TIOGA CENTER, N.Y. (WETM) – The Tioga Tigers are back on the field and eying a third-straight state title.
Tioga Football is eager to get back to in-game action, following two-consecutive dominant seasons. The Tigers won their second-straight Section IV Class D title with a 63-20 win over Cambridge/Salem in Syracuse last season. In addition to the title, Tioga will carry a 27-game winning streak into the new season, which is the longest active win streak in the state. For the Tigers, defending their title and win streak will carry plenty of meaning, as most of the team’s standout players are returning for their senior seasons.
The Tigers will return names like Ousmane Duncanson, Drew Macumber, Caden Bellis, and 11 other seniors. For the returning seniors, they are eager to get started.
“We are pretty excited, said Bellis. We are coming off of a pretty good year and are just looking forward to trying to repeat like we did last year.”
Senior running back and linebacker Drew Macumber added that, as much as his team wants the state title, they must take the season one game at a time.
“Obviously we want to repeat what we did last year, said Macumber. We’ve got to take it week by week and just keep going from there.”
For Tigers Head Coach Nick Aiello, this season will be special due to the number of motivated seniors on the team and the addition of a new field. However, the 13-year head coach understands that his team must stay invested in sticking to their game plan and leaving out distraction. Aiello shared his confidence in his experienced team to stay focused.
“I think these guys understand what it takes to put in the work, said Aiello. We have a lot of multi-sport athletes that understand that you have to put in the work and you have to stay humble and hungry. I think these guys carry that pretty well.”
For the Tigers, the year begins with a pre-season test on September 2nd against Section IX’s Burke Catholic at Waverly’s Memorial Stadium. Tioga stays in Waverly to begin the regular season with a marquee matchup. The Tigers are set to play the Wolverines and star quarterback Joey Tomasso on Friday, September 8th. Senior running back and linebacker Ousmane Duncanson shared that he was particularly excited for the week 1 matchup.
“Knowing that it’s going to be a crazy good game and many people are going to be there watching is exciting, said Duncanson. It’s almost like there’s a fire, like you’ve got something boiling down in your stomach. It definitely feels like everyone’s excited.”
A full look at the Tioga Tiger’s 2023-24 season is listed below:
09/02 – Pre-season vs. Burke Catholic – 3pm – *at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium in Waverly*
09/08 – @ Waverly – 7pm
09/15 – Harpursville/Afton – 7pm
09/23 – @ Delaware Academy – 1:30pm
09/30 – @ Walton – 1:30pm
10/06 – Spencer-Van Etten/Candor – 7pm
10/14 – @ Deposit-Hancock – 1:30pm – *at Deposit’s Ron O’Connell Athletic Stadium
10/20 – Bainbridge Guilford – 7pm
10/27 – Newark Valley – 7pm
Stick with 18 Sports for more on Tioga Tiger Football and their quest for another state title.