From the Sidelines: Lancaster 7-on-7 sets upcoming season in motion
The Lancaster 7-on-7 tournament is quickly becoming one of the marquee events in the Western New York high-school football community. 18 teams from as far away as Erie, PA descended in the Legends backyard Tuesday to compete against some of the best athletes in the area.
A lot of the same teams were in attendance. They seem to find there way here year after year. Williamsville North, Orchard Park and St. Joe’s to name a few school’s with rich winning traditions prefer to seek out the best competition early and they know this is the place to be in late July in order to see where they stack up.
Last season West Seneca West began their magical run to the school’s first State title on this very field. They have a new sheriff leading their offense this time around in Liam Scheuer. The senior QB had a few familiar faces out there with him in seniors Juston Johnson, Kyle Haettich and Mike Glinski. They knocked off Williamsville North in their first round playoff match Tuesday afternoon. The Spartans were 3-0 heading into their game with the Indians.
Paul Burgio is in his second season as head coach for the Clarence Red Devils. He was hired not long before the start of 2017. “I was able to put in my off-season workout program for the kids,” Burgio said. “We had great numbers in the weight room and there is a noticeable difference in the size of our guys.” Although they didn’t finish Tuesday as well as they had hoped, they left an impression on this corner as a team with a fighting chance in Class AA.
The Orchard Park Quakers are under new leadership in Craig Dana. A longtime assistant to legendary coach Gene Tundo, Dana was named head coach last March and will assume the play calling duties. Last season OP finished 4-5 and that seemed to be fresh on the mind of quarterback Jack Sharpe. “It left a bad taste in my mouth and our team has been working really hard to prepare for this season,” Sharpe said.
Dan Troy quickly found a new home after spending last year with North Tonawanda as their head coach. Troy will be working on Rob Valenti’s staff out in Springville.
There is a reason KeShone Beal of Cheektowaga is one of the early favorites to win the Connolly Cup trophy (given to the best high-school football player) this season. He showed why early, torching Southwestern for a touchdown on his first pass of the day.
Speaking of Southwestern, QB Cole Snyder a recent Rutgers University commit hooked up with his favorite receiver Alex Card on a number of plays Tuesday. That could be the most dangerous combination in all of Class C this season.
With the loss of Casey Kelly, some thought the St. Joe’s Marauders play at quarterback could take a serious hit. I don’t think those people ever saw Micah Brown play. The junior delivered the ball with poise and accuracy all day. Brown is capable of moving the chains and should be able to fill the void.
Feature Photo Courtesy of Lancaster Legends