SCHUYLERVILLE — The varsity football team of Schuylerville High is in for another season, with a lot of focus and drive, and preparation to be a bigger, faster and stronger team.
“Coming into this year we really wanted to stress a level of physical toughness. We wanted to get recommitted to being better tacklers, to being a more disciplined physical defensive football team and then on the offensive side really being willing to do the unsung things,” said Coach John Bowen.
Since the fall of 2013, Coach Bowen has coached the Black Horse’s varsity team. Coach Bowen has head coaching experience throughout the county spanning from serving as Shenendehowa’s head coach from 1997 to 2001, then heading over to Ballston Spa High School’s head coach from 2002 to 2012.
“I actually retired, stepped down - whatever you will at Ballston Spa, really with no intention of head coaching again,” said Coach Bowen. “But then Greg O’Conner - he was the previous head coach .... he stepped down so there was a vacancy there that I ended up coming in. It was the shortest retirement ever.”
Though focusing on building his team’s physicality, Coach Bowen is believing that his junior and sophomore players on the team are already showing promising signs of being able to step up for the graduating seniors.
“We stay away from talking in terms of that (goals) if you start thinking in terms of those types of thoughts and you get beyond where you are in the immediacy of the team you got to prepare for,” said Coach Bowen. “We know we’re gonna get every team’s best effort. We’ve been kind of at or near the top of the league over the last several years and teams are gonna give us their very best.”
While the team strays away from looking at goals too far ahead in the future, one goal for the season is to maintain academic excellence. Schuylerville High School has proudly been recognized with New York State’s academic excellence award for the past two years. As Coach Bowen also works as the school’s Athletic Director, he diligently ensures that all of the athletic teams and their coaches prioritize good academic standing and being well rounded student athletes.
“As far as the well-roundedness is concerned...at the end of the day really try to push our kids to make sure they are a part of clubs and reaching out beyond just the athletic round and being well rounded whether it’s in drama or music or clubs,” said Coach Bowen.
“That they’re becoming a part of the school community above and beyond the school athletic and academic piece."
This past Friday, Sept. 6, Schuylerville defeated Johnstown 55-16. Friday, September 13, the Black Horses play Glens Falls at home, at 7 p.m.