By Patrick Newell
Sun Sports Editor
Once a consistent doormat, cellar-dwelling-bottom-of-the-heap football program, fortunes have changed drastically over at Sherburne-Earlville.
The progress under head coach Mike Jasper is undeniable, and what we have now in Marauderville is a football team with four straight non-losing seasons, currently the longest streak amongst the six Chenango County-based outfits.
Two years ago, Jasper led the Marauders to their first Section III postseason appearance, and a year ago – thanks to a 7-0 start – the Marauders hosted their first-ever Section III playoff game.
State-ranked, likely favored, and dominant statistically at the end of 48 minutes, S-E was hampered by early mistakes in a 23-12 playoff loss to Thousand Islands.
"Obviously that last game left a bitter taste in our mouths," Jasper said. "We believed we were a better team, but we picked a heck of a day to have things go wrong. Turnovers and miscues even up a game pretty quick."
S-E turned it over twice inside its own 25-yard line, and Thousand Islands capitalized on that. The visiting club also returned an interception for a touchdown to cave in the Marauders' hopes.
Several key players graduated from that club including three-time all-state player Austin Jasper; however, several components remain from last year's 7-1 club, and the goals remain the same: Make the playoffs, and advance farther than the year before.
"We know we didn't reach our full potential last year, and we want to do more this year," Jasper said. "We have high goals and aspirations, and we want to go to the dome (for the state championships). We've played some high quality teams in Section III, and we know we can compete with them."