ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Horseheads football has waited a long time for this.
The Blue Raiders are back and like most teams in the region, they get the chance to play again. After the loss of the fall season due to the virus, the team is ready for week one of the schedule against a more than formidable foe. Horseheads will play Corning, the defending Section IV Class AA champs, next Saturday at 2 pm.
Due to tough field conditions in Horseheads, the game will be played at Elmira Notre Dame High School in Southport on the turf field.
Horseheads will be paced by the attack of some key returners. Ryan Scott is back in the backfield for the Blue Raiders along with Riley Loomis, who’s in the lineup again after a knee injury. Also back is all-everything wide receiver Andrew McClaughlin who will be a focal point for the offense this season.
The Blue Raiders will look to do everything possible to fill the void left by Gavin Elston, who’s gone to play D-I lacrosse at Manhattan College. Elston rewrote the record books for Horseheads as a running back en-route to winning the coveted Ernie Davis Award two seasons ago. Blue Raider head coach, Kevin Hillman, believes the time is perfect to get back on the field.
“Being cooped up as long as we were, to have the opportunity to play, to get out here and get after it, I think these kids are pretty excited and motivated,” Hillman said. “And, playing the teams around here (Elmira, Corning), that’s enough right there to get these kids pumped up and ready to go.”
Senior leader Ryan Scott details the players’ perspective going into this season.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be back on the field,” Scott said. “We’re getting six games and we’re gonna try to go out and win six games, that’s all we want right there…Excited to be back on the field.”
Hinman says that the pride level has led to a great compete level for Horseheads, a team he believes is simply putting in the work.
“I’m proud of how hard we work everyday, putting the reps in being in the weight room,” Hinman said. “We’re doing those reps, so I’m just happy we’ve all got that going.” And come seasons end, Horseheads is hoping to look back on spring football as not just a time for simply playing, but succeeding.