'Dogs to open 2011 in SU Carrrier Dome


By Jim Poole

The Cobleskill-Richmondville Bulldogs will open their 2011 football season in the Dome
Yes, THAT Dome. The Carrier Dome. The one in Syracuse.
And even though this is a time of severe financial stress, the trip won’t cost C-R taxpayers a dime.
It was ironing out those budget concerns that caused athletic officials to hold off on the announcement even though they agreed to the trip in December.
“There’s no cost to the district,” Athletic Director Dale Wotherspoon said. “The football team already has the money.
“This is a great thing. . .Great for the kids.”
The National Football Foundation is hosting the Carrier Classic, which features 12 teams playing in the Dome each of the first two weekends in September.
Section II was offered two slots, and Ravena Coach Gary Vanderzee, head of football in the section, took one and offered the second to other Class B teams.
The Bulldogs were to play Ravena in their football opener, so it made sense for C-R to accept.
Bulldog Coach Ed Hantho discussed the offer with Mr. Wotherspoon, and they agreed to it.
That, however, was back in December, before incoming Governor Andrew Cuomo announced severe cost-cutting was on the way.
“Ed approached me before the Governor’s speech, and we said yes,” Mr. Wotherspoon said. “But then we came under cost constraints, and we weren’t sure what to do.”
They later realized that the trip wouldn’t cost much and they already had the money in hand. A bus driver has agreed to donate his time, so the only cost for the one-day trip will be gas money––about $350, Coach Hantho said.
The money will come from the football team’s account in the All Sports Booster Club.
“There’s no fundraising special for this trip,” so it won’t take away from other community sports fundraising, such as that to retain modified sports, Mr. Wotherspoon said.
The team would normally use the money in the account for a trip to weight-lifting competitions or if players needed a bus to attend football camp, Coach Hantho said.
“We’ve had the money in the account for a while for camps or if we had to travel if we went deep into post-season,” Coach Hantho said. “We won’t be fundraising.”
Instead, the Bulldogs will be preparing to face what may be one of the top Class B teams in New York.
C-R will play Sunday, September 4, at either 1:30pm or 4pm, depending on when Syracuse University plays that Labor Day weekend.
The Bulldogs will face Alden, a team from the Buffalo suburbs. Last season, Alden lost 21-14 in the state Class B regionals to Hornell before Hornell beat C-R rival Schalmont for the championship.
Last year’s championship game was also in the Dome, Coach Hantho noted.
“It’s an awesome opportunity to play on a college field,” he said. “People in football work to go to the Dome.”
Alden––who are also the Bulldogs––will be stiff competition, but that’s okay with Coach Hantho.
“We’ll get some great competition from someplace else and see where we stack up against them,” he said.
“This is a big moment for us and the community. We have a lot of support there.”