November 26, 2011 - 7:15 PM
Who: Southwestern Trojans (11-1) vs. I-Dobbs Ferry Eagles (10-1).
When: Sunday, noon. Where: Carrier Dome, Syracuse. Tickets: $10 (includes all of Sunday's finals).
Sunday's other finals: Class B, 3 p.m. -- V-Hornell (12-0) vs. I-Croton-Harmon (11-0); AA, 6 p.m. -- Orchard Park (12-0) vs. IX-Newburgh (10-1). Friday's finals: D: V-Letchworth 27, IX-Chester 0. A: IV-Maine-Endwell 27, II-Burnt Hills/Ballston Lake 20. Note: This year's finals were scheduled for Friday and Sunday due to Syracuse University's home game today versus Cincinnati.
TV: Time Warner Cable SportsNet (all games).
NYSPHSAA championship: The only state championship in New York is the one held by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, which consists of nine football-playing sections. Not included are New York City's Public Schools Athletic League or private schools from Western New York, greater New York City and Long Island. In addition, Section VIII (Nassau County) and Section XI (Suffolk) of Long Island do not participate in the NYSPHSAA football playoffs.
State rankings: 1. Dobbs Ferry (last week: 2); 2. Southwestern (LW: 4).
Southwestern state playoff history: This is Southwestern's third championship game. It is 2-0 after wins in 2008 and 2009, both against schools from Section I (Dutchess, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties). The Trojans beat Croton-Harmon, 35-7, in 2008 and beat Bronxville, 40-14, the next year. Southwestern has four Section VI championships, three Far West Regional wins in four games and is 3-0 in state semifinals.
Southwestern's road to the final: Section VI final … beat Cleveland Hill, 10-0. Far West Regional … beat V-Wellsville, 23-6. State semifinal … beat IV-Waverly, 19-13. The Trojans' only loss was in Week Four to Salamanca, which won Class C South but lost to Akron in the sectional quarterfinals.
Southwestern coach: Jay Sirianni (ninth season, 87-12).
Southwestern key players: Sr. WR/DB/P/KR Jake Swan (5-11, 160; 50 receptions, 719 yards, nine TDs; 103 rushes, 543 yards, six TDs; 34.9 yards/punt; 47 tackles; 10 INTs; two INT returns for TDs); jr. QB Jake Pilling (5-10, 200; 70-136, 969 yards, 11 TDs, five INTs); jr. LB/OL Peter Trathen (6-2, 210; 104 tackles, four sacks); sr. LB/RB Tyler Uber (6-0, 215; 100 tackles); sr. OL/DL Dan Austin (5-9, 205); sr. LB/RB Dan Petruccello (5-11, 190); so. RB/WR/DB Kevin Bellardo (5-10, 165); jr. WR/DB Ryan Schutte (5-7, 155); sr. WR/DL Jake Snow (6-0, 210); so. K Tanner Hoose (5-11, 165; WNY single-season record-tying nine FGs, 23-27 PATs).
Dobbs Ferry state playoff history: State-high seven finals appearances with three championships (2002, 2004, 2006). It lost finals in 2001, 2005 and 2007 and also made the semifinals in 2003 as part of a seven-year run as Section I Class C champions. The 2004 title came after a 24-0 victory over Falconer. This is the Eagles' first trip since 2007. Bronxville won the state title last year.
Dobbs Ferry's road to the final: Section I final … beat Bronxville, 38-14 (avenging its only loss of the season, a 15-14 home loss in its season opener). State quarterfinal … beat IX-James O'Neill, 47-13. State semifinal … beat No.‚1-ranked Hoosick Falls, 13-12. Dobbs Ferry coach: Jim Moran, first season (10-1).
Dobbs Ferry key players: Sr. QB/DB Spencer Avalos (5-9, 175; 550 rush yards, 450 pass yards, 14 TDs, 60 tackles); so. FB/DL Tim Soave (6-0, 225; 1,067 yards rushing, 16 TDs, 63 tackles); Eddie Ritch (5-10, 165; 870 rushing, 16 TDs, 44 tackles in nine games); sr. HB/DE John Yozzo-Scaperrotta (6-2, 200; 620 rushing, eight TDs, 40 tackles); sr. G/MLB Darien Bica (5-11, 180; 70 tackles); sr. TE/DB Thomas Fleming (6-4, 190; seven receptions, 155 yards, two TDs, 21 tackles).
On the Web: Read the Class AA preview and information, published in Friday's News, about Orchard Park's matchup with Newburgh.
Prep Talk Live: Check out photos, video and a live blog with play-by-play for Sunday's games.
November 5, 2010 - 8:49 PM
Go to the Prep Talk Live page for blogging, video and photos from all of the Section VI championships at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Let us know what you thought of the game in the comments section.
