Varsity845 football show: NFA & Chester preparing for the Dome

Here’s our state championship game video show, focusing on the Newburgh Free Academy and Chester teams as they prepare for games this Saturday at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.

Check out the clip above and also click on over to for plenty of coverage on both of these teams all week long.

Justin Rodriguez (@JustinRod845) and myself (@THR_Montgomery) will have you covered from the Carrier Dome on Saturday, so check out our Twitter feeds for updates if you can’t make it to the big games.

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NFA running back Anthony Dubose will play in state championship game

Newburgh star running back Anthony Dubose will return for Saturday’s Class AA state championship game against Jamestown at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.

Dubose was forced to sit out the Goldbacks’ dramatic 20-19 overtime win over Shenendehowa in the Class AA state semifinals on Saturday for violating a school policy. Newburgh athletic director Jason Semo would not disclose the nature of Dubose’s infraction, but it resulted in a five-day suspension from school last week.

“I’m grateful to end my career on my terms and ended it with the people I started with,” said Dubose, a four-year starter, who also plays safety for the Goldbacks. “It was very hard watching the game last week, but I had faith in the team. I made a mistake and I learned from it. I won’t dwell on it. I’m very excited to play in ‘The Dome.’ It’s going to be a great game.”

Dubose was scheduled to be back in school on Tuesday and practice with the team.

“In education, we’re tasked with teaching students the difference between right and wrong,” Semo said. “While part of our role as educators is to hold students accountable, it is also our professional responsibility to support the students when they make mistakes, and help them develop the skills to move on beyond their mistakes. In education, we are dealing with children that sometimes have a difficult time seeing past the moment. Regardless of their home life or situation, all students deal with individual struggles and pressure every day. It’s our responsibility to support them all.”

In just seven games this season, Dubose has rushed for 1,119 yards and 14 touchdowns. He scored the game-winning touchdown on a 3-yard run in a 15-7 overtime win over rival Monroe-Woodbury in the Section 9 Class AA championship on Nov. 8. Dubose’s return reunites him with Newburgh’s other star in the backfield, Aaron Forbes, for the biggest game of the season. Forbes scored the game-winning touchdown on a 20-yard run against Shenendehowa.

He has 1,456 yards and 23 touchdowns this year for Newburgh (9-2). Jamestown is 11-1.

“Anthony is a kid who we definitely invested a lot of time in the past four or five years,” Newburgh coach Bill Bianco said. “He’s a good kid and has a good heart. We have seen great improvement in him from the time he was a freshman. Hopefully, he will be the person and player we all know he can be.”

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Scouting Jamestown: Start your engines, get ready for fast-paced offense

The Class AA state football championship could have a bit of NASCAR flavor.

As in NASCAR offense.

Jamestown, Newburgh’s opponent on Saturday, runs a fast-paced, no huddle spread offense.

I spoke to Jamestown coach Tom Langworthy, 34, on Monday to talk about the big game. The Red Raiders and Newburgh square off for the Class AA title at 6 p.m. on Saturday at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. If Jamestown has its way, it will turn Saturday into its own version of the so-called “Greatest Show On Turf.”

– So what are Langworthy’s thoughts on Newburgh?
“Newburgh is very fast and very athletic. It’s clear when you watch them that they are well-coached and I think that they will be a challenge for us. I think it’s going to come down to who wins the line of scrimmage. We both have pretty solid lines and some playmakers who can make some plays.”

– What does Langworthy think of Newburgh running back Aaron Forbes?
“He’s a playmaker and he’s fast. He is pretty tough to take down any time he gets a seam. He is very athletic, very good. He makes some great plays.”

– Does Langworthy expect Newburgh’s other star running back, Anthony Dubose, to play? Dubose was suspended for last week’s semifinal win against Shenendehowa.
“We are going to prepare like (Dubose) is playing. They have some pretty good wrinkles whether he plays or not. Of course, their personnel improves if he plays. I know he’s got a lot of experience and, like (Forbes), he is very good.”

