Alex Brasky | @BataviasBest
Monday, August 15, 2016 | BataviasBest.org
Today marks the start of another jam-packed High School Football season, and with that we will begin by providing you with the top team-by-team storylines heading into camp:
Batavia is coming off of back-to-back sectional titles after not winning a championship from 1991-2014. This season, also coming off back-to-back losses to Cheektowaga in the Far West Regional, look for the Blue Devils to work toward taking the next step in the progression of a revived program.
The Irish rebounded off of a putrid season in 2014 to once again reach the sectional playoffs in their respective classification. However, losing a deep crop of seniors to graduation, the Irish will look to once again rebuild and retool on the fly in hopes of maintaining their long-standing tradition as a GR Powerhouse.
The Blue Devils won the GR regular season title last season and will once again be looked at as the league favorite this season. This season, though, the Devils will take on a bit tougher of a schedule in hopes of improving their ability to get over the hump in Sectionals. Their improved list of games will include a matchup with Class B opponent Batavia.
These two former rivals will now join forces in order to try and work each of their way back to the top of the GR League. The decision for these two school districts to merge for football and cheerleading was met with a bit of hesitation from many fans, but I believe time will prove it to be a good choice for all involved.
Likely prior the stepping down of former coach John Walther, the Red Raiders program made the decision to seek a merger with another local program in hopes of rebuilding their once great football tradition. Following a few seasons filled with struggle at all levels, C-M has now joined forces with Byron-Bergen who is coming off of a previously long-tenured relationship with Elba. It will be interesting to see how such a proud program in Cal-Mum transitions to this new phase of their history – under new head coach Bill Donegan.
Le Roy enters 2016 with second-year head coach Brian Herdlein more firmly entrenched as the leader of this program as they continue their dive into a new era of Oatkan Knight football. Although depleted by a few key losses, this group should continue to compete strongly within Livingston County.
Section V Hall of Famer Dick Diminuco stepped down after this past season, and the Dragons will now be coached by former assistant coach Ray Stoldt. The Dragons have a strong group of players who have been growing throughout the system over the past few years, and should be able to compete this year.
Pavilion/York will also be led by a new man at the helm, as Tyler Winter will move over from the Defensive Coordinator position to the position of head coach for the Golden Knights. Mike Kemp, who coached the team last season, moved on to another opportunity.
Holley hopes to rebound off of a tough year within the GR, but may look to their performance in the postseason Connors and Ferris Bowl as their jumping off point. They finished as the champion of their division in the postseason Bowl.
Perhaps the most under-the-radar team heading into this season, the Alexander squad has the distinct potential to do plenty of damage this season. Although they lost their top-runner to graduation, I believe they will bring enough back to make a run at the GR League Title in 2016.
With three teams entering the season under new leadership, and four schools having merged together, this should be a monumental season in the history of local High School Football. Stay tuned.
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