Football is back in Section 6

On a day that felt a little like football weather, high school teams in Western New York officially began their seasons Monday afternoon.

“If you didn’t look at the calendar, especially with the weather, you’d think it was August,” Olean coach Phil Vecchio said.

Many teams, Vecchio’s included, have held optional workouts in recent weeks to prepare for the first of its kind spring football season, having been delayed by the state due to COVID-19. The first Section 6 games are set for next weekend, giving teams a two-week ramp-up.

“We’ve obviously got a long way to go in a short time, guys’ conditioning is probably not where it needs to be, so we spent a little time doing that,” Vecchio said. “But we’ve been getting together for the better part of four weeks now and trying to install both offense and defense. The guys that have been there are getting it quick and the guys that are newer are learning.”

The Section 6 basketball season will end by this weekend, and many boys teams in the area remain in sectional contention. Vecchio said he won’t worry about getting his players on the basketball team in football practice until the Huskies finish their hoops playoff run.

“We should be able to have those guys eligible for the first game,” he said. “I think there’s just three of them, but they’re going to be three pretty good players this season.”

Olean kicks off the season Saturday, April 3, against Maritime Charter.

“I certainly don’t know how in depth we’re going to be able to get between now and then,” Vecchio said. “It’s going to be a pretty difficult first test for us, we’ve got the sectional champs coming in. We’re looking forward to getting ready to compete and go against another team. I’m just super happy for the seniors that they get a chance to play.”

Over in Salamanca, the Warriors broke in their new turf, taking the field at the impressive new multi-sport Veterans Memorial Park facility. Salamanca will hold its home games this spring at the new field.

(Photo Courtesy, Salamanca Press)