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Class B-3: Graduations throw division race wide open

Alden  |  Burgard | Dunkirk | Eden/North Collins | Fredonia/Brocton | Newfane | Tonawanda 

Alden Bulldogs (3-6)

Coach: Rob Currin, sixth season

Home field: Alden Complex

Program founded: 1952

Outlook: The Bulldogs are extremely young, with just three returning starters. Senior running back Colin Skowronski is one of them and should get plenty of carries along with newcomers Tad Lacki and Felix Luna. Other returnees for the Bulldogs are safety Zac O’Shei and defensive tackle Blake Fox. Lucas Bush takes over at quarterback for the graduated Bryan Cybulski. Alden plans to start four sophomores. The goal is to develop the young players and get back to being perennial sectional-title contenders.

Schedule

Fri., Aug. 31 at Hamburg, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 7 vs. Fredonia/Brocton, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 14 at Dunkirk, 7:30
Fri., Sept. 21 at Tonawanda, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 28 vs. Newfane, 7 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 5 at Eden/North Collins, 7 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 12 vs. Burgard, 7 p.m.

Burgard's Jacquez Jones (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)

Burgard Bulldogs (2-6)

Coach: Jason Kolb, 16th season

Home field: Dingboom Field (Riverside)

Program founded: 1930

Outlook: The Bulldogs return six starters on offense and six on defense. The aim is to make it back to the playoffs, as they missed the postseason (counting Harvard Cup days) for just the third time during Kolb’s tenure. But making the playoffs in Class B is always a challenge. Seniors Demario Baines and Jacquez Jones will catch lots of passes, according to Kolb. Dexter Lee gets the call at quarterback. Linemen Demario Johnson, Antonio Norwood and Sincere Jefferson weigh an average of 250 pounds. Sonny Hollingsworth and Carlos Lewis are other seniors to keep an eye on.

Schedule

Fri., Aug. 31 at Tonawanda, 7 p.m.
Thurs., Sept. 6 vs. Newfane, 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 15 at Albion, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 21 vs. Eden/North Collins, 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 29 vs. Fredonia/Brocton, 1 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 5 at Dunkirk, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 12 at Alden, 7 p.m.

•••

Dunkirk Marauders (7-2)

Coach: Mike Sarratori, fifth season

Home field: Karl Hoeppner Field

Program founded: 1901

Outlook: Name the one team to reach the state semifinals in this classification other than Cheektowaga the past four years? If the Marauders, who have won 16 games the past two years, want to remain a contender it will depend on the development of their inexperienced offensive line and quarterback, Sarratori said. RB/LB Tywon Wright and FB/LB Peyton Moreland are team captains. Quantavis Kleckley will split reps at running back with Wright. Conrad Thomas and Koty Leeper will handle tight end and defensive end duties.

Schedule

Fri., Aug. 31 vs. Eden/North Collins, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 7 at Tonawanda, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 14 vs. Alden, 7:30
Sat., Sept. 22 at Newfane, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 28 vs. Hamburg, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 5 vs. Burgard, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 12 at Fredonia/Brocton, 7 p.m.

Eden's Louis DeCarolis, Zachary DeCarolis, coach Rick Weber, Colton Stetz, Colby Sroda (Harry Scull Jr./ Buffalo News)

Eden/North Collins (1-8)

Coach: Rick Weber, first season

Home field: William Bos Field

Program founded: circa 1930

Outlook: Weber takes over after a 10-year stint as an assistant at nearby Gowanda. “It is just an exciting opportunity to have,” Weber said. The Raiders plan to rely heavily on four seniors. Colby Sroda will see duty at running back and defensive back. He’s coming off a five-touchdown season. Colton Stetz gets the nod at quarterback and also will play outside linebacker. Looking to provide protection/open holes is a line anchored by twin brothers Louie and Zak DeCarolis. Eden has 29 on its varsity roster and 30 on modified. It doesn’t have a JV team.

Schedule

Fri., Aug. 31 at Dunkirk, 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 8 vs. Lake Shore, 2 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 14 vs. Fredonia/Brocton, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 21 at Burgard, at Riverside, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 28 vs. Tonawanda, 7 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 5 vs. Alden, 7 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 13 at Newfane, 2 p.m.

Fredonia's Jacob Skinner has been a strong tackler (Harry Scull Jr./ Buffalo News)

Fredonia/Brocton Hillbillies (4-4)

Coach: Greg Sherlock, second season

Home field: Brocton or Orange Bowl

Program founded: 2016 (Fredonia 1901, Brocton early 1900s)

Outlook: The roster of 38 features 27 returnees, including nine starters on each side of the ball. Together they hope to lead the Hillbillies back to the postseason. “We have some good athletes,” Sherlock said. One of them is a track and field athlete in senior running back Joell Colon. Another is junior linebacker Jacob Skinner, who made 91 tackles a year ago. Third-year player Mike Pucci, a senior, serves as linebacker/fullback.

Schedule

Fri., Aug. 31 vs. Newfane, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 7 at Alden, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 14 at Eden/North Collins, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 21 vs. Falconer/Cassadaga Valley, 7 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 29 at Burgard, at Riverside, 1 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 5 vs. Tonawanda, 7 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 12 vs. Dunkirk, 7 p.m.

 

Newfane Panthers (6-2)

Coach: Chuck Nagel, seventh season

Home field: No name

Program founded: Unknown

Outlook: The Panthers return 12 starters from last year’s team, which ended a playoff drought of roughly 20 years. In order to make it consecutive playoff appearances, they must overcome the loss of productive quarterback Brandon Gross (21 total TDs, 1,739 total yards) and tailback Julian Nixon (1,058 yards, 12 TDs). Shayne Harrington takes the reins at QB. Jaden Heers, Dylan Finch and Joe Snyder should get the bulk of the rushing attempts. Senior linemen Ty Casinelli, Reese Casinelli and Jonah Wisniewski look to open running lanes.

Schedule

Fri., Aug. 31 at Fredonia/Brocton, 7 p.m.
Thurs., Sept. 6 at Burgard, at Riverside, 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 15 vs. Tonawanda, 2 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 22 vs. Dunkirk, 2 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 28 at Alden, 7 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 6 vs. Wilson, 2 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 13 vs. Eden/North Collins, 2 p.m.

•••

Tonawanda Warriors (0-9)

Coach: Joe Kelly, third season

Home field: Clint H. Small Stadium

Program founded: 1896

Outlook: A mixture of seniors and some talented sophomores gives Kelly a reason to feel good about the future. Zach Braddell returns at running back and linebacker. He was off to a good start last year before suffering a season-ending injury in Week Three. Senior Connor Licht is the veteran on a line that includes sophomore center RJ Wolcott, who squats more tan 400 pounds and benches 270. Sophomore Justin Mangold gets the call at quarterback. Sophomore Caden Herman will see work at linebacker and running back.

Schedule

Fri., Aug. 31 vs. Burgard, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 7 vs. Dunkirk, 7 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 15 at Newfane, 2 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 21 vs. Alden, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 28 at Eden/North Collins, 7 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 5 at Fredonia/Brocton, 7 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 12 vs. North Tonawanda, 6 p.m.

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