Saturday, August 12, 2006

EFL Pre Game Press Coverage August 12

Ti's Geiser gains from experience

Staff Writer

August 12, 2006

PLATTSBURGH — Heath Geiser is one of many ball-handlers in the Lake City Stars backfield, but once he turns the corner, there might not be another back quicker.

Geiser, a 1999 graduate of Ticonderoga, didn't have a lot of team success as a Sentinel. In his senior season, Ticonderoga went 2-7 and in another crowded backfield, he carried the ball 45 times for 175 yards.

The Stars' system, however, seems to fit Geiser as already this season in 34 carries he has 223 yards — good for second on the team.

"The competition is a lot more fierce here," Geiser said. "I played two years at (SUNY) Canton and that was a big wake up call for me. Going from such a small school where we had 27 come out for the team to Canton where there was 122; that was a big surprise to me.

"The speed of some of the guys in this league is just outrageous."

Geiser was named captain of the squad for the third consecutive season, joining fellow players Nick Moore, Mike Lawyer and Mike Archer.

"I like having the responsibility," Geiser said. "I am basically in charge of getting guys fired up and taking charge out on the field. I also help the coaching staff out in getting things and players organized."

Geiser's most memorable moment for the Stars' team comes as no surprise.

"Beating Watertown in Watertown has to be the most memorable so far.

"(Individually), I'd say either against Broome County in the playoffs where I was able to score three touchdowns or against Montreal where I had my most yards rushing in one game of 172."

Geiser's main reason for coming back to play for the Stars each season is pretty simple.

"I love the guys and I love football," Geiser said. "This is a good organization to play for and I come back for the same reason as everyone else — to win a championship."

Looking forward, Geiser likes his team chances in the 2006 Empire Football League season.

"We had a tough loss to Vermont," Geiser said. "But, that was a good learning experience. We can't think we are going to be able to walk through this season, we are going to have to work hard. The teams in this league can play and that's what we are going to have to do — just play football.

"I don't see why we can't have a bye in the first round. I would love to host the Northern Division championship game here as well as the Empire Football League championship. That's our goal."


Saturday August 12, 2006
Dragons hope to end two-game losing streak against Tri-State

From staff reports
Losing two straight Empire Football League games has left the once undefeated Broome County Dragons with a .500 record.

The Dragons hope to snap the skid against the Tri-State Bulldogs at 7:30 tonight in a Southern Division match up at Alumni Stadium in Binghamton.

Last week, Steve Tammariello was unsuccessful in two field goal attempts in the last two minutes of regulation as the Amsterdam Zephyrs prevailed in overtime 13-10 over the Dragons. Quarterback Ty Fish was 20-for-40 with a touchdown.

The Bulldogs (3-2) come to Broome County featuring quarterback Andre McCloud. In a 44-31 loss to the Watertown Red & Black last week, McCloud ran for 86 yards and passed for 179, including three passing touchdowns.

With a victory, the Dragons will be second in the division behind undefeated Albany.

"It's a must-win for us just as it is for Tri-State," said Broome County coach Thomas Manny. "We're in one tough division."
© 2005 Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

Zephyrs entertain Mallers at Lynch
Recorder Sports Staff

Amsterdam Zephyrs head coach Dom Ruggeri will find out how far his team has come along this season when it entertains the unbeaten Albany Metro Mallers in an Empire Football League game at Lynch Middle School field at 7:30 tonight.

The Mallers, who carry an arsenal of weapons, lead the Southern Division race with a 4-0 record while the Tri-State Bulldogs are 3-2 followed by Broome County 2-2, Zephyrs 2-3 and Scranton 1-3-1.

Ironically, the Zephyrs just picked up Gabe Young, who played for the Mallers as a wide receiver/defensive back. The Mallers gave Young his release to play for Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is coming off an emotional 13-10 overtime win against Broome County, thanks to a 33-yard field goal by Alvaro Montes.

"Our players know they have to beat big brother (Mallers). They are really looking forward to the challenge. I got film on them (Mallers). They have speed at receiving and a passing game. We have to play well and not give up the big play. They're also deep at running back," said Ruggeri.

Eric Johnson will start at quarterback again for the Zephyrs and have Penta Thomas and Ken Hudson in the backfield.

The Zephyrs didn't waste any time using the talents of Young who will play cornerback against his former team.

Johnson will have wide receiver Charlie Castro (seven catches, 134 yards, two TDs) as a primary target.

The Zephyrs will play without back Tim Stewart, and linemen Brian Thompson and Bob Van Hoesen while middle linebacker John Sausville is injured but will see action.

"I'm not worried about our run defense. It's not going to be easy to stop (quarterback Scott) Lawson. He's smart and can throw the ball. We've put in a couple of different packages and our front line has to put pressure on him," said Ruggeri.

The Mallers have scored 130 points and given up only 56 while Amsterdam's point total reads, 53 for and 120 against.

