By Frank Rizzo
ELDRED November 17, 2000 Theres good news for the countys Class D football teams: Eldred stands a good chance of rejoining the varsity ranks next year.
What will this will mean for Livingston Manor, Roscoe, and Tri-Valley? One less game against Class C schools, which filled up most of their non-league schedule.
I think theyll be excited to have us back, and well be excited to be back, said second year Eldred coach Phil Marrella, referring to the other Class D squads.
Eldred last played a varsity football game on September 18, 1999, losing to Sussex Vocational Tech of New Jersey 57-0. After that game, Eldred coaches and officials decided to drop the varsity program and switch to a jayvee schedule. The reasons cited were low numbers, injuries, and lack of experience.
This season the Yellow Jackets jayvees went 35, winning their last two games.
What got his charges thinking they could win, according to Marrella, was losses by one touchdown to Spackenkill and Highland the latter the best jayvee team we faced all year.
Eldred beat Livingston Manor 26-8 and Liberty 6-0 in its last two games.
I was hoping wed play well against Liberty, but I didnt think wed have a chance to win, Marrella noted, adding that his team made a goal-line stand to stop the Indians inside the Eldred 5.
They were real excited about the Liberty win. I think that was a big springboard, Marrella said.
The weight room has been pretty full since the season ended you didnt see that last year, he added. The interest is there now. The kids are looking forward to next year.
The recent football banquet, put on by the Booster Club, was a chance to celebrate the progress the program has made. It featured the head football coach from Trinity College (Ct.) as guest speaker.
At the banquet the players were telling me, Coach, now we know when we go out on the football field we believe we can win, Marrella related. One kid just called me on the phone and said, Coach, were going to Dietz next year.
Dietz Stadium in Kingston is the site of the Class D championship football game.
Three standouts cited by Marrella were junior quarterback Anthony Mangiameli, tight end/defensive tackle John Martin, and freshman fullback/linebacker Mike Darch.
There is also a very good supporting cast, and the freshman class is high in numbers and talent, Marrella said.
Marrella was assisted by coaches John LiGreci and Pete Mangiameli.
Eldred athletic director Al Wojtaszek said the plan all along was to return to varsity level in 2001.
I feel we will have a varsity team next year, Wojtaszek said.