Sr. All-State selection John Whiting, the cornerstone
of the LR lines, enters his 4th season as a starter.
Sr. Brady Bonacquisti - All-Greater Rochester and
All-State selection in 2006, returns at FB and LB.
   

Four years have past since I went out to Hartwood Park to watch a LeRoy modified football team that was said to be very good in the eyes of fans and foes. Good? They were that and more. Much more. They were big, they were fast, they were physical as heck, they could run, pass, block, and tackle, all the while staying disciplined and sticking to the game plans that lead to numerous victories throughout subsequent JV and varsity seasons. The chemistry of the team spoke volumes of how well they were coached and how much they liked one another. Those 8th graders are now seniors to be in this, the 2007 season. Much is expected of this year's varsity. Much is desired after a stinging 1-point loss at rainy Ralph Wilson Stadium in the state quarterfinals in '06. The team is loaded with talent, depth, and heart. It remains to be seen if the Knights can defeat a lineup of opponents that have their calendars marked to take it to the Men in Black. Coaches Brian Moran, Ron Plummer, and Andrew Paladino have the team prepared for this heady opposition, focused on the goals of another sectional crown and a possible run at a state title. A lot can happen in a few months…buckle up for the ride.

Coach Brian Moran continues to add to his gridiron resume' after having lead the Knights to a #4 final state ranking in Class C last season, going 9-2 in the process. Overall, Moran is 147-41-2 for a 78% winning percentage, with 11 Section V titles. The Knights have won 85% of their games over the past dozen seasons (114-20) and have garnered the following state rankings: 1st-1995, 2nd-1996, 2002, and 2004, 4th-1998, 2006, and 5th-2005. A sectional title in 2007 would move the Knights into a 3-way tie for most titles by a Greater Rochester area football program; the Knights' current tally of 12 wins in the championship game trail only the 13 earned by the storied programs of Cal-Mum and Clyde-Savannah. Speaking of numbers, the Knights have not lost a home football game since 1998 (38 consecutive home games).

The offense will be led by the sheer energy of offensive coordinator Ron Plummer, who sticks his nose and body into the action at each practice to teach, motivate, and inspire the O to be a disciplined, error free, attacking group that is sure to once again light up the scoreboard. LeRoy is known for its power rushing attack. Defenses looking only to stop the LR rush will pay a price this season, as there is a QB in town and receivers that can snag his throws.

The defense will be very strong and big up front. How would you like to weigh 250 and be the smallest on a front four that has the others going 290, 325, and 260? Ask Joe Carubia. There are 4 stellar linebackers behind the big boys, and 3 D-backs that will stick and hang step-for-step with the best of opposing receivers. Speaking of the best, the D will once again be managed by defensive coordinator Andrew Paladino. Coach P is liking what he sees on defense and he is ready to once again manage his trademark aggressive, smart, swarming to the ball, group of tacklers that will keep opposing teams' punters very busy.

Consistency wins championships and that flows from the likes of assistants Jim Bonacquisti, Dell Storey, and Hooks Robertson. You can count on these three individuals to do anything and everything to make the team better. Coach B pushes the rigors of weight training, and lets individuals know when they have put in a good day's work in the off-season. Dell is all eyes when it comes to techniques, spotting when they are good, and how they could be better. Watch him before each contest, walking from player to player, calmly letting each one know to play with pride after buckling up the black helmet. Players listen to coaches they respect. They know when a coach's advice is credible and worthy of note. Enter Hooks Robertson. To a man, he is loved for his classy, positive, strong, and heartfelt guidance. No one wants these young athletes to win more than Hooks. By experiencing him, they already have won…they already have.

