PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. ‒ Pleasantville's football Panthers visit Section 1 champions Croton for Saturday's season opener, buoyed by a good preseason and a tight-knit group of juniors and seniors. Game time is 2:30 p.m.
"We have a good group of guys in our junior and senior classes who are very confident going in to the season," coach Tony Becerra said. "We want to move the ball with the pass and the run and play a consistent game for four quarters. We respect Croton. We want to get off to a good start."
The Panthers go into battle with junior quarterback Anthony Godino and a backfield led by the two Nicks, halfback Nick Pedlow and fullback Nick Greto. Receiver Charlie Montgomery, a standout basketball player, adds a passing threat.
Defensively, the Panthers have a good line that has shown the ability to get into the offensive backfield in scrimmages.
The best Class A football team in Section 1 two of the last three years, The Tigers went 11-1 last year en route to losing the state championship game. Croton has lost just six games in the last five years under coach John Catano and is moving into 2012 with a new set of players in starting roles.
Catano will depend on running backs Brian Soares and Nick Grous, fullback Trevor Wolstencroft, tight end Peter Miller and wideout Mark Carruba to move the offense alongside quarterback Ben Gelfand.
Pleasantville, 4-5 last year and 3-6 in 2010 after six straight winning seasons under Becerra, is poised to get back on the winning track.
"We want to establish both the offense and defense and go from there," Becerra said. "We want to control Croton's outside speed and not let them pound it inside at the same time. We're healthy and ready to go."