By Keith McShea
Who’s who: The eight-team division consists of the Alden Bulldogs, Depew Wildcats, Dunkirk Marauders, East Aurora Blue Devils, Eden Raiders, Olean Huskies, Pioneer Panthers and Springville Griffins.
This year’s alignment shift: One of the major overhauls in Section VI's divisions this year is Class B going from three divisions to two. That's led to beefier divisions in which teams won't play all of the members of their division during the seven-week regular season. Class B South includes all of the six teams which resided in the division of the same name last year, while two of the section's top small school programs move in from what was the B East: Alden and Depew.
Last year's champion: Eden finished atop the division at 4-1 to earn a No. 3 seed for the Class B quarterfinals, where it lost to sixth-seeded Springville.
2012 rewind: It was a typically competitive year in B South, with Pioneer and Springville joining Eden in the playoffs. Springville followed its win at Eden with a victory at Cheektowaga in what was a Cinderella run to the B title game at The Ralph. Alden and Depew continued their rivarly with the Bulldogs staying on top: Alden beat the Wildcats once in the regular season and again in the sectional semifinals on its way to its third straight Section VI Class B championship and a state semifinal berth. Depew has only lost four games over the last two seasons, and they've all been to Alden.
Last year's records: Eden 6-3, 4-1; Pioneer 6-3, 3-2; Springville 5-5, 3-2; Dunkirk 3-6, 2-3; Olean 3-5, 2-3; East Aurora 1-7, 1-4. In B East, Alden 11-1, 6-0; Depew 7-2, 5-1.
2012 All-Western New York underclassmen: Alden junior quarterback Brian Stoldt was named to the third team. Earning honorable mention were Eden junior lineman Devin Shaw and Depew sophomore running back Rodney Turner.
2012 all-league first-team underclassmen: Eden juniors Shaw, OL Alex Smythe and DB Nick Sarratori and sophomore OL Anthony Cummings; East Aurora juniors OL Grant Haffenden and WR Dan Reischuck; Olean junior QB Chance Anzivine, Springville junior DL Brandon Ball, Pioneer junior DL Justin Bliss. In Class B East, Alden juniors QB Brian Stoldt and K Ryan Richards; Depew junior WR Derrick Sekuterski.
Pre-snap read: Typically competitive B South stalwarts, come greet your new league mates: superpowers Alden and Depew. Those two programs deserve the nod as the favorites, in that order. However, with Eden welcoming back several key players, Springville coming off a great playoff run, East Aurora getting an infusion of Holland players after their merger, Olean featuring some explosive offense, Pioneer usually close to the top of the division and Dunkirk in the middle of the playoff race, it should make for great league battles each week.
Week One (Sept. 6-7) must-see games: On Saturday, Pioneer opens against Section III's Oneida at Syracuse's Carrier Dome at 11 a.m., Springville is at Eden in an opening clash at 2, and Depew travels down to Olean for a 7:30 start in Western New York's latest-scheduled season opener.
Scrimmage Saturday: The first day teams can scrimmage other schools is Saturday. Niagara Falls, Williamsville East and Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake are at Depew at 10 a.m.; Springville takes part, with Cheektowaga, in the earliest scrimmage at Tonawanda at 8:15 a.m. The complete schedule of Western New York scrimmages is available at the Prep Talk blog at buffalonews.com.
Prep Talk blog at buffalonews.com: Watch exclusive [BN]TheLockerRoom video of Canisius coach Rich Robbins' initial address to his team, look over the entire 2013 week-by-week schedule and watch #preptalkpreseason video interviews with 30 head coaches (with more to come).
Live chats & PrepTalkTV: The first of the weekly Wednesday night live chats will be Sept. 4 at 9 p.m. at buffalonews.com. The PrepTalkTV schedule will be released soon.
The countdown continues: B North (Friday), A South (Saturday), A Central (Sept. 1), A North (Sept. 2), Class AA (Sept. 3) and the Monsignor Martin Association (Sept. 4). Already published: C North (Wednesday), C South (Tuesday), Class D (Monday) and DD (Sunday). You will be able to review them all at the Prep Talk blog.
Season preview coming Sept. 5: The annual preview issue will have capsules and schedules for all 78 teams in Western New York, along with feature stories, a must-see cover and everything else one needs to know about the 2013 season.
Attention coaches & ADs: As soon as they are determined, Section VI coaches need to send a roster — in spreadsheet form — to email@example.com. Monsignor Martin coaches should email rosters to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday Night Live at buffalonews.com: Every week, the place to monitor all of the Friday night action is BuffaloNews.com and the Prep Talk blog. We will have video reports, photos, live updates from several top games (including play-by-play from our premier matchup of the night) and you will again be a part of the team via Twitter: Tweet game updates with the #preptalkscores hashtag and those will appear in our live blog.