Msgr. Martin Association: St. Francis returns 16 starters - The Buffalo News

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Msgr. Martin Association: St. Francis returns 16 starters

Bishop Timon/ St. Jude Tigers (4-7)

Coach: Charlie Comerford, third season

Home field: Tifft Farms

Program founded: 1948

Outlook: The Tigers return seven on offense, including four on the OL: Tyree Coble, Gabe Lee-Pelt, Andrew Stoldtman and Mike Griffin. They will protect Brandon May, a mobile QB who runs the option well. He also kicks and has played on the OL. Watch DE Desmond Stephens coming off the line. He had eight sacks. RB/LB Gavin Caulfield is one of the more athletic players on the team; he also plays lacrosse. Derick Simpson is a three-year starter at CB and will also play WR/RB/CB. RB/CBArenzo Thomas finished the season strong. The Tigers welcome the addition of CB/WR Danny Price, who moved to South Buffalo from Georgia.


Sept. 5 at V-Aquinas, 7 p.m.

Sept. 12 vs. U-Prep, 7 p.m.

Sept. 29 vs. St. Mary’s/Lanc.

Sept. 26 at Riverside, 7 p.m.

Oct. 4 at St. Francis, 1 p.m.

Oct. 11 vs. V-Wilson Magnet, 3 p.m.

Oct. 18 at Cardinal O’Hara, 1 p.m.

Oct. 25 vs. Canisius, 7 p.m.

Nov. 1 vs. St. Joe’s, 7 p.m.

Canisius Crusaders (9-2)

Coach: Rich Robbins, Fourth season

Home field: Stransky Complex

Program founded: 1913

Outlook: The Crusaders look to add to their Msgr. Martin Association titles from 2013, 2012 and 2009. A pair of All-WNY first-teamers and a second-teamer position the Crusaders nicely. TE/DE TJ Wheatley and WR/LB Brad Zaffram are returning first-teamers while WR/CB Josh Huffman was a second-team pick. All-Catholic kicker Michael Tarbutt is being looked at by Division I schools, including UConn. Three of four LBs return: Zaffram, James Thomas and Jerome Brundidge. RB/WR Mitch Thomas can play either RB or WR and on defense is a solid DB. Chris Gangarossa and Mike Kenefick return to the OL. Justin Jones, an All-Catholic LB last year at St. Joe’s, has transferred in as well as Tyler Stranahan, who is competing for a starting spot at DB. JVs were 7-1. The Crusaders hope to play for the inaugural Catholic State Championship against a downstate champion on Nov. 29.


Sept. 6 vs. V-McQuaid, 1 p.m

Sept. 13 vs. V-Aquinas, 1 p.m.

Sept. 19 at Walsh Jesuit (Ohio), 7 p.m.

Sept. 26 at Jamestown, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 4 at St. Joe’s, 2 p.m.

Oct. 11 at Bishop Watterson (Ohio), noon

Oct. 18 vs. Cardinal Mooney (Ohio), 1 p.m.

Oct. 24 at Bishop Timon-St. Jude, 7 p.m.

Nov. 1 vs. St. Francis, 1 p.m.

Cardinal O’Hara Hawks (1-7-1)

Coach: Angelo Sciandra, 13th season

Home field: No name

Program founded: 1963

Outlook: The Hawks look to get on track with four players back on the OL: Gino Lattuca, Michael Spagna, Tyler Jansen and Kris Croom. Jansen was first team All-Catholic a year ago. Lattuca and Spagna are three-year starters. Donel Cathcart threw for 461 yards at QB last year, but he may switch if one of two underclassmen in camp develops. Sciandra said he’d like to get Cathcart the ball in open space. Sophomore RB/CB Cliff Zeigler led the team in tackles with 83. RB/CB Charles Debose, last year’s rushing leader, was second on the team in tackles. Numbers are down with 27 on the varsity.


Sept. 6 vs. Nichols, 1 p.m.

Sept. 13 at V-Finney, 1 p.m.

Sept. 19 vs. UPrep, 7 p.m.

Sept. 27 vs. V-Attica, 1 p.m.

Oct. 4 at Maple Grove/Chautuqua Lake, 7 p.m.

Oct. 11 at V-Elba, 7 p.m.

Oct. 18 vs. Bishop Timon-St. Jude, 1 p.m.

Oct. 25 vs. TBA, 1 p.m.

Nov. 1 at St. Mary’s/Lanc., 1 p.m.

St. Francis Red Raiders (5-6)

Coach: Jerry Smith, 27th season

Home field: Fr. Rufinus Complex

Program founded: 1947

Outlook: The Red Raiders return 16 of 22 starters, including QB Jerry Hickson, who started the last eight games last year as a freshman. He’s been working with Jim Kubiak on his mechanics and has been named a captain. He’ll be working with his center from a year ago, Nick Stachowski. RB/SS Manny Williams is back after missing all last year with a hip injury. WR/CB Kordell Holness-Lightbody is smooth, fast and one of the school’s better basketball players. Two top linemen are Jack Hayes and Brien Pacholec. OL/DE Nick Weikle is coming off ACL surgery. Transferring in from Canada is junior RB/LB Brandon Metz. Francisco Guzman is a solid FS.


