High school football preview: Owego Indians


OWEGO, N.Y. – Over the past few years, the Owego Indians have made strides to try and capture something that’s been out of reach to this point, a section title.

However, this year’s team has a brotherly bond that may be the key to finally breaking through and bringing Owego their first football section championship.

“We’re definitely really energetic. They definitely want it this year. A couple years we’ve gotten close, but never gotten it. But, this year, they really want it,” says ILB Ben Miller.

The 2019 Owego football team is ready to make some noise in Class B.

As of now, the Indians are the only team currently competing in the class that has yet to win a section championship.

However, Ben Miller and the rest of the team believe that this year’s squad has the skill to get the job done.

“I feel like we’re definitely more prepared. We definitely have more athletes this year. We’re not as big up front, but we have a lot more athletes that will make a lot of moves. We’ll definitely go a little further this year.”

If the Indians want to capture the section title, they need to be successful in playing as a unit.

As Cam Bundy told me, this is a team that has been together for awhile, so that aspect shouldn’t be too difficult.

“As a team right now, we’re really clicking together. I think we have a lot of chemistry because we’ve played football with each other for many, many years now. So, I think our chemistry this year has been better than in the past,” Bundy says.

Owego head coach Steve Virkler has even been able to see the team bonding in the short time they’ve been on the field this year.

“It’s kind of a unique group that they’ve come up all the way through together. They’ve had success at every level that they’ve played at. That’s kind of the fun thing about coaching is you get new personalities every year, and every team kind of takes on it’s own personality. These guys are starting to do that,” said Virkler.

While it’s very important for the team to be cohesive, they also need to put in the work to better themselves.

As a team leader, Bundy has already seen a drastic improvement in that this year compared to others.

“We need to really get our nose to the grindstone more than we have any year before. I think we’ve slacked off a little bit in the summers these past few years, the off-season. But, this year, we really worked hard. A lot of guys were in the weight room. A lot of guys were coming to the summer practices. I think we’re going to be okay this year,” he said.

Coach Virkler has liked what he’s seen so far through camp.

Based on prior experiences at all levels, he feels like this year’s team is ready to piece it all together and make some history.

“Like I said, they’ve had success at the modified and JV levels. We’ve had a couple good years the last couple years. We’ve had some tough games with some of the top teams in our division. We’ve put some time in in the off-season to prepare for it, and hopefully we can get over the hump this year.”

Well, if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best, and that’s exactly what the Indians are going to have to do immediately.

Owego is tested right out of the gate as the Indians head to Chenango Forks to face the Blue Devils in week one.

What a way to start the year.

Kick-off for that one is at 7:30 pm.

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