Player's Diary #12: Andrew Weininger

Andrew Weininger's Harrison Huskies have made it all the way to the state semifinals. Here are the Badger commit's thoughts as he tries to extend his high school career one more game. This column was written for The Journal News, a Gannett newspaper in Westchester County, NY. Weininger has been kind enough to share his columns with Badger Nation this season.

For one year we have waited.

Walking off the field after losing in the state semifinals last year was the worst feeling I have ever felt. We had been so close, 60 seconds from a berth to the state championship game in the "Dome."

For days and nights after that game I was upset. Every time I closed my eyes I could see the image of the Peru quarterback racing into the end zone. From that day on I dedicated myself to getting back into this game, but this time earning a trip to the Dome.

But I wasn't the only one. Every single one of my teammates dedicated themselves to getting back into this game. We worked all winter and summer in the weight room and on the track. Then we spent August two-a-days working to become a team. Then we went through a regular season marred with controversy and negativity. We could have lost sight of the goal, but we didn't. We are back where we want to be, with the opportunity to erase our failure last season.

The feeling of the loss last year has never left me. It only sank to the pit of my stomach as I concentrated on other things. This week the feeling has returned. I remember vividly how it felt. I don't want it to happen again.

All the work to prepare for the game is behind us. Tomorrow is it. Will it be the last time that I step on the football field as a Harrison Husky? I don't know. All I know is that I will give it everything that I possibly have in me. And the most comforting thing is that I am confident that my teammates are just as determined as I am.

All along we thought that we would be playing Peru again in the semifinals. But last Saturday on a slippery snow-covered field they lost to Lansingburgh 22-18.

The two teams are almost completely different from each other. Peru is a potent passing team with an exceptional quarterback. Lansingburgh, on the other hand, is almost entirely a running team. They have three 1,000-yard rushers and have a lot of size up front. I think Lansingburgh is the best team we have faced since we played Lackawanna to win the State Championship in 1999. They have a lot of speed and all of their running backs run really hard.

For us to beat them we are going to have to play great defense. We have to tackle well and not over-pursue to the ball because they will cut it back against the grain.

Playing in Kingston is not that much different from playing locally. Saturday will be my fifth game at Deitz Stadium. I have played more games there than any field other than Feeley, our home field. For most of my teammates this will be their fourth game there so we all feel very comfortable playing on the upstate turf.

But I think the thing that makes us the most comfortable traveling to Kingston is the amazing support we get. It starts with our teachers and classmates at Harrison High School and stretches through the entire community. We have the best band in the state and the most talented and energetic majorettes and cheerleaders.

Our fans are also second to none. I think if we were playing 20 hours away a lot of people would still come. Last Friday the bleachers were packed on our sideline and our fans were loud. My teammates and I really appreciate the support.

The Journal News has a new website, where all of Weininger's articles are available. Check out to catch up on Weininger's stories.

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