Don’t Sleep on South
The Williamsville South Billies football team is coming off of a Class A Chuck Funke Bowl championship in 2017.
It’s not necessarily what they set out to do this time a year ago but the accomplishment highlights the resolve of those seniors that left it all out on the field last October.
This year coach Kraig Kurzanski is more optimistic about how his team will compete after watching his team battle till the end last fall.
“They never quit,” Kurzanski said. “The guys that return, they’ll remember that and it showed during the off-season.”
The Billies had a really good turnout during off-season exercises.
“Our participation numbers were high and we had a really good start to the off-season. The team has been preparing,” Kurzanski said.
Will South said goodbye to Nick Huber, Josh Foster and Joel Penvose, three pretty big contributors.
The Billies return four starters on the offensive line so that should be one of the strengths of this year’s team.
“Our quarterback Joey Battaglia is a real tough kid, he’s athletic,” Kurzanski said. “He also pitches and is a real competitor, he pitched in some really big games already.”
Jemelle Jones returns as the tailback and is a solid downhill runner. Jones was noted as a player to watch this season after a very impressive set of scrimmages held at the school this past June. On the defensive side of the ball, Jones is a nose guard.
“We lost three sophomores last year before the season with injuries. All of them would have been up on varsity. They will all be here this year and we’re excited about that,” Kurzanski said.
Chris Heim will be a new face on the sidelines for the Billies as he takes over defensive play calling duties.
“South Park and Starpoint are going to be really tough again this year but we’re coming together. We start the year against Hutch Tech in a non-league game and then we have West Seneca East and South Park so we’ll know who we are pretty quick,” Kurzanski said.