The Buffalo Bills are once again proudly partnering with ADPRO Sports in 2018, to recognize some of the best high school football coaches Western New York has to offer, through the High School Coach of the Week program. Throughout the 2018 high school football season, the Bills and ADPRO Sports will recognize 11 coaches from both the Buffalo and Rochester regions on buffalobills.com. The winners will be selected by a committee of high school football experts from each region.
Winning coaches will receive a $1,000 grant for their school's football program, a framed certificate recognizing their accomplishment and an invitation to join the Bills on-field Dec. 16, for a pregame ceremony prior to kickoff against the Detroit Lions. At the game, a High School Coach of the Year will be honored from each region, with those winners receiving an additional $1,000 for their football program.
The Buffalo region Coach of the Week for Week 4 is Jim Duprey, head coach of the Pioneer Panthers. Duprey, who has been the Panthers' head coach since 2002, recently led Pioneer to a 33-14 statement win over Cheektowaga on the road. The Panthers, who were considered underdogs coming into the contest, were able to find the end zone first to disrupt the Warriors.
The touchdown came late in the first half thanks to a phenomenal effort by Tyler Ely, who ran 99 yards to the house to put his team up 7-0 at halftime. Cheektowaga evened the score in the third quarter but the Panthers' ground game, led by senior running back Mike Rigerman, proved too much for the Warriors to defend. By the end of the contest, Rigerman complied 248 yards rushing for four touchdowns on 30 carries. He was also a standout on defense, accumulating 12 tackles and a recovered fumble.
With the victory, the Panthers have advanced to 4-0 on the season. Next up, Pioneer will return home to take on Lewiston-Porter on Friday, Sept. 28. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The Rochester region Coach of the Week for Week 4 is Dan Fichter, head coach of the West Irondequoit Eagles. On Sunday, Sept. 23, the Eagles traveled to Victor High School to take on the Blue Devils in a thrilling matchup. After a hard-fought battle by both Section V teams, West Irondequoit came away with a narrow 28-21 win.
The Eagles, who went into the half with a 13-7 lead, found themselves neck and neck with the Blue Devils late in the game. Tied at 21-21 with just :18 seconds left to play, Eagles senior quarterback Freddy June ran it in for a three-yard touchdown to give the Eagles back the lead and the game's final score at 28-21. June was a difference marker for the Eagles, completing 12-of-18 passes for 134 yards, 66 yards rushing and four total touchdowns. On defense, Jimmy Clements paved the way with 21 tackles.
The victory has advanced the Eagles to a perfect 4-0. West Irondequoit is scheduled to face Rush Henrietta on Friday, Sept. 28 at 6 p.m.
Check back on Buffalobills.com each week for the announcement of the Coach of the Week winners and tune in to One Bills Live each Tuesday afternoon to hear the winners announced on the show. Good luck to all of the high school football coaches this season from the Buffalo Bills and ADPRO Sports!