Warriors, Bulldogs look ahead to 2020 football season

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The high school football season will be here before we know it. And the upcoming season’s schedule was released by Section III on April 9.

Clinton is playing in Class C-2 this season with Skaneateles, Canastota, Bishop Ludden, Solvay, Little Falls, Westmoreland and Sherburne-Earlville.

The Warriors are coming off of a 5-2 season, where they finished second in the division and earned the No. 4 seed in the Section III Class C playoffs. They’ll begin their season on the road in a Week 0 game on Sept. 4 when they travel to Sauquoit Valley. The contest could either be a scrimmage or a regular-season game, depending on what Section III approves.

The following week is their official season opener, which will also be played on the road against Canastota, a game that second-year head coach Zach Jones is looking forward to.

“Right now, we’re just focused on Canastota,” Jones said. “Not only am I pumped up, but the kids are also pumped.”

Weeks 3 and 4 sees the Warriors host consecutive home games when they welcome Sherburne-Earlville and Bishop Ludden, respectively.

“Sherburne-Earlville is coming back to Class C after spending a year playing 8-man football,” Jones said.

“Bishop Ludden is coming down from Class B, and from the film I’ve seen on them, they’re going to be extremely athletic,” Jones said about the Gaelic Knights.

Week 5, Clinton travels to Skaneateles.

“Skaneateles is always a force,” Jones added.

Week 6, the Warriors welcome Little Falls to Clinton. Last year, Jones said that his team outgained the Mounties by 150 yards, but turned the ball over five times.

Week 7, Clinton is in Westmoreland, for the “Battle of 233.”

“We’re trying to make this more of a rivalry game,” Jones said about his team’s matchup with the Bulldogs. “I got to talk to (Coach Tim) Gates and see if we can get a little make-shift trophy involved. And a rivalry game, we can get the community involved.”

The Warriors wrap up the season by hosting Solvay.

“They’re the defending Class B champs,” Jones said. “I’m friends with some of the guys on the Solvay staff.”

Westmoreland, which is also in the C-2 division, opens the season on Sept. 11 on the road against Skaneateles.

“It’s going to be a challenge,” Westmoreland head coach Tim Gates said. “They’re a good team.”

Week 2 sees the Bulldogs host Little Falls, and Gates said that the Mounties have a good Class C program.

Westmoreland will be on the road in Week 3, traveling to Sherburne-Earlville.

“We’ve played them in the past, and they have a good program,” Gates said. “But they played 8-man last year so it’ll be interesting.”

In Week 4, Westmoreland plays host to Solvay, who was successful last season in Class B.

“They’re going to have some confidence after the season that they had last year,” Gates said. “That’ll be a big fish to fry.”

Westmoreland goes back on the road to face off against Canastota in Week 5, another program that Gates says is a good team.

“Coach Congdon will have his guys ready to go,” Gates said.

Week 6, the Bulldogs and Warriors meet at Westmoreland High School in what’s developing into a rivalry game.

“Coach Jones is in his second year and he’s got some good young players back,” Gates said. “(Jones) is generating some excitement there.”

In Week 7, Westmoreland finishes the regular season against Bishop Ludden on the road, another team that is coming down to Class C from Class B.

“It’s going to be a challenging schedule,” Gates added. “But it’s going to be our job to prepare and be ready to play each week.”

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