Sunday Sports: Carthage Comets prepare for football season ahead

Published: Aug. 13, 2023 at 5:58 PM EDT
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CARTHAGE, New York (WWNY) - 2023 marks the start of a new era for Carthage Comets football with the team moving from Class A to Class B in Section 3. It’s a move the Comets hope brings them back to the top of the standings.

Coach Jason Coffman’s Comets struggled in 2022, with a 3-6 overall record, 3-4 in Class A play, losing to West Genesee 36-7 in the Section 3 Class A Quarterfinals.

A new year brings new optimism in the Comets program with a veteran group returning on both sides of the football.

”You know, our expectations are always to try to compete for a Sectional title. Unfortunately, the last couple of years we’ve dealt with some adversity and we had young teams. I’ve got a lot of seniors this year, I’ve got a lot of kids that have been with me for 3 years and a handful have been with me for 2 years. I expect these guys to really come out of their shells a little bit and show that they’re seniors and show that they’ve worked hard to get where they are and that we can compete at this level,” said Coffman.

On the offensive side of the football, the Comets lost 1,000 yard rusher Josh Bigelow to graduation, but return quarterback Khalil Tevaga who threw for 267 yards and 4 touchdowns in a season shortened by injuries.

With a number of returners on defense, this team will be well balanced with the strength starting up front on the offensive and defensive lines.

”Oh, 100%. Our lineman, I know they’re in and out. They’ve been working all summer really hard and I know that if they can start blocking and our D-line is also very- If they can start blocking, then our running back will be able to, they’ll make holes and our running back will fly through them,” said Shay Sinitiere.

”Oh, yeah. Our linemen this year I expect great things from them. They’ve been putting in a lot of work and they’re the chains to our team, I guess,” said Donley Wang.

In order to get back to the heights this team reached just a few short years ago, Coffman feels that his team has to continue to improve throughout the season.

”One of the things that over the last couple of years that I really struggled with as a coach was I felt like we were as good as we were gonna get 2 or 3 weeks into the season. I didn’t see the constant getting better like we did in 2019, 2018, 2017. Those years where we continued to get better as the season went on. I think this year that’s gonna be a key that we have to be coming into our prime right at the end of the season rather than at the beginning of the season,” said Coffman.

The Comets first game as the newest member of Class B will be against their old rivals the Indian River Warriors on Friday, September 8th in Philadelphia.

A few weeks back, the Watertown Rapids wrapped up their 2023 Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League season, missing out on the playoffs once again this year.

It was also the 2nd straight season the Rapids ended the year below 500, finishing with a 15-30 record, tied for 7th in the PGCBL East Division.

Sportscaster Rob Krone asked Rapids Manager Mike Kogut what it’s going to take for the team to turn things around to be consistently competing for one of the top spots year in and year out.

”You know, I think it’s just gonna be to provide that quality depth and develop rosters that provide us multiple options across the board at positions. That comes with veteran leadership from the top down, so hopefully we can continue that. Having a full year to do things, develop, build those contacts and relationships. A lot of these teams are veteran groups that do it year in and year out. We’re finally starting to develop those relationships and hopefully it leads to future success,” said Kogut.

It’s been a memorable first year for the Thousand Islands Spirits Box Lacrosse Team.

Fresh off their North American Box Lacrosse League Upstate Division regular and post-season championship, the team is now getting ready to play in the NABLL National Tournament which is set to take place in Naperville outside of Chicago August 25th - 27th with nine other divisional winners taking part.

Spirits Owner and General Manager Nate Jobson is excited to take part in the tournament which has a new format this season.

”So the format is Friday, you go and you play some round robin games and they seed you. Once you get seeded, the top 10 teams go, one from every division. Once they seed you then it’s just a single elimination tournament. Once you lose, you’re out. It’s definitely a better format than whatever we did last year. It’s pretty exciting. That’s the goal, right? That’s what this is all about,” said Jobson.