Dick Gallagher gives his thoughts, opinions, and facts as he looks ahead to Week 1 of high school football.
Dick Gallagher's Commentary:
Today is a new day, a new beginning.
It has been given to me as a new gift.
I can either use it or throw it away.
What I do today will affect me tomorrow.
I cannot blame anyone but myself if I do not succeed.
I promise to use this day to the fullest by giving my best, realizing it can never come back again.
This is my life and I choose to make it a success.
Booster Club President of the Week: Jeff Spears, Olean
Academic Achievers of the Week:
Scott Becht, Williamsville North (95 GPA)
Luke Chapman, Olean (97 GPA)
Top Football Complex: Williamsville North
Referee of the Week: Dave Sobus
Athletic Director of the Week: Terry Gray, Frewsburg
Top Band: Orchard Park
Top Refreshment Stand: Grand Island
Top JV Program: South Park
Tackling Machine: Ben Damiani, Lancaster
Best Voice: Miles Haynes, McKinley
Comedian of the Week: Zach Bucher, Orchard Park
Best Dressed Jamestown Coach: Tom Langworthy
Cheerleaders of the Week: Starpoint
Best Chain Crew: North Tonawanda
Best Uniform: St. Francis
Class Act: Christian Snell, Alden; Hayden Harrington, Sweet Home
Best Fans: Grand Island
Best Dressed Coaches: West Seneca West
Best Game Program: Jamestown
Top Statistician: Tim Wegrzyn, St. Joe;s
Best Announcer: Michael Serrotte, City of Buffalo
Most Loquacious: Sibby Constantino
Trainer of the Week: Marcy Gerlach, Sweet Home
Best Nickname: Jalin “Cadillac” Cooper, Medina
Journalist of the Week: Miggy Rodriguez, Buffalo News
Top Assistant Coaches: St. Joe’s
Best Restaurant: Curley’s
Football Slogan: 11 players, 1 heartbeat
Top Ambassador: Tony Caliguri, WGR 550
Top Principal: Gil Licata, Starpoint
Most Photogenic: Retsen Daley, St. Francis
Best Fan: Dennis Sarow, Connolly Cup
Most Media Friendly Football Program: Medina
Alumnus of the Week: Naaman Roosevelt, St. Joe’s
Question for the Week: Who will replace Jerry Hickson for St. Francis?
Best Dancer: Rashad Law, Maryvale
Name for the Week: Meach Gardner, Albion
Fastest Player of the Week: Kenyatt Huston, Canisius (3.9, 40 yards)
Strongest Player of the Week: Dan Wagner, Williamsville East
Tallest Player of the Week: Salvatore Gioeli, Barker/Roy-Hart 6’6 300 lbs
Photographer of the Week: Harry Scull, Buffalo News
Referee Nickname: Al “Bulldog” Fuller
Most Photogenic Coach: Phil Vecchio, Olean
Superintendent of the Week: Mike Cornell, Hamburg
Best Team Nickname: Albion Purple Eagles
Top Assistant to Athletic Director: Kim Montondo, Amherst
Top Quarterback: Matt Myers, West Seneca West
Top Running Back: Kenyatta Huston, Canisius
Top Wide Reciever: Jalin Cooper, Medina
Top Offensive Lineman: Jeremiah Sanders, South Park
Top Defensive Lineman: Nick Julian, St. Joe’s
Top Linebacker: Joe Andreessen, Lancaster
Top Defensive Back: Rashad Law, Maryvale
Top Kicker: Brian Strybel, Orchard Park
Most Versatile: Max Giordana, Lancaster
Matt “The Franchise” Myers, West Seneca West
Jordan “Pancake Man” Holmes, North Tonawanda
Ka’Sean “Hammer” Anthony, Cheektowaga
Cole “Golden Boy” Snyder, Southwestern
Mike “Dominator” Regerman, Pioneer
Miles “Rambo” Haynes, McKinley
Jeremiah “The Destroyer” Sanders, South Park
Top Games Week 1
Canisius at Pittsford
McDowell at St. Francis
Bennett at Lancaster
Williamsville South at Clarence
McKinley at Orchard Park
Medina at Burgard
Sweet Home at North Tonawanda
Niagara Falls at Kenmore West
Maryvale at Cleveland Hill
Lockport at Niagara Wheatfield
Top Rushers Preseason
Class AA: Marquell Wells, Williamsville North
Class A North: Anthony Robinson, Starpoint
