September 2, 2010
High CHS hopes
Purple Tigers open up in the Dome against Watertown
Cortland High head football coach Dave Darrow is looking forward to this season, which gets underway when his Purple Tigers take on Watertown in a non-leaguer Friday at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.
The second contest in a Dome doubleheader, the game is tentatively set for an 8 p.m. start.
“We’ll be in the mix. I think we’re as good as anybody,” Darrow said in discussing the outlook for the Section 3 Class A American Division this fall. “Fulton and East Syracuse-Minoa should be strong, and Jamesville-DeWitt and Mexico will be better. We want to be in every game with a chance to win, win the league title and get to the (sectional) playoffs.”
Oswego is also in the league but, as a Class AA school playing down in order to rebuild its program the Lakers are ineligible for the league championship as well as sectionals.
CHS returns 17 players, while losing 16 via graduation, from the squad that went 2-4 in the league and 2-6 overall last fall. Five starters on both offense and defense are back.
Joining those veterans this time around are 22 varsity newcomers.
Key losses from 2009 were first-team all-league linebackers Caleb Wright and Camerin Edgar, second-team all-leaguers Dyquann Barlow (wide receiver, 18 receptions for 372 yards and five touchdowns, Shane McCaskill (quarterback, 46-for-115 passing for 742 yards and seven TDs with nine interceptions) and Jake Robillard (punter, 30.19 yards average) and all-league honorable mentions Jordan Prior (running back-cornerback) and Justin Burns (running back-linebacker).
Returnees who earned all-league honors last season are Alex Stacy, a first-team tailback (5-8, 175 pounds; 563 yards on 92 carries with five touchdowns) and also an outside linebacker and return man, and honorable mention offensive tackle Nick Reynolds (6-4, 230).
Joining Stacy as captains this season are fellow seniors Justin Tabel (6-1, 210 tight end-defensive end-quarterback), Dave Fernandes (5-10, 265 right guard left defensive tackle), Brian Strough (6-0, 190 fullback-inside linebacker) and Greg Congdon (5-10, 185 left guard-defensive lineman).
Other returnees are seniors Shakief Rivers (5-9, 185 running back-linebacker), Donovan Prior (5-7,140 wide receiver-defensive back), Jordan Bowers (5-8, 145 wide receiver-defensive back), Garret Morse (5-10, 190 running back-linebacker), Lucas Bush (5-10, 180 running back-linebacker), Jon Reynolds (5-7, 190 offensive lineman-linebacker) and Matt Hull (6-0, 170 two-way lineman) and juniors Devon Darrow (5-10, 182 quarterback/robber, the coach’s son), Jordan Southworth (5-11, 210 running back-defensive lineman), Kyle Teeter (5-8, 240 two-way lineman) and Ejekiel McGinn (6-0, 220 two-way lineman).
Seniors at the varsity level for the first time are Gavin Stage (6-1, 180 tight end-cornerback), Devaun Manley (5-10, 170 running back-linebacker), Ryan Flatt (6-0, 160 wide receiver-cornerback), Sam Hall (6-0, 288 two-way lineman), Troy Beckwith (6-3, 230 two-way lineman) and Justin Hogan (6-4, 200 wide receiver-cornerback-quarterback).
Junior newcomers are Qwuhail Barlow (5-11, 160 wide receiver-cornerback), Anthony Stento (5-8, 150 wide receiver-cornerback), Dylan Stafford (6-2, 195 tight end-linebacker), Jonathan Prior (5-10, 160 running back-linebacker), Tyler West (5-8, 145 wide receiver-cornerback), Tyler Herndon (5-8, 145 running back-cornerback), Jordan Nemecek (5-11, 210 running back-defensive lineman), Matt Tuning (5-9, 170 two-way lineman), Austin Pittsley 5-8, 230 two-way lineman), Mike Baldassarre (5-10, 170 two-way lineman), Jacob Mitchell (5-10, 230 two-way lineman), Troy Teichert (5-10, 185 two-way lineman), Shannon Schaap (5-6, 160 two-way lineman), Seamus Fields (6-3, 330 two-way lineman), Mike Martins (5-10, 160 wide receiver-cornerback) and Mark Phelps (5-8, 150 wide receiver-cornerback).
“We have to be able to move the football this season, and I think that’s one of our strengths,” Darrow said. “I think our offense is very balanced; we’re going to throw the ball more and take advantage of what we see. If a team wants to load up the box against us we’ll throw it. And I like our defense. They get to the ball well, are aggressive and play hard and physical.
“We have a little bit of a problem with depth and need to stay healthy, but everyone (in the league) is in the same boat. We’ll use a Pro-I set on offense with twins and slots, power formations and 2-3 receiver sets, and will again use our Robber defense.”
Paul Thomas and Pete Reif will assist Darrow with the varsity this season, while Eric Prior is the head junior varsity coach, assisted by Pat Cavallario and Matt Martins. Head modified coach Zac Darrow (Dave’s son) is assisted by Joe DiSanto, Joe Nicholas, Adam Collister and Brandon Galutz.
The Purple Tigers will actually host only two games this season, both at the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex, due to ongoing renovations to Moisiechik Field.
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