Sunday, October 24, 2010

Oneida - VVS II: the rematch

With No. 3 seed Vernon-Verona-Sherrill and No. 7 seed Oneida both winning their respective playoff games, the stage is set for another meeting between the long-time rivals. The Red Devils produced a high scoring second half to win the first encounter 33-6, but they also had home field advantage. The rematch will take place on a neutral field with a berth in the Class B finals on the line.
As the anticipation for the rematch builds, lets take a look back at four memorable things about the previous meeting.

1) VVS had a pep band
My love of school bands at football games stems from my brief period as a trumpet player in middle school and/or attending football games as a University of Maryland student. Either way, it added to an already electric atmosphere that afternoon. As the Red Devils came back to the sideline from halftime, the band played the Imperial March from Star Wars. VVS went on to shut out Oneida in the second half.

2) The players
The intensity of the game could be seen from the press box. The game featured hard hits, tough runs and overall high quality football. VVS quarterback Tyler Mautner stuck out on the day for the rocket launcher attached to the right side of his body. Mautner may not be the most mobile player, but he does not need much space to get off an accurate throw with his powerful right arm. Oneida was slowed down on the day by the unfortunate injuries to three great offensive players. Shawn Ano, Chris Chesebro and Patrick Tayntor have had big games for Oneida, but all suffered injuries against the Red Devils.

3) Support for both teams
The fans of Oneida and VVS were out in full force on a cold, windy Saturday. It was a day where it would have been more pleasant to stay indoors, but school pride was on display in the home and visiting team's bleachers. VVS juniors Nathan Dugan and Scott Johnson stuck out among the home supporters because they painted their chests and went shirtless. They duo had a fun moment when they ran on the track to pump up the crowd, but went a little too far when they ran on the field after a VVS score.

4) VVS' male on the cheer squad
This is the first year I have covered sports for the Oneida Dispatch and the Red Devils' cheer squad is the first one I have seen with a male member. I know college cheer squads are made up of about 50% males but it is rarer at the high school level. I would like to take this opportunity to tip my hat to that gentleman for a great idea. I spent my entire high school career trying to find a way to meet/talk girls. He gets to hang out with them in practice and games! If he is this clever now, I can't imagine what he has planned for college.

It is only fitting one of these rivals will represent Dispatch-area schools in the Section III Class B football finals, on November 7 at the Dome in Syracuse. Come out to Chittenango High School this Saturday at 6:00 to find out who wins the rematch.