Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) In Class A in Section IV, the sectional final is already decided. With only two teams in the classification, it'll be Union-Endicott against Vestal but there's plenty of time in between to prepare.
Despite losing three-year starting quarterback Nick Wegmann, and Pat Carlin, the Golden Bears feel confident about their ability on offense.
Junior quarterback Nick Davis is earning high praise from both teammates and coaches, and he's surrounded by returning weapons. One of those weapons is tailback/ slot receiver Justin Dennis, a guy who coach Tank Anderson considers an all-state player.
With all that, Vestal is looking forward instead of back.
"They're division one athletes, in other sports, but they're special kids and they are hard to replace," said Anderson. "But you've got to adjust. We've got a crew coming in right now that is very talented and they're improving to the point that we feel confident that they will do fine."
"It's definitely hard to replace those guys, but really we're doing well now," said senior Andrew O'Hara. "We have a smart quarterback who has been practicing all summer long with his wide receivers, which is good so they get familiar with each other. And the line is looking good, the line is looking big which we haven't had in a while here at Vestal."
The new-look Golden Bears will be tested right off the bat. They play East Syracuse-Minoa in the Carrier Dome week 1 on Friday night.
It'll be the first test for Davis, and a chance to see how some of the new pieces on the offense click together. Most of all though, it's an exciting way for the Golden Bears to kick things off.
"We'd like to be in the Dome at the end of the year, but it's nice to get up there, the kids are excited about it," said Anderson. "It's been a while since we've been up there. So, yeah, it was marked on the calendar early, the kids are all fired up, but in the same sense it's a football game, it's our first one."
"It'll definitely be fun to go up there, play where Syracuse plays, in front of hopefully a pretty good crowd," said O'Hara. "We're trying to get a school bus up there. So it'll be exciting to play in the Dome. It kind of gives us a taste of what could come in the later games of the year."
That game is scheduled for an 8 p.m. start in the Dome.