Sidney, NY (WBNG Binghamton) For years Sidney had an advantage on rainy, wet Friday nights. Their field turned into more mud than grass. At times you couldn't even recognize the numbers on the players back.
But times are changing.
It was almost like the mud was a part of the Warriors identity at times.
Now, it's gone. The school replaced the old field with a new turf playing surface, which includes a new video scoreboard. Now that it's gone, the players say they're going to miss some of those mud games, but it's a bit of a relief to the coaching staff.
"I think every kid's dream is to play in a snow game or a muddy game, that type of thing," said head coach Jeff Matthews. "As a coach, trying to prepare for a game and knowing you've got to battle those elements, it gets a little nerve-racking. At least we know what you're going to get every time we go out on that field."
"I will miss the mud, I liked sliding in it after games," said senior lineman Austin Dean. "It's going to be sucky when you've got to run across the turf and it's going to hurt. It's a difference, but we can do it all. Everyone has positive attitudes toward it."
It's back to more familiar scenery for the Warriors on the schedule though.
After making the move down to Class D last season, Sidney is back to Class C this year where they're looking for their first Section IV title since 2006.
The Warriors finished 3-2 in their division last season, but were stuck behind eventual Sectional champion and state semifinalist Tioga.
Back in Class C, Sidney's life doesn't get any easier. The Warriors are now stuck in the same division as defending state champions Chenango Forks.
It's still a challenge for the Warriors, but one they embrace.
"We're looking forward to the challenge," said senior Austin Dean. "It's different from Class D and everything. We've been in Class C for a while except for last year, so everyone is expecting to do well. Everyone is pumped for it and we need challenges."
Sidney's first test in 2014 will be on that new turf against Unatego.