level 5 Biomechanics with application in sprints with USA Track & Field and the IFF Olympic governing body, which is the highest accreditation for a speed coach. 

Opfer has worked for the University at Buffalo, where he was the youngest Head Strength Coach in NCAA history.  He has also worked for the Cleveland Indians, Buffalo Bills, and the University of Tennessee.  With a resume like this one, it is no surprise that St. Mary’s is eager to have Opfer become part of the St. Mary’s team: “We are thrilled to have someone of the caliber, professionalism, and overall knowledge of the human body that John brings to the table,” said Kevin Kelleher, Head of School.  “Athletics aside, John is one of the better people that I know.  He’s a faith-filled man, who will fit in nicely with our current staff and our wonderful student athletes and families,” Keller continued.  “We can’t wait to watch him help our student athletes become stronger and more explosive, especially in combination with the state-of-the-art sports performance lab currently under construction.  Our athletics department is already functioning at such a high level under our Athletic Director Brittany Heist, so I am really looking forward to John and Brittany joining forces to mentor our student athletes."

You can read more about Opfer's hiring in The Buffalo News here.

Winter Sport Tryout Information 

Women's Basketball
Mon, Nov 6 - Thurs, Nov 9
Men's Basketball 
Mon, Nov 6 - Wed, Nov 8
Mon, Nov 6- Friday Nov 10
2:30-4:30 (Gus)
Mon, Nov 6 and Thurs, Nov 9
Indoor Track
Don't forget that you need an Athletic Card to tryout, so you also must turn in your Interval Health History Form and have an updated physical on file.
Go Lancers!

Winter Sports Start November 6, 2017


All winter athletes need to sign up for Winter Sports in the Athletic Office.  In order to be eligible an Interval Health History (IHH) form (which can be found in main office, athletic office, or under Athletic Tab - Lancer Forms) needs to be completed and turned into the nurse, and all physicals have to be up to date for the start of the season!

Go Lancers!

Fall Sports Banquet: November 13, 2017

This year's fall sports banquet will be held Monday, November 13, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. in the Gus at St. Mary's High School.  Additional details will be sent home regarding the night along with a means to RSVP to the event.

Hope to see you there!


Fall Sport Tryout Dates and Times

The beginning of the Fall sports season is upon us!  Take a look below to see the times, dates, and locations of the tryouts for each sport.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our Athletic Director, Ms. Heist at  

Interval Health History Form and Updated Physical Drop Off Dates:

Monday, July 31st 9-11 am

Tuesday, August 1st 4-6 pm

Wednesday, August 2nd 4-6 pm

Thursday, August 3rd 9-11 am

Monday August 14th 8-10 am (First day of Tryouts – forms need to be in prior to tryout)

Thursday, August 17th 9-11 am (Must sit out until this date, if forms not completed)


Head Coach – Chris Dickson

Location: St. Mary’s High School

            Monday, August 14 – 18th

            8am – 2pm (Please bring $4.00/day for lunch)


Women’s Volleyball (JV and Varsity offered)

Head Coach – Don Pieczynski

Location: Four Stallions, 2912 William St,

Buffalo, NY 14227

            Monday, August 14-18th



Men’s Volleyball

Head Coach – Peter Florczak

Location: St. Mary’s High School

            Monday, August 14-18th



Men’s Soccer (JV and Varsity offered)

Head Coach – Al Franjoine

Location: Lancaster Middle School (The Flats)

            Monday, August 14th-18th




















Women’s Soccer

Head Coach – Brittany Heist

Location: Westwood Park

            Monday, August 14th-18th




Head Coach – Cristina Fudoli

Location: St. Mary’s High School (Gus)

            Monday & Tuesday

August 14-15th




Head Coach – Mark DiPirro

Location: Walden Driving Range, 4011 Walden Ave, Lancaster, NY

            Wednesday & Thursday

August 16-17th



Cross Country (Men’s and Women’s)

Head Coach – Charlie Planz

            Monday, August 14-18th

            8am - St. Mary’s High School

            6pm - Como Lake Park


St. Mary's Softball Program Heads to Italy

Members of the St. Mary's Softball Program will head to Italy August 2-10, 2017 for a the chance of a lifetime! 

