CLASS A NORTH PREVIEW
Grand Island and Sweet Home are the Class of the League
Grand Island: Vikings are good enough to end the Panthers Sectional win streak.
Sweet Home: Evert and Smiley are 2 of the top players in WNY. Title goes through the Panthers.
North Tonawanda: Has talent to contend
Starpoint: Majewski needs to stay healthy. Needs others to provide offense
Kenmore East: Could be winning season for the Bulldogs
Niagara Wheatfield: Example of what can happen to a football program when parents get involved.
Niagara Wheatfield - Andrew Doricko
North Tonawanda - Nehemiah Stone
Sweet Home - Jordan Evert
Grand Island - Quinn Corrao
Kenmore East - Connor McMahon
Starpoint - Evan Majewski
GRAND ISLAND VIKINGS
Vikings return 7 on both sides of the ball from last year's 7-2 record. Line will be anchored by All-WNY Candidates Tom Doctor and Nick Paolini. Offense is to be sparked by QB Quinn Corrao, who is a tremendous competitor and leader, Paul Sukmanowski, who is a candidate for 1,000 yards rushing, and Ben Goc. Defense will be strong, led by Paolini, Doctor, Kurtis Johnson and 6'4, 300-lb. Dominic Petrillo. They open at Hamburg, and should be unbeaten going into their matchup with Sweet Home in week 5 when the host the Panthers.
Dean Santorio, Steve Steck and Mike Stauffer do an exceptional job every year. Talent from last year's 6-2 JV squad will help. Vikings are the favorite for League Title and will compete for Sectional and State Championships.
Head Coach: Dean Santorio (75-37-0, 12 years)
Assistant Coaches: Steve Steck, Mike Stauffer
2012 Varsity Record: 7-2-0
Starters Returning: Offense - 7, Defense - 7
Key Players: Quinn Corrao, Tom Doctor, Nick Paolini, Paul Sukmanowski, Ben GOc, Kurtis Johnson, Dominic Petrillo, T.J. Morgan, Mike Kleinschmidt, Jake Gorman, Chris Aronica
Key Losses: Anthony Zogaria, Chris Connors, Dan Blocho
2012 JV Record: 6-2-0
SWEET HOME PANTHERS
Panthers will be seeking their seventh consecutive Title. Line is to be anchored by John Navarro, Kevin Gault and Kyle Murphy. Defense is to be led by All-WNY Candidate Brandon Smiley, Tyler Barone and Caleb Dabney.
Offense is to be sparked by Jordan Evert, who is a candidate for 1,000 yards rushing, Smiley, Jordan Heine and Jr. QB Kevin Torrillo. Will compete for League, Sectional and State Titles. John Faller needs 9 victories to reach the coveted 200-win mark. The loss of All-WNY Brad Zaffram to Canisius is tough, but don't forget that the Panthers won a State Title in 2009 without Day-Day Morris. The coaching staff of Faller, Mike Torrillo, and Mike Faulks is outstanding. Talent from the 9-0 JV team will help. Their matchup in week 5 at Grand Island should determine League Title. JVs are 17-0 over the past two seasons; strength will be the defense.
Head Coach: John Faller (191-72-1, 27 years)
Assistant Coaches: Mike Faulks, Mike Torrillo, James Biaslik, Ryan Wilson
2012 Varsity Record: 12-1-0
Starters Returning: Offense - 5, Defense - 6
Key Players: Jordan Evert, Brandon Smiley, John Navarro, Kevin Torrillo, Jordan Heine, Tyler Barone, Derrell Hennings, Kevin Gault, Tyler Desiderio, Caleb Dabney, Kyle Murphy, Jordan Heine
Key Losses: Mike Torillo, Carter Mann, Bill Attea, Shaun Huebert
2012 JV Record: 9-0-0
NORTH TONAWANDA LUMBERJACKS
The Lumberjacks had a losing season in 2012 and look to rebound. They return 7 on offense and 5 on defense. Jr. QB Chris Woodard could pass for 1,000 yards and RB Nehemiah Stone is a candidate for 1,000 yards rushing. The line will be anchored by 6'3, 260-lb. Alex Molik and 6'3, 270-lb. LB Ryan Osborne.
Other key players include Taylor Mollett and Christian Mattios. Should be 2-1 after the first three games. Lumberjacks will compete for a playoff berth. They open with Lake Shore and have a tough matchup with Grand Island in week 2.
Head Coach: Tony Truilizio (4-5-0, 1 year)
Assistant Coaches: Steve Pangallo, Ray Clark, Andrew Druin, Chris Green, Ed O'Neil, Jon Zellner
2012 Varsity Record: 4-5-0
Starters Returning: Offense - 7, Defense - 5
Key Players: Chris Woodard, Nehemiah Stone, Alex Molik, Christian Mattios, Ryan Osborne, Taylor Mollett, John Zellner, Ryan McDonough
Key Losses: Luke Topolski, Ian Gilhousen
The Spartans look to improve on last year's 3-win season. They will have an explosive running game, led by Evan Majewski, who has rushed for over 1,000 yards over the last two seasons, including 1,425 yards and 17 TDs as a Junior. Austin Bratek should also be a force on offense. The defense is to be anchored by Matt Wiacek.
Starpoint should be competitive. The key to the season will be the play of the QB and line. They open at rival Lockport.
