Saturday, August 26, 2006

EFL Pre Game Press Coverage August 26th

Colonials host CNY Express; Zephyrs have week off

By BILL CAIN, The Leader-Herald

One week ago, both area semi-professional football teams traveled poorly and both lost. Now, it’s time to recover and get back at it.

For the Amsterdam Zephyrs, that recovery time is a little longer as they have tonight and next Saturday off. For the Glove Cities Colonials, it’s time to rally the troops for a meeting with the visiting CNY Express.

Last week, just 13 players showed up at the Southern Tier game, but with low numbers, the Colonials managed to put a good number up on the scoreboard.
Amsterdam Zephyrs (2-5) bye
The Empire Football League’s Zephyrs enjoy a bye week tonight before the entire league has next weekend off. That gives Amsterdam two weeks off to lick their wounds before going back into the fray.

Last week, the Zephyrs lost 38-0 to the Tri-State Bulldogs. Like the Colonials, they had a short roster, Amsterdam coach Dom Ruggeri said, as they traveled with just 26 players.

“We were missing four starters on offense and five on defense,” he said. “I suited up and I haven’t played in 10 years. I had to go in a few plays here and there just to spell a few guys.”

The Zephyrs desperately need the break, Ruggeri said, as they prepare for their last shot at making the post-season. To make the playoffs, Amsterdam has to beat St. Lawrence (0-7) after the break and Broome County (4-2) the following week. Both are teams Amsterdam has already beaten. If the Zephyrs beat Albany (6-0) in their final game of the season, they will be in better position still.

Local sporting events to be televised
PLATTSBURGH — The following sports events will be televised by the North Country Cable Network on Charter Communications public-access channel (Channel 15).

Friday- 1 p.m., 6 p.m. and midnight, Empire Football League, Chateauguay Titans at Lake City Stars, with Bryan Benway, play-by-play.

Saturday and Sunday- replay of Friday's schedule.
Wednesday, Aug. 30- 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 9 p.m., 1993 Empire Football League, Montreal Condors at Plattsburgh North Stars.
Keleher powers ground game

Staff Writer

August 26, 2006

PLATTSBURGH — Brandon Keleher has played in his share of big games.

Keleher holds both the Peru rushing record and the single-season touchdown record for the Champlain Valley Athletic Conference.

In 2002, Keleher was the starting tailback for the state-champion Indians team that knocked off Chenango Forks, 14-7. Keleher rushed for 1,051 yards and 20 touchdowns that season.

With that type of success under his belt, one might think that stats are a priority for Keleher. But there's only one stat he's focused on.

"I am mostly concerned that we get a win each and every week," Keleher said. "I mean we aren't getting paid for this. The only thing we have going for us is our pride and getting that victory."

Keleher leads the Stars with five rushing touchdowns and 331 yards on the ground this season. He is also tied with three of his fellow running backs with a 6.6 yards-per-carry average.

"I definitely wouldn't mind being in the top-five in rushing at the end of the season." Keleher said. "That should be pretty easy though when you have as big of a line as I have in front of me, not to mention two fullbacks who love to hit someone on every play."

Keleher's main reason for coming out and playing for Lake City is love of the game.

"I just can't give up playing football yet," Keleher, in his third season with the Stars, said. "It has been a part of my life for what seems like forever."

His favorite memory while putting on a Stars uniform was of course the victory over the Red & Black to open this season.

"Knocking off Watertown in Watertown," Keleher said. "That was such a big momentum victory. We didn't have a lot of numbers early in the season, and that victory was the start of a pretty good season so far."

The season outlook is pretty simple for Keleher and the Stars — win and the rest will take care of itself.

"I expect to win out," Keleher said. "And we definitely have a chance to win in the playoffs.

"Home-field-advantage in the playoffs would be great, but even if we have to play away I think we have the skill players now to take that on. And now we are more of a team and more people have been showing up for practices this year.

"I think we have a good chance."
Kicker enjoys success at Penfield
Staff Writer

August 26, 2006

PLATTSBURGH — Ryan DeCamp's football career at Seton Catholic started one year too late.

In DeCamp's sophomore season, the Knights finished 6-3 while DeCamp was on the junior varsity.

