NISKAYUNA, NY (NEWS10) — Last season was one the Niskayuna football team and the Niskayuna community will never forget, winning their first ever Section 2 title, and making a run to the state semifinal. But now, the hunter becomes the hunted.

“Before it was trying to prove everybody wrong,” said head coach Brian Grastorf. “Now with the target on our back, hopefully we can prove that we can do it again.”

Now, the bar is being set even higher. “We want to be better than last year,” said junior quarterback Ethan Gilson. “We love those guys so much but we know we have the talent and the ability to go further. Where we are right now mentally is going to be a big step to how we get there.”

The Silver Warriors bring back half of their starters, and a lot of key pieces that helped lead them to a title Gilson and junior running back Isaiah Linyear. “I didn’t know the expectations last year when I decided to play football but this year we have those expectations and we know our abilities,” said Gilson. “The confidence is at an all time high for us.”

“Even being able to come back with the team that I know,” said Linyear. “I played JV with these guys. I think there’s definitely a larger connection because of that. A lot of our guys have experience and we’ll know what to do when game time comes.”

Another returner is senior linebacker Dan Miller. It’s safe to say he’s setting the expectations for their defensive unit. “The strong point is definitely our front seven,” said Miller. “Run game we’re allowing absolutely zero yards. That’s the goal.”

Nisky opens the season against Auburn in Week 0 on September 1st. After a year away from campus, it will finally be a true home game for the Silver Warriors on their brand new turf field. “We’re going to be the first team that gets to play a game on this turf,” said Gilson. “We’re going to try and bring a win to this field. Hopefully that extends to more than just week zero though.”

As for the teams goal? It’s simple. “Win,” said Miller. “Just win. That’s it.”