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Southern Tier Sports Report
HORSEHEADS — Beginning a new season is always exciting.

Beginning a new season on time after Covid altered things last year just makes things more exciting.

This week the Horseheads Blue Raiders kicked off their new season with practices starting, and they were happy to be back at work.

“It’s great, it’s exciting,” Horseheads boys’ basketball coach Jeff Limoncelli said. “It’s a lot different than last year, but the kids are upbeat. We still have to wear the masks, I get it, it’s kind of a pain, but I understand the safety issues. We will do that, we will comply, but the bottom line is it feels normal.

“We are in November, it’s preseason and we are getting after it. We are seeing that excitement of starting up the season. Surely we wish we had last year (as a normal year), but we didn’t, but I have most of these kids back and they are excited.”

Last year was a lot different for the teams.

“We were starting in January in our district and it was tough,” Limoncelli said. “Everyone else started a little earlier, but for the most part, most of the teams around here, we couldn’t get started.

This year was a return to something more normal as players hit the court in the offseason to prepare for the season.

“This summer was outstanding,” Limoncelli said. “We did a lot of open gyms, a lot of AAU games for the kids. Me and coach (John) Fesetch, my JV coach, were talking about it and we had 107 workouts before November. It was totally different and we feel good about that.”

The Blue Raiders have good numbers and a good group coming out to play this year.

“The numbers are good,” Limoncelli said. “We are very young and it’s going to be a challenge, but they are very good in terms of being enthusiastic. They work very hard and I’m excited to catch this group.”

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