By Matt Nestor
Aug. 27 at Husky Stadium, the Harlem Huskies and Boylan Titans will kick off the NIC-10 football season. This is significant because the winner the last two years (Boylan) has been the conference champion.
The Huskies have designs on getting the conference crown that has eluded them the past two seasons. To do that, they need to come out ready to play from the first kickoff.
“I just hope we come in and play well,” Harlem coach Jim Morrow said. “I don’t think we’ve played Boylan well the last two years. I think we’ve had good talent and just haven’t played well that game against them. So I’m hoping this group is ready to walk with some swagger this first game and play the full game they characteristically play all year long.”
For Boylan, the Huskies present an equally tough match-up. The Titans are replacing a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. So a talented team like Harlem will make this team grow up real fast.
“A really good ball club right out of the gate,” Boylan Head Coach Dan Appino said of Boylan’s first opponent. “You know, our concern right now is we know our offense has to come out and put points on the board to give our defense and special teams a chance to grow.”
For both coaches, the trick is trying to minimize the importance of the first game of a long season. Neither coach wants to look past their first opponent, but they also realize this game could have a huge impact on the rest of their season.
“We have to try to take care of business week to week,” Morrow said. “If we do that, I think our chances of being one of the top teams again will be pretty good. We can’t look too far into the future. Last year, the title game was played in the first week. And this year, the first game could go a long way to determining that again. But for us, it’s one week at a time.”