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What you need to know for 01/19/2017

Class C playoff race may go down to the wire

Class C playoff race may go down to the wire

It's probably going to require all seven weeks of the Class C league season to determine which eight

It's probably going to require all seven weeks of the Class C league season to determine which eight schools move on to the postseason.

The middle-sized enrollment league boasts teams which have had their share of success at both the section and state level. Joining the league this year is Fonda-Fultonville, a traditionally solid program which has been playing at the Class B level.

"The competition in this league is great every year," said Mechanicville coach Kevin Collins. "Cambridge and Hoosick Falls have been to the state tournament. There are so many good teams in our league.

"Adding Fonda makes it an even stronger league."

Class C

North Division

CAMBRIDGE (7-0, 11-1)

Head coach: Doug Luke.

Top returning players: Quinton Herrington (OL), Alex Bell (RB), John Iseman (OL).

2007 season: North Division champion; beat Voorheesville, 28-21, in Section II quarterfinals; beat Chatham, 2-0, in semifinals; beat Schuylerville, 21-20, in Section II final; beat Tupper Lake, 24-8, in state quarterfinals; lost to Dobbs Ferry, 47-0, in state semifinals.

CORINTH (5-2, 6-3)

Head coach: Jeff Higgins.

Top returning players: C.J. Saunders (RB/DB), Mike Rubel (RB), Jordan Charbonneau (WR), Tom Gallup (OL/DL).

2007 season: Lost to Chatham, 51-13, in Section II quarterfinals.

GRANVILLE (0-7, 0-8)

Head coach: Mario Torres.

Top returning players: Nick Dunbar (RB), Paul Garrone (RB), Tyler Deuel (OL/DL).

2007 season: Did not qualify for postseason play.

HOOSICK FALLS (4-3, 4-5)

Head coach: Ron Jones.

Top returning players: Kevin Woods (QB/DB), Kevin McMahon (WR/LB), Hutton Rasmus (OL/LB), Dan Okerman (RB/LB).

2007 season: Lost to Watervliet, 46-21, in Section II quarterfinals.

MECHANICVILLE (3-4, 5-4)

Head coach: Kevin Collins.

Top returning players: Sam Chase (OL/DL), Tom Hamel (RB), Andrew Dorr (RB), David Guynup (RB), Gavin Weber (OL/DL), Zachery Herrington (OL/DL), Mike Santagato (OL/DL).

2007 season: Did not qualify for postseason play.

SCHUYLERVILLE (6-1, 8-2)

Head coach: Greg O'Connor.

Top returning players: Austin Bateman (QB), Shane Larkin (RB/DL), Greg Peterson (OL/DL), Zack Dames (LB/OL), Colton Barber (OL), Duke Ekblom (RB/LB).

2007 season: Beat Coxsackie-Athens, 48-7, in Section II quarterfinals; beat Watervliet, 6-0, in semifinals; lost to Cambridge, 21-20, in Section II championship.

STILLWATER (2-5, 3-6)

Head coach: Vince Barber.

Top returning players: Bryan Byer (RB), Andrew Bolton (QB), Chris Stewart (OL), Andrew Smith (WR), Dan Dunn (OL/DL), Brandon Mistretta (OL).

2007 season: Did not qualify for postseason play.

South Division

CATHOLIC CENTRAL(1-6, 3-6)

Head coach: Sam Marra.

Top returning players: Patrick Janssen (QB), Gerard Jacques (RB), Patrick Janssen (QB), Andrew Minch (OL), Mark Fusco (OL/DL), Sean Eaton (OL/DL), Kevin Favreau (OL/DL).

2007 season: Did not qualify for postseason play.

CHATHAM (6-1, 7-2)

Head coach: Mark Dwyer.

Top returning players: Alex Kellard-Ashe (WR), Parker Niles (QB/DB).

2007 season: South Division champion; beat Corinth, 51-13, in Section II quarterfinals; lost to Cambridge, 2-0, in semifinals.

coxsackie-athens

(5-2, 5-4)

Head coach: Ray Deyo.

Top returning players: Jeremy Prather (WR), Ryan Romogano (RB).

2007 season: Lost to Schuylerville, 48-7, in Section II quarterfinals.

