Warriors look for return trip to sectional title game

Warriors look for return trip to sectional title game
Published: Aug. 15, 2023 at 6:39 AM EDT
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PHILADELPHIA, New York (WWNY) - Section III Class B football should be tough once again this season and one of the teams favored to make it to the title game at the Dome should be the Indian River Warriors.

Coach Cory Marsell’s Warriors’ first year playing in Section III Class B came up one win short of a sectional title.

The Warriors finished 2022 with a 10-1 overall record, 4-0 in the Class B Northeast division, losing to Homer 14-0 in the Section III Class B championship game at the JMA Wireless Dome.

Heading into the 2023 campaign, Marsell likes the effort he’s seen from his players both on and off the field.

“You know, our expectations are just going to try to get better every week and every day,” the coach said. “I’ve seen a lot of dedication from our kids. They’ve been working hard, so we’re pretty excited about that.”

Once again this season, the Warriors look to be a run-oriented offense with a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in Kane Lynch and Derek Jones back and with a solid core back on the defensive side of the ball, Marsell feels this team has the pieces to make another run to the Dome.

“You know, they have to stay focused, they have to buy into what we’re doing,” he said “The culture has got to be there and the team chemistry. If we can stay healthy, I think that we can make a push and be very competitive.”

The Warriors’ seasons the past two years have come to an end at the Dome, losing to CBA in the Class A championship in 2021 and Homer in the Class B title tilt in 2022.

The players say the disappointment of the past two seasons has stuck with them and been a motivating factor in the off season.

“Yeah, the last two years kind of left a bad taste in our mouths,” senior wide receiver and defensive back Brady Lynch said. “We’ve been going hard since last season, been lifting hard in the weight room together.”

“Yes, that’s been all I’ve been thinking about these past two years, getting here and winning that sectional championship,” junior tight end and linebacker James Huffman said. “Lot of weight room. We’ve been working our plays since last football season ended. We’ve been getting it down right. We know our jobs so when it comes gametime there’s no doubt in our mind what to do.”

The one thing that has impressed Marsell leading up to the start of fall practice is the work ethic of his team.

“I have. You know we’ve had some really good numbers in the off season, and we’re excited about that. Excited about their strength. Still got a lot of work to do but I think the kids are willing to put that hard work in.”

The Warriors kick off their 2023 Section III season hosting rival Carthage on Friday, September 8, with kickoff set for 7 p.m.