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      A familiar face takes over to lead the Fayetteville-Manlius Hornets football program

      Damien Rhodes (right) looks on last year as Paul Muench coaches the Hornets. Rhodes takes over for Muench this year.

      With the high school football season just weeks away, the Fayetteville-Manlius Hornets have been busy making preparations for their 2013 football campaign. This includes the hiring of their new coach, Damien Rhodes, who is very familiar with both Fayetteville-Manlius and Central New York. Rhodes is a graduate and former running back at Fayetteville-Manlius and Syracuse University.

      During his senior season at F-M, Rhodes rushed for 2,102 yards, scoring 33 touchdowns and helping the Hornets win the 2001 Section III title and go as deep as the State Semifinals. With the Orange, Rhodes had 3,972 all purpose yards and 27 touchdowns. After graduation, Rhodes spent time in the NFL with the Houston Texans and NFL Europe with the Berlin Thunder.

      He was able to come back to Central New York and has served in the Hornets' coaching staff since his playing career ended. Rhodes takes over a Hornets team who went 7-2 last season under Paul Muench, losing to Baldwinsville in the sectional semifinals. The Hornets open their season in Kickoff Classic in the Carrier Dome against Schenectady on Friday September 6th. Kickoff is slated for 5pm.

      No doubt, the Hornets are excited for the upcoming campaign and look for younger players to step and replace graduated stars like Wolfgang Shafer, who now plays quarterback at Ithaca. Jake Wittig, a junior takes over the reins as the Hornets look to continue their excellent tradition of success.

      The following is the Fayetteville-Manlius Hornets 2013 schedule:

      8/31 â?? Corcoran Cougars (Away) 10:00 AM Scrimmage9/06 - Schenectady (Home) 5:00pm9/13 - West Genesee Wildcats (Home) 7:00pm9/20 - Baldwinsville Bees (Home) 7:00 PM9/27 - Liverpool Warriors (Away) 7:00 PM10/04 - Rome Free Academy Black Knights (Away) 7:00 PM10/11 - Utica Proctor Raiders (Home) 7:00 PM10/18 - Auburn Maroons (Home) 7:00 PM10/25 - Christian Brothers Academy Brothers (Away) 6:30 PM11/01 â?? Cicero North Syracuse Northstars (Home) 7:00 PM