Fifteen football players from seven different Section V teams make up the Buffalo Bulls roster. Former high school opponents are now teammates, something that took a little adjusting.
“Honestly in high school, they were very good players,” said Jake Molinich, UB tight end and Sutherland grad. “I knew them but I didn’t really like them because they kept beating us.”
Seeing familiar faces on the field was calming for many, especially Taylor Riggins, an Aquinas graduate who spent his first college season at the University of Massachusetts.
“When I transferred to UB I saw a lot of familiar faces, it made me feel at home,” said Riggins. “It made me more comfortable being here knowing I have local people I could go to if I needed anything.”
Proximity to home, high school teammates, scholarship offers, and more, are all reasons that drew fifteen players to the largest Division I football program in Western New York. For Wyatt Molinich, it was a chance to follow in his older brothers’ footsteps and play tight end for the Bulls.
“My older brother Glynn played here,” said Wyatt Molinich. “Ever since then, I’ve wanted to come here.”
Wyatt joins his brother Jake, a junior, on the tight end corps. Jake has stepped in to be a special kind of mentor to his younger brother, like Glynn was to him.
“If I need help with anything, he’ll be here to help,” said Wyatt. “It’s been really great having him here.”
Section V is a hidden gem of athletic talent, according to not only the players, but UB head coach Lance Leipold, who has five players on scholarship and ten walk-ons.
“We’ve found that to be a very strong area of high school football,” said Leipold. “They’re hard workers, team guys who want to be about the program, seeing us do well.”