When Broadalbin-Perth shut out Green Tech back in April it finished off an undefeated football season, but it was far from a complete one.
The Patriots won all four of their games, while three others in the condensed “Fall II” campaign were called off for reasons related to the coronavirus.
“We had a very successful spring, but it was not the experience we all wanted,” Broadalbin-Perth senior end Sean Helfrich said. “To have a full schedule is going to be great.”
Numbers in the Broadalbin-Perth camp are not so great, though, which has veteran coach Jim Pelneau thinking survival first as he looked ahead to a regular season slate that was supposed to start Friday against Fonda-Fultonville, though that game ended up being canceled due to a lack of players for the Patriots.
“These kids have to play every down,” Pelneau said. “They’ve got to be in good shape. A lot of them are learning two or three positions.”
Pelneau on Sunday said he has a varsity roster of 20 which includes nine seniors, and that Broadalbin-Perth will be fielding a modified 7-9 team and have no junior varsity. His varsity cast that graduated included his two offensive spark plugs in quarterback Jackson Sassanella and rushing and receiving threat Ryan Visco.
The Patriots also graduated line standouts Travis Burchell and Pat Arnold.
“I was hoping more players would come back after the COVID situation,” said Pelneau. “I also thought we’d get a few more because of the successful spring [Fall II] we had.”
That recent campaign included wins over Gloversville (50-16), Johnstown (36-28) and Cobleskill-Richmondville (21-13) before the Patriots topped Green Tech 14-0.
“We’ve taken a lot from the spring season,” Broadalbin-Perth senior lineman Patrick Pohl said.
Confidence and game experience were among the benefits the Patriots got in their productive though condensed Fall II season that had games with Glens Falls, South Glens Falls and Hudson Falls called off. Those nine seniors will be asked to carry a significant load as Broadalbin-Perth strives to build on its Fall II success..
“We approached it as getting ready for the real fall season,” Pelneau said of the Fall II campaign.
Broadalbin-Perth has Class B league games scheduled against Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk, Green Tech, Mohonasen, Scotia-Glenville. Gloversville, Lansingburgh, Glens Falls and Hudson Falls.
Each of the Class B teams are slated to play the four other teams in their division, and four of the five from the opposite division. A four-team playoff will follow, and while the Patriots will need ample amounts of good fortune in the health department as well as good play on the field, Pelneau isn’t counting his team out.
“It’s not a secret. We are low in numbers, and we’ve got to stay healthy,” Pelneau said. “We have to be smart in practice. We’ve got to limit the competitive situations so we can keep guys on the field.”
Junior Sam Hotaling and senior Aidan Mussen will quarterback the Patriots now that Sassanella has moved on to Alfred University.
“We have some experience up front,” Pelneau said. “We’re returning three or four on the offensive line. Our skill positions is where we’ve got to figure some things out.”