Here are 10 numbers to know ahead of the 2019 Section II football season kicking off Friday.
Career coaching wins for Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake’s Matt Shell. The milestone win for Shell was achieved in last year’s Section II Class A Super Bowl. Burnt Hills opens its season 7 p.m. Friday at home against Gloversville.
Teams competing this year in Section II football. The largest classification is Class C with 16 teams, while Class D only has six teams — and two of them are not eligible for the postseason in Cohoes and Corinth/Fort Edward. Rensselaer, which was set to compete in Class C, had to cancel its season late last month because of low player numbers.
Touchdown passes last season for Holy Trinity quarterback Joe Tortello, with 15 of those touchdown passes going to classmate Nacier Hundley. Now a senior, Tortello passed for a Section II-record 39 touchdowns in 2017 and tied a single-game state record in 2018 when he threw for eight touchdowns against Canajoharie/Fort Plain. Holy Trinity starts its season 1:30 p.m. Saturday at home against Hudson.
Combined average margin of victory in last year’s Section II championship games for winners Shaker, Burnt Hills, Glens Falls, Cambridge/Salem and Warrensburg. Shaker topped Saratoga Springs 28-14 in Class AA; Burnt Hills won 21-16 against Queensbury in Class A; in Class B, Glens Falls won 40-0 against Cobleskill-Richmondville; Cambridge/Salem beat Chatham 41-27 in Class C; and, Warrensburg secured a Class D title with a 28-6 win against Hoosic Valley.
Touchdowns in 2018 for Cobleskill’s Hunter Edwards, one of the area’s top two-way players. As a junior, Edwards rushed for 1,272 yards and served as a stellar linebacker. Edwards starts his senior season with the Bulldogs 7 p.m. Friday at home against Schalmont.
Merged programs within Section II for the 2019 season. That lists includes Cairo-Durham/Catskill, Cambridge/Salem, Canajoharie/Fort Plain, Corinth/Fort Edward, Helderberg Valley, Holy Trinity and Lake George/Hadley-Luzerne. All of those schools will compete in either Class B, Class C or Class D.
Consecutive Section II championships that programs from Burnt Hills and Cambridge are trying to win this year. Burnt Hills has won the last three area Class A crowns, while Cambridge won Class D crowns in 2016 and 2017 before winning a Class C title in 2018 as Cambridge/Salem.
Consecutive years in which Section II has won at least one state championship. Section II last didn’t field a state champion in 2015.
Rematches from last year’s postseason happening in Week 1. Shaker plays Friday at Guilderland, while Hoosic Valley plays Saturday at Whitehall. Last year, Shaker defeated Guilderland in the Class AA semifinals on its way to winning an area crown, while Hoosic Valley topped Whitehall in the 2018 Class D semifinals.
Defending state champions playing in Section II. Glens Falls won the 2018 Class B championship with star quarterback Joseph Girard III leading the way. Girard III, the state’s all-time leading scorer in high school basketball, is now a member of the Syracuse University men’s basketball program. Glens Falls starts its 2019 season 1:30 p.m. Saturday at home against Lansingburgh.