Bishop Timon- St. Jude Tigers (7-4)
Coach: Charlie Comerford, fifth season
Home field: Tifft Farm
Program founded: 1948
Outlook: It’s time for Matt Myers’ close-up. The junior quarterback, who participated in the prestigious Sound Body Sound Mind Camp in Detroit, will get plenty of chances to flaunt his running and throwing skills to college recruiters across the country during the Tigers’ aggressive nonleague schedule. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound second-team All-WNY pick is one of seven returning starters on offense, along with third-team running back Joe Harrison, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards and made more than 100 tackles at linebacker. Senior receiver/safety Will Lamar is a three-year starter. Returning linemen include seniors Jared Pilarski (6-3, 260) and Max Caulfield (6-4, 220). Unit receives boost by the addition of transfer Jeremiah Sanders, an All-WNY first team lineman as a sophomore last year at South Park.
Sept. 2 at Buford (Ga.), 7 p.m.
Sept. 9 at Central Catholic (Ohio), 7 p.m.
Sept. 15 at Permian (Texas), 7 p.m.
Sept. 24 vs. St. Mary’s of Lancaster, 1 p.m.
Oct. 1 at Cardinal O’Hara, 1 p.m.
Oct. 7 vs. St. Joe’s, 7 p.m.
Oct. 15 at V-Aquinas, 2 p.m.
Oct. 21 vs. Canisius, 7 p.m.
Oct. 29 at St. Francis, 7 p.m.
Canisius Crusaders (8-3)
Coach: Rich Robbins, sixth season
Home field: Stransky Complex
Program founded: 1913
Outlook: After having their three-year run as Monsignor Martin playoff champions end at the hands of St. Francis, the Crusaders are hungry to reclaim championship glory. Aiding Canisius’ quest is the return of Connolly Cup finalist Cole Burniston. The 6-3, 225-pound senior running back looks to improve on an 11-touchdown season in which he averaged 7.7 yards per carry. Experienced linemen looking to open holes include seniors Alex Adimey, Sean Kennelly and Collin Drilling. Canadian transfer Brad Currell is a 6-4 junior and one of three 300-pounders on the team. Sweet Home transfer Paul Woods, a receiver, has an offer from Boston College. Ohio State-commit and first team All-WNY kicker Blake Haubeil has received preseason All-USA Today honors. Seniors Mason Hoose, Jacob Lutz and Jeremy Cych return on defense.
Sept. 3 vs. Lockport, 1 p.m.
Sept. 10 vs. Cardinal O’Hara, 1 p.m.
Sept. 17 vs. V-Aquinas, 1 p.m.
Sept. 24 vs. St. Francis, 1 p.m.
Sept. 30 at Alden, 7 p.m.
Oct. 8 at Cardinal Mooney (Ohio), 1 p.m.
Oct. 15 at St Joe’s 1 p.m.
Oct. 21 at Bishop Timon-St. Jude, 7 p.m.
Oct. 28 at Cathedral Prep (Pa.), 7 p.m.
Cardinal O’Hara Hawks (5-5)
Coach: Shaquille Dudley
Home field: No name
Program founded: 1963
Outlook: Dudley, the Hawks’ former defensive coordinator, takes the reins from longtime coach Angelo Sciandra, who retired following 34 years of coaching – including his final 15 at O’Hara. There is talent returning to the fold for Dudley, a 2009 O’Hara graduate, including a trio of second team All-Catholics. Junior Michon Dudley, his younger brother, is a 6-2 tight end/defensive end. Senior running back/defensive back William Willis has been clocked at 4.5 in the 40-yard dash. Clifford Zeigler, a senior linebacker and running back, is working his way back from a season-ended knee injury last year. He’s likely to return in Week Three or Week Four. Dudley, Willis, Stephen Boyd and Cameron Klaiber are team captains. Boyd is 6-2, 270-pound sophomore lineman. O’Hara will face each league opponent at least once, with St. Joe’s on Sept. 17 serving as the home opener.
Sept. 3 at V-University Prep, 3 p.m.
Sept. 10 at Canisius, 1 p.m.
Sept. 17 vs. St. Joe’s, 1 p.m.
Sept. 24 vs. V-Bishop Kearney, 1 p.m.
Oct. 1 vs. Bishop Timon-St. Jude, 1 p.m.
Oct. 8 at St. Francis, 1 p.m.
