DeWitt Almost from the moment Riley Dixon’s game-winning field try drifted wide of the goalposts in the waning seconds of last November’s Section III Class AA final, the Christian Brothers Academy football team pointed toward 2011 and a shot at redemption.
Baldwinsville pulled out that title game, 15-13, just as it had beaten CBA the year before in the same spot in the Carrier Dome. Combined with a pair of memorable regular-season encounters, that marks four classic battles between the Brothers and Bees.
And when this season opens Friday at Alibrandi Stadium – well, CBA will be facing B’ville again. It’s a game that, for better or worse, will help to define whether the Brothers can win it all this time around.
Head coach Joe Casamento, entering his 13th season at the CBA helm, said that the camaraderie among his players is as good as it was for his other championship teams of the past.
“There’s a tightness to this group,” he said. “They’re motivated to do as well as they can. You have to have that to be successful.”
CBA’s signature spread offense had a slightly different look in the last three years with Tyler Hamblin at quarterback, as he ran as much as he threw – in fact, he led the Brothers in rushing in 2010.
Now, with Cameron MacPherson taking over for Hamblin, it might look similar to what the Joe Casamento Jr. and Greg Paulus-led teams did in the early part of the millennium.
At 6-5 and 212 pounds, MacPherson is tall, powerful and can throw deep downfield. Casamento also praised his quarterback’s mechanics and intelligence, as MacPherson is a straight-A student.
Of CBA’s receivers, the most concern is about Evan Adamo, who returned a punt for a touchdown in the sectional final against B’ville. Adamo injured his ankle playing lacrosse this spring, and he’s still recovering, but could be ready for the rematch with the Bees.