East Syracuse-Minoa football has been a paragon for success over the last decade or so, that was highlighted by Section III championships in 2006 and 2011.
As the defending champs in 2012 though, ES-M suffered through a bit of a down season (by Spartan terms, anyway) with a 4-5 season after a first round playoff loss.
With that said though, the Spartans are hungry for redemption, and looking for more in 2013.
The team seems to have pinpointed the main issue last season.
"We weren't real disciplined last year, and it cost us a handful of games. We finished four and five, we lost three games by a total of four points. And when you're losing games like that, that's internal, team chemistry, internal discipline. Our team this year is aware of that, we've got a lot of those kids on the team this year that were there last year. They understand why we didn't get the job done, and they've done a good job of reminding themselves of that and the younger kids, what we have to do to be more disciplined and win the closer games. And so far, we've experienced that" ES-M Coach Kevin DeParde says.
His team is on board with the new focused mentality.
"Team chemistry is really important, and it's hard to have team chemistry if you're not all disciplined the same way" senior wide receiver Patrick Bryant says.
That new outlook will be put to the test early and often.
ES-M opens up with Watertown, who always has great athletes. That game is at 6 p.m. on September 6.
That game is followed up by a road trip to the Capital District to battle Colonie.
Perennial powers Whitesboro are on the schedule too along with both teams from the Class A title game last season, J-D and the defending champion Nottingham.