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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Bulldogs return to Class C after independent season

See what’s at play this fall for high school football.

Todd Dewan
Sports editor
Posted 9/10/22

The Westmoreland/Oriskany football team will begin its fourth season as a combined program.

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Bulldogs return to Class C after independent season

See what’s at play this fall for high school football.


WESTMORELAND — The Westmoreland/Oriskany football team will begin its fourth season as a combined program.

The Bulldogs, who were 3-4 last fall as an independent team, will compete in the seven-team Class C2 Division this season along with Adirondack, General Brown, Holland Patent, Lowville, Southern Hills and Vernon-Verona-Sherrill.

“Last fall, due to our independent status, we were not eligible for the playoffs. Several factors went into that decision but this fall we feel we are in a much better situation. With the number of players on the roster, and we feel we can compete for a playoff berth,” said longtime Bulldogs coach Tim Gates, who is in his 23rd season and has a career record of 128-67. “Class C certainly presents us with many challenges. We play a rigorous schedule that includes several playoff teams from last season but if we practice and play the way we are capable, and stay injury free, we should be better because of it. Our team and coaches are excited to compete this fall and play the great game of football.”

The Bulldogs will have 36 players on their roster including eight returning starters. They are senior offensive lineman/defensive lineman Owen Davison, senior offensive lineman/defensive lineman Mitchell Holmes, senior tight end/defensive end Payton Livingston, senior quarterback/defensive back Michael Scalise, senior defensive back Jase Smith, who is also a running back; junior running back/defensive back Javante Brill-Rollins, junior running back/wide receiver/defensive back Jack Williams and sophomore wide receiver/linebacker Cameron Rautenstrauch, who is also a quarterback.

“Michael (Scalise) is one of our captains. He has led our offense with seven touchdowns last year and was our second leading rusher,” Gates said. “He has been a starter for the last two seasons and developed some solid leadership skills. This fall Michael will be counted on to lead a balanced run/pass offense while playing a very challenging schedule. Michael is well respected by his teammates.”

Gates said three other players to watch are Davison, Holmes and Livingston.

“This trio of seniors have started for the last two years on defense and will be the key to stopping the run,” Gates said. “Payton (Livingston) was our leading tackler last season and Owen (Davison) was solid as well. Mitchell’s (Holmes) season was cut short by an injury that limited him to only four games.”

Gates said the Bulldogs will have 11 more key returners. They are: senior offensive lineman/defensive lineman, Riley Kelly; senior offensive lineman/defensive lineman, Caden Michaels; senior wide receiver/defensive back, Cole Jones; junior running back/defensive back, Sam Farrell; junior offensive lineman/defensive lineman, Jake Harter; junior wide receiever/defensive back, Gabe Kent; junior offensive lineman/defensive lineman, Mark Malanowsky; junior tight end/defensive end, Gino Marangi; junior wide receiver/defensive back, Jakob Mazur; junior offensive lineman/defensive lineman, Ryan Mayo and junior wide receiver/defensive back, Chris Sebastian.

According to Gates, the 17 first-year players for the Bulldogs are: senior offensive lineman/defensive lineman, Jon Klar; junior wide receiver/defensive back, Joe Smith; junior wide receiver/defensive back, Elijah Hanna; junior wide receiver/defensive back, Aidan Spina; junior wide receiver/defensive back, Jayden Luton; sophomore wide receiver/defensive back, John Brucker; sophomore wide receiver/defensive back, Vinny Jones; sophomore running back/defensive back, Max Janczewski; sophomore wide receiver/defensive back, Austin Welker; sophomore offensive lineman/defensive lineman, Aaron Wickham; sophomore offensive lineman/defensive lineman, Brady Shanley; sophomore offensive lineman/linebacker, Owen Kirk; sophomore offensive lineman/defensive lineman, Jason Landry; sophomore wide receiver/defensive back, Jayden Collins; sophomore fullback/linebacker, Christian Grant; freshman offensive lineman/defensive lineman, Jayson Mayo and freshman wide receiver/defensive back, Hayden Eaton.

“We feel that through hard work and a great attitude, the unselfish and dedicated young men from both schools will be competitive. As always, our expectations are to get better every week, and be competitive in Class C,” Gates said. “Our returning players are motivated by the fact that we get to play for a playoff berth and our younger players are eager to learn. They have been, and will continue to be, working hard to improve this season. We are confident that through hard work, experience, a tremendous attitude and a little good fortune, we can have a successful, productive season. Quite simply, it’s great to have the opportunity to play the game we love.”



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