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CLYMER HAS A SIZABLE OBSTACLE IN ITS WAY

Usually it is opponents of the Clymer football who are faced with trying to handle something much larger than they are used to: 6-foot, 235-pound senior running back Jehuu Caulcrick.

Now it's Clymer's turn.

Clymer plays Section III (Syracuse area) champion Dolgeville on Friday in the Class D state semifinals. Dolgeville is a big school with a big team. Well, maybe bigger than big.

"They're humongous. They won't look like a 'D' team, I'll tell you that," said Clymer coach Howard McMullin, whose Pirates (10-1) kick off against the Blue Devils (11-0) at 5 p.m. Friday in Syracuse University's Carrier Dome.

Dobbs Ferry of Section I (Westchester) and Salem of Section II (Albany area) meet in the other state semifinal at 4 p.m. Friday at Kingston's Dietz Stadium. The Class D state championship is Friday, Nov. 29, in the Carrier Dome.

"Dolgeville is huge, and they're not big chunky kids. They're big, solid, they move well and they play power football," McMullin said. "They're a tough football team. I think they're even tougher this year."

McMullin remembers Dolge-ville from the teams' meeting in the 2000 state semifinals. Dolgeville beat Clymer, 14-6, at Ralph Wilson Stadium, using nearly exclusive offensive and defensive units to wear down the Pirates. The 2000 Blue Devils went on to win their school's only state championship.

Class D schools are those with enrollment of 275 or fewer. Clymer's enrollment is 122, with about 500 students (kindergarten through 12th grade) attending Clymer Central School. Dolgeville, located about 35 miles west of Utica below the Adirondacks, has an enrollment of 250 in a district that has elementary, middle and high schools. It doesn't have a football team, it has a football program: The Blue Devils also field modified and junior varsity teams. It has a Web site (www.dolgeville.k12.ny.us/sports/footbal l/football.html) thatdetails the school's 14 Section III titles and four final fours.

There's a link to the state rankings (Dolgeville is first, Clymer second). It includes coach Jerry Walczak's year-by-year record (263-36-11 since 1969), where you can see that Dolgeville has gone 40-3 the last four seasons, better than Clymer's 40-8 mark over that span. There's also a page detailing the weight room and workout programs, which one would expect to see from a college team.

"We're so small compared to them -- they're at the top end of 'D,' we're at the low end," McMullin said. "They've got good players regenerating in the town, and that doesn't happen in our town. We just happen to be in a cycle of decent players, and Jehuu is here, and we've had the opportunity to do what we've done. They . . . (laughing) they're phenomenal."

Dolgeville has won its games by a combined score of 511-41 with six shutouts. Its smallest margin of victory is 27 points and it beat Section IV champion Newfield, 35-0, last week for its third straight shutout. The Blue Devils boast 210-pound senior back Ryan Randall and a line that includes tackles that go 265 and 225 pounds.

Clymer is coming off a 28-6 regional win over Section V's Lyons in which Western New York career leading rusher Caulcrick (6,325 yards) ran for 162 yards.

"I remember (in 2000) they had way more guys than we did on the sidelines. It's pretty much same thing this year," said Caulcrick. "They have about 40 people on our team to our like 20. We have our work cut out for us."
Bulletin board material for Clymer? Dolgeville's Web site features a bracket of the 2002 state playoffs, which says the Blue Devils have already beaten Clymer, won the state final and are 13-0. . . . Fans with a high speed Internet connection can watch the game -- and all this weekend's state semifinals at the Dome -- live via i2sports.com. . . . A radio broadcast of the game can also be accessed via syracuse.com.
e-mail: kmcshea@buffnews.com

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