One phrase high school coaches are overheard saying to their teams is to ignore what the experts say.
Unless, that is, they say something that is irrefutably spot-on.
The Section V football committee named Brighton football coach Stephen Lian as this week’s Buffalo Bills High School Football Coach of the Week, an honor that comes on the coat-tails of his upstart Barons edging perennial power Canandaigua, 21-20, in overtime on Saturday. The Braves entered the game ranked fourth the the Democrat and Chronicle High School Football Large-Schools Coaches’ Poll.
Before the Barons went to play at Evans Field, sportswriters at the D&C said undefeated Brighton — despite being undefeated — was an underdog. Consider that Canandaigua was also undefeated and it was homecoming, not to mention the Braves had history on their side with eight Section V titles to Brighton’s zero.
The Barons took their coach’s advice, however, choosing not to listen to the experts and instead settle it on the field, and now Lian receives $1,000 for the football program. He is also eligible for the $1,000 Buffalo Bills High School Football Coach of the Year in Section V award.
Previous weekly award winners in Section V included Victor’s Geoff Mandile, Canandaigua’s Jeff Welch and Red Jacket’s Josh Henninger.