|Cal-Mum Football 2010|
Cal-Mum host annual scrimmage
On a perfect day for football, the Caledonia-Mumford Raiders welcomed five other teams to the Hamilton Field and Sports Complex for the 2010 scrimmage. Starting at 9:00 a.m. teams from York, Batavia Notre Dame, Oakfield-Alabama, Red Jacket and Canisteo, following two weeks of pre-season, players were given their first opportunity to exchange hits with someone other than a teammate.
The Raiders who return the major core of their 2009 sectional final team look poised to make some noise in Class DD of Section V. This year’s team, in addition to have nine defensive starters returning, has been bolstered by an impressive group of players from the 2009 undefeated Cal-Mum JV squad.
For the first time in recent memory the number of quality lineman is substantial. In fact, the second unit offensive line is as big and imposing, as the starters. The competition for the starting o-line positions has proven to be a big plus for this year’s team as it has raised the bar for the starters, making this unit, one of the strong parts on the team. Raiders who started with the first unit at the scrimmage included: Jake Oltmann and Adam Baldeck at the tackles, Mike Johnson and Matt Riggi at the guard spots, and Kyle Sickles manned the center position.
The offensive backfield is expected to be another strong point of the team. With two returning starters the running attack should be strong. Power runner, junior Jon Cappotelli and senior slashing runner, Tyler Lauffer have a distinct advantage this year, over the previous season. They now have the point of attack being cleared by senior fullback Trevor Haut. Haut is a load and the two short runners can easily hide behind Haut’s big 6’2” frame. Both halfbacks looked good at the scrimmage as each runner had their share of nice runs. Backup running backs Nikko Fenderson and Solomon Gominiak each had a nice scrimmage and will be counted on to spell the starters during the season.
The big surprise at the scrimmage was the accurate passing of starting quarterback, junior Matt Hartford. Hartford was in control of the offense and his passing skills will make the Raiders a hard team to defense. Split end, sophomore Madison Suhr was exciting to watch. Already a cagey veteran player with great hands, he put on a couple of highlight runs following some nice catches. Tight end, senior Dam Whiteside contributed a couple of catches and he will be called on to block on the running plays.
I really liked what I saw on the defensive side if the ball. The players moved quickly to the ball carrier and they hit with determination and force. The only deficiency that could be detected was in the pass defense. A couple of badly timed jumps at passes, by the D-backs in the deep secondary, resulted in opponents’ scoring passes. I’m sure that this issue will be addressed this week in practice. The players manning these positions are all good athletes and will make the necessary adjustments.
Batavia Notre Dame looked strong and I am sure they are poised to make another run in Section V Class D, a run that could possibly end in a collision course with the Cal-Mum Raiders for the overall Section V D/DD crown. The Irish are a very solid squad and I would expect them to be a force in the Genesee Region League.
The Oakfield-Alabama Hornets’ offense, though they had difficulty running the ball against the Raiders’ first unit, their quarterback did a very nice job of throwing the ball on the run as the Hornets stung the Raiders defense for a couple of long scoring passes. The Hornets’ defense has never been one who shied away from sticking the opponent’s ball carrier and that tough defensive mindset should keep them in every game this coming season.
All the teams at the scrimmage had their moments but it appeared that York, Canisteo and Red Jacket all need a little more time to get things together. York was dealing with some injury issues and I would not be surprised if the Knights made a run, come sectional time.
The ingredients are all there for the Cal-Mum Raiders to once gain be a force in Section V and in the state. They will have to navigate a difficult schedule, which includes last years Section V Class C Champion, Letchworth as well as Class D Champion, Avon. If the Raider bring their “A” game each week the rewards can be great. It is time for this year’s Cal-Mum Raiders to pick up the mantle as the, “Home of Champions.” Now is time to bring one home boys! Go Raiders!