ENDWELL, NY – Tonight, we head over to Maine-Endwell’s training camp as they prepare for the 2021 season.
This season is the first time since 2015 that M-E will play in Class B without having to go through Chenango Forks in the section playoffs.
However, that doesn’t mean their journey there will be a cake walk.
But, regardless of the opponent, the message for the Spartans is clear, win.
For every team across not only Section IV, but the state of New York and the country, the goal for a high school football team is to win a state championship.
For a state-record stretch of 62 games from 2011 to 2015, no team did that better than Maine-Endwell.
However, since then, the Spartans have fallen short of their ultimate goal.
This year, M-E begins their climb back to the pinnacle which, in the eyes of head coach Matt Gallagher, began during this past spring season.
“Some of the younger guys moving up got to understand the speed of the game. And now that there’s some bigger things at stake, a state title at stake, you’ve got a section title at stake, and 8 tough games that we have on our schedule, I think these guys are going to be ready for it now with the help of that spring season,” he said.
The Class of 2022 would be the 4th graduating class that has yet to get that feeling of winning a section championship.
However, senior Jordan Owens is ready to change all that, and he can see this team is already pulling in the same direction.
“I feel like we, the first day we came out here, I feel like this is one of the years, this is definitely my best year for coming out right out of the gate. We’re already solid. We’re sound. We already know what we’ve got to do, and we’re ready to go,” says Owens.
With the most recent realignment of teams across Section IV, M-E stayed put in Class B while seeing every team other than Johnson City and Owego head to Class C.
With less competition when the playoffs come around, Owens believes the path to a championship is there.
“I think if we work hard this year, like we have been these first few practices. All year, we keep working. We should have a clear cut through section final into states, yes.”
With Windsor returning to Class B, that makes only 4 B teams this season.
But, no matter the number of teams they need to beat to reach it, the expectation and goal remains unchanged.
“The expectations are definitely to get the max amount of games possible. Get to states, play the 13 games, get to the state championship. Just work hard all season, that’s our long term goal.”
“Here, at Maine-Endwell, our expectations is always, you know, a state title is what we want. But, like I said, we know that each week is going to be tough. We’re going to prepare for each week. Like I said, if we do that and we go out there and play our best game, I think we’ll be tough to beat,” Coach Gallagher says.
Well, M-E is going to need their best effort right away as they will have arguably their toughest test of the season right out of the gate when they host Chenango Forks.
The Spartans and Blue Devils battle on Friday, September 10th at 7 PM.