Class A South: Kaiyer Fields, McKinley
Class B-1: Keshone Beal, Cheektowaga
Class B-2: Dylan Vincent, Olean
Class B-3: Khalil Hotron, Lackawanna
Class C North: Aaron Wahler, Cleveland Hill
Class C South: Austin Eggleston, Silver Creek/Forestville
Class D: Nick Fabrizio, Maple Grove
Msgr. Martin Association: Kenyatta Huston, Canisius
Cole Gambino from St. Francis to St. Joe’s
Matt Myers from Timon/ St. Jude to West Seneca West
Jeremiah Sanders from Timon/St. Jude to South Park
Juston Johnson from Timon/St. Jude to West Seneca West
Dylan McDuffie from St. Francis to Sweet Home
Julian Anodden from Niagara Catholic to St. Francis
Jack Laver from Eden to St. Francis
J Riley Miller from Norway to St. Francis
Rod Arrington from Bennett to St. Francis
Rod Arrington from Bennett to St. Francis
John McCabe from East Aurora to Hamburg
Andre Marrion from North Carolina to South Park
Joe Hammer from Pembroke to Alden
Kellvonta Parker from JFK to Cleveland Hill
Ernest Hollaway from Bennett to Orchard Park
Tom Bednarski from Alden to Lancaster
Johnny Salone from Medina to Greece-Athena
Congratulations to the Kensington Lions and Milt Dickerson for another high school All-Star football classic on July 26th. This event has been coordinated by Milt for 42 years. Congratulations also to Dick Cerone, Rochester, for coordinating the Eddie Meath All Star Game in Section V for the 34th year, and for the last time. Proceeds from the Lions game goes to Kids Escaping Drugs while proceeds from the Meath game go to Golisano’s Childrens Hospital. Thanks also to the sponsors, particularly Ad Pro Sports and Topps.
Turkey of the Year: Lavar Ball, California AAU Basketball coach who was ejected from a game by a female official but the decision was reversed by Adidas tournament sponsor after Balls ranting and raving and acting like a 2 year old. Sad but true.
25 WNY running backs have rushed for 2000 yards led by Chris Doubek, Randolph 2536 yards. Lackawanna, Jamestown, Orchard Park, St. Francis, and Alden each had 2 players rushing for 2000 yards in a season.
The Catholic diocese in Buffalo have made several mistakes in the past including bishops closing Turner-Carroll high school, which was the only Catholic High School in the inner city. They also closed Newman high school in Williamsville which had a graduating class of 351 at one time. The bishops at the time of the gave little is any information as to why the schools were closed. Each of the schools graduated many students who did well academically and athletically in college and in their occupations. The closings never made any sense but both schools were shut down event with tremendous support from the community to keep them opened.
Jake Sisson, former All-WNY and All-State player at Jamestown led Edinburo to a 9-2 record in 2016. He is listed as the preseason QB first team for Division II football. Congratulations Jake for this tremendous honor. Another WNY alumnus makes good.
Tyrone Wheatley, former All-WNY and All-State at Canisius is second string tight end for 2017 for the University of Michigan football team.
Please add Henry Fumerelle to your prayer list. Hank was involved in a traffic accident which resulted in some injuries. He was head coach at North Tonawanda but could not continue due to health issues related to the accident. Dan Troy takes over as head coach for the Jacks this season.
Kudos to Eric Rupp, Lancaster head coach, for coordinating a 7 on 7 tournament for 12 schools on July 25th. The event was very well organized and successful. Lancaster “A” team defeated St. Joe’s for the championship.
