New coach aims to continue Wildcat gridiron glory

In the course of a single magical autumn, the West Genesee football team transformed itself from a program of consistent irrelevance to one ended a two-decade championship drought - then proudly claimed the state Class AA title, too.

Blessed with the expert coaching of Steve Bush and the tremendous performances of players like Tim Moran and Luke Cometti, the Wildcats excelled in all facets of the game.

Moran, who had never started a game prior to '07, showed a veteran's poise, throwing for 2,505 yards and executing a pro-style offense to near-perfection, especially in late-game situations. A multitude of skill players contributed. The offensive line offered consistent, first-rate protection.

A quick and aggressive defense hit opponents hard and forced a slew of turnovers. And whenever it was required, Cometti came up with the big kick that decided three different games, including an epic sectional final against Cicero-North Syracuse.

Once in the state playoffs, WG didn't stop until it had vanquished Monroe-Woodbury in the Carrier Dome on Nov. 25, 2007, to the delight of thousands that came from Camillus to witness it. Now a school that had built its athletic reputation with a powerhouse lacrosse program had conquered the gridiron.

Others took notice -- most noticeably the NFL's Miami Dolphins. It hired Bush as an offensive quality control coach, forcing the Wildcats to search for a new sideline leader to handle the increased expectations a championship season brings.

As it turned out, WG didn't have to look far.

At the insistence of returning players, the Wildcats promoted offensive line coach Joe Corley to the top spot last spring, ensuring continuity within a program that discovered, a season ago, just how good it could be.

"The kids were very supportive and they wanted the staff to stay in place," said Corley. "It made for a smooth transition period."

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