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High school football: Potsdam must find new blood

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POTSDAM — Defending league champion Potsdam lost eight starters from its high-scoring offense, making the 2014 season a challenge for the Sandstoners and 12th-year head coach Jim Kirka.

No longer in the Potsdam huddle are former standouts in quarterback Will Coleman, running back O’den Robertson and linemen Matt Cincinnati and Matt Liscum, among others.

“We had huge losses on offense and a lot of young guys, a lot of new guys are now battling for starting spots,” said Kirka whose team lost 20 seniors overall.

“But this is a good group who worked hard in the summer. They’re big and strong, and if we stay healthy, we can have a good season. Hopefully we can get off to a good start and we should get better as the season goes on. It’s fun coaching them.”

Max Warden moves from tight end to take over duties at quarterback while the backfield includes returning starter Chase Palmer along with a pair of promising rushers up from the JV in John Manguel and Matt Deon. Daquan Pitts is the team’s top returning receiver.

“Max brings a lot to the table at quarterback. He understands the game, he has good size and a good arm,” Kirka said.

Several Potsdam linemen will play on both sides of the ball, led by returning starter Zack Rottier. Other top linemen include Nathan Moose, Dustin Fisher and Shane Reome.

The linebacking corps is led by Josh Lang and the defensive backfield by Logan Ford.

Long-time assistant coach Mike Loconti also has left the program.

“Mike has helped us for a long time. He knows so much about the game and you can’t replace that,” Kirka said. “He’ll be greatly missed.”

Potsdam opens at home on September 6th versus Gouverneur as part of the school’s annual Hall of Fame Weekend.

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