Agawam Football deals with difficult week 1 schedule to start season

Weather-related issues caused delays, and cancellations, across western Mass.
Published: Sep. 16, 2023 at 4:09 PM EDT
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AGAWAM, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - “They are one big family in the locker room, and they all have each other’s back, and if you have a team that can do that everything else takes care of itself,” said Agawam High School Football Coach John Benjamin.

The head coach for the Agawam football team, Coach John Benjamin, tells us the team’s mental toughness was on display during the season opener against Chicopee Comprehensive High School.

Weather-related issues caused delays, and cancellations, across western Mass.

“We went to Comp and sat around for 2 and half hours to wait for the lighting storm to end. We played a half, and then had to get back out there,” said Benjamin.

Because of the lighting, the teams battled out the remainder of the game the next day.

Senior captain, Ethan Danek, tells us playing back-to-back was a challenge.

“And then to have to come back there on a Saturday. On my only two rest days, it took a lot of mental toughness. I didn’t come on one of my two rest days, to take a loss,” said Danek.

While they pulled out the win over Chicopee comp, coach Benjamin tells us another hurdle they are facing this season is losing some key playmakers from last year.

“This was the only time in 10 years of coaching. We didn’t have an all-western Mass. type of player coming back,” said Benjamin

Coach tells us it is the perfect opportunity for younger players to step up.

“We have a lot of seniors who have stood up and become leaders, a lot of young leaders, guys that you would think have been around the program for years but really they’re just sophomores and juniors and they’re doing an excellent job,” said Benjamin.

Coach says Danek is one of those leaders.

“After every play, I’m trying to help guys back up even if they’re on the opposite side we’re brothers out here. I’m picking them up even when they do something wrong. I’m gonna tell them, how you did that wrong, but to keep fighting hard, keep putting that same drive into the next play and we’re gonna do good things,” said Benjamin.

Every team wants a shot at the state title, but the coach tells Western Mass News, that their success this season is not defined by wins and losses.

“We want to be a better team at the end of the season than we were when we started the season. hopefully, that’s good enough that will put us on top and get enough to get into the state playoffs in the championship,” said Benjamin.

Regardless of what happens, Danek tells us it is the memories he will cherish the most.

“We’re family. I don’t think of all those guys as my teammates are my friends. They’re my brothers out on the field and I would do anything for them,” said Danek.