BRONXVILLE, N.Y. -- It's been all about school spirit and homecoming this week as the Bronxville Broncos varsity football team prepare to face-off against the Pearl River Pirates on Saturday night.
As assistant coach Phil Kuczma runs the team through practice this week, head coach Jeff Napolitano said the game gives the Broncos an opportunity to prove their mettle in a different way.
The Broncos have not lost a game in the regular season since 2008. Last year they were the Class C state champions. The Broncos are 6-0 this year and have won 18 straight games over the last two years in Section 1, which includes Rockland, Westchester and Putnam counties.
But Napolitano explains that Pearl River is also undefeated in its class, Class A, two classes higher than Bronxville.
The class system is defined by the size of the school. A bigger team means more players that can get the job done. In a smaller school, if a key player gets sidelined early in the game, it may mean a loss. But in a larger school there are often more than one or two key players.
"They are a bigger team, a bigger school," Napolitano explained. "We want to prove that not only can we beat everyone in our own division, we can beat teams that are in a higher division as well."
In the scheme of things, a loss won't change much for either team, which will each move to the playoffs with homefield advantage. But a win would mean that Bronxville's skill as a team will compensate for its smaller size.
"This week we will have an opportunity to prove we are skillful and good, good enough to beat a bigger team, from a bigger school in a bigger class," Napolitano said. "This game will show everyone, even our own players, how good the Broncos really are."
A few feet away, as the team practices hitting blocking, Coach Kuczma has a message along with the rest of his directions.
"This is our field, our homecoming, it's going to be our day," Kuczma said. "You are all going to remember Bronco football for the rest of you lives."
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