COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (WKTV) - Last year, the Cooperstown boys basketball team made it to the Section III final at the Utica Memorial Auditorium, only to fall short. But a year later they're back in the title game and are confident they can beat Beaver River.
"I feel like we're well prepared," said senior Jay Davine. "I haven't a seen a team this year that's more conditioned than we are. I haven't seen a team that works harder than we do. So hopefully we can go out there and get it on Sunday."
This year the section finals have moved from the Aud to the Carrier Dome. The aura might be a little intimidating, but the Coop is ready for the big stage.
"They've been to camps there, so they've been there, but it's not like playing on Jim Boeheim's court," said head coach David Bertram. "Even coaching there is going to be something special. It's a once in a lifetime thing."
"It's going to be different, it's going to be big," added senior Mike Moakler, who missed last year's final against Syracuse IT because of an injury sustained in the semis against Watertown IHC. "Lot of people there, hopefully. It's going to be different, because the baskets are roll away. It'll be different for us, but I'm sure we'll be fine."
When most people think of Cooperstown, they think of just one sport: baseball. That's because of the Hall of Fame, whose induction ceremony brings thousands of fans to town every summer. But Cooperstown High School has some great teams in other sports and the boys basketball is helping to change the stigma that they're a baseball town only, thanks to their success.
"The baseball part of it is just kind of an annoyance in the summer is all it is," joked senior Jeremiah Ford. "I'm a track guy personally, but baseball's okay."
Success is exactly where the Redskins are aiming, beginning Sunday morning at 11 against Beaver River.
"We have a goal, we set that goal in the beginning of the year and we just keep working at it," said Bertram. "The biggest thing I tell them is we haven't won anything yet."
"It would definitely be a huge relief to win a section title," added Ford. "That's been weighing on us for a long time. That's just one more step though. Really the goal is Glens Falls and winning there."
Be sure to tune into Mike Levin on NEWSChannel 2 Weekend, Sunday at 6 and 11 for highlights of Cooperstown and all the local teams playing at the Dome.