By Ray Gallagher
Examiner Sports Editor @Directrays
Here’s a grid poll that features only programs covered in the Examiner region.
No. 1 SOMERS — With 356 career wins after shutting out Brewster, 28-0, Tusker boss Tony DeMatteo (2-0 this season) is now nine wins shy of becoming NYS’s all-time leader. His worth at Somers — where they eat, breath and sleep football since his arrival in 2000 — cannot be overstated.
No. 2 CARMEL — A lot to like about this junior-heavy Class AA Rams (2-0) unit, which dominated Arlington in every phase of football in a 34-7 win. Despite reaching the sectional finals last year, this is “The Surprise” team of the season out of the gate. Juniors QB Kevin Dall, RB Josh Massi and WR Andrew Fiore, plus sophomore RB Nicholas Rosaforte provide at least four serious playmakers for a play-caller like Coach Todd Cayea, who loves to dial up and design.
No. 3 BYRAM HILLS — This thick, pounding 1-2 combo of 190-pound QB/DB Hayden Fruhling (98 yards, a TD and a pair of picks) and 200-pound RB/LB Matt Weiler (150 rushing yards, TD) is an imposing Bobcat (2-0) duo that simply wears opponents down, including Hen Hud, a 21-0 loser. COVID might be keeping Coach Carp’s Bobcats from challenging for a NYS Class B crown, what woulda been the first in school history #CovidBlows.
No. 4 BREWSTER — When you hold Somers stud RB Jack Kaiser to 63 yards and one score on 19 carries, you’ve done a heck of a job, but the Class A Bears (1-1) didn’t have the weaponry or experience the Tuskers did in a 28-0 setback. That said, Coach Mulvihill’s Bears are better than you think and the Week 3 showdown with Clarkstown South might just prove it.
No. 5 YORKTOWN — Class A Huskers (1-1) may be down — by their lofty standards — but this is still Yorktown we’re talking about and nothing Lakeland could do was going to change that in Huskers’ 21-7 win over visiting Hornets. Congrats to Coach Pantelis Ypsilantis on his first W!
No. 6 PLEASANTVILLE — Other schools their size seem to have peaks and valleys of excellence and mediocrity, but Coach Tony Becerra’s Panthers (2-0) are always among the upper crust of Class B football. With 26 league titles since 1949 and nine sectional jewels since 1973, Parkway Field has a lit and legendary tradition, and 2021 looks much the same for the 2017 state champs. That said, two big league tests loom ahead, including Hen Hud in Week 3 and a Week 4 showdown with Byram Hills, which could ultimately decide the No.1 post-season seed.
No. 7 MAHOPAC — Class A Indians (0-1) didn’t play but somehow got caught up in the Clarkstown/Spring Valley debacle, which was tough on many levels, but ‘Pac Coach Dom DeMatteo — who advocated on behalf of every kid in NYS for a season — can’t catch a bad rap for trying to schedule ANY game amidst these circumstances.
No. 8 LAKELAND — This was supposed to be the year Class A Lakeland took down Yorktown, but in the legendary words of former Yorktown Coach Ron Santavicca, the two-time state champ, “We Own This Town”. Lakeland is making strides this season, but the 21-7 loss to Yorktown is an emotional setback they’ll need to bounce back from.
No. 9 HEN HUD — Coach John ‘Big Cat’ Catano’s Class B Sailors (1-1) were right there with Byram Hills for 3+ quarters (down 7-0), so while the scoreboard said 21-0 at game’s end, it was anything but a blowout. Sailors have another heavy lift ahead of them Saturday at P’Ville.
No. 10 FOX LANE — Coach Broggy’s Class AA Foxes (0-2) gave John Jay East Fishkill all they could handle in an 8-7 setback Friday, and his defense took the 51 points Carmel put up in Week 1 personally and made an important statement in a losing effort.
HM WESTLAKE — Class B Wildcats are on a pause but there’s too much history to ignore here.