After watching streak come to an end, look for Ithaca to be back once again in ’15
Detroit – While Ithaca’s streak of 69 consecutive wins, which was tied for the longest active streak in the nation, came to an end on Friday evening, there’s a very good chance that the Yellowjackets will be back.
And they will be back soon.
Ithaca will only lose five players off of its 2014 team and will return 20 starters to its team next season, where the Yellowjackets will look to begin a new winning streak.
Ithaca coach Terry Hessbrook said that with plenty of returning players for next year, the underclassmen at Ithaca can learn plenty from this year’s group of five seniors.
“The resiliency and the never give up attitude, the never quit attitude,” he said. “The work ethic that they’ve displayed in the summer and the winter in preparations for the game. Everyone wants to win on Friday night, but are you willing to do the work that it takes to win and that’s something that all of our senior classes have done a great job of.”
Next season, Ithaca will be led by quarterback Jake Smith and receiver Spence DeMull, who connected on several occasions, including the first touchdown of the game for the Yellowjackets.
Smith said that next season, he won’t make any promises, but said that he and his teammates will do whatever it takes to get back on top next fall.
“I’m not going to guarantee anything,” he said. “But I know that our players are going to be working hard in the offseason and we want to get back. We’re going to be hungry and we’re going to do anything we can to get back there.”
Along Smith and DeMull, the Yellowjackets will be returning the majority of its defense, led by Jace Demenov and Tyler Spitzley, which limited St. Mary Catholic Central to less than 200 yards of offense.
Smith will have plenty of weapons left on offense, as receivers Ryan Buckley, Grant Gimmey and Spitzley will all return as well.
DeMull said that next year, he expects to have another good team at Ithaca, and expects he and his teammates to put in the work to return to Ford Field once again in 2014.
“Next year, we’ll have a great team,” he said. “I’m really going to miss those five seniors, I love those guys, but with the class that we’ve got, we’ll work hard and we’ll be back here next year.”
**EDITORS NOTE: Highlights from this game can be seen on the State Champs! High School Sports Show Sunday at 9 am and 10 pm on Fox Sports Detroit**