ENDWELL, N.Y. (WIVT/WBGH) – Winning a state title is the ultimate goal of every high school football program.
After doing just that each of the last 2 seasons in Class B, the Maine-Endwell Spartans are excited to be back on the field and ready to chase another title.
“It feels great,” Senior Quarterback Austyn Nyschot said. “After that state championship win, I was just eager to get back on the field and ready to go again.”
The defending state champs are back to work, with official practices beginning on Monday and the Spartans are just excited to be back on the practice field.
“It’s awesome, all the kids getting together,” Head Coach Matt Gallagher said. “A lot of work over the summer and throughout the spring and in the offseason, but there’s nothing like the first day of practice, right? So, it brings a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of energy, these guys are excited.”
Coming off of an undefeated, state title winning season, the Spartans accomplished all of their goals last season.
But this year’s group knows that games already in the history books will not matter when they step between the lines on Friday night.
“Obviously we did a great job last year, we worked hard, a lot of these guys were a part of it,” Senior Defensive End and Offensive Tackle Adam DeSantis said. “But that’s the past, that has nothing to do with who we are now. It’s a part of our program’s history at this point, not our team now.”
That does not mean expectations change.
The Spartans are already establishing their goals of practicing in December, or in other words, returning to the dome to defend their title.
“Those are definitely things that we establish, and the kids know that,” Gallagher said. “Those are the goals that we set, but at the same time we also know that there’s more than just goals and how you get to those goals is doing things day in and day out. That’s the plan, try to get better every day and that leads to every week and then hopefully by that time 13 games later we’re where we want to be.”
To get where they want to be, it takes a lot of work, something that Nyschot says the team has been putting in.
“Even people who played winter and spring sports, they’re all in the weight room,” Nyschot said. “Whether it was before school or after school, everyone’s lifting every day, putting work in the field and we’re all ready to go.”
The work continues on the practice field for the Spartans with the high level of competition within the team helping them prepare for game day.
“There’s a lot of guys that are competing for spots,” DeSantis said. “We have so many possible combinations of people on the field at one time, everyone’s getting after it, but it’s all healthy and we’re helping each other grow. Iron sharpens iron at the end of the day.”
Now under 3 weeks until the Spartans will take the field for the first time this season, looking to maintain their winning streak that has grown to over 20 games and that dates back to the 2021 season.