Greg Poland, Williamsville North DE, has transferred to St. Joe’s.

Congratulations to Tyler Doty for receiving a scholarship offer from the University at Buffalo. The senior is an All-WNY and All-State candidate and is one of the best lineman in the east.

Top Quarterbacks: Cheektowaga, Southwestern, South Park

Top Running Back: Cleveland Hill, Jamestown, Canisius

Top Wide Receivers: St. Francis, West Seneca West, Williamsville North

Top Offensive Line: St. Joe’s, Williamsville North, Sweet Home

Top Kickers: West Seneca West, Canisius

Top Defensive Line: St. Joe’s, South Park

Top Linebackers: South Park

Top Defensive Backs: West Seneca West, St. Joe’s

Strongest Team: Pioneer

Fastest Teams: Cleveland Hill, South Park

Impact Moves-Off Season

Casey Kelly, St. Joe’s SR QB, is transferring to a high school in North Carolina. How did the Marauders let this happen?

CJ Ozolins is transferring from St. Mary’s to Canisius.

Taivonn Martin is transferring back to McKinley from Sweet Home.

Curt Fischer is resigning at Maple Grove after 25 years and is being appointed as head coach at Chautauqua Lake

There are fourteen new head football coaches including 4 who previously were head coaches: Eric Jantz, Chuck Tilley, Charlie Comerford and Curt Fischer.

Class AA has 8 teams this year. This is compared to 11 teams in 2017.

Class A has 3 leagues instead of 2.

Msgr. Martin Association has 2 leagues, each with 3 teams.

Class D moves from 8 to only 4 teams for this season.

WNY Maritime is merging with Health Sciences to field a football team with Charlie Comerford as head coach.

Msgr. Martin Association has adopted a 35-point differential rule for inter-divisional games. Once there is a 35 point differential, the clock will run continuously. In the event the differential falls below 35 points at any time, regular clock procedures will be reinstated. Question: Why doesn't Section VI adopt a similar rule?

WNY teams won State Football Championships in 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 2000, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017.

Offensive Dynamite Duos: Aaron Wahler and Javon Thomas, Cleveland Hill

Defensive Dynamite Duos: Liam Scheuer and Mike Glinski, West Seneca West

Best QB Camp – WNY QB Academy (QB Club/ Elite QB training –

Steve Ferrentino, longtime football Coach at Orchard Park and one of the assistant coaches who helped the Quakers win 2 state titles has been informed that he no longer can be a football coach in the Orchard Parks Football Program. What a loss for the Quaker football players.

I predict that Aaron Wahler and Javon Thomas, Cleveland Hill running backs, rush for over 2500 yards this season.

Congratulations to Cole Snyder, All-WNY and All-State player from Southwestern who has committed to attend and play football for Rutgers University. Cole is one of the most versatile student athletes in the state. In football, he accounted for 1587 yards and 18 touchdowns. As a junior he received many honors particularly a finalist for the Connolly Cup. He also excelled in hockey helping his team to a state title. In baseball he dominated hitters with his pitching and batted of .500. Cole also has excelled as a student with a 3.9 GPA, was team captain in 3 sports and is a contender for the football player of the year for 2018.

Cleveland Hill sectional football titles: 1987, 1989, 2000, 2007, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017

Final State Football 2017 Rankings:

Class AA – Lancaster #2, Williamsville North #18, Canisius #11

Class A – West Seneca West (tied #1), South Park #10

Class B – Cheektowaga #4, Maryvale #16, Lackawanna #21, Dunkirk #24

Class C – Cleveland Hill #4, Southwestern #16

Class D – Maple Grove #2, Franklinville/ Ellicottville #9, CSP #17

Canisius has sent 20 players to NCAA Division I and 10 to FBS Schools in the last 5 years. The rest of WNY Schools have sent 17 to Division 1 Schools in that same period with 9 at FBS.

Gary Swetland has retired as head football coach at Portville after 27 years. He accumulated a record of 139-85-1. Gary coached the Panthers to 5 sectional title games with a 2-3 record and several league championships. Josh Brooks has replaced Gary. Tyree Brown, former QB for South Park, led the Sparks to a state title in 2015. He passed for 2615 yards averaging 11.1 yards per carry and 22 touchdowns. Tyree’s performance was one of the top achievements in the history of WNY HS Football.

Tristan Vandenburg, Canisius, has been offered a scholarship for kicking by Ohio University. This is the 3rd consecutive Canisius kicker that has been offered by an FBS school. Michael Tarbutt (2015) is at UCONN and Blake Haubeil (2017) is at Ohio State. Bryce Hopkins is the kicking coach for the Crusaders and does an excellent job.

Congratulations to Harry Scull, Buffalo News photographer who does an exceptional job covering high school sports. He was inducted into the Springville Pop Warner Hall of Fame. The celebration is scheduled for Friday, September 28th when the Griffiths host Albion at 7pm.