Head Coach: Al Cavagnaro (58-64-0, 13 years)
Assistant Coaches: Tim Racey, Shawn Latini, Nate Beutel
2012 Varsity Record: 3-5-0
Starters Returning: Offense - 4, Defense - 5
Key Players: Evan Majewski, Austin Bratek, Matt Wiacek
Key Losses: Steve Wilde, John Rudes
KENMORE EAST BULLDOGS
The Bulldogs return 7 on both sides of the ball from last year's 4-5 team. JVs are 11-5 over the past two seasons, and talent from last year's 5-3 team will help Matt Chimera. The offense is to be sparked by 3-year starting QB Connor McMahon and RB Preston Smith (who is a candidate for 1,000 yards rushing).
The key to the season will be the play of the line. They open with East Aurora/Holland and Starpoint. Could have a winning season & will be competitive.
Head Coach: Matt Chimera (36-72-0, 13 years)
Assistant Coaches: Dennis & Dan Heiser, Jeff Martin
2012 Varsity Record: 4-5-0
Starters Returning: Offense - 7, Defense - 7
Key Players: Connor McMahon, Preston Smith
Key Losses: Jared Dolan, Nate Weller
2012 JV Record: 5-3-0
NIAGARA WHEATFIELD FALCONS
The Falcons were, at one time, one the premier programs in WNY and NYS, but have fallen on hard times and didn't win a game in 2012. New Head Coach Brent Tylec will have a challenge again this season. Key players will be Jason Vranic, Joe Ayers, Cory Gatto, Danny Pectier, Jeff Trunzo, Robert Ruth, Jr. QB Andrew Doricko and Casey Gruarin.
They play Sweet Home and Grand Island in weeks 2 and 3 Falcons only scored 39 points in 2012.
Head Coach: Brent Tylec (1st year)
2012 Varsity Record: 0-8-0
Starters Returning: Offense - 5, Defense - 5
Key Players: Lucas Gravelle, Jason Vranic, Joe Ayers, Cory Gatto, Danny Peltier, Jeffrey Trunzo, Robert Roth
Key Losses: Brendan Gilewski
CLASS A NORTH PRESEASON ALL-LEAGUE TEAM:
QB - Quinn Corrao, Grand Island
QB - Chris Woodard, North Tonawanda
RB - Jordan Evert, Sweet Home
RB - Nehemiah Stone, North Tonawanda
RB - Evan Majewski, Starpoint
WR - Ben Goc, Grand Island
WR - Brandon Smiley, Sweet Home
OL - Nick Paolini, Grand Island
OL - Alex Molik, North Tonawanda
OL - Ryan Osborne, North Tonawanda
OL - Matt Wiacek, Starpoint
OL - Tyler Desiderio, Sweet Home
RS - Jordan Heine, Sweet Home
DL - Kevin Gault, Sweet Home
DL - Tom Doctor, Grand Island
DL - John Navarro, Sweet Home
DL - Kyle Murphy, Sweet Home
LB - Paul Sukmanowski, Grand Island
LB - Preston Smith, Kenmore East
LB - Taylor Mollett, North Tonawanda
DB - Brandon Smiley, Sweet Home
DB - Jordan Heine, Sweet Home
DB - Connor McMahon, Kenmore East
DB - Tyler Barone, Sweet Home
DB - Kurtis Johnson, Grand Island
NEWS & NOTES:
Coach with most wins: John Faller, Sweet Home
Top academic achievers: Ben Goc, Grand Island; Chris Woodard, North Tonawanda
Strongest: Dominic Petrillo, Grand Island
Fastest: Nehemiah Stone, North Tonawanda; Evan Majewski, Starpoint
Biggest: Dominic Petrillo, Grand Island
Best nickname: Tom "Terminator" Doctor, Grand Island
Best cheerleaders: Grand Island
Top complex: North Tonawanda
Best rushers: Evan Majewski, Starpoint; Jordan Evert, Sweet Home
Top wide receiver: Ben Goc, Grand Island
Top defensive player: Brandon Smiley, Sweet Home
Top linemen: Tom Doctor, Grand Island; John Navarro, Sweet Home
Major impact players: Jordan Evert, Sweet Home; Brandon Smiley, Sweet Home
Team with most section titles: Sweet Home, 7
Best dressed: Brandon Smiley, Sweet Home
Most photogenic: Connor McMahon, Kenmore East
Best dancer: Nick Paolini, Grand Island
Game changer: Brandon Smiley, Sweet Home
Best refreshment stand: Sweet Home
Must see game: Sweet Home @ Grand Island, Oct 5
Most loquacious: Tom Sarkovics, Starpoint
Unsung player: Nick Paolini, Grand Island
Player you will get to know: Jordan Evert, Sweet Home; Nehmiah Stone, North Tonawanda
Biggest question mark: Play of Sweet Home QB
Best fan: Tim Smiley, Sweet Home
Best backfields: Sweet Home, Grand Island
Best offenses: Grand Island, Sweet Home
Best defenses: Sweet Home, Grand Island
Sleeper: North Tonawanda
Sweet Home JV dominates their opponents in 2012 recording an undefeated 9-0 season. Panthers scored 263 vs 96 for opponents. Key players were Jordan Heine who rushes for 1047 yards and 9 tds, QB Kevin Turrillo who threw for 13 tds and Adrian Drake who recorded 51 tackles and 9 sacks.
Tim Smiley and Tom Doctor, Sr. both played for the Buffalo Bills in early nineties.
Forecast: Grand Island ends Sweet Home 64 game win streak against VI teams on October 5th. Two teams are class of the league.