– Jamestown is 11-1 and its only loss came to Catholic school powerhouse, Canisius, 27-14, on Sept. 26. Since then, the Red Raiders have won eight in a row, including a 28-12 win over Henninger in the Class AA state semifinals. Jamestown averages 37.2 points per game and has three shutouts this season.

– So who are some of Jamestown’s key players on offense?

Junior quarterback Nikkolas Holland has completed 147-of-238 passes for 1,950 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also has 15 interceptions. Fifteen picks? Keep in mind, Newburgh’s secondary has come on during the postseason. Holland is a double threat – he has rushed for 584 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Junior Zac Kinsey leads Jamestown in rushing with 827 yards and five touchdowns.

Sophomore running back Devan Jackson has 698 yards and six touchdowns.

Being that Jamestown runs a fun and gun offense, Holland has plenty of options at wide receiver. The two most prominent are Stephen Carlson and Zack Panebianco.

Carlson, who is 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, has 43 receptions for 772 yards and eight touchdowns. He is being recruited by Albany University, the University of Alabama-Birmingham and several Ivy League schools. Panebianco has 46 receptions for 647 yards and eight scores.

Jamestown last won a Class AA title in 2000.

“Our team is playing with a tremendous amount of confidence right now,” Langworthy said. “We are happy to be in this position and we feel we deserve to be here. We know we have a tough game in front of us and we are very excited for the opportunity.”

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The interview: Randolph coach Brent Brown checks in on his team and Chester

It might only be Sunday, but as expected, Randolph coach Brent Brown has already done some homework on Chester.

I talked to Brown and, when asked about Chester, he quickly signaled out the Hambletonians’ three most dangerous players: Quarterback Vinny Aloi, running back Angel Suarez and wide receiver Brandon Sadlier.

Another thing stood out to Brown: “Chester looks bigger up front than last year.”

As far as Chester’s “Big Three”, Brown added: “The tailback is fast, he’s been pretty good the last few weeks. I know the quarterback can throw it and the wide receiver is difficult to cover. We will approach it as we will try to stop the run first. At this level, if they can throw, it will be tough to stop.”

Chester and Randolph meet for the Class D state championship at noon on Saturday at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. Randolph (11-1) defeated Chester 42-13 for last year’s Class D state title and is seeking its third championship in a row.

Only four football teams have won three straight titles since the state began a full playoff format  in 1993 – Section IV’s Maine-Endwell (Class A 2011, Class B 2012-13), Section V’s Hornell (Class B, 2009-2011), Section I’s Edgemont (Class C, 1998-2000) and Section V’s Caledonia-Mumford (Class C 1993, Class D 1994-95).

Randolph (11-1) graduated only six starters from last season’s team, but that included its entire backfield – quarterback Mitchell Maycock and running backs Chris Doubek and Lucas Brown. Doubek rushed for 273 yards with three touchdowns against Chester last year and finished his career with 2,352 yards.

The key players for Randolph this year are also impressive. Quarterback Bryce Morrison has passed for 1,200 yards with 16 touchdowns and rushed for 700 yards. Tailback Devyn Nelson has rushed for 1,400 yards and 12 touchdowns. Tight end Mason Bosley, who is 6-foot, 220 pounds, has caught 10 touchdown passes.

Put simply, Randolph blew Chester off the ball last year, and the Buffalo-area champion has two more big guys mixing it up in the trenches: Michael Bowers is 6-foot-4, 290 pounds and Jeff Andrews is 6-2, 260. Both players are two-way linemen.

According to Brown, Randolph is playing some of its best ball of the season. The Cardinals have won 11 in a row since losing to Maple Grove, a Class C school, 24-12 to open the season. Brown said Randolph has really developed during the playoffs.

Randolph defeated rival Ellicottville 28-0 in the Buffalo-area Class D championship, following that up with a tough 19-12 win over Red Jacket in the state quarterfinals. The Cardinals defeated Tioga 20-8 in the semifinals.

“It hasn’t been easy this year,” Brown said. “It’s hard to replace that kind of talent. But I think we have really turned a corner. I think the kids realized that we have to get things done by ourselves. We can’t rely on the players from last year. Every week, we have gotten better, and more confident.”

