Port Football confident, ready to live up to expectations

Kyle Cohen, Contributing Writer

It has been only two years since the Port Washington Vikings football team

came off of their second consecutive winless season.  Before the start of the 2012 season, the Vikings made the switch from Conference 1 to Conference 5.  According to Coach Jamel Ramsay, the move clearly made sense for the program.  In their inaugural conference 5 season, the Vikings finished with a record of  7-1, a large turnaround from the previous two years.

“The switch of conferences definitely took the kids on the fence about playing

football and pushed them towards playing.  Once they got on the field and saw what

it was all about, they began to enjoy it,” said Ramsay.

This year, coming off its 2012 campaign, the team has larger expectations

that they have not had in the past few years.  The team is confident while trying to

build on their nearly-perfect season.

“We’re looking to just build off last year’s season.  We were 7-1, and we

always want to be better than we were last year, so I expect to really win every

game that we play,” said Ramsay.

“As a whole I think we are all pretty convinced that we are going to have a

great season, but obviously, our goal is as coach says, ‘8-0’… And with the way our

defense has been playing, I think we have a real shot at that goal,” said Siegal.

“We want to win every game and win the conference,” said junior Matt

Nicholson, the team’s backup quarterback.

High expectations often comes with added pressure to succeed.  According to

starting defensive end and junior Anton Livshin, the Vikings are not worried about

that.

“I feel like we have a ton on our back, but that just makes us better,” said

Livshin.  

“We don’t feel any pressure from anyone but ourselves to be perfect.  We

strive for 8-0, that’s all,” said Siegal.

The team seems as if they are ready for the coming season, with the

increased expectations and pressure not hurting the team’s overall confidence.

According to the players, one of the main reasons attributing to this is the leadership

of the captains, Siegel, Senior Michael Gennusa, Senior James Burns, and Senior Kyle Granger.  According to Ramsay, the Vikings captains are doing their job of holding the team together.

“In any sport you play, senior leadership is key.  If they can hold the locker

room and keep everyone in check it goes a very long way,” said Coach Ramsay.

Having played one game thus far, Port is already one step closer to their goal.

They defeated LuHi 35-6 on Sept.  12.  Last year’s game against LuHi resulted in Schreiber’s only loss.

“Every year is different so we don’t carry over losses to the next year, but

being that it was the only team that beat us, we felt good having that win,” said Ramsay.

Other members of the team were more satisfied about getting revenge on

LuHi.

“Revenge tastes so sweet, like cherry pie,” said Livshin.

Although the team is happy about starting off the season with a win, the athletes still have their sights focused on the rest of this season. At the first game, much of Port Washington’s community came to support their team.

“It’s beautiful.  We appreciate the support.  From the Port Washington Patch reporting on it, to the Port News, to the school paper, seeing guys around town

saying ‘great game.’ The kids love that.  And I think it helps them perform better,” said Ramsay.

Many of Schreiber’s students also have increased support for the improved

team.

“I plan on attending some games and supporting this year’s team.  Its exciting

now that they have put together a winning program,” said junior Mano Beys.

The team is now looking forward to the town coming out to support

them at each game, and feed off of their energy.  Their most recent game was the

Homecoming game, which followed the Pride in Port parade.Football Preview