High School Football Class AA Preview

 

 

 

 

FORECAST:

1. Lancaster
2. Orchard Park
3. Bennett
4. Clarence
5. Jamestown
6. Niagara Falls
7. Williamsville North
8. Hutch-Tech
9. Niagara Wheatfield
10. Lockport
11. Frontier

Offensive Players of the Year:
Max Giordano, Lancaster
Ryan Mansell, Lancaster
Jack Putney, Clarence
Noah Bieler, Orchard Park

Defensive Players of the Year:
Scott Becht, Williamsville North
Syquan Ralands, Niagara Falls
Syveon Ralands, Niagara Falls
Ben Damiani, Lancaster
Joe Andreessen, Lancaster

Linemen of the Year:
Rodney Bailey, Hutch-Tech
Noah Turzillo, Jamestown
Brian Lucinski, Niagara Wheatfield

Unsung Players of the Year:
Andrew Hersey, Lancaster
Josh Brown, Niagara Wheatfield
Brian Strybel, Orchard Park
 

Underclassmen of the Year:
Teague Houlihan, Orchard Park
Scott Becht, Williamsville North
Scott Hopkins, Williamsville North

 

LANCASTER LEGENDS

Legends won their first sectional title since 1999, were unbeaten in the regular season before losing in state regional final. They return All-WNY Candidates in the dynamic duo tackling machines Joe Andreessen and Ben Damiani as well as Ryan Mansell, who passed for 1928 yards and 23 touchdowns and Max Giordano, one of the most versatile players in WNY. Other key players include Andrew “Smashmouth” Hersey, Brett Beetow, Kyle Backert, and Brian Martin. Varsity are 16-4 and JV 17-2 in the past two season. The talent from the JV squad will help Eric Rupp’s in their goal of winning its second consecutive sectional title. They return 12 starters and play Bennett and Lockport in the first 2 games. The key to the season will be the play of the line. They will compete for local, sectional, and state titles. The Legends averaged 40.5 points per game and allowed 17.4 points last season. Eric Rupp received an early Christmas gift with TOm Bedarski transferring from Alden to give the Legens another weapon at wide receiver. 

Head Coach: Eric Rupp (10-1-0), first year
Assistant Coaches: Brian Wild, David Mansell, Sean Bruso, Scott Geunther
2016 Varsity Record: 10-1-0
Starters Returning: Offense is 5. Defense is 7.
Key Players: Ryan Mansell, Ben Damiani, Joe Andreessen, Max Giordano, Andrew Hersey, Brett Beetow, Kyle Backert, Jacob Culo, Tom Bednarski
Key Losses: Zach Samborski, Jacob Luderman, Mason Mastrangelo
2016 JV Record: 8-1-0

 

ORCHARD PARK QUAKERS

Quakers disappointed in 2016 with 4 losses and losing to Lancaster in the sectional title game. Gene Tundo needs 10 victories to reach 200 wins. They have All-WNY candidates in Nic Bruce, Brian Strybel, and Dylan Bieler. Other key players include Ethan Falsone, Griffin Harrigan, David Perkins, Jack Sharpand, and Ryne Dietz. They will miss Dillon Janca, Josh Dahl, and Zach Prince. The key to the season will be the play of the QB and line. They open with McKinley and Niagara Wheatfield in the first two games. They lost 24 players to graduation from 2016 squad and return only 1 starter on offense. They will compete for league and sectional titles. The Quakers better be ready for the opener as McKinley has several excellent athletes.

