By Greg Klein
---- — The Cooperstown Youth Football teams wrapped up their seasons, with the Giants and the Patriots competing in the Greater Oneonta Football League.
The CYF season begins with practices in August and then continued with games in September and October.
The Patriots were 5-1 this year and coached by Scott Feik, Scott Ubner and Phil Lewis. The Patriots are the younger team, made up of third-, fourth- and fifth-graders. Their only loss came to league champs Delhi.
Cooperstown finished second in the league.
The Giants, made up of fifth- and sixth-graders, went 1-4 this year and were coached by John Lambert, Neil Palmatier and John Lohan.
“I was very proud of their dedication and hard work over those four years,” coach Lambert said. “We were severely undersized as a team with our biggest player weighing 110 pounds and the other teams in the league having multiple kids weighing in at the maximum weight level of 175 pounds.”
Lambert said his team beat then league leader Delhi on the road for its victory.
“It showed great character by my boys,” he said.
Lambert said he was impressed with the play of the Patriots as well.
“They were dominate and have a lot of kids who play hard and it showed,” he said.
Lambert is also on the CYF board of directors along with President Mike Perrino, Chris Hage and Scott Bonderoff.
“(They) do a great job running the program and making sure the kids have the equipment they need to have a successful and fun experience,” Lambert said. “Mike puts in countless hours and we couldn’t have a program without him.”
Part of the purpose of the league is to help teach the players the fundamentals of football before they get to the modified and varsity levels. The Giants put in a spread offense this season to acclimate the players to the type of system Mark Segina runs at the high school.
“The boys learned the fundamentals of a spread offense, which isn’t easy, but will be very beneficial to them in high school given that coach Segina runs a spread offense,” Lambert said.
Overall the league, which also has teams in Oneonta, Delhi and Sherburne, is helping the kids get ready for school football.
“The youth football league has a great relationship with the CCS modified and varsity football programs,” Lambert said. “Modified coaches Jay Baldo and Buddy Lippitt know the kids real well and (varsity coach) Mark is always willing to help us out when he has time. Hopefully having 40 kids in the program will bode well for the CCS football future.”
Lambert said he was also impressed with the CYF cheerleading program run by Kim Feik.
“I don’t know the exact number of girls that participated, but they worked very hard on their cheers and routines and (are) very much a crowd pleaser,” he said.