   
Sr. star RB Ian Humphrey eyes lofty goals in 2007.
Sr. All-State selection Marcus Epps will be HUGE-A on the lines.
The 2007 LeRoy offense sports size and experience on the line, with a few hungry additions to boot. The cornerstone of the line will be 4th year starter John Whiting at right guard. John earned all-LCAA honors, 2nd team All-Greater Rochester, and 2nd team All-State Class C as an O lineman in '06. John leads the team on and off the field at the front of the line. That is where he belongs, as he a well respected leader of the team. He has experienced but one regular season loss in his 3 years in the trenches. To John's right is tackle Marcus "Big Cat" Epps, a 3-year varsity member that earned O Lineman MVP honors in the Knights' sectional title win over Letchworth last season. He too earned 2nd team All-State Class C honors on the O line. Marcus is big and fast and with Whiting form the best guard-tackle combo in the LCAA. Playing TE will be rugged Greg Elmore. Opposing coaches do not know much about Greg as he was sidelined last season with a knee injury at the outset of the '06 season. This kid is hungry to smack someone and he has the size and tenacity to drive you off the ball. Senior Chris Locke, an excellent snapper, is ready to go at center. Chris saw action last season and has shown well in developing chemistry with the teams' QBs. Be it shotgun, punt, or extra point snapping, the center position is Locked spot-on with Chris. Left guard will likely be manned by Alex Cardenas. Alex has put his time in the weight room and it has paid off nicely. Assistant coach Porp Rogers, who knows a thing or two about line play, loves Alex's relentless style, stating that the tougher the game atmosphere, the harder Alex pushes himself. Left tackle will once again be handled by Jordan Casper. Jordan is one of 3 Casper brothers in the LeRoy football program (brother Josh is a new varsity lineman, and Jonathan, a JV fullback). The Caspers are farm-strong by day and football-strong by night. They are respectful, giving athletes that make those around them better by being willing to do the tough work, play in, play out.

Junior Travis Fenstermaker, one of the best all-around athletes on the team, will take over the reins at QB after the most successful tenure of departed Mark Bennetti. Travis has gained size and strength since he put on a show as a freshman call-up for the sectional clash with Marcus Whitman in 2005. Travis showed poise and stellar throwing ability late in that contest and has only gotten better. He throws a beautiful tight spiral that will lead to a LeRoy air attack that remains alive with his abilities. When he takes off, he will let you know his presence with a lowered shoulder and grit. Travis will also handle the kicking duties, as he has a pretty good canon on that right leg. The backfield features Thunder and Lightning in the form of senior backs Brady Bonacquisti and Ian Humphrey. Bonacquisti is simply a stud of a player, now in his 3rd season as a starter. Brady's big time play did not go unnoticed in 2006. He simply led the team in scoring (14 TDs and 546 yards as a fullback) and was the leading tackler from his LB position (74 total). Oddly just an Honorable Mention selection in the LCAA in '06, Brady went on to be selected Game MVP of last year's Section V Class C championship game, was one of only 7 underclassmen to be selected to the 2006 All-Greater Rochester Super 22 Team, and along with John Whiting and Marcus Epps, earned 2nd team All-State Class C honors as a linebacker. Brady has worked oh so hard in the weight room and will be a load. Senior Ian Humphrey is glad of that. Running behind the likes of the Whiting, Epps, and Bonacquisti, Ian showed that he was not just a former JV star, but a bonafide varsity runner as well, racking up 900 yards, scoring 13 TDs, and averaging 6.1 yards per carry. His vision of the field and cutback abilities are some of the finest I have ever seen at LeRoy…and I have watched a lot of great backs in 40+ years of spectating. Ian, all 5'7 of him, can high-jump over 6 feet in track, bench 150% of his body weight, and flat out juke defenders into stumbling sequences. He is not the only Humphrey in the LR program either. Younger brother Quentin will enjoy his RB stint this season on the JVs, and come up to play along side brother Mike Humphrey, a junior this season, and the team's most impressive wide receiver. Whatever you throw toward Mike, he grabs. Mike's sophomore season was shortened as he separated his shoulder in the team's '06 opener against Batavia after rambling 70+ with the pigskin. Mike is healthy and that is bad news for opposing D backs. Mike was stellar in last week's scrimmage with Victor, Franklin, and Livonia. Also showing well at the scrimmage and all preseason for that matter, is another receiving threat, junior Andrew Alexander. Look for the A-Train to be on the tracks constantly. Last season on JVs, Andrew rushed for 952 yards, scored 14 TDs, and averaged 6.2 yards/carry for the 6-2 squad. He will also play defensive back and be on special teams. He is a great addition to this year's gridiron talent pool.

