BALLSTON SPA — Coming off a strong 2022 season in Class A, the Ballston Spa varsity football team is back in Class AA this year and looking to take things “a day at a time.”
Scotties’ head coach Jason Ohnsman acknowledged the Class AA schedule will be a “week-in, week-out gauntlet of quality competition.”
“It’ll be different, and it’s something that not a lot of these kids have ever experienced,” said Ohnsman. “But definitely something we’re looking forward to.”
While the Scotties graduated a strong 2022 class that included players such as Darrien Insogna, Aidan Davis, Isaac Turenne, and Troy Gottmann, the team also has a strong group of returning players.
Ohnsman said impact players for Ballston Spa this year will include quarterback Nico Savini, receiver/linebacker Blaine Zoller, and others including Brayson Cornick, Nick Orzel, Jacob Powell, Kala’i Makanani, and Michael Stamper.
“Having those guys back is always nice, because they kind of have a very calm demeanor about maybe more intense situations, because they’ve been there before,” Ohnsman said.
Cornick said the team is hoping to approach each game “one by one” throughout the season, something that was emphasized by Ohnsman.
“Defensively, we’re just trying to hit hard and compete,” Powell added. “Trying to dictate what the offense does, don’t let them dictate what we do.”
Ohnsman praised the team’s leaders for “setting a tone” throughout summer practices leading up to the Scotties’ Week Zero game against Liverpool (Sec. III), a 61-44 loss.
“Football can be tough, in the sense that it’s a lot of practicing, a lot of lifting, and you only get a couple games every year,” said Ohnsman. “We try to be very compartmentalized in the fact that we just want to focus on what we’re trying to accomplish today, because ultimately, if we can stack those days, we’ll be in good shape.”
Savini also said the team is aiming to take each game one by one, with Cornick adding that they are excited to compete.
“We’re all very close this year, so it’s like going out and playing with your best friends,” said Cornick. “It’s just fun.”
Ballston Spa hosts Amsterdam at 7 p.m. Friday. The Scotties will open Class AA play at Saratoga Springs the following week.
While the team is aiming for a playoff appearance, Ohnsman again emphasized that the Scotties are simply focusing on what is in front of them day to day.
“I’d be silly if I didn’t think these guys were thinking playoffs, but we’re trying to focus on getting there first,” Ohnsman said. “That’s a byproduct of our process. If we can handle the things we do day to day, week to week, then that ends up coming to fruition because of those things we’ve done previously.”