LATHAM, NY. (NEWS10) — Shaker enters the section playoffs a perfect 8-0. One of those wins was a 28-14 victory over Shenendehowa. Now it’s time to run it back, with a lot more on the line in the Class AA semifinals.
Shaker is not in unfamiliar territory. Each of the last two seasons, they’ve entered the playoffs without a loss, only to suffer one to end their season. They’re looking to change that narrative, and for the seniors who witnessed those losses, it’s personal. “I think they’re motivated regardless,” said Shaker head coach Greg Sheeler. “But I think they understand my message a little clearer than some of the younger kids might.”
As for Shen, they head into the playoffs after a 33-27 loss to CBA, a game they feel was a perfect test for postseason play. “Our kids know what it’s like to play in a playoff game already,” said Shenendehowa head coach Brian Clawson. “Because we felt like in a sense last week was one”
The Plainsmen have not beaten the Blue Bison in a decade. Both head coaches are aware, but aren’t looking into it. “That may be the case, but I know it’s a whole different ball game tomorrow night,” said Sheeler.
Clawson is focused on the task at hand. He said, “For me personally and the team we’re just focused on Shaker.”
For the players, particularly the seniors, they know it’s time to leave it all on the field. Shaker senior linebacker Will Sheppeck says, “This could be our last game, so we just have to be focused and prepared for it.”
Shenendehowa senior Mason Courtney says, “It’s the last dance as some say. A playoff game is already a big enough incentive, but plus it being Shaker and having the ability to make history, it doesn’t get much better than that.”
Kickoff on Friday is set for 7:00 PM. We’ll have highlights of our Game of the Week and much more for 1st & 10 on News10 ABC.