LeRoy
Oatkan Knights
Football 2002

PREVIEW
Knights have the talent and experience to add yet another title
The 2002 Knights return 3 all-state selections:
(76) Don Miller - 1st team defense, (80) Brendan Fulmer - 2nd team defense,
and (10) Joe Shaughnessy - 3rd team defense

The 2002 LeRoy Oatkan Knights look forward to this year's season with high hopes after returning some key personnel from last season's Section 5 Class C championship squad. Coupled with some very good talent up from an undefeated JV team, the Knights hope to become the fourth school in Section 5 football history to garner double-digits in sectional football crowns. Only the vaunted programs from Clyde-Savannah (13), Cal-Mum (12) and Fairport (11) have more Section 5 football titles. To join that illustrious trio would be quite an honor. A 10th title will not come easy this season. The Knights are a marked team on everyone's schedule. But believe this, Coach Moran will have this team prepared to put on quite an offensive and defensive show.

The quest for a 10th title begins on Friday, September 6th, away against the Avon Braves. Coach Andy Englert's surprise squad of 2001 will not surprise anyone this season. There will be no surprises because the Braves should have another excellent season. The team gained a lot of confidence with their successful 2001 campaign and were much more than a one-man show (referring to departed 2001 Class C Offensive MVP Germaine Dixon). The Braves return some very talented backs to run behind a strong and impressive line. Their defense can lay a lick on you as well as any team in Section 5. The rematch of last year's Class C championship final will commence with a 7:30 pm kickoff at Avon.

LeRoy 2002 features a strong and quick line that is anchored by right tackle Don Miller. Miller, a senior, was an All-Greater Rochester 1st team selection on defense as well as 1st team all-state. Warning to all of those lining up against the 260 lb. "Moose", be prepared for war. Donny has worked extremely hard all year long for his final scholastic season and will be truly be a force. Next to Miller will be senior right guard Jason Hodge. Jason, the defensive signal caller, is a rough and tough 190 lbs. after a summer of training. His burst off the line will have opposing linemen believing he weighs considerably more. At center, is senior strongman Jake Syracuse. Jake packs 210 lbs. of muscle on his frame and will be more than a handful for linebackers with his power and agility. Syracuse, like Miller, will be a force for opposing coaches to figure out. At left guard will be junior Ian Whitcroft, a standout on last year's JV squad. "Donkey" is a stout 215 lbs. that can pop an opponent all night long with a nasty attitude. The front-runner for left tackle looks to be Sean Whiting, a senior that has trained himself to a rugged 205 lbs.. Look for Sean to open some large holes for his cousin RB Jake. Tight end will be shared by junior Danny Panek, a scrappy junior with excellent hands, and junior transfer from Florida, Ian "Gator" Christiansen. Ian's 6'3", 235 lbs. will come in quite handy for the LeRoy grind-it-out running attack.

The backfield, though not large, is strong, fast, and experienced. Senior Joe Shaughnessy returns for his 3rd season as the LeRoy signal caller. Joe is one of the few athletes in LeRoy football history to have played on the varsity since his freshman year, and started, mind you. Shaughnessy can do it all. Joe completed 52 passes last season (54%) for nearly 700 yards and 12 TDs. He also was the team's second leading rusher with 513 yards while running in 9 TDs of his own. Joe also snagged 4 interceptions from his cornerback position. Look for Joe to repeat as an all-state selection, which is a common feat for the Shaughnessy name in LeRoy football lore. Joe will be handing off to last year's leading rusher, senior scatback Joe Cosimeno. Joe C. rushed for 755 yards in 2001, averaging an outstanding 6.3 yards per carry. Joe is fired up for his third varsity season and will continue to impress fans. The third "Joe" in the LeRoy backfield will be senior Joe Caccamise. Joe has added considerable muscle without losing any speed, and you will see speed from Mr. Caccamise when he hits the hole. Caccamise emerged at the end of the 2001 season, averaging an astounding 9.0 yards per carry. If having 3 talented "Joes" was not enough, the Knights will throw into the mix junior standout Jake Whiting. Jake is a fine blend of size and speed and will be the punishing inside ground gainer, as well as a threat to take it around end. Meet this player with an arm tackle and you will be seeing the back of his helmet as he blows by or over you.

The Knights possess the best pair of receivers in the LCAA. Seniors Brendan Fulmer and Sam DeFazio will be showcased when the Knights take to the air, which may be more often than opponents think. Brendan grabbed 12 TD passes last season and will have the opportunity to surpass those numbers. The do-it-all Fulmer possesses uncanny speed and has added 15 lbs. of muscle to his 6'6" frame. After he scores, Brendan kicks the PATs (38 of 40 in 2001) and then boots the ball on kickoff, usually out of or near the end zone of the opponent. He averaged 37 yards a punt when the Knights did punt (LeRoy punted just 14 times in 11 contests in 2001). Need a field goal? Brendan was 5 of 5 with a 37-yarder to his credit. Brendan also snagged 5 interceptions on defense in 2001 for good measure. Wonder why he is all-state? If you key on Fulmer and double-team him, you will be left to contend with senior wideout Sammy DeFazio. Sam has good speed and excellent hands. This fearless receiver will open eyes as he has already done in the daily practices at Hartwood Park.

The defense is coached by Andrew Paladino, the unsung master on the LeRoy coaching staff. Year in, year out, Andrew has devised schemes to negate the very best offensive weapons of the Knight's opponents. The team yielded just 63 points in 11 games last season, while scoring 443. Look for more of the same as the Knights defense will again be strong, quick, tenacious, and down right nasty. The defense will be aptly manned by the likes of Miller, Hodge, Syracuse, Jake & Sean Whiting, Joe Cosimeno, Caccamise, Fulmer, Shaughnessy, and DeFazio. Other defensive standouts will include senior Kenny "K-Dog" Smith, who registered 70 tackles in 2001. Smith is very quick off the line, stays in constant motion, and is fearless with whatever scheme you throw at him. Senior Jeremy Cosimeno, an LCAA wrestling champion, will display his takedown abilities on the gridiron from a linebacker position as will rugged sophomore Andrew Fox. Andrew was a valuable member on last season's 9-0 JVs and will display the same textbook tackling skills his brother Billy (2001 grad) showed last season. The team has considerable depth on both sides of the ball. Coach Moran points to receiving considerable playing time from Jason Spencer, Matt Bennetti, Ryan Duthe, Casey Moran, Brandon Klinkbeil, and Tim Dieffenbacher.

Good luck to Coach Moran who starts the season with a 100-33-2 lifetime record at LHS. Brian is currently tied with Cal-Mum coaching legend Mike Monacelli for most individual sectional titles with 8. Moran will be ably aided by his trio of talented assistant coaches Jim Bonacquisti, Andrew Paladino, and Chris Cappotelli.

 
 
The talented Cosimeno brothers
Jeremy (1) and Joe (32) return for 2002
Defensive star Kenny Smith
introduces himself to another QB
LB Jason Hodge was an MVP award
winner in 2001 Western Regional
Speedster Joe Caccamise is
sure to spark the LeRoy offense
Sam DeFazio will be receiving his
share of congratulations in 2002
Sean Whiting (73) has worked hard
and will be a force on the line
League all-star Jake Syracuse
will shine on both sides of the ball
Florida transfer Ian Christiansen
provides size & strength for the Knights
Lineman Ian Whitcroft will be opening
up some large holes for the LR backs
RB Jake Whiting is a threat with
the ball inside and outside
Andrew Fox (34) will show why he
is on the varsity as a sophomore
Newcomer Jason Spencer is a
rugged soph with great potential