Sunday Sports: Carthage Comets Football gets a jump on the competition, practice starts

Published: Aug. 21, 2022 at 10:52 PM EDT
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CARTHAGE, New York (WWNY) - Monday marks the official start of the 2022-23 high school sports season, with fall teams in a number of sports taking to the practice field for the first time.

One team that got an early start on Saturday due to scheduling was the Carthage Comets Football team.

Hopes are high for the 2022 version of the Carthage Comets.

Coach Jason Coffman’s squad will be looking to improve on a 2021 campaign that saw them post a 2-4 record, losing to West Genesee in the Section 3 Class A Quarterfinals.

Coffman feels their hard work in the off season will pay big dividends when the season kicks in less than 2 weeks.

”I got a great group of kids. They do everything I ask, nobody complains, we had great summer workouts, they’ve done everything I’ve asked them to do. How tough we can become through the season will decide how well we do this year. It’s an awesome group of kids. I love being around them,” said Coffman.

The Comets lost a big chunk of their offensive production with the graduation of Carter Kempney, who led the team in passing yards and rushing yards last season, but with a number of 3-year players back on both sides of the ball, the players are optimistic about the team’s chances heading into the upcoming season.

”We look promising this year. Everybody put in a lot of work in the summer. We did a lot of weight room, weight training, and I think we’ll have a great team this year,” said Senior Offensive Guard Finnley Wagner.

”Honestly, we’ve got a lot of really motivated guys here. I think we’re going to do fantastic. The strength is we’ve got a lot of guys who are willing to do the work, we’re motivated and we’re all happy to be here, I hope,” said Senior Offensive Guard Thomas Kennedy.

”I’ve seen a lot of guys that I’ve known for the last 4 years playing with, a lot of talented guys, a lot of guys who are motivated to keep working and put in hard work to get a lot of wins this season,” said Senior Tight End Kolyn McGill.

The Comets schedule is a daunting one, with a number of powerhouses on the docket, including a class crossover game against Perennial Power and rival Indian River.

Coffman says how tough his team is both mentally and physically will determine how well the Comets will fare in the 2022 season.

”Class A football in Section 3 is going to be a grind. I would go as far as to say Section 3 Class A football is the best Class A league in the state. We had CBA who won the state championship last year, we’ve been to the state championship, Indian River won a state championship in the A’s, Auburn has a state championship in the AA’s. We have teams with Auburn, West Genesee, FM coming down from the AA’s, Corcoran’s down this year in the A’s. It’s gonna be a grind. If we are tough, we will be able to compete with anybody. If we don’t find that mental toughness, then we’re gonna have trouble matching up with people,” said Coffman.

The Comets open the season on Friday, September 2nd when they host the Watertown Cyclones at Comet Field. Kickoff is set for 7 PM.

The St. Lawrence Football Team wrapped up their first full week of practice this past week.

Coach Dan Puckhaber’s team preparing for another tough 2022 Liberty League schedule and non-league slate.

The Saints with a number of key players back on both sides of the ball, but are looking to fill some holes due to graduation as well.

Puckhaber is pleased with how week one of camp has gone and pleased with what he’s seen from his team so far.

”I think we started camp really well. I think we tested well. The guys, they look good, they came in in shape, the ones you expect. I think we had 104 guys show up for camp or expected to show up for camp and all of them showed up. I’m not gonna say all 104 of them looked like they’re in great shape, but I’m gonna say a majority of them. So that’s always refreshing just because at this level, Division 3, we don’t see them from essentially the first week in May until that second week in August,” said Puckhaber.