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Paul Gagliardi and Pat Dempsey have already experienced one golden anniversary. They have been married to their brides, Cindy and Carol, 56 and 53 years, respectively. Gagliardi and Dempsey are about to experience another golden moment. They begin their 50th season as high school football officials on opening night. Gagliardi, 77, and Dempsey, 76, are the longest-ten…

High Schools

Grand Island | Kenmore East | McKinley | North Tonawanda | Sweet Home | Williamsville East Grand Island Vikings (6-2) Coach: Dean Santorio, 18th season Home field: Gene Masters Field Program founded: 1962 Outlook: The Vikings earned a share of the Class A North title last year and return six starters on each side of the ball. The key might be senior quarterback…

High Schools

Akron | Cleveland Hill | Gowanda/Pine Valley | JFK | Roy-Hart | Silver Creek/Forestville | Wilson Akron Tigers (4-4) Coach: Andrew Clouse, fourth season Home field: Unnamed Program founded: Unknown Outlook: The Tigers, who improved by two wins last season and earned a spot in the playoffs, feature a pair of returning Class C South first-team selections on the d…

High Schools

Albion | Depew | Lackawanna | Medina | Olean | Springville Albion Purple Eagles (6-2) Coach: Adam Krenning, second season Home field: Spierdowis Field Program founded: 1898 Outlook: The Purple Eagles return eight starters on each side of the ball, making Albion a favorite in Class B. Adding to their depth is a strong group from a JV team that went 8-0 last seaso…

High Schools

Bennett | Clarence | Hutch-Tech | Lancaster | Lockport | Niagara Falls | Orchard Park | Williamsville North Bennett Tigers (4-4) Coach: Stevenson McDuffie, seventh season Home field: All High Stadium Program founded: Unknown Outlook: The goal is to return to a Section VI final (in the fourth different class) for the fourth time in five seasons. Though it won't b…

High Schools

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 …

High Schools

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 wi…

High Schools

Bishop Timon-St. Jude | Cardinal O’Hara | St. Mary’s Bishop Timon-St. Jude Tigers (0-9) Coach: Joe Licata, second year Home field: Tifft Farm Program founded: 1948 Outlook: The roster of 35 has been bolstered by the addition of athletes who did not come out for the team last year. That includes hockey players Michael Sands and Trai Jenkins. Linebacker Ethyn Ell…

High Schools

Allegany-Limestone | Chautauqua Lake/Westfield | Franklinville/Ellicottville | Portville | Randolph/Frewsburg | Southwestern Allegany-Limestone Gators (2-6) Coach: Paul Furlong, ninth season Home field: Fred Grace Field Program founded: 1952 Outlook: The Gators' spread-style offense relies heavily on a strong quarterback, so it's good news that junior Thomas Cal…

High Schools

Canisius | St. Francis | St. Joseph Canisius Crusaders (8-4) Coach: Rich Robbins, eighth season Home field: Stransky Complex Program founded: 1913 Outlook: The Crusaders have won five of the last six league titles. The reigning state Catholic runner-up graduated a lot, but the cupboard isn’t bare. Seniors Joe Jamison and Joel Nicholas are fast but physical r…

High Schools

Amherst | Starpoint | South Park | Williamsville South | West Seneca East | WNY Maritime/Health Sciences Amherst Tigers (2-7) Coach: Jason Beckman, seventh season Home field: Dimp Wagner Alumni Program founded: 1932 Outlook: The Tigers return more experience this year than they have had in the past. Dual-threat quarterback Ja'Kye Womack was an all-league second…

High Schools

Clymer/Sherman/Panama | Maple Grove | Salamanca | Cattaraugus/Little Valley Clymer/Sherman/Panama Wolfpack (6-3) Coach: Ty Harper, fifth season Home field: Varies Program founded: Merged in 2015 Outlook: After losing in the first round two years ago and reaching the semifinals last year, the Wolfpack hope to go a bit further this season. The program returns 13 s…

High Schools

Frontier | Hamburg | Jamestown | Kenmore West | Niagara-Wheatfield | West Seneca West Frontier Falcons (1-7) Coach: Chuck Tilley, first season Home field: Joe Dietz Field Program founded: 1952 Outlook: Frontier is under new leadership after three consecutive 1-7 seasons. The new coaching staff brings revamped offensive and defensive schemes. Senior Brendan …

Sports

Medina's Jalin Cooper, who will take his size, speed and athleticism to Toledo of the Mid-American Conference after graduation, is just one of the many must-see talents in Western New York this coming season. Not all of them are seniors. Here are some of the other prime-time players looking to lead their respective teams to success while giving fans a reason to cheer, a…