ENDICOTT, N.Y. -- The Union-Endicott Tigers know that to succeed in high school football, they need to be ready for anything, and the coaches are encouraging the young athletes to do so. In fact, "En-Courage" has become the team's motto this season, to make sure the Tigers are playing their best.
"That's gonna be our motto this year. Encourage. You obviously have the word encourage, but you also have 'courage' in there as well," said head coach Tom Baleno. "We want to encourage the players next to you, be courageous by making some great plays, and also by encouraging other players. Even if it's that guy who beat you out for a spot. We're a family here, we're gonna help each other grow and get better"
Union-Endicott is definitely putting in the work, and they have a few key skill players returning from last season, who are ready to pick up where they left off and lead this team forward.
"Our captain from last year, Rocco Spinelli, he's returning. He's gonna carry the ball, he's a dynamic player," Baleno said. "We have a bunch of other dynamic players out at wideout like Jaheim Jackson. Ad our backs are strong, guys like Nick Lang. Plus some other guys coming up from the JV squad."
"Basically the things we can improve on is that those young guys are coming up right now, so it's imperative that our seniors take them under their wing and carry them in the right direction," said offensive coordinator Scott Osman
While the Tigers have some vital pieces returning, they don't want to have to lean on those guys necessarily. U-E has a ton of talent, so expect a bunch of different players to get their hands on the ball.
"We have a lot of athletic and dynamic players. Focusing on one guy? We don't really like to do that here, we like to spread it out because we've got a lot of guys that can make plays."
But offensive success is only possible if every player on the field is on the same page.
"We have to go day by day, we're gonna take the details and we're gonna get those details down. And its the little things, once we get those in line, the bigger things will come together."
With a little under two weeks to go before the Tigers get the season started, look for the team to "En-Courage" themselves to a great season.
Union-Endicott will open up their season on September 10, taking on Johnson City.