DEPEW, N.Y. – Last year could be defined as a rebuilding year for Bennett High School football. 2013 brought a young squad for head coach Steve McDuffie. So young, that some of starters from last year, are just now starting high school in 2014.
“Last year we were a very young team and I started an eighth grader on the offensive line and three freshmen on the offensive line. We started like eight freshmen and we were a playoff team last year,” Steve McDuffie said at the Ad Pro Kensington Lions Club All Star Game.
Even with such a young group in 2013, Bennett ended the season with a 4-4 record that ended in the playoffs. Now, that young squad has a year of experience under its belt. Coach McDuffie returns nine starters on offense and six on defense from 2013. He points out that is only going to help in the upcoming season.
“We were a very inexperienced team last year. This year I think that’s going to pay great divans. I think we’ll be a better ball club because of it. A lot of young kids come back with some experience. We have a couple strong seniors and a couple strong juniors also so we’ll compete,” Coach McDuffie explained.
One game Coach McDuffie sure wants to be competitive in Bennett’s rivalry game. Fo that contest, Coach McDuffie is expecting high intensity.
“It’s been very interesting I kind of think that since it seems like the dust has settled somewhat and now everybody is playing in the right division since we got into Section VI play. By far our rivalry game will be week five, it will be when we play Burgard. It’ll be a slug fest like it was last year. It’s one of those old type of Harvard Cup throwback games,” Coach McDuffie said.
There’s another type of rivalry game for Steve McDuffie in 2014, sibling rivalry.
“I’m also kind of excited about week one. We’ll be competing against my brother, he’s the head coach at Williamsville East so I know that will be another hot, heated, competitive type game,” Coach McDuffie pointed out.
“Then after that we don’t really look ahead. We’ll take the rest of the schedule week by week,” said Coach McDuffie.