Sometimes the numbers aren't fair.
Fowler High School's football team has notoriously struggled with numbers on its football team. While "iron ball" is typical at the high school level, it's a must for Fowler. Despite this, the Falcons boast a perennially athletic team that is no cake walk.
Typically, Fowler competes in Class A, New York State's second-largest class. The state decides which schools are in which class based on total enrollment at each respective school.
This year, Fowler is over the mark, meaning despite an 0-9 season in 2013 the Falcons will have to take on the largest schools in the area. Some, more than doubling their enrollment.
The Falcons though, are hardly complaining. Not only does the move mean that the four largest city schools (Fowler, Nottingham, Corcoran and Henninger) are in the same class, it also means the Falcons get a chance to prove themselves against the best.
"I'm very excited. I just want to prove a point this year that Fowler is different, I really want to help change the name of the school. The way we're looked at, is that we're just underdogs from the West Side and we really want to come out and show that we're more than that" says JawShawn Small, a senior for the Falcons.
It's no secret that the West Side is one of the tougher neighborhoods around, but Small tells me that football can serve as a way to stay focused on a common goal: bring the Falcons back to prominence.
"Like, when you say you play for Fowler, people try to criticize you for it. And really, I'm tired of that. We want to change it. The whole team, we've worked hard all summer and we just want to show that we can hit them hard. Because we're in a new league that's more competitive against other inner city kids that we knew and are friends with and grew up with so I just can't wait to get it going" Small says.
Fowler opens the season on September 5th at Utica-Proctor.