August 20, 2013


Roaring start for Purple Tigers

CHS hits field for 1st practice

FootballBob Ellis/staff photographer
Cortland High varsity assistant coach Pete Reif runs linemen through a drill during opening day of practice Monday at Moiseichik Field, as practices for fall sports get under way.

Staff Writer

Seems like only yesterday...
Exactly 10 months after the 2012 season, its first back in Class B after a number of seasons in Class A that ended with a first-round Section 3 playoff loss at Oneida, the Cortland High football team got things back under way Monday on the Moiseichik Field turf with its first practice session for the 2013 campaign.
“I’m happy. It was a good first day of practice,” seventh-year Purple Tigers head coach Dave Darrow said. “It was an offensive day. We alternate between offense and defense each day. We had 68 kids in all — we’ll probably keep 35 on varsity with 30 on junior varsity, give or take a few on each team — and it went well. We got a lot done. We ran fundamental time, inside run, pass skeleton, team time and specials, which was punts, on both sides. (Today) we’ll focus on defense, the same things with a defensive flavor.
“We had some kids who we expected to come out who didn’t, and a few who we didn’t expect to come out who did.”
Darrow said that the players were ready to go on the opening day of practice after a summer’s worth of work.
“We did lifting, then agility and plyometrics on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, had skill sessions Tuesday nights and ran on Fridays,” he said. “On Sunday nights we had seven-on-seven sessions against different schools, including Groton and Binghamton, that went for a couple of hours.”
State rules mandate that players are to wear t-shirts, shorts and helmets for the first two days of practice. Pads can first be worn on Wednesday, with no contact through Friday. The Purple and White scrimmage, the teams set by personnel groups, will take place Saturday at Moiseichik Field from noon to 2 p.m., with the first-team and second-team offenses and defenses going at it in live plays.
Practices with pads, like this week going from 2 to 7 p.m., will continue next week as a lead-up to the Purple Tigers’ scrimmage at Homer’s Butts Field Aug. 31 starting at 9 a.m. until noon. Groton and Moravia from Section 4, and Section 3 squads Mexico and Onondaga Central, are the other teams involved.
League foes Cortland and Homer will have three sessions each against other squads without facing each other.
The Purple Tigers will open the season against powerful Waverly from Section 4 Sept. 8 at Syracuse University’s Carrier Dome in a 1:30 p.m. start.
CHS then has three home games in a row, all starting at 7 p.m. Solvay comes to Moiseichik Field on Sept. 13, followed by Phoenix, new to Class B this season, on Sept. 20 in the Homecoming game and Marcellus on Sept. 27. Three road games then close out the regular season, at Westhill Oct. 4 with the kickoff at 6:30 p.m. before a pair of 7 p.m. starts, at Chittenango Oct. 11 and at Homer Oct. 18. A Class B quarterfinal contest or crossover game will take place the next weekend.
After a year in Class B after having moved down from Class A, Darrow feels comfortable.
“I have a basic idea, a little better idea, of what the other teams in the league do personnel-wise,” he said. “I think we’ll play pretty well. We’ll be a blue-collar team, not flashy but competitive. We should be able to play with anyone on our schedule.”
Darrow will double as the offensive coordinator again this season and will once again be assisted by Pete Reif and Paul Thomas, who will share the defensive coordinator-special teams-line duties. Zac Darrow, Dave’s son, is once again the JV coach and offensive coordinator, assisted by Adam Collister (defensive coordinator). Joe DiSanto returns as head modified coach, assisted by Joe Nicholas and Brandon Galutz.


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