BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — It’s been a whirlwind for the Maritime/Health Sciences football team over the last two years. The 2018 season was the inaugural season for the Falcons, and it’s easy to say the first year definitely had a learning curve.
“Last year, we definitely had one of the toughest schedules in high school sports, we played the top four teams in Western New York, Canisius, South Park, Starpoint and West Seneca East,” Maritime head coach Tyree Parker said. “I think by us being young and freshmen, I think that helped us be better for this year.”
“Playing against that high level competition as freshman and sophomores, you’ve got to crawl before you walk. I told those guys last year, we were going to learn from those losses. You learn from losing.”
In 2018, the Falcons won just two games. But, like Coach Tyree Parker said, they did learn from all of those losses.
Heading into the final game of the regular season, Maritime is 5-1 on the season, and has already punched their ticket to the playoffs with a perfect record in B2 this year.
“We all came together as a brotherhood this year, after going 2-6 last year to becoming the number one team in our division,” junior running back Mekhi Bridgers said, “It’s a wonderful feeling because it left a sour taste in our mouths last year from being a negative record, to now this year, us being the top seed and going into the playoffs with two home games, so it’s a wonderful feeling.”
“I imagined we’d be better, but I didn’t think we would do this good,” Maritime quarterback Jion Washington said. “It’s a blessing, we all put in the work in the off season, and we all got better as a team.”
“As the season was progressing, I kind of kept telling them we have a special team, we got something special going on. I started seeing it come to fruition,” Coach Parker said.
“In the beginning, I can’t say that I knew we would be where we’re at right now. All credit to the guys and the coaching staff, they put it together, and they’re getting it done.”
So, how has Maritime been able to turn themselves into a top-ranked program in just a year? According to the team, it has a lot to do with the bond they share.
“It was a lot of new faces last year, a lot of us knew each other from little league growing up around here, but I don’t think everybody knew each other as a team,” sophomore wide receiver Addison Copeland said. “We got to do some team building and stuff over the summer, so now we think of each other as a family, and that’s going to make us protect and play for each other.”
“Most of us have known each other for ten years, we’ve been playing football with each other since we were about four years old, so for us to come together in high school, we already had that bond and chemistry that we had as little kids, so to bring that back to this new generation is amazing,” Bridgers said.
The Falcons take on Burgard in the final regular season on Thursday at 7 pm.