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  • Writer's picturetgardner1167

Motivated Flyers Ready to Take Next Step

The Maryvale Flyers were undefeated, leading by 12 against archrival Cheektowaga in Week 7 a quarter or so away from a division title and home playoff game. But the Warriors came back, brought the game into overtime and beat the Flyers. Maryvale couldn’t quite shake it off and in the quarterfinals of the Class B playoffs were upset by Dunkirk 59-0.

It taught the Flyers that they need to learn how to finish games.

“It’s never over until it’s over,” Casey said. “We had a 12 point lead with eight minutes left and we blew it. We have to play all four quarters.”

The focus over the offseason was to get stronger according to head coach Jeff Buccieri.

“We had to hit the weight room harder,” Buccieri said. “We petered out after that Cheektowaga game. We’ve had a chip on our shoulder this offseason.”

Connor Desiderio believes that the Flyers can take the next step on becoming one of the top teams in the area.

“Last year we were young and happy to be there, this year we’re all in,” Desiderio said. “Our goal is to be hated. We want to be the most hated team in WNY.”

Desiderio returns after starting at quarterback as a freshman for Maryvale last year. He threw for 886 yards leading the Flyers to a 6-2 (4-1 Class B West) record in 2016.

Buccieri was very impressed with what his young team was able to accomplish last year and expects more from them in the future.

“We were a very young team last year. We started eight underclassmen and won six games. That speaks to what we have,” Buccieri said. “It’s nice that these guys are a little more seasoned. They learned what it takes.”

The young quarterback was given support by a strong ‘four-headed monster’ in the backfield that included Rashad Law, Dylan Casey, Austin Reamsnyder and Brian Sullivan. The backs combined for almost 1,700 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2016.

The Flyers return Law and Casey from last year’s rushing attack but lose Reamsnyder and Sullivan to graduation.

Casey will also be one of the few seniors on a still young Maryvale team.

“I have more experience than half the team so I consider myself a leader,” Casey said. “I’m going to lead my team to as many wins as we can get.”

Maryvale is expecting juniors Jay Hanely and Montel Ferguson to step into the rushing attack. Hanely had 171 yards as the Flyers’ fifth leading rusher. Ferguson was the leading rusher on the JV last season.

Buccieri feels that the young talent coming up can fill the roles that those who graduated left behind. The head coach is also excited to be returning four starters on the offensive line.

“Ferguson was one of the top JV players in WNY. We definitely have a lot of skill coming back,” Buccieri said. “More importantly we have a seasoned line coming back.”

With the changes in alignment in Class B, the Flyers will end up being one of the small teams in the newly formed Class B2 division.

Maryvale did not make any predictions for 2017, but they want to show that are not the same team that finished 2016.

“We’re looking to take it one practice, one game at a time,” Buccieri said. “We feel that we’re a different than what people saw at the end (of last year). We,re very excited and hungry to show that.”

Maryvale will begin their season at rival Cleveland Hill on Saturday, September 2nd at 2 p.m.

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