MAHOPAC, N.Y. – The 2020 Section 1 varsity football schedules were released last week, bringing some much-needed excitement to an otherwise desolate sports landscape.
Whether those games will actually be played is anybody’s guess.
But if the virus subsides, schools reopen, and the sports world begins turning again, Mahopac will open the 2020 season at home under the lights against Somers High School on Friday, Sept. 11.
The game marks the second time that Indians coach Dom DeMatteo will go up against his father, Tony DeMatteo, Somers coach. The elder DeMatteo got the better of his son in 2016, when Dom was the coach of Nyack. Anthony DeMatteo—Dom’s son and Tony’s grandson—also plays quarterback for Mahopac.
“Opening night always has a tremendous amount of juice to it,” DeMatteo said. “The players are so fired up to begin with. Then you throw into the mix that you’re facing a neighboring town. The cherry on top of the cake is the dynamic between our family.”
The matchup was made possible because declining enrollment dropped Mahopac from Class AA to Class A for the 2020 season. The move will allow Mahopac to play more neighboring school districts, like Somers and Brewster.
“I’m excited about the move to Class A,” DeMatteo said. “Mahopac has always been a mid-tier AA team as far as enrollment. We’ve been a bubble school. We’ve only been about 15-20 kids away from being a Class A school. It’s where we belong from an enrollment standpoint. I just think that’s great for the sport and for our kids.”
But Mahopac is getting a rough welcome into its new class, facing a murderer’s row of football powerhouses. Somers and John Jay, the Indians’ first two opponents, went a combined 15-3 last year and were both semifinalists in the Section 1 Class A playoffs. Mahopac also travels to Nyack and Brewster, both of which went 7-2 last year.
“We ended up in the toughest league,” DeMatteo said.
Section 1 Class A has 20 teams divided evenly into four leagues. Other teams in Mahopac’s league this year are Somers, Brewster, Our Lady of Lourdes and Beacon. All Class A teams will play a seven-game schedule, including three non-league matchups.
The move from Class AA, however, means Mahopac is not scheduled to play Carmel. But DeMatteo thinks the two schools could still find a way to meet.
“Unless Carmel or Mahopac are in the sectional finals, we will play Week 10,” DeMatteo said. “That game is happening.”
Friday, Sept. 11 (@ Mahopac High School)
2019 Record: 7-2
Points For: 304 (33.8 per game)
Points Against: 121 (13.4 per game)
John Jay (Cross River)
Thursday, Sept. 17 (@ Mahopac High School)
2019 Record: 8-1
Points For: 327 (36.3 per game)
Points Against: 131 (14.6 per game)
Friday, Sept. 25 (@ Mahopac High School)
2019 Record: 4-5
Points For: 218 (24.2 per game)
Points Against: 236 (26.2 per game)
Friday, Oct. 2 (@ Brewster High School)
2019 Record: 7-2
Points For: 254 (28.2 per game)
Points Against: 122 (13.6 per game)
Friday, Oct. 9 (@ Nyack High School)
2019 Record: 7-2
Points For: 240 (26.7 per game)
Points Against: 103 (11.4 per game)
Our Lady of Lourdes
Friday, Oct. 16 (@ Mahopac High School)
2019 Record: 4-4
Points For: 190 (21.1 per game)
Points Against: 174 (19.3 per game)
Friday, Oct. 23 (@ Beacon High School)
2019 Record: 2-7
Points For: 92 (10.2 per game)
Points Against: 254 (28.2 per game)
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