Monday, November 13, 2017 | BataviasBest.org
As the 2017 High School Football season draws to a close, let us look back on what a fantastic year that it was:
We began in training camp, where each local squad spent several weeks preparing for what they hoped would be their year. Prior to the season, Batavia was coming in as three-time champions, and I truly believed they would again walk away with the Class B Title in 2017.
In addition to the Blue Devils, Alexander was also entering 2017 as defending Section V Champions, but the Trojans were a different case altogether. They had lost several vital contributors to graduation during the offseason, and looked to several new faces during camp to fill the void left by the 2016 seniors.
Although, if you asked me, I would have told you that the Raiders were a team which possessed what it took to make a run.
Finally, Week 1 was upon us – with several important games already set for action.
Throughout the first slate of games, a number of local teams won their first game of the season, while a few fell short of earning victory and looked forward to Week 2.
As we moved on to the season’s second week, it was yet to be clear which teams were for real, and which teams were in for a long season – although you know I did my best to project what to expect from each local team in their Week 2 matchup.
Following Week 2, I produced my first in-season edition of 2017 HS Football Power Rankings, which shuffled a bit compared to my preseason list of top-teams.
As Week 3 approached, six local squads sat with 1-1 records, and were hoping to improve to above .500 with a win in their upcoming game.
In the upcoming week, only a few of those teams were able to do so, while a few others failed to get back on the winning track.
At the conclusion of the season’s third week, a massive edition of Batavia’s Best HS Football Players of the Week were revealed – with a long list of top-local talents leading the way.
Eventually we would move on to Week 4, as Batavia, Alexander, Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen, Le Roy, Pembroke, and Holley each walked into Week 5 as winners.
Five more area programs picked up big victories in Week 5, and as we moved into the regular season’s final two weeks, it was moving time. For, Sectionals were coming.
Finally to wrap-up the regular season in Week 7 five teams solidified their seeding for the upcoming Sectional Tournament.
To finish the regular year Le Roy, and Alexander each won their Divisional Title.
Next, we looked ahead to the postseason:
Section V Playoffs
To begin the postseason, all five local teams which entered the tournament would move on to Semifinal Saturday, after solid performances during the Quarterfinals.
In the semis, a couple of local teams bowed out despite valiant efforts, but we did see two of the five who entered Semifinal Saturday walk out the other side – and into the Section V Finals.
Following the Semifinals, during the week leading up to the Finals, Pembroke’s Zach von Kramer was awarded the Section V Class D Player of the Year Award after a season in which he surpassed 2,000 yards rushing.
In the finals, one team would experience jubilation, while the other would drop to the depths of despair.
Following Finals weekend, the NYSPHSAA Tournament was upon us:
NYSPHSAA Far West Regional
The end of the season came with defeat, as the Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen Red Raiders failed to extend their season into the State Semifinals.
Despite the bitter end, this season was an enjoyable ride filled with many more positive memories than negative ones. Another year the local area can celebrate a Section V Champion, and can look forward to next year where a number of programs return loads of young talent.
Here’s a brief look at what to expect from each squad next year:
2017 Season Review/Outlook for 2018 Season
Final 2017 Record: 9-1 overall (5-0 division) – Lost in Sectional Final
Past Season Snapshot: The Trojans were coming off of a Section Championship season, and reached the Finals once again in 2017.
Key 2017 Departures: Erik Scharlau (TE/DL), Job Smith (WR/LB), Mitch Gordon (FB/LB), Grant Cox (WR/DB/K)
Most Impressive 2017 Underclassmen: Chris McClinic (Junior RB/DB), Terrez Smith (Freshman RB/DB), Dylan Busch (Sophomore QB), Jake Jasen (Junior OL/LB)
Next Season Outlook: In 2018, I expect the Trojans to perhaps be even better on offense, but their defense will struggle to replace what they lose to graduation.
Final 2017 Record: 5-4 overall (3-2 division) – Won Connors and Ferris Bowl
Past Season Snapshot: It was a disappointing season in Attica, but they finished strong during the C & F Bowl.
Key 2017 Departures: Mike Donohue (WR/DB), Brad Lilac (OL/DL), Clayton Thompson (OL/LB)
Most Impressive 2017 Underclassmen: Mason Compton (Junior RB/DB), Edward Strzelec (Junior QB/DB), Parker Wildey (Junior RB/DB), Dawson Nelson (Junior TE, DL, K)
Next Season Outlook: Although the Devils will lose a bit up front bro graduation, they return the majority of their backfield and should expect a rebound season in 2018.
Final 2017 Record: 6-3 overall (Independent Schedule) – Lost in Sectional Semis
Past Season Snapshot: The Blue Devils experienced a disappointing 2017 campaign – fa,ling short of returning to the Section V Finals for a fourth-straight season.
Key 2017 Departures: Chandler Baker (QB/DB), Butch Ray (OL/DL), John Kindig (FB/LB), Nick Neid (FB/LB), Eric Davis (WR/DL)
Most Impressive 2017 Underclassmen: Ray Leach (Junior RB/LB), Ethan Biscaro (Junior WR/DB), Taiyo Iburi-Bethel (Junior WR/DB), Antwan Odom (Junior WR/DB), Joshua Barber (Sophomore OL/DL)
Next Season Outlook: The Devils return plenty of offensive firepower, and will likely continue their transition to a run-heavy style offensively in 2018.
Final 2017 Record: 8-3 overall (3-1 division) – Won Section V Title
Past Season Snapshot: The Red Raiders shocked the world, and wound up winning a Section V Title in 2017.