“Thunder and Lightening” Kaiyer Fields and Miles Haynes McKinley
Unsung Players Preseason
Class AA: Andrew Hersey, Lancaster
Class A North: Jemelle Jones, Williamsville South
Class A South: Jesse Brodd, West Seneca West
Class B-1: John Sweat, Cheektowaga
Class B-2: Jaziah Rivera, Dunkirk
Class B-3: Isaiah Rhim, Medina
Class C North: Zachary Decarrolls, Eden/North Collins
Class C South: Brian Burns, Southwestern
Class D: Zak Trim, Maple Grove
Msgr. Martin Association: Will McGennis, Canisius; Cole Gambino, St. Joe’s; C.J. Ozolins. St. Mary’s
Resignation of Charlie Comerford, head football coach at Timon/St. Jude and athletic director was a surprise. In 6 years at the helm, he recorded a 38-29-0 record playing a tough schedule every year. He was a two time All-WNY first team in football and basketball and was one of the best athletes to ever play for the Tigers.
“The Adonis Twins” Tyler Doty and Cole Gambino, St. Joe’s
Forecast Regular Season
St. Francis 4-5
Williamsville South 4-3-0
Orchard Park 5-2
South park 6-1
North Tonawanda 5-2
Maple Grove 7-1
West Seneca East 5-2
Cleveland Hill 6-1
Major Off Season Developments
Retirement of John Faller at Sweet home after 30 years as head coach.
Sudden resignation of Charlie Comerford at Bishop Timon/St.Jude.
Transfer of Dylan McDuffie from St. Francis to Sweet Home.
Matt Meyers, West Seneca West, committing to the University at Buffalo.
Class AA having 11 teams in one league.
Jalin Cooper, Medina SR WR/DB receiving 11 scholarship offers from colleges and committing to attend and play at the University of Toldeo.
Paul Woods, Canisius SR WR has committed to Rutgers. Paul also received scholarship offers from UB, Temple, Boston College, and Cincinnati.
Jeremiah Sanders transferred back to South Park from Timon/St. Jude.
There are 13 new head football coaches with Joe Licata taking over for Charlie Comerford at Timon/St. Jude.
Tom Bernarski, All-WNY pitcher from Alden transferred to Lancaster where he will provide another weapon for Eric Rupp at wide receiver. The Legends 2018 baseball team just got stronger.
Gene Tundo will call the plays with assistance from Chuck Senn for Orchard Park.
Matt Myers, SR QB, transferred from Timon/St. Jude to West Seneca West.
Juston Johnson, JR WR/DB transferred from Timon/St. Jude to West Seneca West.
Noah Bieler, Orchard Park SR RB, suffered an ACL injury and could miss a few games in September before he is ready to play.
Dylan McDuffie was second team All-WNY RB for St. Francis in 2016 when he rushed for 1255 yards and 14 touchdowns. For the 2017 football season, he transferred back to Sweet Home. The former Red Raider has received 4 scholarship offers from Albany, Central Connecticut State, Delaware, and Maine.
Fact: St. Francis head coach Jerry Smith has coached in 288 games in 29 years. The head coaches for the other 5 teams in the Msgr. Martin Association have coached a total of 133 games and have been head coaches for 14 years. The Red Raider is the patriarch of the league.
With Paul Woods committing to Rutgers, Canisius for 11 consecutive years has had at least one senior earn a division I football scholarship.
Congratulations to Joe Licata for his appointment as athletic director and head football coach at Timon/St. Jude. He has the support of many to be successful and just needs to get through the next year. He was an outstanding football player at Williamsville South and the University at Buffalo. He holds several records including passing for 87 touchdowns in his career at South. Joe is a class act and the Tigers are fortunate to have him as coach and athletic director.
Kenmore East will dedicate their new athletic complex when they host Grand Island in week 1. The field will be dedicated and named Sparky Adams Field. Sparky was the winningest coach at Kenmore East. Congratulations to sparky, his family, friends, and alumni.
