Purple Eagles, Mustangs open football season at home Friday

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 3 September 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Albion quarterback Kyle Smith hands off to Tyler Rotoli during last Saturday’s scrimmage which was a tuneup for the Purple Eagles home season opener Friday against Newfane at 7 p.m. Medina/Lyndonville also opens the season with a home game Friday against Lew-Port at 7:30 p.m.

High school football action gets underway Friday night highlighted by home games for Albion and Medina/Lyndonville.

Albion will host Newfane at 7 p.m. and Medina/Lyndonville will entertain Lew-Port at 7:30 p.m. at Vets Park in a pair of interdivisional contests.

Friday’s other openers will have Barker/Roy-Hart at Tonawanda at 7:30 p.m. in an interdivisional game and Holley at Attica at 7 p.m. in a Genesee Region League contest.

Veteran quarterback Kyle Smith, a senior, leads the offense for Albion which also returns good experience in running backs Tyler Rotoli, a senior, and Tommy Mattison, a junior, along with senior wide receiver Trey Hart and junior Kory Reynolds at tight end.

The veteran trio of seniors Mike Laine and Nate Trembley and junior Jared Hollinger anchors the offensive line which also looks to include junior Jacob Buzzard and sophomore Caleb Pettit.

“I’m looking for us to execute at a high level,” said Coach Gary Parisi. “We’ve been pushing them pretty hard and they’ve responded. They know what the coaching staff is trying to accomplish and they are responding.”

Albion holds a 40-9-2 lead in the series with Newfane which began in 1954. The Purple Eagles downed the Panthers 42-6 last fall.

Medina/Lyndonville will be utilizing a pair of quarterbacks in senior Tyler Valley and freshman Izaiah Rhim to lead the offense against Lew-Port.

On the ground the Mustangs are looking to a quartet of running backs including including senior Tom Follman and juniors Eric Neace, Jake Cotter and Dawson Joy while the receiving corps includes senior Dylan Lewis and sophomores Mason Lewis and Jalin Cooper. The tight end spot will be shared by a trio of players including Trent Cotriss and Gage Grabowski and Charlie Enderby, all seniors.

Up front, the offensive line looks to open with senior Baylee VerCruysee at center, seniors Charles Beach and Kalvin Packer at guard along with senior Noah Banazwski and junior Frank Carrasquio at the tackle spots.

Mason Lewis, shown here looking for running room in last Saturday’s scrimmage, and his Mustang teammates will host Lew-Port Friday.

“We’re pretty well rounded,” said Coach Eric Valley of his offense. However, against a Lew-Port squad which has a veteran quarterback and receiver and looks to be pass oriented Valley is concerned about the Mustangs defensive secondary which was hit hard by graduation.

“The key for us will be to put pressure on their quarterback and slow down their passing game,” said Valley.

The Mustangs won last year’s meeting 36-0 but the Lancers hold an 11-10 lead in the series which began in 1955.

Veteran quarterback Andy Xapsos, a senior, leads the offense for Barker/Roy-Hart which has good experience on the line in the senior trio of Joe Dimayo, Chris Anderson and Chris Steves.

“A big key is for us to get off to a strong start to get the momentum going for the season,” said Coach Bill Bruning whose charges defeated Tonawanda 26-21 sat year.

Barker/Roy-Hart posted a 3-6 overall record last fall.

Heading into a challenging G-R opener at perennial power Attica, Holley will be relying on a large veteran contingent including quarterback Nick Passarell, wide receivers Zach Vaccarelli and Clarence Moyer, running backs Zach Day, Adam Stetzel, and Nick Schenk, tight end Ronnie DeWaal along with linemen Ross Pinson, Pat Purtell and Austin Vroman. All are seniors except Day who is a junior.

Attica holds a 13-0 series lead over Holley including a 42-0 win in last year’s opener.