Lawson has completed 59-of-86 passes for 985 yards, eight touchdowns and two interceptions. His counterpart, Johnson is 31-of-106 for 473 yards, five touchdowns and seven interceptions.

The Mallers come at opponents both ways, running and passing. Running back Sylvester Cooperwood, last year's EFL top offensive player, is the leading rusher with 410 yards on 64 carries (6.4 average) and four scores.

Tailback Julius Irving compliments Cooperwood carrying 13 times for 69 yards and three touchdowns.

If the Mallers' running game isn't producing, the aerial attack will get the call. Wideout Culture Branch is the league's top receiver with 362 yards on 21 catches and five touchdowns (six overall) and teammate Maceo Clinton is fifth at 16-344 (21.5 average) and then John Mulinio ninth at 16-235 (14.7 average).

"We do have a lot of talent. Our offense is probably 50-50 (run and pass), it depends on the situation. We do have capabilities of doing both. I'm fortunate to have a talented team," said Mallers head coach Luke Posniewski.

The Mallers also employ a tough defensive unit led by middle linebacker Greg "Woody" Woodward, a two-time EFL player of the year on that side of the ball.

"It was a tremendous win for us last week. They're (Mallers) going to score. If they get ahead quick, we will just have to claw our way back. We have nothing to lose. We're the youngster on the block," said Ruggeri.

Ruggeri has seen improvement from the players every week and hopes for a stellar performance against a powerful Mallers team.

"We're getting more confidence every week. We can play, we can do this. We had two good practices this week," he said.

The Zephyrs defense is spearheaded by end Rick Hulett, who leads the EFL in sacks with five.

"He's always giving us 200 per cent every game. He's on a mission. He has something to prove and will be geared up for this one," said Ruggeri.

Ruggeri feels if the Zephyrs can keep it close for three quarters, it can always rely on the talents of kicker Montes.

"It's going to be fun. Our defense is going to match up. I'm happier with our offense. Give the credit to our coaches Mike Finocchi, Joe Hall and Dave Nicosia. They've been working hard on that side of the ball," said Ruggeri.

Posniewski knows the Zephyrs are coming off a big win over Broome County and will be fired up tonight.

"A couple of years ago, they weren't good at all. I see they have a good run-defense. You don't let a team like this hang around. We do have our talent, it's not in the bag. I'm looking for a complete game. We haven't played to our potential. I'd like to see all aspects work. The Zephyrs have to step it up. I don't think their offense is there yet. We might have too much firepower for their defense. They may be on the field too long," said Posniewski.

Zephyrs, Colonials at home tonight
By BILL CAIN, The Leader-Herald
A pair of big challenges loom for the local semi-professional football teams tonight.

In Amsterdam, the Zephyrs (2-3) of the Empire Football League host the league-leading Albany Metro Mallers (4-0). The rivalry between the two teams started a few years ago, Zephyrs’ coach Dom Ruggeri said, and this should be “a war.” A win would pull the Zephyrs closer to the playoffs and silence some of the talk that Ruggeri said has been flowing back and forth between the two sides.

There is a little shake up in the schedule for the New York Amateur Football League, as the Glove Cities Colonials (0-5) host Northern Tier (0-5) tonight instead of travelling to Pennsylvania for the game. Flooded fields caused the reorganization of the game, which will now be played at Knox Field at a reduced price. Fit Happens Fitness Center is sponsoring the game, which means half-priced adult admission ($3). Children over 12 pay $2. The two winless teams will battle to see who can climb out of their shared cellar and back into the win column.
Amsterdam Zephyrs vs. Albany Metro Mallers, 7:30 p.m.
Ruggeri is hoping that little brother can smack big brother in the mouth tonight as the Zephyrs meet the undefeated Albany team.

“I got the guys together after practice Monday night and told them this is classic Big Brother against Little Brother,” Ruggeri said. “Sometimes Little Brother can get his licks in and win one and that’s what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to execute and take our shots when we get them.”

The league’s top-rated quarterback, Albany’s Scott Lawson, will be tough to stop for the Zephyrs’ secondary, which has proved unreliable much of the season. Lawson has thrown for eight touchdowns in four games and only thrown two interceptions. He has completed 68.6 percent of his passes and has a handful of talented receivers to choose from.

Culture Branch leads the league in receptions with 21 for 362 yards and has caught five touchdown passes. Maceo Clinton and John Mulino have both caught 16 passes and are scoring threats. To keep Lawson from finding these receivers, Amsterdam will try to lay him out on every play.

“I’ve changed some things up in the secondary with our coverages,” Ruggeri said. “We know they have very good receivers and their quarterback is very good at picking apart a secondary if you give him time to throw the ball. The key is that we’re not going to give him time. We’re going to go after him. We have to get to him and get to him early. Every play, somebody has to hit him.”

That means a lot of action for defensive end Rick Hulett and defensive tackle Aaron Robinson, touted by Ruggeri as two of the best linemen in the league. Hulett has five sacks this season and Robinson has two so far.

