Share this article

print logo

Class B-1: Can Cheektowaga reach states again?

Cheektowaga East Aurora/Holland  |  Iroquois  |  Lake Shore | Lewiston-Porter | Maryvale | Pioneer 

Cheektowaga Warriors (10-2)

Coach: Mike Fatta, seventh season

Home field: No name

Program founded: 1934

Outlook: The Warriors have reached the state semifinals three times in the past four years – including last season. Second-team All-WNY quarterback KeShone Beal returns with the goal of taking his team on another extended playoff run. He accounted for more than 62 percent of the Warriors’ 429 points. His targets include sophomore Jayden Dubard along with senior Tamell Bass. Senior LB Taivaughan Roach leads the defense along with classmate Caleb Graves. Sophomore Isaiah Sharpe is a big, athletic linebacker.

Schedule

Fri., Aug. 31 at Lake Shore, 6:30 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 7 vs. East Aurora/Holland, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 14 at Iroquois, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 21 vs. Pioneer, 7 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 29 vs. Lackawanna, 7 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 5 at Lew-Port, 7 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 12 vs. Maryvale, 7 p.m.

KeShone Beal is one of the top players in Western New York (Harry Scull Jr./ Buffalo News)

•••

East Aurora/Holland Blue Devils (0-8)

Coach: John Swiniuch, second season

Home field: Blue Devils Stadium

Program founded:  Circa 1901

Outlook: The Blue Devils are a young team that not only hopes to experience the taste of victory but also learn how to consistently win. Center Lucas Grad is one of two returning starters on offense. Austin Sitarek will serve as a fullback and linebacker. Both are team captains. Junior Lucas Juliano moves from JV to take over as quarterback and has a strong arm, Swiniuch said. The depth received a boost with the addition of California transfer Finn O’Brien, a 6-2, 210-pound running back/linebacker.

Schedule

Fri., Aug. 31 vs. Pioneer, 7 p.m.
Fri,. Sept. 7 at Cheektowaga, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 14 at Lake Shore, 6:30
Thurs., Sept. 20 vs. Akron, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 28 at Iroquois, 7 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 5 vs. Maryvale, 7 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 12 vs. Lew-Port, 7 p.m.

•••

Iroquois Chiefs (6-3)

Coach: Robert Pitzonka, second season

Home field: Milt Lattimer Field

Program founded: 1955

Outlook: The Chiefs drop down from Class A South but embrace the challenge that comes with joining this tough division. Class A semifinalist has five returnees on offense and six on defense. Sophomore Blake Nolan likely will get the bulk of the carries but don’t forget about do-it-all senior Cory Day, a second team All-WNYer last year at punter. Strong-armed quarterback Ethan Herbold returns, while Casey Phillips is a strong two-way lineman who broke 2017 graduate Nate Emer’s record for combined squat, bench and dead lift weight total (more than 1,100 pounds).

Schedule

Fri., Aug. 31 at Lew-Port, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 7 vs. Pioneer, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 14 vs. Cheektowaga, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 21 at Maryvale, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 28 vs. East Aurora/Holland, 7 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 5 at Albion, 7 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 12 at Lake Shore, 6:30 p.m.

•••

Lake Shore Eagles (1-6)

Coach: Dan Russell, first season

Home field: Eagles Stadium

Program founded: 1950

Outlook: Russell’s goal is to bring the fun back to playing football and forget about last year’s one-win season. Looking to help the Eagles do that will be senior quarterback Jared Addison. Junior Jordan Kosnik and sophomore TJ Aikin will handle the bulk of the rushing responsibilities. Adam Smith starts at center and defensive tackle, while Thomas Michael gets the call at tight end and defensive end. Ryan Dier returns to start on the defensive and offensive lines. Senior Branden Hutchinson is also a two-way lineman.

Schedule

Fri., Aug. 31 vs. Cheektowaga, 6:30 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 8 at Eden/North Collins, 2 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 14 vs. East Aurora/Holland, 6:30
Fri., Sept. 21 at Lew-Port, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 28 at Maryvale, 7 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 5 at Pioneer, 7 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 12 vs. Iroquois, 6:30 p.m.

•••

Lewiston-Porter Lancers (2-7)

Coach: Matt Bradshaw, second season

Home field: Blakeslee Stadium

Program founded: Unknown

Outlook: Lew-Port returns eight starters with two-way lineman Joe Powers as the overal leader. The Trench Trophy Underclassman of the Year has bulk (275 pounds) but is fast and is receiving interest from Ivy League and Division II schools. The Lancers have a couple of big boys in the trenches, including third-year varsity player Mark Maio. They look to open holes for junior running back Gino Fontana Rosa. He also plays middle linebacker. Bradshaw calls him one of the toughest kids in the division. Junior J.P. Stewart starts at quarterback.

Schedule

Fri., Aug. 31 vs. Iroquois, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 7 at Maryvale, 7 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 15 at Medina/Lyndonville/Barker, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 21 vs. Lake Shore, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 28 at Pioneer, 7 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 5 vs. Cheektowaga, 7 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 12 at East Aurora/Holland, 7 p.m.

Lew-Port is led by Joe Powers, Gino Fontarosa and Marc Maio (John Hickey/Buffalo News)

•••

Maryvale Flyers (8-2)

Coach: Jeff Buccieri, eighth season

Home field: Maryvale Stadium

Program founded: 1953

Outlook: The Flyers were a failed two-point conversion from being the Section VI champions. Several familiar faces return from a team whose only two losses came to rival Cheektowaga. That includes first-team All-WNY safety Rashad Law, who also does the bulk of the running on offense. Third-year starting quarterback Connor Desiderio, a junior, has shown the ability to make defenses pay if they stack the line. Jay Henley will play running back and linebacker. Senior defensive tackle Synceir Middlebrooks returns and is a captain along with Law, Desiderio and third-year starting lineman Austin Majewski.

Fri., Aug. 31 vs. Cleveland Hill, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 7 vs. Lew-Port, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 14 at Pioneer, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 21 vs. Iroquois, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 28 vs. Lake Shore, 7 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 5 at East Aurora/Holland, 7 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 12 at Cheektowaga, 7 p.m.

Rashad Law (James P. McCoy/Buffalo News)

•••

Pioneer Panthers (6-3)

Coach: Jim Duprey, 17th season

Home field: Pioneer Turf Stadium

Program founded: 1971

Outlook: He’s powerful like a locomotive and the Panthers will make sure Mike Rigerman gets as many chances to bowl over foes as possible, as the fourth-year player moves from pass-catching tight end to running back. The 6-3, 225-pounder still will be a weapon in the passing game for classmate and quarterback Nick Rinker. Tight end/linebacker Brian Wittmeyer also has nice hands. With six returning starters on offense and eight on defense, the Panthers look to build on last year’s playoff appearance. A good start will be the key.

Schedule

Fri., Aug. 31 at East Aurora/Holland, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 7 at Iroquois, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 14 vs. Maryvale, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 21 at Cheektowaga, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 28 vs. Lew-Port, 7 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 5 vs. Lake Shore, 7 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 12 at Springville, 7 p.m.

15 players to watch in WNY's high school football

Story topics: / / /

There are no comments - be the first to comment