Head Coach: Gene Tundo (190-49-0) 22 years
Assistant Coaches: Craig Dana, Chuck Senn, Todd Ellmann, Mike McFadden
2016 Varsity Record: 6-4-0
Starters Returning: Offense is 1, Defense is 4.
Key Players: Nic Bruce, Dylan Bieler, Noah Bieler, Brian Strybel, Ethan Falsone, Ryne Deitz, Griffin Harrigan, David Perkins, Jack Sharp, Colton Brown, Teague Houlihan, Brendan Kearns, Ernest Holloway
Key Losses: Josh Dahl, Dillon Janca, Zach Prince, Dan Kubik, Bret Morseon
2016 JV Record: 4-4

 

BENNETT TIGERS

The Tigers won their first sectional football title in 2016 and merged with 6 schools, moving up to Class AA. For this season, key players include Brandon Barksdale, Chris Pettiway and Zwanle Wright. They graduated 24 players from last year’s team. They have a tough matchup in week 1 at Lancaster but do not play Orchard Park in the regular season. They will compete for the league title and will be in the playoffs. Bennett is not in the Section VI Classification this season.

Head Coach: Steve McDuffie (37-20-0) 6 years
Assistant Coaches: Teddy McDuffie, Aaron Young, Alejandro Overton, Landrey Mack, Arthur Jordan
2016 Varsity Record: 8-3-0
Starters Returning: Offense is 4, Defense is 3.
Key Players: Brandon Barksdale, Chris Pettiway, Zwanle Wright
Key Losses: Isaiah McDuffie, Monte Parish, Jamel Lofton, Marcelus Tolliver
 

 

CLARENCE RED DEVILS

Red Devils had an excellent season with 6 wins and made the playoffs before losing to Orchard Park. They have All-WNY candidates in JR QB Jack Putney and Jacob Reger. Other key players include Ben Wesolowski, Jon Stevens, Brendan Cimerman, and Yianni Hallios. They will compete for the league title. JVs were 14-4 in the past two seasons. They return 6 on offense and 3 on defense. They key to the season will be the play of line. They host Williamsville in week 1 and Niagara Falls in week 2. The schedule is favorable since the Red Devils will play 4 home games and will not play Lancaster or Orchard Park in the regular season. Paul Burgio, former longtime Red Devil assistant, takes over for Mark Layer who returned as head coach after 6 years and a 25-27 record. He was also head JV coach for several year. Mark is a class act and will be missed. Burgio will bring his experience and passion to the position.

Head Coach: Paul Burgio, first year
Assistant Coaches: Brendan Brady, Tim Myslinski, Todd Therrien, Brian Maley, Kurt Diesfeld
2016 Varsity Record: 6-3-0
Starters Returning: Offense is 6, Defense is 3.
Key Players: Jack Putney, John Stevens, Jacob Reger, Jack Shaver, Brendan Cimerman, Yianni Hallios, Ben Wesolowski
Key Losses: Sean Kloss, Russ Kobierecki, Niko Mulen
2016 JV Record: 6-2-0

 

JAMESTOWN RED RAIDERS

The Red Raiders had one of their worst seasons ever with only 1 win. The defense gave up an average 32 points per game. Key players include Noah Turzillo, Andrew Pumford, Francisco Rodriguez, Jeff Bush, Matt Hill, and Kanin Tanner. They return 5 starters on both sides of the ball. They play Frontier and Hutch-Tech in the first 2 games. The key to the season will be the play of the QB and defense. Pumford, Tanner, and Turzillo will be 3 year starters. They have excellent assistant coaches who have been together for several years. They will rebound and be in the playoffs.

Head Coach: Tom Langworthy (56-32-0) 9 years
Assistant Coaches: Ryan Calkins, Richie Joly, David Munella, Mike Baker, Arrick Davis, John O’Brien
2016 Varsity Record: 1-7-0
Starters Returning: Offense is 5, Defense is 5.
Key Players: Noah Turzillo, Andrew Pumford, Francisco Rodriguez, Jeff Bush, Matt Hill, Kanin Tanner, Jeff Seager, Manhattan King
Key Losses: Jeremy Bush, Devan Jackson
2016 JV Record: 5-3

 

NIAGARA FALLS WOLVERINES

Wolverines with 6 wins and making the playoffs recorded an excellent season in 2016. They have All-WNY candidates in Syveon and Syquan Ralands. Other key players include speedster Rodney Barnes, Jordan Mayday, and Justus Jermani. They return 2 starters on offense and 4 on defense. The key to the season will be the play of the QB. They play Kenmore West and Clarence in the first 2 games. They don’t play Orchard Park or Jamestown in the regular season. The key to the season will be to win the battle of turnovers and avoid penalties. They have excellent athleticism on the roster. They will be in the playoffs.

