Shutout ends season for Golden Horde
For the Granville Golden Horde, the season may have ended on a down note, but head coach Mario Torres was upbeat following Saturday’s Section II Class C tournament loss.
Looking back on a 7-2 season and the players who hit that mark two short seasons after going without a win for the entire season in 2007, Torres said: “They’re hurting right now. It’s a tough thing, but they’ve accomplished a lot and they’ve laid the groundwork for what we’ve got to do in the future. These guys have a lot to be proud of.”
“The bottom line is that every team, but one, is going to lose their last football game. You want to be the last team standing,” Torres said of Granville’s 32-0 loss to the Hoosick Falls Panthers at Stillwater.
Afterward at midfield Torres looked back on a 7-2 season and the players who hit that mark.
Torres said the season record along with the milestones the team achieved, including a sectional win and 6-0 undefeated streak, were something he knew the players could always look back on.
“Nobody can take away 7-2 from these guys,” he said.
Although the team limited mistakes, Torres said, even small slipups cost Granville.
“We didn’t turn the ball over, but we didn’t execute well, and the times we didn’t execute they were able to do some things. They won the battle of field position,” he said.
Reflecting on the time he had spent with this team, Torres said he would look back with pride on its accomplishments and a group he was proud to have coached.
“This is a tremendous group of young men. These guys, they’ve been through it. The guys that are seniors now they were here when we were 0-9, they worked their butts off and they’re tremendous leaders they’re tremendous young men on and off the field. I couldn’t be more proud. They’ve laid the groundwork for everything that we’re trying to do. My hat goes off to them,” Torres said.
Torres said he expects the success of this team will translate into interest from the students who will make up the Horde teams of the future, in part due to the character of the team members.
“To our water boys, to the kids in the junior program, they’re role models. I think the adversity that they’ve been through to get to this point says something to these younger kids. It says no matter how bad things are if we work hard, things are going to get better, and this year was an example of that,” Torres said.
Already looking ahead to the next season, Torres said now is the time to get the seniors and the upperclassmen out in the school recruiting those kids who might not have thought about playing football until the 2009 team saw so much success. “I would expect our numbers to go up next year,” he said.
Torres said the Horde players did not execute as well as they needed to beat a team firing on all cylinders like the Panthers on Saturday.
“It’s one of those things; I don’t think the score is indicative of the way these guys played. They capitalized on some of our mistakes. You give a team like the Panthers a short field to work with and they’re going to see some success.
“It’s just one of those things, today they were better than us, but our kids played hard. They didn’t give up and they played their butts off,” he said.
“We played with them early but they won the game of field position which hurt us and the score before halftime deflated us a little bit,” he said.
“We sustained some drives, but just weren’t able to finish. It’s one of those things. You can’t give a team like Hoosick Falls any momentum. I think that there were times when they had it that they capitalized on it and when we had it we didn’t put any points on the board,” Torres said.
“We’ve never played on a stage this big and I think that had a little bit to do with it,” he said. The next time the Golden Horde advances in the playoffs, Torres said, the team will have had the advantage of having been there before.
In a season of milestones the final achieved by the Horde was having a running back eclipse the 1,000-yard rushing mark as Jayson Osborne rushed 27 times for 115 yards on Saturday. Unfortunately for the Horde, Osborne accounted for much of the team’s total offensive output on the day of 172 yards.
Note. Co-athletic director Mike Macura said Granville had won a sectional contest before last week’s victory over Fonda. The 1981 team won a playoff game which made it the Section II Division five champions; that win was not under the current sectional playoff structure. The team was coached by Ken Burch and Macura.