Rome Free Academy football will get two more matches this year, including five home games compared to three years ago. Part III announces the soccer schedule for this fall, with Roma starting the season at home at 7 pm. on Friday, September 4, against Christian Brothers Academy.
CBA is one of two schools that will be in Class A next season after being in Class AA with RFA last year. Both teams will not play in 2019. RFA will then host rival Utica Proctor at 7pm. Friday, September 11.
“You have to bring your game week after week,” said RFA head coach Jake DerCola today from Class AA. He noted that the RFA will play league favorites Cicero-Syracuse North and Liverpool at the end of the year, October 23 on the road against C-NS and a week later at home against Liverpool to finish the regular season. That, he said, “can help us.”
The match against Proctor could look a lot different from the defeat 50-14 years ago on the road, he said. “They have a very large senior class. Playing it as the second game, they might still think of everything. “
The five matches in the middle of the schedule for the RFA are: 18 September at Baldwinsville, 25 September against Henninger, 2 October in Corcoran, 9 October in Nottingham and 16 October at home against West Genesee.
Last year RFA was 2-6 in DerCola’s second year in control.
There, DerCola noted, “good core groups will return.” Of the 15 seniors who played last season, around half played significant time. A number of juniors gained significant playing time last year.
Offensive, RFA will return to quarterback Evan DeLutis, run back Nevaeh Baez, Alexander Wells receiver and offensive line which has three starters and other experienced players back. Dayton Kelly was very impressive in the season-ending crossover match against Lockport last year after being called up from a junior university, the coach noted. DerCola added that DeLutis, who took over QB over the past season, “has worked hard, trained. He wants it. “
Defensively, the team must replace Brandon Laribee in the middle of the line, because the senior who put up mid-year ago graduated this spring. Back are linebackers Ryan O’Connell and James McKeown, who helped anchor defense last year.
“We are happy about that, that we have a good core to return to,” DerCola said. “Obviously it’s about how we practice.”
And training is complicated when student-athletes adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. Spring sports are in danger and training for soccer starts early. “The children are now in their own training,” said DerCola, who noted that he had sent training players at home. “The hard part is, during spring we have the opportunity to get together once or twice a week to do football stuff.” The camps have not been canceled, and, he added, “tap on wood, hopefully everything can be controlled.”
DerCola said having five home games this season was “a great thing.” The Black Knight gets two home games to open last season the other three home games stagger along the rest, with a home match to complete the usual seaon.
One change seen at the start of the season was the lack of a Kickoff Classic at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. There is a large construction on the dome so the event will take a year off but is planned again for 2021, according to the event sponsor, Chapter CNY of the National Football Foundation. DerCola said that “This is a great experience for our people,” the heat in the dome hit the player hard and caused cramps throughout the game. He said it might have an impact on the game, which lost RFA to Nottingham 20-7 despite scoring the first goal.
Following is the schedule for other local teams:
• Adirondack. The Wildcats made their debut eight footballers this year, and will open at home against Weedsport on September 10 before traveling to Morrisville. They hosted Cooperstown next then played a road game against Bishop Grimes and the Valley of Western Canada. They entertain Newfield and then South Lewis before the regular season ends with an away match against New York Mills.
• Camden. Blue Devils will have seven regular season matches. They started at Fulton on September 11 then played at home against Westhill, at Central Valley Academy, at home against Oneida then New Hartford and ended with a road game at VVS and Chittenango.
• Canastota The Red Raiders open at home September 11 against Clinton before leaving for Bishop Ludden. They then host Skaneateles then play in Little Falls. They entertain Westmoreland then play at Solvay before ending the regular season at home against Sherburne-Earlville.
• Clinton. The Warriors are on the 4th and 11th of September against Sauquoit Valley and Canastota. Then they returned home against Sherburne-Earlville and Bishop Ludden. They traveled to Skaneateles then returned to play Little Falls. They end the season with a trip to Westmoreland and then entertain Solvay.
• Holland Patent. The Golden Knights open the September 11 season by hosting Mount Markham then traveling to Lowville. They entertain Jordan-Elbridge before a road match against Hannibal and General Brown. They ended the regular season with home games against Cazenovia and Southern Hills.
• Oneida. Indians open September 11 at Syracuse Tech, then get a home match against Marcellus before a road match against VVS and Camden. They play Chittenango at home, head to the CVA and wrap up the regular season at home against New Hartford.
• Lewis South. The Falcons open their eight-player soccer season on September 11 at Tupper Lake, then remain on the road against Cooperstown and Western Canada. They then returned home for three consecutive matches against Morrisville, Weedsport and New York Mills. They then played at Adirondack and returned home to end the regular season against Trumansburg.
• Vernon-Verona-Sherrill. The Red Devils open September 11 at Marcellus then have home games against Syracuse Tech and Oneida. They traveled to Chittenango then became CVA hosts. They played in New Hartford before ending the regular season at home against Camden.
• Oriskany-Westmoreland. The integrated Bulldogs team opened the season at Skaneateles on September 11, which later became home to Little Falls. They will be on the road against Sherburne-Earlville then return to Solvay. They traveled to Canastota, returned home to play Clinton then wrapped up the regular season at Bishop Ludden.
Part III has several soccer teams in different places this coming season, when teams move to different classes.
In Class AA, where the RFA, CBA and Fayetteville-Manlius games go to Class A.
Class A also got Jamesville-DeWitt and Fulton from the former Developmental League.
Class B will change from 16 teams to a dozen. Cazenovia, Bishop Ludden and Solvay dropped down to Class C and Mexico became independent.
Class C will lose one team. Adirondack departs for eight-man football while Cato-Meridian, Herkimer and Utica Notre Dame are assigned to Class D. Port Byron-Union Springs will be independent. Also attending were Cazenovia, Bishop Ludden and Solvay, as did Sherburne-Earlville, who played eight players last season.
Class D grew from eight to 11 teams. Cato-Meridian, Herkimer and Notre Dame dropped out of Class C.
The football of eight local people runs from 10 to nine teams, and there will only be one division. Adirondack will go down to eight people, while Sherburne and Altmar-Parish-Williamson return to 11-man soccer.
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