WNY Maritime Charter School, with Health Sciences merging with them for football in 2018 could struggle this season. But with Charlie Comerford as head coach, this will be a team in the future that will compete for league and sectional titles.

Interesting item: Corey Graham – Turner Carroll, Steve Means – Grover Cleveland, and Mike Williams – Riverside all played high school football in WNY and all played in NFL Super bowls. Unfortunately all 3 schools have terminated their football programs.

Canisius basketball last season encountered success at all levels. The varsity team were 23-4, JV was 21 and freshmen were 19-0.

Attention Parents: If your son is attending 3 or 4 different high schools, that is a huge red flag for college football recruiters.

Schools that didn’t return questionnaires include: Bennett, West Seneca East, Lewiston-Porter, Fredonia/Brocton, Tonawanda, Falconer/Cassadaga Valley, Chautauqua Lake/Westfield, Cattaraugus/Little Valley, Salamanca, Timon/St. Jude, Maple Grove, St. Joseph’s, and Nichols.

8 man football is being played in NYS this season. There are 8 teams in Section IX, 7 in Section III, 4 in Section IV, and 1 in Section X. Other states that play 8 man football include Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Wyoming. Parts of Canada also play in the sport. The width of the field is 40 yards which is 13 and a third yards narrower than the 53 and a third yard 11 man field.

When is the last time you said thank you?

Congratulations to Chris Diem, D’Mario Grant, Javon Thomas and Aaron Wahler from Cleveland Hill who won a state championship in the 4 by 400 relay. Kudos also to coach Glen Graham. The entire team returns in 2019 and will be a favorite to win the event again.

For the 2015-2016 school year, 1 million high school students including 1,954 girls played high school football.

Referee Paul Gagliard will wear a uniform for the 50th consecutive WNY high school football season in 2018. Paul is one of the best referees ever and has refereed numerous sectional and state playoff games. Congratulations to the “wildcat wonder.”

8 schools have dropped JV football: Eden, Lake Shore, Falconer, Cassadaga Valley, Maple Grove, Frewsburg, Portville and Chautauqua Lake. Some of these schools now have 7th, 9th and 9th grades playing modified football.

Cheektowaga has a new athletic complex with a turf field, new press box, and stands. Next year a new track will be installed around the football field.

Top Varsity Teams 2015-2017

Cheektowaga 30-4

Lancaster 28-5

South Park 27-10

Starpoint 23-5

Cleveland Hill 26-6

Dunkirk 21-7

MMHSAA Playoffs

The playoffs will consist of a semi-final in each division with the second seed playing the third seed in the weekend of November 3rd. The winners of those games will advance to play the first seed in the League A and League B championship games. The winner of the League A championship will then represent MMHSAA at the NYS Catholic game.

Fastest JV Coach: Dan Tryon, Williamsville East

Twin Terrors: Ty Casinelli, Reese Casinelli from Newfane

North Tonawanda doesn't have football captains.

Florida led all states in the NFL 2018 football draft with 36 high school players. Next were Teas with 28, California with 27, Virginia with 15, Pennsylvania with 13, North Carolina with 13, Alabama with 11, Georgia with 11, and Louisiana with 11. New York had one player selected.

Ryan Hunter who was an All-WNY and All-State player at Canisius excelled at Bowling Green and signed a free agent contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Damone Harris, All-WNY player at Timon/St. Jude, excelled at DE for the University at Buffalo. He signed a free agent contract with Tampa Bay.

Lancaster will be competing for its 3rd consecutive Class AA championship.

Maple Grove will be competing for its 8th consecutive appearance in a sectional title game. They have won 6 and lost 1 in the past 7 years.

Cleveland Hill has played in the Class C Sectional championship in 5 of the last 7 years, winning 4 and losing 1. The Golden Eagles are looking for their 3rd consecutive title.

Cheektowaga has played in 4 consecutive Class B sectional championships, winning 3 and losing 1.

South Park has been in 3 of the past 4 class title games, winning 1 and losing 2.

Jake Sisson, former All-WNY and All-State QB from Jamestown led Edinboro to a 16-6 record in his junior and senior years. He was conference player of the year in 2016. His career stats included 85 touchdown passes, 8313 yards passing, 8672 yards total offense, 702 pass completions and 1243 pass attempts. After graduation, Sisson played in the Dream Bowl in Roanoke, Virginia. He was also selected to represent the United States in the FISU World University American Football Championship in June which takes place in Harbin, China.

Top Volunteer Coach: Dan Kelly, Williamsville North

Strongest team with the most players benching 300 lbs.: Pioneer

Outstanding Lineman: Joe Powers, Lew-Port

Question: Which school has the best athletic complex?

Kudos to Len Jankiewicz, Eric Jantzi, Milt Dickerson and Jerry Smith for their coordination of the college recruiting combine in May. Over 300 student athletes and players from 42 schools throughout Western New York attended. Why didn't players from the other 29 Western New York schools attend? Why didn't coaches from these 29 schools want to provide their student-athletes with the opportunity of participating in the various stations before 25 college football coaches?

