State championship loss motivates 2019 West Seneca East

Sports

The West Seneca East Trojans have a lot to look forward to in the 2019 high school football season. Coming off an 11-2 season with a trip to the Class A state championship game a year ago, the Trojans learned a lot, and like everyone this time of year… they’re just ready to get back out on the field.

“What I’ve seen about these guys really started in the offseason, so not even just the last two weeks but all summer long, even stuff that we did in the winter, they’re showing up,” head coach Jim Maurino said.

“They’re here, they’re working hard, so that gives us something to look forward to. I think we’ve had a good first couple weeks, and like what those guys said, we’re kind of ready to get going. It’s been a while since we’ve lined up against somebody else.”

After graduating 20 seniors, 15 players return from last season’s team. That’s 15 Trojans that felt what it was like to make it to the state championship game, and are determined to get back to the Dome.

“We learned a lot ourselves. We stuck with our own team all the way through,” junior quarterback Brady Frys said. “It was all us. That’s all we had, that’s all we needed.”

“Experience, great experience. Going all the way to the Dome it was just such a great experience,” junior running back Devare Mathis said. “This year, we’re just trying to repeat. Trying to do the same thing, working hard out here early in the morning.”

“Normally around here you’re getting eight, maybe 10 games, so for us to go 13 weeks last year, and be able to pull up some of those JV guys in the last three or four weeks, the last month of the season, it was huge,” Coach Maurino said.

“Just the experience those guys had, being able to practice against our guys that were seniors last year really gave them some momentum going into this year. I think it, not even experience, I think it gave them confidence.”

While the Trojans saw some of the most success in years in 2018, the ultimate goal was a state championship victory. Coming up just short of that last season brings West Seneca East into 2019 with a chip on their shoulder.

“Out of our section we made it, and I know we lost in state but we’re just trying to just go. Teams don’t even make it out of their four years, but we made it, give us something. They ranked us fourth but we’ll see about that,” Mathis said.

“Having gotten to the point we got to and not finished, I think it just makes us really hungry. The guys can speak for themselves, but it’s something I think about every day,” Coach Maurino said.

“You get all the way to that State Championship then come up short by seven points, I think every time we line up, every time we take the field that’s kind of in the back of our mind.”

“It’s been a great motivator, right in the offseason, right through to now, to not have that happen again,” Coach Maurino said.

The Trojans have one final scrimmage on Friday before they start the season next Friday on the road against Amherst.

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