The Lancaster Redskins will play host to the Depew Wildcats on Friday night in Lancaster, New York in a non-league rivalry matchup. This rivalry is one of the most passionate and oldest rivalries in New York, with the first game being played in 1919. The Wildcats have won 2 straight in the series, including last season’s 20-13 win. However, the Redskins hold the advantage in the all-time series, 47-30-7. There will be some new faces in this year’s edition of the rivalry as both teams have new head coaches. Chris Dickson steps in to replace longtime Coach Len Jankiewicz, who coached for 26 years at Lancaster. Brian Wilson takes over for Dan McGrath at Depew. Wilson has been an assistant on McGrath’s staff for 12 seasons and the school’s athletic director since 2011.
The Depew Wildcats finished off an impressive 2011 campaign that saw the team go 8-2 and make it to the Section VI Class B championship game before losing to Alden. The Wildcats return 9 starters from last year but lose some key players on offense. Junior Anthony Buono will replace Aaron Ertel who quarterbacked the Wildcats for the last 3 seasons. Sophomore Rodney Turner will be the featured back with senior Brian Rybak getting some carries throughout the season as well. Rybak will return to the defense where he started at safety in 2011 and was the team’s leading tackler. Junior Derrick Sekuterski will be Buono’s go-to receiver. Sekuterski’s 6’2” frame will be key in exploiting small defensive backs. Preseason All-WNY candidates Mike Lamb and Robert Buono will anchor the offensive line that will try to carve out some holes for Turner and Rybak to run through. Defensively, the Wildcats will need to do some rebuilding. Nathaniel Hyman and Nick McAuley will lead a strong secondary for the Wildcats. Sekuterski and Brandon Atlas will head the linebacker core. Nick Yelich and Adam Steiner will compete at defensive end while Lamb and R. Buono will be on the d-line. The Wildcats are off to a 5-1 start. Their lone loss of the season came last weekend at the hands of Alden, who has now won 25 straight over Section VI opponents.
Head Coach Chris Dickson inherited a Lancaster team that went 4-5 in 2011 before losing a heartbreaker in overtime to Kenmore West in the Section VI Class AA quarterfinals. The 2012 team will be led junior first-year starting quarterback Kevin Colafranceschi. Lining up behind him will be junior running back Matt Szymanski who will also be a starting linebacker on defense. The running attack will not rest solely on Szymanski’s shoulders as there will be many different players who will see carries. Connor Asposto, Mitch Fuller and Mike Curran will also see time at running back for the Redskins. Senior Bryan Koscielny and junior Dan Corbi will be the main targets at wide receiver in Dickson’s multi-formation offense. Senior Hayden Schonert will line up at tight end on top of his linebacking duties on defense. The secondary will be led by Mitch Fuller at safety and Taylor Danni and Tyler Bork at cornerback. The 2012 Redskins are off to a 1-5 start and who can blame them. So far they have faced the defending state champion Orchard Park (L 34-24), the Class AA runner-up Jamestown (L 29-22) and the perennial powerhouse Clarence (L 25-21). Lancaster was competitive in all 3 games but could not come up with any upsets.
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