Warriors welcome B West challengers

For three seasons now, the Westhill football team has claimed full custody of the Class B West division, not losing a single league game in that period.

All that's been missing from the Warriors' long list of accomplishments in that time period is a Section III title. Both Cazenovia (in 2006 and '07) and Oneida (in 2008) have kept Westhill from grabbing the championship banner.

To gather more honors in 2009, head coach Gary Griffo must do what he's managed to do quite effectively in recent years -- namely, find new stars after the old ones moved on.

In this case, that means replacing 15 seniors. Five of them -- Mike DeCarr, David Grace, Ben Johnson, Mike Mascari and Sam Penizotto -- started for three years on the varsity. Griffo said this meant that many good players had to wait their turn to start -- until now.

One of those finally getting his chance is senior Jeff Law, a one-time wide receiver who moves to quarterback as DeCarr's successor. At 5-10 and 160 pounds, Law may not possess DeCarr's great arm, but Griffo said his variety of skills, especially with rollout passes, makes up for it.

"Jeff might run as much as he throws," Griffo said. "He has more versatility than any quarterback I've had."

No doubt, Law also benefits from having one of the best group of wide receivers in all of Central New York. Dan Ross is back for his third year as a starter as he, along with Nate Nigolian, serve as the Warriors' deep threats.

And if Ross and Nigolian are covered, Law won't have difficulty finding senior tight end Tom Fisher. At 6-6 and 270 pounds, Fisher towers over anyone that could block him, and defenses have to choose whether to double-team Fisher, or make sure Ross and Nigolian are covered.

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