Follow along as the softball program heads to Italy to take in all of the culture and amazing sites of places like Rome, Venice, and all of other beautiful places the country has to offer... Oh, and as they play a few games too!

We'll be posting updates on Twitter at @stmaryslancers and @SMHAthletics, Instagram (stmaryslancers), and Facebook (St. Mary's High School Lancaster, NY) throughout the week, so make sure to check it out!

A big thanks to Coach Rappl for organizing this amazing experience for our Lancers!



St. Mary's Football Team Holds a Buffalo Bills Ticket Fundraiser

The Buffalo Bills make us wanna shout! The SMH Football Team is taking part in the following fundraiser. Follow this link, enter the promo code, and $5 from each ticket sale will go to the team. Let's beat those Indianapolis Colts and the Miami Dolphins, and help the Lancers ride their way to a successful season!
























Again, follow this link for tickets:


St. Mary's Women's Volleyball Team Named Lancaster Bee Team of the Year


The Women's Varsity Volleyball Team can add another post-season accolade to the trophy case, as the ladies received the Team of the Year honor from the Lancaster Bee.  Read why they were chosen here.


SMH Baseball Players Recognized for Remarkable Season

Alex Bish '17 was named league Pitcher of the Year, and Joe Barberio '17 was named league Defensive Player of the Year!

Zach Penksa '17 made First Team All-Catholic, while Christian Szablewski '18 and Cole Laskowski '19 made Second Team All-Catholic.

What a great season, boys!




Erin DiPirro '18 Named to First Team All-Catholic Lacrosse 


The accolades keep on coming for St. Mary's Spring sports.  Junior Erin DiPirro made First Team-All Catholic Lacrosse after a stellar season for the Lancers.  

Way to go, Erin!



St. Mary's Receives Three Buffalo News Prep Talk Award Nominations

St. Mary's received THREE nominations for The Buffalo News Prep Talk Awards on June 14, 2017.  The Women's Volleyball Team was nominated for Team of the Year, Women's Volleyball Head Coach Don Pieczynski for Coach of the Year, and the entire St. Mary's Athletic Department, including all of our teams, for Program of the Year! Our Lancers are remarkable!

The Prep Talk Awards took place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Downtown Buffalo, where the volleyball team and Coach Pieczynski were in attendance along with St. Mary's Athletic Director Brittany Heist.  

Take a look at the article from The Buffalo News for all of the details:



Sports Information Night Set for July 20th at 6:00pm

Any students interested in playing a Fall sport should attend, along with their families, Sports Information Night on Thursday, July 20th at 6:00pm.  The night will take place right at St. Mary's and will provide helpful information on the different paperwork needed to participate in sports along with other pertinent information.


Interval Health History Form Return Dates

Students will need to bring in their Interval Health History Forms on any of the dates listed below.  These forms will be mailed home in the first week of July.  When these forms are returned on one of the following dates, students will then be able to collect their Athletic Card for their Fall sport.  If the Interval Health History Form and Physical are not turned in or up to date, students cannot get an Athletic Card, which is their tryout ticket for the sport. 

Monday, July 31st 9-11 am
Tuesday, August 1st 4-6 pm
Wednesday, August 2nd 4-6 pm
Thursday, August 3rd 9-11 am
Monday August 14th 8-10 am
Thursday, August 17th 9-11 am


Women's Varsity Volleyball Team Receives Butler Mitchell Alumni Association's Athletic Excellence Award


Women's Varsity Volleyball Team and coaching staff with Butler Mitchell Alumni Association members

St. Mary's Women's Varsity Volleyball can add another award to the trophy case. The Butler Mitchel Alumni Association named the Lancers as the recipient of their Athletic Excellence Award.