As far as going for the state championship three-peat, Brown said: “Of course, it would feel great. That’s not something we wanted to talk about at the beginning of the season. There is a lot of pressure on these kids because the town is so used to winning. But the kids have definitely been thinking about it. Now that we are here, it is definitely one of our goals.”

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Section 9′s state swim meet results

  • Some quick notes on how Section 9′s swimmers fared at the state finals today in Ithaca before I run over to the football games at Dietz Stadium. For full swim/dive results, check here.
  • Monroe-Woodbury senior Taylor Stalnaker placed third in the 100 backstroke in a time of 56.21 at the state girls’ swimming and diving championships at Ithaca College on Saturday. New Paltz junior Caroline Murphy placed fourth in the backstroke in a time of 56.81.
  • Minisink Valley senior Jessica Crumm placed fifth in the 100 breaststroke in 1:05.87.
  • Murphy was ninth in the 50 freestyle in 24.61.
  • Kingston’s 200 medley relay team of Madelyn Chiera, Courtney McCardle, Erin Leirey and Taylor Robey placed ninth in a time of 1:50.49.
  • Valley Central senior Kaitlyn Troy placed 10th in the 200 freestyle in 1:56.82.
  • In the 100 freestyle, Kingston’s McCardle placed 12th in 53.47 and Valley Central’s Troy was 13th in 53.72.
  • Late Friday night, Minisink Valley senior Emily Wilson took third place in the diving finals with a score of 516.65. Minisink Valley sophomore Erin Clifford placed fifth with 485.25 points.

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Orange-Rockland Challenge on Jan. 3

Newburgh Free Academy girls’ basketball coach Rich Desiderio announced Thursday morning that Dominican College in Orangeburg will host an Orange and Rockland Challenge tournament this year on Jan. 3, starting at 11 a.m. Each of the six games will feature one team from Rockland County and one from Orange County.

The event is partially sponsored by the Basketball Coaches Association of New York (BCANY) and will raise money for the Hudson Valley Cancer Resource Center, which serves a 10-county area. Each team is working to raise money and awareness within their community and each will bring a billboard dedicating the game to those that they are playing for.

For more information on the Hudson Valley Cancer Resource Center, visit their website here.

Here is the complete schedule:

  • Suffern vs. Goshen, 11 a.m.
  • Pearl River vs. Tuxedo, 12:30 p.m.
  • Clarkstown South vs. Washingtonville, 2 p.m.
  • Tappan Zee vs. Burke Catholic, 3:30 p.m.
  • North Rockland vs. Newburgh, 5 p.m.
  • Albertus Magnus vs. Cornwall, 6:30 p.m.

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Cornwall ready for Queensbury showdown (w/ video interviews)

Cornwall vs. Queensbury: Could it be the game of the weekend as far as Section 9’s five representatives go?

It might be.

Both teams enter the showdown in the Class A state semifinals at 8 p.m. on Friday at Dietz Stadium in Kingston at 11-0. Queensbury, the defending state champion, has won 24 straight games and is the top-ranked Class A team in the state.

Cornwall is ranked second. Adding to the drama of the showdown is that it serves as a rematch of last year’s classic in the semifinals. Queensbury won that game 37-29, after star Cornwall quarterback left the game in the second quarter with a dislocated elbow.

Cornwall has allowed only 68 points this season and its first-team offense has given up just five touchdowns. The Green Dragons have only trailed two teams all year – Rye in the Class A state quarterfinals last week and Marlboro in Week 3.

Still, Queensbury is the favorite in this must-see game. Here is what Cornwall offensive lineman Brendan Rose had to say about the Queensbury match-up:

Queensbury is known for its well-oiled double wing offense, which is like a machine, grinding up yards on the ground. The Queensbury offense might not be as flashy as Cornwall’s point-producing spread, but it is tough to stop. Queensbury is deep at running back and everyone blocks, the offensive line, two tight ends, the backs and even the quarterback – Drew Wilson.