Sept. 6 vs. Holy Trinity (LI), 1 p.m.

Sept. 13 vs. South Park, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20 vs. Alden, 7 p.m.

Sept. 27 at St. Joe’s, 2 p.m.

Oct. 4 vs. Bishop Timon-St. Jude, 1 p.m.

Oct. 11 vs. Cathedral Prep (Pa.), 7 p.m.

Oct. 18 vs. V-Aquinas, 7 p.m.

Oct. 25 at St. Mary’s/Lancaster, 1 p.m.

Nov. 1 at Canisius, 1 p.m.

St. Joe’s Marauders (7-4)

Coach: Dennis Gilbert, fifth season

Home field: Robert T. Scott Complex

Program founded: 1897

Outlook: The Marauders will be tested early as they open at downstate power St. Anthony’s. Returning to the OL will be All-Catholic Austin Greenwood along with David Burgio and Dan Carr. The backfield has 4.6 speed with Cordell Owens, Ryan Conschafter and Darren Thompson. All-Catholic QB Mike McCarthy is out for the season after tearing his patella while playing pickup basketball at a charity event over the summer. Senior David Archer takes over at QB. He played FS as a sophomore and opted to play fall baseball as a junior before returning to football.


Sept. 5 at St. Anthony’s, 7 p.m.

Sept. 13 vs. Clarence, 1 p.m.

Sept. 20 at V-Aquinas, 1 p.m.

Sept. 27 vs. St. Francis, 1 p.m.

Oct. 4 vs. Canisius, 1 p.m.

Oct. 11 vs. U-Prep, 2 p.m.

Oct. 18 vs. St. Mary’s/Lancaster, 1 p.m.

Oct. 25 vs. Cathedral Prep (Pa.), 1 p.m.

Oct. 31 at Bishop Timon-St. Jude, 7 p.m.

St. Mary’s Lancers (4-4)

Coach: Chris Glenn, first season

Home field: Fr. Columban Brady Field

Program founded: 1941

Outlook: QB Marc O’Neill may move to WR in favor of junior Takal Moloson, who Glenn said is a natural QB. “He’s 6-3, can throw and has great footwork,” he said. Moloson is also a standout in basketball. Anthony Stitt returns at FB. He replaced the injured Nick Vallone last year and finished with nearly 700 yards. Tony Robinson returns for his third season as a starting WR, but he’s so versatile Glenn can plug him in at most positions. Sean Wilson and Dahlen Jones are returning two-way linemen. The Lancers’ roster of 26-27 has just a handful of seniors. Glenn, hired in middle of June, was the JV coach and varsity assistant the past seven season at Williamsville South. He coached briefly at St. Mary’s as an assistant coach in 2006.


Sept. 6 at UPrep, 2 p.m.

Sept. 13 vs. St. John the Baptist (LI), 1 p.m.

Sept. 19 at Bishop Timon-St. Jude, 7 p.m.

Sept. 27 vs. Oil City (Pa.), 1 p.m.

Oct. 3 vs. Niagara-Wheatfield, 1 p.m.

Oct. 11 at East (Erie, Pa.), 7 p.m.

Oct. 18 at St. Joe’s, 1 p.m.

Oct. 25 vs. St. Francis, 1 p.m.

Nov. 1 vs. Cardinal O’Hara, 1 p.m.

Nichols Vikings (2-5)

Coach: Colin Brinson, seventh season

Home field: Strauss Truscott

Program founded: 1895

Outlook: Nine players are back on both sides of the ball. Senior LB Ken Williams has led the team in tackles since he started as a freshman. QB/LB Steve Glinski joins Williams as a four-year starter and a team captain. HB Mercy Cox-Hicks was last year’s leading rusher. At 6-8, 230, Ethan Carrow is getting some looks from Patriot League schools. Steve Foley has been a two-way starter on the line for three seasons. DT/TE Chris Miner has proved a quick study since taking up football last year. Local nonleaguers are against O’Hara, Panama and Sherman/Clymer.


Sept. 6 at Cardinal O’Hara. 1 p.m.

Sept. 13 vs Oakfield-Alabama, 1 p.m.

Sept. 20 at Villanova College, 2 p.m.

Sept. 27 Charles Finney, 2 p.m.

Oct. 4 at Panama, 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 11 at Charles Finney, 2 p.m.

Oct. 18 Ellicottville, 1 p.m.

Oct. 25 at Sherman/Clymer 1:30 p.m.

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