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Rob Potter | Democrat

The Bulldogs pose for a photo with their Village of Monticello Parks and Recreation Department Flag Football League regular season and postseason championship trophies after defeating Port Jervis in Sunday’s title game at Kenneth H. Somerville Field. Kneeling in the front, from left to right, are Mike Ballard, Chris Lake, Adam Lake, Jon Hinton, Ivan Rivera and Troy Bertholf. Standing in the back, from left to right, are Adam Birkett, Derwin Rivera, Dana Presto, Matt Stoddard, Al White, Julian Dawson, Tito Agosto, Chris Smith, Mike Hughes, Lionel White and Fred Howard.

Flag Football League title decided

By Rob Potter
MONTICELLO — November 26, 2010 — The Village of Monticello Parks and Recreation Department Flag Football League concluded its regular season with three playoff games on Sunday morning at Kenneth H. Somerville Field.
The top four teams in the league’s regular season standings qualified for the playoffs.
In the morning’s first semifinal game, Port Jervis, which finished in second place, edged the third place Gravediggerz, 7-6. Port Jervis advanced to the championship game, while the Gravediggerz ended their season with an 11-5-1 record.
In the second semifinal, the regular season champion Bulldogs defeated fourth place Hooligans, 34-12. The Bulldogs moved on to the title game and Hooligans finished the season with a 7-10 record.
The Bulldogs then earned the championship with a 38-12 victory over Port Jervis.
The Bulldogs (15-1-1) took control early in the title contest as Dana Presto returned the opening kickoff 64 yards for a touchdown to give his team a 6-0 lead.
Moments later, the Bulldogs increased their advantage to 12-0 when Chris Lake ran for a 41-yard TD. Quarterback Matt Stoddard then completed the two-point conversion pass to Ivan Rivera to make it a 14-0 game.
With 3:50 remaining in the first half, a Stoddard to Lake touchdown pass increased the Bulldogs’ lead to 20-0. Lake then caught the two-point pass from Stoddard.
Port Jervis (12-5) got on the scoreboard when J.D. Gallo returned the ensuing kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown. The two-point conversion pass fell incomplete, but Port Jervis had cut its deficit to 22-6.
But the Bulldogs answered on their next possession as Stoddard threw a 24-yard scoring strike to Tito Agosto. Stoddard tossed the two-point conversion pass to Chris Smith, which gave the Bulldogs a 30-6 advantage at halftime.
With nine minutes left in the game Port Jervis quarterback Ali Colon threw a TD pass to Gallo, who made a nice leaping catch in the end zone. The two-point conversion failed, so the score remained 30-12.
The Bulldogs scored their final TD on a 20-yard pass from Stoddard to Rivera with just under two minutes to go. Lionel White caught the two-point pass from Stoddard to make the score 38-12.
The game ended at that point due to the league’s rule that halts any contest when one team is ahead by at least 17 points with two minutes or less remaining.
“This is great, it’s the seventh championship we have won in nine seasons,” Stoddard said.
The Bulldogs have won five of those titles in the fall in Monticello. The team earned its two other titles during the league’s spring season in which the games are played in Liberty.
Stoddard said the key to the Bulldogs’ success is chemistry.
“We have a bunch of guys who love to play football together,” he said. “When somebody comes out for a couple of plays, they don’t get upset because they know that another good player is going in for them. When one of our receivers makes a lot of catches in a game, the other receivers are happy for him. We have a good core group of guys who believe in this team.”
The Bulldogs’ players hail from several places, including Fallsburg, Liberty and Middletown.
Stoddard also credited the Bulldogs’ linemen for helping the team do so well. The offensive linemen include Lionel White, Adam Birkett and Troy Bertholf. The defensive linemen include Julian Dawson and Fred Howard.
Joining the many family members and friends watching Sunday’s games from the sidelines was Frank Williams.
Williams, his father Paul Williams Sr. and brother Paul Williams Jr. are all Co-Presidents of the Tri-State Bulldogs, a minor league football team. In 25 years of existence, the Tri-State Bulldogs have compiled a 173-37-2 record and won six division titles and three league championships.
The Tri-State Bulldogs play their home games at the Joseph T. St. Lawrence Community Health and Sports Center in Hillburn, which is in Rockland County. The team is gearing up for its 2011 season, which will begin in June and continue through October.
As part of that preparation, Frank Williams said the team is looking for coaches, players, staff and security, cheer and dance team coaches and squad, pep band leader and members, Web site designers and sponsors.
“We definitely wanted to see players from Sullivan County,” he said moments after Sunday’s championship game. “There are a lot of good players out on the field today.”
For more information about the Tri-State Bulldogs, call Frank Williams at 497-3647 or send an e-mail to

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