By James A. Ellis
GLOVERSVILLE — There has been an air of confidence surrounding the Gloversville Huskies during the off season and pre-season workouts.
The Huskies are coming off a 7-4 season in which they ended a 21 year absence from a championship game. Despite dropping a 33-14 decision to Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk in the Section II Class B championship game, and losing 11 seniors to graduation, head coach Jim Robare said that experience has carried over to this year’s squad.
“What an experience for us. What an experience for our kids that were part of that,” Robare said. “Where we placed last year was good for our school district and our community. It actually increased our numbers for JV and varsity. Most certainly we were placed down in the Bs where we could compete a bit more or compete in every game. The kids are excited and have continued to work in the weight room. We were 25 to 35 strong in the weight room three days a week.”
Gloversville opened last season with victories over Johnstown and Lansingburgh before dropping games to Ravena and Schalmont. The Huskies recovered to win five of their last six games to reach the Class B title game.
“Last year’s energy level was because we had great leadership as far as our seniors. I think this year our seniors are on track to being equal if not better than what you saw last year. We have a lot of confident players that will play with confidence and speed. A lot of that carried over from last year’s team with the juniors able to watch what those seniors did.”
Those seniors included quarterback Garrett Dooling, fullback/linebacker John Heimer V, tight end/defensive end Gio Glionna and receiver/cornerback Simon Bruce, along with Nicholas LaRowe, Kaymen Lewis-Matthews, Brady Renda, Brett Rulison, Zach Springer, Presten Tubb and Dylan Wellman.
“We have three skilled players back, Kyle Robare, Leo Perez and Dom Dorman,” Coach Robare said. “Plus, we have Logan Oathout on the outside and Hunter Strauser also as a running back. Our skilled positions right now are pretty solid.”
Taking over the signal-calling duties will be sophomore Cael Porter.
“Cael Porter is a sophomore and he has been working hard on throwing and handoffs to get better,” coach Robare said. ”He was the junior varsity quarterback last year and the back-up on varsity every game. He did a good job. Our team believes in him and if he can’t throw the ball, we should be able to run the ball with the size of the line and the running backs we have.”
Gloversville will open its season with three-straight home games, including an opening night rematch against Schalmont on Friday.
The Huskies and Sabres met twice last season with Schalmont winning the regular season game 28-7 and Gloversville taking the Class B semifinal game 15-14 on Glionna’s 2-point conversion run in the closing second.
“That first game is going to be a battle,” Robare said. “Time to buckle up the shoes and the helmets because we are both going to bring it. Coach Whipple and that group are going to be prepared for us for sure and vice versa. It was a battle between us and Schalmont last year. Both games were fun. They handled us the first time and the second game may have been different with a little bit of luck by both squads. It could have gone either way.”
Gloversville will host Green Tech on Sept. 9 and Lansingburgh on Sept. 16 before heading to Scotia-Glenville for its game on Sept. 30.
The Huskies return home on Sept. 30 for a match-up against Hudson Falls before heading to Glens Falls for a 1:30 contest on Saturday, Oct. 8. After receiving a Week 7 mye, Gloversville heads to Ravena for a rematch of the Class B title game on Oct. 21 before closing out the regular season at home against Cohoes on Oct. 28.
“Anytime we get a home game it is great for our community and it is great for our kids,” Coach Robare said. “For us to open with three games at home is special. We are happy the schedule is the way it is. Across the board, the Bs are going to be tough all season.”
Joining Robare on the Gloversville coaching staff are Ryan Mulligan, Martin Mulligan, Adam Towne, Eric Cheney and Marc Porter.
“We are going to be OK, but everything is a question mark when you go into a season with the important positions we have to replace,” Coach Robare said. “I would always like our program not to rebuild but from now on to reload. I have talked to my guys about that. Everybody at the JV and modified levels, when they move up, they should be ready to play.”