PERU, N.Y. - A youthful squad with a experienced leader. junior Ryley O'Connell leads Peru as quarterback, while his father Ryon, handles the coaching duties. Together, they've helped the Peru Indians create one of New York's most dynamic offenses.
Ryley says, "It's nice to even go home and work with him on that and it's that close of a relationship there. There can be days where it's tough, yes. And then there's some days be days where, when everything's working, it can go fluently at practice."
A year ago, the start of the season was far from fluent. Following a week one victory, the Indians dropped three games straight. They'd follow that up with six consecutive wins.
Coach O'Connell recalls, "I thought we came together after that 0-3 stretch, and we really buckled down and became a team and believed in ourselves as a 'one.'"
That mentality led to a surprise victory over Beekmantown in the section's Class B Championship game, and it's the inspiration for this season's team motto: 'Rise as One.'
Junior Robert Reynolds explains, "That means no matter what happens, even after a loss. You always want to pick each other up, Keep yourselves together. What happened is in the past and you just keep looking towards the future."
Twenty-plus players converging as one, that's the way this year's Peru Indians can extend the campaign well beyond the regular season.
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