TIOGA CENTRAL, N.Y. (WIVT/WBGH) – There are not many teams in high school sports that have found the amount of success the Tioga Tigers have in the past 2 years.

In 2023, Tioga goes for their third state title in a row.

Back-to-back perfect seasons that end in a state title, not an easy thing to do.

But as the Tioga Tigers return to camp and look to 3-peat as the New York State Class D champs, they are not worried about anything that happened in the past.

“Just like last year, putting that last year behind us,” Senior Quarterback and Linebacker Caden Bellis said. “Looking forward to the new year. Trying to do what we did last year, keep working out here, that’s about it.”

A simple approach, but having not lost a game since the Spring of 2021, the Tigers know they have the talent to repeat once more, and while that may be a goal, they are not getting ahead of themselves. 

“I mean, we obviously are thinking that we want to repeat what we did last year,” Senior Running Back and Linebacker Drew Macumber said. “But we got to take it week by week. Just keep going from there.”

The Tigers have been in this position before, trying to repeat after a perfect season in 2022 as well.

Having found success in their last attempt to repeat, Tioga knows the mindset they need to have in order to continue their success.

“Just try not to overthink it,” Senior Running Back and Linebacker Ousmane Duncanson said. “We go day by day. Because it’s September now, if you think all the way to December you’re gonna be missing a whole season of games.”

One of the most promising parts of the 2023 Tigers is that they return the majority of their starters from last year.

This means plenty of players who have experience on the field, leading to mutual trust between the players and their coaches. 

“I think there’s a lot of trust all over,” Head Coach Nick Aiello said. “We can trust the guys, what they’re seeing on the field, the feedback they’re giving to us. Whether it be Caden (Bellis) at the quarterback position or the lineman up front, these guys have quite a few games under their belt and I think they appreciate that trust.”

With such a large senior class, this will be the final year in a Tioga uniform for many.

Knowing this, Coach Aiello wants to make sure that those playing their last high school season enjoy it. 

“Especially at a small school, those seniors have been part of your program for 2, sometimes 3 years,” Aiello said. “And as they enter into that senior year, you want to make it special for them and this group is no different.”