HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (WETM) – Horseheads football has a brand new outlook in 2023.

The Blue Raiders didn’t finish the way they expected to last season. After going (4-6) last year, including dropping their final four games of the year, Horseheads has simply put in the work to get better.

Game one is coming fast this Friday at Columbia in the Albany region. Kickoff is set for 4:30 pm at Columbia. 18 Sports will have an update of the game this Friday night at 6 and 11 pm.

This year’s team will look to key senior leaders and some talent on the rise to compete for a championship at the end of the year. Horseheads, which will be playing in its third season at their newer state-of-the-art stadium, has their expectations high both physically and mentally.

“We’re just bringing a lot of energy in practice,” Horseheads senior running back Josh McCawley said. “Some groups of guys have good days and bad days, we’re just having a lot of good days…a lot of energy and a lot of excitement just flying around,” added McCawley.

Horseheads head coach Kevin Hillman, who enters his eighth season as head coach, believes this year’s team is coming together at the right time. Especially, on the mental side of the game.

“Really the big thing for us, the expectation is for these guys to put in the work to get there,” Hillman said.

“It’s easy to come out and say that’s what we want to do, but it’s that mental toughness to put in the work everyday when you don’t want to be here…when you’re tired.”

For a complete schedule of the 2023 Horseheads football team, see below. You can watch highlights of Horseheads and several other teams from the Twin Tiers on the 18 Sports Blitz Friday nights at 11 pm on WETM-TV throughout the entire high school football season.