Final Four Game Recaps
‘Historic’ Salamanca football run ends in state semifinal
Spencer Bates, Salamanca Press
A season full of emotion for the Salamanca football team officially reached its end.
After two decades away from the New York State semifinal, the Warriors suffered a 42-0 loss at the hands of Waverly.
Normally stoic, Salamanca coach Chad Bartoszek said that it was hard for any member of his team to keep their emotions in after the defeat. A lot of which, he said, can be chalked up to external factors that added layers to what he and his team achieved this year. Unfortunately, for his team, nothing seemed to come together on Saturday in the NYSPHSAA Class C West semifinal.
“I tend to stay pretty emotionally consistent after a loss, it’s hard today,” Bartoszek said. “A lot of stuff went down this year and we played some (good) football today. Football wise, we couldn’t piece it together.”
The Warriors had a number of chances to get themselves in the game, more notably in the first half, but were unable to find the endzone. However, the loss and heavy margin of defeat do not tarnish what has made this season special for Bartoszek. It wasn’t about the wins and while he acknowledged that it will take some time to recover from the loss, the bigger picture is what it means to the community.
“It’s not just a winning thing, and that’s one of the messages,” he said. “What happened this year was real and it’s going to take a couple of weeks (to get over this). We’ll never forget this run. What these kids did for this community, for Salamanca football, for the Salamanca Warrior community, for our youth, for their parents. It’s historic and it means a lot.”
While Salamanca and Waverly were both without a score after a quarter of play, the Wolverines turned it on in the second, finding the endzone three times each on successive drives. The firstwas a one-yard punch in by quarterback Joey Tomasso after Waverly benefitted from a blocked punt that set them up on the one yard line.
On its next drive, Waverly scored on a four-yard run from Carter George. Kolsen Keathley first of his three scores on the day came on a 10-yard pass just before halftime.
The interval did not change much in the game as Waverly came out and scored twice more in the third quarter. Keathley brought a 92-yard passing play to the house and added a five-yard rushing touchdown before the fourth quarter. The Wolverines final score of the game was a nine-yard pass reeled in by Xavier Watson shortly after the fourth quarter began.
Throughout this time, the Warriors suffered a number of significant injuries that affected the game. Carmine Hoag, who led the team in receiving yards on the day, Lucus Brown and both quarterbacks — Maddox Isaac and Jaxson Ross — went out with injuries. While Isaac recorded 22 passing yards and a team-leading 64 rushing yards before being injured, it was third-string QB Payton Bradley who led the team in passing with 23 yards. Brown had 23 rushing yards and Zach Trietley had 13 for the Warriors.
On defense, Cory Holleran led Salamanca in tackles with 10 total, nine of which were unassisted. Trietley was the next closest in the category with seven total tackles with six unassisted.
According to Bartoszek the combination of the score running up as well as the injuries impacted his tea, but he credited them for never giving up in the face of adversity.
“When the score starts getting out there and you get a couple of injuries here and there, your players start to doubt themselves,” Bartoszek said. “The legitimacy of what they’re doing to us and then the injuries, it starts to impact your energy, your motivation. I was just so proud of them for fighting to the end.”
The group of players that Bartoszek had this year were not only extremely talented, but they “led by example” as well according to Bartoszek. While the team suffered a loss to open the season and battled through injuries all year, what was most impressive was how he saw his players continue to raise the standard.
“They went through a lot of adversity,” he said. “The key is the high standard … I just love the fact that we continuously are taking another step and we’ve raised the bar for what it means to be a Salamanca Warrior.”
When all was said and done, the pride that Bartoszek had in his team and his community remained unfazed.
“I’m proud of our team, I’m proud of our part of our community, I’m proud to be the head coach of this program,” he said.
Salamanca Dream Season Comes to an End
WNY Athletics Preview: It wasn’t the outcome the Salamanca had hoped for when they took the field Saturday at Cicero-North Syracuse High School for the Class C Western Semi final. Their opponent, the Waverly Wolverines were unstoppable, and proved that in their 42-0 win over the Warriors.
Head Coach Chad Bartoszek spoke with reporters after the loss, “I try to stay emotionally consistent, but after a loss it’s tough. A lot of tears shed in that locker room.” Indeed, this team meant a lot to the community, the away side bleachers were packed with family, friends and die-hard Salamanca fans. The Warriors were making their first appearance in the semis since 2001. Bartoszek, himself a former player, was a member of the ’99 team that went all the way to the finals.
Salamanca ‘sticking to the routine’ ahead of state semifinal
Salamanca Press Preview: As the Salamanca football team prepares for its first trip to the New York State final four in over two decades, the Warriors are “trying to stay as routine as possible.”
Despite battling some adverse weather and the Thanksgiving holiday throughout the week, coach Chad Bartoszek said he doesn’t need to over emphasize the importance of preparation to his team. The Warriors kick off against Section 4 champions Waverly at Cicero-North Syracuse High School Saturday at 12 p.m. and at this stage, the players understand what's in front of them and know to stick to the routine through the holiday.