Albion Purple Eagles (3-5)
Coach: Adam Krenning, first season
Home field: Spierdowis Field
Program founded: 1898
Outlook: Krenning, a 1993 Albion grad who played for legendary coach Dick Diminuco, is tasked with leading the Purple Eagles to their first playoff appearance since 2011. Third-year senior Demetrius Gardiner is a bruising running back at 5-foot-11, 230 pounds, and an all-league linebacker. Junior Ben Restivo was also all-league last year on the line. Junior Bryce Pritchard returns at quarterback with improved mobility and understanding of the position. He’ll be throwing to classmates Nate Moore and Matt Kovaleski, who both started at receiver and defensive back as sophomores. Senior WR/DB JaQuees Harrison and sophomore RB/LB Ugene Harrison are brothers and put in a ton of work during the offseason.
Sept. 1 vs. Springville, 7 p.m.
Sept. 8 at Depew, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 15 at Fredonia/Westfield/Brocton (Brocton), 7 p.m.
Sept. 22 vs. Roy-Hart/Barker, 7 p.m.
Sept. 29 vs. Olean, 7 p.m.
Oct. 6 at Dunkirk, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 13 vs. Medina, 7 p.m.
Depew Wildcats (2-7)
Coach: Brian Wilson, sixth season
Home field: Constantino Complex
Program founded: 1912
Outlook: Early indication is that the Wildcats have more speed and are a better tackling team than they were last season. Six starters return on offense and five on defense. Seniors Carter Post, Zach Dwyer and Tim Steiner will be depended on to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Six-foot-3 senior Chad Biersbach is an outstanding athlete at wide receiver and will move from cornerback to defensive end. Classmate Jordan Ciesielski is back as the starting running back and cornerback. There was a QB competition in camp between senior John Hughey and junior Joe Pagano to replace honorable mention All-WNY selection Jon Wolf.
Sept. 1 vs. Dunkirk, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 8 vs. Albion, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 15 at Springville, 7 p.m.
Sept. 22 vs. Fredonia/Westfield/Brocton, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 29 at Tonawanda, 7 p.m.
Oct. 6 at Olean, 7 p.m.
Oct. 13 vs. Lancaster, 7:30 p.m.
Dunkirk Marauders (9-3)
Coach: Mike Sarratori, fourth season
Home field: Karl Hoeppner Field
Program founded: 1901
Outlook: The defending Class B regional champs were hit hard by graduation and transfers, only returning three starters on offense and two on defense. Senior Jamall Gaines and junior Peyton Moreland are back along both lines and were named tri-captains with senior QB Jaziah Rivera, who’s moving from tight end for his fourth year on varsity. Sophomore Tywon Wright played fullback as a freshman last season but is switching to running back. At 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, he’s bigger than graduated All-WNY first teamer Alton Ingram. Senior Isiah Velez will be used as a flanker on offense. Third-team All-WNY WR/DB Juan Damas transferred to Florida for his senior year.
Sept. 1 at Depew, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 8 at Springville, 7 p.m.
Sept. 15 vs. East Aurora/Holland, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 22 vs. Olean, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 29 at Southwestern, 7 p.m.
Oct. 6 vs. Albion, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 13 vs. Fredonia/Westfield/Brocton, 7:30 p.m.
Fredonia/Westfield/Brocton Badgers (3-5)
Coach: Greg Sherlock, first season
Home field: Brocton
Program founded: 2016 (Fredonia 1901, Westfield early 1900s, Brocton early 1900s)
Outlook: Longtime Randolph assistant Sherlock has a boost in numbers since a lot of kids who did not play last season decided to come out. Third-year junior Joell Lazano will be one of the key playmakers on offense in the backfield or split out at receiver. There’s some size in the trenches in senior Jake Guerra (6-foot-5, 280 pounds) and sophomore Jake Skinner (6-4, 220). Skinner is very athletic and plays middle linebacker on defense. Six-foot-3 senior Shawn Horr was hurt last year but is back at receiver and defensive end. Senior Reid Tarnowski is the incumbent at QB but was being pushed in camp by junior Trey Swartz, who started on the varsity baseball team the past two years.
Sept. 1 vs. East Aurora/Holland, 7 p.m.
Sept. 8 at Olean, 7 p.m.
Sept. 15 vs. Albion, 7 p.m.
Sept. 22 at Depew, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 29 vs. Springville, 7 p.m.
Oct. 6 at Akron, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 13 at Dunkirk, 7:30 p.m.
Olean Huskies (8-1)
Coach: Phil Vecchio, second season
Home field: Bradner Stadium
Program founded: 1893
Outlook: A strong linebacking trio of sophomore Nick Fratercangelo and juniors Dylan Vincent and Icar Simon remains intact from last year. Three-year running back Vincent will again handle the bulk of the carries. The 5-foot-7 Fratercangelo was called up after the third game last season as a freshman. Senior Luke Chapman will lead the Huskies at QB after the graduation of All-WNY first-teamer Garrett Boldt. Chapman has been on varsity since 10th grade and would’ve contributed at receiver last year had he not broke his ankle Week 1. Senior Zach Parr and junior Alex Pantuso return along both lines.
Sept. 2 vs. Allegany-Limestone, 7 p.m.
Sept. 8 vs. Fredonia/Westfield/Brocton, 7 p.m.
Sept. 15 vs. Maryvale, 7 p.m.
Sept. 22 at Dunkirk, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 29 at Albion, 7 p.m.
Oct. 6 vs. Depew, 7 p.m.
Oct. 13 at Springville, 7 p.m.
Springville Griffins (4-5)
Coach: Rob Valenti, third season
Home field: Pop Warner Field
Program founded: 1898
Outlook: Valenti, who’s back at head coach after serving the last two seasons as defensive coordinator under Eric Jantzi, is hoping age and maturity will pay dividends for an offense that’s light on experience after losing first-team All-WNYer Ian Baker. The triple-option attack of senior Jeremy Baker (Ian’s cousin) and juniors Sean Barry and Topher Elkins should be more balanced as opposed to leaning on one back. Barry and Baker were lost last season due to ACL and shoulder injuries, respectively, while the 5-foot-6 Elkins started as a sophomore. Seniors Mike Hannon Jr. and Josh Steff are strong on both lines. Senior strong safety Payton Szudzik is the hardest-working kid in the program.
Sept. 1 at Albion, 7 p.m.
Sept. 8 vs. Dunkirk, 7 p.m.
Sept. 15 vs. Depew, 7 p.m.
Sept. 22 at Jamestown, 7 p.m.
Sept. 29 at Fredonia/Westfield/Brocton (Brocton), 7 p.m.
Oct. 6 at Pioneer, 7 p.m.
Oct. 13 vs. Olean, 7 p.m.