With Miles Austin and Tanner Wright lost to graduation, there was some uncertainly as to what Ticonderoga’s backfield was going to look like in 2013.
Then, one of the biggest offseason transfers in Champlain Valley Athletic Conference football transpired.
Cameron Wright, who rushed for 1,325 yards and 12 touchdowns at cross-town rival Moriah a season ago, will dress in purple and white this fall.
“It’s significant, that’s for sure,” Sentinels coach Bob Sutphen said. “He’s certainly going to help us out on the offensive end and the defensive side of the ball. He’s not one that I was upset to see transfer into the district, you could say that.”
Ticonderoga plays host to Beekmantown at Sentinel Field under the lights tonight.
Austin rushed for 1,749 yards during his three-year career, while Tanner Wright accumulated 645 yards and four touchdowns in the past two seasons.
Sutphen said Cameron Wright will help fill a role at running back.
“We have good, quality kids back there that can still do the job,” Sutphen said. “Cameron’s going to be one of those kids, but he’s not going to be just the only one. I think you probably won’t see as many carries, though. We try to distribute the ball a little bit more. We feel that we have some other skilled players that we can take advantage of, too.”
Ticonderoga returns senior quarterback Michael Graney. The signal-caller completed 46-of-102 pass attempts for 701 yards and eight touchdowns for a 5-4 squad that finished runner-up in Class D a season ago.
“Michael’s pretty well respected amongst his peers,” Sutphen said. “He’s a tough kid, and he’ll give everything he has back there, I think. Guys who are tough … when they get to their senior year, they tend to have a good season. We’re hoping for that from Michael and a bunch of others, too.”
Sutphen’s play calling saw 72 percent of plays stay on the ground in 2012. The veteran coach, though, said his offensive philosophy will remain the same.
“It’s a factor of a little bit of what the defense wants to give you and what they want to take away, too,” Sutphen said. “That’s why a lot of people will try to just put pressure on our tailback or something like that. We have to be able to take advantage of other opportunities.”
The Sentinels also return senior Jarryn Granger at running back and slot back and Anthony DuShane at tight end.
The two combined for 16 catches, 355 yards and four touchdowns last season.
“Jarryn Granger is certainly one that can line up in the backfield, he can line up at receiver, he can line up in the slot,” Sutphen said. “Also, Anthony DuShane is back at tight end. Those are two guys who we think are good athletes. Those guys are the leadership of our team, and they are going to touch the ball.”
Sutphen, however, is worried about his team’s grittiness up front.
“That’s really my major concern going into the season — on both sides, the offensive and defensive lines,” Sutphen said. “We need to see that production, and we haven’t seen it yet. We’ve got a way to go there.”
Chase Dixon, Taylor Coffin, Devin Alkinburgh and DuShane will start up front on the defensive line, while Konner Bruce, Ryan Trudeau and Cameron Wright will patrol the linebacker positions.
“We’ve got some younger defensive linemen who are coming along,” Sutphen said. “We’ve got some experienced guys that are playing at the linebacker level for us who we think are going to help us. I think we’re going to have an improved linebacker core from last year to this year.”
Ticonderoga opened 2012 with three consecutive losses, falling to Beekmantown, Peru and Saranac Lake before reeling off five straight victories.
With last year’s schedule flip flopped, Sutphen hopes to avoid a 0-3 start this time around.
“We’re certainly trying not to repeat it,” Sutphen said. “We know the first three weeks of our schedule are very good teams, then we have a big rivalry game after that. Then, we know that we get into some more divisional games. The first three weeks are a tough start, but it is what it is. You can cry about it or you can do something about it. We’re hoping our kids buckle down and do something about it.”
After defeating Moriah 18-12 in Week 4, the Sentinels were stunned by their archrival in the Section VII Class D championship game on their home turf five weeks later, 16-6.
“I hope we do have toughness or an edge to us about that,” Sutphen said. “That was embarrassing, and there’s no other way to frame it. We feel like we should have won that game. We were outplayed in that game. If that doesn’t do enough for you in the offseason, stick in your head and kind of eat at you a little bit, then there’s nothing I’m going to say or do in practice to make them work harder.”
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Coach: Bob Sutphen
No. Name Position Year
2 Jarryn Granger RB-SB-SS Sr.
3 Mike Graney QB-OLB Sr.
8 Ty Denno WR-FS Sr. 9 Matt Cook TE-DE Sr.
12 Garrison Hughes SB-QB-CB Jr.
14 Dominic Banish WR-CB-K Jr.
15 Parker Granger WR-FS Jr.
20 Sean Lawrie WR-CB Sr.
23 Marick Ross RB-SB-CB Jr.
29 Konner Bruce RB-OLB Jr.
30 David Bevins RB-CB Sr.
32 Cameron Wright RB-OLB Sr.
33 Ryan Trudeau RB-OLB So.
37 Ian Lawrie WR-SS Jr.
51 Devin Alkinburgh G-DT-DE Jr.
53 Skyler Gilbert C-OLB-SS Sr.
54 Dalton Huestis T-DE Jr.
61 Jesse Wilson G-DE Sr.
62 Shaner Cody T-DT Sr.
64 Chase Dixon T-DT So.
66 Colby Bradford C-DT Jr.
67 Taylor Coffin T-DT Sr.
78 Blake Gautreau G-OLB Sr.
87 Anthony DuShane TE-DE Sr.