Eden will have lights and a new turf field. They will dedicate their new athletic complex on September 29th when the Raiders host Wilson in their Friday Night Lights game. Congratulations to Marisa Fallacaro who is the athletic director as well as the school board, coaches, and administration for this tremendous accomplishment.
Rashad Law, Maryvale Jr DB had an excellent season as a sophomore for the Flyers. He recorded 81 tackles, 15 for losses, 2 fumbles, rushed for 424 years and 2 touchdowns, caught 9 passes for 230 yards and 4 touchdowns, and returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown.
In 1984, Dean Santorio, current Grand Island head coach, completed 72 of 145 passes for 1210 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Vikings. He went on to earn All-American honors at Edinboro.
Maple Grove has played in 6 consecutive sectional championships since 2011, winning 4 and losing 2. In 2014-2015, the Red Dragons merged with Chautauqua Lake. Since 1999, they have played in 14 sectional title games winning 5 and losing 9.
For the 2017 regular season, there are 275 football games scheduled. On Thursday there are 10, Friday there are 189 and Saturday there are 76.
Orchard Park set a record after 9 players were selected for the 2017 All-WNY football team.
Snap, Crackle, and Pop: Joe Andreessen, Ben Damiani, and Brett Beetow, Lancaster
Last season, Canisius led the Msgr. Martin Association with 15 assistance coaches, followed by Timon/St. Jude with 9, Cardinal O’Hara with 7, St. Francis with 8, St. Joe’s and St. Mary’s with 5.
Nice to see all Class AA teams in one league.
If Maple Grove and Chautauqua Lake merged this year based on their enrollment, they would have been in Class B.
Schools that do not have lights include: Cassadaga Valley, Cleveland Hill, Clymer, Eden, JFK, Lockport, Niagara Wheatfield, St. Mary’s, Cardinal O’Hara, St. Joseph’s, and Canisius
Predictions Week 1
West Seneca West
West Seneca East
Mt. St. Josephs
Thanks to the following schools for submitting this year’s football questionnaire by the due date: Canisius, Timon/St. Jude, Lancaster, Hutch-Tech, Clarence, Starpoint, Williamsville East. Iroquois, McKinley, Springville, Olean, Eden/NC, Alden, Medina, Burgard, Maryvale, Sherman/Clymer/Panama, Lackawanna, Niagara Wheatfield, Williamsville North, Akron, Pioneer, Amherst, Randolph, Depew, Newfane.
Top Games 2017
Class AA: September 15 Orchard Park at Lancaster 7:30pm
Class A: September 23 McKinley at South Park 1pm
Class B: September 22 Burgard at Maryvale 7pm
Class C: September 23 Southwestern at Cleveland Hill 2pm
Class D: September 15 Franklinville/Ellicottville at Maple Grove 7pm
Msgr. Martin Association: September 23 St. Joe’s at Canisius 1pm
Toughest Opponents Week 1
Bennett at Lancaster
McKinley at Orchard Park
Medina at Burgard
Gowanda at Maple Grove
Cleveland Hill at Maryvale
Canisius at Pittsford
Msgr. Martin Athletic Association Football Schedule Notes
St. Francis has 6 home games.
Cardinal O’Hara and St. Mary’s play Steubenville in Ohio.
State Catholic championship will be played in the Buffalo Area at a site and time to be determined.
MMAA teams will play in 4 states: New York, PA, Ohio, and Maryland.
MMAA teams have scheduled 13 non-league games with teams from Rochester.
There are no games scheduled between teams from WNY public schools and teams from the Msgr. Martin Athletic Association.
Timon, Canisius, St. Francis, and St. Joe’s play teams from Pennsylvania.
Cardinal O’Hara, Canisius, St. Francis, St. Joe’s, and St. Mary’s paly teams from Ohio.
Cardinal O’Hara plays a team from Maryland.
Cardinal O’Hara plays Canisius, St. Francis, St. Joe’s and Timon/St, Jude while St. Mary’s doesn’t play them this season.
2017 Significant Dates for WNY High School Football
August 14 – first practice day
September 1 – Season begins for Section VI and Msgr. Martin Association.
