The Voorheesville football team fans will see at its home opener Saturday, Sept. 5, is not the same one they saw last year.
Many of the key contributors to last year’s Central Division championship team have graduated, leaving a number of positions to be filled by a talented junior class.
“My goal is to finish on top of the division again,” said Voorheesville coach Joe Sapienza. “I think the teams we’re going to play are going to underestimate us, and I think our inexperience is going to be overcome by the talent we have.”
Sapienza said he has been especially impressed with how far junior quarterback Ryan Daly has progressed in the preseason. Daly appeared cool, calm and collected in guiding the Blackbirds’ offense during two-minute drills in practice Wednesday, Aug. 26.
For his part, Daly said he’s thankful to be the starter this season, following the graduation of Robert Denman.
“You can’t replace Denman. He’s got the speed and the strength,” said Daly. “I’m just going to do my best out there with the offense coach (Sapienza) gives me.”
Besides Daly, the offensive backfield will feature running backs Dalton Esposito and Shawn Morin. Daly’s primary receiving targets include Alex Giordano and Christian Tomlin.
Helping the offense along is a veteran line featuring senior Justin Burke and junior Patrick Foley.
“Our offensive line is one of our biggest strengths because not only am I getting the time to go through all my (receiver) reads, but Dalton (Esposito), our running back, is getting two or three holes to run through every time,” said Daly.
Sapienza said he feels confident using any combination of offensive linemen on his 23-man roster.
“Another plus is we have depth on the offensive line. I think we have eight guys who can go in there and get the job done for us,” said Sapienza.
Voorheesville hosts Holy Trinity – the combined team from Saratoga Catholic, Catholic Central of Troy and Bishop Gibbons of Schenectady – to start the season. The Blackbirds visit Stillwater in Week 2 before getting a bye week after Cairo-Durham decided to drop varsity football this year.
Associate editor/sports editor