PLATTSBURGH — The Empire Football League and the Plattsburgh North Stars have a bit of a new look this season.
Scott Aguglia takes over for Pat Keleher as head coach of the Stars and the league has added two teams — the Monroe County (Rochester) Sting and Vermont Ice Storm.
“The EFL continues to grow and the league is adding teams from bigger areas,” said Aguglia. “Monroe County has been in a number of leagues and has been very successful, even on a national level.
“The Ice Storm are back after a year’s absence. They have been successful and are another difficult team to play. But it’s a close to home game for us and a rivalry.”
Aguglia has plenty of coaching experience after being the offensive coordinator first for the Ice Storm and the North Stars since then. He’s ready for the challenge.
“I’m pretty comfortable coaching,” said Aguglia. “I know what to expect on game day. There’s more to do now in preparation and a few loose ends to tie.”
The North Stars, who have had three solid seasons in a row including winning the EFL championship in 2010, open their season at 6 p.m. tonight against the Southern Vermont Storm in a non-league game at the Plattsburgh Athletic Complex.
“It’s a good barometer game for us because they played the Vermont Ice Storm a couple of weeks ago,” said Aguglia. “I’m interested to see what the outcome will be.”
The roster numbers are down this year for the North Stars, but there is a good mix of veterans and newcomers.
“We’re down a little in numbers from the past few years,” said Aguglia. “But we’ve had some pretty good practices the past couple of weeks.
“We’re deep in certain spots and we still use a few more players in other spots. We’ll dress a little over 40 and will move some guys around. But they have played numerous positions before.”
Aguglia will be counting on the play from an experienced offensive line that includes returners Nick Moore, John Dubuc, Josh Painter and Colby Way, along with an impressive rookie in Devin Dashnaw.
“The experienced line will help our playcallers a lot and make our quarterbacks more confident,” said Aguglia.
Ken Stay and Harry Rascoe will share time at quarterback, while Elijah Parks and Josh Nephew will work at fullback, Kris Hyde, Marvin Jenkins and Ken Karnley at tailback, Nick O’Meara, Jamil McCray, Andrew Price, Jordon Keleher and Cody Wood at wide receiver, and Kevin Gibson at tight end. Gibson is making the switch from defensive end.
Veteran Kelsey Lenny will anchor the middle of the line at 325 pounds, while Dan O’Meara and Greg Roberson, a newcomer on the team but with a lot of experience, will also be counted on at the ends.
“We’re a little thin on the defensive line and could use some more bodies,” said Aguglia.
Nick Norris is expected to be strong at middle linebacker, while Tanner Hooker and Adam Arnold will man outside spots. Bryan Stanley, Kris Ross and Brandon St. John are among the key players in the secondary.
“We’ve had a little change in our linebackers from past years,” said Aguglia. “We’ll be rotating some other guys at different positions.
“We have a lot of guys back and also some guys who are here for the first time. We need our new players to step up.”
The North Stars finished last season with an 11-3 overall record, losing in the playoff semifinals after going 8-2 during the regular season.
vs. Southern Vermont Storm, Plattsburgh Athletic Complex, 6 p.m.
at Vermont Ice Storm, South Burlington High School, 7:30 p.m.
vs. Montreal Voyageurs, Plattsburgh Athletic Complex, 7:30 p.m.
at Glens Falls Greenjackets, East Field, 4 p.m.
vs. Monroe County Sting, Plattsburgh Athletic Complex, 7:30 p.m.
at Albany Metro Mallers, Bleeker Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
vs. Vermont Ice Storm (Hall of Fame Game), Plattsburgh Athletic Complex, 7:30 p.m.
vs. Syracuse Shock, Plattsburgh Athletic Complex, 7:30 p.m.
at Montreal Voyageurs (in Plattsburgh), Bailey Avenue Field, 7:30 p.m.
at Amsterdam Zephyrs, Lynch Middle School. 7:30 p.m.
vs. Watertown Red & Black, Plattsburgh Athletic Complex, 7:30 p.m.
quarterfinal playoffs, TBD
semifinal playoffs, TBD
EFL championship, TBD
3- David Gbarr, 5-7, 150, DB, Staten Island
4- Jordon Keleher, 6-0, 170, WR/KR, Peru
5- Nick Passino, 5-10, 200, S, Peru
7- Greg Roberson, 6-1, 220, DE, Massena
10- Mitch Ryder, 5-9, 175, K, Plattsburgh
11- Justin Mahan, 5-11, 175, DB, Plattsburgh
12- Evan White, 5-8, 160, K, Peru
13- Harry Rascoe, 6-1, 215, QB, Plattsburgh
14- Kris Ross, 5-9, 175, CB, Ticonderoga
15- Ken Stay, 6-1, 205, QB, Plattsburgh
17- Brandon St. John, 5-9, 175, CB, Cadyville
21- Mackenzie Haskins, 5-8, 165, DB, Beekmantown
24- Jamil McCray, 5-11, 210, WR, Plattsburgh
25- Marvin Jenkins, 6-0, 220, RB, Brooklyn
26- Dustin Wheeler, 5-11, 180, S, Hogansburg
28- Bryan Stanley, 5-11, 200, S, Keeseville
31- Taylor Chapple, 5-10, 170, DB, Saranac
32- Josh Nephew, 5-9, 200, FB/LB, Beekmantown
35- Elijah Parks, 5-10, 230, FB, Beekmantown
38- Dominic Brown, 5-8, 165, DB, Staten Island
44- Kevin Gibson, 6-3, 250, TE, Plattsburgh
45- Kris Hyde, 5-10, 190, RB, Malone
47- Ken Karnley, 5-9, 230, RB, Staten Island
52- Tanner Hooker, 5-11, 225, LB, Paducah, Ky.
55- Adam Arnold, 6-0, 225, LB, Tupper Lake
57- Nick Norris, 6-1, 240, LB, Sheldon, Vt.
60- Colby Way, 6-0, 240, OL, Schuyler Falls
62- Ryan Garrand, 6-0, 265, LB, Plattsburgh
64- Tom Page, 6-0, 265, DL, Burlington, Vt.
65- John Dubuc, 6-1, 305, OL, Charlotte, Vt.
66- Todd Collins, 5-10, 260, OL, Malone
68- Josh Painter, 6-5, 280, OL, Keeseville
71- Devin Dashnaw, 6-6, 310, OL, Surprise, Az.
73- Kelsey Lenny, 6-4, 325, DL, Malone
74- Dan O’Meara, 6-1, 230, DE, Plattsburgh
75- Andrew LaDuke, 6-1, 265, DL, Beekmantown
76- Mike Moran, 6-3, 300, DL, Beekmantown
77- Nick Moore, 6-2, 285, OL, Peru
80- Cody Wood, 5-11, 170, WR, Saranac
81- Garrett Shepler, 6-2, 225, DE, Plattsburgh
83- Andrew Price, 6-0, 180, WR, Beekmantown
85- Emmett Drollette, 6-3, 265, DL, Beekmantown
89- Nick O’Meara, 6-3, 200, WR, Plattsburgh
Assistants: Tom Sorrell, Brandon Keleher, Russell Humphrey, Adam Frennier