Friday nights lights, or in some cases Saturdays, are back in Chenango County as the 2019 high school football season kicks off with four seems hitting the gridiron – Norwich, Bainbridge-Guilford, Greene and Harpursville/Afton.
Unadilla Valley, Oxford and Sherburne-Earlville are all members of Section III and Section IV’s 8-man leagues and are still in the preseason weeks as started practices a week ago. All three teams will see their first on-field action during scrimmage week September 14 with week one of the season to follow.
Norwich starts the season at the Dome in a Section IV versus Section III matchup, Bainbridge-Guilford and Greene open the year with a Class D division cross-over game and Harpursville/Afton is set for a non-divisional clash with Delhi.
Below are previews for week one action:
Norwich vs Indian River
At The Dome on Saturday, Kickoff at 7 p.m.
Under seventh year head coach Mike Chrystie, Norwich will take on Section III Class A Indian River in an exciting experience at the Dome in Syracuse Saturday night to kickoff the 2019 season for the Purple Tornado squad.
After finishing 6-4 in 2018, Norwich looks to return to the Section IV Class B playoffs but will have a tough test against the New York State Class A semifinalist Warriors of Indian River.
“Indian River has been very successful in the recent past,” said Chrystie. “They are a very physical team who wants to establish the run. They well coached and will play very aggressive.”
The head coach noted his group of guys will have to execute this week’s game plan instilled by the coaching staff, who have spent many days and nights breaking down film, with effort and technique.
“Week one against an opponent we have never seen can be challenging, especially against a program like Indian River,” Chrystie said. “If we can get our athletes in space and make big plays when they present themselves, we should have success Saturday night.”
It has been 20 years since Norwich last played in the Dome. The last team to play there for the Purple Tornado: the 1999 Section IV champions. “Playing in the dome has added a new level of excitement for our kids and I am excited for them to have this amazing experience.”
Bainbridge-Guilford vs Moravia
Home on Friday, Kickoff at 7 p.m.
A rematch from 2018’s week eight contest, the Bobcats will host the Moravia Blue Devils in the Friday night season opener.
“We have a lot of young guys who are getting their first chance to play under the lights Friday night,” said head coach Israel Lorimer. “While many of these kids are nervous, it is a good feeling as our Bobcats are prepared, focused and excited for our season opener.”
The week eight match up last season ended with Moravia walking away with a 26-6 victory, handing B-G their fourth straight loss to the season. Lorimer contributed to 20-point loss to the six turnovers by his team during the game.
“First and foremost, we have to take care of the ball against Moravia,” said the fourth-year head coach..