There were rays of light, Blades coach David Fanucchi said, even during dark times.
"I kind of saw it coming, or at least I saw the opportunity was there," said Fanucchi, who is the BVarsity Football Coach of the Year. "IT's hard to know, but it was more of a change in attitude and kids' approach to things. As difficult as the season was a year ago, we weren't winning football games, but our kids were competing and they had the right attitude."
That attitude produced better results in 2016, even as injuries forced Fanucchi and his staff to switch their blocking scheme less than two weeks before the season began.
"It was a little bit scary, but I tip my hat to the coaches and kids who bought into what we were doing and made it work." Fanucchi said.
The blades made it work all right, winning their first seven games. The streak could have gone on longer -- East finished 8-4, but all four of its losses came down to the final minute.
That in turn provides hope for an even bigger dseason in 2017.
"There's a lot of excitement," Fanucchi said. "Now that they've seen that success, they bring that into the offseason and they want to build from there."