FONDA-FULTONVILLE

(2-3, 5-4 Class B)

Head coach: Tom Carpenter.

Top returning players: Josh Nethaway (QB), Kevin Hanson (WR/DB), Chris Kennedy (LB), Joe Barbuti (OL/DL), Pat Sperow (RB/LB), Say Jenkins (RB/LB), Tyler Hal (WR/DB).

2007 season: Lost to Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk, 15-12 in (Class B) Section II quarterfinals.

HOOSIC VALLEY (0-7, 2-7)

Head coach: Jay Garvey.

Top returning players: Levi Meddis (RB), Tyler Ackerman (WR), Matt Campisi (WR), Alex McNeice (WR),

2007 season: Did not qualify for postseason play.

TAMARAC (2-5, 3-6)

Head coach: Erick Roadcap.

Top returing players: Phil Arnold (RB), David Fox (QB), Brent Matazinsky (TE/DE).

2007 season: Did not qualify for postseason play.

voorheesville (5-2, 6-3)

Head coach: Joe Sapienza.

Top returning players: Mike Snyder(OT/LB), David Whitely (RB/LB), C.J. Bouvier (OL/DL), Chad Hoffart (OL/DL).

2007 season: Lost to Cambridge, 28-21, in Section II quarterfinals.

WATERVLIET (6-1, 7-2)

Head coach: Erick Bernard.

Top returning players: Caleb Gleason (RB/LB), Dom Diaz (LB), Joe Hughes (LB).

2007 season: Beat Hoosick Falls, 46-21, in Section II quarterfinals; lost to Schuylerville, 6-0, in semifinals.

"There are some very good programs at the Class C level," said third-year Fonda head coach Tom Carpenter. "What it does, is it means the coaching staff has more work to do, because we don't have scouting reports on these teams."

The 15-team Class C league will be split into North and South div­isions again this season, with the top four teams in each qualifying for sectionals.

The seven North teams "” Cambridge, Corinth, Granville, Hoosick Falls, Mechanicville, Schuylerville and Stillwater "” will all play a Class B team in a non-leaguer to fill out the seven-week regular season.

Cambridge and Chatham won

divisional titles last season, and the Indians beat the Panthers, 2-0, in a driving rain in the sectional semi­final, then edged Schuylerville,

21-20, in the Class C title game.

Watervliet was the other semifinalist.

"It's such a competitive league," said Hoosick Falls coach Ron Jones. "You tell the kids they have to play hard every week, and right away, they see it."

"It's starting to look like the old Northern-Adirondack League," said Jones of the North Division, which features five Wasaren League teams. "It's nice to have those

rivalries."

North division

Schuylerville could have the horses to at least get back to the title game, and possibly add to the Section II titles it won in 2004 and 2005.

The Black Horses bring back quarterback Austin Bateman, running back Shane Larkin and several defensive players from a team that was less than four minutes away from a third Section II title in four years.

The plan may be for Bateman to throw the ball a little more this season as he operates behind a revamped offensive line.

"We may have him do a little more," said coach Greg O'Connor. "We don't throw as much as we'd like, but we're committed to try to throw a little more.

"Our biggest concern is that we lost a lot of linemen."

Not that Bateman and Larkin need much room to operate. The duo combined for 1,800 yards and 25 touchdowns rushing a year ago.

"They're two very talented players," said O'Connor.

Senior Greg Peterson is the only lineman back, and he'll be joined by two-way starter Josh Stone and center Colton Barber.

Duke Ekblom leads the defense from his linebacker spot.

Cambridge has history (10 Section II championships out of 14 trips to the the finals) on its side.

To add to their trophy case, the Indians will need to get great

efforts from some underclassmen.

"We've only got two starters back on offense, and one on defense," said coach Doug Luke, whose teams have gone 62-3-0 in league games and 100-14-0 overall since 1998. "It's just one of those years where we have a smaller senior class."

Quentin Herrington is the top returner.

"He's the only one back on both offense and defense," said Luke, who is also looking for senior center John Iseman to have a strong season.

Junior Kyle Parmenter takes over at quarterback, and the Indians will use a handful of running backs.

"We've got four or five backs that go around 145-150 pounds, but no one who is going to run over anybody."

