By PAUL WAGER
BROADALBIN — With just 22 players on his roster, Broadalbin-Perth football coach Jim Pelneau heads into the new season with plenty of uncertainty.
For the first time since Pelneau joined the program as an assistant in 2005, the Patriots won’t field a junior varsity team this fall.
“This is by far the smallest numbers we’ve had since I’ve been here, said Pelneau, who has been B-P’s head coach since 2011.
As a result, keeping players on the field will be essential.
“Depth is a big issue for us this year,” Pelneau said. “Staying healthy is going to be the name of the game for us.”
Numbers have proven to be an issue for several area teams this fall.
“The trend seems to be in Fulton and Montgomery counties that less and less kids are coming out for sports, especially at the modified level,” Pelneau said. “As time goes on and we get back to more normalcy, hopefully we can start pulling kids back into sports.”
With a schedule that features nine regular-season games, getting everyone to the finish line could be a challenge.
B-P is slated to open its schedule at Fonda-Fultonville on Sept 3. The Patriots also have road games at Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk (Sept. 10),
Mohonasen (9/24), Scotia-Glenville (10/1) and Glens Falls (10/23). B-P has home contests slated for Sept. 17 against Green Tech as well as Gloversville (10/8), Lansingburgh (10/15) and Hudson Falls (10/29).
“Our schedule is full for sure,” Pelneau said. “We’re trying to get things back to as normal as we can. The last year-and-a-half has been difficult for everyone. We’re looking forward to the season.”
After not playing any games in 2020, Broadalbin-Perth will take the field for the second time in 2021 this fall.
The Patriots made the most of the condensed Fall II campaign in March and April, going 4-0.
In the Fall II season, B-P posted wins over Gloversville (50-16), Johnstown (36-28), Cobleskill-Richmondville (21-13) and Green Tech (14-0). The Patriots also had games scheduled with Hudson Falls, Glens Falls and South Glens Falls that were canceled due to COVID protocols.
Ryan Visco, Jackson Sassanella, Michael Dormond, Patrick Arnold and Travis Burchell were the only seniors on B-P’s Fall II squad.
“We only lost five seniors, but they were our big skill position kids,” Pelneau said.
Though the Patriots lost some key players, they also return some experience as well.
“We have some experience up front,” Pelneau said. “We’re returning three or four on the offensive line. Our skill positions is where we’ve got to figure some things out. It’s going to be by committee.”
The long-time B-P coach said that his team has looked good so far this season.
“We’ve had a nice first couple days of practice,” Pelneau said. “The kids are excited and the coaches are too.”