The 2012 WNY High School Football season will begin the weekend of Aug. 31 with a full slate of thirty nine games. Top matchups for week one include, Timon St. Jude @ Williamsville South, Lackawanna @ Amherst, Maple Grove @ Silver Creek, Sweet Home @ North Tonawanda, Bennett @ West Seneca East, Albion @ Depew and Orchard Park @ Lockport.
The Carrier Classic kicks off on Sunday, Sep. 2 with two teams from Section VI heading to the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY. Matchups include Clarence against West Genesee and Riverside facing off against Auburn.
During the past four high school football seasons, Section VI (WNY) has won nine state football championships and has seen 315 players earn all-state honors, with over 100 being selected to first team all-state.
In the same period, Section VI has won the most state titles and boasts the most players of any section to have been selected to all-state.
In 2010 and 2011, Section VI was well represented with ten and eleven alumni respectively playing in the National Football League. North of the border currently maintains 3 Section VI alumni who play in the Canadian Football League.
As much as this upcoming year is sure to bring great promise and excitement, a look at last year's team and player achievement should be noted. The season saw exceptional talent in teams such as St. Francis (MSGR Martin), Orchard Park (Class AA), Sweet Home (Class A), and Southwestern (Class C) and players Chad Kelly and Akeel Lynch, formerly of St. Joes and St. Francis respectively, and currently attending Clemson & Penn State.
Orchard Park, who won the Class AA State Championship with a 13-0 record, looks strong again and is the favorite to repeat as Sectional Champion. Coach Gene Tundo has several quality starters returning led by QB Ben Holmes, Lineman Michael Senn, proud owner of a 400 lb. bench press and major division 1 prospect, and LB Connor Eddy providing the defensive anchor.
In Class A, Sweet Home will attempt to add to its record of defeating 50 consecutive Section VI opponents, but will have its hands full with tough matchups against North Tonawanda to open the season, and also playing on the road at McKinley in week 4, and again at Starpoint in week 7.
Williamsville South, Class A South, is the favorite to win its third consecutive league title. The Billies have recorded an 18-2 mark in the past two seasons and have one of the area's top passing combinations in QB Trent Ferguson and WR Chaquille Nettles.
Alden has won two consecutive Class B titles and will be in the hunt again as Coach Dick Diminuco looks to add to his impressive 231 win total. Led by Corey Barczykowski, Jason Bunk, Dominic Brotz and Brian Stoldt, Alden looks for a three peat. Depew, Lackawanna, and Cheektowaga will also compete for the title with Burgard to be a surprise team.
Fredonia, Cleveland Hill, and Southwestern should all compete to be the best of Class C, with the winner having the opportunity to contend for a State Title. These teams have won the last five Sectional Titles, while Southwestern holds two State Titles.
Class D will be a tossup between several teams, all of which have the ability to compete for a league and sectional title. Chautauqua Lake, who finished unbeaten in 2011 and winners of the Class DD Championship at Ralph Wilson Stadium, have been bumped up and now will compete in Class D.
For the first time in several years the MSGR Martin Association will have four teams competing for the title as Canisius, St. Joes, St. Francis, and Timon St. Jude, have the talent to succeed. The Crusaders will be led by Denzel Benton, Qadree Ollison and Ryan Hunter. The Marauders have outstanding athletes in Nigel Davis, Ilo Noble and Rod Payne, while the Red Raiders are headed by Jarrett Dolegala, Brian Melisz, Jake Dolegala, and Alex Misterman. The Tigers, who improved to 8-3 last season in Coach Charlie Comerford's first year, also have outstanding players returning in Adam DiMillo, Ryan Dougherty, Bryant Fulton, and Tom Gioia.
Players from the class of 2013 who should excel this season include: Ricky Bailey, Niagara Falls QB, Denzel Benton, Canisius WR, Corey Barczykowski, Alden RB, Edgard Berrios, South Park LB, Shaquille Brooks, Lackawanna WR/DB, Jason Bunk, Alden Lineman, Greg Crane, Williamsville South Lineman, Alec Dietsch, Clarence FB/LB, Jarrett Dolegala, St. Francis TE/LB, Ryan Dougherty, Timon St. Jude QB, Trent Ferguson, Williamsville South QB, Ian Gilhousen, North Tonawanda WR, Cortland Haines, Jamestown Lineman, Ben Holmes, Orchard Park QB, Ryan Hunter, Canisius Lineman, Marquel Jackson, Cheektowaga RB, Stephon Johnson, McKinley WR, Ryan Johnson, West Seneca East LB, Dan Lictus, Clymer Lineman, Alex Misterman, St. Francis RB, Chaquille Nettles, Williamsville South WR, Adam Noonan, Nichols RB, Ilo Noble, St. Joes DB, Nick Nocek, Fredonia Lineman, Hayden Schonert, Lancaster LB, Mike Senn, Orchard Park Lineman, Andy Smiglera, West Seneca East QB, Mike Torrillo (sp?), Sweet Home QB, Peter Trathen, Southwestern LB, Mitch Wagner, Williamsville East DB, Domenic Webster, Clarence TE/P, Zed Williams Silver Creek RB.
Underclassmen who should vie for post seasons include: Roderick Payne and Nigel Davis of St. Joes, Qadree Ollison and Ryan Richards of Canisius, K'Shawn Sistrunk, Niagara Falls, Jeremiah Bill, Hamburg, Maurice Howle, South Park, Steven Stauss, Albion, Brian Stoldt, Alden, Derrick Sekuterski, Mike Lamb, and Rodney Turner of Depew, Tanner Hoose, Southwestern, Chandler Baker, Chautauqua Lake, Brandon Thomas, Cleveland Hill, Evan Majewski, Starpoint, Cameron Smith, Lackawanna, Jake Dolegala, St. Francis, Cody Oldro, Randolph, Nick Vallone, St. Mary's, and Khalil Humphrey, Sweet Home.
- Dick Gallagher