By Rob Potter
ELDRED August 29, 2006 For coaches, players and fans, the memories of the Eldred Yellowjackets 2005 football season will last for decades to come.
Last autumn, the Yellowjackets posted a 9-2 overall record and defeated Chester, 27-14, at Dietz Stadium in Kingston to win the Section IX Class D title.
With the new season only days away, this group of Yellowjackets is working hard to make this autumn just as memorable.
Although 11 seniors were lost to graduation, the 2006 Eldred roster still features plenty of experience. Eight seniors and 19 juniors, many of whom saw a great deal of playing time last season, will lead the Yellowjackets this season.
Guiding the team will be Coach Frank Kean and Assistant Coaches John LiGreci and Dave Thompson.
We have a lot of size, a lot of speed and tough linemen, Kean said of his squad as he watched drills at a practice last Wednesday evening.
The veteran coach also has a team of dedicated athletes.
Since we began practice on the 14th [of August], everybody has been here for the double sessions, said Kean, noting the team had been working out both mornings and evenings.
With team leaders like senior quarterback Nick McCormick, who has years of experience as the Yellowjackets signal-caller, Kean is optimistic about the upcoming season.
After last year, teams will be looking to beat us, but well be ready, he said.
In addition to McCormick, Sean Colley and Dan Driscoll are two of the Yellowjackets senior leaders. Colley, who is in his third year on the varsity squad, is expected to be a starting defensive end and tight end.
Im really excited about the season, Colley said. I cant wait to get going. Im looking forward to playing.
He noted that we know what it feels like to win a sectional title, so that provides extra motivation for the team.
This is also Driscolls third year on the Yellowjackets varsity roster. However, last season was a short one for Driscoll, as he suffered a knee injury in the teams first game and did not return to the field.
Driscoll, who is expected to start at left tackle this autumn, said it was exciting to watch his teammates including his stepbrother George Fountain, one of those 11 seniors on the 2005 roster win a sectional title. But at the same time, Driscoll wanted to be out on the field.
I cant wait for the season to begin, he said.
Driscoll is also hoping for another successful autumn.
I know how well we played last year, he said. I hope we get off to a good start this season.
The Eldred coaches and players will not have to wait much longer for the 2006 season to start. On Friday night, the Yellowjackets will visit the Hancock Wildcats, a Section IV Class D team, for a non-league game. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The Yellowjackets will play their first home game of the season on Friday, Sept. 8. That evening, Eldred will host Livingston Manor/Roscoe in a non-league contest. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.