Thursday, July 05, 2007

EFL Team Press Coverage June 16

Zephyrs square off against Greenjackets in benefit game

By BILL CAIN, The Leader-Herald

Published on Friday, June 15, 2007

Amsterdam Zephyrs quarterback Eric Johnson passes while under pressure during a 2006 Empire Football League game at Lynch Middle School.

The Leader-Herald

View additional photos and order prints online at

AMSTERDAM — This week's Amsterdam Zephyrs preseason football game will also be a fund raiser.

The Zephyrs, who play semi-pro football in the Empire Football League, will use Saturday's game to raise money for Jeremy Trumbull of Fort Plain, who lost a leg in a farming accident.

"We're trying to have a few benefits for him to help him and his family out with expenses," Amsterdam coach Dom Ruggeri said. "I had heard about him through someone I had met when he had the accident. They heard about us doing a benefit for the Longobardo family last year. They said, 'Coach, would you be willing to maybe do a game for a young man I know who has lost his leg?' And I said we absolutely would."

The game will start at 7:30 p.m.

After the field has been paid for and the officials have been paid, the Zephyrs will decide how much of the money from the gate, 50/50 raffle and a possible other raffle can be given to the Trumbull family, Ruggeri said.

The game will not only benefit the Trumbull family, Ruggeri said, but should be fun for fans to watch with the talent Amsterdam is fielding this season.

Last Saturday, Amsterdam played its first preseason game and lost 30-14 to Lyndonville, also of the EFL, though the Zephyrs were within eight points with seconds remaining.

Trailing 23-15, the Zephyrs took over on their own 40-yard line with 1:40 left to play. They moved down the field with their best drive of the night and were on the 1-foot line with seconds left when a quarterback sneak was fumbled and returned the distance for a Lyndonville touchdown.

This week's game is against the Glens Falls Greenjackets of the North American Football League. The Albany Metro Mallers and Tri-State Bulldogs both left the EFL to play in the NAFL this coming season.

"We don't know too much about Glens Falls," Ruggeri said. "We know, traditionally, they're a very good organization and have excellent players. I know they had a scrimmage at Adirondack Community College against the Mohawk Valley Vikings of the NYAFL. I don't know the outcome of that, but I heard they did pretty well."

Ruggeri said his team spent most of last Saturday game hurting itself with turnovers and lackluster play on offense, but eventually calmed down.

"That might have been the first-preseason-game jitters," Ruggeri said. "But they bounced back. With 1:40 left on the clock, to go 60 yards and to watch that offense click, boy, it was nice. It just showed what kind of weapons we have."

He said the Zephyrs spent part of that game finding out what talent they had and how deep their bench was. Now that they know what talent they have, he said this second of three preseason games will be spent figuring out where they want to put that talent on the field.

"In the second half, we wanted to evaluate some of our younger guys and we feel we got a pretty good look at what we have," Ruggeri said. "We were going through the game film and right now, we're just at the drawing board seeing who we want where."

While the team finds its identity and players find starting positions, the Zephyrs will also be working on reducing the turnover trouble that plagued them in the game with Lyndonville.

"We've got loads of talent, we've got speed, size and skill people," Ruggeri said. "We've got depth this year, but we have to eliminate mistakes and get rid of the turnovers. I don't know of a team anywhere that can have six turnovers and still win the game."


ESPN 1390 WCAT is pleased to announce they have entered into an
agreement with the Vermont Ice Storm of the Empire Football League to
broadcast eight games this season. Sports Director Chris Fells made
the announcement today.

The Vermont Ice Storm are in the ten team Empire Football League and
last year advanced deep into the league playoffs. The Ice Storm
feature players with college and professional experience; all of whom
live in the Champlain Valley. WCAT's coverage will kick off with the
home opener against the Northeast Hurricanes, and will include games
against EFL powerhouses Lake City and Watertown.

ESPN Chat Pack Co-Host Rich DeLancey returns for a 2nd year of
play-by-play duty, with fellow Chat-Pack members John McDevitt and
Sports Director Chris Fells providing color commentary. Fells will be
in his second year of providing color for the Ice Storm. Games will be
carried live on WCAT and on the web at

The broadcast schedule is listed below:
June 23rd: Northeast Hurricanes
July 7th Vermont Ravens
July 28th Lake City
August 4th Watertown
August 11th Ottawa
August 18th Lake City
August 25th Amsterdam
September 15th Chateauguay

Contact information:
Chris Fells: 802-863-1010(office) 802-318-1012 (cell)

See what's free at

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