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Football: Ready to take charge

Colonie wants Liberty Division title Shaker won last year

Devon Edwards, right, hauls in a pass during Monday’s Colonie football practice at Roessleville Elementary School. Edwards is one of several key veterans on this year’s team.

Devon Edwards, right, hauls in a pass during Monday’s Colonie football practice at Roessleville Elementary School. Edwards is one of several key veterans on this year’s team. Photo by Rob Jonas.

— The Colonie football team wants at least one thing crosstown rival Shaker had last year — the Liberty Division championship.

“Win the division. That’s the first goal,” said Colonie coach Bill Roemer. “We want to win the division so we can get a home playoff game. We saw what a home playoff can do for a team last year when we went up to Shen for a first-round game and got beat. We want to have that home playoff game this year.”

The Garnet Raiders made the Section II Class AA playoffs last year in Roemer’s first season, thanks in large part to their two-pronged running attack of Devon Edwards and Wayne Burt. The duo combined to rush for 1,547 yards and eight touchdowns in their junior seasons, and they’re looking for more as seniors.

“They’re competitive in that they both want to touch the ball 50 times (in a game), and there’s no way we can give them each 50 touches,” said Roemer.

It’s a friendly competition, though. Burt and Edwards grew up together, and they said they hang out whenever they can. They also try to bring the rest of the team into their circle of friends.

“When we got here, we thought we needed to change things around here,” said Burt. “We started to have team dinners and team workouts."

The team bonding ex-ercises worked for Colonie last year, as it finished with a 2-3 Liberty Division record. Still, Edwards said the progress wasn’t enough to change the per-ception around Class AA that Colonie was ready to become a force in the division this year.

“For me, I feel like we’re more motivated because nobody gives us any respect,” said Edwards, who led the Garnet Raiders with 1,037 all-purpose yards. “We’re a lot more senior strong this year, and we have a chip on our shoulders.”

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