The Buffalo Bills and ADPRO Sports are proud to once again partner to recognize some of the best coaches that Western New York has to offer through the 2022 High School Football Coach of the Week Program.
The Bills and ADPRO Sports will be awarding varsity head tackle football coaches with the Coach of the Week Award to highlight not only their team’s achievements on the field but also some of the work they are doing off the field in their communities. We will announce winners from the Buffalo and Rochester Regions over the course of 11 weeks, with both region’s Coach of the Year being named during the Buffalo Bills vs New England Patriots game in January of 2023 at Highmark Stadium.
Each Coach of the Week winner will receive a $1,000 grant from the Buffalo Bills and ADPRO Sports. The respective Coach of the Year winners will also receive an additional $1,000 for their programs. Winners will be selected by a panel of local high school football experts.
Buffalo Region Coach of the Week # 10
Lackawanna head coach Adam Tardif has been named the week 10 Buffalo Region Coach of the Week after leading his Steelers to a 24-6 win over Salamanca in the Class C semifinals. The Steelers are now 10-0 on the season and will play Fredonia in the Class C championship game at Highmark Stadium this week.
The teams were tied at 6-6 after three quarters but Lackawanna scored 3 TDs in the final frame to pull out the win.
“We just wore them down,” Tardif said. “Our offensive line just kept wearing them down. Once we got the momentum we just kept going from there.”
Antwan Threets led the ground game as he rushed 21 times for 105 yards and a TD. Amir Douglas ran 9 times for 66 yards and a TD. QB Billy Gechell completed 6 of 9 passes for 49 yards and 2 TDs. He also rushed for 59 yards on 6 carries. Ashlin Alexander-Hall and Shyheim Smalls each caught a TD pass in the win. Smalls and Kajani Dickinson each intercepted a pass that led to Lackawanna scores.
Tardif has coached at Lackawanna for 25 years. He was named the head coach before the 2011 season. He has led the Steelers to a pair of league championships, but this will be his first Section 6 title game as a head coach.
“We felt coming into the season we would have a senior-heavy team,” Tardif said. “We have been talking about playing for a championship with this group for years. This was our goal coming in.”
Coach Tardif started a Lackawanna Alumni Association and regularly brings back former players to talk with this year’s team and mentor the current players.
“The former players come back and speak to the kids like a mentor and gives them lessons that they learned while playing at Lackawanna,” Tardif said. “We’ve been doing it for 10 years and it’s still growing bigger.”
Coach Tardif has his varsity players volunteer with the installation of a new playground at Truman Elementary School.
Coach Tardif teaches Biology and Physics at Lackawanna High School, in addition to being the Science Department chair. He’s also involved outside of the classroom as the advisor for the weightlifting club.
Rochester Region Coach of the Week # 10
Batavia head coach Brennan Briggs has been named the week 10 Rochester Coach of the Week after leading the Blue Devils to a 56-14 win over Livonia in the Section 5 Class B semifinals.
Batavia (10-0) led just 14-6 after one quarter but exploded for 3 TDs in the second frame to take a 35-6 lead at the half.
Ja’Vin McFollins completed 8 of 10 passes for 242 yards and 3 TDs. He also rushed for a TD. Carter McFollins caught 3 passes for 108 yards and a TD. Cole Grazioplene caught 3 passes for 105 yards and a TD. Aavion Bethel made 12 tackles to lead the defense. Garrett Schmidt made 11 tackles, 4 for lost yardage.
Coach Briggs, who teaches Physical Ed at Batavia Middle School, has been on the football staff for 14 seasons. Briggs was named the head coach before the 2012 season. And after football season wraps up, Briggs moves on to hockey as the JV head coach.
Coach Briggs has led the Blue Devils to 5 sectional championships in 10 years. Batavia made it to the NYS championship game in the Carrier Dome.
In the youth football community, Coach Briggs has run camps over the summer for the youth football program in Batavia. He hosts a “Batavia Bulldawgs” night at a home varsity football game every year for the youth players.
Coach Briggs also hosts a “Blue Devil” experience for the youth players where they can experience what it is like on game night when you play varsity football for BHS. The night entails a pre-game speech in the locker room and a “scrimmage” between the varsity team and the minis under the lights.
Coach Briggs implemented a community service project for his players where players go out and get groceries and essential items for high-risk citizens in the community. The players made daily trips to local grocery stores and dropped items off on the porches of those in need.