SOMERS, N.Y. - Any athlete will tell you how much motivation and adrenaline can be created by a big, loud crowd cheering and supporting, turning a venue electric with excitement.
Several area high schools have large, well-known and very vocal cheering sections, and the Somers 12th Man is among the best.
The 12th Man has been out in full force in recent days, with the Somer High boys soccer team winning a state championship, and the football team winning its NYS Class A semifinal last weekend, putting the team in Friday's state championship game.
The 12th Man group is led by six seniors and one junior each season, and can be a supporting presence at any school event.
"It's been great this whole season," 12th Man leader and Somers senior Marc Maestri told Daily Voice. "These guys are our good friends on the field. ... it's just exciting for everyone."
Maestri said the amazing success of the Somers teams this season has lifted spirits around school.
"It means a lot," he said. "To make history as a town... it's exciting that we're in the crowd, we grew up with these guys. To see them going to states, and for us to be supporting them... it just means so much."
Maestri said the school has three buses of spectators going to Syracuse's Carrier Dome for Friday's game.
"We have three full buses, that's a big showing," Maestri said. "It's unbelievable. Such a great crowd. It's great for the town, and it's great for the schools. I've been going to games since I was a freshman, and as far as how loud and how into it - this is definitely the best crowd in a while, because of how well they've been doing."
Maestri added that seeing the soccer team win a state championship - five 12th Man members are on the team - was a life highlight.
"It was just amazing," he said. "To see them win states, to see your close friends so happy. ... It's probably one of the best moments in life."