Jr. John Whiting, the cornerstone of the LR lines,
enters his 3rd season as a starter
Sr. QB Mark Bennetti is 21-2 as
a starter for the Oatkan Knights
   

The 2005 football season saw the Class C Section V crown fall into the possession of a program other than the Oatkan Knights or nearby rival Caledonia-Mumford. The Marcus Whitman Wildcats bettered the home town Knights 25-14 and went on to nearly earn a state title at the Syracuse Carrier Dome. Whitman has moved to Class B, the Red Raiders of Cal-Mum will once again be a force, and the Oatkan Knights have made it their mission not to see another runner-up trophy that would ultimately find its way into the shrubbery near the practice facilities.

The Knights played well in last week's scrimmage with sectional power Victor (a team that has appeared in 7, yes 7, consecutive sectional championship contests in Class A), speedy Franklin, and a rugged Livonia Bulldog squad. Conditioning is ongoing, lifting is continuing, and the 'Boys in Black' are getting after it on the field. The team returns experienced talent that will be bolstered by additions from last season's unbeaten JV team. The coaches return as well, and the promise of another outstanding season has the town very excited.

Head Coach Brian Moran (138-39-2, 77%, 10 Section V crowns) returns at the helm of the LeRoy program that has won 85% of its games in the past 11 seasons, sporting a 105-18 record. Final state rankings of 1st-1995, 2nd-1996, 2002, 2004, 4th-1998 (with a team with 4 losses!), and 5th in 2005 support the notion that the Knights are successful on both local and state levels. The LeRoy program ranks 3rd (tie) in total sectional football titles (11) trailing only the elite programs of Clyde-Savannah and Cal-Mum (13 each). Since the NY state football playoffs began in 1993, Cal-Mum (19) and LeRoy (16) have played in more total playoff games than any other Class C schools in the state.

Coach Ron Plummer returns as the offensive coordinator after a fantastic 2005 debut in which he engineered the upset of state Class B power Hornell and tweaked the offense to win a fierce sectional semifinal battle against the Cal-Mum Raiders without the services of NY 1st team RB Mike Farabella. The offense is loaded with weapons and Coach Plummer's O will be posting numbers for sure. Earlier this summer the Knights, defending Small School Division champs at the St. John Fisher Passing Camp, earned
a 2nd place finish, losing a tight battle to a talented East Aurora squad from Buffalo's Section VI in the championship contest.

Every season Coach Andrew Paladino brings a commanding, insightful presence to the football field. He talks and players listen. It is easy to follow the leadership of a knowledgeable and proven athlete/coach. He just doesn't speak of LeRoy lore and tradition, he lives and breathes it. When he isn't pounding the treadmill, he is devising a defensive game plan to pound the opposition and let them know what smash-mouth football is all about. A wry smile indicates his confidence in this year's defensive talent.

The assistant coaches return for the 2006 campaign intact. Jim Bonacquisti has made it possible for the boys to get ample hours in the weight room due to his tireless dedication and love of LeRoy football. Dell Storey knows line technique and is not afraid to share it with the team to make them better. He also coaches another type of 'foot'ball - soccer (don't let that out!). Hooks Robertson, with his kind words and endless class, roams our sidelines on both practice and gameday. He is modest, but I do not have to be when talking of Hooks - he is loved by all. JV coach Brad Dietsch has developed much of the talent that will be likely showcased this season on the varsity. He puts incredible effort into the LeRoy program, literally and figuratively. His annual LeRoy program "Friday Knight Lights", a compilation nonpareil for any high school program in this state, will be available for the home opener against the Batavia Blue Devils, September 1st. Be sure to purchase a copy to learn of this year's team and of the history of one of NY's finest small school football programs - the LeRoy Oatkan Knights.

