2008-08-30 / Sports

FOOTBALL TEAMS GO ON THE ROAD

Friday Night Lights have returned as the 2008 high school sports season gets underway. This was the scene at Coudersport Area Recreation Park as crews rushed to have everything in order for Friday night's football opener. New bleachers, locker rooms, rest rooms, lights, press box and drainage are among the improvements, part of the school district's $9 million in renovations to CARP, the elementary school and the high school. It's being financed by a bond issue, as only the elementary school work qualifies for state funding. Friday Night Lights have returned as the 2008 high school sports season gets underway. This was the scene at Coudersport Area Recreation Park as crews rushed to have everything in order for Friday night's football opener. New bleachers, locker rooms, rest rooms, lights, press box and drainage are among the improvements, part of the school district's $9 million in renovations to CARP, the elementary school and the high school. It's being financed by a bond issue, as only the elementary school work qualifies for state funding. High school football season opened across the region on Friday night, where field conditions were expected to be soggy.

Cameron County follows its season opener against Kane with a trip to Ridgway on Friday night, with opening kickoff at 7.

Coudersport, which hosted Elk County Catholic, makes the long trip to Brockway Friday for a 7:30 kickoff.

Fans of the Cameron County Red Raiders varsity football team can get a sneak peak at this year's squad Saturday at 1 pm on the Emporium gridiron.

Coach Tony Defilippi's troops, who is 20-12 in three years at CCHS, has just two returning starters among 18 returning lettermen.

The Raiders don't have as much size or experience on the line as last season, but should be one of the speedier teams in the Allegheny Mountain League.

Sophomore Jason Blose (6-0, 180), who has a strong throwing arm, should get the start at quarterback. Speedster junior Andy Lippert (5-8, 170) returns with experience in the offensive backfield.

Graduation hit hard at Coudersport, but a look at the Northern Division of the Allegheny Mountain High School Football League suggests that the Falcons should once again be contenders.

First-year head coach Brendan Hathaway is optimistic. Senior Eric Babcock (5-9, 165) steps in as starting quarterback. Junior Dirk Cowburn (5-11, 175) and senior Tim Thomas (5-9, 145) are among those returning in the offensive backfield. Another senior, Brett Whitman (6-0, 175), should be one of the league's top receivers. Placekicker Cooper Bonczar could also be a potent weapon.

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