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What you need to know for 01/20/2017

Bulldogs try to retain Class B crown

Bulldogs try to retain Class B crown

Head coach Ed Hantho is real­istic enough to know that the mag­ical 2007 season may never happen aga

Head coach Ed Hantho is real­istic enough to know that the mag­ical 2007 season may never happen again for the Cobleskill-Richmondville Bulldogs.

Class B

Reinfurt Division

ALBANY ACADEMY (4-1, 4-5)

Head coach: Tony Fruscio.

Top returnees: Jimmer Bennett (WR/DB), Jamal Fields (WR/DB), Proper Muna (WR/LB), Scott Strohecker (RB), Ranel Potter (RB), Chris Pelcher (DE), Quaider Phillips (OL-DL).

2007 season: Lost to Hudson Falls, 49-21, in Section II quarterfinals.

CAIRO-DURHAM (1-4, 1-8)

Head coach: Dom DeMaria.

Top returnees: Howie Winfield (RB), Austin Osborne (WR), Mitch Dwyer (OL/DL), Nick Ballard (QB), Eric Shafer (RB/WR), Josh Shafer (RB/WR).

2007 season: Did not qualify for postseason play.

COHOES/HEATLY (3-2, 4-5)

Head coach: James Ducharme.

Top returnees: Mark Gallerie (QB/S), Greg Mollnow (OL/DL), Bryan Beauchamp (OL/DL), Tom Mokis (OL/DL), Steve Weaver (TB/LB), Sean Littlejohn (LB), Carlos Torres (LB).

2007 season: Lost to Broadalbin-Perth, 16-8, in Section II quarterfinals.

HUDSON (2-3, 2-7)

Head coach: Bob Lacasse.

Top returnees: Nick Eapp (FB/LB), Charlie Thomas (OL/DL), Brandon Williams (LB/OL), Dennis Embree (OL/DL), Jordan Smith (OL/DL), Sean Malloy (WR/DB).

2007 season: Lost to Cobleskill-Richmondville, 38-13, in Section II quarterfinals.

RAVENA-COEYMANS-

SELKIRK (5-0, 8-2)

Head coach: Gary Vanderzee.

Top returnees: Christian Tiberia (WR/LB), Nick LaMountain (DT/TB), C.J. Murray (TB), Jordan Canabucci (QB), Keith Hoyt (QB), Steve Alberts (OL/DL), Rob Nolan (OL/DT).

2007 season: Beat Fonda-Fultonville, 15-12, in Section II quarterfinals; beat Broadalbin-Perth, 9-6, in Section II semifinls; lost to Cobleskill-Richmondville, 14-3, in Section II championship game.

TACONIC HILLS (0-5, 0-9)

Head coach: Al Pailley.

Top returnees: Nolan Boice (FB/LB), Scott Decker (TB), Mike Jenner (WR), Pete Fonda (TE), Josh McKay (DB).

2007 season: Did not qualify for postseason play.

West Division

BROADALBIN-PERTH

(4-1, 7-2)

Head coach: Rick Snyder.

Top returnees: Corey Caswell (QB), Stan Akey (TB).

2007 season: Beat Cohoes, 16-8, in Section II quarterfinals; lost to Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk, 9-6, in Section II semifinals.

COBLESKILL-RICHMONDVILLE

(5-0, 10-1).

Head coach: Ed Hantho.

Top returnees: Ryan Adams (RB), Charles Willoughby (RB), Spencer LaMountain (QB), Justen Markley (WR/S), Josh France (WR), Ron Sperbeck (OL/DL), Chris Sceresky (OL/DL); Pete Radliff (LB), Nate Prezorski (FB/LB); Jon Miner (RB/DL).

2007 season: Beat Hudson, 38-13, in Section II quarterfinals; beat Hudson Falls, 28-14, in Section II semifinals; beat Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk, 14-3, in Section II championship game; lost to Peru (Section 7), 21-7, in New York State quarterfinals.

HUDSON FALLS (3-2, 6-3)

Head coach: Bill Strong.

Top returnees: Joe McMurry (RB), Isiah Thomas (RB), Bret Mellon (QB), Tim Hammond (OL/DL), Nate Madison (OL/DL), Josh Canini (WR), Tom Hammond (WR).

