Ron Moshier - Sports

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ron Moshier: NH's Carcone a gritty throwback

No matter what side of Chiz Frye Field you were standing on, no matter who you were cheering for, you had to be impressed with New Hartford running back Joey Carcone.


If you were not, you most certainly should have been.


All Carcone did in that heartbreaking, 22-21 overtime loss to Whitesboro, was carry the football 33 times for 178 yards – none of them came easy, by the way – and score three touchdowns. More than that, though, was the way he played the game, with a genuine passion not seen in every kid these days.


He’s a throwback, if you will, a gritty, old school tailback who obviously has fun playing the game, and uses it to his advantage. He’s listed at 5-8, 180 pounds, but who really cares? This kid plays the game with his heart, the way it was meant to be played.


Friend or foe, that should make Joey Carcone a winner in anybody’s book.   

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ron Moshier: NH-Whitesboro not the only marquee matchup

Week 3 of the area high school football season may feature Friday night’s Class A National Division showdown between New Hartford and Whitesboro at Chiz Frye Field, but it certainly isn’t the only game worth watching this weekend.


Friday night at Oneida High School, the Indians, 2-0 and No. 4 in the first state rankings of the season, hosts Holland Patent (1-1) in a Class B East opener that could ultimately decide who wins that league title. Oneida has steamrolled to back-to-back wins, outscoring teams 97-20. Holland Patent lost its opener to state-ranked No. 19 Marcellus 23-21, but Dan Fruscella led the Golden Knights to last week’s 29-22 win over Skaneateles.


At the Class AA level, Rome Free Academy is 2-0, ranked No. 22 in the state, and hosting Central Square (0-2) in its AA-2 opener Friday night. Thomas R. Proctor, 0-2 after last week’s 21-18 loss to RFA, opens its AA-1 season with a trip to Cicero-North Syracuse (2-0) Friday night.


Also Friday night, Frankfort-Schuyler (2-0) hosts Mohawk Valley rival Herkimer (1-1) in a Class C East matchup of two teams coming off big wins. Frankfort beat Little Falls 22-13 and Herkimer beat Adirondack 25-18.


In Class C North, South Lewis (2-0) travels to state-ranked No. 17 Thousand Islands (2-0) on Friday night.


Notre Dame High School, 2-0 and ranked No. 13 in the state, hosts Class D East rival Waterville (1-1) in another key Friday night matchup.


Saturday’s local schedule features a Class D East game at Dolgeville, where the Blue Devils, 2-0 and No. 9 in the state, host Oriskany (2-0) at 1:30 p.m.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mohawk cornerback takes high road

His football team didn’t win the game, and he thought it was his fault.


Hopefully, Hunter Watkins has been convinced by now that it wasn’t.


Who’s Hunter Watkins? If you don’t know, you should. He’s the sophomore cornerback from Mohawk Central who had Dolgeville receiver Alex Snyder covered like a glove when Snyder, gaining last-second separation without getting flagged for it, made a diving catch in the end zone.


Watkins obviously wanted an offensive pass interference penalty called on Snyder, but he didn’t argue and he didn’t complain when a flag wasn’t thrown. To Watkins’ credit, he did nothing wrong before, during, or after the play that ultimately was the difference in Dolgeville’s 12-7 win over the Mohicans.


To Watkins’ credit, there was no crying foul when asked what he thought of the no-call. Instead, a sophomore feeling “I let down my team” in his very first varsity football game took the high road.


Win or lose, that kind of sportsmanlike conduct deserves an honorable mention. (And no, Hunter Watkins, you did not let down your football team. You did them proud.)


Friday, September 5, 2008

A Whitesboro football star is born?

Don’t know who this Jordan Smith guy is, but it’s a good bet Class A National Division football teams are going to find out.


Whitesboro quarterback Junior Woodard certainly was impressive in the Warriors’ season-opening, 41-27 loss to Class AA rival Rome Free Academy. That was no surprise. But Jordan Smith?


He may have been too far down last year’s depth chart to raise many eyebrows as a junior, but the 5-foot-7, 155-pound Smith had an eye-catching, not to mention eventful, opening night at RFA Stadium.


The muffed punt can be excused. So can that 4th-and-8 pass that RFA’s Marco Dominic snatched away from him and teammate Chris Gibbs.


The speedy Smith was dazzling, to say the least, as a kick returner and pass receiver. He returned five kickoffs 192 yards, including a 90-yard touchdown, and he had five receptions for 106 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown.


If this was a preview of things to come, stay tuned. It should be fun to watch. Whitesboro’s Warriors may be known for their smash-mouth ways. But now, they’ve got a couple of shifty, big-play backs who will give Class A teams fits this season, especially in games played on artificial turf.




Wednesday, September 3, 2008

High school football's dream team?

Area high school football teams are ready to tee it up and play for real.


Just for the fantasy football fun of it, though, who might be the top picks if – for entertainment purposes only, of course – we were to hold an O-D All-Mohawk Valley High School Fantasy Football League draft?


QUARTERBACK: Oneida’s Ryan Kramer. This will be his third season calling signals for a wide-open, spread offense loaded with other proven weapons. Kramer’s thrown for over 2,500 yards and 24 touchdowns over the last two seasons, so give him the edge over two other seniors, New Hartford’s Mike Doyle and Thomas R. Proctor’s Kelly Olney. Doyle passed for 1,420 yards and 18 touchdowns last season, but prime target Mike Kelly, an all-state end, is among several Spartan receivers who were lost to graduation.


RUNNING BACK: Adirondack’s Scott Dunlap and Dolgeville’s Clay Ardoin. While sharing the load with QB-TB Cody Hitt (1,210 yards and 13 TDs) and FB Cody Spann (912 yards, 11 TDs), Dunlap still managed to rush for 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior. Now, he’ll be the Wildcats’ go-to guy, and he’s built for their smash-mouth ways. Ardoin only carried the ball 74 times last season, largely because the Blue Devils won six games by at least 35 points. He still averaged nearly eight yards per carry and scored 15 touchdowns, 10 on the ground, three as a receiver, and two more on interception returns. The area’s top returning rusher is Frankfort-Schuyler workhorse Jordan Lints (1,301 yards on 205 carries), but he ran for only seven touchdowns and the Maroon Knights have moved up to Class C.


RECEIVER: Rome Free Academy’s Marco Dominic and Herkimer’s J.J. Crandall. As a junior, Dominic caught 25 passes for 476 yards and eight touchdowns last year. Crandall, whose older brother Kyle is an Ithaca College receiver and former Herkimer High star, had 25 receptions for 267 yards and nine touchdowns. Proctor’s D.J. Pearson would be a high pick, too, after catching 25 passes for 313 yards and three touchdowns as a junior. Camden’s Kyle Conniff, who caught 27 passes last year, would be another consideration.


TIGHT END: Oneida’s Brandon Miles and RFA’s Corey White. Miles had 27 receptions for 558 yards and six touchdowns, and those numbers could be even better this season. White, often used as an “H-back” at RFA, had 26 catches for 262 yards and one touchdown last year.


KICKER: In “real” fantasy football, he’d be your last pick. Same here. Just for kicks, though, let’s go with Holland Patent’s Adam Santamour and Sauquoit Valley’s Devyn Hollenbeck, the latter if only because he was 7-for-7 in PAT attempts in last year’s 71-49 loss to Adirondack.


DEFENSE: Whitesboro (with veterans Matt Tutino and Sean Wlock at linebacker), Dolgeville (with Doug Gray at defensive end and Ardoin and Andy Johnston at linebacker) and Notre Dame (with Kevin Collins and Caden Romeo at linebacker and Luke Manolescu at safety).