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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

 

Fox 40 Goes to Camp: Tiger Tradition

There are a few notable changes to the Union-Endicott Tigers football program this year.  For one, most of the home games will now be on Friday nights rather than Saturday nights.  This comes in an effort to boost attendance numbers as students, in particular, can finish school, grab dinner, and head to the stadium.  Secondly, the Fran Angeline Field House which was decimated, torn down, and out of use following the 2011 flood has been rebuilt (on stilts) and will be ready to use come time for the fall sports season.  As practices begin, construction is still in progress, so no name has been put on the building, but this reporter thinks it's safe to assume it will be Angeline's.  Thirdly, and probably most unsurprising, there are a lot of fresh faces on the field.

Graduation is a problem that every high school program faces every year, and some years hurt more than others.  You need more than two hands to count the number of U-E Class of 2014 Graduates that signed letters of intent to play college sports, and many came from the Tigers football program.  However, it's a sign of a good program to be able to fill those holes seamlessly.  Tigers Head Coach Tom Baleno is confident that last year's seniors left a lasting impression on his current players.

"What's great about UE football is we always talk about family," Baleno said.  Seniors that do graduate, often come back.  Have a little player coach type thing and I always open the doors to those kind of guys.  They're like our older brothers.  What we miss from those guys is the leadership, but I think they planted the seeds for some of the younger players to carry on the tradition of leadership, discipline and a great work ethic."

The Tigers waste no time in testing themselves in the regular season as they open Week One by hosting three-time defending state champion Maine-Endwell.


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