1988: WNY'S Elite 10 Hope to Get Rich-er in Playoffs

HOME OF BILLS HOSTS 5-GAME SHOWCASE FOR CLASS OF SECTION VI FOOTBALL BATTLES

Class C

Salamanca (8-1) vs. Cleveland Hill (7-2), 2:15 p.m.: Salamanca is No. 3 among small schools and No. 9 in the State C-D poll. Cleveland Hill is No. 5 in WNY and unranked in the state.

Salamanca has the edge in size, but these are probably the two most similar teams. Both suffered heavy graduation losses, but have managed to quickly rebuild.

"Because of all the changes, I didn't set long-term goals," said Cleveland Hill coach Dennis Mason. "We wanted to improve every week and see where we are at the end. We had a chance to play Springville for the division title (a 28-8 loss), so we did all right."

As is their trademark, the Golden Eagles have speedy players in QB Rob Coleman, backs John Kroll, Bryan Kroll and Tyrone Magby and end Shawn Magby. (The Krolls are brothers, the Magbys cousins). John Kroll had 243 yards in the semifinal win over Frewsburg.

"That speed always bothers me," said Salamanca coach George Whitcher. "You screw up and you can wave goodbye. It also gives them a lot of backfield talent on defense and makes them quick to the ball."

The Warriors have an underrated QB in D.J. Leiper ("he gets the kids fired up and controls the huddle very well," said Whitcher) and good runners in T.J. Brol and Todd Nugent. Aaron Whitmore is a fine center, while Bill Emborsky and Gene Oyer anchor the lines.

OUTLOOK: Give Salamanca an ever-so-slight edge. Speed can overcome size if the Eagles' offense can create opportunities to get their players in the open. If Cleveland Hill earns a draw on the lines, it can win on the scoreboard.

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1988 Salamanca Warriors