Corinth is making strides, posting a 5-2 league record and 6-3 overall mark as it qualified for the playoffs for only the second time since 1979.

"We're trying to keep the

program moving forward, and the kids are buying into it," said coach Jeff Higgins, who saw over 50 come out for the sport this season.

"We lost eight seniors, but the turnout was a good sign," said Higgins.

One of the Tomahawks' strengths could be its line, where Shawn Delancey, Tom Gallup and Sergio Pereira return.

Tyler Nicholson will take over at quarterback, and has formid­able options in senior running back Mike Rubel and receiver C.J. Saunders. Also on hand to help is former Whitehall coach John Millett.

Jordan Charbonneau, who had six interceptions last season, heads a good secondary which includes Saunders.

Quarterback Kevin Woods leads Hoosick Falls, which may lead the league in good decisions.

"Kevin's a very intelligent kid. He scored in the top two percent nationally on his SATs, and he also has great football sense," praised Jones. "He's another coach on the field."

Dan Okerman will be the workhorse in the backfield behind a line anchored by Hutton Rasmus and Travis McMahon.

"We know we're in a tough

division," said Jones. "Cambridge and Schuylerville were in the final last year. Mechanicville should be good."

Mechanicville moves Nick Gaetano into the quarterback spot. Senior Andrew Dorr and 11th-graders David Guynup and Tom Hamel will run behind an experienced line featuring Sam Chase. Gavin Weber, Zachery Herrington, Mike Sant­agato and Dillon Mysliwiec.

"I think the kids coming in to replace players are a good group," said Collins. "And I like what I see in terms of them playing as a team."

A young Stillwater team hopes to grab one of the four playoff spots from the North.

"We only have six seniors, and we're a little small up front," said Warriors' coach Vince Barber. "But we have a solid backfield, and the kids we do have up front are tough kids, just a little small."

Quarterback Andrew Bolton, wingback Brian Byer and fullback Bret Cesak return, and are joined by Chris Grayson, who transferred from Mechanicville.

Andrew Smith is back at receiver, with Chris Stewart, Dan Dunn and Brandon Mistretta returning on the line.

South division

Carpenter prefers to talk of his team as a unit, without singling out individuals.

But the Braves have the best passing combination in the league in quarterback Josh Nethaway and receiver Kevin Hanson. Nethaway threw 16 TD passes a year ago, with Hanson hauling in a dozen of those.

Also returning as running backs Pat Sperow and Say Jenkins.

"We do have some talented individuals, but our success always has been, and will be, through hard work and playing as a team," said Carpenter.

The Braves were 5-4 a year ago, and should be among the top teams when sectionals come around.

"The goal is always to have a successful team, that's always your goal as a coach," said Carpenter.

Catholic Central will rely on eight seniors, some talented underclassmen and as athletic a team as coach Sam Marro has fielded.

"We're getting the athletic kids back into the program," said Marro. "We want to take advantage of that. And we have more size than we usually do.

"This was one of the best two weeks [of preseason] we've had, in terms of being physical."

Gerard Jacques gives the Crusaders a quality running back, teaming with Andrew Minich. Colin Dalton, Mark Fusco, Kevin Favreau and Sean Eaton providing experience on the line.

Marro has two quarterbacks with varsity experience in Andrew Clement and Patrick Janssen. Fusco, Favreaua and Nick Newell are among those the Crusaders are counting on defensively.

Watervliet has one of the top all-around players in the league in senior Caleb Gleason.

Dom Diaz and Chris Hughes are back to lead the defense for the Cannoneers.

Hoosic Valley is primed to see some success in its third year at the varsity level. But the Indians' fans will have to travel to see it, as Hoosic Valley will not have a home game this season, due to construction at the Schaghticoke school.

"It's unfortunate, but the kids know the situation and have accepted it," said coach Jay Garvey. "Next year, they'll have a great field. It's too bad for the seniors."

Tamarac will be led by seniors David Fox (quarterback/defensive back), Nick Matazinsky (tight end/defensive end) and Phil Arnold (running back/defensive back).

Voorheesville also fell prey to injuries last season. The Blackbirds look to bounce back behind two-way starters Mike Snyder (OT/LB), Dan Whitely (RB/LB), C,J. Bouvier (OL/DL) and Chad Hoffart (OL/DL).

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