Oct. 14 at Steubenville (Ohio), 7 p.m.
Oct. 29 at St. Mary’s of Lancaster, 1 p.m.
St. Francis Red Raiders (7-5)
Coach: Jerry Smith, 27th season
Home field: Polian Family Field
Program founded: 1947
Outlook: The Red Raiders’ title defense receives a boost in the form of seven starters returning on each side of the ball. The biggie is fourth-year starting quarterback Jerry Hickson, the all-time passing yards leader in league history. He also holds school records for career completions (424), attempts (831) and ranks second with 50 TDs. He will be protected by a big, mobile line that features lots of experience, including first-team All-Catholic Tyler Grisolia. He has an offer from Wagner. Senior center Mike Senus runs a 4.7-40 and carries a 4.0 grade-point average. Tight end Jordan Arruda is a big target at 6-2, 252 pounds. Senior classmate Devin Delmont leads the defense at inside linebacker. Junior running back Dylan McDuffie transferred to Athol Springs from Sweet Home.
Sept. 2 at Central Catholic (Ohio), 7 p.m.
Sept. 10 vs. Syracuse CBA, 7 p.m.
Sept. 16 at Walsh Jesuit (Ohio), 7 p.m.
Sept. 24 at Canisius, 1 p.m.
Oct. 1 vs. V-Aquinas, 7 p.m.
Oct. 8 vs. Cardinal O’Hara, 1 p.m.
Oct. 15 vs. Cathedral Prep (Pa.), 7 p.m.
Oct. 22 at St. Joe’s, 1 p.m.
Oct. 29 vs. Timon-St. Jude, 7 p.m.
St. Joe’s Marauders (3-8)
Coach: Derek Landri, first season
Home field: Robert T. Scott Complex
Program founded: 1897
Outlook: The Marauders have a 50-man roster that includes returning second-team All-WNY pick Louis Surace. The do-it-all senior (linebacker, receiver, kicker, punter) enters his third year coming off a campaign in which he led the defense in tackles, blocked six punts and had two pick-sixes. Second-year running back/safety Naseer Jackson is quick and has a good understanding of the game. Returning starters include senior guard Nick Kelch, who is squatting 485 pounds; senior nose tackle /guard Fred Nixon, defensive end Mike Motley and junior tight end/defensive end Nick Julian. Sophomore 6-3, 210-pounder Casey Kelly starts at quarterback. Landri, the former NFL defensive lineman, takes over as coach for Dennis Gilbert, who stepped down for medical reasons.
Sept. 2 at South Park (AH), 7 p.m.
Sept. 10 vs. Monsignor Farrell, 1 p.m.
Sept. 17 at Cardinal O’Hara, 1 p.m.
Sept. 24 at V-Aquinas, 1 p.m.
Oct. 1 vs. Cathedral Prep (Pa.), 1 p.m.
Oct. 7 at Bishop Timon-St. Jude, 7 p.m.
Oct. 15 vs. Canisius, 1 p.m.
Oct. 22 vs. St. Francis, 1 p.m.
Oct. 29 vs. McDowell (Pa.) 1 p.m.
St. Mary’s Lancers (4-6)
Coach: Chris Dickson, first season
Home field: Father Columban Brady Field
Program founded: 1941
Outlook: The Lancers’ 25-man roster features 10 freshmen and just one senior, Daquan Hunt. He played some receiver and corner last year but will have a bigger role. Matt Ciezki takes over at quarterback for graduated All-WNY pick Takal Molson. Derek Johnson returns to play linebacker and running back. Returnees include 6-3, 240-pound junior tackle Joe Flading and 6-2, 200-pound sophomore end Jacob Lukasik. Dickson shifts over from one of the area’s largest schools, Lancaster, to perhaps the smallest school in the Monsignor Martin Association, but says he is enjoying the move. Lancers won’t field a junior varsity team and will be No. 6 seed for postseason as they play a partial league schedule.
Sept. 2 at Hutch-Tech (AH), 4 p.m.
Sept. 9 at V-Batavia, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 16 at V-Bishop Kearney, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 24 at Bishop Timon-St. Jude, 1 p.m.
Sept. 30 at Fredonia/WB, 7 p.m.
Oct. 8 vs. V-University Prep, 1 p.m.
Oct. 15 vs. Gilmour Academy (Ohio), 2 p.m.
Oct. 29 vs. Cardinal O’Hara, 1 p.m.