Determination worked as the driving force when the Fayetteville-Manlius football team took the field for one last time on Wednesday night against Utica Proctor and led to a 31-13 victory to finish the season on a positive note.
The Hornets (5-4, 4-2) made sure that this one was out of Proctor’s (4-5, 3-2) reach early on and didn’t plan on using the fact that the contest wasn’t for any kind of playoff placement or anything of that nature as an excuse to switch to cruise control.
Although F-M forced itself to focus on this game, it couldn’t help but think about the loss to Baldwinsville that swallowed its hopes to make a playoff run.
Just like it did throughout the season, F-M found ways to motivate itself before and throughout the contest and the members of the team came into the game with the right mentality and wanted to make sure that they had fun without losing sight of the idea that this was still a game and they still wanted to win.
This was a home game for F-M, but the atmosphere wasn’t nearly the same as the three games that it had hosted in the past. The bleachers were empty. The roars after touchdowns only could be heard by one’s imagination. And the excitement just didn’t have the consistency that it presented previously.
F-M’s guys were doing what they could to keep one another attentive and focused on the game and just refused to feel sorry for themselves. To them, it didn’t matter that the season was about to end and all they cared about was seizing the moment.
That goes back to one of the things that head coach Paul Muench has talked about since the first day of practice, as he reminded his team over and over that football requires players and coaches to live in the moment and that there are other times when you should look towards the future.
Prior to the game, the Hornets made sure that everyone had their blinders on and chose to look at the opportunities that were in front of them instead of wishing they could change the past, something that was very difficult to accomplish.