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Genesee County Spartans

Spartans look to rebound at home on Saturday night against Ithaca

By Mike Pettinella
spartans logo

The Genesee County Spartans are in “bounce back” mode heading into Saturday night’s home Northeastern Football Alliance semipro game against the Ithaca Warriors.

Kickoff is set for 7 o’clock at the Genesee Community College field located behind the Richard C. Call Arena.

The Spartans were on the losing end of a 28-0 score last weekend at Lockport, failing to capitalize on a couple of excellent scoring chances in the opening half when they trailed by only 8-0.

“The game wasn’t as lopsided as the score suggests,” Head Coach Harry Rascoe said. “An interception right before the half when we were driving really hurt us, and right after intermission, a fumble thwarted another drive.”

Rascoe said the team was missing a few key players against the Wildcats, but expects them to be back in action on Saturday.

“Tight end Howie Wilson was unable to play due to injury, but he’ll return, as will our captain and standout lineman Adam Hausfelder,” Rascoe added. “We’re revamping the offense a bit to give quarterback Joe Canzoneri more opportunities to showcase his skills.”

Against Lockport, Alex Rood was the signal caller, completing 10 of 20 passes for 75 yards, while Tyler Budzinack, filling in for Wilson, caught six passes for 50 yards. The Spartans couldn’t get the ground game going, however, rushing 20 times for just 46 yards.

On defense, defensive end Gunner Rapone forced a fumble and he and fellow Batavia High graduate Kaden Marucci combined for several tackles.

Admission for this weekend’s game is $5 per person with children under 12 admitted at no charge. The contest has been designated as Dan’s Tire & Auto Night.

Genesee County Spartans defeat Falcons, 13-0, in semipro football home opener

By Mike Pettinella
Spartans opener
The Genesee County Spartans greeted about 600 fans for their home opener Saturday at GCC. Photos by Jim Burns.

The fledgling Genesee County Spartans defeated the New York Falcons, 13-0, in non-league semipro football action Saturday afternoon at Genesee Community College.

Head Coach Harry Rascoe’s squad shook off a sluggish first half as quarterback Alex Rood and halfback Jed Reese ran for touchdowns after intermission to turn back the Buffalo-based Falcons, who compete in the Gridiron Developmental Football League.

It was the first official game of the season for the Spartans, a member of the Northeastern Football Alliance.

“We had a couple of opportunities in the first half but kept on pounding the ball on the ground to finally take control,” Rascoe said, noting that the quartet of Rood, Reese, Rob Williams Jr. and Brandon Bethel combined for 200 yards rushing.

Rood scored on a 10-yard run in the third quarter and Reese capped a long drive with a five-yard scamper in the fourth quarter. Marc Montana kicked the point after touchdown after Rood’s score but missed the second attempt under windy conditions.

In the first half, the Spartans threatened early in the second quarter, using runs by Reese, Rood, Williams and Bethel to get to the Falcons’ 20 before an interception thwarted that drive. With about five minutes left, the home team advanced to the Falcons’ 2 but failed to capitalize.

“We were in the red zone four or five times and came up short; that’s something we definitely need to work on,” Rascoe said. “But our defense, behind (defensive ends) Gunner Rapone and T.J. Henderson dominated.”

Rapone was a force throughout, recording numerous tackles and combining with Henderson for four sacks. Defensive backs Brooks Boyle and Tre Woods each had an interception.

An enthusiastic crowd of about 600 turned out for the “Iron Reps Gym Game” at GCC’s new field, which is located behind the Richard C. Call Arena.

“On behalf of the players, a special thanks to all the fans who attended,” Rascoe said. “It really means a lot to see all the community support.”

The Spartans return to action at 7 p.m. next Saturday at Lockport.  The next home game (all home games are at GCC) is at 7 p.m. June 17 against Ithaca.

defense
Defensive ends T.J. Henderson, left, and Gunner Rapone set the tone for the Spartans in the 13-0 victory.
rood
QB Alex Rood looks to escape the Falcons' rush.
Reese
RB/WR Jed Reese breaks into the clear. Reese scored tallied a second-half TD.
Moore
Falcons' defenders converge upon WR Kier Moore.

For more photos: https://www.facebook.com/JimBurnsSports

Genesee County Spartans' home opener moved up to this Saturday at Genesee Community College field

By Press Release

Press release:

spartans

Genesee Region football fans will have their chance to root for the home team -- the Genesee County Spartans -- sooner than expected.