There are several quality student-athletes at Cardinal O’Hara but their athletic complex, particularly football, needs to be renovated as it is in terrible shape. The Catholic Diocese has a policy that it doesn't expend funds for capital projects in their schools. The Diocese needs to develop a plan to renovate their facilities and provide the necessary funds to afford their students the opportunity of competing and playing on the best complexes possible. Why shouldn't some of the funds available to sell the bishop’s mansion go to Cardinal O’Hara? Their complex if one of the worst in New York State and needs immediate attention. The Hawks have outstanding players this season in Steven Boyd, Remir Velazquez, Quantrail Moss, Justin Hemphill and Brandon Broadnax.

Shane MacSwan, East Aurora junior LB, is the son of John McSwan who is currently the superintendent of the Cleveland Hill school district. Jon achieved All-WNY and All-State honors at Niagara Wheatfield and starred at Alfred University.

Only 32 of 71 head coaches provided the 2018 football questionnaire by the May 15th deadline. Some did not submit questionnaires at all.

Mason Hoose, former Canisius All-WNY and All-State player has transferred to ECC from Santa Barbara Community College in California. His brother, Guissepe, received the Ilio DiPaolo wrestling award in 2018.

In 1960, 2300 students attended Bennett and their senior class consisted of 607 students.

Observation: Canisius, St. Joe’s and St. Francis should all be very competitive this season.

Alumni Update: Jake Dolegala, St. Francis, led Central Connecticut in 2017 to a league title passing for 1953 yards.

Alumni Update: Stephen Carlson, Jamestown and former Connolly Cup recipient, had 71 receptions for 935 yards and 11 touchdowns for Princeton.

Fewest Graduating Seniors 2017

Cardinal O’Hara – 4

St. Mary’s – 4

Eden/North Collins – 6

Timon/St. Jude – 6

Tonawanda – 6

Salamanca – 7

Bennett – 9

Burgard – 9

CSP – 9

Portville – 9

Southwestern – 9

Starpoint – 9

Silver Creek/Forestville – 9

Amherst – 10

Maple Grove – 10

Cassadaga Valley/Falconer – 10

State Classification Numbers 2018

Class AA: 1025 +

Class A: 585-1024

Class B: 355-584

Class C: 230-354

Class D: 0-229

Class AA has 8 teams.

Class A has 18 schools.

Class B has 20 schools.

Class C has 14 schools.

Class D has 4 schools.

Class AA will not have a quarterfinal round in the playoffs. 4 teams will qualify and play in the semi-finals in week 9.

Class D has only 4 schools for 2018 with Maple Grove, Cattaraugus/Little Valley, Salamanca, and Clymer/Sherman/Panama. The teams will play home and away games for this season. At one time there were 16 schools in Class D.

Frontier, Jamestown, and Niagara Wheatfield have dropped from Class A to Class A.

Lake Shore and Iroquois have dropped from Class A to Class B.

Barker is in Class B and Roy-Hart is in Class C since the football programs are no longer merged.

Eden/North Collins moved from a Class C school to a Class B school.

Franklinville/Ellicottville has dropped from Class D to Class C. Since the Titans have been in 3 consecutive sectional championships, winning 1 and losing 2, the section moved them because of their dominance. This doesn’t make any sense as Maple Grove has appeared in 7 consecutive title games, winning 5 and losing 2. Why didn’t the Red Dragons get moved down, particularly since one of their championships was in 2015 when they defeated Bennett?

Hutch-Tech has the largest enrollment in Class AA with 1572, next is Niagara Falls with 1523 and Lancaster with 1402.

Kenmore West and West Seneca West have the largest enrollment in Class A with 907 each. Hamburg with 846 and North Tonawanda with 831 are next.

East Aurora/Holland with 555 and Pioneer with 550 have the highest enrollments in Class B. Next are Cheektowaga with 523 and Burgard/MST with 512.

Eden/North Collins has moved from Class C to Class B.

Portville which has been a Class D school for decades moved up to Class C as a result of increased enrollment.

Randolph/Frewsburg which merged last year has moved up to Class C along with Chautauqua Lake who has merged with Westfield.

The new Maritime/Health Sciences football program will be a Class A program.

Fredonia is no longer merged with Westfield but continues its Brocton merger.

Congratulations to St. Joe's lineman Cole Gambino who has received a scholarship to attend and play football for Stony Brook. The senior is a candidate for All-WNY and All-State honors. His nickname is "the Pancake Man."

Canisius has 3 players competing for the QB position: Jack Brandon, Gabe Fisher and Christian Veilleux. Veilleux is a transfer from Ottawa, Ontario who last year passed for 1514 yards and 21 touchdowns while rushing for 400 yards and 4 touchdowns. The junior has already received offers from UB, Michigan, Temple and Rutgers.