After coming home as state
football runners-up in 2002 and 2001, Chenango Forks fans are
confident the Blue Devils will walk off the Carrier Dome field
Saturday with the program's first New York championship.
"Hopefully, they'll win. They've been there three years
in a row," said Dave Zevotek, who played for Forks in the
early 1970s. "They're good."
Zevotek and other Chenango Forks fans were abuzz Tuesday with
pregame talk, leading up to the 10
a.m. Saturday game against Rye High School. The undefeated Blue
Devils earned another trip to the Class B final by beating Eden,
19-9, last Sunday in Rochester.
Inside the Quickway convenience store in Chenango Forks, the
early morning coffee crowd has been drawing up a game plan all
week, said manager Mary Vaninwegen.
"They're saying they're going to win," said
Vaninwegen, about the pregame odds. "There's no doubt in
If coach Kelsey Green needs a pregame motivational speaker,
he could call upon the Blue Devils' self-proclaimed No. 1 fan,
"We're not an underdog," said Hall, a 1986 Forks
graduate. "These boys have played hard."
After watching all 12 games this season, Hall wouldn't think
of missing the finale. She'll cram into a van with nine others
early Saturday for the familiar jaunt to Syracuse. When the
final whistle blows, she hopes to erase the memory of last
year's loss to Harrison, 22-12.
"They're going to get it," Hall predicted.
"These boys are going all the way."
Among the morning crowd at Davy's Bar in Chenango Forks,
owner Davy Dutcher led the cheers.
"We're very proud of them," said Dutcher,
surrounded by a dozen fans bragging about the blue-and-red clad
"They're better than the New York Giants!" a voice
rang out, quickly followed by groaning laughter.
Despite being a small school, Chenango Forks consistently
draws sizable crowds from its wide-spread fan base. The players
notice the support whether the game is played in Rochester or
"It's nice having all the support," said Joe
Babcock, a fullback. "You have the feeling that everyone is
there and behind you."
The fans give lineman Chris Pease a reason to bring his
"Just having all the fans there gives you all the
motivation that makes you want to win," Pease said.
Neither senior player wants to let down their fans, coaches,
families or school.
"If we play our hardest game, I think we can do
it," said Babcock.
"We really want to be the ones this time," Pease
said. "The third time's the charm."