Bonds forged from tragedy guide CMBB to championship season

Local Sports

What makes a person continue?

For Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen quarterback AJ Maye and the rest of the Red Raiders, the answer is simple.

Family.

Five days after his older sister Kristina died in a car accident, AJ was on the field for CMBB in the sectional championship. 

“Thins happen, and I won it for her,” said Maye on Wednesday. “I told her I was going to win, and that’s what I did, that’s what we did.”

Trailing by 13 points in the 4th quarter to top-seed East Rochester/Gananda, things looked bleak. Then over three minutes of gametime, it all changed. First, a kickoff return for a touchdown, then a fumble recovery, then a halfback pass for a touchdown. The Red Raiders won the championship 27-26.

“It still feels unreal to me,” said Maye. “We were down 13 with nine minutes left and we come back and win by one. That’s outrageous.”

Last Saturday’s win means the Red Raiders advance to the state regionals to face Cleveland Hill of Section VI at 1:00 on Saturday, November 11 at SUNY Brockport. They’ll keep on playing for each other, for AJ, for Kristina.

“We gotta do it for him and his family,” said Red Raiders cornerback & wide receiver Joe Butler. “They’ve been there supporting us the whole time, so we gotta so something to him. Show him what they mean to us.”

The last two weeks have brought the Red Raiders closer. Now three wins from a state title, they believe nothing can hold them back.

“All the hardships we’ve overcome, we can do this,” said Maye. “There’s nothing stronger than family.”

A family that will always continue.

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