Head Coach: Don Bass (33-44) 9 years
Assistant Coaches: Jon Robins, Doug Howard, Charlie Ashker, Eric Dixon, Rich Posey, Mannie Lewis
2016 Varsity Record: 6-2-0
Starters Returning: Offense is 2, Defense is 4.
Key Players: Syveon Ralands, Syquan Ralands, Rodney Barnes, Jordan Mayday, Justus Jermani
Key Losses: Mario Taylor, Delazjhajuan Hunt, Jhamir Isom
2016 JV Record: 5-3

 

WILLIAMSVILLE NORTH SPARTANS

The Spartans disappointed with losing season last year and hope to improve in 2017. They have All-WNY candidates in JR LB Scott Becht and RB Marquele Wells who is a candidate for 1000 yards rushing. Other key players include Nick Hutson, Brett Isler, Cam Walter, Joe Nusall, Vinny Catanzaro, and Ivan Ghemmegne. They return 4 starters on offense and 5 on defense. JVs are 24-0 in the past 3 seasons. They play Hutch-Tech and Williamsville East in the first 2 weeks and will not play Lancaster in the regular season. The key to the season will be the play of the offense which only averaged 20 points in 2016. They will compete for a playoff berth. Brandon Sanders who was undefeated as head JV coach for the past 3 seasons is now Varsity Offensive coordinator.

Head Coach: Mike Mammoliti (68-75-0) 17 years
Assistant Coaches: Ron Luders, Derek Swader, Steve Nappo, Brandon Sanders, Dan Kelly, Paul Palizay
2016 Varsity Record: 4-5-0
Starters Returning: Offense is 4, Defense is 5.
Key Players: Scott Becht, Marquell Wells, Cam Walter, Nick Hutson, Brett Isler, Joe Nusall, Vinny Catanzaro, Ivan Ghemmegne, Scott Hopkins
Key Losses: Jarius Huggins, Connor Kelly, Anthony Maniscalco
2016 JV Record: 8-0

 

HUTCH-TECH ENGINEERS

Engineers recorded 6 wins and made the playoffs in 2016. This season Chris Gelsomino’s squad could struggle with only 3 starters returning. Rodney Bailey a 6’3 200 lb DE is an All-WNY candidate. Other key players include Vergie Morrison, Nasir Tarver, Joey Argentieri, and David Bradshaw. They will compete for a playoff berth. JV team was 3-4 last year. They open with Williamsville North and Jamestown. They will miss Duane Robertson. They will not play Lancaster in the regular season.

Head Coach: Chris Gelsomino (26-53-0) 9 years
Assistant Coaches: Nick Todaro, Tom Just, Jarryd Austin
2016 Varsity Record: 6-3-0
Starters Returning: Offense is 1, Defense is 2.
Key Players: Rodney Bailey, Vergie Morrison, Nasir Tarver, Joey Argentieri, David Bradshaw
Key Losses: Mike Carr Johnson, Duane Robertson, Shaun Faulk
2016 JV Record: 3-4-0

 

NIAGARA WHEATFIELD FALCONS

Falcons changed coaches in mid-season with Russ Nixon replacing Brett Tylec and finishing 4-0. Key players include Brian Lucinski, Josh Brown, Justin Stickney, James Pierce, Kenny Jungier, Jack Mazarra and Jordan Parks. They return 5 on offense and 6 on defense. They host Lockport in week 1 and have a tough matchup with Orchard Park in week 2. They will compete for one of eight playoff berth.

