After a well-earned break from blogging after putting out our annual high school football preview, I'm back with some fresh takes on the 2017 season. Also, check out this week's One Man's Rankings a little farther down this entry.
Unfortunately, in a collision sport like football, injuries are almost inevitable. Sadly, Warrensburg senior linebacker/running back Greg Shambo saw his season end in Saturday's season opener against Woodstock (Vt.).
According to Burghers head coach Mike Perrone, Shambo suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament when he was rolled up on while covering a kickoff during Saturday's 20-7 victory.
"It's terrible because he's such a great kid," Perrone said. "He was the MVP of the (Class D) league last year, and he was looking even better this year after a great offseason."
Perrone said the Burghers were a little shaken at first, but realized the adjustments they had to make — especially on defense — were working.
"After they scored, some of the guys started to look a little wide-eyed, like 'uh-oh,' but the good news is we had a big second half," Perrone said.
On offense, Trevor Prosser and Cole Lanfear shouldered the load and combined to rush for 339 yards — 201 by Prosser and 138 by Lanfear. Prosser also scored two touchdowns.
"Both Trevor and Cole stepped up on offense and defense," Prosser said. "On defense, Hunter Mosher shifted inside (at linebacker) and had a great game. That was a confidence booster for the kids — they know we can still do it, we can still have a great season."
And now, on to my One Man's Rankings, my completely off-the-cuff read on the top five teams right now in each class, heading into Week 2:
1. Troy (1-0), 2. Shaker (1-0), 3. Shenendehowa (1-0), 4. Saratoga Springs (1-0), 5. Guilderland (0-1). Honorable mention: Ballston Spa (1-0), CBA (0-1), Colonie (1-0), Bethlehem (0-1), La Salle (1-0). Why: Troy and Shaker both made impressive debuts, with Shaker shutting out CBA 31-0 -- and CBA was my second-ranked team last week. Shen and Saratoga also logged big wins, but Guilderland did its best to hang with Shen, so I have a feeling the Dutchmen will continue to be a factor as the season unfolds.
1. Burnt Hills (1-0), 2. Amsterdam (1-0), 3. Queensbury (0-1), 4. Averill Park (1-0), 5. South Glens Falls (1-0). Honorable mention: Mohonasen (1-0), Gloversville (0-1). Why: Burnt Hills looked solid in its 31-20 win over Queensbury on Saturday, while Queensbury can certainly be a factor. Amsterdam rolled past Scotia 35-8, while Averill Park cruised past Class B Lansingburgh in Week 1.
1. Glens Falls (1-0), 2. Schuylerville (1-0), 3. Ravena (1-0), 4. Schalmont (0-1), 5. Hudson Falls (1-0). Honorable mention: Cobleskill (1-0), Hudson (0-1). Why: Glens Falls remains on top and Schuylerville moves up to second after its impressive 47-14 rout of Schalmont -- and I think it's a combination of the Black Horses being better than advertised and Schalmont having a lot of young players in the mix. Ravena is always tough, Schalmont should continue to improve, and I'm moving Hudson Falls up after its 33-0 opening win over Ichabod Crane.
1. Stillwater (1-0), 2. Mechanicville (1-0), 3. Holy Trinity (1-0), 4. Chatham (0-1), 5. Hoosick Falls (1-0). Honorable mention: Watervliet (1-0), Voorheesville (1-0), Lake George/Hadley-Luzerne (0-1), Tamarac (1-0), Coxsackie-Athens (0-1). Why: Stillwater and Mechanicville scored 50 and 49 points, respectively, in impressive season debuts last week, while Holy Trinity had to battle Chatham for a 13-6 victory. Hoosick Falls looked solid against LG/H-L, but probably little separates either of them from Watervliet and Voorheesville, too.
1. Cambridge (1-0), 2. Greenwich (1-0), 3. Canajoharie (1-0), 4. Hoosic Valley (0-1), 5. Warrensburg (1-0). Honorable mention: Whitehall (1-0), Helderberg Valley (1-0). Why: Cambridge and Greenwich look like the top two teams, and Canajoharie has good numbers and a balanced attack. Hoosic Valley is always tough, but Warrensburg took a hit with the loss of LB Greg Shambo. Whitehall is right up there with the others -- Saturday's game against Hoosic Valley will tell a lot about both teams.