If Unatego was going down its checklist of things to accomplish in the 2007, it already has one thing crossed off the list – avenging a loss to Oneonta from last season. Next on that list would have to be defeating Greene. “We’ve beaten them the last two years, but they have 20 players returning, so they are definitely a solid team,” said Greene coach Tim Paske.
The Spartans went 7-2 a year ago and shared the Class C division title with the Trojans and Sidney Warriors. A 28-6 lopsided loss to Greene was the lone black mark that kept the Spartans out of the playoffs. With a strong core of returning players, Unatego may well be the division favorite. “They are huge up front, they have an explosive kid in the backfield (Alex Hendrickson), an experienced quarterback (Kyle Palmer), and they probably have only two or three players that go both ways,” Paske said. “We have our game plan and we need to stick to it.”
Greene is getting used to winning on the varsity level with back-to-back winning seasons and an eye on making the playoffs for the second straight year. Junior quarterback Nate Whittaker directs the offense, and Whittaker is probably the team’s most explosive offensive player on the field. Running backs Garrett Hickey and Luke Wentlent had big days, as did receiver Justin Van Wert. “This a fun group and they’re methodical in their approach to the game,” Paske said. “This is a group that has won at every level, and teams that are used to doing that are easier to motivate.”
Game keys: Paske said that his team cannot take any plays off on defense against Unatego’s diverse offense. His offense’s ball control may serve as the best defense.
Elsewhere this week, Norwich plays at Dryden on Friday and B-G has the lone local home game as it entertains Seton Catholic Central. Saturday contests include Oxford at Harpursville; UV-Edmeston at Newfield, and Sherburne-Earlville visits Holland Patent. Please read on for a look at this week’s contests:
Norwich (1-0) at Dryden (0-1), Friday, 7 p.m.