SOMERS, N.Y. – The Somers High School football team’s season ended Monday with a loss to Section 9 champion Cornwall in the state quarterfinals.
The section champion Tuskers will now look to repeat their success next season but will have to do so without several of the seniors that made the 2012 team so special.
The running back tandem of seniors Stefano Bicknese and Joe Lombardo led the Tuskers to a 10-1 record and the Section 1 Class A championship. Lombardo said his final high school season ended too soon.
“We’re happy to win the championship but I wish we could have taken it further,” Lombardo said.
Somers fell to a strong Cornwall team that featured the explosive duo of quarterback Mike White and wide receiver Alex Cruz. White threw for nearly 300 yards to Cruz alone in the 34-13 win.
The Tuskers, on the other hand, played what was probably their worst game of the season. Miscommunications and mistakes in the red zone especially doomed Somers, and Lombardo expressed his disappointment after the game.
“It’s awful. We had high expectations,” Lombardo said. “We thought we were going to go all the way and it just kills us on the inside.”
Somers head coach Tony Dematteo has watched seniors graduate from his teams for more than 40 years. When asked what he would remember most about the 2012 team, he did not hesitate to respond.
“Their attitude, not their ability,” Dematteo said. “Their attitude to come to work and have that lunch pail philosophy and do what their supposed to do in practice.”
Somers will need to reload next season after losing Bicknese, Lombardo, quarterback John Decker and wide receiver Joe Festo to graduation. But Dematteo will always remember the team that gave him his 300th win as a head coach.
“I love this football team, and I told them at the end of the game their effort here was tremendous. There just was not enough time,” Dematteo said. “I’m proud of what they accomplished and what they did for me and how hard they practiced and worked. These kids make me want to coach forever. I love this senior group.”