Our next stop on our journey around the Southern Tier’s high school football camp brought me to Susquehanna Valley.
The Sabers may have a new home and a new class, but their goal remains the same.
The winds of change have certainly blown through Conklin this year, and the Susquehanna Valley football team is at the center of it all.
This season, they’ll break in a brand new stadium, equipped with beautiful new turf and lights, giving SV a chance to host their first-ever night game on October 5th against Newark Valley.
Another noticeable difference will be the team’s competition.
Instead of seeing the regulars like Chenango Forks, Maine-Endwell, and Norwich, fans will be seeing teams like Newark Valley, Fowler, and Whitney Point come to town.
This comes as a result of SV dropping down from Class B to Class C.
Head coach Mike Ford says that because of the move, teams could be gunning for the Sabers this year.
“It’s going to take improvement each week. I know there’s a big target on us, coming down from B’s. The kids are going to have to play together, and step it up another notch, and get to that level that they want to achieve. I think, coming into this year, there’s a lot of expectations. But, we have to live up to those expectations, and the kids know that, and they’re working hard to do so,” said Ford.
Those expectations are very high for the team.
Colton Repsher, the team’s center and a defensive end, believes that the Sabers success last year is something they can build off of.
“This is our biggest year for us as a team, as a school. We’re trying to do something that we’ve never done before. Last year, we came off a year we went 6-3. We lost to Chenango Forks twice, Maine-Endwell by one point. So, we’ve played with high-caliber teams. We’re just trying to exceed those expectations from last year,” he says.
The feel around the team is a very positive one, which bodes well for SV’s confidence going into the season.
Another thing that helps confidence is comfortability.
That is something that running back and cornerback Sethan King says the team has plenty of, with a majority of the team playing many years together to help build up to this point in time.
“We have talent coming up at every level. We’ve all been playing since we were seven, together. We’ve all been looking forward to this point,” King said.
So while the competition may be different, the Sabers still have the same outlook.
Work hard, get better, and, they hope, make history.
SV opens up their 2018 season at the Carrier Dome on Septemeber 1st.
They’ll take on Jamesville-Dewitt at 5:00 pm.