A small, but hearty squad of Wildcats are preparing to add another playoff berth to the school’s storied history.
With a likely final roster of 19-20 players, Pittsford coach Bob Clement knows he has little room for error.
The Cats are coming off an 8-3 season in 2008 and Clement is aiming for a return trip to the postseason this year.
If Pittsford can make it, they will do so on the arm and legs of senior quarterback and outside linebacker Garet Lee.
“He’s definitely the leader,” Clement said. “He has worked hard to make himself stronger.”
At 6-1, 181 pounds, Lee is a versatile and durable player. Clement said he used in almost every way last year and expects to do so again in 2009.
“He is determined to play as hard as he can every down,” Clement said. “He sets the example.”
Lee won’t be playing alone, but he will have new faces on the line and in the backfield to work with.
Gone are nearly 800 pounds of linemen in the persons of Lance Wilson, Clark Pelham and William Belson.
Only Tyler Wilson (5-10, 173) returns. He will be joined by Cody Krasny (6-1, 175) at center, with Dillon Cooper (6-0, 187) at guard and Jason Smith (5-11, 231) and Nicholas Kik (6-3, 238) coming in at tackle.
Krasny got high praise for moving to his new position. When Clement asked him to consider it, Krasny replied ‘whatever is best for the team,'” the coach said.
“He is an intelligent kid, he has a 4.0 GPA and a 34 on his ACT,” Clement said. “He is aggressive, a tough kid; a great football player.”
Senior Seth Weber, (5-9, 135), will be a wide receiver along with Jacob Osborn (5-10, 162). Both have looked good at their new positions, Clement said.
Backing up Lee will be sophomore Blake Toner (5-10, 160). He will also see time as a receiver and start in the secondary.
Another player that has impressed Clement so far is senior Michael Benedict (5-9, 153) at nose tackle.
Lee will handle the punting duties, while Osborn will be the kicker.
Clement says the SCAA Division I will be a tough league this year. He sees Colon (“They should be great) and Climax-Scotts as the two toughest foes this year. Bellevue concerns him because “they have got a lot of big kids.”
He can appreciate being in the division, but does miss playing the other SCAA schools in the other divisions. Pittsford plays North Adams-Jerome Sept. 18 and Waldron Oct. 9.
The biggest concern is the travel.
“The closest team is Colon,” he said.
The Wildcats will travel to Grand Rapids this year (Sept. 11) to play Northpointe. The length of the trip means both JV and varsity will play on the same night. The team will have to leave at 1 p.m. that day.
Other games of interest have the Cats playing Climax-Scotts on Oct. 2 and Colon Sept. 4.
Pittsford opens the season Aug. 28 against Ottawa Lake Whiteford.