By Keith Harrington and Matthew Saari
Last season, the Granville Golden Horde and Stillwater Warriors football teams were polar-opposites. Granville finished 2-7, with wins over Rensselaer and Springfield, Vermont. Stillwater went 8-2, dropping a 34-12 decision to Holy Trinity in the Section II Class C Super Bowl.
When the teams square off on the pristine artificial turf in Stillwater on Friday night, Granville will be aiming to take a step forward in their second year under coach John Irion, while Stillwater will be looking to take a step toward a sectional crown.
Granville returns a team that is much more experienced than a year ago. The majority of this year’s Golden Horde roster consists of athletes in grades 10-12, in contrast to last season when freshman played a major role.
The Railroaders’ season kicks off in earnest this Saturday with Whitehall hosting Hoosick Falls for a 1 p.m. kickoff against the Panthers, a Class C team.
“We’re going to have our hands full,” Gould said. He said he watched Hoosick Falls scrimmage recently and noted that their line is almost entirely composed of players who rival in size Whitehall’s Bryce Eddy, who tips the scales at 300 pounds.
“Our line is going to have its work cut out for it, that’s for sure,” he said.
Based upon his observation of the Panthers’ scrimmage, Gould estimates the team has in excess of 40 players. Last year, Hoosick Falls finished the season with a record of 5-4 and advanced to the Class semifinals, where they fell to Stillwater, 50-30.
Of note, this is the first time Whitehall will compete against Hoosick Falls in many years, perhaps even dating back to the 1980’s.
“I know we haven’t played them in the past 15 years,” Gould said.
This is only a preview of the story published in the Whitehall Times. To read the full story, pick up a print copy of this week’s paper at the newsstand or read it online here.
This is only a preview of the story published in the Granville Sentinel. To read the full story, pick up a print copy of this week’s paper at the newsstand or read it online here.