2015 VESTAL SCOUTING REPORT
written by TJM
Vestal has been a relative maverick since winning a class A state title in 1997. Despite maintaining a steady flow of good athletes, they’ve seldom been able to convert good talent into consistently winning teams. 2015 marks an up year for the Golden Bears as they come into the game against M-E with an undefeated 3-0 record, having outlived Ithaca in week one and Windsor last Friday. However, it was their victory over Fayetteville-Manlius in week two that has earned Vestal a true notch in their belt. In that contest, Vestal looked to their defense to help overcome a seven point first half deficit and win the game by more than 10 points.
Defensive backs Derek Osman (34), Brandon Bender and Zach Stewart (51) created havoc in Vestal’s defensive secondary, picking the ball three times in the second half against Fayetteville. All three players will again be in attendance for Friday’s game, but it’s Stewart at linebacker, Zachary Kintner (70) at tackle and TJ Wegmann (2) in the secondary that will prove the defensive Bears to watch. Offensively, the Bears return some skilled positions and create some looks that M-E will be certain to prepare carefully for. At quarterback, seasoned three-sport athlete TJ Wegmann will succeed his brother as the starter for Vestal. Wegmann, a stout runner with a good game sense and a strong arm, has the ability to turn a game around when things have gone awry. The Spartans will be charged with covering tightly the short pass in the flat that has proven greatly effective for Vestal in the past three weeks. Wegmann is especially good at keeping his balance while drawing defenders in and completing the short pass, usually to tailback Sam Bulman (25). Bulman, a fine runner in his own right, rushed for 127 yards against Manlius and comes well equipped to receive the short pass and convert it into big-yardage plays for Vestal. The Bears, however, will be forced to create space by running more zone-read and option sweeps if they’re to get around the Spartan front four. Their rushing efforts up the middle against FM and others are almost sure to be a futile effort against M-E if the Spartans have anything to say about it and having held the past three teams, one of which included a state champion grade ground unit, to a grand total of 390 yards of rushing, it appears that they do.
Maine-Endwell enters Friday’s game undefeated having placed 62 points on Susquehanna Valley last week. The Spartans have fared well in the three weeks leading up to this game and are beginning to settle nicely into the state champion caliber team that they are. Despite having moved up a class, the Spartans retain all of the strengths that have delivered them to their last four championship meetings. This year appears no different and the depth that has continued to swell in the M-E reserves makes them a genuine juggernaut in section four.