It’s a huge weekend for Whitesboro football.
Not only is Whitesboro’s varsity team playing Union-Endicott in a state quarterfinal game Friday night, but two Pop Warner squads are playing in the state playoffs Saturday.
The Whitestown Warriors (pee wee) and Marcy-Deerfield Thunder (mitey mite) squads are preparing for big battles.
Whitestown finished the regular season unbeaten at 7-0, which included a 13-7 victory over the eventual Tri Valley League champion Utica Bulldogs. After defeating New Hartford in the league semifinals, the Warriors were edged 43-39 in a wild Tri Valley League Championship Game.
Whitestown’s runner-up finish in the TVL earned them a bid in the New York State Pop Warner Playoffs. The Warriors rolled to a 32-0 quarterfinal victory over Dexter last weekend. Now, Whitestown moves into the state semifinals to meet the Westchester Jets at noon Saturday at Bleecker Stadium in Albany. The winner plays for the state title Nov. 19 at Union College.
“It has been amazing,” said head coach Steve Chapman, who has coached all the way up the program from flag football, mitey mite, and junior pee wee to his current position. “It’s probably hardest working team I’ve had. The kids work hard from the start of practice to the end of practice. It’s fun coaching a team that works that hard and puts forth that type of effort.”
Marcy-Deerfield’s Mitey Mites play Irondequoit at 11 a.m. Saturday at Valley Sports Complex in Syracuse. The Thunder (10-0) blanked Carthage 6-0 last week to advance. Win or lose, this will be the finale for the Thunder as this level of Mitey Mite playoffs feature a maximum of two playoff games.
Head coach Brent Urgan’s squad finished 7-0 in the regular season and allowed just six points. They opened the playoffs with a 33-0 victory over Westmoreland in the TVL semis. Then in the championship game against Dolgeville, the Thunder, fueled by a pick-six with a minute remaining, rallied from a 12-6 halftime deficit to take the title with an 18-12 victory.
“This year has been so successful because we have a small team but worked really hard early on to foster a solid team environment,” Urgan said. “What has happened is every kid is so supportive of each other, they build each other up and celebrate everyone’s victories. With just 18 kids on our roster, everyone has really stepped up when called upon. They are an incredible group of kids who respect each other and their coaches. We would not be where we are though without the amazing support of our parents. They have been involved and supportive every step of the way. What we have with this team is really something special. I’m very proud of these boys and what we have accomplished.”
Players from both Whitestown and Marcy-Deerfield eventually come together at the modified level. Eventually they all dream of making trips to the Carrier Dome and helping the Whitesboro Warriors program win another Section 3 championship.
Whitestown did receive some assistance from the high school as Whitesboro athletic director Mike Deuel opened up Ed Wadas Athletic Complex for a Thursday night practice on the turf field.
“I said to Mr. Deuel that we make sure we don’t practice on Fridays so our kids can go to the varsity games,” Chapman said. “When they had a Thursday game we made it so they were able to go. The kids love going to those games and probably at least half of them were in Syracuse (Carrier Dome) last week.”
All the league runner-up finishers throughout New York State compete in a playoff bracket. Every champion meets in a separate bracket and has a chance to advance past the state level.
Whitestown Pee Wees: Connor Hahn, Frank Trotta, Lucas Kominick, Kyle Meier, Edwin Velic, Jacob Crouse, Salvatore Debiase, Spencer Cater, Anthony Kelly, Ryan Kominick, Nicholas Polnak, Jordan Hughes, Devin Hamacher-Bland, Noah Sharpe, Vinny Zajac, David Horning, Jack Peterson, Joseph Cirasuolo, Thad Potaczala, Dominick Moore, Subsen Ortiz, Jacob Long, Austin Rivera, Lucas Velarde, Robinson Dygert.
Coaches: Steve Chapman, Jae Constabile, Dave Cirasuolo, Rich Zajac, Tom Meyers.
Commissioner: Josh Smith. Team Moms: Shannon Meyers and Amber Chapman.
Marcy-Deerfield Mitey Mites: Giovanni Lang, Brady Urgan, Lorenzo Brancaccio, Cole Robison, Joseph Dare, Frank Zupancic, Adrian Weather, Dominic Catrombone, Nicholas Puleo, Gayge Amrhein, Gregory Zeiter, Ethan Hasenauer, Connor Robison, Dyllon Collver, Shane Harvey, Jayden Bies, Carmine Getz, Brady Fasolo.
Coaches: Brent Urgan, Joe Dare, Marc Fasolo, Jay Robison, Bob Zeiter, and Frank Zupancic.
COMING SOON: Check back early next week for a full story on the Utica Bulldogs Pop Warner Program which has three teams competing in the state playoffs.