GLOVERSVILLE — Jim Robare views his Gloversville football team like a puzzle. Every year, some of the pieces change, just a little bit.
“Each day we come in and try to get better,” said Robare, the head coach. “The last two seasons we’ve been pretty successful in our division, but all we can do is show up on Day 1 and start working on putting the puzzle pieces into place.”
The Huskies are coming off a 6-2 regular season in 2022, when they advanced to the Class B semifinals. They fell short to the eventual Section 2 champion, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk.
“We’re never rebuilding, we’re reloading,” said Dom Dorman, a senior wide receiver. “We just have to come to practice ready to get better and have some new guys step up.”
“Those teams at the top are still going to be Ravena and Glens Falls,” Robare said. “They probably think we’ll be up there too, after a good couple seasons, and I think that’s where we could be.”
Gloversville kicks off its season on Sept. 1 on the road at Central Valley Academy. After another away game at Cohoes the following week, the Huskies play their first home game on Sept. 15 against Glens Falls.
There are no secrets about what the strength of the 2023 Gloversville football team is. It’s the offensive and defensive lines.
“They’re huge; we’ve got some big boys over here,” Dorman said of his team’s linemen. “It’s crazy. I’m only 5-foot-10 myself, so it’s insane being behind some of them and being able to hide behind them.”
“That’s my job,” Devon Sisco, a senior lineman, said of protecting his teammates. “Our whole line is basically returning seniors. That’s what we’re supposed to do. If we all execute our plays, we’re going to get it done.”
“The game of football starts up front,” Robare added. “You’ve got to win the trenches. You’re front four or five have to be able to move people, block and you’ve got to be able to run the ball and throw the ball.”
While Sisco knows the importance of his job on offense, he takes a certain pride in creating havoc on defense.
“It’s such an adrenaline rush when you’re able to make something happen out there,” said Sisco, who recalled his first forced fumble. “My sophomore year, I hit a guy and the ball popped out. We eventually brought it back for a touchdown on offense.”
Dorman, who also plays cornerback and safety, mentioned some of his teammates who will have increased roles this season.
“Anthony Bevilacqua, our right guard, is going to stand out. So is our center Tracy Tate,” Dorman said. “We’ve got a returning quarterback, Cal Porter. I think he’s going to take the next step too.”
“Labron Hudson, a cornerback, is going to make a big difference,” Dorman added. “Also, Isaias Olan. He’s an outside linebacker and he’s going to help us win a lot of games.”
The mindset of continuously reloading, as opposed to rebuilding, comes straight from Robare. The expectation being that players come through the ranks, ready to contribute at the varsity level.
“I don’t tell kids that they need to play like past teams or past players,” Robare said. “I tell them that this is your team, and you need to own it. Losing our secondary on the defensive side and some of our running backs, they were good players. Now it’s about being able to reload; we don’t rebuild. We have kids coming up that can play and that’s our expectation.”
“We have a lot of people who are stepping up and filling shoes that we need filled,” Sisco said. “I’m confident that we’re going to be able to overcome the obstacles we face, as long as we put in the work.”
Still, Dorman would like to see his team do better than they did last year. If that happens, it would involve a trip to the championship game.
“That’s always the goal,” Dorman said. “You always want to keep moving forward; you never want to go back.”