Burgard Bulldogs (6-4)
Coach: Jason Kolb, 15th season
Home field: All High Stadium
Program founded: 1930
Outlook: Burgard came oh-so-close to becoming the first Buffalo Public School to win a sectional title, losing in the championship game to Cheektowaga, 25-22. Now the Bulldogs look to build off their first final and have three returnees on offense and five on defense to aid the pursuit. Senior running back Dominic Prince is coming off a second-team All-WNY campaign in which he rushed for more than 1,000 yards and 15 TDs. Senior Dajean McCullough enters his third year coming off a second-team All-WNY season at defensive back but has proven to be quite the versatile weapon on both sides of the ball. Another senior returning starter is middle linebacker Markuez Benefield. Cardinal O’Hara transfer Anthony Maple takes over as quarterback. Another senior to keep an eye on is linebacker/running back Steven Swaggard.
Sept. 3 vs. Pioneer (AH), 1 p.m.
Sept. 10 at Newfane, 2 p.m.
Sept. 16 at West Seneca East, 7 p.m.
Sept. 24 at Cheektowaga, 2 p.m.
Oct. 1 vs. Maryvale (AH), 4 p.m.
Oct. 7 vs. Tonawanda (R), 7 p.m.
Oct. 14 vs. Lewiston-Porter (AH), 7 p.m.
Cheektowaga Warriors (11-1)
Coach: Mike Fatta, fifth season
Home field: No name
Program founded: 1934
Outlook: The two-time defending Section VI Class B champions and state semifinalists look to keep the good times rolling with their usual big-play offense and hard-hitting defense. Senior quarterback Eric Bartnik enters his second season coming off a year in which he accounted for 31 touchdowns (20 passing) and nearly 2,300 yards passing. One of his favorite targets will be returning first team All-WNY wide receiver Stephan Parker, who set school records for catches (67) and receiving yards (1,001) during his junior season. Two potential factor backs lining up next to Bartnik figure to be junior Jaquan Bush and Williamsville North transfer Seven Turpin. Senior linebackers Ryan Carpenter and Trevor Darlak return to lead the defense, while Calvin Morales provides some size (6-1, 270) at defensive tackle.
Sept. 2 vs. Dunkirk, 7 p.m.
Sept. 9 at Tonawanda, 7 p.m.
Sept. 17 at Newfane, 2 p.m.
Sept. 24 vs. Burgard, 2 p.m.
Sept. 30 vs. Iroquois, 7 p.m.
Oct. 7 at Lewiston-Porter, 7 p.m.
Oct. 14 vs. Maryvale, 7 p.m.
Lewiston-Porter Lancers (4-5)
Coach: Dave Adelizi, first season
Home field: Blakeslee Stadium
Program founded: Unknown
Outlook: Football lifer Adelizi moves from offensive coordinator to head coach, taking over for Jon Hoover. Adelizi’s coaching stops during more than three decades in the game include stints at UB, Williamsville East and Wisconsin-Platteville. The Lancers return eight players from last year’s team that lost in the sectional quarterfinals. The line appears to be the strength with senior tackle Kyle Ullery leading the way, along with sophomore center/linebacker Joe Powers. Junior Dylan Morrissette is a two-way starter at tight end and defensive end. They will look to open holes for senior running back Dylan Zuttell and junior returning starter Will Duff. Junior Michael Alender is another returning two- way starter at receiver/safety. Sophomore Ian Evans and junior Kyle Jeffords are battling for the quarterback job.
Sept. 2 vs. Albion, 7 p.m.
Sept. 9 vs. Wmsv. East, 7 p.m.
Sept. 16 at Maryvale, 7 p.m.
Sept. 23 vs. Newfane, 7 p.m.
Sept. 30 at Tonawanda, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 7 vs. Cheektowaga, 7 p.m.
Oct. 14 at Burgard (AH), 7 p.m.
Maryvale Flyers (5-4)
Coach: Jeff Buccieri, sixth season
Home field: Maryvale Stadium
Program founded: 1953
Outlook: The Flyers have lots of backfield speed as they look to return to the postseason after just missing last season. Senior captains and running backs Austin Reamsnyder (4.44 in the 40) and Brian Sullivan (4.7-40) will get plenty of work, as will sophomore speedster Rashad Law (4.44-40). Look for Law to be groomed for the hybrid defensive role first team All-WNY pick Marcus Ford filled before graduating. Other team captains include senior linebacker/guard Nick Costanzo and tight end/linebacker Joey Cartonia. Flyers also have speed at the corners in senior Nakeem Ubaydah (4.5-40) and the aforementioned Sullivan. Sopomore Austin Majewski is up from junior varsity and will play guard and linebacker. Junior Dylan Casey could also get some work at running back.
Sept. 2 vs. Cleveland Hill, 7 p.m.
Sept. 9 at Depew, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 16 vs. Lewiston-Porter, 7 p.m.
Sept. 23 vs. Tonawanda, 7 p.m.
Oct. 1 at Burgard (AH), 4 p.m.
Oct. 7 vs. Newfane, 7 p.m.
Oct. 14 at Cheektowaga, 7 p.m.
Newfane Panthers (0-9)
Coach: Chuck Nagel, fifth season
Home field: No name
Program founded: Unknown
Outlook: The Panthers have a little momentum as they’re coming of a strong offseason that included a fourth-place showing out of 12 teams at the St. John Fisher passing camp. A roster of 27, including 20 juniors, heads into the season feeling optimistic. Senior guard Trevor Tomtishen enters his third season as starter, while classmate Albert Kramp returns for his second season at running back. They share the captaincy with juniors Brandon Gross and Connor Hill. Hill plays defensive end. Gross returns for his second season as quarterback and is the second-strongest player on team with max bench of 270 pounds. The strongest kid is senior Jacob Licht (flirting with bench near 300 pounds), who enters just his third year in the sport.
Sept. 2 at Tonawanda, 7 p.m.
Sept. 10 vs. Burgard, 2 p.m.
Sept. 17 vs. Cheektowaga, 2 p.m.
Sept. 23 at Lewiston-Porter, 7 p.m.
Oct. 1 vs. Roy-Hart/Barker, 2 p.m.
Oct. 7 at Maryvale, 7 p.m.
Oct. 15 vs. Wilson, 2 p.m.
Tonawanda Warriors (3-6)
Coach: Joe Kelly, first season
Home field: Clint H. Small Stadium
Program founded: 1896
Outlook: The Warriors have eight returnees on offense and nine on defense. The biggie is honorable mention All-WNY pick Ethan Shattuck. The do-everything senior will continue to play running back but will move from safety to linebacker so that coach Kelly can best maximize Shattuck’s abilities. Shattuck, RB/LB Collin Smith and linebacker Zak Sajdak are captains. Tonawanda received a boost with the addition of running back Brandon Roe. He started at Sweet Home last year. His cousin Zach Roe is a senior receiver for the Warriors. Henry Palermo and Aaron Simonds figure to be the top linemen on the team. Kelly takes over for Rob Gross, who had been head coach for six seasons.
Sept. 2 vs. Newfane, 7 p.m.
Sept. 9 vs. Cheektowaga, 7 p.m.
Sept. 17 at JFK, 1:30 p.m.
Sept. 23 at Maryvale, 7 p.m.
Sept. 30 vs. Lewiston-Porter, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 7 at Burgard (R), 7 p.m.
Oct. 14 vs. North Tonawanda, 6 p.m.