Throughout his years on varsity, Seton Catholic only managed a 5-13 record.

"In high school we didn't win too many games," DeCamp said. "A lot of (Lake City Stars players') favorite memory has been the victory at Watertown this season, but unfortunately I wasn't able to attend that game.

"For me, the best memory I have is winning at Bailey Avenue the first home game of the season. This was my home field in high school, but we didn't come away with many victories. It's nice to know that on this team we are more than likely winning on our home field — that is something new for me."

Despite his team's struggles, DeCamp still made first-team all-CVAC as a punter in his senior season.

His leg has gotten him pretty far over the years, including kicking at Canisius College in his freshman and sophomore seasons and at Cortland for his junior and senior years.

"I was able to kick the game-winner in the Cortland-Ithaca game in 2003," DeCamp said. "And it wasn't a game-winner, but a very important kick, when Cortland knocked off Montclair St., who was ranked ninth in the country, 16-12 in 2004. That was also my career-long field goal of 46-yards."

As for his kicking game for the Stars, DeCamp, in his second season, has kicked a perfect 12-for-12 on extra points and is 2-for-3 on field goals.

"It doesn't seem like much, but extra points are important," DeCamp said. "Last year against Broome County in the playoffs, I was 4-for-4 on extra points and their kicker missed one or had one blocked and we won 28-26.

"That was pretty special because it was my first playoff victory, and it was done at home."

DeCamp is hoping to get the chance this season for one or two more meaningful kicks during the playoffs.

"We control our own destiny," DeCamp said. "We know we have to win, but we can only worry about our next game. Bottom line is if we win we know where we are going.

"The Stars haven't been able to capture a championship, and winning one would give this town and this team a lot of notoriety."
Lake City chasing division title

Staff Writer

August 26, 2006

PLATTSBURGH — The Lake City Stars head into tonight's matchup with the St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers knowing they control their own destiny.

The Stars have four games remaining on their schedule, including tonight's contest at Melissa L. Penfield Park at 7:30 p.m. With four victories, Lake City would capture the Empire Football League Northern Division Title.

"If we take care of our own business," Stars head coach Ed McCallister said, "then we will not need any help from anyone, and we will win the Northern Division.

"We have to play each game from here on out like it is a playoff game, because that is basically what they are."

Lake City heads into tonight's contest fresh off a bye week. Two weeks ago, the Stars defeated the Chateauguay Titans, 38-14.

St. Lawrence Valley comes into the game 0-7 on the season, including a 30-0 loss to the Vermont Ice Storm last week.

"St. Lawrence has struggled a little bit this season," McCallister said. "But they are the kind of team that if we get caught looking past them, we can end up with a loss.

"This is what we call a trap game, and they always seem to play us very tough. I don't know what it is, but they are very familiar with us, and we always play hard, smash-mouth football games."

In their first meeting this season, the Stars went into halftime with a close, 14-7 lead. But in the second half, Lake City scored 18 unanswered points en route to a 32-7 victory. McCallister noted that the Stars were hurt by the Trailblazers' passing game until making defensive adjustments at halftime.

"This is the time of year where some guys are going to hit a wall," McCallister said. "Some guys are not used to this type of season, and we have been practicing now since May — it's easy to lose focus.

"I hope that we are a mature enough team to realize the opportunity at hand. It would be nice to take care of this and not have to hit the road for the playoffs.

"These next four games we have to treat like playoff games. There is no guaranteed spot for us yet in this year's playoffs."

In their last outing two weeks ago, the Stars' running attack provided 146 yards and a touchdown. Eddie Castine returned at quarterback for Lake City and connected on four passes for 86 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Earl Parks also scored for the Stars on an interception return while Heath Geiser found the end zone on a 54-yard punt return.

With the bye last week, Lake City was able to heal some injuries and work on a few of the mistakes that have been made during the first half of the season.

"We have to improve each and every week, starting tonight," McCallister said. "We are heading in pretty healthy; we should have close to 50 dressed.

"Everything is in our hands right now and we have to take care of business — starting with this game."


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Watertown Red and Black at Chateauguay (Montreal) Titans

When, where: 7:30 p.m., today, Billings Field.

Records: Watertown (4-2); Chateauguay (2-4).

