Coach: let's summon up the spirit of the past

WARRENSBURG - Football fans, don't fret.

Ignore the recent scores which have been ugly.

Don't dwell on the fact that the team has lost three games straight

Forget the fact that about half the players on the football team were immobilized early this week with flu, maybe the dreaded swine variety.

The Warrensburg Burghers are headed into the Sectional playoffs, and the team is now poised for a fresh start, Coach Mike Leonbruno said Monday.

"This is the start of a new season now," Leonbruno said in an optimistic tone. "Hopefully can find out how not to beat ourselves."

He and others are hoping that the Warrensburg players will reach back into their collective unconscious and arm themselves with the guts and determination to overcome all odds and achieve glory, as past Burgher teams have.

The fans are hoping the team adheres to the community DNA - which includes hefty loggers and woodsmen, steer wrestlers and muscle-bound construction men from Warrensburg and Thurman.

Yes, the Warrensburg High School players share that DNA of men you didn't want to mess with, on the field or off.

Last year, the team showed incredible determination, with the ability to overcome deep early-game score deficits and costly blunders, and eke out wins against seemingly impossible odds.

For the 2009 Sectional play, which begins this weekend, the Burghers need to summon up the spirit of the past.

After losing last Saturday 28-6 to Bishop Gibbons, they'll be facing them again Friday on the Golden Knights' home field in the Schenectady area.

Although and the Burgher offense moved the ball well in Saturday's game, mistakes finished one drive after another, and they weren't able to push the ball into their end zone.

Warrensburg seemed to contain the Knights' offense well in the first half, but came out flat at halftime, losing their momentum, Leonbruno said. The Knights' success was based on their ability to make the key plays for touchdowns - underscored by the fact that their yardage and first-down statistics looked similar to Warrensburg's.

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