Fort LeBoeuf made the District 10 playoffs with a seven-win season in 2013. The Bison have a lot of skill-position players returning from that team. Watch the Fort LeBoeuf preview video, above, and read the Bison’s Summer Huddle preview.
Friends and family will say farewell to Fort LeBoeuf coaching great Carm Bonito today at his funeral in Waterford. The longtime, beloved football coach and athletic director died July 15 at the age of 91.
This is also Save-An-Eye Game week, and some fans might not know that Bonito had an extensive history in the all-star game.
Bonito, a 1941 Wesleyville High School graduate, played in the second Save-An-Eye Game on Dec. 6, 1940, when the game was played immediately after the high school season. He was a member of the East team that beat the West 12-7 on an icy Veterans Stadium field.
Bonito also was a coach for the County on four occasions. He coached in 1953 when the City won 12-6 and in 1958 when the City claimed a 13-6 win. In 1963, he was on the staff when the County lost 18-0.
Bonito was on the winning end years later when he was an assistant in the 1999 game. The County emerged with a 23-9 victory in that game.
Fort LeBoeuf Bison
Coach: Jeff Nichols (11th season, 43-52)
2013 overall record: 7-4
2013 region record: 5-2 (third)
2013 playoff results: Lost to Hickory 56-7 in the District 10 Class AA quarterfinals.
Top players lost: Nate Conti, Cy Carroll, Justin Galvin, Anthony Rivera
Top returning players: Garrett Reinwald, Justin Kula, Jacob Stull, Austin Combs, Jacob Marzka, Collin Fish, Josh Beer, Gabe Dylewski, Brandon Harvey
Assistant coaches: Jason Beer, Freide Lundell, Rich Kolash, Kelley Ponsoll
For the outlook and schedule, click below.
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Fort LeBoeuf Bison
Coach: Jeff Nichols (10th season, 36-48)
2012 overall record: 5-5
2012 region record: 3-4 (sixth)
2012 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 playoffs.
Top players lost: Ian Sweeney, Nik Dombkowski, Joe Bugdon, Evan Daley, Sam Gambill
Top returning players: Cy Carroll, Nate Conti, Jacob Marzka, Austin Combs, Garrett Reinwald, Collin Fish, Jack Bridgeham Bengal, Anthony Rivera, Tyler Alexander
Assistant coaches: Jason Beer, Friede Lundell, Rich Kolahs, Adlin Strimmel, Dave Andrews
Outlook: Fort LeBoeuf got off to a quick 2-0 start in the region last year before running into several Erie County powerhouses to derail a chase for the region title. The Bison were young last fall, but if they can use that valuable experience to get better this year, LeBoeuf could be a dangerous team. The Bison will have to replace Ian Sweeney, Joe Bugdon, Evan Daley, Sam Gambill and quarterback Nik Dombkowski. Daley was voted to the all-region first team and is a big loss on defense, while Dombkowski has been a leader for LeBoeuf over the past few years. Dombkowski ran for five touchdowns as a senior and threw for 345 yards and four touchdowns as he facilitated the offense. Bugdon is another big loss in the backfield as LeBoeuf’s leading rusher. He had 586 yards and five touchdowns on 117 carries as a senior. Gambill was Dombkowski’s favorite target last year with 12 catches for 216 yards and four touchdowns.
