H.S. Football Preview: Greenfield, Frontier prepare for rivalry game

  • Greenfield and Frontier face off in the third quarter last fall at Vets Field in Greenfield. FOR THE RECORDER/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 9/22/2022 7:04:29 PM
Modified: 9/22/2022 7:03:50 PM

When Mohawk Trail and Turners Falls lost their football programs, the Thanksgiving game games between the Thunder and Greenfield and the Warriors and Frontier went away.

With those historic rivalries now gone, a new one has emerged between the Green Wave and the Redhawks. 

Despite Greenfield playing in the Intercounty North and Frontier being in the Intercounty South, the two teams have made sure to keep the game on the schedule and play an independent game, with that contest taking place this Friday in South Deerfield. 

“The kids love this game and I’m sure all the Greenfield kids do, too,” Redhawk coach Scott Dredge said. “It’s turned into a fun rivalry week. It’s nice to do this every year. I know our kids are looking forward to it. The game has that good rivalry competitive spirit to it.” 

Green Wave coach Mike Kuchieski is hoping his players don’t get too ahead of themselves and continue to play winning football. 

“We always try to keep it as an independent game,” Kuchieski said. “We need to take every game one game at a time. If we get too juiced up we’ll make mental mistakes and we can’t afford that. we need to avoid those mental mistakes and play hard for four quarters.”

The Redhawks opened their season with wins over Ware and Palmer while Greenfield dropped its opener in overtime to Chicopee before coming back with a win over Belchertown last Friday. 

All four of those games were low-scoring affairs. The Green Wave and the Pacers went to overtime with the game tied 6-6, with Greenfield ultimately falling 14-12. The game against the Orioles was also dominated by the defenses, with the Green Wave earning a 14-12 win. 

Frontier on the other hand grinded out a 12-6 win in its opener against Ware before winning a 14-8 contest against the Panthers last Friday. 

Both coaches are expecting a hard fought game on Friday where points will be at a premium. 

“They look like a traditional Frontier team,” Kuchieski said. “They’re going to run it right at you and say ‘stop it if you can.’”

Dredge also sees Greenfield as a team who wants to win through the ground game and on defense. 

“Matchup wise we know they’re going to run the ball,” Dredge said. “We know a lot of things will happen through 22 [Ryan Pulizari] and 88 [Joey White]. Pulizari looks good and so had White. I know they’re using them a lot as they should because they’re a pretty rock solid duo. We have to key on that. They have some big guys up front we’re going to have to work around.” 

Frontier feels the points will come once it cuts down on its turnovers. The Redhawks have picked off three passes already this year, but three turnovers on the offensive end have prevented them from breaking games open. 

“Our offense really hasn’t clicked yet,” Dredge said. “Any day it will. The thing that has prevented us from clicking has been our turnovers. That’s the one area of our team that we really need to crack down on. Everything else is looking good; I love where our defense is right now. We just need to finish in the red zone and control the ball. That’s what’s kept us from scoring and that’s what needs to be fixed. If we can do that, we’ll be in good shape going forward.” 

Kuchieski feels his team needs to cut down on mental errors if it wants to come out of Friday’s contest victorious. 

“It should be a fun game,” Kuchieski said. “We have to cut down on our mental mistakes. We can’t be focused on anyone else, we need to worry about ourselves and stay focused on what we need to do.” 

Frontier enters the game with a little extra motivation, with the Green Wave coming out with a win in the last two matchups between the teams. 

“It’s been two years since we’ve beat them,” Dredge said. “If the tables were turned it’d be the same conversation for them. Of course we want to win. That’s what makes a good rivalry. I have the utmost respect for Mike Kuchieski and those guys. It’s always fun to play them. There’s a lot of respect there.”

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on Friday. 

■ Mahar, Athol and Franklin Tech will all take to the gridiron Friday as well. The Senators are looking to close out its independent schedule without a tally in the loss column, but to do that, will have to earn a win over a tough Drury team who comes to Orange with a 1-0 record. 

The Bears are looking to get into the win column with Monument Mountain (1-1) coming to town while the Eagles head east to take on Groton-Dunstable (2-0). 


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