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10 quarterbacks to watch during the WNY high school season

It’s no secret that St. Francis’ Jerry Hickson and Orchard Park’s Dillon Janca are two of the best quarterbacks in the 7-1-6, but they aren’t the only ones with the talent to light up opponents and scoreboards. The News’ Miguel Rodriguez lists others, in no particular order, who could command attention from area fans:

Matt Myers

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Bishop Timon-St. Jude junior is coming off a season in which he completed 58 percent of his passes for 1,779 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also rushed for 762 yards and 15 TDs. The second-team All-Western New York utility player also plays defense, punts and kicks. Coach Charlie Comerford said Myers turned some heads at Sound Body Sound Mind Academy in Detroit.

Eric Bartnik

Cheektowaga’s 5-11 senior dual-threat QB more than picked up where graduated predecessor Zak Ciezki left off. Bartnik guided the Warriors to a second straight Section VI Class B title and state semifinal appearance. He passed for 2,291 yards and 20 touchdowns and also rushed for 11 TDs and 575 yards. He was at his best in the state quarterfinal win when he went 26 for 32 for 310 yards, one TD and rushed for 61 yards and two scores.

Josh Foster

He plays for Williamsville South. Normally that should be enough of an explanation since the program’s QB alumni include former UB great and News Player of the Year Joe Licata and recent Connolly Cup finalists Sam Castronova and Trent Ferguson. That being said, Foster is a 6-1, 195-pound junior who is more than just a strong-armed passer. He is also a threat to run, which makes the Billies’ offense even more dangerous. He got his feet wet late last year filling in for injured starter Jack Holyoke. Coach Kraig Kurzanski said Foster has outstanding command of the offense.

Jason Hwang

The 5-11. 197-pound Williamsville North senior enters his third varsity season, second as signal-caller, and is coming off a campaign in which he rushed and passed for more than 1,400 yards even though he missed some time due to a hamstring injury. He is strong and fast and is so versatile that the Spartans have a system in place where Hwang can check into a run or pass based on his read at the line of scrimmage.

Casey Kelly

The little brother of 2011 News Player of the Year Chad Kelly and nephew of Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim is on the list for obvious reasons. The St. Joe’s sophomore has the surname area fans associate with football. Casey has more than a name working for him, though, as he also has size (6-3, 215), toughness, a strong arm and solid acumen. This isn’t the first time those adjectives have been used to describe a Kelly.

Noah Raddack

The strong-armed senior looks to lead Silver Creek/Forestville to The Ralph in Class D as the Knights move down a classification after spending last year in rugged Class C North. The third-year starter and honorable mention All-Western New York pick is coming off a season in which he passed for more than 1,300 yards, 16 touchdowns and just three interceptions.

Cam Sionko

The 6-foot, 165-pounder started Grand Island’s final five games last season as a freshman, which is a rarity. He passed for five touchdowns and 515 yards when called upon to throw. Coach Dean Santorio said Sionko, who started at point guard on the varsity basketball team and also played baseball, will be asked to do more in the passing game as the Vikings have lots of skill at the receiver spot.

Zach Woodard

The 6-5, 201-pound North Tonawanda senior is coming off a season in which he amassed 3,000 yards rushing and passing. He threw for 10 touchdowns and rushed for another seven. Woodard has a cannon for an arm as coach Henry Fumerelle said he can launch it 60 yards. Woodard accounted for three TDs in Lumberjacks’ T-NT triumph over Tonawanda last season.

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