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Westhill wants to continue football reign

In recent years, it was rather easy to figure out what would happen in Class B West football - pencil Westhill into first place, then see how everyone else lined up.

Such was the case again in 2009, but with a bonus. The Warriors not only tore through B West with a perfect mark again, it won the Section III championship for the first time since 2004, then made it to the state Class B semifinals before falling to eventual champion Hornell.

So much of that success could be attributed to an unparalleled senior class. Now those 15 players have departed, and that includes mainstays like Dan Ross, Jeff Law, Tom Fisher, Josh Davoli, Tyler Nigolian, Kevin Wilson, Dave Brusa, David Chini and Stephen Olney.

"They were experienced players you could count on," head coach Gary Griffo said. "They were like coaches on the field. They could break down a team and see what they had, then exploit the (holes) in them."

The biggest question in 2010 is whether the Warriors can repeat its league and sectional honors. Griffo said it's not known at this point whether all of his current players have the same kind of devotion and willingness to sacrifice that Ross, Law, Divoli and company possessed in spades.

But there's still a lot of talent around, which gives quarterback Mark McAnaney some options. The senior takes over for Law under center, and Griffo is confident in McAnaney's abilities.

"He's a great athlete and he'll come through for us," Griffo said.

Westhill could have as many as five running backs to replace Tyler Nigolian. Among them is senior Matt Trendowski, who moves over from the offensive line to give Westhill a big (6-1, 210 pounds) presence in the backfield. Jake Files, R.J. Chester, Dylan Krell and Colin Pedrotti give the Warriors further options, though the starting combination remains a mystery.

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