Conklin, N.Y. - A lot of people think of Susquehanna Valley's girl's basketball and softball teams when the school gets brought up, simply because of all their success, especially as of late. Susquehanna Valley's football team, on the other hand, is focused on working towards that success this season. With 17 seniors and 17 returning starters the Sabers chances look high. Plus, add them dropping down to Class C to the list and this team is a serious contender to win a title.

"Kids dedicated themselves this off season they're pushing each other. Not settling for complacency and they're coming in ready to go this year" stated Head Coach Michael Ford.

Over the last decade, SV hasn't had an easy schedule, competing against power houses in Class B, such as, Maine-Endwell and 5 time State Champions, Chenango Forks. Now, although Class C isn't as difficult as Class B, the change still brings different kind of challenges.

"Us dropping to down to C gives us a lot of new challenges. We don't know much about the teams we're going to play. We need to scout different teams and learn their systems" Mike said.

"But, these kids have been together for 10 years, playing up to peewee's together and are a very close family. They do everything together, inside and outside of school. As a family they're ready to chase what challenges are ahead."

This year's family  starts and ends with the leadership the Seniors are able to give. SV returns 17 seniors and 5 new captains for the 2018 season.

"The seniors have got on each other and have corrected mistakes before we've needed to. They're really taking a lot of ownership on themselves this season which is nice to see" Mike said.

"We have a lot of leaders on this team this year. We're all pushing each other to be great. It's gonna be a good season" said Senior running back/corner back, Edwin Lavin.

Behind the leadership comes experience and with more experience makes room for more depth. SV returns 9 starters on the offensive side of the ball and 8 starting defenders. SV's defense was their strength last season and continues to be their strength this year. On top of 8 starters on defense, four of those are experienced line backers.

"Our depth is better than it's ever been" said Mike.

"Our defense is very aggressive. We stopped pretty much every team on the defensive side of the ball" said Senior linemen, Harvey Burgess.

SV'S strong defense isn't the only experienced weapon they have. Susquehanna Valley returns their 3 year starting quarterback, Jared Freijie

"For 3 years we've had him as our leader out here. Elite 24 last year. He brings a lot of experience to us" Mike said.

"He's very smarty and picks up on stuff that's going on. Communicates well during games and he's a great asset to have."

"He looks great. Real good leader and a strong arm" said Edwin.

"He knows how to push us beyond the limit we need and that's why we're going to be great this year."

The Sabers open their season on Saturday September 1 against Jamesville-Dewitt at 5 p.m. in the Carrier Dome.