Susky Football Kicks Off Season with Energy
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In 2014, Susquehannock’s football team finished the season with a disheartening record of 1-9. However, under the leadership of new head coach Steven Wiles, the team reset and finished the 2015 season with a record of 5-5, which put them one win away from a spot in the district tournament.
Players, parents, coaches, students, and many others are excited to see what the team can accomplish during the 2016 season.
Varsity quarterback Chase Summers shared a hopeful, confident outlook for the season. Summers attributed a large part of the team’s newfound success to the system put in place by Coach Wiles.
“An extremely important part of our success last year was that we got comfortable with the system we had, so this year, having the same system back to back, which is the first time in around five years we’ve had the same system, we’ll be a lot more comfortable running our plays,” said Summers.
With many former senior players graduating in 2015, a large number of junior players will start on varsity.
“I’m really excited by the juniors moving to varsity,” said Summers. “Last year, a lot of those guys didn’t really see much varsity time, but, I think a lot of them developed on JV and in practice. They’ve been working hard and coming into the weight room all summer; they’re just ready to step in and take the roles they’ve been working hard for.”
A key part of Wiles’s system is to emphasize the team’s strengths while simultaneously improving upon their weaknesses.
“I’d say the best strength we have is that we don’t quit. A lot of games last year, we’d be down during the game, and we’d find a way to keep fighting and come back to win the game. The key for this year is to stay focused and stay motivated and don’t get down when you’re losing because you always have the chance of coming back,” said Summers.
Summers shared that the team is genuinely excited to kick off the season.
“It was our best record in about a decade last season at 5-5 and we were one win away from districts, and based [on] our schedule and how we’ve been looking, we think there’s a really high chance we can make it to districts this year and improve on what we did last year,” said Summers.
Coach Wiles, despite the temporary injury of key player Ethan Schammel, felt confident going into the first game of the season: an away game at Northern York on Friday, September 2.
“I was very happy with our week of practice. I think we’ve gotten better each day of practice and throughout camp,” said Wiles. “I was very excited to step on the field tonight. I think we’ll be very competitive. We’re starting to gel, mistakes started to minimize and I felt our team starting to really come together. I think they are coming together as a team which is very important. You gotta have a close-knit group to be successful.”
Both Summers and Wiles also noted that a major challenge the team will have to face throughout the season is practicing to a point where the many new faces on varsity feel comfortable in their positions. Despite the large structural shift, the team is motivated to make the district tournament and prove that they are capable of playing at a high level.
Unfortunately, Susquehannock was narrowly defeated by Northern last Friday with a final score of 14-12. Although Susky lost to Northern, the team clearly fought with intensity. Senior Jack Allred carried the ball several times during a 15 play push that cemented Susky’s dominance throughout the second quarter.
With the team’s prospects looking up, Wiles is always planning for the future.
“I just wanna try and keep building the program, try and get more kids out: that’s the goal. I think there’s talent in the building, and I think there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to be competitive in football,” said Wiles.