Niagara Gazette

Sports

September 3, 2013

Niagara Falls football hopes speed kills in tough Class AA

Niagara Gazette —

The football program at Niagara Falls High School has been on a bit of an upswing over the last few years, winning a playoff game in 2011 and hosting another in 2012.

The road to improvement gets a little tougher in 2013, thanks to changes in Class AA and a brutal schedule that doesn't include a single team that missed the playoffs last year.

A classification rule change dealing with combined teams knocked Buffalo's Riverside and Hutch Tech — both members of Niagara Falls' North Division last season — out of Western New York's largest class, leading to a one-division realignment that will have the Wolverines directly competing against former South Division powers such as Orchard Park and Jamestown.

"We have to play strong, big boy football," said head coach Don Bass. "The South, which is most of our schedule, plays smashmouth football. The North was more finesse and speed. We have to be tougher in order to compete."

The issue for Bass will be preparing a team that's strengths lie in speed and playmaking ability for a different brand of football. Most of Niagara Falls' returning starters fall into skill positions, and Bass called his group of playmakers "as good as any in Western New York."

Back are senior wide receivers Amir Myles and Jaylin Smith, as well as running back Shaolin McCray. The trio gives the Wolverines speed to burn, and each of the three is just as much a threat in the running game as through the air.

"We're going to run the ball," Bass said. "Shaolin worked hard in the offseason, and he's stronger and faster. If we can get him in space he should do alright."

Also in the mix offensively will be DeMarco Scarborough, Antwan Giles, Deonte Paige and Dijay Stone, who transfered in from North Carolina.

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