In 2016, St. Mary’s went undefeated in New York State, adding its 15th state championship to its growing legacy and its 6th Monsignor Martin League title in a row. When you couple this dominance on the court with a high standard for academic excellence in the classroom, you have the perfect ingredients for a Butler Mitchell Alumni Association honoree: “There were several schools we considered for this award,” said Joe LoTempio of the Butler Mitchell Alumni Association. “But when you look at St. Mary’s and their history of dominance in girls volleyball, the choice was clear.”

The Lancers received the award at a ceremony over brunch. St. Mary’s Head Volleyball Coach, Don Pieczynski, knows that moments like these are special and will cherish the ceremony with his team: “To be recognized by such an incredible organization, like the Butler Mitchell Alumni Association, is such an honor,” he said. “Our season ended a few months ago, so to get the team back together to celebrate their accomplishments and for one last ‘hurrah,’ makes it even more special.”

With over 50 years of history serving Western New York’s youth through charitable educational and recreational events, the Butler Mitchell Alumni Association has become a beacon for good works in the community.



Lancers Baseball Reaches Georgetown Cup Finals


A crowd of nearly 500 came to St. Mary's High School's home field for the final and decisive Game 3 of the Georgetown Cup Championship Series between St. Mary's and St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute.  Games 1 and 2 were played at Coca-Cola Field, home of the Buffalo Bisons, but a rained-out Game 2 pushed the final game into a scheduling conflict, so the teams battled at St. Mary's home field.


The Lancers held a 1-0 lead after five innings, but St. Joe's brought out the bats in the top of the sixth, scoring six in the frame, to secure the championship.  

After such an exciting series and a remarkable season, Lancers Baseball will look to return to the top of the field next year and work their way back to the championship series.






Cheerleading Names Its New Coach

Cristina Fudoli, a Class of 2006 graduate, returns to her old stomping grounds to lead St. Mary's Cheerleading into a new era.

With over 10 years of coaching and competition experience in the towns of Lancaster and Orchard Park, Fudoli brings a wealth of experience and success to build the program into a real powerhouse.


Lancers Softball Wins Monsignor Martin League Championship and Names an MVP and All-Catholic Members

The Lady Lancer Softball Team defeated Mount Mercy Academy 14-7 to win the Monsignor Martin Championship at Sunshine Park in West Seneca.

The Lancers erased a one-run deficit in the third inning, plating four runs in the frame, and then really laid it on think with a nine-run seventh inning.  Every player, from the top to the bottom of the order, contributed immensely to the team's win.

The championship is St. Mary's second in the past three years.

You can read about the championship game in The Buffalo News here. 





To add to the celebration, Senior Erin Hufford earned the league's Player of the Year honor and Junior Mackenzie Suto along with Freshman Maggie Kellner were named First Team All-Catholic.

You can see the full First and Second Team All-Catholic rosters here.


Nine Lancers Qualify for State Championships in Track and Field

Nine student athletes will make the trip to New York City this Memorial Day weekend to represent St. Mary's in the Track and Field State Championships. 


Congratulations to:

Kayla Bestpitch '20
Bridget Vogl '19
Libby Benzer '18
Haley Wipperman '17
Kayla Leo '17
Kathryn Vogl '17
Erin Hufford '17
Daquan Hunt '17
Best of luck Lancers!

Honoring the Seniors- Spring Sports Edition

The Women's Lacrosse Team will honor their seniors when they face off against Lewport for their Senior Game on Friday, May 19th.  Come support these hard-working ladies at Westwood Field!

The seniors on the lacrosse team are: Kaitlyn Kowalewski, Campbell Amatura, Courtney Kline, Sydney Zajac, and Grace Fuller.









