Ten veterans anchor Mustangs lineup

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 23 August 2016 at 5:26 pm
082316_MW_Medina football

Photo by Mike Wertman  – Veteran members of the Medina/Lyndonville varsity football squad include, in front, Mason Lewis, Jalin Cooper, Tyler Howard and Eric Neace. In back are Powell Stephens, Izaiah Rhim, Jake Cotter, Emmanuel Sones, Dawson Joy and Frank Carrasquillo.

Providing experience both at the skill positions and on the line a group of 10 returnees anchors the lineup for the Medina/Lyndonville football squad heading into the September 2 B East Division season opener at Barker/Roy-Hart.

That veteran group is headed by the senior running back duo of Jake Cotter and Eric Neace, junior wide receivers Jalin Cooper and Mason Lewis and sophomore quarterback Izaiah Rhim who started the first two games last year before he was injured.

Cotter earned first team B-East All-Star honors while Neace was a second team honoree and Cooper and Lewis honorable mention selections.

Cotter rushed for 1,441 yards and scored 11 touchdowns and Neace gained 484 yards and had 10 TDs. Cooper caught 17 passes for 365 yards and 4 touchdowns.

The Mustangs also return seniors Powell Stephens, Emmanuel Sones and Frank Carrasquillo on the line along with Dawson Joy, who is switching from running back to the line, and Tyler Howard, who is shifting from the line to a tight end spot. Joy and Howard are also both seniors.

“Offensively were not that big up front but it’s a very athletic group, very quick and strong so we’re going to try and utilize those strengths,” said Coach Eric Valley. “Defensively it’s the same thing. We’re not big up front so we want to use our skill and speed and get creative.”

The Mustangs roster also includes seniors Dustin Joy (RB/DB) , Charles Atkins (WR/DB) and Lucas Porter (RB/DB); juniors Chris Clark (OL), Ian Joseph (OL/DE), Jessie Inienez (OL/DE), Brendan Luthart (WR/DB), DaRon Bellan (WR/DB), Porter Bellan (OL), Tyson Bellan (OL), Mike Eckard (OL) and Thomas Culmo (OL) along with sophomore Johnny Salone (WR/LB) and freshman Mario Fidanza (OL/DL).

“We’ve got some experience and it’s a very athletic group. We just hope to stay healthy,” said Valley whose Mustangs went 2-3 in the division and 6-3 overall last fall.

The Mustangs will tuneup for the season by hosting a 7 team scrimmage tis Saturday morning which will include Newfane, Wilson, Barker/Roy-Hart, Pembroke, Silver Creek and Dunkirk.

In addition to the five B-East foes (Barker/Roy-Hart), Albion, Alden, Depew and Lackawanna), the Mustangs will have two new non league opponents in U. Prep of Rochester and Cleveland Hill.

Sept. 2 – at Barker/Roy-Hart, 7 p.m. at Middleport
Sept. 9 – at Lackawanna, 7 p.m.
Sept. 16 – Alden, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 23 – U. Prep, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 30 – at Depew, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 8 – at Cleveland Hill, 2 p.m.
Oct. 14 – Albion, 7:30 p.m.