By Rob Potter
ROCKLAND Players, cheerleaders and coaches in the Rockland Devil Cats Football Program are gearing up for the 2009 season.
Practices began on Aug. 12 and the season starts on Friday, Sept. 11 with night games against the Town of Liberty Parks and Recreation Department Youth Football teams.
The Devil Cats will also play the Fremont Red Dogs Youth Football teams (consisting of kids who attend the Sullivan West Central School District) and Tri-Valley Pee Wee Football teams this autumn. The Devil Cats will play Fremont, Liberty and Tri-Valley twice, once on the road and once at home in Livingston Manor or Roscoe. The Devil Cats’ games on Sept. 11 will be played at Roscoe Central School, while the team’s home games on Sept. 26 and Oct. 3 will be played at Livingston Manor Central School.
Rockland Devil Cats Football Coordinator Bill Hendrickson said there are 67 kids in the program this year. The Seniors team, for ages 10 to 12, has 26 players. The Juniors team, for ages 7 to 9, has 20 players. The Cheerleading team has 21 members.
Hendrickson noted that the program is now in its third year.
“This is a good feeder program for our Livingston Manor-Roscoe modified and varsity football teams,” said Hendrickson, who is in his second year of coaching the LMR modified football team. “This youth program is getting better and better each year.”
In addition to Bill Hendrickson, other leaders of the program include Secretary/Treasurer Debbie Hendrickson, Fundraising Coordinator Maryanne Clancy and Manager Chase Molinari.
The Senior Division team is guided by Coaches Heath Carlson, Dan Smith and Patrick Severing. The players are Chris Alexander, Mark Alexander, Mason Banks, Jake Budd, Spencer Carlson, Khris DiBartolo, Dalton Diescher, Brandon Edelglass, Josh Edelglass, Wesley Gerow, Devin Heintz, Donovan Hendrickson, Kyle Hendrickson, Nick Hill, Jeremy Johaneman, Skyler Klinegardner, Zach Mapes, James Marshall, Kyle Mazzucca, John McGrath, David Pautard, Matt Rampe, Dylan Smith, Ethan Tomah, Patrick Valentine and Adam Wilcox.
The Junior Division team is guided by Coaches Mike Hill, Andy Bury and Amy Hill. The players are Dan Clancy, John Decker, Patrick DiBartolo, Ty Engle, Josh Evans, Wyatt Fulton, Jason Gorr, Haile Helper, Erick Hill, Vincent Marchese, William Maus, Manny Miranda, Dalton Powell, Parker Rosencranse, Andrew Shampine, Kamryn Sherwood, Jarret Simpson and Antonio Whiting.
The Cheerleading team is guided by Coaches Chelsea Carlson and Tara Zwerlein. The cheerleaders are Brianna Bear, Julie Edwards, Kaliegh Gonzales, Abby Gorr, Madison Hart, Lindsey Hefele, Gem Helper, Victoria Kuttner, Carly Lamerand, Karissa Newkirk, Jolie Pagan, Kiara Pagan, Payton Powell, Michelle Roman, Cheyanne Ryder, Hannah Shaver, KeyAlease Sherwood, Lexie Sisielman, Emily Tomah, Mariah Westbrook and Kassie Will.
As they guided their respective teams though a recent practice, the coaches were pleased with the youngsters.
“It’s great to be working with these kids,” Mike Hill said. “They are learning plays and having fun. We want to make sure they are being safe and having a good time.”
“Things are going great,” Heath Carlson said. “This is the third year of playing for some of the kids on the Senior team.”
Carlson noted that something new this season will be play continuing after a first down. In previous years, if the offense did not score a touchdown on its four downs, the other team would take over possession of the football. But this fall, the team will keep the ball if it gains a first down.
“Everything is going very well,” Chelsea Carlson said of the cheerleading team. “I feel that this team is working together a little better than last year’s team.”
“These are the peppiest girls in Rockland,” Tara Zwerlein added.