Here is what Cornwall linebacker Quinn Zsido had to say about the Queensbury game:

Here is a look at Queensbury’s top running backs:

Sr. Tyrell Adams: 936 yards, 16 touchdowns

Jr. Brett Rodriguez: 817 yards, 11 TD

Sr. Chris Goudy: 538 yards, 9 TD

Jr. Erik Wettersten: 428 yards, 8 TD

Queensbury scored 27 first-quarter points en route to a 48-0 win over Massena in the Class A state quarterfinals last week. Even Section 9’s very own version of Bill Belichick, defensive-minded Cornwall coach Mike Connolly, said that no team likely can stop the Queensbury Express.

You just try to contain the rushing attack. For Connolly, the key for Cornwall is putting up points early and often.


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Marlboro ready for shot against heavily favored Schalmont (w/ video interviews)

Call them crazy, but Marlboro is looking forward to its rematch with Schalmont in the semifinals of the Class B state playoffs on Saturday.

Actually, the Iron Dukes are far from crazy: They are a proud program, looking for some redemption. Marlboro (9-2) takes on Schalmont (11-0) at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Dietz Stadium in Kingston.

Dietz is the same venue where Schalmont defeated Marlboro 66-0 in the semifinals last season. Five Section 9 teams have qualified for the state playoffs for the first time in the 22-year history of the full state playoff system. Marlboro, the four-time defending Section 9 champion, is probably the biggest underdog of the weekend.

The Iron Dukes scored an impressive 38-21 win over Our Lady of Lourdes-Poughkeepsie on Friday. This is Marlboro’s third straight trip to the Class B final four. The Iron Dukes lose to Glens Falls in 2012.

Here is what Marlboro wide receiver Harry St. John had to say about the Schalmont game:

Schalmont, located in Rotterdam, a Schenectady suburb, scored 60 points in the first half of the 2013 semifinal win over Marlboro. The Sabres set state records for most points scored and greatest margin of victory in a state playoff game. Marlboro didn’t help itself with several turnovers in the first half.

Schalmont (11-0) defeated Section 7′s Peru, 60-20 in the Class B state quarterfinals last week. The Sabres have scored at least 34 points in every game this season, winning games by blowout scores of 88-0, 76-6 and 69-7.

Here is what Marlboro linebacker Ryan Greavan had to say about the Schalmont rematch:

Schalmont has outscored opponents 659-81 this season. The Sabres lost to Maine-Endwell 22-21 on a last-second two-point conversion in last year’s Class B state championship.

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Section 9 exceptional senior game rosters released

The Section 9 exceptional senior game is set for 6 p.m. Sunday at Newburgh Free Academy.

Team American defeated Team National 27-0 in last year’s showcase game. Team National won 24-11 in 2012. That game marked the first of its kind locally since the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association held an exceptional senior game from 1977-82. There are modified rules, including no blitzing.

Seniors from any Section 9 team are eligible for the game. Schools playing in the semifinals of the state playoffs this weekend won’t have representation. For the first time in the 22-year history of the state’s full playoff format, five Section 9 teams reached the state semifinals – Newburgh (Class AA), Cornwall (A), Marlboro (B), Millbrook (C) and Chester (D).

Teams were for the exceptional senior game were picked based on nominations from Section 9 coaches. Practices for the game will be from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday at Newburgh.

Here are the rosters (*denotes teams playing in state semifinals this weekend and won’t participate):

