Wednesday, September 1, 2010

High School football preivew, opening day, Colonie at Shaker

LATHAM -- The Shaker High School Blue Bison have two ambition goals for the 2010 football season.
First, they want to recapture the Town of Colonie Cup.

Second, Shaker wants to make it back to the Section II playoffs for the first time since 2005 and do something the Bison haven’t done since 1969: win a Capital-area championship.

Tonight, Shaker plays host to archrival South Colonie in the annual battle for the Town of Colonie Cup. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. The game will also be televised on Time Warner Cable Channel 3.

"We want the cup back. They stole it from us last year," said Shaker senior tight end and defensive end Chris Sherwin. "It’s a great way to start the season, too."

For the full story, check out Thursday's edition of The Record, which will include a copy of our 48-page preview section, Kickoff 2010.

Shaker High School leaders, from left to right: Derek Gardella (44), Carlos Mendez (8), Sam Hyatt (1), Ben Capeless (7) and Bryan Egan (61). (Photo by John Whipple - The Record).

Colonie (0-0) at Shaker (0-0), Thursday, 7:30 p.m.

About Colonie: The Garnet Raiders feature 22 seniors on the roster, but not all of them will play in tonight’s rivalry game against Shaker. A few of them missed at least one practice due to illness during training camp and since Colonie plays one day ahead of schedule to accommodate a television broadcast, those players will not have the requisite 15 days of practice under their belts needed to compete in a game. Davion Brink and Ryan Nolte figure to be the Raiders’ key runners out of the backfield this season, but Colonie will need to rely on its defense until its inexperienced offense can really take off.

About Shaker: The Blue Bison have high hopes for the 2010 season and they’ll put them on the line against archrival Colonie tonight. Shaker returns a number of key skills players (quarterback Ben Capeless and running back Conor Alund among them) as well as having strong line play (Derek Gardella, Bryan Egan and Chris Sherwin will be among those doing the blocking up front) and also features first-year head coach Greg Sheeler, who has brought a new-found sense of energy and enthusiasm to the program.

Notable: The rivalry has been kept alive every year since 1980. Colonie owns the all-time series advantage, 22-8. The Garnet Raiders will also be bringing the cup to tonight’s game, as Colonie won last year’s contest, 27-19. Although Colonie has dominated the series throughout its history, ownership of the cup has flip-flopped every season since 2005. Colonie was the last team to go back-to-back, doing so in 2004 and 2005.

Town of Colonie Cup, recent history
2009, Colonie 27, Shaker 19
2008, Shaker 44, Colonie 34
2007, Colonie 31, Shaker 28
2006, Shaker 20, Colonie 19
2005, Colonie 17, Shaker 14
2004, Colonie 20, Shaker 13

Colonie High School captains, from left to right: Matt McCarty (68), Davion Brink (4), Mike Fitzgibbon (1) and Ryan Nolte (20). (Whipple photo - The Record).

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