The East Syracuse-Minoa Spartans were not pleased after winning just four games in 2012, so they worked in the off-season to put themselves in position to once again compete for a sectional title.
Senior quarterback Sean Richardson took it personally.
"We only had four wins last year, that's not enough for us," Richardson says. "For me as a leader, it's just about hard work throughout the off season and getting in the weight room."
Led by Richardson's four touchdowns, the Spartans sent a message to the rest of Section 3 in their Thursday night opener, scoring 32 points in less than eight minutes en route to a 47-21 victory.
Richardson says his coaches told him a few years ago he could be a star for their program, so he committed to working hard on and off the field to realize that potential.
"He's just a great kid," ESM head coach Kevin DeParde
says. "He's got a great work ethic which has allowed him to physically mature and put himself in a position to take advantage of this opportunity."
Also an avid basketball player, Richardson says he's enjoying sharing his senior season with his teammates, guys he's played football with for his entire life. While he's motivated to help get his team back on track, internally he's a competitor.
"I just want to be successful in general," he says. "I'm really competitive I like to win, you gotta work hard if you want to come out here and win."
When it comes to the next level, Richardson says he's not looking anywhere specific just yet, but is definitely interesting in playing football after he graduates.