Football will be different this fall

File photo (Lupo) Kieran Kreider gains yardage against Wallkill in last year’s section semifinals. He was injured later in the game, and missed the balance of the season.

File photo (Lupo)
Kieran Kreider gains yardage against Wallkill in last year’s section semifinals. He was injured later in the game, and missed the balance of the season.

Football fans can expect a lot of changes in September. Poughkeepsie has moved out of Cornwall’s league, and FDR has taken its place.

The regular season is shorter. Cornwall will play seven games and face just one non-league opponent.

Home vs. Goshen, Sept. 1
At Saugerties, Sept. 9
Home vs. Wallkill, Sept. 15
Home vs. NFA, Sept. 23
Home vs. FDR, Sept. 28
At Monticello, Oct. 7
At Port Jervis, Oct. 13

At the end of the regular season, six teams qualify for the playoffs. The schools that are third through sixth in the league standings face one another in the first round. The two top finishers get byes into the semifinals.

Besides the differences in format, fans will notice some changes in the Dragons. The team is young. There are just 11 seniors (which is about half the usual number). Five sophomores have been called up to the varsity, along with Aidan Semo — an eighth-grader who will be the second-string quarterback.

The first-string quarterback, Kieran Kreider, missed the end of last season due to an injury. He has recovered from surgery and has been moving and throwing well in practice. Jack Strohmeier and Derek D’Esposito are back from last year’s offensive line. And Coach Mike Connolly expects his Dragons to be quick — citing the speed of T.J. Gayle (who rushed for over 100 yards in three of his first four games last year) and Seth Goitia (the section’s fastest quarter miler). The team will employ a no-huddle offense to wear down the opposition.

Chris DiMedio will do the team’s placekicking. The coach has yet to select a punter. The Dragons hope to continue their string of success — having won 11 section championships in the last 12 years.

PAST 15 SEASONS
2002 4-5
2003 9-2 section champ
2004 6-3 third in section
2005 8-3 section champ
2006 11-2 state finalist
2007 10-1 section champ
2008 9-2 section champ
2009 9-3 region champ
2010 8-2 second in section
201110-2 region champ
2012 11-1 region champ
2013 10-2 region champ
2014 11-1 region champ
2015 9-2 section champ
2016 8-3 section champ

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Ken Cashman