Who’s who: The 18-team class consists of three divisions. Class B1 includes the Burgard Bulldogs, Cheektowaga Warriors, East Aurora/Holland Blue Devils, Lewiston-Porter Lancers, Maryvale Flyers and Pioneer Panthers. Class B2 features the Albion Purple Eagles, Depew Wildcats, the Dunkirk Marauders, Fredonia/Westfield-Brocton (no nickname), Olean Huskies and Springville Griffins. Class B3 includes the Alden Bulldogs, Lackawanna Steelers, Medina Mustangs, Newfane Panthers, Roy-Hart/Barker Raiders and Tonawanda Warriors.
Alignment shift: The divisions are organized by enrollment size with the six biggest schools in Class B1.
Last year’s champion: Dunkirk ended Cheektowaga's two-year reign as Section VI champion by taking a high-scoring thriller from the Warriors, 46-35. The first-time champion Marauders followed that by outscoring Section V champion Batavia, 50-48, in overtime to earn a spot in the semifinals, where they lost to state power Chenango Forks of Section IV 41-8. The Marauders finished ranked second in the News' Small Schools poll.
Last year’s records: Class B East – Medina 6-3, 5-0; Alden 5-3, 4-1; Lackawanna 5-4, 3-2; Depew 2-7, 2-3; Albion 3-5, 1-4; Barker/RH 2-6, 0-5.
Class B West – Cheektowaga 9-1, 5-0; Maryvale 6-2, 4-1; Burgard 4-4, 3-2; Tonawanda 2-7, 2-3; Lew-Port 2-6, 1-4; Newfane 2-7, 0-5.
Class B South – Olean 8-1, 5-0, Dunkirk 9-3, 4-1; East Aurora/Holland 5-4, 2-3; Springville 4-5, 2-3; Pioneer 5-4, 2-3; Fredonia/WB 3-5, 0-5.
2016 All-Western New York underclassmen: Utility player Jalin Cooper of Medina earned second-team honors. Dunkirk's Juan Damas was a third-team pick at defensive back. Quarterback Connor Desiderio of Maryvale, utility player Dylan Vincent of Olean, defensive lineman Jaekwon Ingram of Lackawanna and defensive back Christian Snell of Alden were honorable-mention selections.
2016 all-league first-team underclassmen: Class B East – QB Bryan Cybulski-11 (Alden), RB Christian Snell-11 (Alden), OL Salvatore Gioeli-11 (Barker/Roy-Hart), OL Ben Restivo-10 (Albion), WR Jalin Cooper-11 (Medina), WR Chad Biersbach-11 (Depew), K Riley Pastuszynski-11 (Alden), DL Jaekwon Ingram-11 (Lackawanna), LB Meach Gardner-11 (Albion), DB Mason Lewis-11 (Medina).
Class B West –WR Juan Damas-11 (Dunkirk), DL Alex Pantuso-10 (Olean), LB Mike Rigerman-10 (Pioneer), LB Dylan Vincent-11 (Olean), LB Icar Simon-10 (Olean).
Class B South – QB Connor Desiderio-9 (Maryvale), RB Dylan Casey-11 (Maryvale), OL Nick Costanzo-11 (Maryvale), OL Tariq Whitaker-11 (Cheektowaga), OL Terrance Bass-11 (Cheektowaga), OL Jeremiah Moss-11 (Burgard), OL Henry Palermo-11 (Tonawanda), OL Joe Powers-10 (Lew-Port), OL Connor Hill-11 (Newfane), TE Jovanni Feggans-11 (Burgard), DL Kesean Anthony-11 (Cheektowaga), DL John Sweat-11 (Cheektowaga), DL Chad Dunbar-11 (Newfane), DB Rashad Law-10 (Maryvale), LB Adam Bellaus-11 (Cheektowaga).
Week One (Sept. 1-2): Opening night features defending champion Dunkirk visiting Depew for a 7:30 p.m. clash Friday. Other highlights of the schedule includes Medina facing Burgard in a nonleaguer at 7 p.m. Friday at Riverside's Dingboom Field, with Lew-Port visiting Cheektowaga for a 7 p.m. Saturday B1 clash.
At BuffaloNews.com: Review the Classes D and C Countdowns, the entire week-by-week schedule and see photos and videos from our various training-camp stops.
The countdown continues: Class A (Saturday), Class AA (Sunday) and the Monsignor Martin Association (Monday).
Season preview coming Wednesday: Our annual preview issue will have capsules and schedules for all 70 teams in Western New York, along with feature stories, photos, a must-see cover and everything else one needs to know about the 2017 season.
Attention coaches & ADs: As soon as they are determined, Section VI coaches need to send a roster -- in spreadsheet form -- to firstname.lastname@example.org. Monsignor Martin coaches should email rosters to email@example.com.
#PrepTalkLive at buffalonews.com: Every weekend, the place to monitor all of the Friday night and Saturday afternoon action is PrepTalk.BuffaloNews.com. We will have video reports, photos, live updates from several top games and you will again be a part of the team via Twitter. Tweet game updates with the #PrepTalkLive hashtag and those will appear in our live post.
#PrepTalkSpirit: High school students, tweet your fan photos from the crowd and include the hashtag #PrepTalkSpirit, and we'll retweet some of the best at @bufnewspreptalk.
Story topics: Burgard Bulldogs/ Cheektowaga Warriors/ Depew Wildcats/ East Aurora/Holland Blue Devils/ Fredonia/Westfield-Brocton (no nickname)/ Lackawanna Steelers/ Lewiston-Porter Lancers/ Maryvale Flyers and Pioneer Panthers. Class B2 features the Albion Purple Eagles/ Medina Mustangs/ Newfane Panthers/ Olean Huskies and Springville Griffins. Class B3 includes the Alden Bulldogs/ Roy-Hart/Barker Raiders/ the Dunkirk Marauders/ tonawanda