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Susquehanna Valley – Preseason Playbook

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CONKLIN (WBNG) -- The Susquehanna Valley football team is taking a 26-game win streak into the season, but with no state championships, the Sabers won't get the chance to win their third consecutive title.

The Sabers took down Governour in the class C championship game last season to win back-to-back titles.

Even with no playoff games, the team is eager to compete after such a long time away from the field.

"It's disappointing for the seniors in particular because they wanted to carry the torch and keep things going in that regard but at the same time the kind of year our worlds been having, I think our kids are grateful for the opportunity," said head coach M Ford.

"It doesn't matter if there's a state championship or not," said senior Cooper McMahon. "We're going to come here and we're going to work. "

Without having the usual amount of time to prepare for the season, Ford said the preseason is about getting everyone up to speed.

"Just getting our exes and ohs after such a long break in between and not having the summer workouts to get stuff going," he said. "It's been a process for everybody I'm sure."

The team returns several upperclassmen, making the transition to games smoother.

"We have most of our backfield, receivers, running backs returning," said Ford.

One senior returning is quarterback Logan Haskell.

"I'm going to go out there and give it my all just like my teammates will," said Haskell.

After racking up impressive stats his junior season, Haskell was named MVP of the championship game, in addition to being named class C state player of the year.

This season his expectations go beyond his performance on the field.

"Keep being a better person, better teammate," said Haskell. "This year we're just trying to go out there and have fun, compete with every team we play against and just have a good time"

Haskell and McMahon want to leave a mark on the underclassmen.

"I'm a captain this year so making sure they're doing everything right, but a lot of these guys are stepping up, they're doing really good," said McMahon.

Ford also praised the seniors for guiding the younger players.

"We got great senior leadership and they've been working with the younger guys, and it's great to see," he said.

With a 26-game win streak on the line, Ford said the Sabers are looking to build on the success they've had in recent years while also carrying the team's tradition.

"It has been a long break so making sure we still have the same fundamentals, the same things we feel are important to the program, reemphasize those and make sure the next generation that takes over has a good example for them," he said.

As for their opponents during the six-game season, the Sabers will play some new faces, starting with their week one match-up against Binghamton.

"It's exciting to play Binghamton because as long as I've been here we've never played Binghamton," said Ford.

Susquehanna Valley will also face Norwich, fellow state champion Chenango Forks, Windsor, Chenango Valley and Johnson City this season.

While the Sabers prepare for Friday night, they're keeping an important message in mind.

"Being together on the field, you don't know when it could be taken away," said Haskell. "Have fun when you can and enjoy it."

Game time Friday night is set for 7 p.m. at Binghamton.

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Nicole Menner

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