Sunday, August 29, 2010

Training camp report No. 18: Albany Academy

ALBANY --The Albany Academy football team got off to a great start in 2009, winning its first four games in a row.

And then the wheels fell off.

The Cadets lost their final four games and finished 4-4. That memory, however, has stuck with the players as they prepare for 2010.


"One of the big lessons is definitely don’t let up," said junior quarterback Hunter McCarthy. "Last year we played Lansingburgh and it was our first loss. I think after that we kind of had a hangover. We played a quick game against Cohoes after that (a Thursday game following a Saturday game) and it was kind of hard to rebound after two tough losses in a row. We kind of got on a streak and it was tough."

Members of the Albany Academy football team go over a play in the huddle during a practice last week. (Photo by Mike McMahon - The Record).

"We have to play two sports," said senior tight end and linebacker Mike Berkowitz. "But a lot of people want to play sports. It’s not like you’re pressured into it."

One of the reasons for Albany Academy's success over the years is that the schools requires its students to play on at least two of the athletic teams it offers. Consequently, many of the players are multi-talented athletes that are already in great shape when practice starts up in August.

"They’re constantly on the go, so having a bunch of wrestlers, hoopers, baseball players, they’re always active and they’re staying busy," said head coach Tony Fruscio.

Hunter McCarthy practices his footwork during a team practice last week in Albany. (McMahon photo - The Record).

The Cadets have a ton of veterans back for the 2010 campaign, something which has given early practices a distinctly positive feel.

"They’re older, stronger, faster, and more physically developed," Fruscio said. "What I see now is that those guys are leaders and they've had success. They have made the climate of the team such a positive climate. The kids really look up to them, they respect them and that's the key to our season. Finally we’ve got guys that have been around for two-to-three years as true leaders of the team and that’s what really exciting and that shows in practice."

Mike Berkowitz gets low during a drill in practice last week in Albany. (McMahon photo - The Record).


Albany Academy playbook
COACH: Tony Fruscio
STARTERS RETURNING: not provided
2009 RECORD: 4-4
NICKNAME: Cadets
OFFENSE: Wing-T
DEFENSE: 4-4
LAST PLAYOFF GAME: 2009
LAST SECTION II TITLE: 2006 (Class B)
DIVISION: Class B, Reinfurt

Albany Academy, 2009 game-by-game results

Schalmont, W 35-18
HUDSON FALLS, W 20-13
Ravena, W 52-35
JOHNSTOWN, W 53-7
LANSINGBURGH, L 42-32
Cohoes, L 33-26
Hudson, L 48-46
Schalmont, L 32-12*
*Section II Class B quarterfinals
Home games in CAPS

Members of the Albany Academy football team raise their helmets following Friday's practice on August 20, 2010. (Will Montgomery photo - The Record).

Albany Academy, 2009 stats review
Rushing, Att., Yds., Avg., TDs
Zay Richardson, 122, 1074, 8.8, 22
Renel Potter, 53, 416, 7.8, 5
Connor Ferris, 37, 373, 10.1, 2
Passing, Comp., Att., Yds., Avg., TDs
Hunter McCarthy, 42, 73, 713, 17.0, 7
Receiving, No., Yds., Avg., TDs
Connor Ferris, 12, 271, 22.6, 3
Scoring, TD, 2-pt, PAT, FG, Tot.
Zay Richardson, 24, 2, 0, 0, 148

Albany Academy’s three keys to the season
1, Conditioning. "It’s all about staying healthy and being in outstanding shape so we can play four quarters," head coach Tony Fruscio said.
2, Finding an offensive balance between pass and run and sharing the ball between playmakers.
3, Having a mindset defensively. "We didn’t have a mindset last year that we were going to come out and stop people and that our defense was going to make a difference in the game," Fruscio said. "Our defense has to be the reason we’re winning football games. We can’t rely only on our offense to put up the points."

Albany Academy, 2010 schedule
Friday, Sept. 3, at Broadalbin-Perth, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 11, vs. Hudson Falls, 1:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 16, vs. Hudson at UAlbany, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 25, at Cairo-Durham, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 2, vs. Bishop Maginn, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 9, vs. Cohoes, 1:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 15, at Ravena, 7 p.m.
Oct. 22/29, Playoffs/Crossovers, TBA

Stuart Curtis moves in motion on the Albany Academy offense during a recent practice. (McMahon photo - The Record).

 

 --
Keep checking back on the blog for a training camp report posted every day between now and opening day of the high school football season on Thurs., Sept. 2. The schools will be posted in no particular order, so please be patient if you don't see your school right away.

Also keep your eyes open for our 48-page preview section - Kickoff 2010 - which hits the newsstands inside The Record on Thurs., Sept. 2. It will feature 21 team previews, columns, feature stories, statistics and pictures to preview the upcoming 2010 high school football season.

Previous training camp reports:
No. 1, Lansingburgh High School
No. 2, Cohoes High School
No. 3, Watervliet High School
No. 4, Columbia High School
No. 5, Catholic Central High School; head coach Ray Gaston update
No. 6, Christian Brothers Academy
No. 7, Rensselaer High School
No. 8, Hoosick Falls High School
No. 9, Averill Park High School 
No. 10, Tamarac High School
No. 11, Troy High School
No. 12, Bishop Maginn High School
No. 13, La Salle Institute
No. 14, Stillwater High School
No. 15, Shenendehowa High School
No. 16, Mechanicville High School
No. 17, Hoosic Valley High School


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