October 14 – End of regular season for Section VI teams.
October 20, 21 – Section VI quarterfinals.
October 26 – Funke Bowl Championship
October 27,28 – Section VI semi-finals
November 3, 4 – Msgr. Martin Quarterfinals
November 10, 11 – Msgr. Martin Semi-Finals
November 10,11 – State Quarterfinals
November 16 – Msgr. Martin Championship
November 17,18 – State Semi-Finals
November 24,25 – State championships
December 2 – Connolly Cup Banquet
December 16 – WNY High School Football Awards banquet
Memorable Achievements of WNY High School Football
Section VI winning 4 state championships in 2008 and 2009.
Randolph becoming the first WNY team to win 5 state championships.
Jamestown winning the first state title in 1993.
Sweet Home win streak of 69 consecutive games against Section VI opponents which ended in 2013.
Canisius head football coach John Barnes winning 287 games.
Orchard Park playing in the Class AA sectional championship in 11 of 12 years (2001-2012) with an 8-3 record.
Lackawanna, Randolph, Southwestern, and Sweet Home winning 2 consecutive state championships.
Jehuu Caulcrick, Clymer RB, leading the Pirates to 4 consecutive sectional titles while scoring 70 points and 101 touchdowns in his career.
Outstanding Alumni Performance
In 2010, Joe Licata completed 176 of 27 passes for 2573 yards and 34 touchdowns in leading his team to the sectional championship game. Licata was first team All-WNY, All-NYS, was recipient of the Connolly Cup and earned WNY player of the year honors by the Buffalo News. He went on to start at QB for the University at Buffalo Bills football team for 3 years.
Football Program Origins
Canisius – 1913
Jamestown – 1893
Kenmore West – 1921
Niagara Falls – 2000
Lockport – 1895
Niagara Wheatfield – 1958
Williamsville North – 1968
Meach Gardner, Albion
Roman Napolean, Allegany Limestone
Ja’kye Carson, Burgard
Sten Homme, Chautauqua Lake
Ke’Sean Anthony, Cheektowaga
Manhattan King, Jamestown
Quote of the Week
“The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.
Player of the Year Contender:
In 2016, Matt Myers, West Seneca West Sr. QB, made first team All-WNY as a punter averaging 47 yards as a 2 year starter at QB for Timon. He accounted for 4723 total yards and 47 touchdowns.
Nichols will have players from Christian Central and Niagara Catholic to help the Vikings with depth and talent. They will be the only independent high school in WNY playing football in 2017.
Dylan McDuffie, Sweet Home Sr QB, has received 12 scholarship offers from the following colleges: Albany, Maine, Central Connecticut State, Buffalo, Western Michigan, Delaware, Central Michigan, University of Ohio, Liberty Memphis, and Eastern Michigan. He has narrowed his choices down to Western Michigan, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Ohio, Liberty, and Memphis.
Timon had 24 players report to their first practice. Last year the Tigers had 29 players on their roster.
In week 3, Aquinas vs. Canisius and week 4, Canisius vs. St. Joe's will both be played at New Era Field.
Cheerleaders of the Week: Dunkirk
Frewsburg has merged with Randolph for this season. Teams with games scheduled with Frewsburg will have byes unless they are able to schedule another team. The Bears only had 18 players which precipitated the merger. Kudos to the athletic directors and coaches for working this out prior to the season. The combined Randolph/Frewsburg team will field a JV team and continue in Class D which will now only have 8 teams all of whom will make the playoffs.
Questions for Week 1
Will McKinley upset Orchard Park?
Will Burgard upset Medina?
Will Cleveland Hill upset Maryvale?
Will St. Mary's defeat Timon/St. Jude?
Will Matt Meyers and Juston Johnson light it up for West Seneca West against Amherst?
Will Canisius defeat Pittsford?
Will Lancaster defeat Bennett?
Will Drew Hoggs lead Jamestown over Frontier?
Will Javon Ford lead Lockport over Niagara Wheatfield?
Will Jack Putney lead Clarence over Williamsville South?