PREP FOOTBALL: Alter favored to start new North streak

GCLC North: The Vote

Here’s how the coaches voted in the preseason Greater Catholic League Coed North Division football poll, with point totals and first-place votes (in parentheses):

1. Alter (3) 15; 2. Fenwick (1) 13; 3. Carroll 7; 4. Chaminade Julienne 5

Alter High School’s football team is trying to start a new streak this year.

The Knights have been voted No. 1 in the Greater Catholic League Coed North Division preseason coaches poll, one season after Fenwick snapped their 13-year string of North championships.

“Our goals don’t change from year to year,” Alter coach Ed Domsitz said. “Certainly we’d like to get back to where we’re the champions of the GCL North. But I think people are underrating Fenwick.”

Domsitz said he voted the Falcons first in the poll. Every other North coach favored Alter, with Carroll placing third and Chaminade Julienne fourth.

“When somebody beats me twice in one year, I’ve got a little respect for them,” said Domsitz, whose Knights took 24-0 and 19-9 losses at the hands of Fenwick last year.

Falcons coach Joe Snively likes his 2016 unit, but said his program needs to stay at a consistently high level to deserve the kind of respect Alter has earned.

“Until we have a run, any kind of run or consistently up there, I just feel Alter will always be the team to beat in this region,” Snively said. “We still have a lot to prove as a team as far as these seniors and juniors. They can’t rely on the confidence of the class before them.”

Fenwick’s defense was strong in scrimmages against the St. Xavier “B” team, Thurgood Marshall and Middletown. Snively said the offense wasn’t bad, but sputtered too often near the goal line.

“I feel great about the defense,” Snively said. “That was definitely one of the big things people were worried about because we lost so much there.”

Alter returns quite a bit of experience and has 32 seniors on its roster, according to Domsitz. Senior quarterback Ryan Markoff is back to direct the offense.

“We’re still looking to find a combination on the offensive line that we like,” Domsitz said. “If the line opens up some holes, we think we’ve got some good backs. We also think we can throw the ball a little bit, and we’ve got some excellent receivers.

“Defensively, there’s some inexperience there. I’d like to see us react a little bit quicker on defense and get off blocks. There’s got to be a sense of urgency. That’s the message I’ve tried to convey all summer.”

The Knights will host Fenwick on Sept. 23 at Centerville.

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