In spite of a historic run of success, Garden City football has treated each August like a fresh start.
This mindset could be particularly useful this season.
“It's been three great years in a row and they've all been different teams,” said coach Dave Ettinger of a stretch that has seen the Trojans win 36 games in a row and three Long Island Championships. “Obviously now we're trying to focus on this year's team.
“The streak has kind of been bigger to other people than it's been to us. The whole time we've tried to take it a week at a time, so this team is just 0-0 right now.”
That squad will have a particularly different look, as it only returns three starters from the team that outscored opponents by more than 30 points per game in 2018.
‘It’s never been like this,” Ettinger said of the team’s roster turnover, “so we have a lot of things to try to figure out in a short period of time.”
The three returning starters all feature on the offensive line and front seven, as Christian Sullivan, Billy Kephart and Christian Holloway give the Trjoans’ a strong foundation.
They will be blocking for running back Ford Carney, who will be tasked with continuing the team’s tradition of dominance on the ground.
Success there will be the key to holding off a series of challengers in Nassau II, led by MacArthur. The Generals have an experienced team, headlined by running back Hugh Kelleher (1,221 yards, 13 touchdowns), who will run behind first-team All-Long Long Island lineman Sean Tierney.
Carey reached the county finals last season before losing to Garden City, and returns productive quarterback Jason Kessler and a talented group of pass-catchers.
Elmont and conference newcomer East Meadow should be in the mix as well.