With the starting quarterback, leading rusher and leading receiver all gone to graduation, the Bison will have some camp battles going on next month to fill out the starting lineup. Justin Galvin and Cody Falk were junior quarterbacks last fall and could be in the mix along with several underclassmen. Austin Combs, who will be a junior this fall, was the only other Bison to throw a pass last year as he went 1-for-3 for 33 yards and one interception. LeBoeuf has a strong group of experienced players back this year, including Cy Carroll, Nate Conti, Jacob Marzka, Garrett Reinwald, Collin Fish, Jack Bridgeham Bengal, Anthony Rivera, Tyler Alexander and Combs. Carroll ran for 578 yards and three touchdowns last year, while Combs ran for 463 yards and four touchdowns. Carroll, Fish, Combs and Rivera are returning running backs, while Marzka is a returning starter at wide receiver. Alexander, Reinwald, Conti and Bridgeham Bengal are returning starters on the offensive line. Conti was voted to the all-region first team at OL last year. LeBoeuf could also receive immediate contributions from the lower levels in Lucas Tokarzyk, Gabe Dylewski and Jacob Stull. The Bison have an experienced group of running backs to contribute in the Wing-T offense but LeBoeuf needs a quarterback to step forward and run the offense efficiently. The Bison open the season at rival General McLane and have a chance to win a few games in September before a crucial stretch in October. LeBoeuf will play Northwestern, Fairview and Girard in the second half of the season, which could determine if the Bison have a chance at the postseason.
30 at General McLane 7
6 at Harbor Creek* 7
13 Seneca* 7
20 at Corry* 7
27 North East* 7
4 at Northwestern* 7
11 at Cambridge Springs 7
18 Fairview* 7
25 Girard* 7
1 East 7
*Region 4 games
Here is a look at the Fort LeBoeuf football schedule this fall. We will publish schedules as we receive them from schools.
All times p.m. unless otherwise noted.
|Fort LeBoeuf Bison|
|Aug. 17||Oil City||11 a.m.|
|Aug. 23||at Grove City||6:30|
|Aug. 30||at General McLane||7|
|Sept. 6||at Harbor Creek*||7|
|Sept. 20||at Corry*||7|
|Sept. 27||North East*||7|
|Oct. 4||at Northwestern*||7|
|Oct. 11||at Cambridge Springs||7|
*Region 4 games
It was the night of the sophomore running back in Region 4 Friday.
Three sophomores made impact performances in their teams’ winning efforts. Girard’s Kel Barnes led the way with 226 yards and two crucial touchdowns on 25 carries in the YellowJackets’ 24-7 win over rival Fairview.
Meanwhile, Northwestern’s Austin Miczo scored a pair of touchdowns and rushed for 66 yards in the Wildcats’ 35-6 win over Seneca. Another underclassman, junior Brandon Reiser, led Northwestern with 101 yards on the ground. Fellow junior Nate Noe had 54 yards, including a 43-yard first-quarter TD run.
Finally, Fort LeBoeuf sophomore Collin Fish scored a critical 2-yard TD and finished with 44 yards rushing in the Bison’s 17-14 win over Harbor Creek. Meanwhile, junior Cy Carroll led the Bison with 140 yards rushing.
Here’s a link to Friday’s District 10 statistics and state scores.
Fans can get an early look at their favorite District 10 football teams Saturday at scrimmages throughout the area.
Here’s a look at Saturday’s scrimmage schedule:
Cathedral Prep at Harbor Creek, 9 a.m.
Cochranton at Keystone, 10 a.m.
Ellwood City at Grove City, 10 a.m.
General McLane at Corry, 10 a.m.
Farrell at Union, 10 a.m.
Franklin at Sharon, 10 a.m.
Iroquois at Conneaut, 10 a.m.
Karns City at Greenville, 10 a.m.
Lakeview at Maplewood, 10 a.m.
McDowell at Seneca Valley, 10 a.m.
Meadville at Central Tech (Veterans Stadium), 10 a.m.
Mercer at Saegertown, 10 a.m.
Neshannock at Kennedy Catholic, 10 a.m.
Northwestern at Union City, 10 a.m.
Sharpsville at Reynolds, 10 a.m.
Slippery Rock at Wilmington, 10 a.m.
Strong Vincent at Fairview, 10 a.m.
West Middlesex at Hickory, 10 a.m.
Youngsville at Eisenhower, 10 a.m.
Fort LeBoeuf at Oil City, 11 a.m.
Hollidaysburg at DuBois, 11 a.m.
Warren at St. Marys, noon
Bradford at East (Veterans Stadium), 1 p.m.
Seneca at Cambridge Springs, 3 p.m.
