Week one: a look ahead
Shenendehowa at Shaker, Tonight, 7 p.m.
About Shenendehowa: Suhyab Banks rushed for 1,135 yards as a junior, and with offseason training focusing on keeping his strength deeper into games, the Plainsmen are banking on a big season. Only 14 senior graduated from last year’s team, which leaves the team with plenty of returning experience on both sides of the ball.
About Shaker: The Bison return seven starters on defense and that figures to be the strong suit of the 2009 team. Linebackers Kenny O’Connor and Derek Gardella lead a hard-hitting group that finished out the 2008 season on a three-game winning streak.
Notable: Shenendehowa head coach Brent Steuerwald, in his 42nd year coaching the varsity team, is five wins away from No. 300. Shaker and Shenendehowa did not face one another in 2008.
Troy at Queensbury, Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
About Troy: Brian Marsh makes his long-awaited debut under center (Trevor Ryan, that is) for the Flying Horses Saturday afternoon. Troy is also looking to find replacements at running back and the receiver positions, and Jordan Canzeri just might be the solution in the backfield.
About Queensbury: Sophomore running back Tony Fusco looks to make the leap to the varsity level, joining seniors Sean McAllister (quarterback) and Peyton McKinney (running back) in the backfield. The Spartans, who love to run the ball, have missed the postseason each of the past two seasons.
Notable: Troy scored a 40-13 victory over Queensbury in week 1 last season, with the Flying Horses chalking up 236 yards on the ground.
Lansingburgh at Hudson Falls, Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
About Lansingburgh: Lansingburgh has found yet another two-headed running attack in Terrance Kemp and Tyrone Nichols, but look out for quarterback T.J. McLaughlin rolling out of the pocket. The Knights’ senior signal-caller looked sharp throwing the ball in last Saturday’s soggy scrimmage.
About Hudson Falls: The Tigers will need to replace running back Joe McMurry, who rushed for a Section II-leading 2,563 yards in 2008. It was the second-highest output by any back in Section II history, trailing only Lansingburgh’s Kareem Jones’ 2,596 effort in 2003.
Notable: The last time these two teams met was in a 2005 Section II Class B quarterfinal. Lansingburgh handed the Tigers a 62-20 defeat en route to the Section II Class B Super Bowl championship.
Hoosick Falls at Schuylerville, Friday, 7 p.m.
About Hoosick Falls: Mike Brewster takes over as the Panthers’ quarterback and he has a big challenge in his first game: avenge Hoosick Falls’ only regular season defeat in 2008. Schuylerville blanked the Panthers, 36-0, in a Week 2 contest. Alex Hansen will take charge in the Hoosick Falls’ backfield, with senior lineman Hutton Rasmus leading the way up front.
About Schuylerville: Austin Bateman (1,162 rushing yards, 20 TDs) and Brad Lyon (877 rushing yards, 10 TDs) both return for their senior seasons, and opposing defenses are already cringing at the thought of trying to stop these two again. The Black Horses made an undefeated run to the Section II Class C Super Bowl in 2008, only to be stopped by Watervliet in the title game.
Notable: The last postseason meeting between these teams was in the 2005 Section II Class C Super Bowl. Schuylerville won, 14-6.
Rensselaer at Greenwich, Friday, 7 p.m.
About Rensselaer: The Rams were about as tough as any team gets on their way to a Super Bowl championship in 2008, but look for them to be even meaner and nastier on the defensive side of the ball this season. Linebackers Nate Butler and Jashem Hamilton will be bolstered by new-and-improved sophomore Tyler Bishop, who plays the same type of smashmouth football as do the upperclassmen. Mico De Los Santos also figures to be a menace as a roaming linebacker-safety type.
About Greenwich: Colin McCormick leads the way as Witches quarterback, and Colby Stout is among a group of seniors who saw major playing time in 2008. Greenwich returns a number of linemen with size, including Alex Stuart, James Jordan and Ben Barbur.
Notable: Rensselaer defeated Greenwich 46-0 in a week 5 meeting a season ago. The Greenwich football program began in 1906 with a 5-0 victory over Saratoga Springs. The Witches’ field is named for former head coach Jordy Jackson, who won 108 games in 32 years at the school.
Check out The Record on Friday for a story on the La Salle Cadets returning to the Spa City to face the Saratoga Springs Blue Streaks after their wild postseason game on that field in 2008. Also check out my preseason polls on the printed page.
Friday, Sept. 4
Colonie at Christian Brothers Academy, 7 p.m.
Albany at Schenectady, 7 p.m.
Ballston Spa at Columbia, 7 p.m.
Bethlehem at Guilderland, 7 p.m.
La Salle at Saratoga Springs, 7 p.m.
Shenendehowa at Shaker, 7 p.m.
Bishop Maginn at Amsterdam, 7 p.m.
Averill Park at South Glens Falls, 7 p.m.
Mohonasen at Gloversville, 7 p.m.
Scotia-Glenville at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, 7 p.m.
Albany Academy at Schalmont, 7 p.m.
Cairo-Durham at Ichabod Crane, 7 p.m.
Cohoes at Cobleskill-Richmondville, 7 p.m.
Hudson at Johnstown, 7 p.m.
Ravena at Broadalbin-Perth, 7 p.m.
Cambridge at Stillwater, 7 p.m.
Hoosick Falls at Schuylerville, 7 p.m.
Canajoharie at Taconic Hills, 7 p.m.
Rensselaer at Greenwich, 7 p.m.
Salem at Saratoga Central Catholic, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 5
Niskayuna at Glens Falls, 1:30 p.m.
Troy at Queensbury, 1:30 p.m.
Lansingburgh at Hudson Falls, 1:30 p.m.
Corinth at Granville, 1 p.m.
Mechanicville at Hoosic Valley, 1 p.m.
Catholic Central at Watervliet, 1 p.m.
Chatham at Voorheesville, 1 p.m.
Coxsackie-Athens at Fonda-Fultonville, 2 p.m.
Tamarac at Bishop Gibbons, 1 p.m.
Fort Edward at Warrensburg, 1 p.m.
Lake George at Whitehall, 1 p.m.