   
Sr. Tommy Bestor has prepared
diligently for the 2006 season
Sr. Craig Tiberio will make his presence
known on both offense and defense

The Knights' offense sports an outstanding line for the 2006 season. The Great Wall of LeRoy, John Whiting and Marcus Epps, return to the right side of line at guard and tackle respectively. Whiting, a 6' 250 lb. junior, returns for his 3rd year as a STARTER up front. His athletic intellect and might earned him LCAA 1st team D-line honors in 2005. This year will be no different. The weight room has been his home away from home. Marcus "Big Cat" Epps, an LCAA 1st team O-line member in '05, is a towering 6'2' 260 lb. man-child who earned respect on the track team as a fine discus thrower. Anyone in the Cat's way will learn what is feels like to be a human discus, as the quick footed junior is ready to do battle in the trenches. Tight end will be manned by another mainstay of the LeRoy weight room, Alex DiFrancisco. The wiry strong Alex D. has coaches very pleased with his efforts as he is a fine blocker while possessing sure hands to snag the ball when called upon. Alex works hard and it will pay dividends for this, his senior year. Someone needed to fill the bill at left guard on the line - enter 3rd year starter Kevin Brady. The soft spoken Brady hits like a mule and his experience and leadership will be huge assets for this year's squad. Brady will be sure to work hard with this year's left tackle Jordan Casper, a 6'1 230 lb. sophomore, who paved the way for the RBs of last season's undefeated JV squad. When you hear the name Casper, and you have and will more so in the years to come, you are watching strong, hard nosed, respectful young men that give it all, both on and off the field. Center will be shared this season by senior Tim Herron and junior Chris Locke. Both have shined in the preseason and are more than capable of filling this position, opening and protecting space in the middle.

The QB for this year's team will once again be talented senior Mark Bennetti. Mark is a gifted athlete that has done nothing but win as the starting quarterback. He is 21-2 as the leader of the offense. That is 91%! The 2 losses were to 2004 state champ Dobbs Ferry and #2 final state ranked Marcus Whitman in 2005. That is a very impressive resume'. Mark was 57 of 103 (55%) for 845 yds and 13 TDs in '05. Look for even better numbers from this 6' 180 lb. senior in '06. Lining up in the backfield will be some talent that will provide a strong rushing attack, a LeRoy mainstay. Brady Bonacquisti, an aptly named co-captain with Kevin Brady, Mark Bennetti, and John Whiting, will be featured as fullback. Tough, smart, hard-working, and driven are just some of the terms you can use to describe this junior all-star. He gets low and runs hard, whether to rush or block for any number of backs who will likely see action in the backfield this season. Senior Tommy Bestor was a JV all-star two seasons ago before an injury cut his season short. Last season, an abundance of talented senior RBs limited his touches. Tom did not walk into this season thinking hey, it my position by default. He worked hard in the weight room, put forth the effort that all on the team have noticed, and has earned a starting role. When it comes to one-on-one tough man drills, you don't want #20 flying at you. Tommy will have the opposition thinking "where did this kid come from?" One RB that opposing coaches will recognize because of his stellar efforts as a sophomore on JVs is Ian Humphrey. Small guy - BIG numbers. GAUDY stats. The 5'7 150 lb. junior raced for 1470 yards in just 8 games last season. He AVERAGED an amazing 9 yards per carry, while scoring 22 TDs! You don't AVERAGE 226 all-purpose yards per game by accident. And to think, he rarely played deep into the THIRD quarter. Key on one Humphrey, and boom, another Humphrey can and will burn you. Lanky sophomore sensation Mike "Spider Man" Humphrey, averaged 17 yards per reception on JVs last season. He focuses on the ball, contorts his body to make a clean catch without contact, and hauls in everything thrown his way. Go ahead and tip the pass, he'll simply adjust and bring it on in. Sounds familiar? Sure does. Not only does that describe Mike Humphrey, it is part and parcel for senior wideout sensation Craig Tiberio. The 6'3 175 lb. has been dubbed one of the finest talents in the LCAA by Coach Moran's favorite sports publication. Craig had so many outstanding plays on both sides of the ball in 2005 that he was named all-LCAA on both offense and defense. Craig AVERAGED 20 yards a reception last season and picked off 7 balls as a free safety. The Honorable Mention all Greater Rochester player was placed on the New York State Class C 2nd team as a defensive back. Needless to say, teams will have defensive concerns for LeRoy's #13. If that wasn't enough, senior Justin Becker adds yet another receiving option for Coach Plummer's offense. Becker is strong, fast, and sure-handed. As stated earlier, the Knights will certainly have the weapons necessary to put points on the board.

