2023 Preseason Playbook: Union-Endicott Tigers

Published: Sep. 5, 2023 at 7:11 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 5, 2023 at 10:44 PM EDT
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ENDICOTT, N.Y. (WBNG) - 2022 was a special year for Union-Endicott. The team won 11 straight games and made it all the way to the state championship for the first time in decades. Now, it’s time to turn the page.

“Last year is last year. That’s all over. This team hasn’t done anything yet. We’re going to take it one game at a time and last year is last year and leave that in the past. It’s time to move on and see what this team can do themselves,” said Union-Endicott offensive coordinator Scott Osman.

The Tigers lose 20 seniors off that state finalist team, giving plenty of opportunity for new starters to step in.

“You look at all the special teams, offense, and defense, there’s a lot of opportunities for 44 guys to win a role on the team. That’s what’s really important. Find a role, whether it’s on the field or off the field, but find a role and be your best,” said Union-Endicott head coach Tom Baleno.

U-E’s mantra for this season, iron sharpens iron, is all about how to get the players up to speed.

“You want to go against the best. You want your best to go against your best. We got some good competitions at each spot on the field so when you get one-on-ones that’s how you get better,” explained Osman.

One spot where the Tigers do bring back some experience is upfront. Making it a seamless transition along the line of scrimmage.

“Communication in any aspect of football is important and it’s nice when you can get that on the line because schemes change depending on the type of defense you see and they’re able to really communicate that because they have experience,” added Baleno.

The impact of those upperclassmen goes beyond just what happens on the field.

“We got leaders at the right spots and the young kids are listening. As long as they can buy into what some of these seniors are trying to teach them we’ll be in a good spot,” said Osman.

Now with the season just a couple of days away, the Tigers are ready to begin a new season.

“2022 is over. They left their mark. Now it’s our turn to turn the page and leave a mark they want to leave. How do they want to be remembered?” said Baleno.

U-E is planning on making 2023 another year that everyone keeps talking about.