2007 season: Beat Albany Academy, 49-21, in Section II quarterfinals; lost to Cobleskill-Richmondville, 28-14, in Section II semi­finals.

JOHNSTOWN (1-4, 3-6)

Head coach: Bob Kraemer.

Top returnees: Craig Cook (FB), Jake Arrunategui (FB), Marcus Whitman (RB), Tony Cook (WR), Nick Tino (WR), J.P. Muller (OL/DL), Reggie Brucker (OL/DL), Derek Hayner (OL/DL), Mitch Rodgers (OL/DL).

2007 season: Did not qualify for postseason play.

SCHALMONT (0-5, 3-6)

Head coach: Mike DiCocco.

Top returnees: Mark Waite (OL/DL), Shawn Schellenger (OL/DL), Coleman Jennes (OL/DL), Kyle McKelvey (QB/DB), Mad­ison DeCerce (RB), Vince Gallo (RB), Deshawn Banks (RB), Ryan Hyde (WR), Trevor Gaughan (WR/LB).

2007 season: Did not qualify for postseason play.

Cobleskill-Richmondville swept through its Western Division campaign a perfect 5-0 and finished 7-0 overall in the regular season. The Bulldogs then coasted to the Section II Class B title by bouncing Hudson, 38-13; Hudson Falls, 28-14; and perennial league power Ravena-Coeyman-Selkirk, 14-3, before bowing to Peru of Section VII, 21-7, in the state quarterfinals.

"The last time we were in the sectionals was way back in the 1980s. Last year was probably our best season ever," said Hantho.

"We've worked hard to establish our program for the last several years, and we finally broke through with the title last year. To repeat is going to be a feat for anybody. We know there is a bull's-eye on our backs. Everyone wants to beat us this year. We had two great years in a row in our division. We didn't anticipate what happened last year. Things fell together for us."

The Bulldogs lost key players like quarterback Josh Keller and running back Aaron Christman to graduation, but Hantho has some talented players returning, like 6-foot-3, 215-pound junior Justen Markley, who will double as a wide receiver and safety, and running back Charles Willoughby.

"Justen is a big target with good hands. He's nimble and fast," said Hantho. "He's a great defensive player, as well."

Ryan Adams, who was hurt most of last season, moves in as one of the tailbacks, and Josh France is another good receiver. Spencer

LaMountain is the new quarterback.

"Spencer has big shoes to fill, but we're going to change some things up this season and go to his strengths," said Hantho.

The Bulldogs lost a lot of good two-way linemen, but will look to guard Ron Sperbeck, guard/linebacker Pete Radliff and senior right tackle Chris Sceresky (6-2, 240 pounds) to be solid two-way anchors.

"We've got five players back on each side of the ball with some decent experience, but we've also got a lot of fresh faces," said Hantho. "Hopefully, the new guys will

answer the call. We don't want to be just a one-hit wonder."

West Division

The West Division will be a bit smaller after losing Fonda-Fultonville to the Class C league. Bill Strong takes over for longtime head coach Tom Heinzelman at Hudson Falls.

Hudson Falls appears to be the likely successor to C-R in the Western Division. Although Strong is the new head coach for the Tigers, he was an assistant coach for many years. He also has the services of running back Joe McMurry, who ran for 435 yards on 29 carries against Albany Academy. That's the second-best single-game performance in Section II history.

"No matter what goes in print, we must be hungry and stay humble," said Strong, who was an assistant coach under Heinzelman for 11 years and also played safety for the Tigers back in the late 1980s. "Coach Heinzelman always stressed to us that we're an overall program from top to bottom,

regardless of who is coaching. We've had a smooth transition."

McMurry will run behind two huge offensive linemen in Tim Hammond (6-9, 270) and Nate Madison (5-9, 270), but Strong said he may have a few surprises for opponents who think his Tigers will only run this year.

Broadalbin-Perth might be in a rebuilding mode for head coach Rick Snyder. The Patriots were 13-5 over the last two seasons, but they suffered numerous graduation losses.

"We were hurt the most on our offensive line. We lost a lot of yards and touchdowns with the graduation of Mike Hayes and Jared Thurber," Snyder said. "They scored 20 touchdowns and ran for plenty of yards, but they couldn't have done it without a good offensive line. We don't return any offensive linemen except for our tight end. The rest are JV kids."

