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Sweet Home regroups

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Sweet Home enters the new season in an unfamiliar position.

The Panthers are coming off a loss to a Section VI opponent, something that last happened in 2006 against Iroquois before eventual state runner-up Williamsville North got them, 21-12, in the Class A final at Ralph Wilson Stadium last November.

In between losses to Section VI brethren, Sweet Home had won 69 straight games against Western New York teams, six Section VI Class A titles and two state championships. They have made it to the sectional final each year since 2005,

"I mentioned it at our team talk in the beginning and really all I said was the seniors there didn't finish what they started out to do last year and that was to win the sectional championship," veteran Panthers coach John Faller said. "It's this seniors' legacy and the juniors that are with them to see what they are going to do. Last year is over. It was a tough loss but every loss is and we knew it was coming  sooner or later. It just happened to be that game."

The Panthers opened with fitness testing during a morning session and concluded opening day with an afternoon practice with helmets and shorts. They plan to work on offense the first three days and the focus on defense once they're allowed to wear shoulder pads.

Key skilled players for Sweet Home include returning All-WNY Second Team pick Brandon Smiley, a receiver/defensive back who has verbally committed to the University at Buffalo.

"He is one of our best athletes," Faller said. "He's got good grades. He's got everything UB is looking for in a player."

Other key players include running backs Jordan Evert and Jordan Heine and quarterback Kevin Torrillo.

Sweet Home won the St. John Fisher passing league, so Faller knows his skilled players are more the ready for the season. The rest of training camp will allow linemen to catch up, he said.

  • ROCKY DiCKSON

    It's Channel's 2's loss, big time. Andy Parker is the heir apparent of Tom Jolls, in both temperament and likability. I'm pretty sure that Jolls would agree although he doesn't make public endorsements. Parker will have coat tails bringing viewers to 7.

    Of course Maria Genero is no slouch. She's the Sophia Loren of Buffalo television and somehow gets better looking as the years go by. (those magical Italiano genes, no doubt) If I was the TV czar she's be a 5pm or a morning anchor. (my motto is beauty yes, ugly no)

    The morning beauty queen anchor at Ch. 7 looks like a movie star. She's learn the ropes and be recruited outta town in no time flat.

    Good luck to Andy Parker, It's a bold move and a good start by Ch. 7 and should pay off.

  • joe

    cool. hope they get someone with a personality to replace him. nothing personal, he just bores me when he is on!

  • joenamherst

    Too bad he can't replace the horrid Deseray Wiley.

    • Katie Claybourne

      Agreed, she is just awful.

  • Mike Michaels

    To leave a number 1 station and be a lead guy for a #3 rated channel, I hope he got a nice raise. Good for him

  • Stephanie N. Huthmacher

    I cannot stand Maria Genero. What can't Kevin O'Neill replace Andy? He's a meteorologist! Did he get his degree only to be undervalued by his employer?

    • jlna5434

      I agree!! There's got to be someone better than Maria Genero!!!

  • Bill Baumgartner

    He Probably lest to get away from that prissy Melissa Holmes! John Beard and Andy were great together and Heather Lee would have been the best.

    • jlna5434

      You hit it right on the head about Melissa Holmes!! She's nothing more than a self absorbed princess!!! Can't blame anyone that wants to get away from her.

  • Todd Peterson

    Maria Genero is a veteran meteorologist who has the personality to make a seamless transition into the role..she enjoys working part-time, so this will work well for her

  • no name

    It's on the TV blog. It was recently posted and got thrown into "The Feed" by default. Why take the time to post a comment like this if you took the time to read it?

  • Wally Balls

    It's on the front page, dude. Refresh your window.

  • no name

    I know. Any new blog posts, news, etc. get posted to "The Feed" on the homepage. It doesn't specifically mean it's a "front page" urgent news story.

    Obviously it worked because you clicked :)

  • Katie Claybourne

    Current channel 7 morning female sounds like she's reading her high school essay to the class.

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.

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