The Skaneateles Lakers football team is preparing to battle Herkimer on Saturday in the Carrier Dome for the Section III Class C Championship.
A potential battle, however, looms in court on Tuesday.
That's when a judge will decide whether to uphold Section III's penalty of suspending the Lakers' season or to let the team keep playing.
While the lawyers of both sides worry about that issue, there's only one thing Skaneateles Head Coach Tim Green can allow his players to worry about.
"Look...our football team..is thrilled to be in the Dome. It's been a goal for this team and a dream for our players and now they're here and that's all they're thinking about" said the former Syracuse Orange All-American who returns to his old stomping grounds hoping to lead his new team to its first sectional title in decades.
"We prepare the same for every game. We don't pay attention to what's going on around us, we're focused, we're dialed in on what we've got to do and how we've got to do it" Green added while taking part in a Section III football luncheon with all remaining teams joining each other at Club 4-4 in the Carrier Dome.
Certainly this whole thing, regardless of who is at fault, or if any wrongdoing occurred has been taxing on the players. The Lakers' players briefly thought their semifinal game would be cancelled. When they received the news, their reaction was to take to the field and get a practice in, which certainly paid off when a restraining order was issued to allow the Lakers to play and defeat Utica Notre Dame.
"Our team doesn't get distracted easily, noone really pays attention to it.....I think if anything, it's brought our team very close, closer than most teams, I mean any team I've been on and I think it's helped us grow as a team" said team captain Troy Green, who is the son of Tim.
Green vowed to do whatever had to be done to keep the Lakers' perfect 9-0 season going. While he meant that from the legal standpoint, certainly he and his staff are focusing on the gridiron part of things as well.
The Lakers take on Herkimer, who is also undefeated at 8-0 on the season. Green is well aware of just how good the Magicians are.
"Herkimer is a great football team, they are powerful, they're explosive, their quarterback can run, he can throw, and he has a nice compliment of speedy skill guys...so we're going to have our work cut out for us." he said.
Herkimer Head Coach Alan Steele is obviously aware of all the off the field news with the Lakers, but isn't letting that get in the way of his team's preparations for such a formidable opponent. "It doesn't concern us, we are preparing for the game just like we would any other game...they have to take care of their business and we have to take care of our business". Steele said.
Kickoff for the Section III Class C Championship is set for Saturday at 11:00 a.m. in the Carrier Dome.