Saturday, August 11, 2007
EFL Pre Game Press Coverage August 11th
PREVIEW: EMPIRE FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Saturday, August 11, 2007
When, where: 7:30 p.m. today,
St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazers vs.
When, where: 7:30 p.m. today,
Head coaches: SLV, Offense, Mike Britton; Defense and special teams, Jim Compeau;
Records: St. Lawrence Valley (0-4);
NOTES: With a sputtering offense and a tiring defense, the Trailblazers couldn't stop
Copyright 2007. Watertown Daily Times, Inc.,
back home tonight Lake City
By KEITH KANE
— PLATTSBURGH "" After a two-game road trip the Lake City Stars are back at Melissa L. Penfield Park tonight. The Stars welcome the Watertown Red & Black with game time set for 7:30 p.m.
Tonight also will be Mac McClary Night with the Stars paying tribute to their longtime fan and assistant. McClary also will handle the coin toss.
The Red & Black has a definite size advantage, but their running-oriented offense could be playing into
"From what I have seen on film, they are big and physical," Stars head coach Pat Keleher said. "They are old-fashioned, I guess. They want to run it down their opponents throat which is very similar to
"They have a very talented receiver in Lester Cole, and he is their go-to guy in the passing game. We are going to have to worry about him because he can take it to the house on any given play."
The Stars have been particularly stingy against the run in their first four games, which could force
"Defensively, we have to play solid up front," Keleher said. "We can't let them push us around; no one has been able to run the ball well against us. We have done well against the run in all four games and no one has been able to run the ball down our throats.
"We have to be able to shut them down and make them throw. They are not as comfortable in the passing game. It's not that they can't, but it's not their first choice."
Matt Bezio completed 15 of 28 passes for 208 yards, but tossed a pair of interceptions. Matt St. Clair hauled in six catches for 104 yards and a touchdown while Jordon Keleher added five catches for 85 yards.
On the ground, Kyle Nolan paced
"I still believe that we need to run the ball better," Keleher said. "We haven't done it well all year; we've done it OK, but haven't been great at it. We have to be able run with consistency.
"If we can protect Matt Bezio, he can deliver, and we have receivers who are as good as any in the league. If we can get a more efficient run game that will allow more time and will open up the passing game.
The Red & Black had a pair of chances to pull it out late in the game, but missed two long field-goal attempts.
Ernie Miller rushed for 110 yards on 16 carries to lead the way for
Todd Kiechle tossed 135 yards through the air on 5-of-15 throwing.
"The kids are excited to be home," Keleher said. "We have four of the next five at home, so the guys are excited to be back which should help.
"This is the second of four weeks in a row
Copyright © 1999-2006 cnhi, inc.
True fan of Lake City Stars
By KEITH KANE
Players, coaches and trainers come and go. The color of the team has switched from blue and red to maroon and gold. Even the name of the team has changed "" Lake City Stars from Plattsburgh North Stars.
With all of that change, however, there has been one constant on the
McClary has been around the Stars since the beginning and before they were even a team. His job title has changed through the years "" he has been the secretary, public address announcer, photographer, chain gang member and has even helped out with the water bottles now and then.
One thing hasn't changed, though, his love for the Lake City Stars.
"I got involved with this sort of by accident," McClary recalls. "I was around back in 1990 when the powers that be decided to put a team together.
"They held a
McClary is also the main historian for the Lake City Stars. He has kept notes, clippings and statistics since the beginning of the franchise.
"I started keeping records and stats and I put them in a scrap book," McClary said. "I guess I was the only one who thought to do that and I have sort of evolved into the team's historian. I have three large books now."
Former Stars head coach Ed McCallister holds McClary in high regard, labeling him "the biggest Stars fan".
"There's not a bigger fan and no other guy lives and breathes Stars football more than him," McCallister said. "I don't know if everyone realizes it, or appreciates everything he does, but he is iconic when it comes to the Stars.
"Last season when we beat
"I don't know how successful or how many years this team would have lasted if he had not been such an integral part. Whatever the colors of the team is, he is bleeding them. He is diehard, true to the core "" he is the Stars."
Mike Archer, an all-star offensive lineman for the Stars, was one of the original North Stars. He retired before this season.
"The main thing that comes to my mind about Mac is he is more dedicated then even some of the players,"
Archer said. "He shows up at all of the games and the practices and he keeps track of everything. The guy even paid his player dues "" even though he is not a player.
"He just has a huge amount of dedication and does a lot of things that he doesn't have to do. But, that's just the type of guy that he is."
New Lake City Stars head coach Pat Keleher has only been part of the organization for less than a year, but already can tell just what McClary means to the organization.
"He is just a great person," Keleher said. "He has been with the organization since its inception and I know that the guys really like him.
"He comes to practice at lest once a week and talks to the players and usually watches. I know they appreciate someone who cares so much about them and the team. He is a great person, a great fan and a great supporter of the team and we all really appreciate that."
In nearly two decades, McClary has seen a lot of football games, but he was quick to recall his favorite memory "" and it came in year one.
"We were playing the Scranton Eagles in our first game and at that time
According to McClary, the main thing that keeps him coming back is his love for the game.
"It's like keeping track of your kids as a parent,"
McClary said. "When you give birth to something you like to keep track of it.
"I enjoy the game and my hope is that one day I will get to see them win the league championship.
"To me this is a labor of love. I enjoy all of the fellows and they are fine young men. I just try to do what I can to help out and root them on the best I can."
