DANSVILLE – As Wednesday’s hot, sun-filled practice was coming to a close, Mike Galbreath wasn’t on the vacant field behind Dansville High School barking at his players or blowing his whistle like a mad man.
Galbreath, who has been the Aggies’ head coach for the last three years, was lined up on the offensive line, dictating the point of attack so that his tailback could slither through his comrades on defense.
“We’re a lot more physical than we used to be,” senior running back Ethan Korb said. “We’re a lot more physical and we play a lot better in the fourth quarter.
“Our team is sticking together a lot better than the past — even better than last year I’d say.”
Galbreath is selling hard work and dedication to his players, and they’re buying it. The win-loss column is tangible proof.
Dansville is off to a 3-0 start for the second consecutive year, which is something the program hasn’t done since the 1965-66 seasons. The results have been clear — the Aggies’ average margin of victory is just north of 25 points, and everyone in the program is starting to rally around the system Galbreath has put in place.
“The kids finally grabbed a hold of putting a little time in,” said Galbreath, who was a varsity assistant and coached junior varsity for about 14 years at his alma mater prior to taking over in 2013. “…Over the years, you could see (the kids) didn’t want to be at practice. You can’t make football a six-hour process for the kids. There is just so much to do during the day with school work, some of these kids have to work. …High school football is an extracurricular activity. It’s meant to be fun.
“They have to look forward to game day, they can’t be burned out during the week and dreading one more day on Friday. We try to keep it enthusiastic, fun and keep their interest on getting better. The wins help because they see it pays off.”
Dansville’s biggest pay-off could come Friday, as it welcomes CMAC foe and Division 7 No. 5-ranked Pewamo-Westphalia. The season’s still young, but a positive outcome for the Aggies could do wonders for a program that is looking to become a reference point for teams in the future.
In eight all-time matchups, Dansville has failed to beat the Pirates, who have only missed the playoffs one time since 1998. Also, if that’s not enough motivation, the Aggies have failed to start a season 4-0 since 1992 — the last time the team went undefeated through the regular season.
“We go into every game thinking we could win, no matter how much of an underdog we are. Coach always pounds that into us,” senior receiver Calvin Minnis said. “We’ve been pushed a lot harder (since Galbreath has taken over), a lot more condition, working harder. …Hearing about how we haven’t done 4-0 in a while or been 3-0 for back-to-back seasons, we want to push that. We want to break the norm.”
Contact James L. Edwards III at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JLEdwardsIII.