GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Woodlands High School is looking to repeat last year's success, Edgemont hopes to improve on a 4-4 record and Alexander Hamilton High School has joined Briarcliff High School on the field as the 2013 fall high school football season gets underway Saturday.
Reigning Section 1 Class C champion Woodlands (9-1) swept to an unbeaten regular season and captured its first Section 1 title in postseason playoffs before losing in the New York State Regional playoffs.
Football players at Alexander Hamilton High School have found a partnering team at Briarcliff and will play in the tough Section Class A league. A dozen Hamilton players will be part of the 30-player Briarcliff/Hamilton roster.
Despite losing several key players to graduation, Woodlands is led by a strong defense and Tyrone Barber, one of the best running backs in Section 1 (Westchester/Rockland/Putnam counties). Barber routinely rushed for more than 100 yards and multiple touchdowns last year despite several nagging injuries.
Falcons wide receivers Myles Thigpen and Jonathan Stewart are big play threats and Courtney Blanding leads the Falcons defense.
Woodlands opens its season at home against Blind Brook Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Prediction: Woodlands 30, Blind Brook 12
The Edgemont Panthers are coming off a mediocre 4-4 season with senior halfback Chris Kim the key offensive weapon. He has speed and experience and will help the Panthers as they move in a new quarterback. Seven Rice, Anubhav Nanavaty and Ahan Naik worked out at the quarterback spot and each has skills.
Running back Noah Whittle helps the offense and John Lee and Alec Bieber lead the line play on both sides of the ball.
Edgemont hosts Rye Country Day School Sunday at 2 p.m. in the season opener.
Prediction: Edgemont 20, Rye Country Day School 14
The Hamilton-Briarcliff experiment will help longtime Briarcliff coach John Consorti keep players on the field after his team was depleted last season. The 2-6 Bears were led by two-way lineman William Hou last year.
Wide receivers Eric Weinrach and Kevin Wolff join running back Vinny Brucculeri to help work with the incoming Hamilton players who add some speed and size. Hamilton's lineman Jaleel Barr and running back Lewis Blackwell are two key players who will help the partnership.
Briacliff/Hamilton will host Early College high (Yonkers) at Pace University Saturday at 2 p.m.
Prediction: Briarcliff/Hamilton 20, Early College 12