E-mail Keith Kane at:
Amsterdam set to host Scranton
By BILL CAIN, The Leader-Herald
Published on Saturday, August 11, 2007
The Leader-Herald/Mike Zummo
The Eagles come to town for a 7:30 kickoff at
"They have a very good kick returner, who scares the heck out of me,"
Neither has returned a kick for a touchdown.
Ruggeri said his kicker has done fine with the directional game, putting the ball down the middle or between the hashes and sideline, but getting the coverage to stay in their lanes, close the gap and make tackles has been a challenge.
If they keep the Eagles from starting with a short field, Ruggeri said the Zephyrs can count on their defense. The
"They've got a new quarterback, the [Ted]
"Our wideouts and our backs are really fast and we're going to go right at them," he said. "If we have to, we'll pound it up the middle with Elijah [White], our fullback. He had a great game against St. Lawrence and built a lot of confidence. I think we'll be pretty balanced with the run and the pass this week."
Besides winning the game, the
They will be doing so without some key players. Starting left tackle Chris Dominowski is back, but offensive guard and the line's player coach, Bobby VanHoesen, is still out with a cracked rib. VanHoesen may be back next week against
Defensive end Rick Hulett also is out and may return Aug. 25 for the trip to
In the lineup tonight, White leads the Zephyrs with 122 rushing yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns. Quarterback Ken Shaffer also has 122 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carriers. He has thrown for eight touchdowns and one interception, completing 64 of 129 passes for 894 yards. Shaffer leads the league in passing yards and touchdowns.
Cedrick Pearman has 30 receptions for 503 yards and five touchdowns. He leads all receivers in the EFL, followed closely by
Ruggeri said the players he has can get the job done, but he wants them to do it one game at a time. He said it would be a bad idea to look past
"We want to win this and then bury
Zephyrs begin homestand at Lynch
By MIKE COLLAR
Recorder Sports Staff
After being on the road up north for two games, the Amsterdam Zephyrs are happy to be home.
The Zephyrs, 2-2, will host the Scranton Eagles in an Empire Football League game at Lynch field today at 7:30 p.m.
Coming off a 35-7 win over the St. Lawrence Valley Trail Blazers, the Zephyrs are situated two games behind the unbeaten Vermont Ice Storm in the EFL East Division race.
"The win was a good one, and we had no injuries. The guys are not satisfied at all, they want to send a message this week and especially next week," said Zephyrs head coach Dom Ruggeri.
While the passing game has been very effective,
The Zephyrs ran by committee in their last game using Elijah White, Tarquan Pearman, Jorge Rodriguez, Steve Kowalczyk and Mike Philo.
"I went into last week's game wanting to establish the run off the bat, because we know we can throw the ball. But I don't want to always have it on Kenny's (quarterback Schaefer) shoulder to lead the team down the field just throwing the ball. I want a balanced attack," said Zephyrs offensive coordinator Mike Finocchi.
And the Zephyrs did that in a big way.
The Zephyrs had 37 rushes for 249 yards and kept the legs fresh throughout the game keeping St. Lawrence Valley off balance.
"I rotate the guys so much. I will evaluate how it's going in practice and I want to incorporate Elijah more into the offense. He had eight carries for 92 yards last week," said Finocchi.
Schaefer is ranked first in the EFL passing department with 64-for-129 for 894 yards and eight touchdowns. His favorite receiver has been Cedric Pearman with 30 catches for 503 yards (16.8 average) and five touchdowns.
Tight end Evan DeGeorgio has hauled in 19 catches for 287 yards (15.1 average).
"We know that
As far as the injury list goes for
Defensive end Rick Hulett will be back for the
Left tackle Chris Dominowski should be ready after being in an automobile accident the day before the
"As you can see this has been one heck of a challenge for me to fill some big holes and keep the guys focused," said Ruggeri.
Ruggeri is also pleased about the emergence of the running game and hopes it continues tonight.
"I am happy the running game has improved, but now we have to get better in the red zone and score. We've come away to many times without points, I'm confident coach Finocchi will make the adjustments. He is the best offensive coordinator in the league in my opinion," he said.
Defensive coordinator Rod Schur has worked very hard with the defense this season.
"These guys have really pulled together and started playing as a team and that's one of the biggest things I can really comment on. The guys are starting to come through. They're out there to play football. Last week, they played perfectly together," he said.
The Zephyrs experienced their share of injuries, but have managed to plug up the holes.
"The defense is in good shape, good position. I'm comfortable where everybody is playing and I have good back-ups that are playing. If they're not first string, they're right there next in second string. They're jelling so well," said Schur.
Schur also praised free safety Luke Posniewski as being a general on the field and linebacker Greg Woodard, a phenomenal athlete, who has great football instincts and likes what he does on the field.
"My corners have stepped up to the plate this year. You got Jeremiah Newborn, Eugene Maye and Carlos Feliciano, Mark Holmes, and Joe Torres. It's working out well," said Schur.
"Their passing game is really impressive. Schaefer is a good quarterback. They're a pretty good team. We're just starting to come around," said Accure.
Ted Wallingford calls the signals for
Tim Pazienza leads the rushing department with 129 yards on 18 carries (7.2 average) and Louis Verdetto has caught 15 passes for 224 yards (14.9 average).
"I'm looking for them (Zephyrs) to pass first, then run. We just can't give up the big play. I like to grind it out. This game is very important to us. We need the win to get back into it (playoff race)," said Accure.
Get a sneak peek of the all-new AOL.com.