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Binghamton – Preseason Playbook

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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- The Binghamton football team isn't taking the six-game season lightly.

"We're trying to win out," said senior lineman Jesse Ramil.

The six-game schedule brings some new competition for the Patriots, who moved down a division to class A.

With county restrictions in place, Binghamton will play class B and C schools, in addition to Vestal and Union-Endicott.

Head coach Mike Ramil said despite the division, each team will bring a challenge.

"Susquehanna Valley state champions. M-E (Maine-Endwell) perennial state champions, (Chenango) Forks perennial state champions. U-E (Union-Endicott) and Vestal always our rivalry and JC (Johnson City) had a very good JV last year," said coach Ramil. "I am not sleeping on any of these teams, they're all good teams."

With no Cequan Johnson or Colbie Young to lead the Patriots offense, the team is finding other ways to put up points.

"That's a tough replacement," said coach Ramil. "We come out there and run our offense, we might not be as good doing this but we could be better at something else."

Senior Chris Balshuweit will take over as quarterback. Stepping into the role for the first time, Balshuweit said he's using preseason to get caught up to speed.

"Just a lot of reps throwing, snaps, plays, repetition really," he said.

Coach Ramil said the offensive and defensive lines are strong this year. Senior defensive lineman Jaden Durham agreed, and called the d-line the "best out there."

Durham said he's looking to teach the underclassmen what it means to play for the Patriots.

"We're going to leave them with a hindsight of, this is how football is at Binghamton," he said.

The seniors are confident they have the pieces to have a successful spring season.

"We're shaping up really good. Everyone's locked and loaded, ready to go," said Jesse Ramil.

After so many months away from the field, the Patriots are grateful for a chance to play.

"To be honest with COVID, we haven't been able to get out of the house," said Durham. "I'm glad we can just do something."

"This is the last time I'm going to play this sport," said Balshuweit. "It's just nice to be able to play with my friends one more year."

While there's no section or state champions, Binghamton's expectations haven't changed.

"As high as it can be," said Jesse Ramil. "Everyone just has to work hard and do their job, and we can be a great team."

"They're just happy to play," said coach Ramil. "We're happy to have an opportunity to work with them. It's going to be a good year."

Binghamton opens the season against Susquehanna Valley at home, March 19 at 7 p.m.

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Nicole Menner

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