Tuesday sports: Beavers try to get back to Dome

Published: Aug. 8, 2023 at 7:56 AM EDT
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BEAVER RIVER, New York (WWNY) - The Beaver River Beavers were one of the top teams in Section 3 class D football in 2022, and will be looking to make another run at a Sectional title this season.

Coach Matt Lyndaker’s Beavers finished 2022 with an 8-2 overall record; 4-0 in class D West play and lost to Dolgeville 44-24 in the Section 3 class D championship game at the JMA Wireless Dome in Syracuse.

Gone are 10 key contributors from last year’s team, but Lyndaker likes what he sees from this year’s group.

”My expectations are pretty high. The way we finished last year, which you know is a great year. Anytime you finish the season in the Dome it’s a good season,” Lyndaker said.

“Quite a few kids returning off that team. A lot of skilled guys. The quarterback is back, hand full of receivers, running backs.”

Putting points on the board shouldn’t be a problem for the Beavers once again this season.

Derrick Zehr is back at quarterback to lead the offense. He threw for 1,824 yards and 25 touchdowns in 2022, and receiver Brit Dicob returns as Zehr’s main target.

”Our receivers are I’d say probably one of the best we got in a while and I don’t feel like any secondary can stop us,” said Kade Schneider, wide receiver and defensive back.

”I think we’re gonna have a high scoring team because I think we have a bunch of good receivers that can get open anywhere,” said Joshua Bush, wide receiver and safety.

The team has a chip on their shoulder heading into 2023, after losing to Dolgeville and being denied the chance to advance to states.

Both the players and the coaches say that loss has lingered with them throughout the off season and made them work even harder preparing for the 2023 campaign.

”It’s sticking with all of us. It doesn’t feel good but we’re ready to bounce back and it’s really a driving factor into making us better this year,” said Bobby Hazard, center and linebacker.

“They should be hungry. They got a taste of it last year and I think they kind of realized what it took to get there. Kids are working hard and hopefully we capitalize on it,” Lyndaker, the coach, said.

In order for the Beavers to make a return appearance in the Dome this season, Lyndaker says a couple of things have to come together for his team during fall practice.

”Team chemistry, definitely we’ve gotta be able to block well. That’s kind of a big question mark. We lost three out of our five starters from the offensive line last season. If we can block well I think we can move the ball,” he said.

The Beavers open their 2023 schedule with a road game at Pulaski on Saturday September 9 at 1 p.m.