Titusville at North East, 6 p.m.
Mercyhurst Prep at Girard, 7 p.m.
Fort LeBoeuf Bison
Coach (season, record): Jeff Nichols (9th season, 31-43)
2011 overall record: 2-8
2011 region record (place): 1-5 (tied for fifth)
2011 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 Class AAA playoffs.
Top players lost: Mike Hall, Jacob Holes, Chris Kula, Jeremy Powers
Top returning players: Evan Daley, Nate Conti, Ross Barnett, Nik Dombkowski, Joe Bugdon, Jake Heynoski, Justin McClelland, Cy Carroll
Assistant coaches: Justin Blose, Freide Lundell, Tom Blose, Adlen Strimel, Adam Wolstrom, Dave Andrews, Tim Simon
Outlook: Fort LeBoeuf went through some growing pains with a new coach last fall. The Bison won only two games in a brutal Class AAA region. LeBoeuf dropped to Class AA in the offseason and could be a contender right away in Region 4. The Bison will have to replace Mike Hall, Jacob Holes, Chris Kula and Jeremy Powers. The four impact players graduated and leave some big holes to fill. Hall was LeBoeuf’s second-leading rusher at 568 yards and two touchdowns on 88 carries last season. Kula had four catches for 123 yards as a senior, while Holes ran for 503 yards and four touchdowns on 67 carries and caught four passes for 162 yards.
With plenty of offensive production lost to graduation, LeBoeuf will need several underclassmen to step in. The Bison has some experience with Joe Bugdon, Nik Dombkowski and Cy Carroll back. Bugdon led LeBoeuf with 665 yards and five touchdowns on 163 carries last year and he caught four passes for 67 yards. Carroll ran for 158 yards on 20 carries but the biggest boost is the return of Dombkowski. Dombkowski ran the new Bison offense from under center and threw for 441 yards. He also ran for 193 yards and scored seven touchdowns. Evan Daley, Nate Conti, Ross Barnett, Jake Heynoski and Justin McClelland are also back. Daley was voted to the all-region second team as an offensive lineman and linebacker, while Barnett was a second-team defensive lineman.
LeBoeuf has a new region and a new class to compete in. The Bison will revert back to their roots with a schedule loaded with old Erie County League teams. In fact, LeBoeuf’s only non-ECL opponents are Cambridge Springs in Week 7 and East in Week 10. The Bison face a brutal test right away with General McLane and four tough opponents in September. If LeBoeuf can survive the first half of the season with three wins, its games with Northwestern, Fairview and Girard in October will be important in the playoff chase.
31 General McLane 7
7 Harbor Creek* 7
14 at Seneca* 7
21 Corry* 7
28 at North East* 7
5 Northwestern* 7
12 Cambridge Springs 7
19 at Fairview* 7
26 at Girard* 7
3 at East 7
*Region 4 games
– Tom Reisenweber
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Fort LeBoeuf had battled with traditional District 10 power Sharon throughout last week’s game before the Bison trailed 36-35 midway through the fourth quarter. Then Kevin Gardner delivered in the clutch.
Gardner, a senior, kicked a 26-yard field goal with 4 minutes remaining to give the Bison their winning points in a 38-36 victory. Earlier in the game, Gardner had connected on all five of his extra-point kicks.
He now has three field goals and 17 PATs for 26 points this season.
Gardner is the only athlete in District 10 to win two Breakout Player awards in two different sports this season. Earlier, he won the Soccer Breakout award.
Poll results below:
Hall had quite a night Sept. 30 in the Bisons’ 33-7 victory over Central Tech.
He entered the game with 153 rushing yards in four games. However, he more than doubled his total by rushing for 192 yards on seven rushes, an average of more than 27 yards per carry.
The 6-foot 1-inch 175-pound senior used the inside counter to break off a series of long runs, including touchdown runs of 36 and 55 yards.
Hall’s big game gave him a team-high 345 rushing yards on just
34 carries. He will lead the Bisons against Girard tonight.
Click below for poll results: