Baldwinsville Not far down the road, the sports teams at Baker High School will have the all-weather Field Turf at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium, a big change that the Baldwinsville athletic program has wanted for decades.
Yet it’s doubtful that, whatever surface they play on, the football Bees will change that much. Why mess with something that, for the most part, has worked during head coach Carl Sanfilippo’s long and successful tenure?
Still, there’s a hunger for B’ville to get back to the top of the Section III Class AA football ranks.
After three straight sectional finals appearances and two sectional championships anchored by Tyler Rouse (now at Boston College), the 2013 Bees went “only” 5-3, losing in overtime to Henninger in the first round of the playoffs.
Motivated to win it all again, the Bees labored through a busy off-season, ranging from the usual high attendance in the weight room to a week-long camp in June at Utica College, meant to enhance team chemistry and build on all the other things that were done in the winter and spring.
As a result, said Sanfilippo, he learned that his players are willing to put in the hours to get better.
“I don’t’ know how good we’ll be, but we’ll work hard,” he said.
A new running back will take the primary role, with senior Cameron Skipworth picking up the 20 to 25 carries per game that Ricky Sparks had a season ago, lined up in front of Cole Burchill, another two-way standout, who is the starting fullback.
At 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds, Skipworth has ample speed plenty of ability to miss tackles, but since he’s so important to the defensive secondary, the Bees want to make sure he doesn’t carry the ball all the time.
Thus, Central Square transfer Josh Smith, along with newcomers Sam Mahar and Ryan Ingerson (both up from the JV ranks), will get counted on to spell Skipworth, while Caleb Carter and Evan Stolicker helps out Burchill at fullback.