Quarterback Corey Caswell is one of the best signal-callers in the league, and Stan Akey will help replace Hayes and Thurber in the backfield.

Johnstown has 14 players returning for head coach Bob Kraemer.

"Our goals are not only to make the playoffs, but to make a little run in the playoffs," Kraemer said. "We were very young last year, and we're hoping that pays off this year. We're still a spread offense, but we'll run the ball a lot more."

Adam Biron, up from the JV team, is the new quarterback for the Sir Bills. Craig Cook, Jake

Arrunategui and Marcus Whitman will share the rushing load, and Tony Cook and Nick Tino will be the primary receivers.

Like Johnstown, Schalmont is looking for huge improvement this season.

"We've finally got some size, and we're hoping to run the ball this year," said Schalmont head coach Mike DiCocco. "We're stronger up front than we have been in quite a while."

Mark Waite (6-3, 300 pounds) and Shawn Schellenger (6-7, 300) will provide plenty of strength up front. Kyle McKelvey is the quarterback, and he'll hand off to Madison DeCerce, Vince Gallo and Deshawn Banks.

Reinfurt Division

Albany Academy and Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk appear to be the teams to beat in the Reinfurt Division, where Al Pailley is the new coach at Taconic Hills.

Academy was an uncharacteristic 4-5 overall last season after reaching the state title game in 2006, but the Cadets have a group of standout basketball players to help get the football team back on course.

"We have some returners that were big contributors that will lead us in the right direction," said Tony Fruscio, Academy's first-year head coach. "Overall, our numbers on the roster are up."

Jimmer Bennett, Section II's all-time leading receiver in both yards (2,080) and receptions (122) will be the No. 1 option on offense for freshman quarterback Hunter McCarthy.

"He's 6-1, throws a catchable ball and improves every day in practice," Fruscio said of his new QB. "He's very young, but he's catching on very quckly."

Jamal Fields, another basketball player, will be another receiver for McCarthy, and Scott Strohecker and Ranel Potter will be the

primary rushers. Chris Pelcher

(6-9) anchors the defensive line.

R-C-S should be a contender once again. The Indians were

8-2 last year and lost to Cobleskill-Richmondville in the Section II championship game.

"We expect to be in the championship mix. I'd be very disappointed if we weren't," said head coach Gary VanDerzee.

C.J. Murray and Nick LaMountain will carry the ball for the

Indians, while Jordan Canabucci and Keith Hoyt are battling for the No. 1 quarterback berth.

The Indians are smaller on both lines, but they have plenty of top skill players, including tight end Mike Jones.

"We'll probably run 70 percent of the time," said VanDerzee. "LaMountain is a big kid, about 220 pounds, and he's very physical. Murray is a change of pace and has more speed."

Hudson, only 2-7 last year, expects to make large strides this season.

"I think what we've improved upon the most is our atitude," said head coach Bob LaCasse. "There is a greater sense or urgency, and good team chemistry goes a long way."

Nick Eapp, a fullbacker/middle linebacker, is a two-time team co-captain. Linemen Charlie Thomas and Brandon Williams are the other co-captains, while Talib Barksdale, the younger brother of former

University at Albany standout Rashad Barksdale, is the quarterback.

Cohoes/Heatly jumped from 0-9 in 2006 to 4-5 last year. Tigers' head coach James Ducharme expects even more improvement with 12 players returning, including five interior linemen.

Quarterback Mark Gallerie and power runner Steve Weaver are the leading skill-position players for the Tigers, while Greg Mollnow, Bryan Beauchamp and Tom Mokus anchor the line.

Cairo-Durham begins only its second varsity season for head coach Dom DeMaria.

"We are a self-funded program. The school doesn't fund us, but it does support us," DeMaria said. "We've got 17-20 players returning, though, and we now have 40 kids on our roster, up from 32 last year. We took our lumps last year, just like we expected to."

Pailley replaces Mike Bowman as head coach for Taconic Hills, which suffered through a 0-9 campaign.

All-Conference fullback Nolan Boice, tailback Scott Decker, wideout Mike Jenner and tight end Peter Fonda are the leading players back for the Titans.

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