Week 3 H.S. Football Preview: Greenfield and Frontier to renew rivalry

  • Greenfield faces off against Chicopee in week one under the lights at Vets Field in Greenfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 9/23/2021 8:41:50 PM

The concerns over the new league format in football were that old rivalries would go by the wayside, but Greenfield and Frontier made sure that wouldn’t be the case. 

With the Green Wave still in the Intercounty North and the Redhawks moving to the Intercounty South, the two rivals made sure to schedule each other for an independent game, with Frontier traveling to Vets Field on Friday for a showdown with Greenfield. 

Both teams enter on different trajectories — the Green Wave being 2-0 and the Redhawks 0-2 — but you can toss out the records for this one. 

“We’ve had a tough week of practice,” Greenfield coach Mike Kuchieski said. “Hopefully, it’s just jitters and the kids should be nervous for this game. Frontier is a good football program. They’ve played two really good teams, and they have some weapons on their team. We’re looking at it like both teams are 0-0 going into it. We haven’t won anything yet. We try to take it one game at a time and if we’re overconfident going into this game, it won’t be pretty for us.” 

Frontier coach Scott Dredge is also excited to renew the old Intercounty North rivalry. 

“It’s nice to be able to have one of these games,” Dredge said. “We’re excited because it’s Greenfield. I didn’t need to motivate our guys this week and I doubt [Kuchieski] did either. It’s an independent game but it has that old league feel to it. The records don’t matter in this game and I’m anticipating and old school, Intercounty League contest. I always enjoy playing and coaching against them.” 

Dredge feels his team made too many errors against Ware and Palmer, which led to the two losses. He likes the way his offense has looked, and thinks his team will be right there in Friday’s game if they cut down on the turnovers. 

“We’re moving the ball well, we just have to eliminate those mistakes,” Dredge said. “Ware and Palmer are really good teams and we’ll learn from those games. If we take care of that, we’ll be competitive with Greenfield. It should be a good game, but we need to eliminate those mistakes that we shouldn’t be making at this point. You can’t make those mistakes against Greenfield. They’re too good and will make you pay for your mistakes.” 

Like Dredge, Kuchieski hopes his team can cut down on early-season mistakes as well. Greenfield pulled out the win against Belchertown last Friday, doing so despite turning the ball over four times. 

“We’re have to make sure we don’t make stupid mistakes,” Kuchieski said. “We had some fumbles and turnovers last week and were lucky to come out with a win. We can’t let that continue if we want to keep winning.”

Franklin Tech was originally scheduled to play Mount Greylock, but when Greylock joined a co-op with Drury and the Blue Devils had Mahar on the schedule for Saturday, the Eagles were staring at a bye week. 

Once Mahar had to cancel the game, Franklin Tech jumped at the opportunity to host Drury on Friday, with Eagle coach Joe Gamache wanting to get his young team as many reps as possible. 

“It’s a game that got scheduled in the 11th hour,” Gamache said. “It’s nice because with the roster we have in terms of youth and lack of experience at the varsity level, we want to get these kids playing as much as possible.” 

The Blue Devils’ lone game came in week one against Athol, where they beat the Bears 28-0 behind a 246-yard performance on the ground from running back Louis Guillotte. 

Franklin Tech opened its season with a 22-14 win over McCann Tech but failed to put points on the board last Friday in a 14-0 loss to Chicopee, though the game was closer than the score indicated. Gamache is looking for his team to show consistency moving forward.  

“They have some athletes and some size,” Gamache said of Drury. “They’ll be a nice test for us. We just need to continue gaining experience. They’ll figure things out. We’re still sticking to our mantra that we want to get one percent better each day. The kids have bounced back and had a solid couple days of practice. We’re very excited to have the opportunity to play.”

Following the season opening loss to Drury, Athol found its footing on offense in a 28-24 win over Pathfinder last Friday. 

The Bears started fast last week but allowed the Pioneers to make it a game late. Athol coach Bill LaRose is hoping to see a full 48-minute effort from his team on Friday on the road against Monument Mountain. 

“I’m expecting that our kids come to play,” LaRose said. “We have to start quick again and keep it going throughout the game. Our offense was clicking on all cylinders, defenisely we need to work hard to tighten things up and correct our mistakes. I’m expecting good things.” 

Against Easthampton, LaRose saw the Spartans spread things out, working the perimeter on bubble screens and running slants underneath. Unlike most teams, Monument was using the pass to set up the run, giving Athol something different to prepare for this week. The Bears have done a good job in their preparation. 

“This is a very coachable group of kids,” LaRose said. “They respond well. We worked them hard in practice this week, we conditioned them and they’ve been taking our instruction well.” 




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