Head coaches: Watertown, George Ashcraft; Chateauguay, John Mouland.

Last meeting: Aug. 13, 2005, Watertown won 45-22.

NOTES: Coming off a loss to Albany last week, Watertown is looking to stay within a half-game of division-leading Vermont (5-2). A win by the Red and Black coupled with a Vermont loss would put Watertown in first place by a half-game. ... The Titans have allowed more points (115) than they've scored (107), while the Red and Black have put up 28.3 points per contest. ... Watertown's Anthony Noel remains third in the league in rushing yards (419), and teammate Lester Cole is now third in receiving yards (524). ... Wide receiver Akked Moore leads Chateauguay with five touchdowns and 18.5 yards per catch. ... The entire EFL has a bye next week for Labor Day weekend, before Watertown plays two of its final three regular-season games at home.

St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers at Lake City Stars

When, Where: 7:30 p.m., today; Melissa L. Penfield Park, Plattsburgh.

Records: St. Lawrence Valley (0-7); Lake City (4-2).

Coaches: St. Lawrence Valley, Mike Britton; Lake City, Ed McCallister.

Last meeting: July 22, Lake City won 32-7.

NOTES: Following a two-week hiatus, the Trailblazers are moving on without quarterback Dave Currier. Wide receiver Joe Hutchinson stepped in the past two weeks, and fellow wideout Lamont Lane is the most-recent player taking snaps under center in practice. ... The Stars are coming off a bye week. They upended Chateaugay 38-14 on Aug. 12. ... St. Lawrence Valley linebacker Cheyenne Dashnaw returned to his usual form after being sidelined with a knee contusion. He recorded a team-high 11 tackles in last week's loss to Vermont. ... Lake City's Brandon Kelleher is fourth in the EFL in rushing yards (331) and second in rushing touchdowns (five).

Compeau steady for SLV

VERSATILITY IMPORTANT: Trailblazers player shows love for sport in EFL



Saturday, August 26, 2006

POTSDAM — He's channeled his fiery aggression to praise teammates. He's used his athleticism at cornerback to become a three-way player. The once big fish realizes he's no longer in a small pond.

Call it the maturation of James Compeau.

As an impact high school football player at Massena nearly three years ago, Compeau was the big man on campus. Entering the Empire Football League last spring was like enrolling as a freshman in college. Compeau needed to build his reputation and start from scratch with the St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers. His desire for contact immediately won over his coach.

"I do appreciate what he does," Trailblazers head coach Mike Britton said. "It's nice to see someone who loves contact and plays the game as hard as he can."

"I'm not a big guy," Compeau said. "I don't feel anything when I'm down on the field, and I don't stay down long. Something may be hurting me, but I won't stay on the ground."

Standing 5 feet, 11 inches in cleats and weighing 165 pounds, Compeau is more than willing to dish out any type of punishment on the field. Stepping in as a cornerback in 2005, Compeau gradually caught tendencies of opposing quarterbacks and used his athleticism to his advantage.

"You can pick up a lot of quarterbacks in the EFL," Compeau said. "You can tell where they are going to throw it; not many are that experienced."

Compeau had a knack for letting frustration get the best of him, despite having a soft-spoken demeanor off the field. He thought the best remedy was to be playing at all times. Britton was more than willing to oblige.

Since a 41-3 loss at Chateauguay on Aug. 5, Compeau has utilized his speed and vision to become the Trailblazers' primary running back. He has burrowed through holes, absorbing that first pop and yearning for another, on his way to 176 yards and the team's lone rushing score this season.

"My best feature is yards after contact," Compeau said. "Once we're through the line of scrimmage, I want to do the rest."

"He's doesn't want to come off the field," Britton said. "That's the sign of a good athlete."

Compeau is a returner on every kickoff (he's returned 15 this season), in the backfield on offense, and still attempting to lock up one of the opponent's top receivers on defense. Even with the Trailblazers on their way to another disappointing season, he has earned respect.

"He's given praise where it needs to be," Britton said. "He doesn't need to be in the limelight. He enjoys playing in the shadows."

"Winning isn't everything," Compeau said. "I've learned that in this league, you play because you love football. That's why .

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