Tom Ida returns to the Moriah backfield this fall. Ida was a key players as the Vikings reached the state semifinals in 2010.
Sept. 2....at Plattsburgh
Sept. 17...at Peru
Oct. 1.......at Tupper Lake
Oct. 22.....at Beekmantown
Moriah has established itself as a state football powerhouse. The Vikings reached the state Class D championship game in 2008 and 2009 before losing to the eventual champ in the state semifinals last season.
There’s no reason to expect things to change in 2011. Moriah returns 16 players from last season’s 10-2 squad.
“We expect to be competitive and play for the Section VII Class D title with hopes of moving on to the state playoffs,” Coach Don Tesar said. “It’ll be a tough challenge, but the talent is there.”
As usual, the Vikings will be led by a stout offensive line that will pave the way for a strong running game.
Tim Breeyear, Ron Perry, Conner Rodriguez, Justin Cutting, Craig MacDougal, Trevor Cheney, Carlo Calabrese, Jake Stevenson and Ethan Roberts all have experience on the offensive line. New to the pits are Cory Daly, Derek Brassard, Ben Schaefer, Dakotah Marcotte and Jared Feith.
“Filling the O-line is a concern with only three players seeing a considerable amount of action last season,” Tesar said. “But we have 14 linemen, nine returning, so we have plenty of depth.”
Landon Cross returns at quarterback. He’s joined by rookie Cole Gaddor.
Moriah is blessed with a deep and talented stable of running backs. Tom Ida, Jim Curran, Tom Slattery, Jeff Greenough and Dave Quinn return. New to the backfield are Skyler Graham, Taylor Whalen, Zack Beeman, Richie Stockwell, Jessup Calkins, Mike Mero and John Wallace.
The wide receivers include Travis Newphew, Ian Williams, Greenough, Calkins and Mero.
Mike Badger and Cheney return as tight ends. They’re joined by Ryan Shpur, Jesse Lee, Dillon Adkins and Taylor Whalen.
“There are 20 players competing for offensive back and ends spots,” Tesar noted. “Only two of those players saw a lot of action last season.”
Moriah is known throughout the Northern Football Conference for its bruising defense. The Vikings are annually among the league’s top teams at stopping the run.
The defensive line this fall will feature Perry, Roberts, Stevenson, MacDougal, Brassard, Schaefer, Marcotte, Feith, Breeyear, Badger, Shpur, Lee and Curran.
The linebackers will be Rodriguez, Calabrese, Cutting Cheney, Stockwell, Whalen, Beeman, Graham, Breeyear and Ida.
In the secondary Moriah will feature Cross, Greenough, Slattery, Stockwell, Calkins, Quinn, Mero, Wallace, Nephew and Williams.
“Size could be a problem, but hopefully we can make up for that with team quickness,” Tesar said. “We expect to be competitive with teams in the league.”
Moriah posted a 7-1 NFC mark in 2010.
A key to success in 2011 will be finding someone to fill the shoes of Nick Gilbo, an all-state fullback and linebacker. Gilbo led the Vikings in rushing, scoring and tackles the last two years.
Assisting Tesar on the sideline will be Tom Anderson, Chris Lobdell, Casey Nephew, Pete Gilbo, Jim Langey and Aaron Brassard.