WNY Athletics

Time for the Trojans to ‘Chase It’

No matter what the level is, the quarterback is one of the most important positions in football.

The Southwestern Trojans may have the best in Western New York.

Senior Cole Snyder had arguably one of the better summers of anyone taking the practice field this week after committing to play football at Division-I Rutgers University back in June.

“Rutgers was my first offer,” Snyder said. “My dad asked me ‘where would you rather go?’ I couldn’t really answer him. That’s what made me commit. I love the coaching staff as coaches and as people.”

Snyder earned that scholarship offer from the Big Ten school after leading the Trojans to back-to-back appearances at the Section VI Class C Championship game. The quarterback was the motor for Southwestern, which went 7-3 (4-0 Class C South) last year, with 1,597 passing yards and 18 touchdowns, earning him recognition as a Connolly Cup finalist.

While football is his strongest sport, Snyder is a three-sport captain at Southwestern. Snyder led the Trojans’ hockey team to a Club State championship last year and was a top pitcher for the baseball team. His performance in the athletic arena is matched in the classroom where he has a 3.9 GPA.

“Overall, he’s a great kid,” Southwestern coach Jehuu Caulcrick said of Snyder. “He cares for his teammates. He’s a film rat and a gym rat. On the field, it shows for itself. He’s a leader and the guys follow him.”

Now that his college decision is out of the way, Snyder can turn his full attention to his senior year.

This offseason Caulcrick has kept his message simple, ‘Chase It’, ‘It’ being a State Championship.

“‘Chase it’ means every practice we have to go after it and hold nothing back,” Snyder said. “In the weight room or on the field you have to go after it and know what you’re trying to do is win a state championship.”

Before they can get to a state title they first must take care of business at home.

After running the table in the Class C South division last season, the Trojans made a second straight trip to the Stadium only to once again be put in their place by a physical Cleveland Hill team.

“I think the first half (of last year’s sectional final game) we were there,” senior Alex Card said, “but we lost a little confidence. This year we’re going to have that confidence and that’s going to get us over the hump.”

Luckily for Southwestern most of the starting cast returns from last season, stronger and hungry to get back to the Stadium and finally win this year.

“We have a lot of players who are bought in,” Caulcrick said. “We have a lot of good leadership and work ethic coming back.”

Card, who’s Synder’s favorite target, returns. The wideout caught 26 passes for 497 yards and nine touchdowns in 2017.

“He’s someone that we’re going to rely on a lot,” Caulcrick said of Card. “He doesn’t blaze you with his speed but he runs great routes. His route running will take him places outside of Southwestern. I’m looking for a big season out of him.”

Sophomore Zishan Munir will be transitioning from the fullback position to being the starting running back this season. His brother, Faizan, a junior, will line up at tight end and cornerback.

Caulcrick is looking for big things from JV call up sophomore Garrett Swan.

“He’s been making plays all summer,” Caulcrick said of Swan. “So I’m expecting him to have a breakout season.”

Southwestern loses their top two rushers from last year in Brian Burns and Luke Heil to graduation.

Caulrick is proud of the work his coaching staff and players have put in to building the program and feels it’s at the point where Southwestern can make a big leap in 2018.

“It’s been an accumulation over the past four years,” Caulcrick says. “I told the players that now we’re chasing it.”

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