Area Gridiron Stars Prepare for the FCS Spring Season
Darren White- NY MADE FOOTBALL
The Football Championship Subdivision (better known as FCS) is the second tier of Division 1 football, formally known as Division 1AA. The pandemic forced the FCS to postpone their season until this spring, with it just recently starting. There are some opportunities to this spring format for some teams as not every team (more than 120 play normally in the FCS) will participate this spring. The Ivy League has opted out entirely as well as more than 20 other teams. This opens playoff positions to programs that are not normally in the hunt them. In addition, the FCS is the only brand of football playing right now so it has larger exposure than normal.
Two area freshmen will partake in this once-in-a-lifetime spotlight, hailing from Albion and Kendall respectively:
CODY WILSON: SACRED HEART PIONEERS- Offensive Line (Freshman)
Cody has outstanding size (6’6) and a great frame to transform into a prototypical Division 1 lineman. He played three seasons on Albion’s Varsity Squad as a two-way starter and was a finalist for the prestigious Trench Trophy given to the top lineman in Section 6. The Pioneers have two returning starters to their offensive line (both seniors) with 8 of the 13 linemen rostered experienced upperclassmen. Cody will provide depth to this line and looks to crack the rotation. Sacred Heart went 7-7 in 2019 and looks like a contender in the Northeast Conference. The Scared Heart Pioneers lost their opener this past Sunday vs Duquesne. The Pioneers (0-1) host the LIU Sharks (1-0) this Sunday 3/14 @1pm with the game stream on ESPN+.
KEITH SZCZEPANSKI: VALPARAISO CRUSADERS- Offensive Line (Freshman)
Keith is a giant among men, standing 6’7 and weighing 370 pounds. He lettered in football for 4 years at Notre Dame of Batavia, achieving All-State honors twice at Left Tackle. Of the 16 offensive linemen rostered by the Crusaders, 13 of them are freshmen (the other 3 are sophomores) as the program did a complete overhaul of their line. Only two are returning starters so Keith’s size (largest rostered) and experience playing against much older competition may lead him into a starting role. Valparaiso was 1-11 last season with the being the current coaching staff’s first season. They were ranked 5th in the Pioneer League Pre-Season Ballot however as they have had two strong recruiting classes. The Valparaiso Crusaders kick-off their SPRING season versus Butler on 3/13/21, ESPN 3 or streaming on ESPN+.