Coach: Tom Callen, first year.
Home field: Fred Grace Field.
Program founded: 1952.
Outlook: After two years as an assistant, Tom Callen takes over for Paul Furlong. His son, Thomas, is one of 16 seniors and will play quarterback. Callen missed four games after suffering a broken wrist early in last year’s opener, but still threw for 10 TDs. He’ll look downfield for classmate Ben Giardini, who runs good routes. He’s in his third season as is his cousin John, who starts at guard and defensive end. Logan Klice returns at running back.
Sept. 6 at Franklinville/Ellicottville, 7 p.m.
Sept. 13 Fredonia, 7 p.m.
Sept. 20 at Southwestern, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27 at Gowanda, 7 p.m.
Oct. 4 Portville, 7 p.m.
Oct. 11 at Falconer/CV, 7 p.m.
Oct. 18 Chautauqua Lake, 7 p.m.
Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Brocton (4-4)
Coach: Bryan Bongiovanni.
Home field: Thunderbird Stadium.
Program founded: First year of three-way merger.
Outlook: Although the program is on its fourth coach in as many seasons, player turnout is good as the team went from 22 offseason participants to 37 in the first week of practice. Ryan Jafarjian is coming off a season in which he rushed for seven TDs and nearly 1,000 yards. Caleb Chelton also figures to get some carries. Senior Andrew Baribeau is 6-5, 280-pound tackle entering his fourth season as a starter. Zach Martin is a senior who will start at quarterback.
Sept. 7 Southwestern, 7 p.m.
Sept. 13 at Gowanda, 7 p.m.
Sept. 20 Portville, 7 p.m.
Sept. 28 Falconer/CV, 7 p.m.
Oct. 4 Fredonia, 7 p.m.
Oct. 11 at Randolph, 7 p.m.
Oct. 18 at All.-Limestone, 7 p.m.
Falconer/Cass. Valley Golden Cougars (4-4)
Coach: Joel Sopak, second season.
Home field: Bill Race Field.
Program founded: 2014.
Outlook: The team gets to christen a new turf field and plans to do so by running a lot behind a big offensive line that includes team captains and returning starters Chase Johnson and Collin Mower. John Kozlowski, a senior tight end/defensive end, also will help with blocking. Sophomore Noah Abram and junior Evan Phanco return to start at running back and linebacker, respectively. Senior Mack Mikula starts at quarterback for a team whose season has ended each of the last two seasons in the sectional quarterfinals.
Sept. 7 Portville, 1:30 p.m.
Sept. 14 V-Red Jacket, 2 p.m.
Sept. 21 Fredonia, 1:30 p.m.
Sept. 28 at Chautauqua Lake, 7 p.m.
Oct. 4 at Gowanda, 7 p.m.
Oct. 11 Allegany-Limestone, 7 p.m.
Oct. 18 at Southwestern, 7 p.m.
Fredonia Hillbillies (8-1)
Coach: Greg Sherlock, third season.
Home field: Orange Bowl.
Program founded: 1901.
Outlook: No hyphens or slashes as Fredonia returns to its solo ways for the first time since 2015. The Hillbillies also drop down into Class C South with a 30-player roster featuring 14 returnees. That includes Division I prospect Jacob Skinner, who can play tight end, wide receiver or H-Back, and also will line up at linebacker next to third-year starter Dalton Gardner. Returning senior starting lineman Alex Christy added 30 pounds through offseason conditioning and weighs 225. A big offensive line looks to protect 6-5 sophomore QB Nick Whitfield Jr., who also pitches during baseball season.
Sept. 6 Gowanda, 7 p.m.
Sept. 13 at Allegany-Limestone, 7 p.m.
Sept. 21 at Falconer/CV, 1:30 p.m.
Sept. 27 Southwestern, 7 p.m.
Oct. 4 at Chautauqua Lake, 7 p.m.
Oct. 11 Portville, 7 p.m.
Oct. 18 at Dunkirk, 7:30 p.m.
Gowanda/Pine Valley Panthers (3-5)
Coach: Sean Gabel, 12th season.
Home field: Hillis Field.
Program founded: 1915.
Outlook: The Panthers return just three starters from last year. But a tiny roster of 18 still looks to make the playoffs again as team moves into the South division from the North. “Our numbers our low, but we have to work with what we’ve got,” Gabel said. Chelton Bellinger, Zach Phillips and Nolan Smith look to split the carries at running back. Jordan Driscoll moves from backup to starting quarterback.
Sept. 6 at Fredonia, 7 p.m.
Sept. 13 Chautauqua Lake, 7 p.m.
Sept. 20 at Salamanca, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27 All.-Limestone, 7 p.m.
Oct. 4 Falconer/CV, 7 p.m.
Oct. 11 Southwestern, 7 p.m.
Oct. 18 at Portville, 7 p.m.
Portville Panthers (3-6)
Coach: Josh Brooks, second season.
Home field: Portville Field.
Program founded: 1921.
Outlook: The Panthers went from zero wins to three triumphs during Brooks’ first season. Their goal this year is to capture a playoff berth. They have a bunch of returning starters, including linemen Austin Babb (6-2, 330 pounds), Hunter Saltsman (6-2, 240) and Jared Zenner (6 foot , 225). Senior quarterback Mike Stillman passed for 10 TDs and rushed for four last year. A top underclassman to keep an eye on is sophomore DB Brandon Cornelius.
Sept. 7 at Falconer/CV, 1:30 p.m.
Sept. 13 Southwestern, 7 p.m.
Sept. 20 at Chautauqua Lake, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27 Salamanca, 7 p.m.
Oct. 4 at Allegany Limestone, 7 p.m.
Oct. 11 at Fredonia, 7 p.m.
Oct. 18 Gowanda, 7 p.m.
Southwestern Trojans (9-1)
Coach: Jehuu Caulcrick, fifth season.
Home field: Charles A. Lawson Field.
Program founded: 1949.
Outlook: The Trojans graduated first team All-WNYers Alex Card and quarterback Cole Snyder (WNY record 37 TD passes), but expectations remain the same for the three-time defending division champions. “We’re going into the season with an attitude of state title or bust,” Caulcrick said. The line will be anchored by Trench Trophy candidate and fourth-year starter Cooper Pannes. Drew Wigren is a junior lineman to watch. Caulcrick calls RB/LB Zishan Munir “an absolute stud.” Six-foot-1 sophomore Aiden Kennedy succeeds the record-setting Snyder, who is now at Rutgers. Expect good things from senior RB/LB Tyron Wright.
Sept. 7 at Chautauqua Lake, 7 p.m.
Sept. 13 at Portville, 7 p.m.
Sept. 20 Allegany-Limestone, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27 at Fredonia, 7 p.m.
Oct. 4 Lackawanna, 7 p.m.
Oct. 11 at Gowanda, 7 p.m.
Oct. 18 Falconer/CV, 7 p.m.