John Delahunt (60), Steven Schmidt (12) and Tyler Hudson (75) will be big contributors to the Big Blue Wrecking Crew this season.
Jeff Pexton-MHTS/PGI Photo
The My Hometown Sports Football Camp Tour pulled into Whitesboro High School today, for a visit with Head Coach, Tom Schoen, and the 2014 version of the “Big Blue Wrecking Crew”.
As is usually the case, the visit was informative, a whole lot of fun and a great reminder as to why we love high school football so much.
Whitesboro is coming off a 2013 season, which saw the Warriors lose their first four football games by a combined 13 points, before finishing the season (3-5), including a 21-20 victory over Class “AA” Proctor in a Section III crossover game to end the season.
The Warriors strong finish was good enough for a (3-2) mark in the Class “A” National Division, and a trip to the Section III playoffs, where they lost a very tight game to Jamesville-DeWitt, by a score of 14-0 on the road.
That season is in the rear view mirror for this group of about 50 players and the confidence and optimism around the camp is brimming.
Whitesboro’s Junior Varsity team has 45 players in camp right now and the Warriors modified program has 88 players signed up to start hitting in September.
Coach Tom Schoen enters his 41st season as the leader of the storied Warriors program and judging by the amount of enthusiasm he exuded in the short time we got to catch up today, this season may just be a really nice one for Whitesboro.
“I am really excited about the players we have in here this year. We’re fast, deep and overall this bunch of kids genuinely gets along great together,” Schoen said. He added, “Take a look around. They move quickly to everything. There are no loafers. That says a lot about a team, especially on the second day of practices.”
Compared to seasons past, last year’s Warriors may have been somewhat thin at the skill and speed positions. The 2014 Warriors should be significantly more deep and strong at the running back and wide receiver.
The Warriors presently feature a stable of talented running backs which will include Travis Eberley, Collin Stewart, Mike Cirasuolo, Griffin Williams, Bryce Brown and Dan Knapp, just to name a few of the Warriors who will vie to fill in the Warriors four-back offensive set.
Ed Zegarelli is back at the wide receiver and defensive back positions for Whitesboro this Fall as well. As a junior last year, Zegarelli had a big 38 yard interception return for a touchdown in the season opener against RFA in a wild season opener.
Sophomore, Gary Casab, who handles the kicking and punting duties for Whitesboro, has shown good effort at the wide receiver position as well.
There is a battle royale going on right now to see who will be under center when the Warriors host Cortland in a non league season opener on September 5th at Chiz Frye Field.
Senior, Steven Schmidt, returns after a year away from football due to a hand injury and is showing signs of being ready to go, without missing a beat.
Another senior, Dominic Lombarzo, has come into camp ready to compete for the starting job.
Sophomore, Donte Filletti, and junior, Zach Madura, are also figuring into the plans at QB as the Warriors camp unfolds.
Up front, the Warriors may not be quite as big as they “normally” are, but they’re still big.
Toss in the speed and strength factors and Whitesboro will likely be, well, Whitesboro. Up front, the Warriors are going to be led by senior, Tyler Hudson, a two way lineman who possesses good footwork and an excellent nose for the football.
Mike Scaccia has also impressed the coaches thus far and figures to play a big role in the trenches this Fall.
“This team just get’s along so well,” Tyler Hudson told MHTS during a break in the action. He added, “Teams are going to have to deal with our speed and strength up front. Our line will be tough to handle.”
The linebackers will be led by senior, John Delahunt, who has gained 20 pounds of muscle and is a couple of inches taller since the 2013 campaign.
Collin Stewart, just a junior, along with sophomore, Matt Parkinson, a standout on JV last season, will also see plenty of action along the back of the Whitesboro defensive line as well.
“Our goal is to run fast and hit hard. Its that simple,” John Delahunt said of the objectives of the team this season. Delahunt also believes the Warriors will improve over last season, adding “We’re going to have some fun, win football games and have a good time afterward.”
For senior quarterback, Steven Schmidt, losing a year of football due to an unfortunate accident last summer was tough, but it didn’t keep him from coming back. “I lost a year, but being back out here now it feels like I haven’t missed a beat. It’s coming along really well I think,” Schmidt said.
The Warriors will once again be aligned in the Class “A” National Division, with defending Section III Champion Carthage, the always tough Indian River, as well as Watertown and New Hartford.
Thanks again to Coach Schoen and the Warriors coaching staff for the hospitality and time out of a busy practice to talk to us. Best of luck for a great season!