Assistant Sports Editor
CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. -- Spirits are high in the Cambridge Central School football world as the Indians are ready to try and forge another successful campaign.
But if you want to change the mood, just ask them about how the last one ended.
"It makes me sick to my stomach when someone brings it up," said junior Caleb Rowland.
And for good reason. It was a heartbreaking 27-26 loss to Salem in the New York state Class D semifinals that left the Indians at the doorstep of another shot at a state title.
But don't think the team will pout about it. The loss only serves to fuel this year's fire even more.
"We want them to remember it," coach Doug Luke said. "It should live with you for a little while. The hurt hurts an awful lot that night. Sometimes, you have to remember that feeling, and make sure it doesn't happen again."
In order to make sure it doesn't happen again, the team will first have to get back. But as the season starts, the team knows there are some holes to fill.
The team will welcome a new core of running back, a new set of linebackers, and a pair of new defensive ends.
Asked about which side of the ball he is more concerned with, Luke was quick to answer.
"The offense will be fine, I'm not worried about them at all," said Luke, who reached a milestone last season with his 150th victory.
On defense, however, the Indians are going to have to get up to speed quickly.
With Luke running his traditional 5-2 defense, the play of the defensive line is important.
"Our defensive line, although not extremely big, has been there before," Luke said. "But our defensive ends are new, so our worry is people might get to the outside on us more than we would like."
At the linebacker position, Luke said that Nick Rayhall and Chris Warnke will get the starting reps. Both are new to the position. In the secondary, Ethan English will help to slow down the opposition passing attack.
And while English might make a play or two on defense, Luke and the rest of the Indians will see the junior make a whole lot more of those plays on offense.
English steps into his third season under center, and with the upperclassmen status comes a new set of responsibilities.
"We have taken it little by little," Luke says of English's development. "His freshman year, we didn't give him a lot of things to do. Last year, as the season went on, he held the ball more. This year, he should be a threat. People should worry about him."
Behind English, the duo of Caleb Rowland and David Reedy, among others, will split time taking carries. The two are another set of newcomers to a position, but this is a group Luke isn't too concerned with.
"It doesn't [concern me], only because I believe in our line," Luke said. "I think our line will be quite respectable. I can always find someone to run through holes if the line can give me a hole to run through."
And the offensive line is where a chunk of the Indians' experience lies. Senior Kiel Kyer is the elder statesman for the line, with three years under his belt. A center in the past, he is getting some work in at guard and tackle. Seniors Nate Winchester and Mico Contreras, along with junior Josh Haskell and sophomore Kordell Benson all bring in varying levels of experience.
The team will get the season underway on Sept. 7, when the Indians host Greenwich. It is a date that the whole team is anxiously waiting for.
"Last year, after getting beat by Salem, we've been chomping at the bit ever since," Luke said.
English added that the whole town of Cambridge seems ready.
"Every year we are held to a much higher expectation than anyone else is," English said. "We do our best to try and uphold that, and we work our hardest just to give the town something to thrive on, something to get excited about. Once fall comes, it gets to be an exciting time of year around here." Capsules
Coach- Bruce Sausville (first year)
Last Season- 2-12 record
Team: The Indians hit the links this season with a very young core of players. Besides senior Ryan Jeskie, the team will turn to two sophomores, a freshman, and an eighth-grader to round out the top five golfers. Jeskie, who is returning for his fourth year on the team, will occupy the top slot on the team. Jeskie qualified for sectionals last year and will look to do the same again this season. Through three matches, he already has 2 of the requisite 5 sectional scores needed to qualify. Daniel Genevick, sophomore, will be the number two golfer. Genevick was one score away from qualifying for sectionals last year, but already has one qualifying score so far. Brandon Taber, sophomore, will be the third golfer, Gabe Evans, freshman, will be the number four golfer, and Ethan Jeskie, eighth-grader, will be the fifth golfer. For the number six golfer, the team will alternate between Brad Geroux and Carson McLenithan.
First Match: Loss to Schuylerville, 5-0.
Coach- Rich Sweeney (17th year)
Last Season- 3-14
Team: After an abysmal 2012 season, the Indians are looking for a bounce-back one in 2013. The team will rely on an experienced midfield, comprised of seniors Sarah Cuddihy, Sarah Bateman, and Emily Hall. Senior Emily Gadrowski will anchor the center of the Indians defense, but watch out for sophomore Olivia Mooney, who will pair with Gadrowski. Mooney is a "natural leader" according to coach Rich Sweeney. Fellow sophomore Lilly Synder will help lead the attack once again. Synder scored 1/3 of the team's goals last season (4 of 11). Another sophomore, Montana Brown, will join Synder up front. Of the pair, Sweeney said "we move forward off of what they need us to do." The season starts with a tough contest, as they host league-opponent Schuylerville on the 11th. Talking about the Wasaren division, Sweeney said that "there is not an easy game" on the schedule. The team will play two non-league games on Columbus Day weekend when they travel to Maple Hill for a tournament.
First Game: Sept. 11 vs Schuylerville, 4:15 p.m.
Coach: James Ingber (11th season)
Last year: 2-14
The Team: Just two years ago, the Cambridge boys soccer program did not field a varsity team. Now, coach James Ingber has 20 guys to work with, and that makes him a happy coach. But the Indians are still a young team, with only five seniors on the squad. Of the five, one (Durgin McCue) will be playing in his first season. The other four, Owen Boyd, Buster Baker-Porazinski, Parker Bruce and Robert Wojtkun, will be the leaders of the team going into the year. Baker-Porazinski will look to improve on his 7-goal tally from last year, and will anchor the forward line. Wojtkun will run the midfield from a central position, and Bruce will be the man in the heart of the defense. Last year's starting goalie, sophomore Nate Gates, is currently sidelined after having knee surgery. While he is expected back at some point this season, Ingber will turn to Matt Hoffer, sophomore, and Dustin DiMaggio, junior, to help fill the void.
First game: Sept. 10, vs. Schuylerville, 4:15 p.m.
Coach: John Heim (7th season)
The team: Coach John Heim is welcoming back a majority of his 2012 team, with only two seniors having graduated. With the strong core back, expectations are starting to build for the Indians. To couple with the benefit of not losing a lot of players, Heim also said that his JV call-ups have taken to the system well. The three girls to watch out for are the two setters, Rozlyn Saunders and Bobbi-Anna Skinner, and middle hitter Cassidy Warnke. Heim says that Saunders and Skinner are the two he will look to to take the leadership roles on the team, and Heim thinks Warnke could be one of the bigger hitters in the league. The team's home court is still under construction as the Cambridge Central School finishes renovations to the gym, but Heim says the team is ready to get out on the court. They will play a non-league game against Berlin to open the season before hopping into league play.
First game: Sept. 5, at Berlin, 4:30 p.m.