Key 2017 Departures: AJ Maye (QB), Joe Butler (WR, DB), Bobby Stevens (FB/LB), Josh Platt (WR/LB), Clayton Garrett (OL/DL), Paul McDermott (OL/DL), Ian Lenhardt (TE/DL)
Most Impressive 2017 Underclassmen: Bryce Yockel (Sophomore RB/DB), Lucas Stuccio (Junior WR/DB), Vinny Molisani (Sophomore QB/DB), Jack Sims (Junior FB/LB), Anthony DiQuattro (Junior TE/DL)
Next Season Outlook: The Raiders will have to replace plenty of talented athletes which they will lose to graduation, but also have a bit coming back which will help fill the void.
Final 2017 Record: 4-5 overall (2-3 division) – Lost in Connors and Ferris Bowl Final
Past Season Snapshot: Holley had a relatively successful season. Although they fell short of a Connors and Ferris Bowl Title, they finished in the middle of their division and won some big games.
Key 2017 Departures: Camron LaBarge (WR/DB), Jeremy Mallett (QB/DB), Ryan Andrews (QB/LB), Glenn Thrower (OL/DL), Michael Passarell (TE/DB), Nick Schutz (RB/DB)
Most Impressive 2017 Underclassmen: Jamel Hildreth (Sophomore WR/DB), Jacob Affronti (Freshman RB/DB), Matt Hahan (Junior OL/LB)
Next Season Outlook: I have heard rumors concerning the future of this program, and they don’t seem favorable. However, if those rumors turn out to be untrue, this group will have a tough time competing within their division next season.
Final 2017 Record: 7-2 overall (4-0 division) – Lost in Sectional Semis
Past Season Snapshot: The Knights put forth a resurgent effort this season which finished with them winning their Divisional Title, along with a Sectional Semifinals appearance.
Key 2017 Departures: Luke Stella (RB/LB), Gaven Cassidy (WR/DB), TY Williams (WR/DB), Cole Biggins (QB/WR/DB), Tyler Rider (OL/DL), Bryce Bordonaro (OL/DL), Gavin Luckey (TE/LB)
Most Impressive 2017 Underclassmen: Jake Hill (Sophomore QB/DB), Reece Tresco (Junior TE/DL), Kylar LaCarte (Junior RB/LB), Cineque Robinson (Sophmore RB/DB)
Next Season Outlook: It will take a major influx of talent to replace what the Knights will lose to graduation, but they do have a strong stable of backs returning to the lineup in 2018.
Final 2017 Record: 1-7 overall (1-4 division) – Lost in Connors and Ferris Bowl Semis
Past Season Snapshot: It was as disappointing season as they come for the Irish in 2017. They failed to win a game after Week 2, and struggled mightily in every one of their losses.
Key 2017 Departures: Nico Zambito (QB/WR/DB), Michael Keeler (RB/LB), Brendin Klotzbach (QB/DB), Devin Grimshaw (WR/DB), Ryan Moffat (WR/DB), Grant Hens (WR/LB), Ed Skalny (OL/DL)
Most Impressive 2017 Underclassmen: Dakota Sica (Sophomore OL/LB), Gabe Macdonald (Sophomore RB/LB), Tim Klotzbach (Junior RB/LB), Andrew Tygart (Junior WR/DB), Spencer Misiti (Junior WR/DB), Lucas Calarco (Junior OL/LB), Tyler Totten (Junior OL/DL)
Next Season Outlook: It seems as if the Irish have a quality core returning, but it’s tough to tell whether or not they’ll be able to experience success.
Final 2017 Record: 2-7 overall (0-5 division) – Lost in Connors and Ferris Bowl Finals
Past Season Snapshot: Despite a 1-0 start to the season, OA/E went on to lost 6-straight games before their win in the Connors and Ferris Bowl Semifinals.
Key 2017 Departures: John Igoe (OL/DL), CJ Bradt (OL/DL), Cam Smith (OL/DL)
Most Impressive 2017 Underclassmen: Colton Dillon (Sophomore QB/DB), Collin O’Halloran (Sophomore RB/LB), Gage Dieterle (Junior RB/LB), Isacc Meija (Junior OL/LB), Seth Seppala (Junior OL/DL)
Next Season Outlook: Next year, I expect a big season for OA/E. Although they still may be another year away from true success, I can see 3-4 wins for this team in 2018.
Final 2017 Record: 7-2 overall (4-1 division) – Lost in Sectional Semis
Past Season Snapshot: The Dragons 2017 season won’t soon be forgotten. They put together their first successful campaign in recent memory, and went all the way to the Sectional Semifinals.
Key 2017 Departures: Zach von Kramer (RB/LB), Reid Miano (QB/DB), Brandon Kowalski (WR/DB), Jacob Miller (WR/DB), Damion Ramirez (OL/LB), Cameron Pfalzer (OL/DL), Jarrod Carrow (TE/DL)
Most Impressive 2017 Underclassmen: Nick Clark (Junior RB/DB)
Next Season Outlook: As is sometimes the case with HS Football teams, with success comes big time setbacks. And that is likely what the Dragons will experience in 2018.
Final 2017 Record: 2-7 overall (2-4 division) – Lost in Connors and Ferris Bowl Finals
Past Season Snapshot: Although I anticipated success for the Golden Knights this past season, I guess I was a year early in forecasting a big year for this team.
Key 2017 Departures: Trevor Schoonover (OL/DL)
Most Impressive 2017 Underclassmen: Sebastian Hackett (Junior RB/LB), Matt McFarland (Junior QB/DB), Ryley Elliott (Junior OL/LB)
Next Season Outlook: With plenty returning to their 2018 lineup, the Golden Knights should have a resurgent season in store for them.
Stay tuned for an end of season statistical report, as well as the 2017 Batavia’s Best HS Football Awards – both coming soon!
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