NEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Blane Gold has hammered the point home all offseason.
Repetition is the key to getting his Redbank Valley football team to heed his words. He’s hoping his mantra is sticking.
“No one cares about the past.”
No one cares what the Bulldogs did last season, going 7-1, winning the District 9 Class A title and a state playoff game to boot.
No one cares that their reputation from last year has put them at No. 1 this year in the District 9 Preseason Coaches Poll in the Class A Small School Division, which was released Monday afternoon.
(Pictured above, Redbank Valley coach Blane Gold talks to his team at the end of a heat acclimatization practice Monday)
It’s a nice acknowledgment by the coaches. It’s nice being No. 1. But it’s nicer to prove that ranking on the field.
Redbank Valley began that quest on a sweltering first day of heat acclimatization week Monday on the practice field along the banks of Redbank Creek.
“Ever since we started up our offseason program, we have said very clearly nobody is going to care what we did in 2020,” Gold said. “As big as a year as that was, as exciting as we were about that, we have to not care about it as well.”
Union/A-C Valley was second in the Small School South Poll.
In the Big School Division, St. Marys was voted as the preseason favorite with Ridgway second.
In the Small School North, the “ports” dominated.
Coudersport and Smethport tied for the No. 1 spot in the preseason poll. Port Allegany was right behind those two schools.
Redbank Valley beat Union/A-C Valley in the regular season and Coudersport and Smethport in the district playoffs last season.
That’s all well and good.
Can the Bulldogs repeat the feat? The coaches in the poll seem to think so.
“We went from the team last year that was the hunter, that was chasing primarily Coudy,” Gold said. “(Now) we understand that we’re the team being hunted this year.”
The poll as voted on by District 9 coaches:
Big School Division
1. St. Marys
Small School North
1. Coundersport and
3. Port Allegany
Small School South
1. Redbank Valley
2. Union/A-C Valley