Coach Paladino's first-team defense will be downright tough to score on this season. The D ends will be manned by the experienced dynamic duo of Whiting and Epps. Clogging the middle at D tackles, will be senior Chuck Brandes and junior Joe Carubia. Chuck is big. Big in size, heart, determination, personality, and desire. He is pretty darn strong in the weight room too. Carubia returns to the LeRoy football fold, a year removed since starring on the JV squad. Joe is another big, strong, and tough player that will hold his own with the double-teaming usually reserved for the likes of Whiting and Epps. Mixing into the front defensive four will be the brothers Casper, Jordan and Josh. Josh is one of the strongest players on the team and was the leading tackler on last year's JV squad. Bailing hay and doing his daily farm chores with his brothers has lead to even a stronger pair of mitts he calls hands. The linebackers are top notch. The middle will be guarded by All-State 2nd teamer Brady Bonacquisti and hungry Greg Elmore. The outside linebackers will be '06 sack leader Kory Cosimeno and upstart Chris Andrews, the second leading tackler on last year's JV squad. Cosimeno and Andrews both have wrestling backgrounds so the takedowns by the two will be plentiful. Andrews has been nothing short of stellar from opening day. Centerfielding Mike Humphrey will be a pickoff machine at his safety position all season long. Flanking Mike at D corners will be junior standouts Travis Fenstermaker and Andrew Alexander.

Depth will be bountiful for this year's squad. The second teams are strongly manned. Special team members and those being called upon for jump-in-and-play ability will be Nate Larson, Travis Hurd, John Scheuing, Don Pangrazio, Travis Pangrazio, Jared Inouye, Evan Calmes, John Kelso, Joe Schwab, Jourdain Holly, and Josh Risewick. The raw speed and strength of Tyrone Wyckoff will also have the locals smiling.

Here is hoping that all stay healthy and that everyone enjoys the upcoming season. The first contest of the year is this Friday at home versus the Batavia Blue Devils.

   
Jr. Mike Humphrey will star on offense and defense.
Sr. Greg Elmore cannot wait to introduce himself to RBs.
   

 

Jr. Travis Fenstermaker will QB the offense and play D.
Jr. Andrew Alexander will not leave the field often in '07.
Jr. Chris Andrews has been excellent at outside LB.
Jr. Joe Carubia adds ability and depth to the lines.
Sr. Kory Cosimeno will be a sack leader once again on D.
Sr. Jourdain Holly will play multiple roles for the Knights.
Sr. Travis Hurd has scooted for big plays in the preseason.
Jr. John Kelso will see a lot of playing time this season.
The talented left side of LR O line:
Jordan Casper, Alex Cardenas, & Chris Locke.
Jr. Joe Schwab brings versatility to the '07 Knights.
Jr. Tyrone Wyckoff is sure to dazzle the crowds this season.
Coach Hooks Robertson - our football foundation.
2007 LEROY OATKAN KNIGHTS VARSITY FOOTBALL PREVIEW


LEROY VARSITY FOOTBALL COACHES 2007

Head Coach Brian Moran

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



2007 LeRoy Oatkan Knights Varsity Football

Row 1 (front) - John Scheuing, Nick Cordeiro, Jourdain Holly, Jared Inouye, Travis Fenstermaker, Brady Bonacquisti, Kory Cosimeno, Mike Garrett, Travis Hurd. Row 2 - Josh Casper, Andrew Alexander, Justin Pursel, Greg Elmore, Chris Locke, Mike Humphrey, John Locke, Brock Pasquale, Joe Schwab. Row 3 - Joe Carubia, Zack Reed, Andrew Miller, Chuck Brandes, Ben Carlie, Chris Andrews, Alex Cardenas, Tyrone Wyckoff, Don Pangrazio, Travis Pangrazio. Row 4 - Marcus Epps, Ben Hilton, Evan Calmes, Brian Calmes, Josh Risewick, Jordan Casper, John Whiting, John Kelso, Ian Humphrey. Not pictured - Nate Larson.