American Team
*Cornwall: LB Quinn Zsido; WR Kobie Thomas; LB/WR Matt Robinson; WR/LB Tyler Peddie; RB Kevin Gangemi.
Dover: OL/LB Jon Lieto; OL/DL A.J. Peterson; RB/LB Mike Leverich; OL/DL Patrick O’Laughlin
Kingston: OL/DL Jake Pesko; RB/DL Leroy Peters; RB Tyler Robinson
Liberty: TE/LB Stephen Johnson; OL/DL Michael Burke; RB/DB Patrick Fitzpatrick
Livingston Manor: OL/DL Matt McRell; OL/DL Jordan Heintz
*Marlboro: RB/LB Ryan Greavan; OL/DL Rob Papuli; OL Mike Panio; RB/DB Alain Dumas; WR/DB Matt Marquis
Middletown: WR Eamon Gillespie; LB Andrew Allwood; OL/DL Devondre Nesbitt; DB Isaiah Reyes; RB/LB Robert Dean
Monroe-Woodbury: RB/LB Cole Gennett; DB Jesse Kaffenberger; OL Pat Clifford; DL Zach Gordon
Monticello: OL/DL Brian Stickle; WR Dante Smalls; RB/DB Tyrelle Poole; RB/LB Nick Brown; OL/DL Isaiah Mathis
New Paltz: OL/DE Todd Mullins; DB John O’Donnell; WR Steve Branche
Pine Plains: RB/LB Joe Vita
Red Hook: RB Dustin Ducey; LB Tim Terry; WR Connor Boryk
Saugerties: OL/DL Kyle Quinn
Spackenkill: OL/DL Andrew Sahawneh
Sullivan West: RB/LB Andrew Stabbert; OL/DL Anthony Rydell; OL/DL Sean Hart; OL/DL Kevin Hart; QB/LB Richard Shevak
Warwick: RB/LB Trevor Pinkham; TE/DL Dermot Egan; QB Brendan Bauer
Washingtonville: K/P Derek Deoul; TE/DB Jakob Woods; QB Joe Tecklenburg; OL/DL Aaron Melendez
Tri-Valley QB Justin Swarthout

National Team
Minisink Valley: LB Tyler Mayo; RB Joe Sessa; C Stephen Lauro; RB/LB Deonte Moore; QB Matt Carosella; DE Patsy Marotto; DE Nate Lake
Roosevelt: RB/SS Nick Amone; DB Christian Cappillino; DT Mike Lesione
Valley Central: DE Mike Kania; WR Nick Pacheco; LB Billy Cavalluzzo
*Newburgh: RB/DB Aaron Forbes; RB/S Anthony Dubose; TE/DL Oliver Janvier; C Tyler Gonzalez
Pine Bush: OL/DL Andrew Rogan; RB/FS Marcus Barnes
Goshen: QB/S Gene Iozzino; RB/LB Matt Mauriello
Port Jervis: RB/S Saim Mairu; RB/OLB Justin Drew; LB Quentin Hossman; OL Trent Morgan; OL Henry Schall
Wallkill: OL/DL John Demy; OL/DL Josh Kuliszewski; OLB Mike Thompson; WR Nick Gomez
Rondout Valley: WR/DE Joe Hafner
Ellenville: OL/DL Chris Kovalcik
O’Neill: OL/DL Jefferson Espinal
Highland: QB Brandon Mack; OT Alex Oliver; G Dominic Bellacicco; C Vincent Valentino
Burke Catholic: OT/DT Joe Grasso; C/DT Brandon Rawlins; TE/De Tom Connolly; RB/LB/S Matt Przybocki; RB/SS Stephen Cushing; LB Mike Martinelli
*Chester: QB Vinny Aloi; RB/WR/LB Angel Suarez; WR/FS Brandon Sadlier; OL/DL Jeremy Nolasco
Roscoe/Downsville: QB/RB/LB Colin Tallman; OT/DE Josiah Steele; OL/DL Dominick Dominguez
*Millbrook: OL/DL Jacob Higgins; RB/LB Mike DoCarmo; TE/DE/OLB Colin Wohlford

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XC, track: Six make college choices

A half-dozen Orange County scholastic athletes have made their college commitments for 2015-16.
Pole vaulter Derek Dibona of Warwick is headed for Connecticut.
As for the distance runners, Jill Decker of Cornwall is going to Buffalo, as is Port Jervis’ Brittany Fuller; Cornwall’s Ashley Wallace is headed for Marist; Warwick’s Lauren Rothstein is going to Kutztown; and, Warwick’s Dan Peterson is headed for DePaul.
Also headed for Marist are Palmer Weimann of Farmington (Conn.) and Jessica Howe of Fayetteville-Manlius (upstate New York).
Headed for West Point is Cassie Mundekis of Midwest Central (Ill.).

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