Class B South: A tough division gets tougher with the arrival of perennial powers Alden and Depew - The Buffalo News

Share this article

print logo

Class B South: A tough division gets tougher with the arrival of perennial powers Alden and Depew

Alden Bulldogs (11-1)

Coach: Rob Currin, first season

Home field: Alden Complex

Program founded: 1952

Outlook: Returning QB Brian Stoldt is a gifted player on and off the field for the three-time defending Section VI Class B champions. He was third team All-NYS at QB last year. “He has been the leader of our football program since he was a sophomore,” said Currin. “There’s a lot on that young man’s shoulders, but if there’s somebody in our program that can handle it, it’s certainly him.” Dylan Dussault and Austin Hopcia will be two of Stoldt’s favorite targets. Phil Zobrest will anchor the O-line and play DE. OL/DL Erik Feitshans was an honorable mention all-NYS pick on the line and was also one of the underclassmen recognized by the Trench Trophy. Look for slasher-type Ryan Richards in the backfield. Currin succeeds Dick Diminuco, who coached Alden for the past four years and Albion for the previous 31.


Sept. 7 vs. Dunkirk, 7 p.m.

Sept. 14 at Eden, 2 p.m.

Sept. 20 vs. Hutch-Tech, 7 p.m.

Sept. 27 at Depew, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 4 vs. Pioneer, 7 p.m.

Oct. 12 at Olean, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 18 vs. East Aurora, 7 p.m.

Depew Wildcats (7-2)

Coach: Brian Wilson, second season

Home field: Constantino Complex

Program founded: 1912

Outlook: The Wildcats will be in the thick of the Class B race with a nice mix of size, experience and talent at the skill positions. QB Anthony Buono and RB Rodney Turner are dynamic players. “I see a lot of quick guys, a lot of quick, speedy guys, guys who aren’t afraid to lay the boom when we need it,” said Turner. “The key to me is just staying healthy, being a leader, helping out the young guys and making sure they know their assignments.” Derrick Sekuterski and Cody Penner will be a tough matchup for defenses at WR. The line will be led by returners Mike Lamb (6-7, 325), Steve Kasprzak and Dylan Grant. TE Nick Yelich looks to have a big year. The Wildcats look to tame rival Lancaster for the fourth year in a row.


Sept. 7 at Olean, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 13 vs. East Aurora, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 20 at Springville, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 28 vs. Alden, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 4 at Dunkirk, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 11 vs. Eden, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 18 vs. Lancaster, 7:30 p.m.

Dunkirk Marauders (2-5)

Coach: Tim Majka, first season

Home field: Karl Hoeppner Field

Program founded: 1901

Outlook: The Marauders are looking for big senior years from RB Nick Bartlette, OL Dominic Hitchcock, DB Nate Skubis and RB/LB Nick Bomasuto, a cousin of Vinny Bomasuto. Hitchcock is a 6-5, 300 pound RT who missed last year with a knee injury suffered in the scrimmage. The are among six starters who return on both sides of the ball. Josh Goodwin, last year’s JV QB, will take the snaps for the varsity. They open with last year’s Class B champions, Alden.


Sept. 6 at Alden, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 13 at Springville, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 20 vs. Pioneer, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 27 vs. Olean, TBA

Oct. 4 vs. Depew, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 11 at East Aurora, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 18 vs. Fredonia, 7:30 p.m.

East Aurora Blue Devils (1-6)

Coach: Tim Wade, 10th season

Home field: Blue Devils Stadium

Program founded: circa 1922

Outlook: The Blue Devils welcome five players from Holland, including junior TE/DE Cole Schlenker who really committed himself in the offseason. “They’re just all wound up. They’ve been working out with us this summer. I’m excited.” After having to forfeit a game last year because of low numbers, the Blue Devils should be a 30 strong which Wade said puts his program back on track. The Blue Devils have six players who have played three seasons together, among them are senior Grant Haffendon, who is 6-6, 255. Senior Joe Gugino moves from TE back to his natural position of RB. “He has done everything for us the last three years,” said Wade. “He’s got a lot of speed, he will surprise a lot of people.” The schedule is unforgiving as five of the eight Class B playoffs teams from a year ago are now in Class B South.


Sept. 6 vs. Kenmore East, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 13 at Depew, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 20 vs Eden, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 27 at Pioneer, 7 p.m.

Oct. 4 vs. Springville, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 11 vs. Dunkirk, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 18 at Alden, 7 p.m.