Spartans Head Coach Harry Rascoe announced that the first-year semipro squad will open its season this Saturday, with kickoff set for 2 p.m. at Genesee Community College’s new football stadium (located behind the Richard C. Call Arena).

“We had a team drop out of our league and we were able to pick up a game on Saturday against the Buffalo-based New York Falcons of the Gridiron Developmental Football League,” Rascoe said. “We’re excited to finally get out in front of the community.”

The non-league game is sponsored by Iron Reps Gym of Le Roy. Admission is $5. Children under 12 will be admitted at no charge.

Rascoe said the offense will be guided by quarterback Joe Canzoneri, who will be looking to get the ball into the hands of runners and receivers Rob Williams, Alex Rood, Brandon Bethel and Jed Reese.

The defense is led by defensive ends T.J. Henderson and Gunner Rapone, who combined for four sacks, three forced fumbles and 10 tackles in an exhibition game two weeks ago in Watertown.

“We lost the game, but it was a good learning experience,” Rascoe noted. “We definitely will be able to build from it.”

The remainder of the Spartans’ schedule is as follows:

June 10 – at Lockport, 7 p.m.
June 17 – home vs. Ithaca, 7 p.m.
June 24 – home vs. Broome County, 7 p.m.
July 15 – at Broome County, 7 p.m.
July 22 – home vs. Lockport, 7 p.m.
Aug. 5 – at Ithaca, 7 p.m.

For more information about the team, including how to become a sponsor, go to the team’s Genesee County Spartans Facebook page or contact Rascoe at rascoeh@yahoo.com.

Spartans set for tough test at Watertown, looking toward June 17 home opener at GCC's new field

By Mike Pettinella
Spartans football
Head Coach Harry Rascoe, left, and Drew Crofts, assistant athletic director at Genesee Community College, promote the Genesee County Spartans’ use of the new football field at GCC this season.

The Genesee County Spartans football club travels north this Saturday for a non-league game against the host Watertown Red and Black.

“Watertown is a powerhouse in the Gridiron Developmental Football League and an awesome organization, but if we play Spartans football – hard-nosed and disciplined – I feel we can play with any team in the country,” said Head Coach Harry Rascoe.

That’s a strong statement considering that Rascoe and his coaching staff have had only a couple months to recruit players and conduct practices in preparation for their inaugural season in the Northeastern Football Alliance.

Rascoe said that the team’s quarterbacks – Joe Canzoneri and Alex Rood – will each play two quarters against Watertown as the competition for the starting job continues.

“This weekend will allow us to get a look at both QBs and see some players at different positions in a real game. We are excited to play finally after weeks of practice,” he said.

Canzoneri is a 2010 graduate of Batavia High School and a three-year starter at QB for the Blue Devils. He attended GCC for two years. Today, he owns his own barber shop on Ellicott Street.

“I joined the team because I wanted to see if I still have it or not,” he said, noting that he held a couple passing records at BHS. 

Rood graduated from BHS in 2020, went on to play quarterback at Geneva College and now competes in track and field at Brockport State College.

“This is a great opportunity to continue playing at the semi-pro level,” he said.

When the squad’s regular home season gets underway on June 17 (opponent to be determined), the game will take place at the new synthetic turf football field behind the Richard C. Call Arena at Genesee Community College.

GCC Assistant Athletic Director Drew Crofts said the college is eager to show off the facility.

“It was completed last summer and it’s something we’re very proud of,” he said. “A lot of people don’t know that it’s here; it’s kind of a hidden gem.”

Crofts said the plan is to host different teams on the field, which also serves as the venue for the college’s lacrosse and soccer teams.

“We’re excited about having the Spartans play here. The team is great for the community, so we’re hoping they draw big crowds.”

Rascoe, a GCC graduate, said his staff and players “are pumped to be the first football team to play at the new stadium.”

“We can’t thank the community and all of our sponsors enough for the support,” he added.

Saturday’s game – 7 p.m. kickoff -- will be livestreamed, Rascoe said. The link to watch the game: https://www.youtube.com/@steveweedprod/streams

The remainder of the Spartans’ schedule is as follows:

June 3 – at Auburn
June 10 – at Lockport
June 17 – home vs. TBD, 7 p.m.
June 24 – home vs. Broome County, 7 p.m.
July 15 – at Broome County
July 22 – home vs. Lockport, 7 p.m.
Aug. 5 – TBD
Aug. 12 – home vs. Auburn, 7 p.m.

