Jim Kramer isn’t content to just keep a good thing going. Schenectady High School’s new varsity football coach wants to take another step forward.
Named to replace Carm DePoalo last week, Kramer has inherited a team that won a program-record eight games in 2008 and made its first appearance in a Section II final.
“It was an amazing year, but if your expectations from Day 1 aren’t to be the best you can be, to win league, section and state titles, you’re not taking the right approach,” said the 28-year-old Kramer, who served as Schenectady’s offensive coordinator the last two years. “I can’t say enough good things about what Carm did here, and now, we feel we’re ready to take it a step further.
“As long as we believe in each other, we can do great things.”
The Patriots won the Class AA Liberty Division title last year, and beat Ballston Spa and Niskayuna in the playoffs before a Super Bowl loss to LaSalle left them 8-2. The Patriots went 5-4 in 2007, DePoalo’s first season as head coach.
“Our motto is to respect every opponent, but we will not fear anybody,” said Kramer. “We’re going to go out there and expect to win every game we play.”
Kramer filled a key role with his play calling the last two years, when Schenectady averaged just over 30 points in each game. Schenectady produced three touchdowns or more eight times last season, and put up 27 points in both playoff wins, as well as a school-record 64 in a league win over Niskayuna.
“He’s one of the best football minds I’ve met. He comes from a familty of coaches. He’s definitely the right man for the job,” Schenectady assistant athletic director Steve Boynton said of the Oneida Middle School physical education teacher. “He’s the backbone of the program.”
Schenectady never won more than four games before DePoalo came aboard for the varsity team’s 20th season. Schenectady went 1-8 in 2006, 0-9 in 2005 and 1-8 in 2004.
“Carm met, and exceeded, all expectations,” Boynton said. “We think Jim will keep the program going in the right direction.”
“I’m excited,” said Kramer, who played football for Oneida High School and Springfield College. “I’m thrilled that the school district gave me this opportunity.”
Though Schenectady lost plenty of star power, the program’s seventh head coach said he’ll have a quality cast to work with that includes Tim Cox, Herman Seise, Nick Barone and David Doty. A superb defensive back, Cox will take over on the flip side for graduated quarterback Nick Ottati, and Seise will be the featured running back in place of two-time 1,000-yard gainer Marc Thompson. Barone and Doty are returning line starters.
“We lost some phenomenal players, but we have some great talent coming up, and we’ve got some guys who were varsity backups who are ready to step in and be leaders for us,” said Kramer.
Kramer began his coaching career as a varsity assistant at Oneida High School, and following a year there, he served as a graduate assistant for two campaigns at Springfield College. He worked as a volunteer varsity assistant at Schenectady in 2006 under head coach Vince Pagano.
Schenectady opens its season Sept. 4 at Larry Mulvaney Field against Albany, which is under the direction of former Lansingburgh coach Pete Porcelli. Schenectady goes to Shenendehowa on Sept. 11. Practice begins Aug. 17.
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Categories: High School Sports