October 21, 2010 - 8:45 AM
Just checking in on some national Web sites' rankings of New York high school football. It's always interesting to see how they slot New York, which is certainly a step behind much of the country when it comes to the sport.
Sweet Home, as it did in the preseason, is getting the nod for the top team overall in the state by several polls.
The National Prep Poll has Sweet Home as its only team from New York. The Panthers didn't make the Northeast top 10 (one of seven regional rankings) but it was listed as the only team "just missing out" in from the Northeast.
The Panthers were also No. 100 in last week's Rivals 100 before dropping down to others receiving consideration this week.
The USA Today regional rankings have Sweet Home at No. 4 in the East, impressively (and surprisingly) ahead of Bergen Catholic of New Jersey.
In this week's ESPNRise regional rankings, Sweet Home is the first team from New York tabbed at No. 7 in the East (consisting of 13 states and the District of Columbia).
I'll probably get an email making sure I know that St. Anthony's of Long Island is tucked right behind the Panthers at No. 8 in the East. ESPNRise rates the top 20 teams in five regions in addition to its national top 50. Gauging by East No. 5 Bergen (N.J.) Catholic being just left out of the top 50, one might guesstimate that Sweet Home is hovering perhaps a just a chain-link inside a national 100.
Speaking of St. Anthony's, a pretty good gauge of downstate and how it stacks up with some neighbors is the MSGVarsity Tri-State Top 25 (even if you can't see all 25 because you have to pay to see the site). St. Anthony's was ranked fifth with Sachem East of Long Island at No. 8. Bergen Catholic is No. 2 behind another Jersey school, widely acknowleged national power Don Bosco.
Of course, then there are the state rankings put together by the New York State Sportswriters Association. Sweet Home No. 1 in A in front of Aquinas; Monroe-Woodbury (which is eligible for the MSGVarsity poll) ahead of both St. Anthony's and Sachem.
As I wrote in the preseason, I think it's a deserved spot for Sweet Home based on their past success, and they've kept rolling this year. I think Sweet Home and St. Anthony's are the certainly the top contenders for the spot, with Aquinas needing to be noted along with Monroe-Woodbury and Sachem as the next tier.
I have my doubts about M-W as a No. 1 in the state in AA since longtime keen downstate high school writer Kevin Devaney Jr. (who moved from the Journal-News to MSGVarsity) has had New Rochelle ahead of M-W in his poll.
Fun stuff, and heady days for WNY football with Sweet Home's recognition as well as the streaks the Panthers and Southwestern have going.
October 19, 2010 - 12:16 AM
Thanks to Prep Talk blog first-ballot Hall of Famer Milt Latimer for this one: Southwestern's 36-game win streak, which is one short of the Western New York record of 37 held by Lackawanna (it ended in 1999), is also tied for the third-longest win streak in the nation.
Southwestern is tied with a team from Kentucky (Highlands) and Tennessee (Alcoa) at 36, and the top spot isn't too far off. The top win streak of 39 is owned by West Rowan of Mt. Ulla, N.C., while Phoebus of Hampton, Va., is second at 37.
That's not all -- Sweet Home is next on the list behind Southwestern, tied with Hamilton of Chandler, Ariz., for sixth at 33.
May 13, 2010 - 2:15 PM
Our Class of 2010 college list has been updated with a ton of names, including a big bump to the list in girls volleyball (thanks to the coaches Pierce of Eden for that).
Here are some links and some info we received with the updates and that we came across in doing some research ...
* There are two big-time athletes to the big-time Southeastern Conference. Not bad, Western New York.
* Nardin soccer goalie Tori Christ is headed to Ithaca's East Hill and Collegetown as she attends Cornell.
* Connolly Cup winner Zack Sopak of Southwestern will keep playing for coach Sirianni -- that's Washington & Jefferson coach Mike Sirianni, the older brother of Trojans coach Jay Sirianni. See Sopak's signing in a Jamestown Post-Journal story and photo.
* Another of Eden's fab four seniors in volleyball, Katie Eschner, is headed to Roberts Wesleyan in suburban Rochester.
* Check out the bios of Willie Ruiz of Canisius and Matt Fox of Maple Grove, who are both playing football at Robert Morris.
* Read up on five locals heading to Gannon football: Ian Kennedy, Bishop Timon-St. Jude; Keith Bykowski and Matthew Hornung, Cheektowaga; Ryan Sweet, East Aurora and Jeff Bellanca, St. Joe's (also baseball).
* Amanda Serafini of Frontier softball is off to Davis & Elkins in Elkins, W. Va.
* Kyle McLain of Canisius will play baseball at Washington & Jefferson, which is ranked in the Division III top 25.
