High school football: Kingston, New Paltz, Wallkill among local teams kicking off season Saturday – The Daily Freeman

Kingston High School football player Miles Bryan scoops up the ball after blocking a throw during a practice session at the high school on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023. (Tania Barricklo/Daily Freeman)

KINGSTON, N.Y. — Kingston High’s football team is taking a trip to the Bronx on Saturday to open the 2023 season against Cardinal Spellman High.

The Tigers’ non-league contest at 2 p.m. against the private Catholic school highlights a slate of six games involving local Section 9 teams.

Kingston High coach Quintin Johnson remembers last year’s Week Zero game against Poughkeepsie was canceled at the 11th hour when the Dutchess County school was unable to field a squad.

“We were trying to find a Week Zero game this year because last year’s circumstances weren’t ideal,” Johnson said. “If my memory serves me correct, I think I just got a call one day and they (Cardinal Spellman) were looking for a game.”

Johnson said the Tigers’ contest with Cardinal Spellman will benefit the school in several ways.

“I thought it was a nice opportunity for us to play a Catholic school,” he said. “We’re traveling a lot, so I figured we might as well schedule a trip for the kids that they might not ever get.”

The Tigers are coming off a 5-4 season. It was the school’s first winning season in 11 years.

Cardinal Spellman had a rough season last year (1-9), with opponents outscoring the Pilots by a 375-34 margin. Cardinal Spellman was shut out five times.

In other games on Saturday, the featured game is a clash between 2022 Section 9 Class B finalist New Paltz at Class A Wallkill.

New Paltz at Wallkill, 7 p.m.

Under Freeman Coach of the Year Kyle Jansen, the visiting Huguenots rolled to a 7-4 record and advanced to the Class B title game a year after going 2-7 in 2021.

The Class A Panthers hope to improve on last year’s 4-6 mark with quarterback Chris Bartolone looking to have a big senior campaign. He recently committed to Division III powerhouse SUNY Cortland.

Marlboro at Saugerties, 1 p.m.

The visiting Iron Dukes are hoping to rebound from a rare losing season (4-6) with senior quarterback Miles Brooks
running the offense.

Saugerties was 1-9 a year ago has compiled a 3-23 mark over the last three seasons. The Sawyers battled Marlboro to the end last year before dropping a 14-6 verdict.

Red Hook at Beacon, 1 p.m.

The visiting Class B Raiders were 6-4 last season and finished 5-1 in league games under veteran coach Scott Ricketson, a former offensive coordinator at Kingston and New Paltz.

Class A Beacon is coming off an 0-7 season.

Liberty at Highland, 1 p.m.

Class B Liberty avoided a winless season last year with a 7-0 non-league win in the last game of the season over Highland.

The host Huskies, who finished 2-8 in Class C last season, are led by versatile two-way player James Gescheidle.

Moravia vs. Rondout Valley at Livingston Manor, noon

Rondout Valley has switched to eight-man football due to a lack of numbers. Coach Chris Frenza is hoping it’s a one-year experiment.

The Ganders finished 3-7 in Class B in 2022.

Section 4’s Moravia had a glittering 9-2 record in eight-man games last season and should be favored in this non-league affair.

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