Albion faces new football division lineup

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 21 August 2017 at 8:40 am

Photo by Mike Wertman – Getting set to lead Albion into the upcoming football season are veterans Matt Kovaleski, Bryce Pritchard, Demetrius Gardner, Caleb Pettit, Ugene Harrison, JaQuess Harrison and Nate Moore.

Section VI’s decision to base the lineups of its football divisions on enrollment has given Albion several new opponents and a couple of long road trips for the upcoming season.

The Purple Eagles are now in the B2 Division along with Depew, Springville, Dunkirk, Olean and Fredonia/Westfield/Brocton.

The Purple Eagles will host Springville in the season opener on Sept. 1 and will also entertain Olean on September 29 but will travel to Depew, Dunkirk and Brocton (to face Fredonia/Westfield/Brocton).

Junior quarterback Bryce Pritchard returns to lead the offense for Albion which also has a number of other veterans at the skill positions including senior running back Demetrius Gardner, junior running back Ugene Harrison, senior receiver JaQuess Harrison and junior receivers Matt Kovaleski and Nate Moore.

Senior Tony Valleyo-Miller also looks to help out at running back as does senior Jerico Chudy at receiver.

Returning starter senior Caleb Pettit heads the offensive line contingent which also has some experience in seniors Justin Stritzinger and Tyler Kast along with juniors Brennen Hughes, Ben Restivo, Kirk Ellison and Jessy Cruz.

Gardner and Restivo both earned first team B East Division All-Star honors last fall. Moore was a second team honoree while Pritchard and Ellison both earned Honorable Mention.

“I’m highly optimistic,” said new head Coach Adam Krenning who has served as an assistant the last couple of years. “We’ve got a good number of kids returning but we’re still young. They’re competing for their love of the game.”

The Purple Eagles key graduation losses include running back Tommy Mattison, tight end Kory Reynolds and lineman Jared Hollinger.

Albion went 1-4 in the division and 3-5 overall last fall.

Sept. 1 – Springville, 7 p.m.; 8 – at Depew, 7:30 p.m.; 15 at Brocton vs. Fredonia/Westfield/Brocton, 7 p.m.; 22 – Roy-Hart/Barker, 7 p.m.; 29 – Olean, 7 p.m.
Oct. – 6 – at Dunkirk, 7:30 p.m.; 13 – Medina/Lyndonville, 7 p.m.