But the Zephyrs will be without another defensive tackle, Brian Thompson, who is out for the season with a torn bicep. Thompson underwent surgery Wednesday.

That hole may catch the eye of the top running back in the league, Albany’s Sylvester Cooperwood, who averages 6.4 yards per carry and has 410 yards on the ground this season. But he will still be running up against the top rush defense in the league.

“Our rush defense hasn’t been a problem, but we’re up against a back now that not only has speed, he’s got size,” Ruggeri said. “It’s going to be very interesting to see how they use him against us, knowing how well our defense plays against the run.”

If Albany has success on the ground or through the air, they are capable of putting up a lot of points. If that happens, Ruggeri said his players will just have to go punch for punch with big brother.

“If they have success through the air, we have to match them,” he said. “We have some young receivers with good hands and good speed that can get out there and make some big plays, too. The key is going to be controlling their linebackers. That’s their strength on defense. When they blitz, they’re very fast and they’re good tacklers. We have to control their blitz and keep them honest.” Local News for Northern New York's Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Vermont Ice Storm at Watertown Red and Black

When, where: 7:30 p.m., today, Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.

Records: Watertown (3-1); Vermont (4-1).

Head coaches: Watertown, George Ashcraft; Vermont, Doug Perez.

Last meeting: Watertown won 58-7 (exhibition) on July 14, 2001.

NOTES: The Ice Storm currently sits atop the Northern Division — a half-game ahead of the Red and Black. ... Watertown is coming off a big win over the Tri-State Bulldogs. ... Watertown QB Doug Black threw for 321 yards and three touchdowns last week. ... Watertown's secondary faces a stiff challenge as Vermont QB Brad Ruderman leads the EFL in passing yards (1,071) and touchdowns (11). WR Austin Partain tops in the league in receiving yards (422) and ranks second in receptions (19). ... Since its Week 1 loss, Watertown has scored 35.6 points per game.           

Ottawa Deacon Demons at St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers

When, where: 7:30 p.m., today; Sandstoner Park, Potsdam.

Records: Ottawa (0-3-1); St. Lawrence Valley (0-5).

Coaches: Ottawa, Jim Brunton; St. Lawrence Valley, Mike Britton.

Last meeting: Ottawa won 51-14 on Sept. 24.

NOTES: The Deacon Demons are coming off a bye week. Ottawa lost to Lake City, 21-0, two weeks ago. ... Trailblazers linebacker Cheyenne Dashnaw recorded three tackles in a 41-3 loss to Chateaugay last week. Dashnaw is still recovering from a knee contusion, but Britton believes any production from the team's leading tackler the past four seasons will aid the squad. ... Shawn Harkes is one of the EFL's top rushers. He's totaled 300 yards, averaging 5.3 yards per carry. ... Linebacker James Moore is St. Lawrence Valley's top tackler this season. He's racked up 30 tackles, seventh-best in the league. ... Trailblazers quarterback Dave Currier will need to keep his eyes on Ottawa's Flocco Filipo. Filipo has intercepted a league-high four passes this season.

Play ball
The Scranton Eagles season opener in the Empire Football League a few weeks back proved a true family affair for the Kristellers of Shavertown.

Before defensive lineman Ted Kristeller took the field, his 7-year-old daughter, Alyssa, captured the limelight with her first public rendition of the national anthem.

Alyssa recently completed first grade at Lake-Lehman Elementary School, where one of her accomplishments was learning the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner.” For her debut, she wore a blue-and-white Eagles cheerleader uniform, prompting Dad to remark, “Now we have to find some red pom-pons so she’ll have the red, white and blue team colors.”

Ted and Judy Kristeller and their other children, Alex and Jacob, all are hoping to hear Alyssa do encores at upcoming home games.

Macy's Supports Empire Football League
Macy's is sponsoring a one-day shopping event on Saturday, Sept. 16, to benefit non-profit organizations. Buy an all-day shopping pass from the Empire Football League for just $5 and use it to save 20 percent in most departments at Macy's locations across the country.

(PRWEB) August 12, 2006 -- Macy's is sponsoring a one-day shopping event on Saturday, Sept. 16, to benefit non-profit organizations. Buy an all-day shopping pass from the Empire Football League for just $5 and use it to save 20 percent in most departments at Macy's locations across the country.

The Shop for a Cause savings pass also includes an additional $10 off of every $50 purchase and the Empire Football League keeps 100 percent of the donation. Passes can also be purchased through the mail by sending a check (payable to Empire Football League) to AFA, PO Box 2041, Binghamton, NY 13901or by emailing e-mail .

This is an exclusive shopping event for non-profit organizations and Macy's has generously offered this event to help support the Empire Football League.

For information visit or contact the Empire Football League at 877-381-6071.

The Empire Football League is an amateur football organization based in Upstate New York To provide a football league that fosters and facilitates amateur tackle football training and competitions regionally, nationally, and internationally. It’s objective is to support the growth of amateur football regionally, nationally, and internationally and to train, educate, and promote football players who desire to play on regional, national, and international football teams.

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