By Rob Tetro
After losing to Cortland and Cazenovia to begin the season, the Fulton modified football team went 3-1 to close out the seaon.
Coach Jeff Waldron said Fulton showed steady improvement throughout the season. After Cazenovia rolled past the Red Raiders, Fulton made a lot of adjustments.
Defensive coordinator Joe Meeks installed a new defense while offensive coordinator Harry Meeker made a few adjustments on offense.
Fulton’s adjustments quickly paid off. After starting 0-2, the Red Raiders earned wins over Jamesville-DeWitt, Chittenango and East Syracuse Minoa and then lost a heartbreaker to Christian Brothers Academy in their last game of the season. The Red Raiders scored what would have been the game winning touchdown with just a little time remaining. However, a block to the back penalty nullified Fulton’s touchdown allowing Christian Brothers Academy to hold on for the win.
The Red Raiders finished the season with a 3-3 record.
Coaches said there were 46 players on the team this season, all of whom showed great work ethic. Overall, Fulton was a young, inexperienced team with only a handful of returning eighth-graders.
It was quite the opposite a season ago. Waldron came into the season with the tough task of replacing numerous eighth-graders who went on to have great seasons at the junior varsity level this season. In fact, players such as Travis Rice and Jarred Crucitti were a few freshmen that ended up playing at the varsity level this season.
Looking ahead, Waldron said if his team can remain as cohesive of a unit as they were this season, a bright future lies ahead.
Waldron points out that many coaching changes have been made within the program during the last few seasons. However, he feels very strongly that these coaches are determined to improving the program from top to bottom.
Waldron said Fulton Pop Warner Football is now on the same page with the schematics that are being developed with modified, junior varsity and varsity players. He suggests that connecting concepts with Fulton football players, Pop Warner on up, can lead only to good things down the road.
“I think that when all of the levels are working toward the same goal, it can only strengthen the program.”, Waldron said. “There is still a lot of work to do, but we are moving in the right direction.”