Eden Raiders (6-3)

Coach: Chuck Tilley, fifth season

Home field: William Bos Field

Program founded: circa 1930

Outlook: The Raiders return 20 of 22 positions from last year’s Class B South championship team. QB Nick Saratori poses a double threat. “He’s basically a running back who can throw the ball,” said Tilley. Eden continues its tradition of having a deep backfield led by Alex Smythe. Opening the holes for the running attack will be brothers senior RT/DT Devon Shaw (6-4, 270) and junior center Ryan Shaw (6-6, 240). Tilley said they’re tough, aggressive kids just like their older brother. Anthony Cummings and Garrett DiStefano are returning two-way starters, who can play a variety of positions. Eden travels to Depew on Oct. 11. “We could have a better team than last year and it might not be reflected in our record,” said Tilley.


Sept. 7 vs. Springville, 2 p.m

Sept. 14 vs. Alden, 2 p.m.

Sept. 20 at East Aurora/ Holland, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 28 vs. Cardinal O’Hara, 2 p.m.

Oct. 5 at Olean, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 11 at Depew, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 19 vs. Pioneer, 2 p.m.

Olean Huskies (3-5)

Coach: Mike Kane, 24th season

Home field: Bradner Stadium

Program founded: 1893

Outlook: Olean ushers in its 120th year of football with size on the line and a talented backfield. Among the eight starters back on offense is senior QB Chance Anzivine, who threw for 1,600 yards last year on 108 for 214 accuracy. Six-foot-four WR Wil Bathurst runs well and is a standout overall athlete. Another target on the outside is senior WR Luke Hennessy. Bathhurst and Hennessy were both starters on the championship basketball team. RB Dante Tarr has good speed and can catch the ball out of the backfield. Returning to the O-line are Ryan Phillips, Malik Burney and Julius Haight. Quintin Ellis moves from RG to RB. Three transfers are expected to make an impact: WR/DB Darian Haight from Pioneer, T/T David Lee from Salamanca and L/L Kyle Steiner (6-0, 3150 from Orchard Park. Olean will not meet rival Bradford this season because the state pushed the football season’s starting back a week. After 115 meetings, Bradford leads, 65-43-7. The Huskies will be tested early as Depew comes to town on Saturday.


Sept. 7 vs. Depew, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 13 at Pioneer, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20 at Southwestern, 7 p.m.

Sept. 27 at Dunkirk, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 5 vs. Eden, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 12 vs. Alden, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 18 at Springville, 7:30 p.m.

Pioneer Panthers (6-3)

Coach: Jim Duprey, 12th season

Home field: Pioneer Turf Stadium

Program founded: 1971

Outlook: Junior QB Bryce Little looked solid in two starts last year after getting called up from the JV following an injury. Senior TE/DE Justin Bliss, who’s 6-5, 210, was first team all-league last year. Senior Ryan Merlau carries a 99 grade point average, and at 6-3, 255, will carry both ends of the line. RB Kris Riordan came up last year as a sophomore and contributed 500 yards. The LB corp will be lead by Tyler Mummery. “He started last year as a sophomore, and he’ll be dynamite as a middle linebacker,” said Duprey.


Sept. 7 vs. Oneida at Carrier Dome, 11 am

Sept. 13 vs. Olean, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20 at Dunkirk, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 27 vs. East Aurora 7 p.m.

Oct. 4 at Alden, 7 p.m.

Oct. 11 vs. Springville, 7 p.m.

Oct. 19 at Eden, 2 p.m.

Springville Griffins (5-5)

Coach: John Sopko, fifth season

Home field: Pop Warner Field

Program founded: circa 1900

Outlook: Sopko cited OL/DL Brandon Ball as one of the team’s strongest and most dedicated players while noting he was ranked No. 1 academically in the junior class. Ball, Ethan Benz, Robert Fischer and Andrew Scharra have been named captains. Scharra was in the running for the QB spot, but missed the scrimmage with a leg injury. Benz is a three-year player following in the footsteps of his father, Tom, and older brother, Derick. Tyler Conklin returns at RB, and after adding strength in the offeseason, moves from DB to LB. “He’s an extremely hard working lunch-bucket kid,” Sopko said of Conklin. “He’s quiet, doesn’t cause any problem or seek any unearned attention, kind of just does his thing.” Junior Devin White-Kearns, up from the JV, is penciled in at QB.


Sept. 7 at Eden, 2 p.m.

Sept. 13 vs. Dunkirk, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 20 vs. Depew, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 27 vs. Salamanca, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 4 at East Aurora, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 11 at Pioneer, 7 p.m.

Oct. 18 vs. Olean, 7:30 p.m.

There are no comments - be the first to comment