Coach Andrew Paladino once again has a defense that has size and moreover, quickness. The Knights are known for their tough defense and this year's team will not disappoint. Whiting and Epps return to squash the run inside as defensive tackles. Junior Chucky Brandes has worked very hard in the off-season and will be utilized as a run stopper as well. There is a lot of strength in his 315 lb. frame. Kevin Brady, the team's leading tackler in 2005, moves to DE and will not skip a beat as an enforcer. Jourdain Holly, a junior, is being looked at as the other DE and has the speed, strength, and hard-nosed grit to play the role well. Brady Bonacquisti played superbly as a sophomore at middle LB, earning Honorable Mention LCAA honors. Bad news for opposing offenses - the 'always-in-the-right-spot' Bonacquisti returns stronger and quicker and with that year of varsity experience, playing in 'big' contests. The leading tackler on last season's JV squad, hard-nosed and physical Greg Elmore, will man the other middle LB position. Elmore was called up at the end of last season to fill the bill in the Whitman contest and played beyond his years, sticking everything in sight. Greg plays with an intense attitude and will even see action at fullback, as coach Moran likes this tough 190 lb. junior when he wants to go with a bigger backfield to get the tough yards. There are plenty of candidates as outside linebackers and all are quick to lay a lick on the opposition. Alex DiFrancisco will be a starter as will senior teammate Chad Condidorio. Condidorio, a state ranked wrestler, will use his takedown skills to stop the run, his timing to likely once again lead the team in sacks, and his positioning to snag even more fumble recoveries. Two juniors who will see plenty of action at outside LB are Kory Cosimeno and the aforementioned speedy Ian Humphrey. The defensive backfield will feature all-star Craig Tiberio at safety and Mike Humphrey and Travis Fenstermaker at the corners. Fenstermaker has proven to be quite a gem as a sophomore up on the varsity. He can do it all. Travis is the backup QB to Bennetti and does not enter a game with wide-eyed wonderment. He is poised and ready for battle at all times. He is a superb kicker and a defensive asset. You will be hearing and seeing a lot about Travis.

   
Jr. Brady Bonacquisti (33) will add to the LeRoy
offensive attack with tough inside running
Sr. Alex DiFrancisco will be a warrior at tight end
and outside linebacker for the Knights
   

The Knights' quest for a 12th sectional title, and 4th in 6 years, begins on Friday, September 1st, at home against the Batavia Blue Devils at 7:30 PM. The following week brings the Cal-Mum Raiders to town for the yearly showdown. The Knights will be featured in a Section V Game of the Week at Rochester's PAETEC Park on Friday the 13th in October at 7:00 PM. The week 7 contest will have the loaded Hornell Red Raiders and Knights taking to the synthetic turf at PAETEC in a battle of defending LCAA divisional champs.

 

In LeRoy, this goes without saying
The LeRoy O-Line has been working hard
Jr. LB Greg Elmore sets his sights on his victim
Coach Ron Plummer coaches the offense
A familiar sight to opponents with be the back
side of #21 running downfield - Ian Humohrey
Another tough Casper enters the LeRoy
varsity mix - sophomore Jordan
LR fans look on at a recent scrimmage
Jr. Chuck Brandes will be a key contributor in '06
Sr. Chad Condidorio - quick and tough
Soph Mike Humphrey will turn heads this year
'Bam Bam' looks on, always prepared
Coach Brian Moran seeks his 11th title in 2006
Sophomore sensation Travis Fenstermaker
is an all-star in the making
Hooks Robertson - a fixture on the LR sidelines


LEROY VARSITY FOOTBALL COACHES 2006

Head Coach Brian Moran

Andrew Paladino
Defensive Coordinator
Ron Plummer
Offensive Coordinator
Jim Bonacquisti
Asst Coach
Hooks Robertson
Asst Coach
Dell Storey
Asst Coach



2006 LeRoy Oatkan Knights Varsity Football

Row 1 (front) - Travis Hurd, Travis Pangrazio, Chad Condidorio, Ian Humphrey, Brady Bonacquisti, Kory Cosimeno.
Row 2 - Jared Inouye, Steve Smith, Travis Fenstermaker, Tom Bestor, Chris Locke, Mike Humphrey.
Row 3 - Greg Elmore, Chuck Brandes, Alex Kovach, Kevin Brady, John Whiting, Alex DiFrancisco, Ryan Clarke.
Row 4 - Marcus Epps, Josh Risewick, Mark Bennetti, Tim Herron, Evan Calmes, Justin Becker, Craig Tiberio.
Not pictured - Jourdain Holly, Nick Pascucci, Nate Larson, Jordan Casper.




- 2006 LeRoy Varsity Football Captains -
Mark Bennetti, Kevin Brady, Brady Bonacquisti, John Whiting