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Defending AA champs hard at work

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The defending Section VI Class AA champion Jamestown Red Raiders had a great opening day of practice, according to coach Tom Langworthy.

Roughly 100 kids showed up for the first day of practice, which is a slight increase in total numbers from last season, he said. About 45 of those kids will make varsity.

"We had a good day," said Langworthy. "First day, you always get the enthusiasm and then you really have to motivate Wednesday and Thursday when they're tired and weary. We'll be ready to do that."

The biggest task for the Red Raiders this season is replacing Buffalo News Player of the Year and record-setting quarterback Jake Sisson. One of his favorite targets from last season, All-WNY First Team receiver Zach Panebianco is one of two vying for the quarterback job along with Nick Holland.

"We did minimal throwing today but they both looked good," Langworthy said. "They did well over the summer (in passing camps/leagues)."

The strength of the Red Raiders figures to be its offensive and defensive line, led by senior and returning All-WNY First Teamer Joe Mistretta.

"I think our offensive line is bigger and more athletic than it was last year. We return a number of guys on defense so that allows us to try new things on both sides of the ball and allows us to be creative as coaches."

About the reporters

Miguel Rodriguez, a Buffalo native and University of Rochester graduate, began his career at The News in 2003 as a sports copy editor and joined the high school sports beat in 2014. One of the most versatile members of the sports department, he has covered all manner of high school, college and professional events, including the NCAA men's basketball tournament. The former college hockey goalie has contributed to the Sabres beat, covered youth hockey and reported from the IIHF World Junior Championship and the men's and women's NCAA Frozen Four.

Keith McShea, named deputy sports editor in 2014, has covered high school sports at The News since his hiring in 1999. The 1995 University at Buffalo graduate and Long Island native (North Babylon Bulldogs) has covered — and live blogged — everything from scrimmages to state championships & helps head The News' All-Western New York selections.

All-WNY football database

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