Purple Eagles have key holes to fill

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 29 March 2021 at 10:16 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Tyler Gibson, left, and Tony Freeman are among Albion’s key returning skill players.

The last time Albion took to the football field in the fall of 2019 a senior laden Purple Eagles squad captured the B3 Division title and advanced to the sectional finals. Now, with the belated 2020 (“Fall 2”) season set to begin, the Purple Eagles face a bit of a rebuilding job as a member of the new B2 Division.

The Purple Eagles graduation losses included quarterback Thomas Furmanski, running backs Deyonci Farley, Brillance Johnson and Tyray White, leading receiver Kevin Hillman and linemen Cody Wilson and Michael DiCureia.

Junior Amari Jones looks to take over the key quarterback position. Senior Tony Freeman and junior Jahmeek Riley provide experience at the running back spots as do seniors Bailey Blanchard, Chris Shabazz and junior Tyler Gibson at the receiver positions. Veterans Cameron Bell and Dominic DiGiulio, both seniors, anchor the line.

“We had some key graduation losses but we’ve got some good guys back, ” said Coach Adam Krenning. “It it will be a challenging year for us. The keys for us are just to compete and give it our all. Most of all we’re just thankful for the opportunity to play.”

Albion, which went 4-0 in the division and 8-2 overall in 2019 will open the season at Pioneer on Friday evening at 7.

Albion was originally scheduled to open at Iroquois and Pioneer was to host Lew-Port. However, Iroquois and Lew-Port are now both on a Covid-19 pause causing the change in the first week schedules.

The Purple Eagles will then visit Depew on April 9 before hosting Dunkirk in the home opener on April 16.  Rounding out the five game regular season schedule Albion will visit Olean on April 23 and host Lake Shore on April 30.