Phoenix, Syracuse ITC bring in new head football coaches

Syracuse ITC has a new football coach in Cedric Stevens (file photo)

For one coach, he's been in the game 43 years and led several programs.

For another, it's one of his first chances to lead a squad.

Coaching veteran Paul Sealy returns to the helm of a program taking over the reins for the Phoenix Firebirds. Sealy most recently led the Nottingham program, and hopes he can bring some of that success to a town that's ripe for a rebound on the gridiron.

“We're all fired up" Sealy told me.

"This community loves us and they appreciate us and they want us to be successful at football. Supported us, they all want better football they’ve all worked hard. This is my 43rd season. It’s a long time and I’ve been to a lot of schools. I’m trying to bring that swagger that we had at other schools and been successful in that community and to understand that it is hard work and that it’s your job to not lose the game before it’s even started. You gotta work hard and I’m excited. I’m just a football coach" Paul adds.

Sealy no doubt is one of the more charismatic coaches out there, and it's easy to envision the Firebirds rallying behind him and forging a nice chemistry.

“To develop a swagger and know you gotta work hard and not to lose the game before you start. That it is hard work, it is sacrifice.. We’re getting a new stadium, a giant scoreboard, turf, everything is coming. You gotta work for what you’re going to win" Sealy says.

Meanwhile right in downtown Syracuse there's a new buzz for a new coach.

Cedric Stevens takes over for Syracuse ITC. It's a program filled with nostalgia, athletes, and a unique venue at Meachem Field.

Now, all they need is the wins.

“It's not about me it’s about the kids" Stevens told me.

"I get excited about like a kid who comes into the weight room in January who can only lift 125 and now can lift 250. Dedicated and is feeling more confident about themselves as a young man" Cedric adds.

Indeed, the Eagles are working hard, inspired by their new coach. The hope is, it yields results not just in effort, but on the bottom line.

“The main thing that we need to know about ITC this year is that they are going to be very well coached up a lot of technique and hopefully we can be competitive again and win some games. I’m excited for the players, and hopefully they buy in to what we have and we’ve been working all winter. Hopefully it will all translate over. I’m ecstatic and I’m excited for the seniors." Stevens said.

ITC opens the season on Friday, September 1st against Chittenango, Phoenix meanwhile gets rolling against Port Byron/Union Springs at the Carrier Dome on Sunday, September 3rd at 11am.

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