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Wildcats charge into AA title defense

Howard, Ginestro, Glesener, Colvin lead high-octane WG attack

West Genesee wide receiver Brett Colvin (88) gets past defenders Matt Wierbinski (83) and Naquan Hasbin (1) for the completion in last Wednesday’s Blue-White Scrimmage. Colvin started at tight end a year ago, but has moved over to the receiver spot this fall.

West Genesee wide receiver Brett Colvin (88) gets past defenders Matt Wierbinski (83) and Naquan Hasbin (1) for the completion in last Wednesday’s Blue-White Scrimmage. Colvin started at tight end a year ago, but has moved over to the receiver spot this fall. Dana Northrop

— Once a chaser, the West Genesee football team clearly assumes a different role in 2012 as it tries to win the Section III Class AA championship once again.

“They know the target is on their backs,” said head coach Joe Corley. “But they’re looking forward to the challenge.”

There’s plenty of reason to be excited. Despite the departure of standouts like quarterback Matt Naton, wide receiver Sean Howard and four of the five members of the offensive line from last year’s 10-1 squad, WG still has the personnel – and the capability - to put up all kinds of points.

For most teams, even those in the large-school ranks with lots of guys to choose from, replacing a quarterback like Naton would be a tall task.

However, senior Dan Ginestro is far from a neophyte. After all, it was Ginestro who led the last-second, game-winning drive in the memorable 40-39 win at Baldwinsville in 2011 and also played a key role in two other wins, over Utica Proctor and Henninger, when Naton was injured.

“He’s constantly working to become a better athlete, and every day he gets better,” said Corley.

Still, defenses won’t key in on Ginestro the way they will junior tailback Naesean Howard.

After running for more than 1,400 yards as a sophomore and scoring three touchdowns in the 57-35 win over CBA in the sectional final at the Carrier Dome, it’s no surprise that Howard is being courted by Syracuse University, among other college suitors.

What they will find, said Corley, is a kid who “works on everything” to improve himself, from lifting weights to speed drills. Howard might also get some relief from full-time running duties as senior Paul Potosky and junior Brandon Town are expected to see action.

WG should maintain an exciting passing attack, thanks to a pair of proven receivers. Senior Ted Glesener, who’s headed for West Point for lacrosse, returns, while Brett Colvin moves over from tight end to occupy the other main receiver spot, giving Ginestro another 6-foot-3 target.

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