OWEGO, N.Y. -- Losing players to graduation is something that every high school football program has to deal with, but last season the Owego Indians lost one of the largest senior groups in the school's history. An exodus of that size means that there are a lot of new faces on this team that have to fill the gaps heading into the 2021 fall season.
"This group has stepped up, we have a smaller number of guys," said head coach Steve Virkler. "But [they are] guys who are definitely willing to step up and got some time last year. And hopefully, they can rise to the challenge this year."
"We're just gonna go out and do our thing like we do every year," said senior quarterback Spencer Mead. "It's gonna be different for sure this year because we've got a smaller team"
For the returners like senior wide receiver/defensive back Carter Boehme, they are now the leaders on this Owego team, meaning they'll have to lead the way to ensure their younger teammates are up to snuff.
"It's been a challenge but we're figuring it out," Boehme said. "We're just trying our best and getting everybody to be a part of the team and try their best."
"Those are guys that have been around and been committed to stuff this summer," said Virkler. "And hopefully, they'll be able to lead us to success"
The Indians aren't worried though, no matter what personnel they have, you can always count on this team to work hard.
"I'm excited to get the season started and see what we can do this year," said Boehme. "[We] just gotta go 100% in practice each week, make sure we're ready for the game and staying focused."
"We're just gonna play football. We're gonna go out there and do our thing," Mead said. "We have 20 guys on this team, so we're gonna play smash-mouth football and give it to the other teams"
So it really doesn't matter who suits up in the red and blue for the first game of the season when they take on rival Waverly on September 10, Owego is ready for action.