ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Entering the 2019 season, the McQuaid Knights had gone 41 years without winning a sectional title.
Entering this season, they have a chance to make unprecedented history in Section V.
The Knights have won four straight sectional titles in Class AA. A fifth would be the most ever one by a team in the section’s largest class.
The team says it’s a testament to those who have helped build the program.
“It would be huge and it would give a lot of credit to the coaching staff who’s been here these past five years,” said junior quarterback Will DiMarco. “It would be big for the school to win it in Double-A which has never been done. We’re just keeping our heads down and trying to get that sectional championship.”
While the Knights are once again one of the favorites, they know that there are plenty of talented teams looking to knock them off of their perch.
“Coach preaches humble and hungry a lot,” said senior running back John Harding. “This team hasn’t proven anything, we haven’t won anything. The guys are ready to just come out and show that they’re worthy of winning another one.”
While the Knights have taken down all challengers in Section V, the rest of the state is a different story.
The Knights lost to Bennett from Buffalo each of the past two seasons in the Far West Regionals. They made the state championship game in 2019 but lost to New Rochelle in the championship game 28-0. There was no state tournament in the spring 2021 season.
“Those four sectional championships are important but we’re looking to make the next step towards that state championship,” said DiMarco. “We know it’s going to be a grind. We’re not taking anything for granted. We’re continuing to keep our heads down and work, get the sectional championship, and then we’re trying to take the next step to get a ring.”
“We definitely want to take step forward towards a state championship but we have to take each game for what it is and climb the mountain each week,” said Harding. “It’s a 15-week season. It’s a long mountain to climb and these guys are ready for it.”
McQuaid opens their season Friday night against Edison Tech. Games to watch this season will be against Pittsford, in Week 2, defending Class A champion Hilton in Week 6 and Aquinas in Week 8. UPrep is also a strong contender but the two squads will not play in the regular season.