Head Coach: Russ Nixon (4-0)
Assistant Coaches: Sal Perricelli, Steve Lucinski, Tony Gilmore, Joe Kiska, Johnny Parks, Tom Stanley
2016 Varsity Record: 4-5-0
Starters Returning: Offense is 5, Defense is 6.
Key Players: Brian Luckinski, Josh Brown, Jordan Parks, James Pierce, Justin Stickney, Kenny Jungier, Jack Mazarra
Key Losses: Josh Shumate, Kevin Lumadue
2016 JV Record: 2-6-0

 

LOCKPORT LIONS

The Lions look to improve after last year;s one win season. Javon Ford, All-WNY candidate at QB returns after missing the 2016 season due to an injury. Other key players include Jason Robillard, Malik Brooks, Jalyn Jones, Xavier Barber, and Kamani Samuels They return 3 starters on both sides of the ball. They open with Niagara-Wheatfield and Lancaster. Key to the season will be if the defense can improve since the Lions allowed 37 points a game in 2016.

Head Coach: Matt Vermette (1-8-0) 1 year
Assistant Coaches: Greg Wilson, Dan Barrancotta
2016 Varsity Record: 1-8-0
Starters Returning: Offense is 3, Defense is 3.
Key Players: Jason Robillard, Malik Brooks, Jalyn Jones, Javon Ford, Xavier Barber, Kamani Samuels, Jalyn Jones, Issac Drake
Key Losses: Ta’von Chambers, Shota Sprunger
2016 JV Record: 4-4-0

 

FRONTIER FALCONS

Falcons look to improve on last year’s 1 win season. Defense will have to be stronger after giving up 310 points. Key players include Chris Smith, Dominic Comito, Tyler Bailey, Max Fleming, Dylan Knitch, and Matt Pratts. They graduated 15 players but return 9 starters. Varsity is 2-15 and JV 1-15 in the past 2 years. They have tough matchups in the first 2 games with Jamestown and Bennett. The Falcons have struggled in recent years. They do not play Lancaster or Orchard Park in the regular season. They should improve.

Head Coach: Mark Privateer (5-20-0) 3 years
Assistant Coaches: Ben Garvey, Joseph Fasciana, Dave Skelley
2016 Varsity Record: 1-7-0
Starters Returning: Offense is 5, Defense is 4.
Key Players: Chris Smith, Dominic Comito, Tyler Bailey, Max Fleming, Dylan Kmitch, Matt Pratts
Key Losses: Patrick Sargent, Keegan O’Connor, Jeremy Crafts
2016 JV Record: 0-8-0

 

PRESEASON ALL-LEAGUE

Offense
QB – Javon Ford, Lockport
QB – Ryan Mansell, Lancaster
QB – Jack Putney, Clarence
RB – Andrew Hersey, Lancaster
RB – Francisco Rodriguez, Jamestown
RB – Marquell Wells, Williamsville North
RB – Noah Bieler, Orchard Park
RB – Jacob Reger, Clarence
TE – Scott Hopkins, Williamsville North
WR – Nic Bruce, Orchard Park
WR – Max Giordano, Lancaster
OL – Noah Turzillo, Jamestown
OL – ben Wesolowski, Clarnce
OL – Joey Argentieri, Hutch-Tech
OL – Bryan Luckinski, Niagara Wheatfield
OL – Yainni Hallios, Clarnce
K – Brian Strybel, Orchard Park
RS – Ethan Falsone, Orchard Park
RS – Malik Brooks, Lockport
U – Justus Jermani, Niagara Falls

Defense
DL – Rodney Bailey, Hutch-Tech
DL – Syquan Ralands, Niagara Falls
DL – Jason Robillard, Lockport
LB – Ben Damiani, Lancaster
LB – Andrew Pumford, Jamestown
LB – Joe Andreessen, Lancaster
LB – Scott Becht, Williamsville North
LB – Jon Stevens, Clarence
DB – Andrew Pumford, Jamestown
DB – Dylan Bieler, Orchard Park
DB – John Stevens, Clarence
DB – Jacob Reger, Clarence
DB - Tyler Bailey, Frontier
P – Ed Bianco, Williamsville North
RS – Rodney Barnes, Niagara Falls
U – Syveon Ralands, Niagara Falls

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