Quarterback Maurice Robertson has transferred from Sweet Home to West Seneca West.
"I was called by coach (Mike) Vastola yesterday, and he said Maurice showed up at their practice," Sweet Home coach Jeremy Zimmer said. "I had no idea he was transferring. Last week he was practicing with us."
Robertson, who was working with the starters at Sweet Home, split time at quarterback last season with Joe Torrillo. He passed for 776 yards and 10 touchdowns and rushed for 277 and five scores in helping the Panthers to a 5-4 record and a playoff appearance. Sweet Home lost in the Class A quarterfinals to West Seneca West.
Neither coach provided a reason for Robertson's decision to transfer. In order to attend West Seneca West potential students must live in the district.
Adding to the intrigue of Robertson's decision is the fact the teams open the season against each other at West on Aug. 31. However, Robertson isn't eligible to play in that contest or in this Saturday's scrimmage at Clarence because he only practiced three out of six days with Sweet Home last week, Zimmer said.
Athletes can miss one day of practice before scrimmage Saturday and just one additional day if their respective teams are scheduled to open Week One on a Friday. Those who open on Saturday, Sept. 1, however, are allowed to miss a third day of practice.
Robertson has been receiving interest from several Football Championship Subdivision teams, including Wagner and Bryant, Zimmer said.
West is coming off a dream 13-0 season in which it secured the program's first state football championship behind the contributions of many current Indians. One of them is junior Liam Scheuer.
The returning all-state defensive end was slated to start at quarterback last year but moved to the backup role once Matt Myers transferred in from Bishop Timon-St. Jude. Myers earned Buffalo News Player of Year and state Class A co-Player of the Year honors along with the Connolly Cup.
As of last week, Scheuer was working with the No. 1 unit at quarterback for the Indians.
That hasn't changed according to Vastola.
Still, a team can never have too many athletes.
"His athleticism will help but our (preparation) process remains the same," Vastola said. "He's behind the 8-ball. My first goal is getting the team ready because we have a lot of inexperience at key spots and then it'll be about bringing him along and seeing what he can do."
Zimmer said he talked with Robertson and his mother last week after hearing rumblings of a potential move.
"They said don’t worry, they'll be at Sweet Home," Zimmer said. "I was completely blindsided."
Robertson's departure means Jamel Lucas will move under center from receiver. Lucas, a junior, started at wideout last year.
"We're going to be just fine," Zimmer said. "He's a very athletic kid and he’s a high-character kid, which is important at the position."
Canisius vs. Aquinas moved
In other football news, the date and location of Canisius’ non-league game against defending Section V Class AA champion Aquinas have changed due to a conflict. The game, slated for 7 p.m. Sept. 13 at New Era Field, has been moved to 1 p.m. Sept. 15 at Canisius' Stransky Complex.