BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (WIVT/WBGH) – Friday is the day, high school football season begins and today we preview the first team in our area who will take the field.

The Binghamton Patriots have struggled the past couple of seasons, but this year they are looking to turn things around and they are not worried about anyone but themselves.

Binghamton enters 2023 looking to find more success on the scoreboard than they have the past couple of seasons.

While they try to make that change, the team is committed to ignoring any outside noise.

“My mom always says, ‘Comparison is the thief of joy,’ and I’ve been kinda preaching that.” Junior Running Back and Free Safety Kashif Summers said. “We don’t need to compare ourselves to the other people or what they got or what they’re doing. We need to stay in this circle, stay at Alumni (Stadium) and focus on what we’re doing as a team and focusing on how we’re gonna get better.”

One of the simplest ways to improve your results, know your strengths.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Patriots are confident in what they have.

“Our backfield (is a strength). We have a lot of speed and a lot of strength,” Senior Fullback and Outside Linebacker Emon McKenzie said.

McKenzie also praised the air attack, emphasizing the skill position players the team has.

“We can also throw the ball; we have a lot of wide outs. We have a lot of strengths,” McKenzie said.

One of the highlights for the 2022 Patriots was their ground game.

Entering the new season, the plan remains the same, win games by running the football.

“The kids understand this, we play to what we do best,” Head Coach Doug Stento said. “We’ve got a big offensive line, and good running backs, so, obviously that’s what we’re gonna focus on.”

Belief is also a big part of any culture change.

Knowing that you can find a way to win on game day.

“I think they have to believe in themselves,” Stento said. “They’ve worked hard and hopefully that translates into, guys you can do this, you have the potential and now it’s actually going through it.”

This change is not just within the varsity team, and maybe it even goes beyond football.

Summers is trying to lead by example and help Binghamton athletics be the best they can be.

“If you’re a Binghamton athlete, I’m always gonna try to push you so you can be the best athlete you can be,” Summers said. “And I don’t care how old you are, what you’re doing. It doesn’t matter, as long as you wear that Binghamton jersey, your family to me.”