ENDWELL, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – The countdown to high school football season is on and with it, comes NewsChannel 34’s annual previews of some of the local teams, and we start with a good one.
Coming off a one loss, state title winning season, Maine-Endwell is starting fresh looking for another deep playoff run.
Winning a state title is the highest achievement a high school team can earn.
Last year, the Maine-Endwell Spartans achieved this, beating Pleasantville for the Class B state crown.
But the celebration didn’t last long, as the team quickly turned their focus towards the next season, looking to find similar success.
“Obviously it’s great, we’ve been waiting for this, working for this all summer long,” Junior Offensive Tackle and Defensive End, Adam Desantis said. “Ever since December 5th rolled around, the day after the state chip its been working for this season.”
The team also knows that they aren’t picking up right where they left off, they have to build to reach that level again.
“We got a lot of returners but we gotta start it up again, you just can’t carry it over,” Senior Safety and Running Back, Logan Ciganek said. “We gotta start it back up from the top and just work on step 1, step 1, step 2, play 1, play 2, keep on working up.”
Even with those returners, there are some key pieces who are not coming back.
Notably, starting quarterback Michael Mancini, but Head Coach Matthew Gallagher is not concerned with finding a perfect substitute for the players who graduated.
“We don’t try to replace them, to be honest with you,” Gallagher said. “We just make sure that the guys that are gonna be playing those positions are ready to go and we feel that we have the guys that can get in there and get better every day and they understand what their job is. And I think that they’re gonna be able to take care of business.”
Perhaps what makes this approach so effective for the Spartans is the motto written across the back of their shirts.
“All of us, all the time.”
Something that sets the teams mindset towards their common goal.
“Just together, we’re one team, it’s not about yourself,” Ciganek said. “You gotta work together to make the play happen, make the team happen, make the game happen, win the game.”
One other aspect that the team believes will help them this season is the team chemistry.
Gallagher says you can’t get any better than what they have right now, something echoed by the players.
“The cool part about our team chemistry on the field is that everyone off the field, we’re always together, we’re hanging out,” Desantis said. “We’re grabbing food together after practice so when we come together, we’re just a family right, it’s closer than blood.”