Sports Editor’s Playbook: Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010

Patrick Newell

Six high school football teams reside within the lines of Chenango County. We also have a top-flight prep school, Milford Academy, that calls New Berlin home. Milford Academy usually plays 80 to 90 percent of its games on the road, but Saturday afternoon, the Falcons will entertain Eric Community College at Norwich High School’s Ulrichs Field at 2 p.m.
It’s the first of back-to-back games for Milford on the field turf in Norwich, and this Saturday’s game is a rare treat for a couple of reasons. For one, the Chenango United Way is raffling off a jersey that is autographed by members of this year’s team. Four years from now, some of those players may hear their name called in the NFL Draft. “That jersey could be worth a pretty penny some day,” said Chenango United Way board member, Charlie McMullen. “Milford Academy has nine players in the NFL right now, and four of them are starters.”
A small admission fee will be charged at the gates, and all concessions will benefit the Norwich athletic boosters. Over the next two weeks, local football fans have the opportunity to witness the football players who regularly earn Division One football scholarships. Several players on this year’s team are already committed to play next year for teams in the Big East and the ACC.
Among the Milford Academy alumni are LeSean McCoy, starting running back for the Philadelphia Eagles; Shonn Greene, running back for the New York Jets; and Terance Knighton, starting defensive lineman for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“Some people want to know what Milford Academy is all about,” McMullen said. “Here is a chance to see them in our own back yard.”

– No one can say that Greene didn’t earn its second straight boys’ soccer MAC championship. The Trojans had two hiccups during the regular season losing to Unatego and Walton. Those untimely defeats led to a three-way division tie, and ultimately, a three-way playoff. The Trojans lost the draw out of the hat for the bye, and had to win two playoff games just for the right to defend their league title. They won those two games by a combined 8-0 score, and tacked on a 4-1 title win over Delhi. Combine those wins with Tuesday’s sectional playoff win over Sidney, and the Trojans have outscored their last four opponents, 18-1.

– Norwich’s football team does not have a go-to running back, it has three go-to backs in Mackay Hotaling, Josh Favaloro, and Tyler Hoffman. The NHS trio has 385, 355, and 330 rushing yards respectively through eight games, and not one of the Tornado backs has a 100-yard rushing day this season. Norwich spreads the ball between those three so equally, that none has carried the ball more than 15 times in any one game. Hotaling has a team-high 92 carries, and that works out to less than 12 totes per game. Hoffman has four of his team-high five rushing touchdowns over the last three weeks. Quarterback Seth Thomsen has also shown a nose for the goal line with four rushing scores.