Monday, July 03, 2006

EFL Press Coverage 7/2/2006

Scranton Eagles look to Mid Valley two-way star
Scranton Eagles coach Mike Woodard hopes former Mid Valley star Nick Parlanti will play a major role on both offense and defense as the season opener approaches.

The Eagles, who open their 25th Empire Football League season Saturday against the Broome County Dragons at 7:30 p.m. at Scranton Memorial Stadium, hope Parlanti can pick up where he left off last season. The 6-foot-1, 245-pounder was a star at both running back and linebacker in his first season with the club.

Parlanti, who also played at Mansfield University, and former Riverside star Bill Sandly are expected to start in backfield and will share the ball-carrying duties with Gary Visnofsky and Andre Chollette.

Woodard is optimistic about his team’s chances to improve on last year’s dismal 4-6 finish, the worst in franchise history and one of the few times the club did not make the playoffs.

One reason for his outlook is the presence of four players looking to replace retired quarterback John Kennedy.

Newcomers Deshawn Meyers of Wilkes-Barre and J.P. Antosh of Dallas are among the contenders for the starting quarterback spot, as are veterans Mike Arcure, last year’s backup, and Chollette, who played running back last season.

Kennedy, who led the Eagles to EFL and national championships during his 20-plus years under center, retired following last season, but is helping the coaching staff as preseason practice continues.

Four Hazleton products will also do their part to help bring the Eagles back to EFL supremacy.

Linebacker Jim DeJoseph and wide receiver Thad Witek are returning starters after making their EFL debuts last season. Joining them is defensive back John Brady. All three are Bishop Hafey graduates.

Like the rest of the 2005 squad, DeJoseph and Witek got a late start to the preseason because training camp started late and coach Woodard did not take the helm until just weeks before the season.

“We just pretty much showed up and played,” said DeJoseph. But not this year. I’ve been able to train all off-season.”

Brady’s preseason work in the defensive secondary has impressed Woodard, who feels Brady may have a shot at cracking the starting lineup, especially with the loss of Sterling Wade, who retired due to an injury suffered late last season.

The earlier start this year and the addition of several promising rookies, including defensive lineman Malcolm Singleton, give Woodard reason for optimism.

“We’re going to surprise a few people this year. We set goals over the offseason on areas that needed major improvements and we’ve met all our aspirations so far, especially with our pass rush,” he said.

The schedule, with all home games at Memorial Stadium:
July 8: vs. Broome County Dragons
July 15: at Ottawa Demon Deacons
July 22: at Tri-State Bulldogs, Orange County, N.Y. July 29: vs. Amsterdam (N.Y.) Zephyrs
Aug. 5: vs. Albany Metro Mallers
Aug. 19: at Broome County, Binghamton, N.Y.
Aug. 26: vs. Tri-State Bulldogs
Sept. 9: at Amsterdam (N.Y.) Zephyrs
Sept. 16: at Albany Metro Mallers
Sept. 23: vs. Watertown (N.Y.) Red & Black
Sept. 30: Playoffs
Oct. 7: Playoffs
Oct. 14: EFL championship

Contact the ©The Times-Tribune 2006
Semipro football
Published: Sunday, July 2, 2006
COLCHESTER -- The Vermont Ice Storm semiprofessional football team kicked off its season with a 21-18 non-league loss to the Seacoast (N.H.) Hawks at Colchester High School.

Failed extra-point conversions on all three touchdowns came back to haunt Vermont.

Seacoast turned the game its way when Jeff Gregoire snared an interception and rumbled 96 yards for the winning touchdown with 8:33 left on the clock. Vermont's tying field-goal attempt with three minutes remaining sailed wide left.

Vermont posted impressive statistics despite the loss. Veteran quarterback Brad Ruderman completed 20 of 38 passes for 316 yards and three touchdowns, including a pair to Austin Partain. Rob Joy reeled in nine catches for 132 yards and Troy Canada gained 77 yards and a touchdown with his seven receptions.

Defensively for the Storm, Del Randall and Pat O'Neil had sacks, Drew Gordon snagged an interception and Donny LaFleur and Chris Coppins combined for 19 tackles.
Ice Storm ready to tackle a new challenge
Published: Friday, June 30, 2006
By John A. Fantino Free Press Staff Writer

The Vermont Ice Storm will bump up to the Empire Football League this season. Head coach Doc Perez is confident the transition will be a smooth one.

"We've played preseason games the last two years with three of the teams that are going to be in our division," he said, "and we beat them all."

The Colchester-based Ice Storm are scheduled to kick off their sixth summer of semiprofessional football Saturday with a non-league game against the Seacoast (N.H.) Hawks at Colchester High School.

The following Saturday, Vermont will play host to St. Lawrence Valley in its Empire Football League debut. The EFL competes at the Triple-A level, considered the highest grade of semiprofessional football. The Storm spent the last five summers in the Double-A New England Football League.

Perez, back with the Storm after a one-year hiatus for personal reasons, is antsy to take the sideline, especially after his team's scheduled opener last Saturday was can- celed because the Monadnock Marauders lacked enough players. He's also excited about his personnel.

"We're loaded," he said. "We've done two years' worth of recruiting in one year."

The big reason is Vermont's inheritance of eight players from the defunct Green Mountain Gladiators, a Burlington-area club that disbanded last year after two seasons in the Empire Football League.

Vermont has also added a slew of young players who starred in the high school ranks last fall, Perez said, and the Storm return all but two players from last year's team that reached the NEFL semifinals.

Brad Ruderman, who will quarterback the squad for the fourth straight year, has already noticed the newcomers' impact.

"The best part of this year is all the new guys," said Ruderman, who lives in Montpelier. "They are filling in some of the holes that we needed and giving us really good depth."

Ruderman's primary target will likely be all-star receiver Troy Canada, a Buffalo, N.Y., native. Fullback Aaron Pyer of Georgia is also a dangerous weapon, while defensive back Drew Gordon of Essex anchors a sturdy defense.

"I'm excited about this season," Ruderman said. "It's already looking good."

Brian Zea, who graduated from South Burlington High School in 2003, played in the Empire Football League for Lake City Stars of Plattsburgh, N.Y., last season and the Gladiators two years ago. This summer the lineman will suit up for the Ice Storm, and he likes the team's chances in the league.

"This is my third year playing in this league and I know we can compete with all these guys," Zea said. "This is a great group of guys here. The practices have been the toughest of anyone I've played for."

Contact John A. Fantino at 651-4851 or
The Albany Metro Mallers Football Team, the defending champions of the Empire Football League, invite the members of the press to Our Annual Media Day which will be held this Thursday Night at 7:00 PM at Hoffman Park in Albany. Meet the staff, and interview the coaches and players 1 on 1 as we prepare for our 2006 home opener on Saturday evening at Union College. The 2-1 Mallers host the Rockland County Bruins of the Garden State Football League in our final tune-up before the EFL actions kicks in on July 15th.
For directions to both locations please visit our website at
We hope to see you at both events.

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