Battle Of The Undefeated; Cheektowaga And Maryvale Play For Division
The last Section VI team that the Cheektowaga Central football team lost to was their crosstown rivals, the Maryvale Flyers. Back in 2014, on week 7 of the regular season, the Flyers traveled down Union Road and defeated the Cheektowaga Warriors by a score of 35-6. That win put Maryvale into the playoffs, where they beat East Aurora/Holland 7-0, and then headed back to Cheektowaga to play the Warriors. Central, led by then Senior QB Zak Ciezki, won by a score of 26-21, despite a late fourth quarter surge from Maryvale.
Could we see a repeat of that historic night in Cheektowaga just two years ago this Friday night? It is possible. The Maryvale Flyers will travel to 3600 Union Road to take on the Cheektowaga Warriors for a 7:00 kickoff, only this time, it’s for the division.
Oh, by the way, both Cheektowaga and Maryvale are undefeated this year.
The only player currently remaining from either of those 2014 squads is now senior RB Austin Reamsnyder of Maryvale. Reamsnyder, as a matter of fact, was once a Cheektowaga Warrior until his 6th grade year when he moved to Maryvale.
Another former Warrior is junior RB/WR Dylan Casey, who played on Cheektowaga’s Modified football team for one year, before moving down the road. Casey and Reamsnyder are both unavailable for questions until after the game Friday upon request from their Head Coach Jeff Buccieri, who comments, “Having some ex-Cheektowaga players here, they know the guys pretty well and they’re friendly with the Cheektowaga players, but we’re also friendly with the coaching staff. I’m always talking to Coach Fatta and Coach Zipp, whom I consider two of the elite coaches in Western New York.”
Both Cheektowaga and Maryvale head into this rivalry matchup tied for the #1 spot in the Class B – West division, and both teams want to come out on top. From before the season, the goal of both teams was to play their best and see where it takes them. That is exactly what has happened so far, both teams having to fight through some rough come-from-behind games. Maryvale trailed Burgard/MST 20-0 after one quarter, they came back to win 28-26, while Cheektowaga trailed Iroquois 15-0 in the 3rd quarter, but the Warriors won 22-21.
As it is Cheektowaga’s last home game on the season, it will be a night dedicated to the seniors on the football team, recognizing them 30 minutes prior to the game’s beginning. For senior QB Eric Bartnik, it makes the game a little more special, “I always want to win on our field, since the first time last year, I always want to win. Having this be my last regular season home game, it’s just a little extra motivation to win.” His Central teammate Seth Conner comments, saying, “We as juniors are playing for the seniors as much as we are for ourselves. We want to give them one last undefeated season.”
Coach Buccieri and Coach Fatta agree that their opponents have respective qualities about them that make each squad a tough team to play. Coach Fatta saying, “They’re always well coached. They’ve got a young group of kids with a little more speed than usual. They throw the ball a little more this year because of the athletes they have, so we have to defend them a little differently.”
Maryvale Coach Buccieri says that Cheektowaga is a well-oiled machine. “They do an outstanding job year in and year out. Their kids are well disciplined. They’re always in the right position, but we’re excited every year to play Central. These last few years, they’ve been very exciting football games.”
Central defensive stud Trevor Darlak says that no matter what the teams records are, it’s always fun playing his rivals. “Maryvale has always been our rivalry week game. 6-0 or 0-6, it’s always a great game for sure.”
All of Section VI Class B will have their eyes on this game, as it will determine playoff matchup. Not only who wins, but by how many points. For example, if Cheektowaga beats Maryvale by more than 14 points, the Warriors claim the first seed in the playoffs and in the process bump Maryvale down to the 6th seed.
That is just one of the many hypotheticals that can be drawn up over this game, but Cheektowaga Coach Fatta says that none of that is on his mind right now. “Those things will work themselves out. We play our best and that’s all we ask. It will all sort itself out either way. You’re gonna have to play those teams at some point anyway if you keep winning, so it doesn’t matter when you play them.”
Kickoff between the Flyers and Warriors is at 7:00 on Friday October 14th, following the Senior Night festivities. Tickets are $1 for students/ $2 for adults at the gates.