MIDLAKES, N.Y. (WROC) — From 2017 to the spring of 2021, the Midlakes football team lost a school record 25 games in a row.
“It was almost shameful to be a part of the team,” said senior running back Tyler McCarrick. “Everyone kind of talked poorly about us. Whenever we would go and play a game, no one would show up because no one expected us to do anything.”
Senior quarterback Dillon Roeland went as far as to say that it was hard to play football. A game that he had loved since he was a child.
“No one respected it and through the community no one respected it,” said senior quarterback Dillon Roeland. “It was hard because you would get put down as a football player.”
Midlakes snapped their 25-game losing streak on April 20th of 2021 when the Screaming Eagles defeated Bishop Kearney 13-12.
The Screaming Eagles are off to a 4-1 start this season and a big reason for the turnaround is head coach Dave Whitcomb, who was hired in January of 2020. Whitcomb won two Section V titles as the Midlakes head coach from 1986 to 1997.
His tenure as the former Screaming Eagles coach came long before any of his current players were alive.
“I asked my Mom actually because she was a student here when he was coaching and she told me how hard he worked,” said Roeland. “How hard he got the team working. It got me excited and really made me fall in love with the game more.”
Whitcomb is currently second all-time in Section V wins after making stops at Avon, Geneva, Fairport and Midlakes. He is the only coach to win a Section V title at four different schools.
“This has been a group effort,” said Whitcomb. “It’s not me, it’s not the kids. It’s everybody. Our assistant coaches have done a great job. The kids have done a great job. We get good support from our booster club.”
The Midlakes football team is off to a successful start this season but it hasn’t come without a little adversity. Their home stadium is under construction so they’ve had to travel on the road for every single game. It’s something that the team admits is a bit of a challenge.
“You don’t know the field as well,” said McCarrick. “There’s certain spots on the field that maybe hold water more or there’s divots that you want to avoid.”
Even without a field to call home, the community support is still felt whenever on the road.
“Our student section has grown a lot since then,” said McCarrick. “You can always hear the crowd cheering in the background, always supporting us no matter what and it’s really great.