Stevens: Anticipation already builds toward football season

Stevens: Anticipation already builds toward football season

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Stevens: Anticipation already builds toward football season

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Not too soon for a peek ahead to football season, right?

High school openers are scheduled to be played the first weekend of September, which means the beginning of state championship defense for two Broome County programs. In fact those two, Chenango Forks and Maine-Endwell, are to collide Oct. 11 at M-E. That Week 6 encounter will mark the first clash between the Blue Devils and Spartans since September 2007.

Last December in the Carrier Dome, Forks and M-E were part of a spectacular five-hour stretch of state-championship football in the Carrier Dome. The Blue Devils’ 28-27 win over Rye Neck for the Class C title was followed by M-E’s 22-21 victory over Schalmont for Class B supremacy.

M-E has won 38 consecutive games. Forks has logged a 50-7 record from 2009 to the present.

Last time the two met, Forks was a 21-0 winner to open a 12-1 season that concluded with a loss to Rye in the 2007 Class B state final. The 2006 season began with the Blue Devils slipping past M-E by 19-16 on a last-second field goal.

Those two programs will be part of a few other 2014 games to keep an eye on:

* Sept. 6: The Spartans visit Union-Endicott for another battle of reigning Section 4 champions. The two did not play last fall, but remember the last Spartans-Tigers get together? Week 8 of the 2012 season brought M-E a 28-7 home-field win in a contest halted by officials with 22 seconds to play when a nasty melee broke out.

* Sept. 13: Tioga’s three-time defending Section 4 Class D champions head to Chenango Forks. In Week 2 of last season, the Tigers were 7-0 winners on the strength of Grade-A defense and sophomore Jesse Manuel’s 3-yard touchdown rush with 2 1-2 minutes remaining. Smart money is on Forks exceeding the 95 yards of offense it gained in that contest.

* Oct. 25: Chenango Forks visits Chenango Valley for renewal of a rivalry no one was certain would come about before voters squelched a proposed merger of the districts in December. But the Warriors will have another crack at halting a losing streak that reached 20 games with the Blue Devils’ 55-20 romp last October.

Also on the Week 8 schedule is M-E’s visit to Elmira, the Spartans’ third of three regular-season games against defending sectional champions.

Bullock coaching in Fla.

Ben Bullock, an all-state defensive end who was a member of Maine-Endwell’s Class of ’99, has been named head football coach at Mount Dora High in Central Florida, about a half-hour drive from Orlando.

The Hurricanes’ defensive coordinator the past two seasons, Bullock succeeds Chad Grabowski, who vacated the positions after five seasons in which the program generated a 33-20 record.

Bullock previously served as defensive coordinator at Hartwick College after a five-season stint on the staff of SUNY-Brockport.

Mount Dora athletic director Ed Thompson told the Orlando Sentinel: “He has demonstrated great organizational skills. He pays great attention to the details. He is a very good teacher and, in my opinion, the best teachers also end up being the best coaches. … The kids believe in him. He’s an impressive person. I think Mount Dora is fortunate to have the opportunity to hire him.”

CTK prevails — again

Queens basketball heavyweight Christ The King on Saturday made it three consecutive victories over Long Island Lutheran — middle of the trio claimed in Binghamton.

The Royals repeated as Class AA State Federation champions with a 58-52 win over Long Island Lutheran, same opponent the Royals defeated for the 2013 Federation title. Christ The King trailed by 14 in the second quarter.

Last December, Christ The King came from 16 down to defeat LuHi 56-53 to conclude the Mirabito STOP-DWI Holiday Classic at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.

Boogie-Oogie-Oogie

Long Island Lutheran’s girls claimed the Federation championship following the lead of a young lady familiar to numerous followers of basketball hereabouts.

The Crusaders defeated Ossining in the title game, 63-57, with tournament MVP Lauren “Boogie” Brozoski scoring 18 points. The Crusaders completed a 23-2 season as Class AA champions, one year after claiming the Class A title.

Brozoski, a 5-foot-5 junior who has committed to attend the University of Michigan, was last season’s Class A state Player of the Year, and as a freshman was first-team all-state in Class B. Last August in Johnson City, she hit up the local team for 32 points in a 12-point win as part of the BCANY Summer Hoops Festival. …

Syracuse Westhill’s boys polished off a 27-0 season with a 65-46 victory against Regis High School of Manhattan for the Class B Federation championship. Junior guard Jordan Roland was named MVP upon completion of a 30-point game. Norwich took Westhill to overtime in the NYSPHSAA quarterfinals. …

In the Class B girls final, Emily Durr scored 27 points as Utica Notre Dame smacked Staten Island Academy 67-39 for the championship.

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