Amsterdam made it out of its scrimmage with New Hartford healthy, and for Rugged Rams head coach John Homich, that matters more than anything his team produced on the field last Saturday.
“We’re full-strength,” Homich said.
Homich’s second season as Amsterdam’s head football coach kicks off Friday at 7 p.m. with a Section II Class A non-division game at South Glens Falls.
The Rams went 0-5 during the “Fall II” season in March and April, including three-straight one-possession losses to end the season, but Homich is bullish on his team heading into this season.
Amsterdam boasts a veteran line, led by seniors Christian Robinson and Alex Simon — Robinson had an interception return for a touchdown in the scrimmage with New Hartford — and has key returning players at several positions.
Quarterback was a preseason battle between Jhai Vellon and Tyrell Douglas, and while Homich said the coaching staff had settled on his starter, he declined to reveal which player had earned the nod.
“Everybody will find out at seven o’clock,” Homich said.
While Amsterdam scrimmaged this past weekend, South Glens Falls played a Week 0 contest against local rival Glens Falls, coming out on the wrong end of a 43-22 final.
Josh Ahrens ran for 113 yards and two touchdowns for the Bulldogs in that game, while Trey Marcil passed for 72 yards and tossed a touchdown to Orion Delisle.
“We have our work cut out for us,” Homich said. “[South High] is going to present certain challenges for us, but with the game plan we have in place, we feel confident.”
A LITTLE LESS HECTIC
Fonda-Fultonville went through what head coach Sean Thompson termed “a very interesting” Week 0. The Braves were set to host Broadalbin-Perth last Friday, but the Patriots could not field a roster of at least 16 players to meet the requirement to compete, leaving Fonda-Fultonville scrambling.
“We were ready to roll, having a home opener against a local rival,” Thompson said. “Our kids were really, really excited about it, we’d been working the game plan for two weeks. We were pretty surprised the game was canceled.”
Eventually, Fonda-Fultonville was able to schedule a trip to Section VII’s Peru, which had its Week 0 game with Green Tech called off due to COVID-19 protocols within the Green Tech program.
On 48 hours’ notice, Fonda-Fultonville went out and rolled to a 49-21 win and more than 400 yards of total offense.
“On two days’ notice,” Thompson said, “without a lot of game-planning — and a heck of a long bus trip — our kids went and played a pretty good game.”
Things are set to be a little more normal this week, as Fonda-Fultonville kicks off its Section II Class C slate Friday at 7 p.m. with a trip to Cobleskill-Richmondville.
Canajoharie/Fort Plain has grappled with low numbers, with just 24 players from grades 9-12 coming out for the team this year. Coming off a 2-2 campaign during the team’s Fall II season, coach Shannon Hyney’s club will be leaning on a veteran group paced by quarterback Zach Suits and running back Evan Smida.
Cambridge/Salem, which went just 1-4 in the Fall II season, is coming off a 30-24 Week 0 loss to Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk. Cambridge/Salem quarterback Brice Burr threw for 105 yards and a touchdown in the loss, while running back Connor Chilson accounted for 120 rushing yards and a score.
IN OTHER ACTION
All three Fulton County teams will be in action on the road Friday night. After pulling out of its Week 0 game with Fonda-Fultonville, Broadalbin-Perth will visit Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk. Fresh off a rivalry win over Johnstown, Gloversville is set to visit Lansingburgh, while Johnstown will make a lengthy bus trip to the Southern Tier to face Norwich.