The Bulldogs Have a Load of Experience on the Offensive Line! 

Jeff Pexton-MHTS/PGI Photo

The Westmoreland Bulldogs football team makes trips to the Carrier Dome in Syracuse about as common as going to the Nice N Easy on Main Street.

Sophomore quarterback Tyler Deveans can bring it, and sling it.

Contrary to local speculation, there are no grooves in the pavement between Westmoreland and the Carrier Dome in Syracuse and there are no Star Trek transporters to beam the Bulldogs directly to the Dome floor either.

The success the Bulldogs have enjoyed has been earned and it begins each August on a tiny patch of grass behind the Westmoreland Elementary School.

As the 2013 high school season closes in, head coach Tim Gates and the Dawgs are gearing up at training camp for what they hope will be another successful season.

Gone is 2012 All-State player Zack Green and his 991 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns from a year ago (Green also starred at linebacker and was the place kicker for the Bulldogs).  

Enter sophomore signal caller Tyler Deveans, who will be called upon this season to steer the always potent Bulldog offense.

th_football9Lining up behind Deveans will be all-league tailback Tim Harrison, who returns for his third varsity season and will undoubtedly give opposing defenses fits in 2013.

Tyler Taverne, also a senior and a third year starter, will join the offense this season as a tight end. Taverne is a huge target at 6’6″, 220 lbs. and by the way, he was hauling in passes in camp, will be a familiar target for Deveans.

One of the biggest strengths of this year’s Bulldogs is the offensive line, according to Coach Gates, who added, “We have a lot of experience on that o-line and we are going to need to build on that experience in order to have a good year”. 

Here comes the big fella, 6’6″ senior Tyler Taverne is sure to be an active receiving target.

“We may not have the numbers that we normally do here, but I’ll tell you, we are a tight unit, like a family around here and we have enough experienced players to get the job done for sure” Nowak told MHTS, adding, “The skill positions are solid and the guys are really focused on hard work this season”.

Tyler Taverne, who will also be his usual imposing self at defensive end in 2013, is really happy to get in at tight end and sees a solid team in the making.

“I think we’re very solid, we’ve been putting in the work and the younger kids seem to be buying into the system really well so far. I really think we will do fine this year,” Taverne explained.

Westmoreland will be dressing 25 players on varsity this season, more than most Class “D” clubs,  but not the usual 30-35 the team normally sees by this time each year.

th_football9“We may not have the total numbers like we normally do, but we are very pleased with the players that are here and we have seven starters returning to the defense. which is a real plus for us,” Coach Gates said.

Other key starters and returners to this year’s Bulldog squad are Joe Lalonde (TE/LB), Robert Heitzmann (RB/LB), Devon Tophoven (OL/DL), Tyler Platt (RB/DB), Joe Becker (DE/FB), Kevin Fedor (OL/DL), Zach Esser (OL/DB), Erik Hauk (OL/DE), Anthony Fiorilli (OL/DL) and Jeremy Andron (WR/DB). 

The Bulldogs, who finished the 2012 season second in Section III and NY State’s #8 ranked team, will open up on September 7th, at home, with a huge early season test against perennial power General Brown. 

Coach Tim Gates talks with his Dawgs during a break in training camp.

Westmoreland will once again be aligned in the seven team Section III, Class “D” Central, along with Sandy Creek, Pulaski, New York Mills, Oriskany, Beaver River and South Lewis.

Thanks to Coach Gates for the time today and best of luck to the 2013 Bulldogs for yet another hard earned, successful season!