At Farmingdale, tradition greets you at the gate.
A banner hangs at midfield, listing the accomplishments of past Dalers football teams.
The 21 conference championships. The eight Long Island runner-up finishes. The one Long Island title, in 2001.
There’s still room for the 2015 conference title and LIC appearance and many championships to come. As the 2016 season approaches, the belief at Farmingdale — and around Nassau Conference I — is that the Dalers are the favorite to add more trophies to an already illustrious history.
“We’re the one seed, and we think we’re the one seed,” said Buddy Krumenacker, entering his 23rd year as head coach. “It wasn’t like, well, somebody gave us the one seed. I raised my hand for the one seed because three of the last four years we’ve been the champion, and we think we can do that again with who we’ve got back here.”
Chris Erkens is the only returning offensive lineman, but Krumenacker expects the offense to hardly skip a beat.
That’s because the Dalers, who beat Oceanside in the 2015 Nassau championship before falling to Longwood in the LIC, return one of Long Island’s most potent backfields as well as quarterbacks Anthony Burriesci and Tommy Donovan.
Senior running back Jordan McLune rushed 223 times for 1,985 yards and 35 touchdowns last season. Kevin Eversley, who primarily blocked for McClune at fullback, ran 78 times for 511 yards and seven touchdowns.
The Dalers also add running back and Plainedge transfer Corey Hill, who earned all-county honors alongside the record-breaking Davien Kuinlan last year.
“We already have a relationship, and we already have a standard so we know what we can do,” said the 5-9, 190-pound McClune, who opposing coaches widely consider the conference’s top player.
At quarterback, the Dalers will have some flexibility. Donovan began last season as the starter but tore his ACL in Week 7. Burriesci replaced him and kept Farmingdale undefeated through an MVP performance in the county championship.
Burriesci clearly has the ability to throw the ball -- he completed 36 of 68 passes for 660 yards and eight touchdowns last year -- but he is athletic enough to return kicks and play in the slot when he’s not under center.
On defense, the Dalers will be led by Darrin Simons at cornerback, Eversley at defensive end and Hill at linebacker.
With so much talent returning from an 11-1 team, McClune thinks the Dalers deserved the top seed.
“We earned it with the Nassau title, going undefeated [in the county],” he said. “It’s not like they just gave it to us. They gave it to us for a reason.”