The St. Mary's Softball Team would also like to congratulate their three Seniors on remarkable careers.  The Softball team will honor these ladies at their final home game on Wednesday, May 17th at Walden Ponds when they clash with CCA.

The seniors pictured below are: Erin Hufford, Haley Wipperman, and Victoria Jankowski


Men's Basketball Wins Manhattan Cup

In quite the dramatic fashion, the St. Mary's Men's Basketball Team won their first Manhattan Cup title in school history, defeating Nichols 64-61 at Canisius College's Koessler Athletic Center.  Erasing a six-point halftime deficit, the Lancers' shooting heated up as the game wore on, and Junior Matt Ciezki hit a three-pointer that sealed the deal for St. Mary's with just 30 seconds left in the game.

You can read even more about this historic game in the Buffalo News here!


Sign-Up for a Spring Sport Physical - Deadline: February 28

In order to play a Spring sport, each student-athlete needs to turn in an Interval Health History (IHH) form located in the main office, the athletic office, or the health office.  As well as the IHH, the student needs to have an up to date physical on file.  If you wish to have a physical completed by the school physician, they will be at SMHS on March 15, 2017.  You MUST sign up with Mrs. Martin in the Health Office by February 28th. Parents may call 683-4824 x 220.

Hannah Pufpaff headed to Gannon Universityhannah 

Congratulations to Senior Hannah Pufpaff who will be continuing her soccer career down the I-90, in Erie, to play her collegiate years at Gannon University.  She plans to study Physical Therapy as she becomes yet another St. Mary's student-athlete pursuing both an education and athletics in college. 



Spring Sport Sign-Ups and Start Date - Monday, March 6th

Spring Sports start Monday, March 6th.  Please stop in to the athletic office to sign up and get information on tryout times and locations.  Go Lancers!  Spring Student-Athletes will need to complete a Interval Health History, have an updated physical, and receive their Player Card before they are allowed to tryout.

Winter Banquet Date Announced - Wednesday, March 15th 6:00pm

The Winter Sports Banquet will be held, Wednesday, March 15th, at 6pm at St. Mary's High School.  All winter Student-Athletes are encouraged to attend with family members.  Please contact the athletic office for more information!

Fall Sports Banquet

Congratulations to the following Student-Athletes who were honored at the Fall Sports Banquet, held on November 16 at St. Mary's High School:

Offensive Player of the Year - Derek Johnson
Defensive Player of the Year - James Miller
Lancer Award  - CJ Ozolins
Best Offensive Player: Christian Szablewski
Best Defensive Player: Patrick Basil
Team MVP: Eric Brown
MVP: Caitlyn Meyer
Most Improved: Jillian Vitale
Most Versatile: Summer Slade
Most Improved: Marie Rhodes
Co MVP: Maddison Nuttle, Jasmine Brundage
Most Offensive: Nate Waley
Most Defensive: Dan Cress
MVP: Nino Marino
Defensive Player of the Year: Sam Mickel
Offensive Player of the Year: Jake Ciansiosa
MVP: Brendan Murty
MVP: Courtney Kline
Lancer Award: Grace Fuller
Best Teammate: Nicole Kruse
MVP: Libby Benzer
MIP: Maddie Benzer
Dedication and Commitment Award: Kayla Leo
MVP: Brady O'Brien
Coach's Award: Alex Bellet
Most Improved Golfer: Julia Hartloff

Honoring the Seniors

Prior to their match with Sacred Heart Academy, the Women's Varsity Volleyball Team honored the senior members of their team - Gina Appenheimer, Victoria Jankowski, Caitlyn Meyer, and Kathryn Vogl.

Congratulations, Ladies & Families!


Women's Soccer would like to congratulate and wish the best of luck to the fours seniors that have helped anchor the team this season.  The team celebrated Senior Day with a 2-0 win over Christian Central Academy.  The women's soccer seniors are: Kristi Smith, Courtney Kline, Marissa Loniewski, and Grace Fuller.

Women's Soccer Seniors 2016