ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The East High football team has made it to the sectional championship game each of the past two years, but the team that takes the field this season will look a lot different than in recent memory.
Gone are two of the most electric players in Section V football— Seven McGee, who graduated and is now playing for the University of Oregon, and Justus Ross-Simmons, a Division I prospect who transferred to a powerhouse high school in California.
Throw in the departure of senior Yasiir Daniel and you have a young team that is wet behind the ears, but hungry to show they belong.
“This year we don’t have a superstar. Everyone’s going to touch the ball, whoever’s open gets the ball,” said East co-head coach Steve Flagler. “There’s not one mouth, there’s a lot of mouths to feed, but they’re unselfish as well. They know that there’s no superstar. We’re just going to wait and see who emerges, who has the hot hand.”
“Nobody’s got a spot on this team,” said East senior lineman D’Angelo McGowan. “We’ve all got to work, we’ve all got to work hard. The only way we can win a championship is if we work hard.”
Those young players are already impressing the veterans by showing their willingness to learn.
“They listen. You know how newcomers are on teams, they like to joke around. [Our guys] are ready to play. I can tell they’re on go mode,” said McGowan.
“They’re hungry, they’re young, they’re coachable, but also unproven,” said Flagler. “They look like they might be pretty good and there’s some talent there but they’ve got to prove themselves this week against Arcadia.”
East has lost to Canandaigua each of the past two years in the sectional championship game and is ready to get over that final hurdle this season.
“We’ve got a lot of younger guys, more leaders coming up and stepping up to take over the program for the next few years,” said Jamaree Gibson, East senior cornerback. “I’m sure they’ll get things done.”
East opens the season at home against Arcadia.