South Park football coach Tim Delaney was at a coaching clinic over the summer when he struck up a conversation with a coach from a suburban school.
That coach told him he was aware the Harvard Cup teams were in the Federation, but it wouldn’t be until a city team reached Ralph Wilson Stadium that it would be fully accepted.
The Sparks are two wins away.
South Park brings a 6-1 record into tonight’s 7:30 kickoff against Williamsville North at All High Stadium.
“You talk about The Ralph and all these goals in August and it seems so far away, but here we are practicing in late October, and it’s really within reach,” Delaney said. “One of my personal goals has been to be the first city team to get to The Ralph. We’re definitely not looking past Williamsville North, but it’s two games away.”
South Park, winner of Class A South, believes it has the personnel to make history. Quarterback Tyler Mascio, a late transfer into the program, has been a difference maker. He’s completed 90 of 132 passes for 1,143 yards and nine touchdowns. His favorite targets have been Antonio Leonard with 39 catches for 549 yards and Brandon Jefferson with 442 yards on 34 catches. TJ Scott has rushed for 721 yards.
South Park’s offseason was tumultuous following the arrest of second team All-WNY quarterback Maurice Howie.
“Back in April when all the news broke about Maurice, and all the other stuff that was going on, the thing we talked about was getting back to football and getting back to normal as much as possible,” Delaney said. “We had goals in mind and we accomplished the first one, winning the division. We’ve got a couple more starting tomorrow.”
• Undefeated Cleveland Hill (7-0) begins defense of its Class C title on Saturday when it hosts Falconer. Wide receiver Jared Watkins has been a real weapon, averaging 24.2 yards for his 20 catches with nine touchdowns for a Golden Eagles program that has traditionally relied on the run. At cornerback, he holds the school record for career interceptions with 12. Linebacker Josh White is a three-year starter who is averaging double figures in tackles.
•Matt Perillo officiated his share of big playoff games so it seems like a fitting time of year to honor his memory. Perillo and his family will be recognized at halftime of the Class A game on Nov. 8. There will be a page of tribute to Perillo in the Section VI game day program.
“Plain and simple, he’s done so much for Western New York and Section VI football,” said Section VI football chairman Ken Stoldt. “It’s a tight-knit family, the officials’ organization is an extremely important part of what we do and we want to make sure his contributions go recognized.”
The section will also honor the late Damon Janes of Westfield/Brocton while the Southern Tier officials’ organization will recognize Jim Barber.