New coach leads Albion gridders
The Albion High varsity football squad is prepping for the rapidly approaching season opener with new head Coach Gary Parisi at the helm.
“I’m very impressed with the way these kids work. They want to learn and they want to be better tomorrow than today,” said Parisi. “Both offensively and defensively our goal is to put our kids in situations where they can be successful with what we do.”
Especially at the skill positions the Purple Eagles return a good amount of experience including seniors Des Blackmon (wide receiver/defensive back), Manny Thompson (running back/defensive back), Dominic DiCureia (running back/defensive back), Aaron Burnside (running back/linebacker), Alex Bison (fullback/linebacker), Gary Moore (tight end/linebacker) and junior Trey Hart (wide receiver/defensive back).
DiCureia earned second team ‘B’ North Division All-Star honors last fall while Blackmon was an honorable mention pick.
Taking over the key quarterbacking position is junior Kyle Smith who has some varsity experience at the signal calling spot. He takes over from John Warne who graduated as did starting running backs Ed Wolfe and Kollin Reynolds.
The Purple Eagles biggest holes to fill are up front where graduation took four out of five starting linemen including Steven Stauss, Dylan Burkhardt, Jon Trembley and Robert June.
Senior Clayton Stanton is the only returning starter on the line where senior Andrew Ashworth along with juniors Mike Laine and Mike Henshaw look to help fill the voids.
“We’re very young up front,” said Parisi.
The Purple Eagles are also looking for contributions from senior Austin Loyd (quarterback/wide receiver/running back/defensive back), juniors Manwell Taylor (wide receiver/defensive back), Tyler Rotoli (running back) and Izzy Florentino (fullback) along with sophomores Korey Reynolds (tight end/defensive end) and Lamar Chambers (defensive back).
Albion, which went went 3-3 in the ‘B’ North Division and 4-4 overall last year, will get a big divisional test at the outset as the Purple Eagles open the season at Burgard on September 6.
“They are very good. That will be a very challenging opener,” said Parisi.
The Purple Eagles will tuneup for the opener by hosting Batavia, LeRoy and Elba/Byron-Bergen in a scrimmage this Saturday.
September 6 – at Burgard, 3 p.m.
Sept. 12 – Barker/Roy-Hart, 7 p.m.
Sept. 20 – at Newfane, 2 p.m.
Sept. 26 – Eden, 7 p.m.
Oct. 3 – Lew-Port, 7 p.m.
Oct. 10 – Bennett, 7 p.m.
Oct. 17 – at Medina, 7 p.m.