Printable Version of 2007 LeRoy Varsity Football Roster (PDF) here




- 2007 LeRoy Varsity Football Captains -
Marcus Epps, Brady Bonacquisti, Ian Humphrey, John Whiting

 


Article written by
Chris Metcalf
Livingston County News Sports
Writer



Photo/Cover Design by Michael Johnson
Livingston County News Sports Photographer

Le Roy's dynamic duo, best of friends.

LE ROY - John Whiting and Brady Bonacquisti have a bond that goes far beyond the football field. It just happens to be the football gridiron that the two do their most damage together on. Best of friends since the early days, it's now up to the senior classmates to get Le Roy's football program back to the state finals - a game both have dreamed of playing in since they played 'Backyard Football' together at Warner Park.

"We've talked about it a few times," said Bonacquisti, a 5-foot-8, 195-pound linebacker/fullback. "But we know you can't win the state title if you don't win the sectional title first. We won't overlook anybody and we will take it one game at a time."

Last year the Knights did win the Class C title as they ousted a feisty Letchworth team in the finals. But the Knights were taken out of the state tournament the next game when they lost a heartbreaking 13-12 state quarterfinal game to Falconer (Sec. VI). It was a game that Brady doesn't remember much, thanks to a first half concussion. "It sort of sucked, I wish I could have been in there," said Brady. "But I was a little out of it."

It was obvious that LeRoy wasn't the same team when Brady went out of the game. "I don't even want to talk about that game - it's in the past - but we will use it to motivate us down the road," said Brady. "This is a new year, and we have some great team chemistry."

A big part of that chemical equation is the 6-foot-1, 265-pound Whiting, a two-way lineman that is entering his fourth year as a Le Roy starter. Last year Whiting, along with classmate Marcus Epps (6-foot-3, 290 lbs), helped the Knights' offense gain over 2,700 yards on the ground.

"That's kind of what we do around here - run the football effectively, and it's up to the lineman to make that happen," said Whiting. "We have some big guys up front. We still have plenty of athletes, that we could do different things, but we just love to pound the running game."

Last year Bonacquisti had a banner year at fullback running behind that big front as he rushed for 586 yards on 114 carries (5.2 avg) with a team-leading 16 TD's.

The Knights' defense was also led by the 'Dynamic Duo' as Bonacquisti posted a team-leading 84 tackles (40 solo), 13 for a loss, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and three interceptions. He was named MVP of the Class C title game.

Whiting also had a big year on defense, despite being double teamed most of the time. He recorded 62 tackles (28 solo), 10 for a loss, and forced three fumbles.

"We like to hit on defense," said Bonacquisti. "If you don't like to hit, you probably won't play on this defense." The team chemistry is what Whiting also likes about this team. "We have great team chemistry," said Whiting. "The entire team is like family. We do everything together and try and motivate one another."

As close as the team is, it's the relationship of Whiting and Bonacquisti that is the closest. "We know each other very well," said Whiting. "And that kind of helps us out on the field, we always know what the other is doing and thinking."
Le Roy will need great team chemistry this fall, especially with a tougher path this fall including defending Class D sectional champion and state finalist Oakfield-Alabama now up in class. Class C also features Cal-Mum, Avon and Pembroke.

"We wouldn't want it any other way," said Bonacquisti. "If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. We know we have a tough road ahead. We'll prepare for it, and we'll be ready."

Whiting says the Le Roy tradition will also help the end of the season run.
"The Le Roy tradition is something I grew up with," said Whiting. "There are a ton of people behind us. It's great to know you have an entire community behind you. And when it's sectional time, we don't only play for our team, we play for the entire Le Roy community."