Sabers in Super Bowl, seeking first 'A' midget title in 23 years
SALAMANCA — Jaxson Ross and Kruz Coustenis have a reason to wear their dads' 25-year-old windbreakers to school this week.
That's because the Salamanca Sabers midget football team is in the CCMFL Class A Super Bowl for the first time since the 1990s. The Sabers last played — and won — in the A midget title game in 1995 and two years prior, several of the team’s current coaches went through their own run to win the A championship.
Now Sabers assistant coaches Darren Ross and Alex Coustenis can watch their sons prepare for the game they played in 25 years ago.
“(We) both still have our windbreakers that we were handed at the end of the year at our banquet,” Alex Coustenis said. “Me and Darren both still have ours and that tells you a lot that they've made it through all the moves and college and all that stuff. His son's going to be rocking his around town and mine's going to be wearing mine.”
The Sabers beat Allegany in the semifinals on Saturday, 13-12, avenging a regular season loss. Zaron Tucker scored all of the team’s points, a kick return touchdown, extra point and 45-yard run. The first touchdown and extra point gave the team a 7-6 lead, then he scored on fourth down and one to go ahead 13-6. While Allegany scored a late touchdown, Salamanca held on with a stop on the extra point.
The Sabers (5-2) play the Randolph Raiders on Saturday at 5 p.m. for the Class A Super Bowl at Cattaraugus-Little Valley Central School. At 11 a.m., the Sabers pee wees play C-LV in the B Bowl.
“Obviously it was a huge accomplishment,” head coach Seth Hostuttler said. “We did lose to Randolph earlier in the year and we came back, we had a dog fight with Allegany, we lost to Allegany on two defensive touchdowns. But we didn't let their offense score. Coming into this game, it was a big deal, I wasn't sure what kids were going to show up, the ones that say, 'Allegany already beat us, we don't have a chance,' or the ones that say 'We can play with this team.' The team that showed up was kids that were ready to play. We've had good attitudes all season.
“This is my 19th year coaching the Saber midgets and we've been close probably eight to 10 times getting to the A's, we've been one game away or we've lost a game to get there by a couple points. This year we succeeded, especially coming back to beat a team that just beat us two weeks ago.”
Tucker, Quinton Jones and Jason McGraw have led the team as captains,