FONDA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Fonda-Fultonville lost just one game in the 2022 high school football season: a one-point, overtime defeat against Schuylerville in the Class C playoff semi-finals. Now the two teams will ring in a new season Friday, and the Braves have a chance to make an early statement.

“(We) just wanna prove that we’re capable of being the best team in Class C,” said senior guard and defensive end Logan Miller. “I mean, it’s been them (Schuylerville) for a while, ’cause they’re a great program…very good program. They’ve been to states and all that…So, we’re the underdog, and I like it that way.”

Fonda-Fultonville was a force in the class last year, posting its’ winningest season in 23 years with a nine-win campaign.

Despite the Black Horses cutting the Braves’ Super Bowl quest short, revenge is in the back of their minds for their week zero matchup.

“We kinda put last season in the past, ’cause it’s a new season; forget that,” said senior free safety and slot receiver Colin McLaughlin. “We start fresh, and we’ll see where we go. It’s a good learning experience either way, win or lose, because we either find out what we gotta fix, or we find out ways to improve.”

With the loss of do-it-all quarterback Jackson Cusack and a number of veteran skill position players, the Braves will likely have a new identity this season, and Friday’s game might just offer the opportunity to learn what that is.

“When you play a game like this, you kinda find out about your team a little bit quicker that you normally would,” said head coach Mike Mancini. “We’re very confident in our guys up front. We got a lot of returners up front that have a tremendous amount of experience. So, I think we’ll lean on them…quite a bit early on. And, you know, our young guys on the perimeter will come along as the season goes.”

As good as it would feel to start the year 1-0, it’s a long season. And Mancini’s managing expectations ahead of his group’s first showing.

“The first game of the year is a game full of mistakes. So, you know, if we can limit mistakes and capitalize on some of theirs, I think that we’ll have a great chance on Friday night. I think it’s gonna be a great game; it always is when we play those guys, so we’re lookin’ forward to it, and we’ll find out a lot about our kids real quick.”

Friday’s game will be held in Schuylerville. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 p.m.