Orchard Park ready for title defense
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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The loss of an outstanding senior class doesn't change the expectations in Orchard Park.
After a perfect 13-0 season and a New York State Class AA championship in 2011, their second state crown in four years, the Quakers are shooting for more of the same in 2012.
"There's a lot of comparison to last year," said linebacker/fullback Chris Sanfilippo. "But there's a lot of excitement about our new guys, about new juniors stepping up and about our senior leadership who have that experience and are able to lead us to another state championship hopefully."
Gene Tundo returns for his seventeenth season patrolling the sidelines as Orchard Park head coach.
While the Quakers lost some outstanding talent in the likes of Okoya Anderson, Ben Johnson, Jim Fitzgerald and David Crowley, the cupboard is certainly not bare. Among the top returnees are quarterback Ben Holmes, two-way lineman Mike Senn, and receiver Austin Goltz.
As defending state champs, the players know they'll take the opponents' best shot each week.
"We embrace the feeling that we have a target on our back this year and we have to step up to the challenge," said Senn. "We have high expectations that we set last year and we don't want to let the school down, let our fans down."
Orchard Park begins defense of its Class AA state title against Lockport on Saturday, September 1, at 2:00 p.m.