Johnstown football optimistic heading into new season

Johnstown football head coach Paul Furman talks to his team during an Aug. 24 practice at Johnstown High School.

Johnstown football head coach Paul Furman talks to his team during an Aug. 24 practice at Johnstown High School.

JOHNSTOWN – After posting a 3-6 overall record in his first season as Johnstown football coach, Paul Furman is looking to continue to build the program.

“After our first practice, I went home with the feeling that we have a lot of room to improve,” Furman said. “We started out better than last year though.”

Last season got off to a rough start for the Sir Bills with back-to-back shutout losses to Gloversville and Norwich, before they had to forfeit a home game with Schuylerville due to COVID protocols. After the rocky beginning, Johnstown regrouped to win three of its final six contests.

Furman said that his team has been working hard in the offseason to continue its momentum.

“We had a good turnout this summer during voluntary workouts,” he said. “This group has made the commitment to put the work in.”

Johnstown’s roster features seven seniors, inlcuding Adam Sweet, John Sammons, Landen Hojohn, Evan Baker, Jordan Fox, Braeden Jones and Brandon Frank.

“We’ve got a lot of returnees this year,” Furman said. “Last year, we played with a team that was half varsity and half junior varsity players. This year, they’re bigger, thicker and stronger. They’ve been putting in the work in the weight room and in their skills work, and you can see it.”

The rest of the lineup is comprised of 11 juniors and 11 sophomores.

The juniors include Carter Cheney, Ryan Hoyt, Andrew Lake, Jack Miller, Sam Stearns, Ben Stramezzi, Andrew Yuenger, Marcus Wilson, Skyler Lundquist, Joe Trificante and Isaiah Williams.

The sophomore contigent includes Brodie Williams, Jack Kohout, Xaivier Williams, Austin Brown, John Vandewalker, John Livingston, Hayden Richards, Joe Sims, Josiah Waters, Raymond Pagan and Devyn Ward.

“We’ve got solid numbers. Our depth chart is pretty much three deep at every position, Furman said. “We won’t have a junior varsity team this year, but I don’t know of any other Class C team that will either.”

Furman’s coaching staff will feature assistant coaches Bob Noto, Hans Litz, Matt Kruger, Ethan Kiselis and Brandon Hillier.

“We’re working hard in our practices,” Furman said. “Having two practices a day isn’t easy, but this group has been putting in the work.”

He added that he’s hoping that the effort will result in the Sir Bills’ first postseason berth since 2016.

“We want to keep progressing and keep moving forward,” Furman said. “Everybody knows that Johnstown isn’t a team that’s been in the playoffs in a few years. It would be a notch for us to make the playoffs this year. I think that’s the next step for the program.”

Johnstown is scheduled to open its season Sept. 9 at Coxsackie-Athens for a 7 p.m. contest. The Sir Bills are set to host Fonda-Fultonville on Sept. 16 in their home opener at 7 p.m.

“We’re going to take every week game by game,” Furman said. “We’re going to try to win every week. We want to take it week by week. Typically, the teams that do that end up having good seasons. We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves.”

Categories: -Sports-, High School Football, High School Sports, Sports

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