By Ted Waddell
LIVINGSTON MANOR August 29, 2006 The Livingston Manor/Roscoe Devilcats are gearing up to claw the opposition this autumn on the gridiron.
Last year, faced with not enough players to field competitive varsity football teams, a couple of neighboring school districts decided to form a combined team comprised of players from Livingston Manor and Roscoe, thus creating LMR Football known around town as the Devilcats.
Coming off a 2-7 record last year, the Devilcats are looking to improve their overall stats. But in the words of Fred Ahart, longtime football coach at Roscoe Central School who now serves as LMR Co-Coach with Kevin Clifford, In my whole career, Ive always said we only play one game at a time, each weeks a new week
I never make season predictions.
Clifford said of LMR football, We really dont use the name Devilcats all that much, we worry about the plays, not the name.
We have a couple of question marks about what were going to get out of some people, Clifford added. I think we have the talent to play with anybody, [but] well have to wait and see how its going to turn out.
Ahart and Clifford bring almost half a century of coaching experience to the gridiron, as Ahart is in his 38th season as a coach, while Clifford has been guiding gridiron squads since 1996.
Tyler Schmidt is LMRs first-year quarterback. The17-year-old senior has been playing football since the age of 11.
I love it, he said when asked if he likes the game.
Schmidts hope for the new season?
Wed like to win the division, he said, referring to Section IX Class D which includes Chester, Eldred and Webutuck.
Ahart said football is the ultimate team game.
It teaches kids to work together, overcoming adversity
theres no game like football, he said. On each given play, 11 players have to all know what to do and work together to help the others, whether its blocking, passing or receiving. Whatever the play is, its 11 people working together on each individual play.
Asked what do kids get out of football, Clifford replied, Competitiveness, self-responsibility and teamwork. Out of all the sports you have to be able to have trust and faith in the people around you.
Helping Ahart and Clifford to guide the Devilcats this season will be Assistant Coaches Bill Hendrickson, Dave Irwin, Jeff Loeffler and Dan Parisi.
LMR begins its 2006 season this coming Saturday, September 2. The Devilcats will travel about 35 miles west on Route 17 to visit Deposit, a Section IV Class D team, for a 1:30 p.m. non-league contest.
On Friday, Sept. 8, LMR will play a non-league game at Eldred.
The first home game for the Devilcats is slated for Saturday, Sept. 16. LMR will host Sullivan West at 1:30 p.m. at the Livingston Manor Central School football field.