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Class B football preview: Schalmont shuffles the lineup for 2012

Willis moves under center for three-time defending Sectional champions

The three-time defending Section II Class B champion Schalmont Sabres graduated several starters from last year’s team, but they have a core to build around including, from left, Devon Willis, Jesse Ross, Chas Higgins and Kyle Binkley. The Sabres begin their season Friday against Glens Falls in Rotterdam.

The three-time defending Section II Class B champion Schalmont Sabres graduated several starters from last year’s team, but they have a core to build around including, from left, Devon Willis, Jesse Ross, Chas Higgins and Kyle Binkley. The Sabres begin their season Friday against Glens Falls in Rotterdam. Photo by Rob Jonas.

Here is a look at two contenders for this year's Section II Class B football title -- three-time defending champion Schalmont and Reinfurt Division power Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk.

Schalmont Sabres

League: West Division

Head coach: Joe Whipple

Key veterans: Devon Willis (junior QB/DB), Kyle Binkley (senior WR/LB), Nick Gallo (sophomore RB/LB), Chas Higgins (senior WR/CB), Jesse Ross (senior OT/DT), Mike Famolaro (senior OT/DT)

Outlook: Just like he did three years ago with Vincent Gallo, Whipple has converted his leading rusher (Willis) into a quarterback. That doesn’t mean Willis won’t be running this season. “He’s just moving up two yards and putting his hands out. That’s all he’s doing,” said Whipple.

Schalmont faces a larger Class B field — one that includes former Class A powers Lansingburgh and Glens Falls. “Two very good teams are coming down (to Class B),” said Whipple.

Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Indians

League: Reinfurt Division

Head coach: Gary VanDerzee

Key veterans: Conner Zeoli (senior QB/DB), Dylan Keyer (senior FB/LB), Brandon Williams (senior OL/DE), Alex Soutiere (senior OL/DL), Nick Vasto (senior WR/DB)

Outlook: The additions of Lansingburgh and Glens Falls in Class B makes the task of winning the Section II title harder, but VanDerzee said he likes his team. “We’ve got a good blend of youth and experience,” said VanDerzee.

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