By Ted Waddell
SULLIVAN WEST November 24, 2000 For Ron Bauer, this years varsity football season marked a couple of firsts.
The Bulldogs, a team comprised of players from the three newly merged central school districts, made it all the way to the NYS Class C quarterfinals, and for the first time in his varsity coaching career, Bauer had a girl on his team.
While the Bulldogs didnt make it to the top of the kennel this season, they certainly had a lot to howl about as they picked up the Section IX title before getting chewed up while attempting to upset Edgemont, the two-time defending Class C champs.
It was a good season, the kids did a good job and worked together real well as a team, he said. We had real good support from the fans and the community, and the schools pulled together pretty well.
According to Bauer, the Bulldogs had to work a little bit harder as with the merger, the team faced a higher level of competition. Bigger schools, better players. Stiffer odds of making it into the record book.
So what about next season? In many ways it will be a young team, said Bauer. We have some very good returning players, but well have some areas to fill in.
The Bulldogs will be losing 11 seniors to graduation, and are scheduled to rely upon the gridiron expertise of eight of this years juniors for the 2001 varsity football season: Austin Ihlefeldt, Matt Lanese, Josh Long, T.J. Massaro, Steve Mootz, Kevin Mullally, Ryan Schumacher and Collin Wilson.
As things stand now, a trio of sophomores (theyll be juniors next year) will vie for quarterback: Mike Compton, Saul Everett and Jacob Sauer-Jones.
I think well have a pretty good team next year, said Bauer.
Along with coaching the inaugural Bulldogs varsity football squad, Bauer coached Cheryl Bernhardt, the first girl to put on a helmet and a set of pads for any of his teams during Bauers 30-plus year career as a varsity football coach.
I thought she did a good job, said Bauer. Im not the easiest guy all the time, but she stuck with it. I give her a lot of credit.
After the season was over, Bernhardt said she gained a lot of self-confidence and gained a lot of acceptance on the team, added Bauer. She got along with the guys real well.
Asked if he showed Bernhardt any differential treatment because of her gender, the coach with a hard-nosed reputation for demanding excellence and no nonsense, replied, She had to do the same things as everyone else
the same drills and the same practices.
She took on (Kevin) Mullally - probably the leading rusher in Section IX and Paul Barrett a couple of times in practice, and brought them right down, recalled Bauer.
On Saturday, December 2 at 6:30 p.m., the local community will be hosting a dinner at Christophers Steak House in Hurleyville to honor Sullivan Wests Bulldogs varsity football team, cheerleaders and coaches.
For information or to make reservations, call Donna Compton at 482-3760 or Delores Delcado at 583-7260. The honorary dinner is open to the public.
Stats and Stuff
As a team the fledgling Bulldogs gained 3,688 yards on the ground and picked up 715 yards in the air on their way to the Section IX Class C title.
Quarterback Bill Reichmann racked up 1,572 all-purpose yards and scored 88 points. In the air, he was 28/60 for 715 yards including 6 TDs. On the ground, Reichmann rushed for 590 yards including two TDs. He kicked 19 PAT and a 33 yard FG, returned a kickoff for a TD and picked off two passes on defense.
Kevin Mullally picked up a total of 1,785 yards. He rushed for 1,592 yards including 17 TDs and was credited with 193 return yards. Mullally also added five two-point conversions on the way to adding 112 total points to the scoreboard.
John Compton earned 1,358 total yards: 880 yards rushing, 254 return yards and 224 yards as a receiver. He scored 10 TDs: eight as a running back, and two as a receiver.
Paul Barrett rushed for a total of 522 yards and his six TDs included a fumble recovery converted into a touchdown and another TD on a punt return.