* Jamie Nash of JFK will play softball atop South Hill with the Ithaca College Bombers, ranked in the Division III national top 25.
Have an update to the list or information like is posted here? See the top of the college list page for guildelines and e-mail me.
February 14, 2010 - 12:00 PM
Here are the Division I and Division II stories from the Section VI wrestling championship. And here are plenty of extras from the Division II meet Saturday night at Niagara County Community College. But first, a couple observations.
1. This was the second straight year NCCC served as host for the event, and it's a great venue. There's plenty of parking, and NCCC coach Eric Knuutilla (one of the nicest men you could ever meet) does a great job having the gym ready. The support staff, including announcers and officials, also do a good job of keeping everything moving as close to on time as possible.
2. Another thank you to Ross Conti, an assistant coach at Fredonia and committee member of the Wrestling Review of Western New York, the group that does such a great job seeding and ranking area wrestlers. Conti is a walking encyclopedia of wrestling knowledge.
112-pound champion Tom Page, Eden: Page moved ahead with a takedown in the second period to defeat teammate eighth-grade teammate Alex Smythe. Here's Page's father, also Tom Page, on what it's like for two teammates to wrestle each other: "It's extremely difficult because they're so familiar with each other's style. It's unfair to both, but some coaches say it's a privilege. I'm proud of both of the athletes, because they've done a fantastic job."
The elder Page said he wrestled both at 112 because they were the best at that weight class and deserved a chance to showcase what they could do at the sectional level. Nothing wrong with that logic.
119-pound champion Kevin Strong, Frewsburg: It's the second trip to states for Strong, who improved to 43-2 on the season. Here he is on his game plan from Saturday: "I was working on holding him down and taking it slow. Once I got my points I was very careful." Strong beat Newfane's David Ciaramella, 9-0.
125-pound champion Emory Rowe, Ripley: The smallest wrestling school in Western New York had two finalists, including one champion in Rowe. He scored a late takedown to earn a 5-3 decision over Jake Baer of Olean, a raw talent in just his third year of wrestling. Here's Rowe on the end of the match: "I was just looking for an opening and I saw him loosen up, so I dove for it and got it."
140-pound champion Devin Kramer, Depew: The Most Outstanding Wrestler of the meet scored three late points to break a 2-2 tie with Ben Haas of Salamanca and win his second sectional title (he won at 130 last year). The 130- and 140-pound divisions are packed with talented wrestlers. Kramer, a senior who is a member of the Cobra Wrestling Academy, is 36-4 on the season.
145-pound champion: Dominic Montesanti, Medina: Montesanti put forth a dominant performance despite being hampered by a knee injury. He's wrestling on a torn meniscus in his right knee. Here he is on competing hurt: "It's been a real bother, but it's my senior so I couldn't get surgery. It would put me out for the rest of the year. I have one last chance to be a state champion, so I have to tough it out."
Montesanti took sixth at the state tournament last year after dislocating his elbow and having to injury forfeit two matches at 140.
171-pound champion John Mistretta, Southwestern: Mistretta beat Greg Burroughs of Fredonia for the third time this season, never the easiest thing to do. Mistretta has a unique style that could make him a tough out at the state tournament.
189-pound champion Colin Palmer, East Aurora: Palmer is unbeaten on the season (24-0) after missing time early due to injury.
215-pound champion Pat Langworthy, Southwestern: Langworthy (33-6), a junior, won a wild weight class. Consider: the seventh seed, Panama's Cody DiDomenico, beat No. 2 Bashar Srouji of Lew-Port in the quarterfinals. Langworthy, the third seed, then beat DiDomenico. On the other side of the bracket, top seed Justin Taylor of Portville was upset by fourth seed Jake Eddington of Gowanda in the semifinals.
285-pound champion Theo King, Roy-Hart: King and 96-pounder Zach Bickle won titles for the Rams. Here's King on what he hopes it means for the Niagara-Orleans League school: "I hope it can inspire more people to come out for the team next year and continue to build the tradition of the program."
That's it for now, although we may have some video later of a few matches (if I can figure out the technology).
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About Prep Talk
Keith McShea has covered high school sports at The News since his hiring in 1999. The 1995 University at Buffalo graduate and Long Island native (North Babylon Bulldogs) covers — and live blogs — everything from scrimmages to state championships & helps head The News' All-Western New York selections.
- #PrepTalkLive from boys basketball's Far West Regionals & your updates: Sherman wins Class D
- PrepTalkTV: Nichols girls hockey champions & Far West Regional boys hoops preview
- VIDEO: Great moment after great Olean-East game
- #PrepTalkLive from Championship Tuesday: Olean, McKinley, Middle Early College win
- #PrepTalkLive from the Manhattan Cup championship: Nichols 49, Bishop Timon-St. Jude 43 (with VIDEO)
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