GENESEE COUNTY SPARTANS ROSTER
0 Jedidiah Reese RB/WR
1 Marc Montana K
2 Alex Rood QB/RB
3 Jzon Richardson Sr. RB/WR
4 Tyler Budzinack WR/DB
5 Josh Bradley WR
6 Patrick Krantz DB
7 Gunner Rapone DE/OL
8 Joe Canzoneri QB
9 Dame Butler Sr. DB
10 Eric Snell TE
11 Corey Nicholas WR/DB
12 Evan Cummings WR/DB
13 Alan Riggi WR/DB
14 Kier Moore WR.DB
16 Marley English DE/LB
17 Daryl Leach DB/LB
20 Brandon Bethel FB/LB
21 Delonta Curry LB/DB
22 Cody Wenner DB
23 Rob William Jr. RB
24 Kris Geising DB
25 Tre Woods DB
26 Dillon Szpaicher LB/DL
27 Baylee VerCruysse OL/DL
28 Keith Neureuter DB
29 Dylan Bordonaro WR
32 Brooks Boyle LB/DB
33 Robert Thurston Jr. TE
39 Howie Wilson TE/DE
40 Matt Dillon LB
42 Kyle Dougherty LB/DL
44 Ethan Jennings LB/DE
45 Amir Cleveland DB
46 AJ Spearance LB
52 Jordan Chambers RT
53 Alton Rupp C
56 Steve Kowalczyk DT
58 Jon Grann LB
65 Chezeray Rolle DT
67 Travis Mosher DT
68 Adam Hausfelder OL/DL
70 Tim King OL/DL
71 Anthony Natrigo FB/LB
75 Austyn Fernandez OL/DL
78 Randy Reiner DL
88 TJ Henderson DE/TE
92 Matt Mead OL/DL
98 Steve Stink OL/DL
99 Rylee Elliott OL/DL

COACHING STAFF
Harr Rascoe, Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator
Craig Tiberio, Defensive Coordinator
Burton Howell, Special Teams/Offensive Assistant
Cody Vohs, Line Coach

For more information about the team, including how to become a sponsor, go to the team’s Genesee County Spartans Facebook page or contact Rascoe at rascoeh@yahoo.com.

Spartans QBs
Alex Rood, left, and Joe Canzoneri will be under center for the Spartans as they compete in the Northern Football Alliance.

Spartans are gaining ground in quest to return semipro football to Genesee County

By Press Release

Press release:

All signs are pointing toward a successful return of semiprofessional football to the Batavia area.

genesee_county_spartans_jpg_1.jpg

Harry Rascoe, head coach of the Genesee County Spartans, announced that an eight-team schedule has been finalized for the squad, which will feature around 50 players – some of them former Batavia and Notre Dame high school athletes – from throughout Western New York.

“We are looking at eight games – four home and four on the road – and have secured several sponsors for our first season,” Rascoe said. “Opening day is June 3 at Auburn. Our first home game is set for June 17 against Ithaca.”

The Spartans will compete in the Northeastern Football Alliance against clubs from Auburn, Lockport, Ithaca and Broome County.

Rascoe said he is working with Batavia High School officials to have the Genesee County team’s home games at Van Detta Stadium. All home games will be on Saturdays at 7 p.m.

Fundraising is a key component to getting the venture off the ground, he said, adding that a “Meet & Greet” is scheduled for 6-11 p.m. on Feb. 11 at Ri-Dan’s on West Main Street Road. The event will include basket raffles and cash drawings to help defer expenses.

Rascoe said he will be coordinating a final tryout for roster spots on Feb. 26 at a practice location in Rochester.

“We’re seeing great competition at all positions,” he said, adding that players range from graduating seniors to those in their early 30s.

The schedule is as follows:

June 3 at Auburn; June 10 at Lockport; June 17 vs. Ithaca; June 24 vs. Broome County; July 15 at Broome County; July 22 vs. Lockport; Aug. 5 at Ithaca; Aug. 12 vs. Auburn.

For more information about the team, including how to become a sponsor, go to the team’s Genesee County Spartans Facebook page or contact Rascoe at rascoeh@yahoo.com.

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